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Mailchimp Pricing: How much will cost you?

Mailchimp Pricing Plans: How much does it cost?

josep
Professor
Mailchimp pricing

At first glance, the Atlanta-based company seems pretty generous, offering free newsletters and an in-built CRM. However, make sure you read until the end as there are a few snags in their pricing model, especially with regard to how they charge for contacts. Recent changes to their plans and inclusions have also made it a much less attractive option for small-to-medium businesses, as we’ll detail below.

MailChimp pricing in a nutshell

MailChimp offers the Free plan for up to 2,000 contacts and 10,000 emails per month (with ads). The Essentials plan starts at $9.99/month for 500 contacts and 500k emails. The Standard plan adds advanced automations, starting at $14.99/month, and Premium gives you all-areas access from $299/month.

Pricing for Mailchimp’s monthly plans is calculated based on the size of your ‘audience’ (that is, list size). But each plan also has a monthly email sending limit, as well as a limit to the number of different ‘audiences’ you can have, which we go through below.

Note that as of May 2019, new users (and those switching from free/pay as you go plans to a monthly plan) will start getting charged per contact, as opposed to just subscribed contacts (which was previously the case). So, new users will also start paying for unsubscribed contacts and those who haven’t confirmed opt-in. Depending on the proportion of your contacts who are unsubscribed, this could push up your costs significantly.

MailChimp also features a pay as you go pricing system where you’ll just pay for the amount of emails that you send. This plan comes with the same features as the monthly MailChimp plans.

Let’s have a look at their prices in more detail:

MailChimp Pay as you go plans

Similarly to a cell phone setup, you prepay your email quota. Although they famously used to offer credits that ‘never expired’, new changes mean that credits now expire after 12 months (or, if purchased before May 15th 2019, they’ll expire on May 15th 2020).

Emails Price per email Price
5,000 $0.03 $150
10,000 $0.02 $200
50,000 $0.02 $1000
75,000 $0.02 $1500

MailChimp monthly plans and prices

The advantage of a subscription is that you never run out of credits thus your automations won’t stop on Black Friday because you forgot to refill. However, you will incur additional charges if you go over your contact limit (rather than automatically being bumped up to the next tier), so be sure to keep a close eye on this and, if needed, to change up to the next level of your plan in advance.

The plans below were introduced by Mailchimp in May 2019. Pricing for legacy plans (Growing Business, Pro Marketer) haven’t been included as they are no longer available to new users, or to existing users upgrading from free/pay as you go accounts.

MAILCHIMP PLANS FREE ESSENTIALS STANDARD PREMIUM
Features
Single-step automations

(Autoresponders)

Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multi-step automation workflows No No Yes Yes
Max. number of audiences (lists) 1 3 5 Unlimited
Monthly email sending limit 10,000 500,000 1.2 million 3 million
Email templates Basic All All All
Abandoned Cart Yes Yes Yes Yes
A/B Testing No Yes Yes Yes
Reports Yes Yes Yes Yes
Segmentation Yes Yes Yes Yes (advanced)
CRM Yes

(limited to 1 audience*)

Contact profiles, tags & segments

Yes

(3 audiences)

Contact profiles, tags & segments

Yes

(5 audiences)

Customer lifetime value, purchase likelihood, lookalike audience finder

Yes

(unlimited audiences)

Customer lifetime value, purchase likelihood, lookalike audience finder

Chat and Email Support No (Knowledge base + 30 days email support only) Yes Yes Yes
Mailchimp advertisement Yes (a small banner in the newsletter’s footer) No No No
Retargeting (Facebook, Google, Instagram) No No Yes Yes
Social post scheduling No No Yes Yes
Number of users 1 3 5 Unlimited
Advanced features
Time Zone delivery No No Yes Yes
Predicted Demographics No No Yes Yes
Transactional Emails Yes Yes Yes Yes
Comparative Reports No No No Yes
Multivariate Testing No No No Yes
Mailchimp cost
500 users Free $9.99 $14.99 N/A
2,500 users Free $29.99 $49.99 N/A
5,000 users N/A $49.99 $74.99 N/A
10,000 users N/A $74.99 $99 $299
15,000 users N/A $129 $159 $349
25,000 users N/A $189 $219 $449
50,000 users N/A $259 $299 $599

*An audience is where all your contacts are stored. You can then segment or tag subscribers within this.

But what MailChimp Plan should you choose?

Firstly you need to decide if you need a pay as you go account where you purchase email credits and send campaigns out or if it makes more sense to have a monthly account with a subscriber limitation. Generally speaking, if you send email campaigns regularly, getting a monthly account is more sensible. However, if you just want to send the odd campaign every now and then (or are generally scared of commitment), buying email credits is your best option.

Monthly plans: Mailchimp Prices

Free Plan: MailChimp lets you start your email marketing program for free. This complementary plan is pretty generous and includes a good amount of features. For example, you have access to single-step email automations and some other advanced features (e.g. CRM, reporting and the ecommerce abandoned cart feature). However, you get limited templates, a maximum of just 1 audience/list, and won’t be able to benefit from any personal support.

You have to be aware that this plan is limited to 2,000 subscribers (contacts) and 10,000 emails (a month). If you exceed these, you’ll have to purchase a monthly plan or email credits (pay as you go). Take into account that when sending campaigns, a MailChimp self-promoting badge will show in your communications.

Mailchimp Badge

We’re big fans of MailChimp’s free plan, but, honestly speaking we like MailerLite’s free plan even more. Theirs is completely ad-free, allows up to 1,000 subscribers with no cap on the amount of emails you can send.

Essentials Plan: Chances are that the MailChimp Free plan isn’t for you, for example, if you need to send more than 10,000 emails per month or you have more than 2,000 contacts.

Essentials is the cheapest monthly plan available, and gives you advantages over the free plan such as:

  • The MailChimp branding will disappear from your emails.
  • You get access to all Mailchimp email templates.
  • A/B testing is available.
  • Preview how your emails will look in different inboxes (e.g. Outlook or Gmail). You’ll get 25 previews a month.
  • Get MailChimp’s Delivery by Time Zone and make sure subscribers receive the campaigns when’s a good time for them, even if they live in different countries.
  • Get chat and email support.

However, restrictions include a maximum of 50,000 contacts, 3 audiences/lists, and a limit of 500,000 emails per month. You don’t get access to multi-step automations, either, so overall it’s a pretty basic plan. If you’re likely to go over these limits, or need more complex automations, the Standard or Premium plans would be better for you.

Standard Plan: If you need advanced features such as multi-step automations, you’ll need to opt for the Standard plan, which comes with everything included in the Essentials plan, plus:

  • Delivery by Time Zone and Send Time Optimization to make sure subscribers receive the campaigns when’s a good time for them, even if they live in different countries.
  • More advanced CRM features (predicted demographics, customer lifetime value and so on).
  • The ability to import your own HTML email templates.
  • More sophisticated automation workflows – multi-email campaigns, onboarding series etc.
  • Retargeting ads for Facebook, Google and Instagram

With the Standard Plan, limits are 100,000 contacts, 5 audiences, and 1.2 million emails per month. You also get a maximum of 5 users on the plan. If you need any more than that, then you’ll have to go for the Premium plan, which in our opinion is very expensive.

Premium Plan: This isn’t cheap at all as you’ll need to pay at least $299 a month to get MailChimp’s cutting edge features (and that’s just for 10,000 contacts). But let’s see what these Pro features can do for you and your organization:

  • MailChimp saves the Advanced Segmentation options for the Pro users. Basically, these will let you create complex segmentations based on user behaviour (e.g email activity, demographics and purchase history).
  • You will be able to create Comparative Reports which allow you to group campaigns reports and do a bunch of geeky statistic research.
  • Multivariate Testing is possible. With the lower plans you can A/B test one variant (e.g. subject line or body message). But if you want to test the subject line and the body message at the same time, you’ll need the Multivariate Testing.
  • You also get unlimited users and role-based access – ideal if you need to give access to various team members.
  • Finally you also get phone support in addition to email and chat.

Is the hefty price tag worth it? Personally, we don’t think so. Unless multivariate testing or comparative reports are really, really important to you, you’ll find that you get much better value for money with more powerful tools such as ActiveCampaign or GetResponse.

Unfortunately, Mailchimp’s new pricing structure doesn’t really seem to benefit anyone other than Mailchimp themselves. New users will end up having to pay more because they’re now charged for unsubscribed/un-opted in contacts, and new plans have introduced restrictions such as email sending limits and a cap on the number of different ‘audiences’ (lists) you can have.

That being said, Mailchimp’s free plan is not bad - provided your list is on the very small side (remember, unsubscribed email addresses go towards your 2,000 contact limit). And, if you don’t mind not having dedicated support and the advertisement at the footer of your email, of course.

Most users would probably find the paid plans to be more realistic options, but be aware that the lowest level plan (Essential) comes with just the basics. And even the higher Standard plan has some contact and email sending limits which might not make it ideal for large-volume email senders. Plus, there are other newsletter services that are more powerful and also offer much cheaper paid plans.

MailChimp’s Premium plan is really expensive (and dare we say, overpriced). Unless you are looking to create complex segmentations, need an advanced reporting system or you want to do multivariate testing it’s not worth it.

It may be surprising, but MailChimp is actually one of the most expensive newsletters tools out there for small-to-medium businesses. If you are looking for a budget-friendly solution we’d encourage you to try our Newsletter Pricing Comparison Tool and find one that suits you.

> Compare MailChimp with other newsletter tools

These features can do really advanced tasks, however they are quite expensive as plans start at $299 a month. Unless you need to perform complex A/B tests, require (really) advanced segmentation or would like to get comparative reports, you don’t need the features.

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MailChimp’s pricing is based on the number of contacts you have in your system, regardless of whether they’re subscribed or not. So, you’ll also be charged for contacts who are unsubscribed, inactive, or haven’t opted-in yet. This new pricing structure was introduced in May 2019.

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There are no additional set-up fees involved. However, if you want to use a custom domain (e.g. using your own subdomains for landing pages, rather than Mailchimp’s own), it will cost you an extra $137.81 per year, regardless of what plan you’re on.

Also, don’t forget that you’ll be charged (read: penalized) with additional fees if you go over your monthly contact limit at any point. Mailchimp won’t automatically upgrade you to the next plan, so to avoid these extra charges make sure to keep an eye on how many contacts you have, and to adjust your plan before you hit your limit.

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