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MailChimp
4.0

MailChimp is often the first newsletter tool that springs to mind, possibly because they have great marketing and a charming monkey-fied aesthetic. But I guess I’m not the only one, as they claim to send more than 600 million emails every day over their platform.

They offer a free plan, with which you can send up to 12,000 emails a month to 2,000 subscribers. This is good news for personal and SMB accounts, as most of the tools and templates are accessible on this free account. They also have pay-as-you-go options, which work out to be cheaper for low-volume clients, whilst also giving you some included extras such as automation and integration options.

Now let’s have a look to see whether MailChimp really do let you ‘send better emails’:

Try MailChimp for free: http://mailchimp.emailtooltester.com Find a more detailed MailChimp review here: http://www.emailtooltester.com/en/reviews/mailchimp/... MailChimp Review - The Pros & Cons of the Newsletter Tool 2017-03-13 https://img.youtube.com/vi/8UxgmXzPjv4/hqdefault.jpg

Try MailChimp now for free for up to 2,000 recipients.

2,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$0/MO

Free plan has limited features

2,500 SUBSCRIBERS

$30/MO

10,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$75/MO

30,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$215/MO

50,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$240/MO

Find our detailed analysis of Mailchimp’s pricing plans here.

Thorough reporting:

Basically everything you need to know, including clients, geo-tracking, social media and Google Analytics integration.

Generous freemium plan:

Most of the tools are available on their free plan, and you’re allowed 12,000 emails to 2,000 of your subscribers which isn’t a bad deal.

Great template editor:

MailChimp sports a clean interface and a simple, but powerful editor.

High-cost subscription plans:

Although they offer a generous freemium plan, the prices get steep pretty quickly once you start needing to increase your email, or subscriber, numbers.

Limited email automation:

Even though their autoresponders are solid, MailChimp disappoints when it comes to more advanced automation.

criterion rating comments

Ease of Use

Easy to use, with clear navigation and a clean interface. Although setting opt the initial opt-in process can be somewhat challenging as the menus are a little confusing.

Newsletter Creation

Editor

This editor is fast and simple, using a drag & drop interface.

Personalization

yes

If/then/else logic isn’t very user friendly, but available. MailChimp at least offer a handy cheat sheet to help you grasp the concepts.

Email types

All the standards that you need such as classic newsletters, autoresponders, A/B testing RSS to newsletter and recurring.

Choice and Flexibility of Template Designs

Lots of choice, relatively modern looking too. All of the drag & drop templates are responsive, but the classic templates are not.

Email Automation

This is relatively robust, with rules to send follow up emails based on certain conditions, such as clicks, opens etc. More complicated automations in regards to goals/page link actions are available, however, the usability isn’t great as there is no workflow view.

List Management

Mailchimp offer pretty good segmentation methods, allowing you to combine up to five positive or negative conditional relationships (e.g. what email client they use, whether they’ve opened a particular campaign).
Management across lists is not possible as each list is siloed.

Registration Forms/ Opt-in & Opt-out- Process

Simple drag & drop setup for forms, although a bit finicky to select colour options, only allowing you to add the colour code. You can add your own fields, and adding the form to your site is easy.

Reports and Analysis

Pretty much all you need in regards to reporting is here, if not a little dull-looking. You have openers, Google Analytics integration (which allows for conversion tracking), as well as clients, geo-tracking and social media.

Languages

The site itself is only available in English, with the help section being available in Spanish also. The emails themselves can be auto-translated with Google Translate into many different languages, but of course it would be better if the site itself was more internationally accessible.

Further Features

Spam- and Design-Testing

Mailchimp use third-party run tool ‘Inbox Preview’ which is an extra cost for the bottom two plans ($3 for 25 tokens) and allows you to see what designs will look like for different clients, and on different devices. No spam testing is available.

Bounce Management

yes

Hard bounces are immediately removed, while soft bounces are re-sent for three days. These will eventually be considered hard bounces if it occurs over multiple campaigns.

Blacklist

no

Storage available for data and images

unlimited

There seems to be no limit to the amount of files, just that they need to be under 10MB in size each.

Pro Features

Authentication

yes

DKIM and SPF, SenderID and DomainKeys available.

Own Domain

no

Tracking links in your emails will use the domain “list-manage.com”

Different levels of account access

yes

You have five different levels within Mailchimp: viewer, author, manager, admin & owner.

Integrations

yes

Apparently there are over 800 integrations available for your account! From eCommerce, to social and website integrations, you’d be hard pressed to find an area that’s not represented.

Landing Page Editor

no

Support

3.5/5

They have a thorough, and easy-to-search, knowledge base. Where Mailchimp loses points, though, is the fact that this is the only help that’s available unless you upgrade your account. The live chat option, on upgrade, was fine, but quite slow compared to other tools we tested.

Overall rating

4.0/5

Extremely user-friendly; there’s a reason why this tool is so popular. They could be a little more internationally-friendly, though.

MailChimp is a perfectly good tool for most English-speaking users, with its ease of use and range of features, as well as their free plans. Keep in mind, though, that their subscription plans are relatively expensive compared to similar newsletter tools.

There are a bucketload of integrations available for MailChimp, which could be seen either as due to, or because of, the amount of active users they have. That, combined with relatively powerful tools (available on the higher tier plans) really do add up to a great tool.

Perhaps if you’re a business with specific needs, like powerful marketing automation, or use of your own tracking-domain, then you may need to look further afield for the correct newsletter tool. But there really is a lot to like from MailChimp.

 

Try MailChimp now for free for up to 2,000 recipients.

ActiveCampaign: while they don’t feature a free plan, they have very affordable paid plans that are a little bit cheaper than similar MailChimp plans. Feature-wise they are the best email automation software and easily beat MailChimp.

MailerLite: we chose them as a MailChimp alternative because they have a very generous free plan that lets you use all their features (unlike MailChimp). Their feature set is pretty similar with a few extra gimmicks like the landing page creator.

GetResponse is a great alternative because of their great editor combined with a wide range of pro features such as the webinar tool and email automation.

It really isn’t a bad offer. They let you send up to 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers every month. The catch is that they don’t let you use all the features (reporting and testing is limited, for example) and there will be a small MailChimp advert in your newsletters. Once you exceed the 2,000 subscriber limit it gets rather pricey.

Arrow Up

Generally, you can add affiliate links in your newsletters, however, they have a list of certain domains that are banned. If your affiliate link is contained in this list, they won’t let you send the email.

Arrow Up
steve lamattina
His career has spanned across areas such as film, digital media and literature, with the tech and mobile world remaining a personal passion. Now he’s interested in sharing that passion for email marketing, through honest reviews and good content. Oh, and he’s Australian...but don’t hold that against him.
  • Sam

    Hey, thanks for the review. Is personal support included in MailChimps free plan?

  • I recently had my MailChimp account suspended. One of my sites is in the ‘make money online’ space. It’s a completely legitimate website, but apparently if your emails contain keywords they don’t like, they will suspend you. I would not recommend using them. Contacting support I just get form responses that are completely unhelpful. There’s no phone support- just account termination. Really bad experience. Luckily, this is a very new site- but imagine if you have thousands of emails and they just shut you down without ANY recourse.

    • Hi Ryan, sorry to hear that! Yeah, it looks like MailChimp is going after people in the affiliate/make money online space, I’ve heard similar things from other people. Did you maybe have an unusually high unsubscribe, bounce or spam complaints rate, do you know? That could’ve also triggered it.

      • This is a very new site- only 23 subscribers and 2 emails as part of a followup series. So no bad metrics on it re: unsubscribes/bounces etc. One of my emails walks the reader through a calculation of how they could make $200 a day promoting a certain type of product- ie traffic/conversions/commissions. Just math. I think that’s what triggered it. I have to choose another provider going forward- is this happening across mail providers or is this just MailChimp specific, do you think?

        • I see! MailChimp is the only newsletter tool where I’ve heard of suspended accounts. But do check the terms of service first and do some googling maybe before you sign up with another company.

 
 
 
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