MailChimp Review (2024): Mail For the Masses?

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This article has been written and researched by our expert tooltesters through a precise methodology. Learn more about our methodology

Robert Brandl

Robert Brandl

Author

Inka Wibowo

Inka Wibowo

Researcher

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MailChimp is often the first email newsletter tool that springs to mind, possibly because of their marketing and charming monkey-fied aesthetic. Which might explain why they have over 14,000 people signing up to their platform every day!

At Tooltester, we use Mailchimp for one of our projects - mainly because the referral credits we've racked up through the years makes it essentially free for us to use.

However, while I was initially a very enthusiastic MailChimp user, the once simple-to-use software has evolved into a relatively complicated construct of bundled-together features. And if I had to pay to use it, I'm not sure I would.

In fact, for our business's other projects, I prefer using other email marketing services like Brevo and MailerLite.

Now, my goal is not to discourage you: depending on your priorities, Mailchimp can still be a good option. So, let's explore where they shine:

Where MailChimp stands out

Mailchimp offer a free plan, which gives you access to most of the available tools, including their built-in survey maker and landing page builder. This is particularly good news for personal and small business users. The downside is that the subscriber and sending allowance have gone down significantly recently, but more on that below.

If you’re an SMB looking for an all-in-one solution, then this could be just what you need. 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.
best esp comparison template

But where is MailChimp heading in the future?

A recent development is that MailChimp has been bought for the sum of $12 billion in cash and stocks by financial software company Intuit. We looked into this company's history and saw that it has spent millions of dollars lobbying to make sure that solutions for free and easy tax filing in the US are not made a reality.

This new acquirement has already affected the price plans. Mailchimp used to offer a much more generous free plan. Now users are limited to a maximum of 500 contacts, whereas previously it was 2000. Automations are also no longer available on the free plan. We wonder whether this will continue to affect MailChimp's operations, pricing, and overall ESP product in the near future.

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

  • Mailchimp Review
  • Mailchimp vs MailerLite
  • Mailchimp Automation
  • Mailchimp Tutorial
Mailchimp Review video

MailChimp Screenshots

MailChimp Pricing

$ 0

500 Subscribers

1,000 Emails

Free plan has limited features

$ 45

2,500 Subscribers

25,000 Emails

Essentials plan

$ 110

10,000 Subscribers

100,000 Emails

Essentials plan

$ 230

20,000 Subscribers

200,000 Emails

Essentials plan

$ 300

30,000 Subscribers

300,000 Emails

Essentials plan

$ 340

40,000 Subscribers

400,000 Emails

Essentials plan

$ 385

50,000 Subscribers

500,000 Emails

Essentials plan

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

Pros and Cons

  • Pros
  • Cons

Pros

  • Great template editor

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

  • Thorough reporting

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

  • Endless Integration Options

    Mailchimp offers over 500 integrations and add-ons. Therefore you can easily incorporate any marketing tools that you are already using and discover new tools for your business.

  • 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). And more recently, their GPT-powered AI email creator.

Is MailChimp the right newsletter service for you?

  • Recommended if:
  • Not recommended if:
  • Integrations are important to you

    If you run an ecommerce store, blog, nonprofit, small business, or restaurant, and need your newsletter tool to integrate with other software, Mailchimp is a good option. It offers hundreds of integrations to both popular and niche applications (such as Zapier, Shopify, WordPress, and OpenTable).

  • You need an all-in-one solution for inbound campaigns and a CRM

    MailChimp have always emphasized the importance of running opt-in based lead capture campaigns. They make it easy to do so with features such as forms, landing pages and automated drip campaigns. With the introduction of their in-built CRM, you can now set up customer profiles and assign customers a lifetime value (Standard plan and upwards).

  • You offer online or in-person services

    Mailchimp’s new appointment booking feature means that you can add a service listing page with your availability to your website. You can even take online payments.

  • You want native commerce features in your email marketing tool

    There’s an advantage to having everything you need in one tool. Those who want to manage their email marketing and sell products online all under one roof will be interested to hear that this is possible with Mailchimp.

Rating Details

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.

Editor Info popup

There are two editors available. Both are fast and simple to use and have all the main content blocks (video, columns, social buttons, etc). We have a quick-start tutorial to help you get started with your first newsletter.

Personalization Info popup

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 Info popup

Classic newsletters, autoresponders, A/B testing, RSS and transactional emails. You can also send postcards, a feature unique to Mailchimp.

Choice and Flexibility of Template Designs Info popup

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 look a bit outdated.

Email Marketing Automation Info popup

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 marketing automation. Note: automations aren’t available on the Free plan.

List Management Info popup

Mailchimp offers decent 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 Info popup

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 Info popup

MailChimp’s deliverability rates are among the highest out of the providers we’ve tested. They also managed to decrease the amount of emails being delivered to Gmail Promotions tab, with more of their emails now landing in the Primary tab.

Reports and Analysis

Pretty much all you need regarding reporting is here. You have openers, Google Analytics integration (which allows for conversion tracking), as well as clients, geo-tracking, click mapping and social media.

Languages Info popup

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.

Spam- and Design-Testing Info popup

Mailchimp use third-party run tool ‘Inbox Preview’ by Litmus. Monthly paid plans come with 25 tokens and allow you to see what designs will look like for different clients, and on different devices. No spam testing is available. If you need more tokens, you’ll need to purchase these through Litmus. Find out how to avoid spam filters here.

Bounce Management Info popup

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.

Blocklist Info popup

You can upload a suppression list of the contacts you don’t want to send to.

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.

Authentication Info popup

DKIM and SPF, SenderID and DomainKeys available.

Own Domain Info popup

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

Different levels of account access Info popup

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

Integrations

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 – they also recently reintroduced their integration with Shopify.

Landing Page Builder Info popup

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 in terms of combined page-building and email marketing features.

Customer Support

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

3.9

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, and they are pretty expensive.

Mailchimp Deliverability

In previous years, we’ve been quite skeptical of Mailchimp’s email deliverability, especially considering they are one of the most popular email providers out there. However, they do seem to be improving their deliverability. In our most recent test, they were one of the providers with the high percentage of emails delivered to Gmails main inbox (rather than promotions or spam). Let’s see if they can keep up the the good work!

Conclusion

MailChimp is a decent enough tool for most English-speaking users, with its range of features, as well as their free and pay-as-you-go plans.

Keep in mind, though, that their subscription plans are 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. You’ll find integrations for pretty much every industry and niche, including with software used in service industries like real estate and law. And this is really their core advantage.

Mailchimp has recently introduced its own Content Optimizer powered by ChatGPT. Their new AI Marketing tool provides users with design, copy, and layout suggestions to help them optimize their campaigns. 

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.

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

FAQ

Mailchimp complies with GDPR regulations by storing user data on U.S. servers, in accordance with the permissions granted under the “EU-U.S. Data Privacy Framework.”

It is worth considering, however, that the possibility exists for this framework to be repealed at some point in the future, just as its predecessors were.

Should GDPR compliance be a priority for you, considering EU-based newsletter services such as Brevo or MailerLite might be a more suitable option.

Since they changed the plans and pricing, you are only allowed 500 subscribers, therefore the free plan is not the best value for money. Another 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 500 subscriber limit it gets rather pricey.

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.

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.

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

Yes, Mailchimp is a legit email marketing service. It helps small businesses safely store their customer data and offers a secure way to manage contacts.

Our bi-annual tests show that Mailchimp’s deliverability is gradually improving. MailerLite is a much better option.

Mailchimp is an email marketing tool. Though you can store contacts and contact them via email marketing, it is not what we’d call a CRM. Discover what a CRM is and what CRM software is best for small businesses here.

MailChimp Alternatives

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 MailerLite 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.

Brevo 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 Brevo comparison.

If you run an online store, Klaviyo is an email marketing service worth checking out – you can see how Klaviyo vs Mailchimp compare in our full guide.

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.

The authors

Learn more about us

Robert Brandl

Founder and CEO

Hello! I'm Robert, an email marketing expert with over 15 years of experience. After honing my skills at an agency by serving major corporations, I founded EmailTooltester as a passion project to help small and medium-sized businesses. Connect with me on LinkedIn where I regularly share my best email marketing knowledge.

Inka Wibowo

Senior Content Manager

Hi, I'm Inka! I spent the earlier part of my career in agency land, helping businesses of all sizes get their email marketing campaigns up and running. Now, at EmailTooltester, I'm using my experience to help businesses like yours find the best email marketing services for your needs.

Learn more about us

We keep our content up to date

07 May 2024 - Added Mailchimp newsletter tutorial video
19 Feb 2024 - Added Mailchimp Automation video
06 Feb 2024 - Updated Deliverability information
05 May 2024 - Updated Deliverability section
17 Jan 2024 - Added Mailchimp vs MailerLite video
10 Jan 2024 - Price increases
04 Dec 2023 - Automations no longer available on free plan
25 Aug 2023 - Information about GDPR compliance added
18 July 2023 - Deliverability section added
29 May 2023 - AI feature added
16 Mar 2023 - Plans and pricing changed
28 Feb 2022 - Plans and pricing changed
20 Sept 2022 - Plans and pricing changed
12 Apr 2022 - New video added
17 March 2022 - Note added about legitimacy
20 Jan 2022 - Removed email scheduling from free plan
22 Sept 2021 - Intuit buys MailChimp
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

Our Methodology

This review has been written and researched following our EmailToolTester methodology.

Our Methodology

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