Mailchimp, as one of the oldest email marketing tools available, is still leading the industry amidst the saturated competition. One of the biggest reasons, is the fact that it’s a well-rounded tool that is very easy to use with its rich set of features.
However, Mailchimp is certainly not the perfect tool for all situations, there are other Mailchimp alternatives that offer different features, more advanced functionalities, and different price ranges.
Below, we will discuss 5 of the best of these Mailchimp alternatives. However, let us begin with a brief discussion of Mailchimp itself, and why it’s so popular.
A Brief Overview on Mailchimp
In this guide, obviously Mailchimp will be the benchmark for the other tools, and here we will start by discussing its key highlights.
Mailchimp is still the industry leader in email marketing tools, and not without its reasons.
First, Mailchimp has the benefit of being one of the first players in creating a user-friendly email scheduler, with its drag-and-drop approach and various templates to choose from.
Ease of use is indeed the key highlight of Mailchimp as an email marketing tool, while also providing a well-rounded set of features. However, many other Mailchimp alternatives—as you’ll learn further below— offers more advanced features in one area or the other. For example, Mailchimp’s automation features are relatively basic, and there’s no drag-and-drop composer for automation.
Easy to use composer with a drag and drop approach
Automated email scheduler and workflow
Segmentation features for better audience targeting
Lead capture features to capture email addresses via signup forms, pop-ups, and landing pages
We can consider MailChimp as a well-rounded tool designed for beginners or those who are only looking for simplicity and ease of use. Power-users and advanced marketers, however, might benefit from other Mailchimp alternatives with more specific advanced features.
Pricing: The limited free version is sufficient for most basic marketers, the cheapest “Essentials” plan is $9.99/month, and the Premium plan is $299/month.
Top 5 Best Mailchimp Alternatives
1. Campaign Monitor
Campaign Monitor also offers ease of use and user-friendliness in its email builder, making it the direct competitor to Mailchimp in the visual builder department.
Campaign Monitor is also strong in its email automation features, offering a better automated email workflow than mailchimp that is more user-friendly with more advanced features.
A few minor downsides about Campaign Monitor is in the lead capturing aspect. For example, you can’t configure pop-ups. Also, it’s not dedicated to ecommerce so it doesn’t has as many integrations with ecommerce platforms compared to other tools (it does offer integrations with Shopify and Magento, among others).
Pros of Campaign Monitor:
Slightly more affordable than MailChimp across all plans
Easy to use, very visual email buildier and automated campaign builder. Various templates available
In-depth analytics and reporting tools, useful in developing your strategy and evaluating your progress
Cons of Campaign Monitor:
No free plan, and the $9/month plan is relatively basic
Although easy to use initially, has a pretty steep learning curve for the advanced features
Pricing: starts at $9/month, the most expensive plan is $149/month. There’s also the option for custom, advanced plan called Emma HQ, and the option to pay per campaign.
ActiveCampaign is not only an email marketing tool, but also an all-round digital marketing and sales automation tool offering various advanced automation and scheduling features.
The Lite plan, however, is focused only on email marketing and email automation, with some excellent features like the ability to create segmented lists for targeting purposes, autoresponder set-ups, and analytics, among other features.
As a digital marketing automation tool, however, ActiveCampaign is among the best available. So, if you are also looking for a solution for your overall digital marketing campaign, ActiveCampaign can be a great option.
Pros of ActiveCampaign:
Great customization and personalization options
As a well-rounded digital marketing and sales automation tool, very cost-effective
The lite plan (dedicated for email marketing), is also very cost-effective where you get unlimited sending with just $9/month
Cons of ActiveCampaign:
The user interface is relatively outdated, and not as easy to use as MailChimp
Customer service is sometimes not very responsive
Pricing: Free trial available, the Lite version is $9/month, and the Enterprise (full) plan is $229/month
Like Mailchimp, Mailjet is a cloud-based email marketing tool focusing on simplicity and ease of use, characterized with the visual, drag-and-drop style email builder. Mailjet also offers basic email automation features, which can be useful for those looking to implement drip campaign.
There are two main factors why Mailjet might be an interesting Mailchimp alternative: there is a relatively useful basic plan that is totally free, which can be useful for those looking for a free tool to assist their email marketing campaign, and it’s very easy to setup SMTP server with Mailjet.
SMTP can significantly improve the speed of email delivery, so this can be useful for time-sensitive campaigns (i.e. limited-time offer, flash sale, etc.).
Pros of MailJet:
Easy SMTP server setup
The basic version (that is totally free) is fairly useful and might be sufficient for most basic email marketing needs
The most affordable option in this list where the paid plan starts from $8.69/month
Easy to use with user-friendly interface
Can easily implement sign-up forms within the email
Cons of Mailjet:
Fairly basic features compared to others on this list so far, basic segmentation,targeting, and automation features.
Customer service not as good as MailChimp
Pricing: free version available, basic plan is $8.69/month and the premium plan is only $18.86/month. Customized enterprise version available.
ConvertKit is a Mailchimp alternative focused for ecommerce companies’ email marketing needs. So, there are several useful features for ecommerce needs like the ability to design opt-in forms, landing page builder, recipient analytics, and so on.
Features-wise, ConvertKit is probably the best on this list with various unique features designed for—as the name suggests— conversion.
Pros of ConvertKit:
Rich set of conversion-focused features, the best choice for ecommerce businesses
Great marketing automation features
Great user interface, easy to use campaign builder, website design, and marketing automation builder, among other features
Relatively expensive with its email subscriber-based pricing
Not too many email templates included
Steep learning curve due to its deep set of features
Pricing: Free trial available, $29/month for up to 1,000 subscribers, $79/month for up to 5k subscribers, customizable plan available
Unlike some of the tools in this list that offer well-rounded digital marketing automation features, Aweber is totally focused on email marketing. In fact, Aweber is one of the oldest email marketing tools around that is still widely used today not only for its popularity, but also functionality.
For instance, Aweber offers more email templates than any other tools in this list, where each template is completely customizable. Aweber also offers one of—if not the best—visual email builder around. Also, Aweber has very intuitive email capture features, where you can easily create popups and forms.
There is, however, a major downside in Aweber’s segmentation features. This can be a problem if you are aiming for more targeted personalizations in your email campaign.
Pros of Aweber:
Easy to use email creation features, among the best in its class.
Great analytics features including intuitive A/B testing tool
Responsive and fast customer service
A lot of customizable email templates
Cons of Aweber:
Lack of targeting and user segmentation features
The basic plan is limited for 500 email subscribers, so might not be cost-efficient if you have a big contact database
Relatively basic email automation features
Pricing: Free trial available, plans start from 19/month for up to 500 subscribers,
As you can see, each of the 5 Mailchimp alternatives we have shared above has their own advantages and disadvantages. There are mainly two reasons for choosing an email marketing tool that is not Mailchimp: either you are looking for something cheaper, or you are looking for more advanced features not offered by Mailchimp. It’s important to figure out your needs carefully before making your choice, and choose the one according to your email marketing goals.
Mike Khorev is an SEO expert and digital marketing consultant who helps small and mid-size businesses generate more leads, sales and grow revenue online. He offers expert advice on marketing your company the right way through performance-based SEO digital marketing, web design, social media, search engine marketing and many other online practices. Find him on LinkedIn and Twitter