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  5. HubSpot vs Mailchimp: Only One Option is Affordable [2024]

HubSpot vs Mailchimp: Only One Option is Affordable [2024]

Alexandros Melidoniotis Alexandros MelidoniotisEmail Marketing Expert
Hubspot and Mailchimp are both major players in the marketing world and both get many things right – but they each offer something different. Where Mailchimp zeros in on email marketing, HubSpot is primarily a CRM tool that also offers email and CMS among other things.

Over the years, I’ve used Mailchimp to build hundreds of beautiful, highly personalized emails – and it never takes more than a few minutes. As a dedicated EMS, Mailchimp provides email marketers with more options at a better price. Even the cheapest plan comes with features that HubSpot locks behind more expensive tiers.

There’s no question that HubSpot’s Marketing Hub is powerful, but when I tried out the sole affordable plan, I didn’t feel like I was using a standalone tool.

Features I consider baseline (like A/B testing) are locked behind HubSpot’s professional plan – which costs hundreds of dollars. Other features, such as personalization, segmentation, and landing page customization, are seriously limited on the Starter plan.

Features

Mailchimp’s Affordable Plan Has More Features

Mailchimp email templates
Mailchimp’s marketplace features some beautiful templates – but they cost extra
All great emails start with a well-designed template. Mailchimp and HubSpot could both do better in this respect, with Mailchimp featuring just 11 free templates and HubSpot offering 20.

While I don’t like that Mailchimp sells additional templates on its Marketplace, I must admit that those 45+ premium templates are some of the best I’ve seen.

HubSpot email templates
HubSpot’s templates look okay, but there’s not many of them
Once you’ve designed your email, chances are you’ll want to test different elements to come up with the best-performing variations. Mailchimp allows you to test and optimize subject lines, sender names, send times, and content. HubSpot offers equally powerful tools…but they’re locked behind the super expensive Professional plan (more on that later).

Automation capabilities are also crucial when choosing an EMS. With Mailchimp’s Standard plan, you can build dynamic email sequences with the platform’s automated “journeys.” There are also 45 pre-built automation workflows you can customize with your own rules, actions, and conditions.

Unfortunately, HubSpot’s Starter plan – the platform’s only affordable plan – limits the number of automated steps with each workflow.

It’s a similar story with landing pages and personalization options. Mailchimp’s Standard plan unlocks almost all of the platform’s features, while HubSpot’s Starter plan barely gets you anything new. Mailchimp wins this round with relative ease.

Ease of Use

Mailchimp Is Designed with Ease of Use in Mind

I had no trouble importing contacts on either platform. With both Mailchimp and Hubspot, you can import whole lists with the click of a button, and there are also options to sync contacts via popular third-party applications. HubSpot does support a few more file formats, such as XLS and XLSX.

Mailchimp's email editor
Mailchimp’s drag-and-drop builder is one of the best I’ve seen
Mailchimp and HubSpot also both offer easy-to-use email builders with an array of customization tools. Their drag-and-drop editors can help you create highly-customized emails in just a few minutes. Mailchimp’s preview button is always visible in the top-right corner, while HubSpot hides the previous button under a dropdown menu.

Both platforms provide extensive knowledge bases with hundreds of articles on various topics. If you’re feeling lost, you can access each platform’s respective chatbot by clicking on Mailchimp’s pop-up “?” or HubSpot’s chat bubble icon, which are always visible in the bottom-right corner of your screen.

Overall, Mailchimp’s interface feels better to use. It’s designed for email – and email only – and all the menus sit comfortably precisely where you expect to find them. By comparison, there’s a slight learning curve to HubSpot because of the sheer amount of non-email-related menus (such as sales, payments, ads, and communications) that take up valuable space.

Deliverability

Both Platforms Will Likely Deliver Your Emails

Mailchimp's "email delivered" page
You can easily track your campaign’s performance on the go with the Mailchimp app
No matter which EMS you use, the ultimate goal is for your emails to land in your subscribers’ inboxes. What’s the point of carefully crafting beautiful messages if they never reach their destination?

Different people tend to come up with vastly different deliverability rates, proving that such tests lend themselves to unreliable results. Why? Well, there are too many variables to consider, and what works for one marketer might not work for another.

Here at Website Planet, we don’t rely on inaccurate deliverability rates. Instead, we look at specific features that can potentially increase the chance of your emails reaching their intended audience. These are DKIM authentication, spam policy, affiliate marketing policy, and private IP options.

First, I checked to see whether both platforms offer DKIM authentication. DKIM is how email service providers (ESPs) can tell it’s really you sending emails – think of it like a digital email signature. Fortunately, both HubSpot and Mailchimp offer DKIM authentication with all their plans, and there are helpful guides that can help you set it up.

Then it was time to evaluate each platform’s spam policy. Generally, stricter spam policies result in higher deliverability rates, making it harder for spammers to affect the reputation of shared IPs. As top names in the industry, HubSpot and Mailchimp don’t tolerate spam in any form – which is excellent news for deliverability.

Next, I took a closer look at each platform’s affiliate marketing policies. Although crucial for the online economy, affiliate marketing is often linked with cold email marketing and spammy techniques.

HubSpot and Mailchimp don’t allow multi-level marketing or affiliate marketing, meaning users can’t use their services to promote unrelated third-party products. Affiliate links are okay, but they need to be relevant and provide value to your subscribers.

The most effective way to boost your deliverability rate is by using a dedicated (or private) IP, since it helps separate your sending reputation from that of other users. That said, it’s better to stick to shared IPs unless you send hundreds of thousands of emails monthly. Mailchimp charges $29.95/month for a private IP – HubSpot’s private IPs will set you back $250/month.

Both platforms enjoy high deliverability rates, but Mailchimp wins a narrow victory due to the far cheaper cost of a private IP. Honestly, that price offers amazing value compared to a whole host of other top EMS, too.

Reporting and Analytics

Good Reporting Tools on Either Service

Once you’ve delivered your emails, you’ll need a robust analytics suite to track your campaigns, evaluate their performance, and adjust your practices accordingly. As email marketers know well, there’s no such thing as too much data.

Both platforms can generate basic reports on opens, clicks, bounces, and unsubscribes. Each service also provides live engagement charts to help you keep track of user engagement.

Mailchimp also comes with a content-optimizing tool that offers advice on how to improve your messaging in future. Campaign benchmarking makes it possible to compare your email’s performance against competitors, and the map at the bottom of the page track opens by location. If you’re on the Premium plan, you can also compare campaigns against each other.

Mailchimp benchmarking tool
Mailchimp’s benchmarking tool offers valuable insight into your campaign’s performance
HubSpot’s Starter plan doesn’t have any of these, but it does have some other neat tools. There’s a “time spent viewing email” and an “opens by email client” chart, both of which provide valuable insight into your contacts’ engagement patterns. You can create more detailed custom reports if you’re on the Professional plan.

Neither platform excels at reporting, but Mailchimp’s campaign benchmarking and comparative reporting are too good to give up.

Pricing

Mailchimp Does More for Less

In my opinion, Mailchimp’s paid plans are more fairly priced. HubSpot seriously limits the features on its cheapest plan, pushing you toward its bundle packages and super-expensive Professional Marketing Hub plan.

On the plus side, both HubSpot and Mailchimp offer free plans – albeit with limited access to advanced automation, personalization, and segmentation.

Here’s What You Get for Free

As a free Mailchimp user, you’ll be able to send up to 2,500 emails per month and create an unlimited number of landing pages. You’ll also unlock access to the service’s basic reporting tools. Unfortunately, Mailchimp’s support is quite limited on the free plan – you can only contact the support team directly for the first 30 days following the creation of your account.

As a free HubSpot user, you’re limited to 2,000 monthly email sends and a total of 20 landing pages. Like Mailchimp, you can access the reporting dashboard and generate basic reports. But unlike Mailchimp, you can also set up basic autoresponders with 1 automated action per email.

While HubSpot doesn’t technically offer 1:1 support with the free plan, you can still contact the sales team and get help by clicking on the live chat bubble.

Here’s What You Get If You Pay

HubSpot and Mailchimp each offer 3 paid plans. Where Mailchimp offers great value with its mid-tier plan, HubSpot forces you to commit to a very expensive upgrade.

Mailchimp’s Standard plan, which starts at $20.00/month, costs only a few dollars more than the Essential plan. It unlocks most of the platform’s features, including A/B testing, advanced automation, dynamic content, and competitor benchmarking.

The Premium plan (starting at $350/month) throws comparative reporting and advanced segmentation into the mix – but it’s a bit too expensive for most marketers.

Realistically, HubSpot’s Starter plan, which starts at $45.00/month, is the only affordable plan available – the Professional plan will set you back $800/month. But unfortunately, the Starter plan is missing crucial features, such as A/B testing and dynamic content.

The Professional plan is comparable to Mailchimp’s Standard plan in terms of features, but the difference in price is astronomical.

Check out the side-by-side comparison of Mailchimp’s Standard plan vs Hubspot’s Starter plan:

Mailchimp Standard HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter
Starting Price $20.00 $45.00
Templates 11 free + 45 premium 20
Drag-and-drop builder  
Landing pages   (unlimited)   (10,000 max)
Advanced automation     (10 action limit)
Email & live chat support    
A/B testing  
Dynamic content  

Support

Great Support for Paid Users on Both Platforms

If you’re a paying customer, HubSpot and Mailchimp will both strive to assist you in promptly resolving any issues. Additionally, both platforms provide comprehensive knowledge bases via their individual help centers.

As a Mailchimp Standard user, you’ll have access to 24/7 email and live chat support – and it’s a similar story with HubSpot’s Starter plan. Phone support is locked behind more expensive tiers with both services – Mailchimp’s Premium and Hubspot’s Professional plan, respectively.

Now, if you’re a free user, I would argue that HubSpot’s customer support is better. HubSpot allows free users to access live chat, and even though you’re only reaching sales representatives, they’ll do whatever they can to help. As a free user on Mailchimp, you can only contact customer support via chat and email for your first 30 days on the platform.

I reached out to both HubSpot and Mailchimp via live chat with the same question:

“Does HubSpot/Mailchimp support languages written from right to left?”

Mailchimp got back to me in just a few seconds:

Mailchimp live chat support
Mailchimp’s new builder doesn’t support right-to-left (RTL) languages
It wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear, but the answer was clear and detailed. Mailchimp’s support hasn’t always been great, but it has definitely improved over the past year or so.

The HubSpot representative got back to me almost as quickly:

HubSpot live chat support
HubSpot doesn’t support RTL languages either
The link answered my question (and included more information about supported languages platform-wide), but a straightforward answer would’ve perhaps made a bit more sense. The Mailchimp representative put a bit more effort into forming a detailed response.

That said, this round has to go to HubSpot for providing free users with a live chat option.

Mailchimp Is Better for Email

While I do understand HubSpot’s appeal as an all-in-one sales and marketing solution, Mailchimp’s focus on email marketing results in a better experience.

With HubSpot, I find it difficult to focus. There’s too much going on at times, and it’s not always related to email marketing. Still, if you’re looking for a platform that can do a bit of everything, HubSpot’s expanded ecosystem of sales and marketing tools might serve you well.

Both platforms are polished and capable, but the difference in price is just too great to ignore. Besides, I don’t like how HubSpot nudges users toward expensive plans – by locking A/B testing behind the Professional plan, for example.

If you just want to send emails, use Mailchimp. Here’s a comparison table with everything we’ve looked at so far:

HubSpot
Mailchimp
Templates
20 templates
 11 free templates + 45 premium templates
Automation
Limited automation steps on the Starter plan
 Unlimited automation steps + pre-set workflows
Landing Page Builder
Limited features on the Starter plan
 Full access and an unlimited number of pages
A/B Testing
Not available on the Starter plan
 Test all kinds of email elements (including content)
Ease of Use
Slight learning curve
 Intuitive Interface
Deliverability
Great deliverability rate
Great deliverability rate + cheap private IPs
Reporting and Analytics
Good reporting capabilities
Strong reporting and benchmarking capabilities
Pricing
Expensive if you want to unlock everything
 The Standard plan is affordable
Support
Great, even as a free user
Great, but as a free user you’re stuck with a chatbot
Total Rounds Won
1
8

FAQ

Which is better: HubSpot vs Mailchimp?

Mailchimp is the better EMS. It has a more intuitive interface, better-priced plans, and is easier to use. HubSpot isn’t terrible, but it wouldn’t be my first – or my second – choice for email. Still, if you’re looking for a CRM platform that can also do email, HubSpot’s bundles (not the Marketing Hub plans on their own) might serve you well.

What are the best Mailchimp alternatives?

Mailchimp is a great EMS, but it’s often outshined by top competitors, such as ActiveCampaign. ActiveCampaign offers marketers a truly robust set of features with hundreds of modern templates, industry-leading automation, and top-notch support. Check out our list of the best email marketing services for more options!

What does HubSpot do?

HubSpot is primarily known for its CRM software, but it also offers bundles that include sales, marketing, services, and CMS. Although versatile and powerful, I feel that HubSpot tries a bit too hard to do everything at once.

How much does HubSpot cost?

You can use HubSpot’s Marketing Hub for free, but you won’t have access to advanced features. Unfortunately, the cheapest plan, which starts at $45.00, doesn’t unlock many crucial features (such as A/B testing) either. If you want to make the most of HubSpot, you’re forced to go with the Professional plan, which starts at $800 – which is way more than most of us can afford!

Is Mailchimp free to use?

Yes, Mailchimp has a free plan you can use for as long as you like. If you want to access Mailchimp’s advanced features and get much more value out of the platform, you should consider upgrading to the Standard plan, which starts at $20.00.

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I'm using hubspot for my day job so I'm familiar with it, and I like their robust free offerings, but I'd like to connect my email marketing and CRM with my squarespace website - do you know if there's a way to do that with hubspot? Thanks!
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Website Planet Team
Hi, thank you for your question. You're in luck! You can connect HubSpot to your Squarespace website. There are some useful guides about connecting to Squarespace on the HubSpot Community or you can use Zapier, which allows you to send information between Squarespace and HubSpot and create multiple triggers.
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