MailChimp Alternatives

Time to read: ~10 min

Updated on: 10/2018

This article has been updated and more alternatives have been added, we will continue to working on it constantly to give you an always valid reference.
Feel free to add it to your bookmarks!

 

When I started my business, one of the most recurrent things I read was how important is to build and nurture your email list…now I can confirm it, I only regret not having started to build it sooner.

The money is in the list. Your list is the place where you keep in touch with your customers, so, we need to take good care of it.

If your only customer’s database is your followers count in some social media outlet, your business is in great danger…

You don’t own that database. If for some reason, they shut off your account, or change the algorithm, you’ll lose reach and engagement. Your community will be gone in the blink of an eye.

But instead, if your customers or potential customers are inside your email list, you’ll be able to always communicate with them no matter what.

According to Adobe blog, email has an ROI of $40 for every $1 spent… That crush all the other communication options! don’t you think?

 

Email Marketing ROI

Source: https://blogs.adobe.com

 

At this point, I will take for granted that you know how important it’s to build and nurture your email list…and I’m going to compare for you the most relevant email marketing tools that there on the market today.

To get started, these are the minimum features that you should always look at before choosing the best fit for your business:

  1. Pricing *
  2. Ease of use/configuration
  3. Free Trial
  4. Email Templates
  5. Email Automation/Autoresponder
  6. Ease to implement automation workflows

* Pricing based on 1,000 subscribers.

email list

 

Let’s see how Mailchimp scores in these 6 sections so we can define the starting point:

 

 Mailchimp

  1. Pricing: Free (up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails/mo)
  2. Ease of use: 5/5
  3. Free Trial: Up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails/mo
  4. Email Templates: 3/5
  5. Email Automation/Autoresponder: Yes
  6. Ease to implement automation workflows: 3/5

MailChimp is the most popular email marketing brand and it offers a 100% free account (up to 2k subscribers).

This is something really important when we’re starting a business, free, FREE! 🙂

On the downside, the free account only provides email and chat support for the first 30 days.

For any business small or big, support is critical, so I don’t recommend you the free account if you are going serious with your business.

The interface is also very intuitive, reducing the learning curve.

The free account has a limited of 12,000 emails per month but you can remove that limit for a very affordable price.

Mailchimp Pricing

The main cons I see here is that the workflow is not very visual, making it hard to have an overview of the subscriber journey through your automation.

On the other hand, its popularity is also negative in the sense that the look & feel of the MailChimp templates is very familiar for the end user.

Of course, you can customize the email templates, but somehow they always keep that look of a “MailChimp newsletter”.

MailChimp used to force users to double opt-in to join your list, one on your website and the 2nd one by confirming their email.

This impact the size of your list, the good news is that in November 2017 they started permitting the single opt-in.

Have in mind that both methods, single opt-in and double opt-in have advantages and disadvantages. But now you are not forced to go with the double opt-in.

I have to say that I really love the monkey, be ready to sweat when you’re about to send your newsletter to your subscribers, the monkey will blow your mind! ♥

In a nutshell, MailChimp has the minimum things you need when you’re starting a business, for free, that explains why it’s so popular. But remember the customer care is only available for the first 30 days.

 

Always remember: The Money is in the List Click To Tweet

 

 GetResponse

  1. Pricing: $15/month (up to 1,000 subscribers)
  2. Ease of use: 5/5
  3. Free Trial: 30 days
  4. Email Templates: 5/5
  5. Email Automation/Autoresponder: Yes
  6. Ease to implement automation workflows: 5/5

GetResponse provides an excellent quality-price relationship and beautiful email templates, making it easy to create professional newsletters and autoresponders.

GetResponse email templates

The price stays affordable as your list grows.

We’ve been using GetResponse for a while and their customer care is AWESOME. They truly want to help you, they care about you… I may sound exaggerated… but no, they have an outstanding service, the best I have seen in all my career. Sorry, but I can’t speak of this enough… Brilliant.

I can safely say that a good customer support is a tiebreaker when features and pricing are the same.

The user interface is very beautiful and user-friendly and their marketing automation tool is very visual.

GetResponse Automation Tool

And last but not least, the autoresponder is outstanding.

GetResponse Autoresponder

Some people consider that their automation rules are limited, but in my experience, using it as hard as we do, they do the job and they do it really well.

You can give it a try, they have a nice 30-day free trial

Cons:

  1. GetResponse doesn’t allow you to customize the unsubscribe page.
  2. Be careful when you delete a list, if it has an associated form, it will erase it as well.

 

 Active Campaign

  1. Pricing: $29/month (up to 1,000 subscribers)
  2. Ease of use: 5/5
  3. Free Trial: 14 days
  4. Email Templates: 5/5
  5. Email Automation/Autoresponder: Yes
  6. Ease to implement automation workflows: 5/5

In my opinion, what makes them stand out is the CRM system, it’s an all-in-one platform for sales and marketing. That is why we can compare it with big boys like Infusionsoft, Hubspot, and Ontraport, but a twentieth of the starting cost of those tools.

Their user interface is very friendly, they have plenty of email templates and the marketing and automation tool is also very visual and powerful.

ActiveCampaign automation tool

Cons:

  1. The pricing. It depends on your needs if you compare it with tools like GetResponse, then is a little bit more expensive. But, thanks to the built-in CRM it can be considered the affordable version of Infusionsoft and if you compare prices with them, ActiveCampaign is the champion.

 

AWeber

  1. Pricing: $19/month (up to 500 subscribers)
  2. Ease of use: 4/5
  3. Free Trial: 30 days
  4. Email Templates: 4/5
  5. Email Automation/Autoresponder: Yes
  6. Ease to implement automation workflows: 4/5

AWeber does the job. Despite the old fashion look, it’s very simple to manage and it has everything you need to get the job done.

Their marketing automation tool isn’t the fancier but, is visual enough.

aweber email automation

They have a lot of email templates and the editor is really friendly, you can create beautiful designs within minutes.

AWeber also has a ton of third-party integrations.

You can give it a try, they have a nice 30-day free trial.

 

 convertkit logo

  1. Pricing: $29/month (up to 1,000 subscribers)
  2. Ease of use: 5/5
  3. Free Trial: 14 days
  4. Email Templates: 4/5
  5. Email Automation/Autoresponder: Yes
  6. Ease to implement automation workflows: 5/5

They claim to be “The Email marketing for professional bloggers“.

In my opinion, what makes ConvertKit stand out is that everything is very crisp, intuitive and easy to use.

It’s easy to implement marketing automation, perfect for implementing content upgrades and they’re constantly adding new features.

They don’t have a drag and drop email templates, like the other email marketing providers, but Nathan Barry, the Founder and recognized authority on this matter, explained why in this interesting article.

Beautiful email templates hurt your business Click To Tweet

When Nathan Barry describes ConvertKit, he instants you to think in the power of Infusionsoft, but easier to use than MailChimp.

Pretty interesting, right?

ConvertKit Automation

Talking about pricing, ConvertKit is a little higher than its most direct competitors. With a list of 1,000 subscribers, the price is very similar. However, when your number of subscribers gets bigger, ConverKit gets more and more expensive.

You can give it a try, they have a 14-day free trial here.

 

 MailerLite

  1. Pricing: Free up to 1,000 subscribers and unlimited emails
  2. Ease of use: 5/5
  3. Free Trial: Up to 1,000 subscribers and unlimited emails
  4. Email Templates: 5/5
  5. Email Automation/Autoresponder: Yes
  6. Ease to implement automation workflows: 5/5

This is a very good pocket-friendly option, thanks to the free account (up to 1k subscribers, unlimited emails per month) and the most affordable pay-as-you-growth offer: $10 up to 2,5k subscribers, $20 up to 5k subscribers, … more than 50% cheaper than its competitors.

It supports:

  • Subscriber Management
  • Popups
  • Landing Pages
  • Embedded Forms
  • Unsubscriber page builder
  • Reports
  • Automation
  • A/B Split testing.

They also provide a Subscriber App. This app is a perfect way to collect new subscribers at your store, trade show, event or any other place where people might like to join your subscriber list. Just put your iPad in a visible place and invite people to subscribe.

The Landing Page builder is really powerful and they offer tons of templates

Landingpage-mailerlite

The automation tool is also easy to use and very descriptive.

automation-mailerlite

I haven’t identified any important cons, maybe I can say that because is relatively new to the market you will find MailerLite integration in few popular plugins. But it won’t last for long, and soon almost every important plugin will support it.

Click here to free signup on MailerLite.

 

 Infusionsoft logo

  1. Pricing: $50/month + $299 one-time training fee (up to 500 subscribers)
  2. Ease of use: 5/5
  3. Free Trial: 14 days
  4. Email Templates: 5/5
  5. Email Automation/Autoresponder: Yes
  6. Ease to implement automation workflows: 5/5

This is a complete game changer, a full sales, and marketing automation tool. Email marketing is just one of the many options they provide.

Their price was out of the league of any small business or blogger, however, they made a really good move by lowering the prices and trying to tap a sector dominated by other popular email platforms like MailChimp.

Now they have a more affordable price, however, it’s still a bit higher if you compare it with other providers.

Their great differentiator is the training they provide for new users.

So, you can talk with them about your existing marketing and sales processes, as well as your immediate and long-term business goals.

Then, your Success Coach will help you formulate a plan for success and map out a visual campaign plan in Infusionsoft.

This training is mandatory for new users. But the value provided differentiate InfusionSoft from the rest.

InfusionSoft

Among many other things, it allows you to automate your business based on customer behavior.

It also can make sense if you already have a strong business around selling products online and you’re making a nice profit but you want to escalate it.

You can request your free trial here

 

E-Commerce Oriented Service

 

Omnisend logo

  1. Pricing: Free (up to 15,000 emails/mo and 2,000 emails/day)
  2. Ease of use: 5/5
  3. Free Trial: 14 days
  4. Email Templates: 5/5
  5. Email Automation/Autoresponder: Yes
  6. Ease to implement automation workflows: 5/5

The main difference between Omnisend and other platforms, such as Mailchimp, or ConvertKit, it’s all the powerful features tailored for the e-commerce businesses.

It’s here where they unfold their true potential, not in vain they described themselves as:

An e-commerce marketing automation for smart marketers

Omnisend offers 3 different plans: Free, Standard and Pro

The price depends on how many subscribers do you have.

Automation Workflows are not included in the free plan.

Have in mind that there is no limit on the number of subscribers you can have with the free plan, however, you can only send 2,000 emails/day so, depending on how frequently you send emails, you must evaluate when is a good moment to move to the standard plan.

If you need features that are only available in the Standard plan, such as, Automation Workflows or Segmentation, you need to move from day one.

The user interface is very intuitive, you have a top menu with a clear differentiation of all the options available:

Campaigns – Automation – Forms – Subscribers – Reports – Live View

Omnisend Dashboard

My experience with Omnisend started with the right foot.

From the moment I signed up for the free plan, I received an email from the business development manager offering me a demo call to really understand the platform and its benefits.

A great differentiator!

The first time you log in, you will notice that you need to connect Omnisend to your online store to unlock all the features.

Here is where you realized how tailored this platform is for the e-commerce.

The integration with an e-commerce platform is very simple and the main ones are already supported: Shopify, Woo Commerce, Magento, Drupal, Prestashop, etc.

If you have a WordPress site, you just need to install two plugins:

  • Omnisend for WooCommerce
  • WooCommerce

Standard email platforms are more focused on turned visitors into subscribers, you can do that with Omnisend + Turning subscribers into shoppers and activate your old buyers.

I like to divide Omnisend features into 4 categories:

Turn Visitors into Subscribers Turn Subscribers into buyers Activate buyers Drive buyer’s engagement

Signup Boxes

Popups

Landing Pages

Wheel of Fortune

Discount Coupon Code

Gift Box

Scratch Card

Product Recommender

Website Tracking

Browse Abandonment

Product Abandonment

Cart Recovery

Order Confirmation

Order Follow-up

Customer Reactivation

Some of them are standard features, but others like Cart Recovery and Customer Reactivation demonstrates that OmniSend is all about e-commerce.

I love the Wheel of Fortune, it’s a very innovative way of capture leads, using the well-known psychology of surprise.

Omnisend - Wheel Of Fortune

The Wheel of Fortune is an interactive wheel that gives your visitors a prize in exchange for their email addresses.

All they have to do is enter their emails then they get a chance to spin the wheel to get a discount, free shipping, or whatever else you’d like to offer.

Through the Visual editor, you can create your Landing Page, Popup and Signup boxes.

Omnisend - Visual Editor

There are plenty of email templates, so you can easily create fancy emails to improve engagement.

The automation workflows are pretty simple, you can’t create advanced workflows, but the options available are enough to put your e-commerce in autopilot.

Especially the ones focus on cart recovery, browse abandonment, cross-sell and order follow-up.

Omnisend - Automation

If you have an e-commerce, Omnisend is a very strong player that you need to consider.

You can request your free trial HERE.

 


 

TAKEAWAY

The following tables will provide a nice overview of the pricing and features of each solution.

You can see how the pricing evolves based on the number of subscribers.

As you may know by now, there aren’t one-size fits all solution, just take a look at all the options available (there are others not included here) and choose the best fit between your needs and your budget.

 

Pricing & Features

Based on the number of subscribers

SERVICE 0 – 500 501 – 1,000 1,001 – 2,000 2,001 – 2,500 2,501 – 5,000 5,001 – 10,000

GetResponse

(Basic Plan)

$15

$15 $25 $25 $45 $65
ConvertKit $29 $29 $49 $49 $79 $119

MailChimp

(Basic Plan)

Free*

$10

Free *

$15

Free *

$25

$30 $50 $75

ActiveCampaign

(Basic Plan)

$15 $29 $49 $49 $89 $139
AWeber $19 $29 $29 $29 $49 $69
MailerLite Free Free $10 $10 $20 $35

InfusionSoft

(Basic Plan + $299 one fee)

$50 $65 $90 $90 $115 $150

Omnisend

(Standard Plan)

$10

(up to 15k emails/month)

$15

(up to 15k emails/month)

$25

(up to 24k emails/month)

$30

(up to 30k emails/month)

$50

(up to 60k emails/month)

$75

(up to 120k emails/month)

* Up to 12,000 emails/month

 

SERVICE EASE OF USE FREE TRIAL EMAIL TEMPLATES AUTOMATION / AUTORESPONDER EASE AUTOMATION IMPLEMENTATION
GetResponse 5/5 30 days 5/5 Yes 5/5
ConvertKit 5/5 14 days 4/5 Yes 5/5
MailChimp 5/5 Up to 2k subscribers and 12k emails/mo 3/5 Yes 3/5
ActiveCampaign 5/5 14 days 5/5 Yes 5/5
AWeber 4/5 30 days 4/5 Yes 4/5
MailerLite 5/5 Up to 1k subscribers 5/5 Yes 5/5
InfusionSoft 5/5 14 days 5/5 Yes 5/5
Omnisend 5/5 14 days 5/5 Yes 5/5

 

What is your favorite email marketing provider? Leave a comment and let me know!

With Love ♥

Vanessa Cast Signature


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