You can say MailChimp is the Toyota of email marketing and email automation.
Let me explain.
MailChimp is synonymous with email marketing. In the same way that the “Hoover” brand name is synonymous with vacuum cleaners and vacuuming in different countries! So its kind of weird to think there could be any MailChimp alternatives. But there are! As iconic as MailChimp is, there are some fantastic MailChimp alternatives out there.
And in this article, I am going to show you the 8 best MailChimp alternatives on the market today!
But first, let’s explore email marketing, email automation and email service providers, so we are singing from the same hymn sheet!
The Best MailChimp Alternatives – But Why Email Automation?
eMarketing or electronic marketing is basically the marketing of products or services over the Internet. The terms eMarketing, electronic marketing, Internet marketing and online marketing, are frequently interchanged, and can often be considered synonymous. You need email automation and an email marketing platform that works. This will be provided by your email service provider such as MailChimp or any of the MailChimp alternatives out there. It is the software used by bloggers and other content managers to manage their email marketing, such as for sending promotional email campaigns.
Why is email automation so critical? By automating your email workflow, you can unlock the true potential of your email list. It will help you turn your leads into customers. It will make your subscribers more engaged. And if you set it up right, all this will happen with a minimum amount of intervention on your part.
Without an email service provider with an email platform that works:
- You won’t be able to immediately and automatically welcome your subscriber to your list with an automated welcome email.
- You won’t be able to send updates to your email audience telling them about new products, blog posts and sales or discounts.
- You won’t build relationships with subscribers that’ll turn into sales or conversations at your next meetup or conference.
And you certainly won’t have your email platform send the right email to the right person for you while you chill on the couch looking at all the revenue you got from your last email.
That’s where MailChimp and the MailChimp alternatives come in.
Most bloggers start off with MailChimp because of its Forever Free Plan. Under the Forever Free Plan, you’re able to send up to 12,000 emails per month if you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers. The Forever Free Plan offered is a great asset for small business owners, nonprofits, or other groups that are just getting started and have a limited marketing budget.
MailChimp integrates beautifully with WordPress, Magento, Shopify, and many other platforms.
MailChimp also comes with an easy email creator, merge tags, autoresponders, segmenting contacts into groups, and simple tracking and analytics. It also allows you to set up delivery times based on user’s timezones and setup segmenting based on geolocation.
Support is offered by email, live chat, and a huge knowledge base with how-tos, videos, and tutorials. MailChimp provides a useful mobile application for both the iPhone and Android-based mobile devices. The application acts as a shortcut to your email marketing account, enabling you to add subscribers to any of your lists, get updates about campaigns, stay apprised of social media activity, and several other helpful features.
MailChimp’s paid plans start from $10/month.
- Ease of use. It is easy to design a campaign template. It’s not hard to make Mailchimp emails look impressive and professional with drag & drop features, video preview rendering etc.
- The forever free plan allows you to send 12,000 emails for up to 2,000 subscribers
- Sophisticated drag and drop editor fantastic for newsletters
- You can schedule emails to deliver at a specific time during each time zone.
- MailChimp does not count a subscriber who is on multiple courses as a single distinct subscriber. So you will get double or triple billed for the same subscriber on multiple lists.
- Autoresponder is only available on the paid plans.
- MailChimp does not offer professional design services.
- Your account can be deactivated for affiliate links, or for having content MailChimp finds inappropriate. The standards are sometimes not clear, giving an arbitrary and temperamental feel to their regulations.
The Best 8 MailChimp Alternatives – In No Particular Order
ActiveCampaign is an integrated marketing and customer relationship management (CRM) suite with a foundation in email marketing. Targeted towards small-to-midsize businesses, the software is designed to help organizations build their contact lists, create professional emails, manage campaigns, track customer behavior and measure their marketing campaign performance.
For a long time, the only email service providers that provided automation capabilities were hugely expensive products like InfusionSoft and Ontraport. This put the power that automation out of the reach for many small businesses and entrepreneurs.
ActiveCampaign is an affordable email service provider that also includes some impressive email marketing automation features. This makes it one of the best choices for power email marketers.
ActiveCampaign’s email marketing and marketing automation applications include drag-and-drop email design, lead capture forms, social integration and tracking, lead segmentation, website tracking and email campaign reporting. While ActiveCampaign integrates with several leading third-party CRM solutions, it also offers its own sales force automation (SFA) features, including contact management, drag-and-drop deal tracking, pipeline management and lead scoring.
They offer an extremely flexible pricing plan for any business, from small to enterprise. Prices start at just $9/mo for 500 contacts. Despite this, not many people have even heard of them.
All plans include unlimited emails, unlike Campaign Monitor, which offers both basic plans with limited emails, and more expensive unlimited plans. You can save 15 percent off the monthly cost by paying annually; however, ActiveCampaign does not offer pay-as-you go plans, like Campaign Monitor and MailChimp do.
With their email automation, you can introduce new customers to your products or surprise existing ones with an exclusive offer triggered by their behavior. The automation feature allows you to engage with your customers at scale with little effort.
Overall, MailerLite is perfect for first time email marketers because of ease of use and its free plan. It is one of the leading MailChimp alternatives.
All AWeber’s email templates are ‘responsive’ – they automatically resize themselves to suit the device they’re being viewed on.
AWeber offers a free video course “Email List Growth Blueprint”. In the course you will learn how to grow your email list in less than 4 hours with step-by-step, expert guidance in six short and simple lessons. You can access the course by clicking here.
Segmenting data in AWeber is pretty straightforward. You can create segments not only based on the contents of any field in your database, but also on user activity too – emails opened, web pages visited, links clicked, products bought and so on. It’s all very flexible and easy to use.
Aweber has a 30-day free trial which you start by clicking here.
Constant Contact has a free trial which gives you access to all paid features for 60 days but with very strict limitations. For example, you can upload contacts to your account but there is a 10-subscriber cap. The trial is a great way to get used to the platform with a smaller list. Once you are sure about the platform, upgrade to the paid version and then upload your entire contact database. There is also a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Constant Contact offers a number of plans depending on the size of your subscriber base. Pricing starts at $20/month for up to 500 contacts and goes up from there. It’s discounted to $17 for when you prepay for a whole year.
Unfortunately, Constant Contact is one of the more expensive plans on this list. Their $20/month fee for up to 500 users is the free level for many of the other MailChimp alternatives I’ve listed.
ConvertKit includes all the features you would be used to if you’ve ever used any email service provider. So if you are making the switch over to ConvertKit, the learning curve should be very small. The only terminology you might not be used to is that autoresponder series in ConvertKit are called Sequences.
It allows you to easily offer content upgrades and incentives with email signup forms. It also comes with easy to manage auto-responders allowing you to send drip emails.
ConvertKit works a little differently than other email service providers, where all your subscribers are grouped into separate lists. Instead, your subscribers are all in one big account list.
But what’s nice about ConvertKit is the flexibility it gives you in segmenting (filtering) your subscribers. You can segment leads subscribed to specific Sequences, Forms, or Tags. Or you can segment based on Date. There’s even a pre-made filter to solely target your cold subscribers.
Pricing for ConvertKit plans start from $29/month with a 30-day refund policy. ConvertKit doesn’t have a sophisticated drag and drop editor like Mailchimp. So creating fancy email newsletters is not its strong suit. Also, ConvertKit does not offer a free trial. However they do give you a full 30 day money back guarantee so if it doesn’t work out for your business, you can always get a full refund.
The feature set of GetResponse has evolved, and it is now becoming more of an ‘all-in-one’ marketing solution. In addition to email marketing, it now also provides webinar hosting, landing pages, and basic customer relationship management (CRM) functionality.
The 30-day free trial that GetResponse offers is fully functional – i.e., you can make use of a big list with it – and the offer does not come with a requirement to provide credit card details.
Whether you’re new to email marketing or a seasoned veteran, you’re sure to appreciate iContact’s straightforward account dashboard and intuitive campaign design tools. Navigating around the iContact system is as easy as can be. iContact is geared toward businesses with a smaller email database size, as evidenced by the fact that their most expensive plan is for up to 15,000 contacts. Plans start at $14/mo for 500 contacts. If you prepay annually, you will save 15%.
iContact’s excellent social media marketing tools are integrated right into the campaign design process so you can automatically post your content to your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts, enabling your customers to easily share your campaigns with their friends.
iContact offers three pricing plans: Basic and Pro are list-based, meaning that the cost of the plan is based on the user’s number of subscribers. This is reckoned as the total sum of the number of email addresses in each of the user’s lists. (If one address is included in two different lists, it counts as two subscribers.) For high volume businesses, both Basic and Pro can be upgraded to Premier. You can save 15 percent if you pay for a full year in advance.
iContact offers users a 30-day free trial of the basic version of its email marketing software. However, this trial is limited to 100 contacts and 400 messages. Should you wish to exceed those limits, you must pay for a subscription. There is a 15 percent discount for prepaid annual subscriptions and a 20% discount for verified 501(c)(3) non-profits located outside of North Carolina (in-state non-profits get the service for free). Non-profit users can email firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm their status.
Mad Mimi has different price plans: basic, pro, silver and gold. With Mad Mimi’s cheaper plans, your emails will be sent out more slowly than if you are on a more expensive one. In addition to creating email marketing campaigns from scratch, you can copy your campaigns with the clone tool, which allows you to adjust the original document without losing any previous versions of your work. If you accidentally delete an email campaign, Mad Mimi now allows you to undo the deletion.
Mad Mimi’s interface is simple to use, if rather brightly coloured! Mad Mimi is one of the most affordable email marketing solution available today. Their plans start at $10/month for 500 contacts. They also have a free plan that gives you storage for up to 100 subscribers.
It seems that Mad Mimi is best for those users who want a manual review of their email campaigns before they’re sent. Definitely one of the great MailChimp alternatives.
Best MailChimp Alternatives – Now Your Turn
Why You Need An Email Service Provider
For the benefit of those who are new to this concept, to build your email list, you need an email service provider (ESP). It is very important to start with email service providers who are good and reputable. Good email service providers will provide you with a software that does these seven things:
- Store the email addresses of all your subscribers. These can be very easily converted into a csv file, if you need to export the list somewhere else, or if you decide to change ESP.
- Store important data from every email campaign, including the following information:
- Number of emails sent
- Those who opened each email;
- Those who clicked on any link on the email; and
- Those who unsubscribed
- Post their deliverability rates. For example, you can go to any of the major email service providers to find out their deliverability rates, which will help you choose a good provider.
- Work hard to improve those deliverability rates. For example, the major email service providers will have dedicated staff who work daily with major ISPs to get your emails delivered to their recipients.
- Actively ban any marketers who spam or engage in other questionable practices. This improves deliverability for everyone else.
- Provide an autoresponder service. Autoresponders are emails sent automatically to your subscribers when triggered by a series of events you determine. They can be used to greet new subscribers, alert them about new products or services, or even wish them a happy birthday. All you have to do is set up the rules, write the message, and let the autoresponder take care of the rest. Many of the best autoresponders will also have reporting tools to help you keep track of how your email campaigns are performing so you can constantly improve and retool.
- Provide a system where your subscribers can unsubscribe at any time. This is important, as there are two basic rules of engagement that come with email marketing:
- Always have permission to market to someone via email; and
- If that permission changes, stop sending them email marketing
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Do you have a targeted email list? Who is your preferred email service provider – MailChimp? Or do you use any of the featured MailChimp alternatives? Please click to leave a comment.