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Introduction

This post was updated in September 2019.

We often talk to people who are trying to make the decision between Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp. When you’re searching for an email service provider, there are a lot of variables to take into account: your list size, deliverability, support, ease-of-use, and more.

This comparison will walk through the key features of each product and allow you to compare them side by side. Our priority is matching email marketers up with the product that best fits their needs and their business goals. Along those lines, we’ve also written about Mailchimp’s changes in 2019, and what that could mean for its customers and users.

Visual Comparison

Feature Comparison: Mailchimp vs. Campaign Monitor

Feature comparison checklist: drag-and-drop builder checked for both, A/B testing capabilities available for both, Visual journey builder available in Campaign Monitor, Multi-step journeys available in Campaign Monitor and some Mailchimp plans, Hundreds of integrations available in both, native ecommerce integrations available in both, deliverability consulting available with Campaign Monitor, white label reselling available in campaign monitor, no charge for unsubscribed users with campaign monitor, pay per campaign credits available with campaign monitor, unlimited number of lists available in every campaign monitor plan but only one in mailchimp, unlimited users available in every campaign monitor plan but only one in mailchimp, retargeting and social ads available for mailchimp, 100% focus on email with campaign monitor

Mailchimp's 2019 Updates

Mailchimp’s 2019 Updates to Their Terms of Use

Amidst changes to their pricing and terms of use, to say Mailchimp has caused a commotion for marketers, #EmailGeeks, and companies big and small is somewhat of an understatement. Twitter is full of rants from all angles, and ostracized users are looking for answers.

But as consumers, we know it can be tricky to decipher a company’s TOU. So here are the major changes Mailchimp customers are experiencing, per the company’s new policy and pricing:

  • Mailchimp is charging their users based on an account’s entire email list—including unsubscribes. And while they allow you to archive your unsubscribed contacts, they won’t do this automatically—potentially leaving customers with unwanted charges for larger lists than they actually use. Those who want to keep their budget applied only to their subscribed contacts will have to manually archive subscribers on a regular basis to keep costs down.
  • Mailchimp is limiting the number of audiences (AKA lists) their users can have. Apart from customers on their Pro plan, Mailchimp users will no longer be able to maintain unlimited audiences (lists) in one account. If you want to have a variety of separate lists for different brands, products, events, or content types, you’ll be required to manage them using other means. Their free plan allows for only one audience, while the next tier up, Essential, allows only three.
  • Mailchimp is charging for additional account logins. If you have multiple people who need to log in to create, send, and manage your email marketing campaigns, you’ll have to pay. And if you need more than five different logins, you’ll need to upgrade to their Pro plan. Otherwise your marketing team will have to live with fewer account logins.
  • Mailchimp’s pay-per-campaign credits will now expire after one year. If you want to buy credits beforehand, make sure you’re ready to send, lest you lose your credits and money. According to Mailchimp’s TOU, all credits purchased before May 15, 2019 will expire on May 15, 2020.

All of these changes come amidst a shift in Mailchimp’s business: They no longer want to focus primarily on their email marketing tools. Instead, their path is toward becoming a more general CRM. This means they’re sacrificing some of their policies and their email marketing capabilities in order to expand their offerings and appeal to a broader set of users.

Campaign Monitor’s perspective on Mailchimp’s changes

As an email marketing company founded on the shoulders of day-in-day-out email marketers, our company vision is anchored in email. While we focus on making powerfully intuitive tools for teams of any size to create and send unforgettable campaigns, our product roadmap is designed with the sole purpose of seeing you and your email marketing program excel.

With this email-first mindset, here’s our quick take on Mailchimp’s changes.

  • Campaign Monitor offers an unlimited number of lists, allows for as many users as you need, and charges based on your active subscribers. As we empower email marketers first and foremost, our features are shaped around you, your team, and making your best work possible and simple.
  • Campaign Monitor continues to provide pay-as-you-go options. For brands that need PAYG options due to inconsistent sending or other reasons, you’ll find this is still a very approachable option with Campaign Monitor. And our credits don’t expire.
  • Campaign Monitor’s features will continue to be centered around email. Our customers sign up for Campaign Monitor because they want a straightforward and powerful email marketing platform so they can get results fast. Those who are looking for the same may find that, through the changes listed above, Mailchimp’s offering is shifting away from email again and again.

At the end of the day, Campaign Monitor, will remain an email marketing company first and foremost, whose sole focus is to see you and your email marketing program excel.

Chapter 3

Key Benefits: Mailchimp vs. Campaign Monitor

1. Feel confident you’ll make it to the inbox.

Deliverability refers to where your message ends up after it’s sent and includes issues like throttling, bounce rate, spam scores, and more.

Mailchimp: Mailchimp has over 18 million customers to keep track of. As you can imagine, they can’t personally verify the list quality of every customer so they had to develop an automated way to protect their sending reputation. This means that if something goes wrong and you accidentally receive a lot of spam complaints, bounces, or unsubscribes, you might be shut down without warning—putting your business in danger of losing revenue. Mailchimp doesn’t offer deliverability consulting, which means that it may be difficult to have your account back up and running.

Campaign Monitor: At Campaign Monitor, we understand the importance of deliverability. That’s why we have a compliance and deliverability team that personally speaks to customers when they join us if that customer might be susceptible to a high volume of spam complaints. We ask them where their data comes from, how it’s collected, and how old it is. We even look at their current email metrics! If they meet our standards, we help them set up and start sending correctly by authenticating their account and ramping their sends if they have large lists.

We also have automated tools that monitor your account to ensure the highest possible deliverability. If, at any point, something doesn’t look right—like an unusually high bounce rate or too many spam complaints—our team is here to proactively help you resolve that issue.

At Campaign Monitor, if your services are suspended due to a significant risk (such as high complaint rates, or hitting spam traps), we have a dedicated team available to help you through this, identify and help you remediate the issues, and start sending again as soon as possible.

Read how the Morning Brew moved from Mailchimp and improved their open rate by 125% with Campaign Monitor.

2. Easily create and customize beautiful email templates.

Mailchimp’s interface is really easy to use, but their email editor is difficult to customize, which means you can generally tell if an email was made in Mailchimp. Many customers also report major lags in the email editor.

Campaign Monitor’s drag-and-drop email builder, beautifully designed templates, and complete set of team-oriented permissions improve the efficiency of your creative team and allow them time to focus on curating the most compelling content for your subscribers. We also make it easy to dynamically insert content into an email based on who’s getting the email.

3. Drive engagement through segments and automation.

Mailchimp works great for small businesses that need an all-in-one, multichannel marketing tool. However, customers say they find it difficult to perform more sophisticated operations due to the lack of support services. As a result, many users default to doing nothing but sending basic newsletters.

Once Mailchimp’s changes to their TOU kick in, it will be even harder for companies to grow their email program with Mailchimp, since they now limit the amount of lists—what they refer to as “audiences”—customers can have. Not only do they limit your number of lists, but now lower-tier users that want access to multi-step automation (even just two emails in a series) and A/B split testing will have to upgrade to higher paid accounts.

Campaign Monitor, on the other hand, isn’t designed for brands that simply want to “batch-and-blast” emails out to an unsegmented list. Our visual journey designer, segmentation capabilities, and rich personalization options allow businesses of any size to create detailed automation flows that deliver the right content at the right time.
And all these next-level features are not only included in every plan, but they’re presented in extremely easy-to-use tools that allow you to drive predictable engagement and revenue.

The best part? We have a team of people standing by to help you make the most out of Campaign Monitor’s features.

Campaign Monitor knows that one of the most powerful aspects of email marketing is its ability to grow with your company. That’s why we make it simple and easy to add new lists, break them down into more segments, and automate journeys for every type of subscriber.

4. Speak to a team of real humans.

Mailchimp: It’s worth mentioning again that Mailchimp has over 18 million customers! They’ve created a product that is really easy for entry-level marketers to use (which is great) but, as a result, it’s really difficult for them to personally respond to all of their support requests. And since Mailchimp support is typically only available via email or chat, many customers report significant delays in support getting back to them.

Campaign Monitor has a global support and deliverability team that you can actually speak to—yes, even on the phone. From evaluation to onboarding to ongoing support, we have a team of humans dedicated to helping customers maximize their investment. Plus, our professional services team is here if you need help with design, development, or strategy.

5. Send to large lists (without a huge lag time).

Mailchimp works well for small businesses with small lists, but they do have a few large senders with very large lists. Some large senders have found that they struggle to have their emails out the door in a timely manner when sending to their entire list.

Campaign Monitor customers include large publishers, media companies, nonprofits, and travel companies—all sending to millions of subscribers at once. Our infrastructure and dedicated team of deliverability experts are here to ensure you land into the inbox with the highest possible speed. We can even help you set up a dedicated IP and ramp up your large list.

6. In-app retargeting, ads, and landing pages

Mailchimp is aiming to become a one-stop-shop for small businesses. As such, they now offer Google retargeting, Facebook and Instagram ads, and the ability to create landing pages within their product.

In fact, it’s this desire to become a one-stop-shop that inspired their recent changes. Ultimately, these changes could mean that your email marketing program takes up more of your marketing budget if you want to remain effective.

Campaign Monitor can connect you with the other platforms in your tech stack to synchronize your efforts across paid and organic mediums. With over 250 integrations including Shopify, you’ll be able to connect to your most important data to power an email marketing program that drives in results while saving you time and money.

7. The lowest price for small lists

Mailchimp: Since Mailchimp is free for users with fewer than 2,000 subscribers, it’s a great option for people who are just getting started with email marketing.

However, these new changes mean you could end up spending far more money over time—especially if one of your business goals is growth. Mailchimp will now start making users pay extra to cover unsubscribed contacts, additional lists, pay-per-campaign credits, and multiple logins.

This means that even if you currently have a small list and a small email marketing program, you could end up paying more down the line, not to mention the costs—in time as well as money—to switch to an email service provider better suited to a growing business’ needs down the line. If one of your goals is growth, you might be better off starting with an ESP that’s built to grow with you.

Campaign Monitor: Once your list gets a little bigger or you hit a features ceiling with Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor may make more sense for your email marketing efforts. Our customers understand that email marketing is a valuable investment and are willing to put budget on a non-free platform that will provide resources to help them succeed.

Chapter 11

Best fit for you: Mailchimp vs. Campaign Monitor

For people who are just starting out in email marketing or only plan to send to small lists of subscribers, Mailchimp is a great option. It is easy to use—especially if you stick to pre-built templates—and provides the basics for getting started with testing, segmentation, and personalization.

But what if you’re a marketer looking for more robust features and analytics, along with industry-leading deliverability and access to customer support, in order to generate more ROI from your marketing efforts? Campaign Monitor is your best bet for driving more engagement and revenue with email.

Are you a Mailchimp user looking to switch? It’s easy to switch from Mailchimp to Campaign Monitor. If you’re ready to graduate to the next level of email marketing, reach out and we’ll show you how to easily migrate your account.

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