In Trouble? MailChimp Email Marketing Review 2019

Once the King of Email Marketing Services, But Is MailChimp's New Pricing Structure, Customer Support & System Stability Issues A Huge Problem?

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Price Rating. Price Per 10,000 contacts
Features
Email Deliverability
Ease of Use
Client Satisfaction (Twitter Sentiment & Trustpilot)
Customer Support, Speed, Availability, Accessibility

mailchimp logo

MailChimp: An industry leader, falling behind on system stability, value for money and customer service.

MailChimp is one of the older email marketing services and since its launch in 2001, it made great strides in gaining small business customers across the digital marketing industry.  It became one of the email newsletter behemoths.  As you can see from our article on choosing the best email software many entrepreneurs still use MailChimp.  But during the thousands of hours of researching and testing email marketing services, we have found MailChimp’s service to be lacking.

MailChimp Review SummaryLikesDislikes
★ Facebook & Instagram Adverts Integrated✘ Customer Satisfaction
★ RSS to Email✘ Pricing
★ Email Updated to Facebook✘ Trustpilot Ratings
★ Abandoned Shopping Cart Followup✘ Limited Features
Visit Mailchimp★ Customer Specific Delivery Times
★ Time Zone Delivery Times

 

The Review Process

I have compared 30 of the most popular email marketing software vendors out of a list of over 100.  We have compared over 80 key feature and benefits to be able to make a solid and fair comparison. In total over 2,400 data points have been compared over our months of testing.  Also, I run multiple businesses which means collecting customer contact information and providing them the right information at the right time is a core part of the service.  For further details on what we tested jump to How We Rated the Service.

MailChimp Pricing

There are two types of pricing model in the email marketing industry.

  1. Per Contact Pricing means you are charged for storage of a number of contacts, this model usually includes unlimited email sends.
  2. Per Email Pricing – this model usually means that you can have an unlimited number of contacts but you pay per thousand email sends.

Most email marketing vendors also offer multiple tiers of service, a basic tier providing email messaging, autoresponders and segmentation.  More advanced tiers usually provide more in-depth services such as email marketing automation, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Sales Funnels, Payment Gateways, and landing pages.

In the case of MailChimp, we had to select their second most expensive tier “Standard” for a good feature comparison with over email marketing services. Their pricing means for up to 10,000 contacts, you will pay 1ct per month.  This is 3 times the price of SendX and 50% more than GetResponse.

To their credit, they do have a free tier of service which will store up to 2,000 contacts and although the email templates and forms will have MailChimp branding, you will have access to the Facebook and Instagram lead generation tools.

The table below shows their position relative to over service providers.

Competitor Pricing Table – All Email Marketing Services

Value RatingsSendX Email ServiceGet Response Email Marketing ServiceAWeber Email Marketing ServiceBenchmark EmailiContact Email Marketing ServiceConstant Contact Email ServicesConvertKit Email & Sales ServicesMailchimp Email ServiceActive Campaign Email ServicesOntraport Email & CRM ServicesMailJet Email ServiceSendinBlue Email Service
Value☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆
ModelContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactContactEmailEmail
Free-TierNoNoNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo6K/m - $09K/m - $0
#Contacts
500$7.49$12$19$12$12$17$25$15$9$7930K/m - $9.6540K/m - $25
2,500$15$20$29$29$27$38$41$50$39$14760K/m - $18.9560K/m - $39
10,000$39$60$69$74$67$81$100$99$111$297150K/m - $69120K/m - $67
25,000$112$150$149$150$127$191$166$219$179$497450K/m - $230350K/m - $173
50,0000$172$229$392$231$254$295$316$299$239$599=< 125K
Unlimited$2,999$99 per extra 100K
Cost per Contact (cents)0.390.650.690.740.670.81111.112.97NANA
Visit SendX ServicesVisit GetResponseVisit AWeber ServicesVisit BenchmarkVisit iContact ServicesVisit ConstantContactVisit ConvertKitVisit MailchimpVisit ActiveCampaignVisit OntraportVisit MailJet ServicesVisit SendinBlue

MailChimp does offer 4 levels of service, but the Standard service will be the one to opt for if you want any kind of meaningful automation.  It includes:

  • Email Marketing Automation
  • Unlimited Email Sends
  • Segmentation, Tagging, Autoresponders
  • Signup Forms, Email Templates & Stock Photos
  • Email to RSS, Facebook & Twitter
  • 200+ integrations to other platforms

Things to Know About Mailchimps Pricing

Surprisingly, MailChimp is far from being a price leader and despite the fact it can seem expensive as the Standard service does not even include phone support.  For that, you have to go to the Premium service which is significantly more expensive.

MailChimp Email Marketing & Automation Features

Like all of the services reviewed, MailChimp offers a selection of pre-designed email templates and a good selection of high-quality images for use in your email campaigns.  The email design process is also fully drag-and-drop making crafting your message a breeze and will ensure your emails will look professional and unique.  They will also host your uploaded images.

MailChimp also has pre-designed email capture forms which are also fully customizable. The types of form on offer are Inline, Pop-Over, Lightbox, and Pop-Up.  The only thing missing is an Exit Intent form.

Most software providers offer Autoresponders, Email Sequencing, Customer Tagging, and Segmentation.  Mailchimp’s implementation of automation is quite basic, similar in fact to AWeber and when compared to GetResponse or ActiveCampaigns slick automation visualizations, it is way behind.

Top of Inbox Delivery Timing?

We are seeing a very strong trend in the industry towards machine learning to improve email services.  Take for example the Top of Inbox Delivery which  enables you to target each individual contact with an email delivered at the usual time they open emails, so if your contact reads their emails at 6:30 am weekdays, the email will be delivered then, so it is at the top of the inbox  You can also deliver the email at, for example, 9am in every timezone

MailChimp Timewarp Delivery – Nicely Implemented

MailChimp TimeWarp Delivery
MailChimp TimeWarp Delivery

Other vendors also offer this functionality, it is called “Time Travel” by GetResponse. ActiveCampaign and SendX also have similar functionality.

Facebook & Instagram Lead Generation

I do like the fact that even on the Free tier of service you do get access to a premium feature, the Facebook & Instagram Lead Capture.  This allows you to schedule campaigns directly from MailChimp to target potential customers interested in your products.

MailChimp Facebook & Instagram Lead Capture
MailChimp Facebook & Instagram Lead Capture

MailChimp Reporting & Analytics

MailChimp has a solid set of basic reporting and analytics.  You will have the ability to analyze and improve your campaigns with reporting that allows you to compare open rates, undeliverable, unsubscribes clicks over time and more.  You can also seamlessly segment your list based on the responses or actions against your email.

It is also a breeze to list unsubscribes or undeliverables a swiftly remove the contact from your database using Bulk Delete.

However, to suggest Mailchimp have any kind of advanced reporting or analytics would be incorrect.  The reporting is very static and lacks the ability to configure even basic dates, for example, if you want to view performance over more than one year it is impossible.

MailChimp Campaign Reporting – Screenshot

MailChimp Campaign Reporting - Screenshot
MailChimp Campaign Reporting – Screenshot

Mailchimp is clearly aimed at small businesses, but as you grow, I am not sure this level of reporting will grow with you.  It may be something you are willing to accept in exchange for their low pricing and the simplicity of use.

[Related Post – Compare All Email Marketing Services Side By Side]

Of course, you can also see list growth, unsubscribes and even social shares.  Finally and importantly A/B Testing, the ability to test the email performance with different subject lines and content, is included in the service.

Visit Mailchimp

 

Advanced Email Features

MailChimp RSS to Email

Email to RSS is a simple yet effective way to streamline the communication process with your audience.  You can set it up so that when you publish a new article on your website in a specific category the email service will be notified and can build a customized email and send it to your audience, without you having to do anything.  This is a huge timesaver.

Surprisingly, not all email newsletter providers offer this service.  To view the other vendors offering this service check out our Email Service Master Comparison Table.

Email to Facebook

As with the RSS function, you can quickly and effectively integrate the Mailchimp mailing engine into Facebook.  Any broadcast email you setup can with a single click also send an update to a Facebook page.

Email to Twitter

A nice addition is the ability to be able to send an automatic update to your twitter profile from a broadcast message.  It is these little process improvement that saves time and effort.

Mailchimp’s Lack of Advanced Features for Enterprise & Ecommerce

MailChimp is clearly not aiming at enterprise customers.  There is some limited possibility to host multiple accounts to enable better workflow and collaboration in the marketing department.

There is also no mechanism for customer relationship management (CRM).  So if you are part of a larger team you will want to consider ActiveCampaign or OntraportGetResponse, has a great price point and the most complete set of features.

Out of all tests, only 3 software vendors offer a fully integrated site chat function, Mailchimp is not one of them.

Mailchimp Has Serious Integrations

Mailchimp does not have payment processors or eCommerce functionality like our review winning GetResponse, but it does have a set of integrations that enable this functionality.

Mailchimp’s strategy is not to build a completely integrated solution themselves, but to build integrations to a huge network of 3rd parties.  This is the saving grace of Mailchimp, because with over 240 integrations you should have the ability to integrate with practically ever serious service out there.

Security & Certifications

At this stage in the development of the internet, cybersecurity is of utmost importance.  High profile data leaks and hacks are resulting in large fines to businesses that do not adequately protect their customer’s data.

Email Service Provider Security Compliance Table

GDPR Compliant
SSL TLS Encryption
EU-US Privacy Shield

Ease of Use & Customer Ratings

Using as many independent sources as possible we have rated the services provided.

Our rating on ease of use and design☆☆☆
Using the independent ratings from Trustpilot Users – we also filtered out obviously biased ratings.
Customer Twitter Sentiment Index☆☆
Support (Chat, Email, Phone)Chat, Email
Support Times24/7
Response TimeDelayed
Average Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility

 

MailChimp has recently raised their prices, which does not impress its customers, but the biggest issues are the levels of customer service and the technical issues with the service availability.

Take a look and the Twitter Sentiment (type MailChimp into the query box) and you can see the negativity and tweets categorized.  You can also look at the Trustpilot scores for MailChimp with 55% of its own customers rating it Bad.

MailChimp Review Summary

MailChimp offers a free service to host up to 2,000 contacts, which is unique and good for startups with $0 budget.  But MailChimp is also suffering a host of problems, with unhappy customers, a high price to features ratio and system availability technical issues. With crushing Trustpilot ratings can MailChimp pull through?

[Related Post – Compare All Email Marketing Services Side By Side]

MailChimp Email Marketing – Full Features Data Sheet

FeaturesMailchimp Email Service
Value for Money☆☆☆
Features☆☆☆
Deliverability☆☆☆☆
Ease of Use☆☆☆
Client Satisfaction☆☆
Support☆☆☆
Total Stars19
Price ModelContact
Free OptionYes
500 Contacts$15
2,500 Contacts$50
10,000 Contacts$99
25,000 Contacts$219
50,0000 Contacts§299
Unlimited Contacts
Cost per Contact (cents)0.99
Primary Features eMail
eMail Templates
eMail Images
Email Form Templates
Drag & Drop Email Design
Autoresponders
Marketing Automation
Individual Customer Automation
Customer Tagging & Segmentation
Intelligent Timing Delivery
Time Travel (Global 9am Delivery)
Basic Email Analytics
Powerful Email Analytics
A/B Testing
SPAM Scoring
Advanced Features
Webinar Integration
Hosting Webinar & Recording
Email from RSS Feeds
SMS Marketing
Postcard Mailing
Automatic Product Recommendations
Site Chat CRM Integration
Membership Site Service
Team / Enterprise Functions
Multiple User Accounts
Sales Team Lead Distribution
Salesforce Service Integration
Primary Features Funnels
Surveys/Polls
Sales/Lead Funnels
Landing Pages
Exit Popups
Primary Features Sales & Payments
eCommerce Integrations
Full Payment Gateways
Abandoned Cart Integration
Win Back / Bounce Back
Payment Mgt
Discount Coupons
Referral Program Mgt
CRM & Remarketing
CRM & Deal Management
Facebook Integration
Cross Platform Journey Tracking
Activity Scoring
Integrations
3rd Party Integrations216
Zapier App Integration
Deliverability☆☆☆
Security & Certifications
GDPR Compliant
SSL TLS Encryption
EU-US Privacy Shield
Ease of Use☆☆☆
Customer Satisfaction
Customer Twitter Sentiment☆☆
Support (Chat, Email, Phone)Chat, Email
Support Times24/7
Response TimeDelyed
Customer Support
Visit the VendorVisit Mailchimp
MailChimp Email Marketing Services Detailed Data Sheet

How We Rated the Service

Email Service Provider RatingsPrice Monthly (15-20% Discounts on Yearly Payments)
Value for MoneyPrice Rating. Price Per 10,000 contacts
FeaturesHow Complete is the Toolset
DeliverabilityEmail Deliverability ☆☆☆60% ☆☆☆☆80% ☆☆☆☆☆90% Deliverability Results from multiple sources.
Ease of UseOur rating on ease of use and design
Client SatisfactionUsing Twitter Customer Sentiment: https://www.csc2.ncsu.edu/faculty/healey/tweet_viz/tweet_app/ we rated the tweets about the service
SupportAverage Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility
Price ModelEntry Level/ Basic Package Prices – Per Contact Model = $ per ‘000 Contacts “unlimited Sends” or “Per Email Model per ‘000 email sends – Unlimited Contacts
Primary Features eMail
Email TemplatesIs there a broad selection of predesigned email templates?
Email ImagesAre images for emails available for free?
Email Form TemplatesPredesigned website ready templates for capturing new subscribers
Drag & Drop Email DesignEasily design great looking emails without HTML code
AutorespondersAre timed and action-driven autoresponders available
Marketing AutomationAbility to automate sequences of emails to customers
Individual Customer AutomationAutomation to tailor and personalize email content
Customer Tagging & SegmentationAbility to Tag, Segment & retarget customers by their actions, locations, time zones
Intelligent Timing DeliveryService optimizes send times based on when the customer previously opened emails
Time Travel (Global 9 am Delivery)The ability to target a specific time globally, e.g. deliver occurs at 9 am according to contacts time zone.
Basic Email AnalyticsReporting to allow reporting on list size, growth, open rates, bounce rates, etc.
Powerful Email AnalyticsAbility to see globally and individually the customer journey, actions, onsite and in email
A/B TestingMultiple sends with different content to test success rate
SPAM ScoringDoes the service check your content to make sure your messages are not flagged as SPAM
Advanced Features
Webinar IntegrationIntegrations Available for 3rd Party Webinar Services
Hosting Webinar & RecordingFull Webinar Hosting, Recording & Storage Service
Email from RSS FeedsCan you generate automatic emails from your website RSS feed?
SMS MarketingCan you send SMS messages and sequence and auto-respond?
Automatic Product RecommendationsAbility to insert product recommendations into emails – great for eCommerce businesses
Facebook RetargetingThe ability to retarget potential customer on Facebook after they visit your website or signup to your list
Site Chat CRM IntegrationIntegrated site chat which enables your contacts’ activities or requests to be added into your CRM or Marketing Automation for further sequencing
Membership Site ServiceDoes the provider offer site membership user management services
Team / Enterprise Functions
Multiple User AccountsAdding multiple user or sub-user accounts so that you can collaborate with your team
Sales Team Lead DistributionSales team workflow to distribute contact and sales lead capture
Salesforce Service Integration
Primary Features Funnels
Surveys/PollsIs there an integrated survey & customer polling service included in the price?
Sales/Lead FunnelsAbility to visualize sales funnels and the customer journey through the pipeline
Landing PagesHosted pending pages integrated into your marketing automation
Exit PopupsAdvanced exit popup for your website available
Primary Features Sales & Payments
eCommerce IntegrationsNative full suite eCommerce integrations available
Full Payment GatewaysDoes the provider offer full turnkey payment gateways integrated into service?
Abandoned Cart IntegrationAbility to follow up with customers who did not complete a purchase
Win Back / Bounce BackAn effective solution for launching customer win-back campaigns
Payment Mgt
Discount CouponsIntegrated discount or promotional coupon service connected to payment gateways
Referral Program MgtCan you manage your own referral/affiliate program through the service – normally an expensive 3rd party service?
CRM & Remarketing
CRM & Deal ManagementIs there an effective customer contact and relationship management system available?
Cross-Platform Journey TrackingThe ability to track customers activities across difference platforms, Website, Facebook, Email, SMS
Activity ScoringFunctionality to allow the grading of contacts/prospects by their activities, e.g. Points Scoring
Integrations
3rd Party IntegrationsHow many 3rd party integrations are available through the platform?
Zapier App IntegrationZapier provides over 1500 integrations, is Zapier available with this provider?
DeliverabilityEmail Deliverability ☆☆☆60% ☆☆☆☆80% ☆☆☆☆☆90% Deliverability Results from multiple sources.
Security & Certifications
GDPR CompliantCompliant to the EU General Data Protection Regulations
SSL TLS EncryptionSite uses strong encryption
EU-US Privacy ShieldCertified under the EU-US Privacy Shield.
Ease of UseOur rating on ease of use and design
Customer SatisfactionUsing the independent ratings from Trustpilot Users – we also filtered out obviously biased ratings. Blank means no ratings were available
Customer Twitter SentimentUsing https://www.csc2.ncsu.edu/faculty/healey/tweet_viz/tweet_app/ we rated the tweets about the service
Customer SupportSupport (Chat, Email, Phone)
Support Times
Response Time
Average Ratings of Support Times, Response Times & Accessibility

 

Barry's 25 years of experience with Silicon Valley Corporations such as IBM, Compaq, Hewlett Packard, Hewlett Packard Enterprise & DXC Technology enables him to share his knowledge of succeeding in today's professional corporate environments and develop a great work life for yourself.

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