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MailChimp Review - Mail For the Masses?

steve lamattina

May 20, 2021

Professor

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 roughly 10,800 emails out every second over their platform.

They offer a free plan, with which you can send up to 10,000 emails a month to 2,000 subscribers. This is good news for personal and small business users, as most of the tools are accessible on this free account. Another feature accessible through their free account is their in-built CRM. If you’re an SMB looking for an all-in-one solution then this could be just what you’re looking for. 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 does let you ‘send better emails’:

Find a more detailed MailChimp review here: http://www.emailtooltester.com/en/reviews/mailchimp/You can also compare MailChimp with its competitors here:http... MailChimp Review - The Pros & Cons of the Newsletter Tool 2017-03-13 https://img.youtube.com/vi/8UxgmXzPjv4/hqdefault.jpg

2,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$0/MO

Free plan has limited features

2,500 SUBSCRIBERS

$30.99/MO

Essentials plan

10,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$78.99/MO

Essentials plan

15,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$135/MO

Essentials plan

20,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$170/MO

Essentials plan

25,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$200/MO

Essentials plan

30,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$230/MO

Essentials plan

50,000 SUBSCRIBERS

$270/MO

Essentials plan

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 10,000 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.

Extra features:

Mailchimp continue to expand their feature set, the most recent additions being appointment scheduling software and the online store builder (the latter is currently only available in beta in the US and UK).

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.

criterion rating comments

Ease of Use

It has a clean interface, and the tools are easy to use. However, the navigation could be clearer, as certain tools are slightly hidden. Setting up the initial opt-in process can be somewhat challenging as the menus are a little confusing.

Newsletter Creation

Editor

There are two editors available, though one is in beta still. Both are fast and simple to use, and have all the main content blocks (video, columns, social buttons, etc.).

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. Merge tags can be inserted in the email content to add the readers name or email address.

Email types

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

Choice and Flexibility of Template Designs

Lots of choice, relatively modern looking too. All the drag & drop templates are responsive, but the classic templates are not. Bear in mind that the free plan only comes with the basic email templates, which are starting to look a bit outdated.

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 related to goals/email link actions are also available, via the Customer Journeys feature, which allows workflow-based automations.

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 color options, only allowing you to add the color code. You can add your own fields, and adding the form to your site is easy. They also offer pop-up registration forms to integrate with your website.

Deliverability

MailChimp’s deliverability is acceptable, but there is definitely room for improvement. Be aware that their emails often end up in the Gmail ‘Promotions’ tab, which is less frequently checked.

Reports and Analysis

Pretty much all you need regarding 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, click mapping and social media.

Languages

The site itself is only available in English, with the help section being available in Spanish, French, German and Portuguese. The emails themselves can be auto-translated with Google Translate into many 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

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. With the launch of their ecommerce builder, it’s not surprisingly they no longer offer a direct integration with Shopify, although there are third party integrators like Zapier that can be used to connect the two.

Landing Page Editor

yes

It’s pretty hard to find the landing page editor, which is accessible through the campaigns section. There are 10 modern templates, and you can use your own domain name (e.g. www.your-biz.com). Also, there is no A/B testing feature. GetResponse offers a far superior alternative.

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 to a paid one. The live chat option, on upgrade, was fine, but quite slow compared to other tools we tested.

Overall rating

4.1/5

Very user-friendly and feature-rich; 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 and pay-as-you-go plans. Keep in mind, though, that their subscription plans are relatively expensive compared to similar newsletter tools. We recommend you check out this Mailchimp alternatives post before you make your final decision.

There are a bucket load of integrations available for MailChimp, which could be due to the number 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 multilingual software, 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.

Check out Mailchimp and other alternatives in our Side-By-Side Comparison

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.

Sendinblue is one of the cheapest all-in-one email marketing tools on the market. It’s available in 6 languages and comes with advanced automation options and a built-in CRM. Check out our Mailchimp vs Sendinblue comparison.

Check out this blog post for our full list of Mailchimp alternatives. Or, use our Smart Finder to help you choose the best newsletter service for your needs.

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.

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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.

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Mailchimp is an all-in-one marketing platform used by individuals and companies of all sizes. You can manage everything from your email newsletters and automations to ecommerce.

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Yes, you can use Mailchimp with WordPress. All you need to do is sign up and add the plugin on WordPress.

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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.
20 May 2021 - General update. New features added
06 Apr 2021 - Prices updates (small increase across plans)
01 Sep 2020 - Deliverability rating updated
07 Jan 2019 - Deliverability rating updated
12 Jun 2018 – Added details about the landing page editor
20 Mar 2018 – Deliverability rating added
02 Jan 2018 – New landing page creator
29 Sep 2017 – Alternatives and FAQ added.
14 Mar 2017 – Video Review Added
23 Feb 2016 – Initial Tests
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