MailChimp Review

By Kiely Kuligowski,
business.com writer
| Updated
Mar 04, 2020
Image Credit: Dekdoyjaidee / Getty Images

MailChimp is our pick for the best free email marketing service. When you're looking for an email marketing service, it's important to find one that has a range of tools that make creating successful and professional email marketing campaigns simple and easy. You want a service with an easy-to-use email editor, the capability to create segmented lists and drip campaigns, which are pre-written messages sent to customers in a series of emails. Other key features to look for include contact management tools, detailed reports and analytics, A/B split-testing tools, spam filters that ensure your email lands in customer inboxes, and automated workflows. The best email marketing services offer a free plan or at least a free trial so you can test out the platform first before spending valuable marketing dollars. Mailchimp checks all of these boxes

MailChimp

MailChimp

The Best Email Marketing Services and Survey Software of 2020

The Verdict

Mailchimp is the best free email marketing service. While some services might skimp on the features available with a free version, Mailchimp provides businesses on a tight budget with valuable tools to create professional, effective email campaigns.

To see all of our recommendations for email marketing services, visit our best picks page. 

Editor's note: Looking for the right email marketing service for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

 

Mailchimp Pricing

Mailchimp offers multiple plans that can fit into the budget of nearly any business. Each plan includes multiuser accounts, Mailchimp's extensive knowledgebase, marketing automation, target and segmented lists, as well as analysis and testing features. Besides creating and sending email campaigns, users can create landing pages, pop-up forms, Google Remarketing Ads, and Facebook and Instagram ads with any plan. 

Here is a breakdown of Mailchimp's plans and what they offer: 

  • Mailchimp's Forever Free plan comes with an extensive list of features. Free plans accommodate up to 2,000 contacts, and you can send up to 12,000 emails per month. This plan is free until you have more than 2,000 contacts. 

  • The Essentials plan is based on the number of subscribers you have. Prices start at $9.99 per month for 500 contacts and end at $25 per month if you have between 1,501 to 2,000 contacts. The Essentials plan includes everything in the free plan along with the ability to add custom branding, access to live chat and email support, more target and segmentation tools, as well as increased reporting and testing tools. To find out how much you would pay for the Growing Business package, use Mailchimp's pricing calculator. 

  • Mailchimp's Standard plan starts at $14.99 per month for 500 contacts and includes everything from the Essentials and Free plans, plus advanced analytics, retargeting ads, custom templates, and event-based automation series.

  • Mailchimp Premium starts at $299 per month; it is suited for larger businesses that require increased capabilities and support. Premium includes all the features from the previous plans, plus advanced segmentation, multivariate testing, unlimited role-based user access and phone support.

Mailchimp Features

Here are some of Mailchimp's best features.

A/B Testing

With A/B testing, you can determine what subject lines are the most effective, what name should be in your "From" field, and if different times affect the click rate. Mailchimp's A/B testing lets you determine the size of your sample group and build three different versions. It sends the winning email to the remainder of your contact list. 

Analytics

Even with the Forever Free plan, you get a good set of metrics. The Reports dashboard informs you who opened your email, what links they clicked, what emails bounced and who unsubscribed. The reports also document successful deliveries, the number of forwards, clicks per unique opens and spam complaints. Mailchimp tracks subscribers with the most opens and the social performance of your campaigns; the numbers and reports are outlined in graphs, which makes understanding the data simple. 

Automation

With Mailchimp's marketing automation tools, your emails get to the right people at the right time. You can target campaigns to contacts based on behaviors and preferences. When you create automated campaigns, you can pick from pre-designed workflows or build your own with custom rules. Mailchimp's automations include a welcome series, a happy birthday email and notifications for new blog updates. Others are available based on subscriber activity, e-commerce workflows and more. 

Build Ads and Landing Pages

With Mailchimp, you can create Google, Facebook or Instagram ads. You can also create mobile-friendly landing pages. Mailchimp has two versatile landing page templates that you then modify to create and publish landing pages. 

Email Editor

Mailchimp's email editor is simple. To get started, you can begin with a basic layout, themed template or code your own email. Its responsive templates and designs are created for all devices, including desktop and mobile. With the email editor, you can personalize the "To" field with each contact's first name, last name, or both. You then set how the sender will be listed and what the subject line will be with your email. When it comes to the design of your email, drag-and-drop tools make it simple to customize every aspect of the template: text, dividers, images, videos, social shares and social follows. You can also add frequently used pictures, such as logos, to your image gallery so it's easy to quickly find and insert pictures. Before sending your email, Mailchimp scans it for any errors that could cause it to land in a spam folder. You also have the option to share your campaign on both Facebook and Twitter.

Integrations

Mailchimp integrates with several applications, including hundreds of e-commerce apps like Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, PrestaShop and BigCommerce. By integrating Mailchimp with your e-commerce store, you can capture order information, create targeted campaigns, automate follow-ups and send personalized notifications. 

Mailchimp Pro: 

Mailchimp Pro is an add-on with advanced features. It costs $199 per month (sorry, Pro cannot be used with the Forever Free plan) and for that monthly fee, you get more list segmentation options, additional list fields and TimeWarp. With the regular Mailchimp, you are allowed 30 list fields; Pro users, however, have access to 50 more fields. These extra fields let you personalize and target your campaign content. TimeWarp schedules delivery of email campaigns based on subscribers' time zone. Another thing that's unique about Mailchimp Pro versus the other plans is greater flexibility with A/B split testing. For instance, you can preview your email and see exactly what it will look like in different email clients and on different devices. While regular Mailchimp plans come with A/B testing, the Pro add-on includes a more robust version that lets you test multiple variables to see how various changes affect different aspects of your campaigns. Finally, Mailchimp Pro provides better analytics, including comparative reports, compliance insights, delivery insights and stop delivery.

Pros

There are a number of benefits to using Mailchimp, including:

  • Ease of use: Even if you've never used an email marketing platform before, rest assured, Mailchimp is extremely easy to learn and use. The dashboard is easy to understand, and it's simple to find the features and tools you need. Its email creator offers step-by-step directions, so it's hard to miss a step. Mailchimp also offers drag-and-drop tools that make creating emails, adding pictures, and customizing emails simple.

  • An online knowledgebase: If you have a question, you can browse through Mailchimp's knowledgebase and blog that offer answers to a number of frequently asked questions. It has guides on how to build an email list and how to create a marketing automation journey.

  • A mobile app: Mailchimp's mobile app lets you create and send campaigns from your phone or tablet. You can also manage lists, add new subscribers and analyze reports on the go. Additionally, the app can send you sales notifications and daily summaries of your campaigns' performance.

  • Automation: With Mailchimp's free version, there are more than enough analytics to pinpoint what is working with your email campaigns and what isn't. The reports show who is opening your emails, what links people are clicking on, who unsubscribed, and what email addresses bounced. 

Cons

There are a couple of items to be aware of with Mailchimp. Here's what you need to know before signing up:

  • Limitations with the free plan: The Forever Free plan doesn't provide ongoing customer service. You get access to email support for 30 days, and live chat isn't offered at all. However, there is an extensive knowledgebase and blog that can answer most of your questions.

  • Deliverability with Gmail: A second concern with Mailchimp concerns how emails are delivered in Gmail. Mailchimp states that it doesn't have any control when it comes to the placement of its emails in Gmail. When we sent emails to Gmail accounts, they landed in the promotions tab. While the promotions tab is better than having your email go to the spam folder, users are less likely to check that tab as often as the primary tab in Gmail.

Customer Service

Mailchimp offers online resources and a contact form available on its website. And while live chat isn't available with free accounts, when we reached out to Mailchimp through email, we received a response the next day. The representative answered all our questions and wasn't pushy. When you sign up with the free plan, you have access to email support for the first 30 days. After that, if you need one-on-one help, you can always browse through Mailchimp's guides and tutorials. And if you decide you want more features with your emails, Mailchimp's paid plans are very reasonable and still easy to use.

MailChimp

MailChimp

The Best Email Marketing Services and Survey Software of 2020

The Verdict

Mailchimp is the best free email marketing service. While some services might skimp on the features available with a free version, Mailchimp provides businesses on a tight budget with valuable tools to create professional, effective email campaigns.

Kiely is a staff writer based in New York City. She worked as a marketing copywriter after graduating with her bachelor’s in English from Miami University (OH) and is now embracing her hipster side as a new resident of Brooklyn. You can reach her on Twitter or by email.