OVERALL RATING: Best for New Businesses
We’ve tested Mailchimp’s features to see how they match up against other email marketing software platforms. We have all the information you need to decide for yourself whether Mailchimp is right for you and your business.
Who is Mailchimp best suited for? Perfect for your business if you want an introduction to email marketing for free or access to some great email marketing tools such as segmentation, scheduling and in-depth reporting. Oh, and it also helps if you really like chimps (they’re everywhere!)
+ Their free plan is easy to set up
+ Segmentation functionality
+ Great integration possibilities
- They reserve the right to cancel or suspend your account
- Some design templates are a little outdated
Mailchimp is an all-in-one marketing platform where you can manage everything from your email newsletters and automation to e-commerce.
In the last couple of years, Mailchimp has developed into a comprehensive integrated marketing platform for small businesses, with a plethora of marketing, web building and branding tools available for the platform’s customers to use.
However, the number one reason that people go to Mailchimp is to take advantage of their email marketing service, the feature that launched Mailchimp to its current popularity, serving 20 million active customers and sending billions of emails every day.
Is Mailchimp right for your startup or small business? Read our impartial review to find out.
After you’ve chosen one of Mailchimp’s four pricing plans – free, essentials, standard or premium – you’re able to begin creating email campaigns through the platform by navigating to the ‘Campaigns’ tab and opting to create a new campaign.
When starting to create your email campaign, you’ll be presented with 4 campaign types: regular, plain-text, A/B test and automated, some of which are only unlocked as you upgrade to the paid plans.
Your regular and plain-text emails are your standard one-off email blasts, with the former able to be formatted and allowing for the inclusion of images and other media.
When you upgrade to the paid plans, you can use A/B testing to split test your email campaigns based on the subject line, content, send time or from the name. Then, you can try two or three different variations to test, which will be sent to different sections of your mailing lists. After tracking the results, Mailchimp sends the most successful email to the rest of the email list.
With the premium plan, you can take advantage of Mailchimp’s multivariate testing feature, which is just like A/B testing except you can test up to four variables at the same time, including email content, time sent, subject lines and from names.
By selecting the automated campaign option, you’re able to create autoresponders, such as the variations available in the ‘welcome new subscribers’ series, which you can edit to create any type of autoresponder. Depending on the purpose of your autoresponder, however, you should be able to find an automated email type to suit your needs.
After selecting any of these options, you’ll be asked to name the campaign and choose the contact list – or section of a list – that you want the email to be sent to.
When it comes to editing your emails, it's a piece of cake. Mailchimp uses a drag-and-drop email editor, which means you can move different template elements, like text boxes and images, where you want to sit on the page.
To help you to design your email, Mailchimp has a wide selection of email templates to choose from, which you can do based on its design or based on the function of the email you want to send. Although, some seem a little outdated.
And, when writing your subject line, all Mailchimp users – regardless of plan type – are granted access to the platform’s subject line helper, which gives real-time feedback regarding the effectiveness of your subject line.
As you begin to make edits to your template, Mailchimp will display a preview of your email that you can edit by clicking on the various elements of the email and customising these elements in the right panel.
Mailchimp has a reasonably good deliverability rate, as the platform has numerous IP addresses to keep its deliverability high, though anecdotally Mailchimp’s emails have been known to end up in the Promotions mailbox, which is less frequently checked by most users, though most email marketing platforms struggle to avoid this.
After your emails have been sent, Mailchimp is able to provide useful data insights pertaining to open rates and click rates, while the more advanced paid plans can show you more advanced stats. So, you’ll be able to track and analyse the activity of individual subscribers showing the types of emails that they opened, in addition to when and if they clicked on the content.
Moreover, you can do your own digging into your email subscribers’ behaviour by conducting group searches to locate certain types of email subscribers. For example, you can search for subscribers who clicked on a link in one of your emails – or who simply opened a particular email – and send more targeted emails to this specific group, using Mailchimp’s advanced segmentation feature available in the Premium plan.
Additionally, provided as part of all Mailchimp’s pricing plans – including the free plan – customers are able to create signup forms to receive emails or newsletters, which can be done quickly and easily by navigating to the ‘Lists’ tab and clicking ‘Signup forms’.
Finally, one of Mailchimp’s best features is its impressive range of integration opportunities, including the possibility to integrate with WordPress, Zendesk and LinkedIn among more – and, if you have an e-commerce store, you can synch Mailchimp to the major e-commerce platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce.
Mailchimp has four pricing plans, dependent on the functionality, the number of subscribers you have and the number of emails sends per month that you require. There isn't any catch to their free plan, it just doesn't allow you to use all of the features! Available.
With Mailchimp’s generous free plan, you can send up to 10,000 emails to up to 2,000 subscribers per month, as well as being provided with a marketing CRM and the ability to create and embed signup forms into your website.
Aside from the email marketing features available from the free plan, Mailchimp also offers a range of multichannel tools to help small businesses grow, such as the feature to create, manage and publish social media posts and Facebook/Instagram ads via the platform.
When sending emails to up to 500 contacts, the essential price plan is low. With the essentials pricing plan, you’re provided with 10x the number of emails sends as the number of contacts you have.
On top of everything provided with the free plan, Mailchimp’s essentials include more complex email marketing functions such as access to email automation (such as autoresponders), email scheduling, A/B testing, pre-built journeys and access to 100 attractive pre-built email templates.
Additionally, you’ll be able to split your contacts into 3 possible audiences, so that you can send emails targeting a particular audience based on a feature of that audience, for example, those who share a particular buying interest.
Moreover, the essential plan comes with an array of other marketing and brand tools in addition to 24/7 live chat support.
Showcased as Mailchimp’s recommended price plan, is based on 500 contacts with a number of possible emails sent up to 12x the max number of contacts.
In addition to offering the features included in the free and essential plans, Mailchimp’s standard plan provides a custom journey builder – allowing for journeys of up to 100 points – custom-coded email templates and the potential to split your contacts into five separate audiences.
Additionally, the standard plan comes with a range of smart tools, such as send-time optimisation and the ability to access more advanced stats regarding your customers, their lifetime value and the future purchase likelihood of each individual customer.
Mailchimp’s premium plan starts at around $222.28 per month for up to 10,000 contacts, with a monthly email send limit of 15 times the maximum contact count.
In addition to everything supplied in the essentials and standard plans, the premium plan allows businesses to split their contacts into an unlimited number of audiences, and grants access to advanced segmentation and multivariate testing.
In addition to the 24/7 chat and email support, premium plan holders also benefit from phone support provided by the platform.
Startups and small businesses starting out on their email marketing journey. Their free plan is easy to set up and offers a low-risk introduction to the world of email marketing.
If your email list grows and you need a higher send limit, you can easily upgrade to one of their paid accounts.
As previously stated it is relatively easy to use and the free plan is a great no-risk option to dip your toe into the sea of email marketing.
We also love the scheduling functionality of their paid plans. This allows you to prepare your emails in advance and schedule them to be sent on particular days at particular times. Great for managing your time effectively and getting ahead with your marketing.
It’s really important to be able to segment your list to ensure your emails are getting to the right audience. The free account allows you to create groups within your list, so your readers can select relevant topics when they sign up, ideal if you want to increase open rates and decrease unsubscribe rates.
Some of the design templates are a little outdated and although still a great option, their free plan is a little underwhelming compared to their competitors.
Mailchimp makes it quick and easy to create email marketing campaigns to suit the needs of small to medium businesses, offering a good permanently free plan for those who only need to send simple emails to their contact base.
In addition to providing impressive integration opportunities with other apps and tools, Mailchimp tracks a range of useful stats and has numerous features to help you ensure that you’re sending the best possible emails to your customers.
On the other hand, as you advance through the Mailchimp pricing plans they can become quite expensive, especially if you have a large number of contacts. This may not be right for you or your business if you’re likely to have a large – and growing – number of email subscribers and want to conduct your email marketing cheaply.
Overall, Mailchimp is a decent platform to facilitate your email marketing needs, with an easy-to-use intuitive campaign builder and smart tools to optimise your email marketing strategy. However, depending on your budget and the number of contacts you’re hoping to reach, there may be more affordable email marketing tools to choose from that provide better value for money.
The entire Mailchimp application is encrypted with TLS (Transport Layer Security) which encrypts data sent over the internet to ensure that eavesdroppers and hackers are unable to see what you send. Login pages and logins via the Mailchimp API have amazing protection.
Yes! MailChimp allows free hosting for file sharing; you only need to upload files to a campaign and share them with your subscribers.
Yes! Mailchimp offers two types of merge tags to help you include audience and contact content: system merge tags and audience merge tags.
You can upload and share many types of files including images, documents, spreadsheets, audio, or video on Mailchimps' free plan. All video formats can be used including links to videos on YouTube & Vimeo, or drag a video file from your computer.
Yes, but you will need a plug-in, Text Marketer is a leading SMS gateway provider with a presence in the UK which Inuit Mailchimp recommend using.
Definitely. As we said the design element is really easy to use - simply drag and drop text and images.
If you mean individual emails such as an order confirmation once an order has been placed, then yes!
Mailchimp’s built-in automation feature includes some transactional emails, like order notifications or abandoned carts. You can easily customise these emails to fit the look and feel of your brand.