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Reviews and expert opinion Mailchimp

Alexandros Melidoniotis Alexandros Melidoniotis Email Marketing Expert

Mailchimp is an accessible, easy-to-use Email Marketing Service (EMS) designed to help marketers achieve their goals as painlessly as possible. The interface is beautiful, the menu makes sense, the platform simply feels good to use – and you can check it all out with the generous free plan. If you’re just starting out with email marketing, Mailchimp’s intuitive tools are worth looking into.

Overview

Mailchimp at a Glance

💯Free planYes
💲Starting price$11.00
⚙️AutomationsYes
💬Live chat supportYes
Shared Reseller Dedicated Cloud WordPress

More Than Just a Big Name?

Mailchimp homepage
You can sign up to Mailchimp for free and start creating your emails right away

Mailchimp is one of the biggest names in the email marketing industry – and for a good reason. It’s obvious that a lot of thought has gone into making the platform easy to use, making it an ideal choice if you need a quick way to set up successful email marketing campaigns.

It’s a well-rounded tool that performs consistently well on most fronts. After signing up, I was able to import my contacts, create my first email, and send it to my subscribers in less than an hour.

If you’re new to email marketing, you can take advantage of Mailchimp’s generous free plan to send emails, create forms, and craft an unlimited number of landing pages. More advanced personalization, segmentation, and automation tools are unlocked with Mailchimp’s paid plans.

Mailchimp’s features might not be as powerful as those of other top competitors, but its email marketing tools are highly functional, easy on the eye, and a pleasure to use. Read on to find out whether Mailchimp is the right EMS for you.

4.5

Features

Mailchimp Offers More Than Enough for the Average Marketer

Mailchimp’s set of features isn’t extraordinary, but I love how everything comes together seamlessly. From the simple email editor to the automation “journey” builder, everything looks good and makes sense.

Sure, it might not be as feature packed or powerful as some competitors, but it gets the job done – without giving you a headache. If you’ve never used an email marketing service before, Mailchimp’s a great place to start.

Email Campaigns, Templates & Personalization

Mailchimp drag and drop editor
I found Mailchimp’s updated drag-and-drop email editor simple to use

Let’s start with the bad news: Mailchimp only has 6 pre-built templates and 5 more available for free in the “template marketplace.”

There are about 40 more templates available for purchase, ranging from $6.99 to $14.99. But considering I’d already paid $17.00 for the Standard plan to unlock the template marketplace, this struck me as bizarre.

The additional templates looked great – highly customizable and mobile responsive – but charging extra isn’t the industry standard. For comparison, ActiveCampaign’s 250+ high-quality templates are available at no additional cost.

Still, I’m glad I didn’t let that hiccup discourage me, because Mailchimp does get many other things right. Mailchimp recently revamped its email editor, making it even easier to use. You can use merge tags to personalize your email with just a few clicks, and dynamic content allows you to display different content to specific audiences.

Mailchimp also offers extensive A/B testing, allowing you to test and optimize variations of subject lines, sender name, send time, and content.

Mailing Lists and Segmentation

You can easily import your contacts by uploading a CSV or TXT file, copying/pasting, or using a third-party service like Zapier, Salesforce, and QuickBooks. Mailchimp’s warning about importing contacts you have permission to market to is a good indicator of a solid anti-spam policy.

Segmentation is all about organizing your mailing list based on who your subscribers are, so that you can create more targeted campaigns. While Mailchimp does have tags (such as opened, clicked) to help you organize your contacts, it only offers advanced segmentation with the Premium plan (and that’ll cost you).

Effectively, this means you won’t be able to move contacts between lists – Mailchimp’s audiences are siloed. But it’s not all bad news. Mailchimp’s predictive segmentation feature does a decent job of analyzing data for you. It can then use that data to automatically deliver your emails to the right people.

Landing Pages

Mailchimp email editor
Mailchimp’s landing page editor is available even to free users!

Unlike most of its competitors, Mailchimp allows users to create and publish unlimited landing pages for free. There are 9 fully customizable templates available, and they all look modern with sleek/ minimalistic designs.

Like with the email editor, each template consists of blocks that you can edit. You can also then drag and drop elements to customize your page.

All of Mailchimp’s landing page templates are mobile responsive, and you can enter desktop/mobile preview mode with the click of a button. It took me less than 10 minutes to create a landing page I’d be happy to share with my subscribers.

Unfortunately, connecting your page to a custom domain is only possible with a Websites & Commerce plan – which costs extra.

Automation

Mailchimp offers around 45 pre-built automations (or “journeys”) to help you engage your audience. You can set up simple welcome emails, send offers to users who’ve abandoned their carts, promote cross-sell opportunities, and more. You can also create your own “journey” by specifying rules, actions, and conditions.

Here’s the caveat: Mailchimp doesn’t allow contacts to move freely between lists, so its automation capabilities are somewhat limited, especially compared to the likes of ActiveCampaign.

But that’s not necessarily a dealbreaker. Mailchimp markets itself as a user-friendly, easy-to-use EMS – so it makes sense that it keeps its automation simple and manageable for the average user. If that’s you, this shouldn’t keep you from picking Mailchimp.

4.7

Deliverability

Your Emails Will Likely Reach Their Destination

Mailchimp's 'email sent' landing page
Mailchimp begins tracking your stats the moment you hit “send.”

There’s a lot of discussion around deliverability, yet I see people making the same mistake over and over again. They run some quick tests, come up with an arbitrary delivery rate (say, 87%), and call it a day.

That’s not how we measure deliverability here at Website Planet. Why? Well, when running the usual deliverability tests, you introduce too many variables, so your results can’t be replicated. The best we can do is examine certain features that can improve the odds of our emails reaching their destination.

Mailchimp’s deliverability score is a reflection of the presence (or absence) of these features, especially in comparison to similar features offered by competitors.

First, I checked to see whether Mailchimp offers DKIM authentication. Long story short, DKIM authentication gives email providers (like Gmail or Hotmail) a way to tell whether the emails sent in your name really do come from you – it’s an email signature of sorts. Mailchimp offers DKIM authentication, plus a helpful article that can help you set it up in just a few minutes.

Next, I looked at Mailchimp’s anti-spam policy. Ideally, you want your EMS to be as strict as possible regarding spam – a bad reputation affects the platform’s deliverability rate as a whole. Luckily, Mailchimp has strict anti-spam requirements that comply with the U.S. CAN-SPAM Act.

That said, Mailchimp didn’t blink an eye when I imported several spammy-looking contacts, which did affect the final deliverability score I awarded it.

Affiliate marketing can also negatively affect a service’s deliverability rate. Mailchimp doesn’t allow traditional affiliate marketing schemes (such as generating leads or sales for a third party), but it does allow affiliate links (i.e., a partnership between two independent businesses).

Lastly, I wanted to know whether Mailchimp offers private (or dedicated) IP addresses. A private IP means you don’t have to send emails from the same domain as other users on the platform, which can boost your deliverability rate.

Mailchimp offers private IPs for an additional monthly fee of $29.95. That’s a seriously reasonable price – other EMS charge hundreds of dollars for this. And unlike most competitors, Mailchimp doesn’t require that you send hundreds of thousands of emails a day to qualify for a dedicated IP.

4.8

Analytics & Reporting

No Complaints Here – Mailchimp’s Reporting Excels

Mailchimp analytics
Mailchimp’s main analytics dashboard is simple yet effective

Mailchimp’s reports are pretty advanced, even if you’re on the free plan. The dashboard will quickly tell you how many subscribers opened, clicked, or bounced, as well as how many orders were made during the campaign’s lifecycle. Everything’s laid out beautifully and is easy to read – exactly what I expected from Mailchimp.

Mailchimp also allows you to dive deeper into your campaign performance. There’s a section dedicated to links and click data, with a 24-hour performance chart that tracks clicks and opens in real time. Social performance and top geographical locations by opens are also available through the dashboard.

If you’re a Standard or Plus user, you can check how your campaigns have performed against each other through the “Email Analytics” section under “Campaigns.” All users also have access to “Campaign Benchmarking,” which compares your email performance with that of your competitors.

There’s no such thing as too much data, and based on my testing, Mailchimp knows that well!

4.5

Support

Good Customer Support Unless You’re On the Free Plan

Since Mailchimp’s one of the biggest names in the industry, I had high expectations for its customer support. As a Standard user, I had access to all support channels except phone support – that’s reserved for Premium users.

I fired up Mailchimp’s live chat window on a Saturday afternoon to ask a question about RTL language support:

Mailchimp live chat support
Mailchimp’s live chat support works like a charm!

I was immediately connected with a representative who answered my question in less than two minutes. They admitted that RTL wasn’t supported by the new builder but promised that the team was working on a fix. Mailchimp’s live chat support team seems to have improved a lot since I last tried to contact them a few months ago!

On Sunday, I sent an email inquiring about Mailchimp’s bizarre template monetization, asking whether the Premium plan would come with more free templates:

Mailchimp email support
Even Premium users have to pay for templates on Mailchimp’s marketplace

Mailchimp emailed me back the next day, some 24 hours after I’d contacted them. Thomas here answered my question and even included links to explainer articles about the marketplace and Mailchimp’s pricing.

Talking about articles, Mailchimp’s extensive knowledge base is second to none. The help center’s filled with popular guides and tutorials on pretty much anything, and there’s even a smart support bot that can quickly scan the database and find relevant information for you.

I wish Mailchimp didn’t limit support for free users – you can only contact Mailchimp via email for the first 30 days on the free plan. Free support for all users would be ideal, as is the case with AWeber’s 24/7 support via phone, email, and chat.

Still, if you’re on a paid plan, I found support to be pretty helpful.

4.4

Pricing

Not All Mailchimp Plans Are Created Equal

Mailchimp offers four tiers of service, including a free-forever plan. The free plan gives you the basic tools you need to create email campaigns and manage a small audience, but it’s pretty limited in terms of personalization, automation, and support.

The Essentials plan is the cheapest paid option, and it unlocks some of the platform’s core features (A/B testing and email scheduling). I’m not a fan of the Essentials plan because many advanced features (custom templates, dynamic content, send-time optimization) that you need to make your email campaigns shine are locked behind the Standard plan.

If you’re willing to upgrade to a paid plan, you might as well spend a few more dollars and grab yourself the superior Standard plan – it’s worth it.

And what about the Premium plan? While this does come with some useful additions (like phone support), the huge bump in price puts it out of reach for the average marketer. Unless you need the extra 145,000 email sends/month, you’re better off sticking to the Standard plan.

Some of Mailchimp’s add-ons (like dedicated IPs) make sense, but I still don’t love the fact that I have to pay extra to access premium templates and connect my custom domain when I’m already a paying customer. Other competitors, such as ActiveCampaign, include these features with their paid plans.

Comparison

How does Mailchimp match up to the competition?

ActiveCampaignCompare4.8Compare
SendinblueCompare4.7Compare
MailchimpCompare4.5Compare
Squarespace Email CampaignsCompare3.0Compare

Mailchimp REVIEW: BOTTOM LINE

Mailchimp’s one of the most user-friendly EMS I’ve tested so far. It can help guide new marketers through the process of creating and managing contacts, crafting impactful emails, and analyzing their performance. The paid plans come with clever tools (such as predictive segmentation and content optimizer) that more advanced users will appreciate.

Mailchimp recently updated its email editor, and it’s now even more intuitive than it was before. I like how I can log into Mailchimp, work on my emails, and still have plenty of time left to do other things before lunchtime.

Sure, Mailchimp’s pricing models don’t always make sense, and its customer support isn’t exactly award-worthy if you’re on the free plan. But if you just want to manage your contacts and send emails without getting a headache, Mailchimp might be the right choice for you.

FAQ

Is Mailchimp any good?

Mailchimp’s one of the most user-friendly email marketing services on the market. The interface is well laid out and easy to read, the analytics suite is excellent, and the deliverability rate is pretty high overall. If you’re looking for a well-established EMS that will get the job done, Mailchimp deserves a high spot on your list of candidates.

What is better than Mailchimp?

While Mailchimp delivers on most fronts, it doesn’t get everything right. Advanced marketers might get annoyed with the platform’s template marketplace, and they’ll also quickly notice Mailchimp’s segmentation limitations and support hiccups. If that sounds like you, I recommend checking out ActiveCampaign. For even more options, head over to our list of the best email marketing services for 2023.

Is Mailchimp free to use?

Yes, you can use Mailchimp’s free plan and never have to pay anything. Bear in mind that as a free user, most features will be locked to you, and you’ll be limited to 500 contacts and 2,500 monthly sends. Still, you can always upgrade once you get a feel for the platform and know it works for you.

Is Sendinblue better than Mailchimp?

Both are great platforms, especially if you’re new to email marketing, but Sendinblue performs slightly better. It comes with more features, better support, and more importantly, a superior free plan. Sendinblue’s free plan offers 300 daily email sends, marketing automation tools, advanced segmentation, and SMS marketing. That said, Mailchimp’s still the better choice if you want to create landing pages for free.
Alexandros Melidoniotis Alexandros Melidoniotis
Alex is a linguistics nerd who’s got nothing against the Oxford comma. He spends most of his time writing, looking up words, and playing video games. He also enjoys testing software, often sharing his thoughts and ideas here on Website Planet.
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The worst customer service, they don’t understand, never get issues resolves

I would give them 0 stars if I could. If you think you’ll ever need customer support, don’t use MailChimp. I feel like I’m talking to a wall when I contact their support team and often have to repeat myself. They don’t have phone support. Sometimes the wait for chat support can be up to 15 minutes long. Any time I have an issue, I have to expect I will at least be on chat support for a half hour to 45 minutes going back and forth with them. I also use HubSpot and this is not the case with HubSpot. HubSpot’s support is fast and knowledgeable. I’m feeling very frustrated using MailChimp.

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Mari Sa, USA
June 07, 2021
1
Convenient letter delivery service

Through Mailchimp, I set up a sales funnel for one of my customers. 1. Convenient analytics system with wide functionality. Easily track conversions and bounce rates. 2. Convenient forms for creating letters and the ability to insert your own code. 3. High-quality anti-spam system.

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Helmut, Russia
April 20, 2020
5
Every campaign we develop with Mailchimp is a resounding success.

To talk about Mailchimp is to talk about excellence, popularity and at the same time of simple software management. Using this software is simple and from the first moment we run into this program, we easily understand what each of its functions is about. One of them is the possibility of programming emails that monitor each of the purchases made by our customers. This helps us to know what types of tastes are handled among our comparators and based on that know a little more their interests. Based on this, we design successful strategies to recommend to our customers new products that are coming to market and that we market. However, although the service is very complete and covers the needs of our company in terms of tools for digital marketing, I think the prices of premium plans are a bit high. Other services offer cheaper packages that offer the same functions. In general, Mailchimp has allowed us to make everything related to marketing through email from our business easier. This software automates a part of the process which has made us save time and raise efficiency levels in terms of making our brand known. The work team quickly became familiar with the tool, which has undoubtedly been a great advantage. Mailchimp came to our hands to make us more prosperous and lucky. Mailchimp also offers a very interesting free version that allows you to reach up to two thousand contacts and that can be used so that those people who have not yet used this tool know a little more about it. In general, it is very easy to use software. I assure you that from the first day you open the application you will feel comfortable handling it because its interface is very intuitive.

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Wilmer Palma, Spain
January 04, 2020
5
A powerful program that will allow you to reach thousands of contacts and conquer new customers

Mailchimp is a very versatile program that has the characteristic of being able to adapt to any type of company, large or small. This service allows you to develop the best and most successful marketing campaigns through email. Mailchimp puts templates at our disposal to give it the professional touch that each of our campaigns requires in addition to making them in the shortest possible time. On the other hand, Mailchimp offers a free version that allows you to reach up to two thousand contacts. It is very good and complete. If you want to expand the number of people to reach a lot more then you can choose between several plans that do not exceed $ 80 per year. Mailchimp really is a great solution.

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anonymus, Venezuela
November 17, 2019
4
MailChimp Review

I compare this tool with Get response which send a watermark (signature) in each mail, that is advertising them more than it shares my messages… I like the interface. It used to be not as good for the autoresponder, but they fixed it lately (notice if you want to edit a message, you need to pause it first… Why the @$##@$%). Other than that, it works like charm, they have good Q&A and I recommend using them.

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Ariel Cohen, Macedonia
May 26, 2018
5
MailChimp Review

MailChimp is the most optimal newsletter distribution system for www.hecmo.com. It's easy to operate and it's constantly updated, effortlessly improving your productivity and performance. We choose to use MailChimp because of the great balance of features and the reasonable pricing. Also, we are very satisfied with the response from the support team - it seems that the company has the same values as us, and puts the customer above all else.

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sonam, USA
July 07, 2017
5
MailChimp Review

MailChimp’s robust marketing automation makes sure your emails get to the right people at the right time. Target customers based on behavior, preferences, and previous sales. And when you’re finished, get in-depth reporting insights to make every automated series you send better than the last. By-Hecmo.com

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hecmo.com, USA
July 03, 2017
5
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