You may have noticed the email geek community talking about Mailchimp a lot lately.
Not only has Mailchimp made several major changes to their email plans and pricing, they’ve also experienced outages that have left their customers either scratching their heads or, even worse, feeling mistreated and under-appreciated. Because of this recent upheaval, many of their customers are looking for Mailchimp alternatives in order to stay in touch with their biggest fans and most loyal customers through email.
It’s no secret that email marketing can drive up your revenue and increase the lifetime value of your customers. But in order to make the most of email and earn an ROI that impresses your C-suite, you need to be using the right tools for your unique email marketing strategy.
With the wrong tools, you could end up paying far more than you should for an email service provider, or not using any of the automation or personalization tools that make email marketing effective. Two good ways to see subpar results that’ll leave you frustrated and disappointed.
Unfortunately, because of their recent issues and changes, Mailchimp is no longer the right tool for many of their customers.
But before we get into which top email service providers (ESPs) are the best Mailchimp alternatives, let’s look at exactly what has changed with Mailchimp and what this means for marketers.
Mailchimp timeline: What’s changed for Mailchimp customers?
Here’s a quick timeline of what we’ve seen and heard from Mailchimp and their community in the last few years.
2018—Mailchimp experiences major support issues.
Turns out, supporting millions of customers is hard.
In 2018, Mailchimp experienced major outages. Plus, customers reported experiencing frequent issues with Mailchimp running slowly and struggling to log in to their accounts.
We’re investigating connection issues across multiple data centers. We’ll share updates here.
— Mailchimp Status (@MailchimpStatus) December 3, 2018
Lots of connection issues.
We’re experiencing connectivity issues with the app and the API. Our Engineering team is investigating and we’ll share updates here.
— Mailchimp Status (@MailchimpStatus) November 1, 2018
Customers also report having trouble reaching Mailchimp’s support during these outages and slow-downs, leaving customers to fend for themselves and hope their email campaigns work out in the end.
— Eddie Stamper (@eddiestamper) November 16, 2018
March 2019—Mailchimp discontinues their Shopify integration.
In March, after being unable to come to agreements over data privacy, Mailchimp stopped offering their Shopify integration for customers.
Without a Shopify integration to pull in data from ecommerce stores, email marketing becomes far less effective and marketers can’t populate their emails with the automation and personalization data they need to see results. You can see Campaign Monitor’s Shopify integration here.
May 2019—Mailchimp introduces new pricing and packaging.
In May, Mailchimp announced a change to pricing and packaging for all new and free customers. According to their website, this new pricing imposes limits on a number of key features including lists, users, and the number of emails you can send.
What’s perhaps most notable, though, is Mailchimp now charges customers for unsubscribed contacts, so customers have to pay for contacts who no longer receive their emails.
That means Mailchimp customers pay for contacts who will never open or click through an email. And they’ll certainly never make a purchase from email, even though Mailchimp customers will have to pay for them.
I heard back from @MailChimp – they are DEFINITELY going to be charging based on this BS new “Audience” metric and not subscribers. This means that you will now be paying for all the unsubscribes too. This suuuuuuucks.
Time to look at alternatives, I guess. pic.twitter.com/SH5nvGx6Ti
— David Gaughran ✍ (@DavidGaughran) May 15, 2019
At this point, existing Mailchimp customers are grandfathered on the old pricing.
May 2019—Mailchimp discontinues non-expiring credits.
In this same packaging and pricing update, Mailchimp discontinued its non-expiring credits. Previous to this update, credits did not expire, and many customers bought massive amounts of credits in order to stockpile them for the future.
Seriously miffed with @Mailchimp. Had purchased millions of credits in a PAYG plan where credits never expire. Now they’ve changed their terms and have tell me my credits will expire by May 2020. Time to look for a company that respects its existing users. #fail #mailchump
— Marc Durdin (@MarcDurdin) May 16, 2019
However, due to these changes, legacy customers must use all their credits before May 15, 2020 and customers who purchase new credits must use them within 12 months. You can see Campaign Monitor’s pay-as-you-go pricing here.
September 2019—Mailchimp increases the price for legacy customers.
Mailchimp increased prices for all legacy customers by about 10-30%, with many customers noting they received no notice of this price hike beforehand.
Really @Mailchimp? A 20% price increase with no notice? @frontendben @thedannybuck any alternatives you can recommend? Don’t even have to be cheaper, just maybe anyone with some idea of how to look after customers 🤷♂️ #mailchimp pic.twitter.com/9lhI5bVo9U
— Jamie Moore (@ConserveMoore) September 11, 2019
The bottom line: Mailchimp customers have lost their faith.
As many of the online complaints reveal, Mailchimp customers are frustrated.
For many customers, it isn’t the prices or the changes that have upset them, but rather the way they’ve been treated by Mailchimp and the lack of customer service.
When considering the price increases alongside the amount of money Mailchimp is spending on marketing—such as creating video series that customers feel are vanity projects—customers believe Mailchimp no longer cares about their business or their needs.
— jonathanwthomas (@jonathanwthomas) September 12, 2019
With all these changes in the rear view, no one is sure what the next big change will be or when it will strike.
In marketing, even the smallest disruption can lead to a drop in companies’ bottom line, and few brands can wait around to take a hit when there are other, similar options available to them. Especially when customers believe those other options will treat them better and support their email marketing goals more effectively.
But the most pressing question of all is: Why?
Mailchimp obviously didn’t make these changes to alienate their customers. Rather, these moves are a part of their attempt to broaden their services and become an all-in-one marketing platform.
No doubt there will be many customers who appreciate the change.
On the other hand, because Mailchimp is stepping away from its email-only roots, their services are no longer a great fit for email marketers looking for an email marketing solution, leaving them to seek out Mailchimp competitors for a better fit.
After all, paying for unsubscribes can drastically increase the cost for email marketers and the new, complicated billing doesn’t match the needs of marketers focused on email.
What qualifies the best Mailchimp alternatives?
When it comes to finding a Mailchimp alternative, you should look for the tools your unique email marketing needs require. Not every brand needs advanced automation, and using an email service provider (ESP) with tools you don’t need often means you’re spending more money than you need to.
Whether you’re just getting started with email marketing, or you’re a seasoned pro, consider the tools you’ll need for your current email strategy—as well as the tools you’ll need to take your results to the next level.
Can this email platform grow with you as your email marketing strategy matures?
It should. Determine whether you can pay only for the features you need and how well you can adopt new features in the future. And once you mature out of that platform, transferring to a new service should be as painless as possible. With Campaign Monitor, you have access to our family of brands, which allows for easier upgrading once you’re ready for an advanced automation platform or a more enterprise solution.
Does this email platform provide the support you need?
When considering an ESP, look at what their customers have to say and whether a Mailchimp alternative has great support. You can view Campaign Monitor’s support ratings here.
Does the email platform offer resources or professionals to help you improve deliverability?
Mailchimp—and many ESPs—will shut down accounts that have low deliverability with little warning and no direction on how to improve. Obviously there are bad actors out there that every ESP has to combat, but most of the email marketers who struggle with deliverability merely don’t understand what they’ve done wrong. Find an ESP that can help you improve your deliverability.
Does the email platform’s drag-and-drop builder also include a vast library of email templates to get you started? Most ESPs offer a simple drag-and-drop builder, but without a variety of templates to get you started, designing an email and getting it out the door can take much longer than it should.
The 10 top Mailchimp alternatives
We want you to feel confident in your email marketing strategy, and that begins with feeling good about your email service provider (ESP).
In this list, you’ll find a variety of features, focuses, and price ranges so you can find the perfect tool, even if it’s not Campaign Monitor.
Read on to discover ten ESPs that might work for you.
1. Campaign Monitor
Campaign Monitor is an internationally trusted email provider with over a decade of experience giving customers the tools and support they need to feel confident in their email marketing strategy.
Support around the clock
Campaign Monitor’s support is available for all of our customers, and with offices around the globe, customers in any timezone never have to worry about being able to connect.
Mobile-responsive templates and drag-and-drop builder
Our email templates can easily be customized to fit your needs and branding through our drag-and-drop builder, but we also offer the ability for customers to edit their email code for total design control.
Pricing plans personalized to you
With pricing plans that make sure customers pay for only the features they need, you won’t end up spending your entire marketing budget on an ESP you don’t use to the fullest. And if you’re more of an infrequent sender, Campaign Monitor offers pay-as-you-go pricing that never expires.
Visual journey builder
One of the Campaign Monitor features that our customers rave about is the visual journey builder. While many ESPs offer a drag-and-drop editor, we’ve taken this one step further and created a visual journey builder that uses the same drag-and-drop techniques our customers are already familiar with. That means customers can create multi-step journeys that automatically trigger based on your subscriber data and behaviors. Setting up these types of email journeys is often impossible in platforms like Mailchimp, or extremely time consuming (and expensive) in enterprise platforms.
Approachably advanced features
Marketers looking for advanced features from their ESP will find comprehensive tools that are straightforward and simple. Features like send time optimization, live-updating countdown timer, smart engagement segments, and unlimited inbox previews are available in certain plans to help marketers at any level reach their goals.
Created by email marketers, for email marketers
Created by email marketers for email marketers, if you need an ESP to serve as in all-in-one marketing platform, Campaign Monitor might not be the best fit for you or your email strategy. Similarly, if you have intricate and complex automation and personalization needs for a wide and varied audience, one of our partner enterprise solutions might be a better tool to help you reach your email marketing goals.
But if you want to get the most out of your email strategy, receiving features and support from teams focused on and dedicated to email first and foremost, Campaign Monitor is your way to go.
Reviews from Campaign Monitor customers
- Comprehensive Email Marketing Platform. I’ve tried a lot of different email marketing platforms over my 15 years in marketing and Campaign Monitor is hands-down the best option out there. I would waste hours of my time fiddling around on other platforms to get things to display properly. In other platforms, everything would look great until I send out the email and then the HTML would be all jumbled and things wouldn’t display properly. This is not the case with Campaign Monitor. When I send emails they look exactly the same as they do in the preview. Finally, I can get hours of my life back! — Jessi N, Director of Marketing & Business Development
- The best email marketing software. Campaign Monitor is so far the easiest to use in its field. Creating beautiful emails and managing campaigns cannot be easier, even if you have never done it before. — Luca M, CEO and founder
- Great User Support and an Accessible Platform. Campaign Monitor is easy to use and accessible for every employee regardless of their skillset. The client service team responds quickly when there are issues to be resolved. — Administrator in Public Relations and Communications
While GetResponse offers services for both small and enterprise businesses, they thrive when providing email marketing solutions to small businesses.
They boast over 500 responsive email templates and have a drag-and-drop email editor that’s both easy to use and appreciated by their customers. Though it’s important to mention: The ability to create emails through the drag-and-drop email builder isn’t as robust as when customers edit emails through the code.
While they supply many great CRM and ecommerce integrations, GetResponse limits many of its advanced features to lists of a certain size. These limits might make it difficult for small business email marketers to grow their email strategy over time.
Reviews from GetResponse customers
- One of the best programs to send emails. Getresponse is an incredible tool to do email marketing, in our company we use it to manage our entire list of clients and distribute in an organized way all our informative and promotional emails, usually the emails arrive or inbox or promotions which is very good and shows great quality in this tool, the percentage of reading and opening emails, Getresponse has a very intuitive and advanced email editor with good templates to create our emails, we usually use it to create promotional emails, you can also manage your contact lists and possible customers, I have imported them from any other data collection tool, on the other hand, regarding the price Getresponse is very kind because their plans in quality and price are excellent and they offer us a large amount of monthly emails for a really accessible price. — Maria S, Marketing Specialist
- It is a very reliable tool for email marketing. GetResponse is a very powerful tool, one of the things that I like the most are its reporting and statistics functions since they are very detailed, easy to understand and provide enough data to understand what works best for our landing pages and which campaigns need a readjustment in the strategies to generate more conversions. On the other hand the templates offered have good designs and allow me to create very fast campaigns and easily readjust them. — David B, Web Designer
3. Constant Contact
Constant Contact is a good option for nonprofits that need an all-in-one solution. The ability to create a website or landing page and add a donate block to emails can be a big help in fundraising efforts. But they can be a good choice for small businesses, too, with educational offerings like webinars and trainings, as well as a website builder for small businesses seeking out a one-stop shop.
However, customers say it’s hard to customize their templates, and advanced features are lacking. While customers are happiest with this ESP when they’re sending basic batch-and-blast newsletters, if you’re looking for more advanced capabilities and more design control, this ESP might not be the email marketing solution for you.
Reviews from Constant Contact customers
- Effective and easy to figure out. As the title of this review suggests, I think Constant Contact is a really straightforward software suite that even the most tech-averse clients will be able to figure out and use to its fullest extent. There are many organizations who are simply looking to keep in regular contact with clients or potential donors (as in our case), and Constant Contact is a simple, clean interface that allows us to communicate with volunteers and donors on a regular basis. — Stephanie H, Foreign Language Teacher
- Easy to use email tool with a good email editor. The email editor makes building emails very easy compared to many other email marketing tools. For the most part, emails you build in the editor will look exactly the same sent. Reporting is good as well. — Alyssa F, Content Marketing Manager
Emma offers specific solutions to multi-location businesses and franchises like gyms, universities, restaurants, etc. Emma HQ was designed in partnership with Orange Theory, one of their customers. They found themselves spending too much time approving (or not approving) emails from some of their franchises, so Emma streamlined the entire process.
Emma HQ allows you to save time by simplifying the approval process and even locking templates so your hundreds—or even thousands—of locations can only use the fonts, images, or colors that you’ve approved in advance.
However, Emma doesn’t send transactional emails out of the box or include a survey tool. If getting quick feedback or transactional emails are top priorities in your email marketing strategy, Emma might not be the tool you need to reach your goals as efficiently as possible.
Reviews from Emma customers
- Easy tool with massive impact. Emma’s easy-to-edit templates are a breeze to use and are a great way to start a mass mailing. Plus, their ability to test multiple subject lines (and see the results for which ones lead to the most clicks) makes it certain that your email will get the greatest engagement possible. — Dakota R, Resident Director
- Reaching our client base with Emma. I love the ease of use. The ready-to-go templates save me time and brain power. Our clients get a beautiful, professional-looking communication from us. I can integrate and customize the look of my Eventbrite events into my emails with no trouble. — Trista B, Marketing Manager & Maxwell Health Champion
Aweber serves small businesses by providing a simple email marketing tool with great support. More advanced features include an API for Google’s AMP email. They also offer many live demos of their product to help customers get the most out of the technology, in addition to a library of help articles. So if support and educational resources are your top priority, this could be the best ESP for your needs.
On the other hand, users report they often have difficulty with the email editor and would like more (and better) email templates to get their email designs started. Similarly, customers report that the provider feels outdated when compared to the features offered by newer ESPs.
Reviews from Aweber customers
- High quality service for a premium price. The service that Aweber provides is top notch. All the tools that it gives, the deliverability of the emails, reporting and analytics all is perfect. — Liudas B, Owner
- The best platform for email marketing is incredible. I like how it provides our company with a means to automate the response to personalized emails, I like how it is integrated into each ecosystem of programs, it integrates with other platforms without problem, the delivery capacity is impressive fast, besides it is extremely easy to use and your customer support is effective. — Maiker L, General Manager
If you’re a small business looking for an affordable product with plenty of features, ActiveCampaign is worth investigating. They offer an all-in-one platform for customers and enable multi-channel messaging through email and SMS that some marketers will find powerful and effective for their audience. Plus they have a solid automation feature—like Campaign Monitor, they offer an automation builder that many other ESPs lack.
If price is the most important factor in your search, this provider could be a good fit for you. However, if support and ease of use are equally important, you might be better off with a different ESP.
Reviews from ActiveCampaign customers
- ActiveCampaign – Great for Solopreneurs & Small Biz Too. I am a fan of MailChimp – but switched to Active Campaign because it merges the capacity for email newsletters and mass mailings with the need for one–to-one messaging and automation. Usually solutions for larger businesses are overkill for micro-businesses, but AC is a great solution for both. — Mary M, Principal
- Affordable and functional software for Marketing Automation. The Automation Builder is simple and clear to use, and the storage of previous campaigns for use as templates is incredibly helpful! The help guides available online from Active Campaign are also clear and concise. — Gemma P, Director
MailerLite offers both a drag-and-drop editor as well as a custom HTML editor for their customers, many of whom are authors. In fact, they have specific integrations to help authors make the most of their email marketing, so if this is you, this ESP could work for your needs.
While many customers appreciate the affordable pricing, others report the low price came with strict limitations that prohibited them from executing their email marketing strategy. Many online reviews say the limits were too small for their list and caused them problems.
If price is your main consideration, give this ESP a look, but be sure you understand the limits imposed by the low price so you don’t wind up unable to send to your full list.
Reviews from MailerLite customers
- Mailerlite is an amazing application for email marketing which makes marketing easy. With MailerLite I have the chance to arrange everything related to email marketing in moments. Their templates are rather versatile, together I will completely personalize my campaigns, they are rather striking and favorable. It’s good integration with third-party tools which produce perfect comments together with the tool. And to complete they maintain continuously innovating so, there’s an inclination to improve. — Mamta B, Social Media Manager
- Amazing tool for email marketing. With MailerLite I have the opportunity to organize everything related to email marketing in seconds. Their templates are quite versatile, with them I can completely customize my campaigns, they are quite striking and friendly. Your A / B tests are satisfactory, we use them a lot. It has good integration with third-party tools that make a perfect feedback with the tool. I can compare the results that I get with regards to email marketing campaigns. And to finish they keep constantly innovating so, there is a tendency to improve. — Ken C, Ingeniero de software
If you’re an ecommerce store, Klaviyo could have just the integrations you need. In fact, Klaviyo does a good job of helping new customers set up their integrations upon first logging in to the product. If you need a little bit of guidance when choosing integrations and connecting your store to your email platform, this can be helpful.
However, if ecommerce isn’t your very specific area, the tailored focus is probably unhelpful. Similarly, if you’re sending a large volume of emails, like newsletters, this provider might not be the best tool for you.
Reviews from Klaviyo customers
- Blown Away. The simplicity of the system and its ability to track performance. The pitch was 30mins long but within about 5 mins we already knew we wanted to use this system for our email. We love the ease of using an A/B test and how easy it is to set up flows. Excellent product. — Andrew J, Digital Marketing Manager
- With Klaviyo I can categorize my clients and send them strategic emails. One of the aspects I love about Klaviyo is being able to segment my customers. I can distinguish them based on the interests they have shown on my website. For example those who interacted with my product and bought it and those who decided not to buy it. In this way I can create specific and strategic emails for the corresponding customers. I like the templates that the platform offers me and I can also create my own to give more identity to my email marketing campaign. Klaviyo’s automated tools such as responses, thank yous, and welcome messages work correctly and help me save work time. — Bonnie P, Sales Manager
Drip is another ESP that focuses on ecommerce CRM functionality, as opposed to devoting itself solely to email marketing. While these broader capabilities might help you optimize your customer’s journey across channels, it could also mean your email marketing options aren’t as robust as they would be with another ESP.
Drip could be the platform to help you understand your buyers’ behaviors from “inbox to Instagram” as they say on their site. However, customers report the analytics for the email marketing campaigns aren’t intuitive or simple to understand.
In fact, some customers report having problems with their automation workflows, saying their contacts get stuck and the automation doesn’t send emails when it’s supposed to. If email capabilities are the most important factor when you choose an ESP, another platform might serve your goals better.
Reviews from Drip customers
- Wonderful customer support. Drip is an extremely well thought out, intuitive email tool. It has advanced features that have allowed us to build triggered onboarding campaigns based on actions taken in our customer dashboard, and now that Drip has rolled out split testing we have the added bonus of being able to launch A/B tests easily to improve our open rates. I have nothing but glowing things to say about the support I have received as a Drip customer. Whether it’s through chat, email, or scheduled video calls, I’ve always had prompt, friendly, helpful interactions with the Drip customer success team and walked away with great feedback and new ideas to try. — Juliana C, Head of Marketing
- Super robust and user friendly. Drip is the only platform that could handle the complex automated workflows I wanted to build. The UI is easy, fast, and functional. The variety of options for sorting contacts, setting up rules and triggers, and performing bulk operations is exceptional. The visual builder is better than any other that’s integrated into an ESP, that I’ve seen, and supports conditional formatting and dynamic content. Last but not least, support from our account manager is easy to access and always extremely helpful! — Rose H, Email Marketing Director
SendGrid allows designers, developers, and marketers to come together in app to design and send transactional emails. Traditionally built more specifically for developers, they’ve recently launched drag-and-drop tools to allow non-technical email marketers to send basic newsletters and create simple automations like welcomes.
They offer a free plan that allows customers to send 12,000 emails a month, which might be a good replacement for Mailchimp’s free plan, depending on your needs and sophistication.
Reviews from SendGrid customers
- A great email platform that helps maintain a professional image. I like that SendGrid can help us create and deliver sharp and professional marketing emails for weekly or monthly promotional campaigns. We can load new contacts easily or connect them to our website database to add and remove contacts more seamlessly. I like that we can use SendGrid to view metrics and analytics that help us refine our promotions and offers to our existing contact base or new leads. The email design tools are mostly easy to use with drag and drop features. We can also fill in content in preset fields. Hanna Y, Senior Producer
- Distribute your marketing emails on a large scale with SendGrind. I like how SendGrind is easy to manage and configure, it allows me to give a more organized look to my client directory and classify them into different types. Thanks to this tool my online marketing campaigns are much more effective since it guarantees me that increasing the opening rate of my sent emails, when you get your message to the inbox you will get an impact due to its delivery technology and the defense of the Service provider will help you get there. It really is an intuitive, fast and more important software that is easy to master in order to take advantage of the need to meet any need. Sean C, Computer Engineer
Your brand depends on email marketing. And that means you depend on your email marketing service provider.
If something changes with your email platform that limits your ability to create and send the emails your customers love and expect from you, your relationship-building will be compromised in a major way.
And that’s simply bad news for your bottom line.
That’s why you need an ESP you can trust—one that has the services and tools your specific strategy needs, as well as the ability to grow with you over time.
The right integrations, a support team you can actually reach, and a price-point that doesn’t change without warning are all key factors to consider when looking at Mailchimp alternatives in 2019. But they won’t do you any good if that software decides to shift underneath your feet next week.
Find success with Campaign Monitor.
Started by email marketers for email marketers, Campaign Monitor lives and breathes email. And we won’t leave you behind in a quest to grow our own business.
It’s free to create an account and import your list, so you can test out the features and capabilities before you start paying. You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to choose a mobile-ready template and customize it in the drag-and-drop email builder, and you’ll be surprised at the time you’ll save creating an automated series in the visual journey designer.
Migration from one ESP to another can seem intimidating, but our team is eager to walk you through it. Not sure where you should even begin? Check out this detailed guide on how to migrate your audience from Mailchimp to get an idea of what you can expect from the process.
Make your emails unforgettable with Campaign Monitor.