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Hey, my name is Alex, I'm the blogger/owner here at Hosting Data. While I specialize in web hosting, I've also managed email marketing for my own blogs, as well as a couple of clients' over the years.
During that time, I've tried a lot of different email hosts, as well as email marketing platforms which I've written about today.
There's no getting around it — Mailchimp is by far the most popular email marketing software available.
Since I've spent (and wasted) a lot of time using it, I thought it'd be nice to take a look at Mailchimp alternatives that I believe to be up to par with it — quality, pricing, bonus features, and ease of use all taken into account.
In the past, I've personally used all of these services, although some I had to brush up on my knowledge online due to regular updates and my fleeting memory. My personal favorite which I now use is SendInBlue, while software such as MailerLite or Moosend is better only in certain situations; for example, having a tight budget.
Best Mailchimp Alternatives 2021
This Hosting Data guide will give you the most professional alternatives that won't empty your wallet. While MailChimp has a very well known name, better value can be found elsewhere in a range of situations (such as scalability).
We’ve looked into pricings, key features for a range of project sizes (indie to SMB), ease-of-use, and overall value-for-money, among other factors.
Related Read: Best Email Hosting UK
A Truly Reliable Email Marketing Solution 🥇
SendinBlue gives you email autoresponder features, and expands this with marketing tools: whether you’re running a social media campaign, a SMS campaign, an email campaign, or need time-saving project management automations and CRM capabilities - SendinBlue is able to handle this.
This makes the company a good option for all project sizes, while MailChimp is most suited to smaller businesses and perhaps medium sized. Like MailChimp, find a free plan option which offers a surprising number of features (most of them: you can’t send more than 300 emails a day on that plan).
There's a whole host of integrations - use this as an organizational tool to manage unlimited numbers of contacts, as a sales CRM, to do SMS feeds, and handle orders via email.
Get instant statistics and reports, customize your SMS sends, and there's no limitations on the number of segmentation per account.
Overall, if you want something that has powerful text marketing and a simple user interface, sendinblue is a powerful alternative to MailChimp.
SendinBlue has the motto grow, sell, engage, which is an accurate description as though there are so many tools you can use to engage in a comprehensive way.
If you want to take your SMS marketing campaign to another level, or to implement live chat onto your platform/site, or need in-depth email marketing - SendinBlue tackles these key engagement mediums.
(It’s focused on fast, direct engagements easily accessible for mobile phones that people of today demand - especially with mobiles taking up 50% of the browsing device market).
Select from an enormous number of features. SendinBlue is overall an expert segmentation and email marketing tool. Craft your message to target your precise audience, based on behavioris, selecting from a large number of templates (many also customize for transactional communications).
Pricing and Plans
You can start out with a free plan, which lets you use most of the fishes, although you'll be limited to three hundred emails per day. If you are a small business, this may settle the deal for choosing sendinblue as your MailChimp what alternative of choice.
The next to up is $25 a month, which shoots the number of emails up - to 40,000 per month. One unique budget-friendly option is pay-as-you-go, among others.
Quite possibly the best free email marketing software - at the level of MailChimp, and possibly better.
Suitable for Simple Email Marketing Needs 🛏️
Constant Contact Review
Albeit that there have been cases of accounts being closed without warning and the lack of true 2-factor authentication (see our list of best password managers, for one way to protect your account).
Constant Contact is immensely user-friendly and intuitive, providing educational resources that help our users to develop how well they use the platform over time.
Other than the helpful learning materials, they have a rather comprehensive marketing and integration options, and tons of email templates (though they’re not as flexible as a dedicated opt-in tool such as OptinMonster).
As well as very interesting social media and event management integrations - with a mobile app you can use to organize all your contacts into a single, digestible master list.
If you’ve not heard of Constant Contact before, they’re one of the most powerful email marketing tools in the industry. Nevertheless, we’d particularly recommend them for SMBs wanting to dramatically boost their marketing game - bringing it to a higher level of professionalism.
The learning resources and intuitive platform will help you quickly get the most out of all the list building options. If you’re somebody who is very active on social media (and possibly floundering!) or who runs events, this is particularly recommended.
Despite some accounts being closed in the past, they have a strong customer service reputation. Overall, the platform is a very time-saving way to manage all of your content management channels in one place (it's a complete content management suite).
Pricing and Plans
Once again, this may not be a good MailChimp alternative if you are looking for a forever free plan. But if you’re looking to take your email marketing to the next level, you can start with them for about $20, with a 60 day free money back trial period.
As your numbers of subscribers increase, the rates will also climb, so keep an eye on your ROI and the numbers of emails you need to send daily.
A Solid Alternative to Mailchimp 🥈
Next on the list is GetResponse, which is a strong contender for MailChimp alternative champion - specifically, this one stands out if you want an equally cheap option that is jam-packed with features.
GetResponse stands out as one of the best email marketing tools in the world, which lets you do lots of customizations. The UI is simple to use and you’ll struggle to not find any email marketing feature you already use on one of the other big platforms.
If you need something that lets you cultivate your brand, due to the customization options, we would recommend them (they rather simply let you integrate brand customizations along the different communication channels, so you can stay consistent without going to great lengths to work the platform.
The one drawback is the lack of a free plan. They used to offer a money-back for 30 days, but as they’re pay-as-you-go now, there are no refunds available. The nature of the pay-as-you-go scheme means it's still budget-friendly (similar providers, like popup builders we've looked at, require you to pay for a full year!).
GetResponse stands out for being very mobile responsive. It should be no news to you that targeting mobiles effectively is an increasingly essential capability for any marketing tool (people engage more with phones online).
Find a massive number of templates in their directory, with a fast email builder and the ability to make landing / squeeze pages that work for mobile phones. Test this out using the A/B option. Also thrown in is a CRM, plus powerful segmentation options.
Pricing and Plans
As a MailChimp alternative, you may be thrown off by the fact that there’s no forever free plan. But if you want to try them out on a budget, the monthly option is pay-as-you-go: cancel anytime and you won't be charged further.
If you have under 1000 contacts, get a monthly plan at $15. For yearly, this drops down to $12.30. And a two-year plan is the cheapest at $10.50.
Beginner Friendly With a Drag-and-Drop Builder 🥉
Moosend is another affordable MailChimp alternative with a flexible approach to pricing. Features climb from appropriate for sole users all the way up to corporate businesses: whether you’re an independent start-up or an e-Commerce goliath, Moosend’s features will be appealing.
Surprisingly, they allow advanced automation options on the forever free plan. This means for no investment other than time, Moosend can boost your campaign’s efficacies (try them out for free, to find out). Build new campaigns very quickly, using the drag-and-drop builder.
If you need a fast way to build new email campaigns that can be sent out to subscribers on your list (whether you’re an expert or new to email marketing), use their ‘Campaign Creation Wizard’ which streamlines the process into steps (similar to MailChimp).
In terms of migrations, you’ll find options for uploading your pre-existing subscriber lists or for creating new ones. The segmentation options are clever enough to collate valuable information about each of your members, so you can tighten just how targeted your lists are over time.
One reason we've placed Moosend at number three in the guide (it could have equally been number two) is because of the generous options available at all plan levels. Get advanced automations on the free plan, to save yourself a headache with organizing how you message new and pre-existing subscribers.
The ‘Recipes’ option lets you create complex workflows that rival the best platforms out there - A strong MailChimp alternative that won’t break the bank.
Pricing and Plans
Moosend’s plans are priced according to the number of subscribers you have (Which makes it a clever option if you want a marketing tool that works with your business as it grows).
On the free tier, get most of the core features, available to use for up to 1000 subscribers. (We should mention that landing pages are unavailable on the free plan). Pay $10 a month, to get landing pages, with the same 1,000-contacts restrictions.
Simple and Effective 🪶
MailerLite Came in at number five not because it’s a poor choice, but because it’s specifically what we would recommend if you want a simple email marketing platform that can effectively run an essential email marketing campaign.
If you are looking to grow your business, you’ll find fast customer support, lots of customizable templates, and a strong set of core features.
Once again, we’d recommend this as the best email marketing software for small business (at its price tier), up to early-medium ones (as a MailChimp alternative, this one is perhaps superior in terms of customer service, while still being as affordable).
Use this as a tool to refine your marketing strategy and execute on it too, particularly if you want to focus on emails. Get help from support via phone, email or live chat 24/7.
The content management suite is user-friendly, with extra editing options for photos, and a subscriber management suite that lets you get an overview of your members-list - so you can identify who you should place more of your attention on.
MailerLite offers a complete capture package, letting you create pop ups and landing / squeeze pages. A couple of web forms can be embedded into your site permanently. The email automations are what you’d expect of any core email marketing platform - and although the integrations aren’t massive, you have the essentials.
Pricing and Plans
This might be the strongest value-for-money alternative to MailChimp, particularly if you’re a smaller business (or a medium-sized business that has just become medium). You’ll want access to critical email marketing tools without making a big money investment.
Users on the forever free plan won’t get access to customer support. There are also a lot of limitations on the plan, although this is the same for MailChimp to some extent.
Our recommendation is to start at $10 per month, which gives you 12,000 emails, for up to you 1,000 subscribers. If you want the ability to send lots of emails per month with good deliverability rates and prices, MailerLite is a great choice.
Buying Guide 🛍️
What Is Email Marketing and Its Benefits?
Most marketing channels rely on chance encounters.
Someone watches a YouTube video or scrolls through their Facebook feed and your advertisement pops up - or even worse, they see your product photo on a billboard while waiting for the train.
Because people have become very good at ignoring advertisements, and various platforms have made a greater distinction between paid ads and organic content on the platform.
Email has remained a powerful way of marketing effectively - because you speak directly to those who have subscribed to your ‘list’.
This direct communication is the number one benefit.
You create a page or a pop-up that people can enter the email into, in order to receive something you’ve advertised (this will solve the ‘pain point’ or need). From that point, you use an email marketing tool such as SendinBlue to send emails out to those subscribers
Also organize subscribers into a list(s), with each receiving variations of the same email or different emails altogether, based on their behaviors (with a single click from you).
And here are the benefits:
Consistent Brand Awareness
Emails let you consistently keep in touch with those who have subscribed to you - one year from now, they may still buy a product/service from you, even if they never have before or have already done so.
This is because they’re already familiar with you, due to your consistent communications.
According to your marketing week, email generates roughly $57 billion in retail sales each year. It creates an opportunity for customers to impulse-buy. Savvy marketers get sales boosts by offering special discounts, products similar to previous purchases, and featured upsell items.
Where there is a need, there may be an impulse-buy And if you have quality email leads, you should already have a strong idea of the pain points at work.
Save Lots of Time
Inbound marketing can be very powerful but also takes up a lot of time. Email marketing tools, on the other hand, let you automate the process, while targeting people who already know who you are and are - therefore - more likely to want to hear from you.
You have a strong idea of what their pain point is likely to be and so you can talk to them with personalized content that appeals to their needs. This frees you to spend more time focusing on your business, as opposed to finding customers. Email marketing is one of the key pillars behind the concept of “1,000 true fans”.
Direct Traffic to Your Site and Establish Authority
Now we’re getting into the real bread-and-butter… You want your website to be more visible, so that you can get more organic traffic.
Again, this is the opposite to inbound marketing. Help your subscribers engage with your website by offering up links to new blog posts and other bits of useful content.
For instance, if you have a new course with a limited number of seats, you could let people know about it on your email (this works really well for Amazon as well, if you’re selling on that platform).
Give your email advocates the option to also share this using social sharing buttons.
When search engines see more people visiting your website via certain link names, they’re more likely to recommend those not on your list. There’s also the word of mouth factor.
List of Email Marketing Strategies – Technical Guide 🗺️
(The term digital marketing uses the internet and online technologies through different devices like mobile phones and computers to promote products and services. It's basically an umbrella term for the below marketing strategies).
Content marketing is essentially storytelling (best online business ideas). This is something humans have done for as long as they've been able to speak and perhaps even beforehand.
Great storytelling captures attention - people who can capture attention can sell ideas and products.
In order to effectively do content marketing, you need to know who your audience is and what they are searching for… (keep in mind that there is no universal content strategy!).
But there's more to it. People use search engines in order to carry out those search queries, so you need to be able to speak to search engines in the most optimal way.
This is where SEO comes in. Much of content marketing is about integrating key search strings from your specific niche so people can quickly identify when they’re consuming content they need:
- Use search queries in your main headlines and paragraphs at the very least
- Understand the buying cycle and sales funnel (pain point, appropriate content, then call to action)
- Create truly valuable content that does what it advertises (images really help to capture and keep attention!)
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing isn't as simple as it once was. In fact, it's pretty goddamn complicated these days. Some experts recommend a diverse campaign, while others say to use a social media channel that most suits your personality and strategy.
For instance, if you hate using Facebook - which has very powerful marketing tools - you may be better off focusing on Instagram, if that's something you prefer and enjoy.
The main steps of social media marketing:
- Create meaningful goals
- Do research on how to target your audience on that channel
- Figure out what metrics are the most important to grow in (“vanity metrics” vs reach, clicks...)
- See what your top competition is doing
- Craft engaging content
- Select the process that’s consistent while needing the least effort (eg. automations)
- Have a way of seeing your results, and optimize them regularly
Affiliate marketing is one way a person can build passive or semi-passive income, and it's something that you should expect to happen over time - with consistency.
You create “evergreen” content, promoting products not created by you, which is often done via an affiliate network such as Amazon Associates.
You can do affiliate marketing on a range of platforms, such as YouTube, Instagram, or directly from your website (blogging, for example). The scheme is based on revenue sharing. You get a portion of the product sale, along with the original creator.
As you gain more authority and reputation, the amount of organic traffic coming into your content pieces increases even while you sleep.
Influencer marketing is about boosting the exposure of your brand and the authority, as well as your ability to engage and meet new audiences.
You want to drive traffic into your pages and lead new audiences down your sales funnel for products and services. Have a place to store valuable data on-the-fly, in an organised manner, using best free cloud storage.
Influencer marketing isn’t straightforward and can take a lot of time. You may find numerous barriers between you starting and not yet being ready. Many influence marketers often fall short, giving up before they’ve gained momentum.
Essentially, you target people who have a strong influence in your brand’s industry, or target the audience directly. You partner with the influencer, making an agreement that they’ll expose their audience to your brand's content or message - perhaps for money or for more exposure in return.
One simple example is Jada Pinkett Smith who partnered with Pantene, who were as a result able to get access to her 1.23 million Twitter subscribers. Using a celebrity is a good example: celebrities naturally have strong social influence.
Inbound marketing is a subsection of digital marketing - although, technically, it can be done via any medium, not just using the internet. It differs from outbound marketing because you’re not trying to directly sell a product or service.
You’re only bringing attention to some content made by your company (and thus, your company too).
You draw new potential leads and visitors in by attracting their attention. For instance, if you’re using digital marketing means, you’ll utilize SEO and social media, with a focus on content marketing. As visitors become delighted by your content, some of them become converted into customers.
For more on this, you should look into how sales funnels work. At the very top of the sales funnel, you’re capturing attention. The more strongly (deeply) you capture attention, the more likely the consumer is to want to learn more about you, until they eventually become a customer.
The last stage of the sales funnel is if a lead converts into an advocate, recommending your product to others on your behalf, as a result of being so delighted by your offerings.
Is There a Free Version of Mailchimp?
Yes, this limits you to 2,000 subscribers and only one audience. It's actually a fantastic option if you’re a small business with a small budget. Keep in mind that - as most businesses fail, and capturing quality email leads is tricky - most email marketing campaigns never managed to capture more than 2,000 subscribers.
You'll also get landing/squeeze pages, with pop-ups and embeddable opt-in forms you can integrate into your website (it's particularly easy with WordPress).
What’s the Best Mailchimp Alternative?
As of now, we think SendinBlue gives the overall most professional and generous service across most dimensions. If you need something that’s as cheap as possible, MailerLite may be a better choice. Consider what your needs are and make a decision based on this, so you can reach your goals in the most reasonable way.
Which Is Better: Mailchimp or Sendinblue?
If you’re sending a lot of emails, SendinBlue can be almost four times cheaper. MailChimp is simple to use, however, and has over 20 million customers worldwide. Both tools have good deliverability rates and are packed with very useful and detailed features.
In Conclusion 🏁
There are really a ton of equally affordable email marketing tools to MailChimp - due to great, well, marketing - MC has simply flooded the competition and dominated the market especially for those who are new to email marketing.
The best email marketing software could cost you a bunch more than any on this list - but if you need something in the range of what MailChimp offers, each is a strong replacement. You’ll find free plans on many of the alternatives we’ve listed, so give them a try:
- SendinBlue ranks as our overall top alternative to MailChimp choice
- And if you want the cheapest MailChimp alternative, MailerLite is your client