What is Mailchimp?
Mailchimp is the one of the most popular marketing automation and email marketing services in the world with over 14 million users. Mailchimp is best for small businesses that prefer an all-in-one platform that supports the key components of online marketing and does not require advanced technical expertise.
Table of Contents
- What is Mailchimp?
- Mailchimp Review Summary
- Mailchimp Pricing & Cost
- Mailchimp Features
- Mailchimp Alternatives & Competitors
- Is Mailchimp Right For You?
Mailchimp Review Summary
Mailchimp was founded by Ben Chestnut and Mark Armstrong in 2001. Mailchimp is the one of the most popular email marketing solutions in the world with more than 14 million users. While the majority of Mailchimp's customers are small businesses, some medium-sized businesses do use its Premium Plan.
One of Mailchimp's primary selling points is its ease of use. Features are well organized and easy to learn, and Mailchimp does not require advanced technical expertise or coding capabilities in order to create professional marketing campaigns. However, Mailchimp’s automation workflows are not as sophisticated as some of its competitors. Additionally, live chat and email support is only included in paid plans, and phone support is not offered at all.
Mailchimp offers a free plan that includes up to 2,000 contacts and 10,000 sends per month. Mailchimp offers three paid plans with starting prices that range from $9.99 to $299 per month depending on your number of contacts.
Mailchimp is best for small businesses that prefer an all-in-one platform that supports the key components of online marketing and does not require advanced technical expertise. Small and medium-sized businesses that require sophisticated automation tools should consider other solutions, like ActiveCampaign, before purchasing Mailchimp. Also, e-commerce businesses that operate on Shopify should consider Klaviyo, which integrates directly with the platform.
Mailchimp Pricing & Cost
Mailchimp pricing starts at $9.99 to $299 per month depending on your plan. Monthly pricing increases depending on your number of contacts. Mailchimp offers one free plan, and three paid plans. Below, we offer a breakdown of Mailchimp’s monthly subscription costs.
|Number of Contacts||Essentials||Standard||Premium|
Mailchimp includes a maximum contact count per plan. Also, Mailchimp limits the number of email lists depending on your subscription plan.
|Plan||Maximum contact count||Number of email lists|
|Free||Up to 2,000 contacts||Up to 1 list|
|Essentials||Up to 50,000 contacts||Up to 3 list|
|Standard||Up to 100,000 contacts||Up to 5 list|
|Premium||More than 200,000 contacts||Unlimited lists|
Email send limits depend on the plan you choose and your number of contacts. Mailchimp charges overages if you exceed email send limits or maximum contact count. Below is an overview of Mailchimp’s email send limits.
|Plan||Email send limit|
|Free||10,000 sends per month and 2,000 send daily|
|Essentials||10 times your maximum contact count|
|Standard||12 times your maximum contact count|
|Premium||15 times your maximum contact count|
Below, we'll discuss Mailchimp’s key features. We include product screenshots to give you a sense of this solution’s interface and usability.
When you log into Mailchimp, the first thing you will see is the dashboard. The dashboard includes a feed that summarizes your marketing activities. Also, the dashboard shows the number of contacts you have, and a few reports highlighting important key performance indicators.
Data Integration and Storage
You can use Mailchimp to collect and store data about your customers. This data is key to segmentation, personalizing content, and implementing trigger emails. Below, we explore Mailchimp’s data fields and offer an overview of importing customers and data.
Contact information that you collect and store in Mailchimp is organized into data fields. You use these data fields to segment your lists in order to send better targeted communications. You can create custom data fields to collect specific information relevant to your business. Here are some examples of commonly-used data fields.
- Phone Number
- Zip Code
Mailchimp limits data storage in several ways. We list some of the limitations below.
- You can add a maximum of 30 data fields for each contact in most plans
- You can add a maximum of 80 data fields for each contact in Mailchimp’s Premium Plan
- Data fields are limited to 255 bytes
- Form field labels are limited to 50 bytes
Importing Customers and Data into Mailchimp
You can import data through a variety of ways in Mailchimp. Below, we highlight some of the primary methods of data collection.
|Manual Entry||Customer information can be entered manually through copy and paste.|
|CSV files||You can upload spreadsheets that contain customer data.|
|Pre-built integrations||Built-in integrations allow Mailchimp to seamlessly share data to and from third-party solutions. Mailchimp integrates with over 250 third-party platforms. We further explore Mailchimp’s integrations later in the review.|
|API||Mailchimp has an open API that allows businesses to create custom integrations. You can use this to move data in and out of Mailchimp and build custom applications that leverage Mailchimp’s functionality.|
|Signup forms||You can embed signup forms in your website and emails to capture customer data.|
Mailchimp’s platform includes segmentation tools that you can use to create segments of customers using the data that’s stored in the system. Using segments is a best practice to increase the relevancy of your emails, and save cost by reducing send volume.
You can define the conditions of each segment to include or exclude portions of your list. Also, you can create complex segments in Mailchimp using any and all logic. Here are some of the segmentation conditions, operators, actions, and parameters found in Mailchimp:
Campaign & Conversations activity: This condition segments contacts based on how subscribers have interacted with your email campaign.
Automation activity: This condition segments contacts that have started or completed a certain email automation.
Date added: This condition segments contacts based on signup or import date.
Contact rating: This condition segments contacts by most or least engaged.
Information changed: This condition segments contacts based on when a profile was last updated.
Location: This condition segments contacts by Mailchimp’s geolocation data
In Mailchimp, you can create as many segments as you want. However, Mailchimp only allows you to add up to 5 conditions per segment. If you would like to add more segmentation conditions, solutions, like ActiveCampaign, are likely a better fit for you.
Mailchimp includes an email editor that is used to create custom and professional emails. You can design emails from scratch, or choose one of over 90 pre-designed email as starting points. You can drag-and-drop blocks into email templates containing different content types such as text, images, buttons, videos, and promo codes. In the styles tab, you can customize your email’s formatting, colors, and fonts. Mailchimp also includes an HTML editor.
Mailchimp includes a photo editor for basic image editing. Images are stored in your Mailchimp account for free. This is a time-saver, if you plan to use the same image, like a company logo, across multiple emails without manually uploading each time.
You can preview how emails will appear on desktop and browser. Also, you can send yourself test emails. Unfortunately, you can not test cross-client display compatibility to see how emails appear on different email service providers.
Mailchimp has an A/B testing tool that you can use to optimize your emails and subject lines. You create multiple versions of your email, and the system automatically sends each version to a portion of your customers. In the table below, we highlight the major components of Mailchimp’s A/B testing.
|Variables||Email content, from name, send time, subject line|
|Email Variations||Up to 3 versions|
|Testing Pool Size||1% to 100% of list|
|Testing Length Period||Virtually unlimited|
|Winning Metrics||Click rate, open rate, total revenue|
Mailchimp offers multivariate testing in its Premium Plan. This allows you to test multiple variables across 8 different email variations in a single test. However, Mailchimp does not allow you to A/B test a series of emails in your automation workflows.
Mailchimp’s Customer Journey feature allows you to create drip campaigns that send a series of automated messages to customers. These campaigns are typically triggered by a specific customer action, and can include branches that target specific sets of customers.
The Customer Journey Map is a visual representation of your automation workflow. Drip campaigns begin with a starting point that adds a contact to a workflow. You can add multiple starting points to a customer journey. Here are some of the starting points included in Mailchimp:
- Abandons cart
- Buys a specific product
- Clicks specific link in email
- Opens email
- Recurring date
- Sign ups
- Time since last purchase
Once you have selected a starting point, you add actions and rules to different branches in the customer journey, creating a personalized email series for your audience. Here are the actions and rules you can add in Mailchimp.
- Actions: Send email, add or remove a tag, add or remove from a group
- Rules: If/else, wait, delay
Other Features and Marketing Channels
Mailchimp not only provides small businesses with exceptional email marketing, but also includes several useful online marketing tools. Below, we highlight some of Mailchimp’s other features and marketing channels.
- Landing pages: Mailchimp allows you to create unlimited landing pages for free. Mailchimp includes a landing page builder that functions similarly to the email builder we discussed earlier.
- Digital ads and social media marketing: You can integrate Mailchimp with Facebook, Google, and Instagram to create targeted ads for your audience. You can also schedule and publish posts across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- Postcards: Mailchimp prints, stamps, and mails customizable postcards. Sending postcards costs $0.75 to $0.99 per card within the U.S., and $0.82 to $1.58 per card outside the U.S.
You should choose an email system that gets a high percentage of your emails into recipient inboxes. In the email world, this is known as deliverability.
There are several best practices that email systems should follow to increase your deliverability. Overall, Mailchimp has a strong reputation for deliverability. As you can see below, it follows the best practices.
|Deliverability Features||Offered by Mailchimp|
|Deliverability analytics and reporting||Yes|
|Automated contact removal for soft & hard bounces||Yes|
|Dedicated click tracking||Yes|
|Email authentication (DKIM & SPF)||Yes|
|Dedicated IP address||Yes|
Analytics and Reporting
Mailchimp includes tools that track performance, improve deliverability, and offer actionable insights to grow your business. Mailchimp automatically tracks the following performance data for all of your campaigns. Here are some of the metrics that Mailchimp tracks.
- Open rate (your average vs. industry average)
- Click rate (your average vs. industry average)
- Number of successfully delivered emails
- Top links clicked within your email
- Subscribers with the most opens
- Social media performance (tweets, Facebook likes, etc.)
- Geographical regions with the most opens
In the Premium Plan, Mailchimp includes comparative reports that help uncover actionable insights to improve audience engagement with your emails. You can combine, aggregate, and compare data across reports. Additionally, you can filter and specify complex segmentation options across your subscriber lists, and share custom reports with other members of your organization.
Mailchimp offers over 250 built-in integrations with third-party software. Additionally, Mailchimp offers an open API that allows developers to build customer integrations with the solution. Below, we list some of Mailchimp’s most notable integrations.
- Amazon Marketplace
- Magento and Magento 2
Mailchimp Alternatives & Competitors
Mailchimp competes with a variety of email marketing solutions that offer similar functionality. The best choice for you will depend on your budget and feature preferences.
Mailchimp's top competitors are:
Is Mailchimp Right For You?
Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing solutions in the world with over 14 million users. While Mailchimp’s core competency is email marketing, the platform includes several useful tools that help small businesses with online marketing. This includes a content library, landing page builder, paid ads campaign manager, and a recommendations engine. Additionally, Mailchimp does not require advanced technical expertise or coding.
Mailchimp is best for small businesses that prefer an all-in-one platform that supports the key components of online marketing and does not require advanced technical expertise. If you are a small to medium-sized business that requires sophisticated automation tools, consider testing ActiveCampaign. If your are an e-commerce businesses that operates on Shopify, you should consider Klaviyo because it integrates directly with the platform.
If you're interested, you can try Mailchimp today.