Mailchimp review

An all-in-one email marketing solution

Mailchimp Review Hero
(Image: © Mailchimp)

TechRadar Verdict

A combination of comprehensive support options and a robust data security framework makes it easy to recommend Mailchimp for businesses- both large and small.

Pros

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    Multiple pricing options

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    Multivariate testing

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    Advanced analytics and reporting

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    Free plan available

Cons

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    Premium plans are expensive

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    Slightly inflexible platform

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    Limited personalization

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    Phone support limited to top plan

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When it comes to email marketing (opens in new tab), Mailchimp (opens in new tab) is the first name that many folks think of. This platform is one of the most well-known providers of digital marketing services, and this is well deserved, as Mailchimp is an affordable provider. It has plans and options to suit all businesses- no matter what the requirements.

In this Mailchimp email marketing services review, we flesh out the platform’s strengths and weaknesses, while comparing it to competitors at both ends of the spectrum- freemium and upper end. When we are done, you’ll gain an understanding of whether Mailchimp is the best email marketing service for you and your business.

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Mailchimp helps you build your audience (Image credit: Mailchimp)

Features

Mailchimp’s premium plans are thoroughly feature rich, to enable a successful email marketing strategy for all businesses.

When just starting out, Mailchimp’s audience-building features will lend a hand to grow your database (opens in new tab) and increase the number of reachable potential customers. Features worth mentioning include custom sign-up forms and landing pages (opens in new tab), digital advertising options, and a lookalike audience finder. We also like the integrations with launching an online store (opens in new tab), dynamic content to personalize to the audience, and a subject line helper.

With your audience attracted, Mailchimp offers features to engage customers and foster interaction with your business. Designing emails that engage your audience is a snap via Mailchimp’s range of templates and drag-and-drop content studio.

Unlike the competition, Mailchimp also provides a website builder (opens in new tab) with built-in marketing tools, and a custom domain (opens in new tab) service. These are unique additions to justify Mailchimp’s claim as the all-in-one digital and email marketing solution.

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Mailchimp not only increases the size of your database but improves the quality of each customer relationship (Image credit: Mailchimp )

Finally, Mailchimp has a suite of features tailoring your marketing to the targeted audience down to a strategy for each and every contact. Tools for this include list segmentation, custom tags, and predicted demographics to make every contact in your database unique.

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Mailchimp is a browser-based platform, making it easy to access from anywhere (Image credit: Mailchimp )

Setup

Just like most other email marketing services, Mailchimp is a web-based platform, or SaaS (opens in new tab).

With your account created, the next step is to log in on any device and for immediate access to all of your Mailchimp campaigns, analytics, and other tools.

Configuration for role-based access is reserved to the top tier of plan (see below). For those not familiar, this means that different members of your team will log in using their own Mailchimp credentials, but then will only be able to access features and data relevant to their position. Think about role-based access as a powerful feature, making Mailchimp ideal for a medium or large-sized business, or for a business with a strong need for customer privacy.

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Multivariate testing streamlines your design of the perfect email campaign. (Image credit: Mailchimp )

Performance

Mailchimp is a powerful tool for customer relationship management (opens in new tab).

With your email campaign designed, the platform then provides an entire range of tools to optimize your digital marketing strategy which will further increase customer engagement and retention. A/B split testing, multivariate testing, advanced analytics and reporting, and behavioral insights all work together to provide success metrics, and quantify what’s working and what needs improvement.

These advanced tools combined contribute to giving Mailchimp among the best-in-class performance. We also want to highlight the multivariate testing in particular, at it is an innovative inclusion, and not available with Mailchimp’s competitors.

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Mailchimp’s security policy outlines exactly how it manages and protects user data. (Image credit: Mailchimp )

Security

Mailchimp features a robust data security framework giving business leaders confidence that all the data, business along with customers is secure.

Multiple pillars form the basis for Mailchimp’s data security. These start with the physical security of data centers, and also include application-level security including encryption of all sensitive data, internal IT security with all Mailchimp employees getting a background check (opens in new tab), and regular security audits and compliance checks.

Industry standard two-factor authentication (2FA (opens in new tab)) is also available which serves users to secure their accounts, further preventing unauthorized access. To sum it up, all of these features in combination make Mailchimp one of the most secure email marketing services available.

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Mailchimp 101 helps you make the most of the platform (Image credit: Mailchimp)

Support

Mailchimp features a number of useful guides and tutorials.

Notably, all paid plans include 24/7 online support, with business leaders gaining access to tutorials, testimonials and success stories, and how-to videos. We like Mailchimp 101, an online course (opens in new tab), custom-designed for bringing users up to speed with the platform and ensuring that they can make the most of Mailchimp’s toolset and features. 

Another plus is the Mailchimp Presents section, which can display short-form series, films, and podcasts. This unique, entertaining inclusion helps to pull Mailchimp ahead of many of its competitors.

Pricing

Mailchimp has a plan for all types of businesses (Image credit: Mailchimp)

Plans and pricing

Mailchimp has four tiered plans: Free, Essentials, Standard, and Premium. Similar to most email marketing services, the price gets scaled depending on the number of contacts in your database, starting at 500 contacts.

The Free (opens in new tab) plan offers a creative assistant, one-click automation, surveys, and a free website and custom domain. It is ideal for small businesses and single traders with small customer databases. The major limiting factor is that sending emails is limited to 10k per month, and furthermore to 2k daily.

The Essentials (opens in new tab) plan is for small businesses wanting to take the next step in improving their digital marketing strategy. It includes Free features, plus access to all templates, A/B split testing, and 24/7 customer support via email and chat. The cost starts at $11 per month for a database of 500 contacts, rising to $87 per month for 10,000 contacts, and maxes out at 50,000 contacts at a cost of $299/month.

Meanwhile, the Standard (opens in new tab) plan includes all previous features, plus advanced analytics and behavioral targeting automation capabilities including send time optimization. A database of 500 contacts costs $17 per month, while a database of 10,000 costs $115 per month.

At top of the plans is Premium (opens in new tab), a comprehensive, all-in-one email marketing solution with advanced list segmentation, multivariate testing, and role-based team access. Phone support is also included. The Premium plan begins at 10,000 subscribers and costs $299 per month scaling up to $1,300 per month for 200,000 contacts. For those with a larger database, you will need to contact Mailchimp directly for a custom plan.

The competition

Mailchimp has both free and premium competitors.

For a business seeking a zero-cost email marketing solution, they might consider an alternate free product offered by Sendinblue (opens in new tab) as this provider enables businesses to send up to 300 emails per day for free.

For those seeking a premium email marketing solution, however, we would take a look at competitors, such as Drip (opens in new tab). Although this is a more expensive option than MailChimp, the wider range of custom templates along with automated workflows might make it the better choice in some cases.

Final verdict

In our analysis, we think that Mailchimp is simply one of the best email marketing services available.

The choice of four tiered plans means that there is a digital marketing solution for businesses of all shapes and sizes. With Mailchimp’s large range of features, it almost guarantees your business will thrive when empowered by Mailchimp’s email marketing tools.

Also factoring in the comprehensive support options, and the robust data security framework makes us even more confident in our recommendation of Mailchimp for businesses of all sizes. 

With contributions from