Mailchimp Alternatives – 6 Competitors That Are Cheaper & Better

Chances are, you are searching for Mailchimp alternatives for one of the following reasons.

  • You had your Mailchimp account banned without any warning
  • You were a victim of Mailchimp’s recent price increase
  • You have exceeded Mailchimp’s free subscriber limit and realized that Mailchimp is expensive for what you get

I’m not going to lie. I’m not a huge fan of Mailchimp and I would never ever recommend their service to anyone. And if you know me at all, I’m rarely this passionate towards any company ever:)

Over the years, the quality of Mailchimp’s service has continued to deteriorate despite significant price increases. It may be tempting, but you should not sign up for Mailchimp just because of their free 2000 subscriber plan.

The money you save from their “free” service will cost you a lot more money in the long run.

Here are 4 email marketing services that I’ve personally used for blogging that are way better than Mailchimp and cheaper too!

If you run an ecommerce store, these 2 email marketing services are superior to Mailchimp for selling physical products online!

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Mailchimp Alternatives - 4 Competitors That Are Cheaper & Better

Mailchimp Alternatives – A Video Overview

My Experience With Mailchimp

MC

First off, Mailchimp and I have a long history. In fact, I used to be a paid Mailchimp customer for both my blog and my online store many years ago.

I was actually quite happy with them for about a year, until they unexpectedly banned my account without any warning.

Now you’re probably wondering whether I was sending out spammy emails that warranted a suspension. But that was not the case.

For my blog newsletter, my open rates and spam metrics exceeded their guidelines and my engagement numbers were significantly above average.

It took a lot of back and forth with their “terse” email support team, but I finally discovered that they banned me because they classified my blog as a get rich quick scheme.

There was no warning and no phone number to call. My account was suspended permanently and there was no way to get it back.

The timing was horrible too. They banned me right before a major launch and I had to scramble to find another provider.

The same exact thing happened with my ecommerce store.

Right before the holiday season, they decided to ban my ecommerce store account during our busiest time of year!

For my ecommerce store, I accidentally sent a single email that exceeded their spam limit of .1% which triggered their ban algorithm.

Once again, there was no warning and no human person to talk to. The suspension was swift and final.

Why Mailchimp Sucks

mailchimp sucks

Can you imagine running your business in constant fear of getting banned? Can you imagine not being able to get ahold of a human when something is broken?

Putting my differences aside and looking at Mailchimp through an objective lens, I can wholeheartedly say that their service does not stack up to other Mailchimp alternatives for the following reasons.

Mailchimp Only Offers Email Support

You can’t run any mission critical business without great customer support. Mailchimp only offers email support unless you are on their highest tier plan.

And most of the replies that you’ll get via email are canned responses from their customer support reps.

Because email is so important, your email provider should have a customer service phone number or live chat option to communicate with an actual human. Don’t settle for anything less.

Mailchimp Does Not Allow Affiliate Marketing

If you run a blog, chances are that affiliate marketing will be one of your main monetization methods. But if you read the Mailchimp terms of service, they explicitly state that affiliate marketing is prohibited.

Affiliate marketers are generating business for someone else, so there’s no real obligation to maintain relationships with contacts they may have in Mailchimp. This isn’t the type of marketing Mailchimp is meant for.

As a result, if you send affiliate links in your emails, you risk getting banned.

Mailchimp Is Quick To Ban Users

My story of getting banned by Mailchimp is not an isolated case. If you look online, thousands of people have been banned in similar fashion.

You can not complain. You can not speak with a human. There is no warning and your account is permanently gone.

Now imagine trying to run a business knowing that you could get the ax at any time. It’s nerve racking!

Mailchimp Charges For Unsubscribes

When a user unsubscribes from your email list, common sense says that you should not have to pay for a user that you can no longer send email to.

But Mailchimp actually charges for unsubscribes! If you do not wish to double pay for your subscribers, you have to manually remove people who have opted out of your list.

Mailchimp Double Charges For Subscribers Across Audiences

Mailchimp allows you to organize your email subscribers by categorizing them into “audiences”. For example, you can have one audience of people who are interested in selling online and another audience for people who are interested in blogging.

However, if you have a user who is subscribed to both audiences, then you get double charged.

Most modern email marketing providers only charge you based on the number of subscribers which can be tagged with multiple interests. There is no logical reason why you should be double charged for the same subscriber.

Mailchimp Is Expensive

Most people sign up for Mailchimp because of their free plan. And in the process of using their free features, you end up entrenching yourself with their service.

In fact, it’s a major pain in the butt to migrate email marketing providers and that is how Mailchimp makes their money. By the time you exceed Mailchimp’s free plan, you are stuck with a tough decision.

Do you pay Mailchimp’s high prices or do you bite the bullet and migrate? The right answer is to migrate. Even better, you should not sign up for their free plan in the first place.

Mailchimp Alternatives That I’ve Personally Used To Run My Blog

The following email providers are excellent Mailchimp alternatives that I’ve personally used over the years to run my 7 figure blog. Every service described below has their pros and cons, but they are ALL better than Mailchimp hands down.

Also, don’t be fooled by Mailchimp’s pricing plans. While Mailchimp may seem inexpensive at first, when you peel back the onion, you’ll quickly realize that their service is overpriced for what you get.

Mailchimp Alternative #1: Drip

drip

The best email marketing provider out there right now for blogging is Drip and it’s the provider that I personally use for MyWifeQuitHerJob.com.

Here are the prominent features of Drip that set it apart from every other email service. The only disadvantage of Drip is that their service is expensive.

But if email generates 90% of your revenues like MyWifeQuitHerJob.com, then it’s worth the cost.

Click Here To Try Drip For Free

Drip Offers A Lead Score

One of the most challenging aspects of email marketing is figuring out how to segment your list. Which subscribers are the most engaged? Which subscribers are superfans of your blog? Which visitors are most likely to buy?

Most providers allow you to track which subscribers have opened or clicked on your emails, but Drip takes this one step further and assigns a “lead score” to every subscriber.

Basically, a lead score is a numerical value given to a person that measures their activity.

Points are added every time a user opens or clicks an email. Points are also added when a user visits your website.

In fact, you can assign point values for practically every action taken on your website.

Meanwhile, points are subtracted at a steady rate whenever a subscriber is inactive.

The lead score is extremely valuable because you can instantly create a segment of your best customers and send them special promotions that are likely to convert.

Drip Offers Automated Workflows

Managing your email list can be completely automated thanks to Drip’s built in workflows.

For example, I set up a workflow in Drip that automatically removes idle subscribers to save me money.

Here’s how it works

  • Any subscriber with a lead score of 0 and hasn’t opened an email in 6 months is automatically placed on a winback autoresponder sequence.
  • Subscribers who open or click on any email on the winback sequence are automatically preserved
  • Subscribers who do not interact with any email in the winback sequence are permanently removed.

This workflow automatically prunes the inactive subscribers from my list without me having to lift a finger!

Drip Offers Advanced Tagging

Instead of organizing your subscribers by audiences with Mailchimp, Drip allows you to tag every subscriber with what they are interested in.

There is no double counting of subscribers and you are never charged twice for the same person.

Drip probably has the most advanced tagging and segmentation engine of any provider and every user can have multiple tags.

In addition, email segments can either be created on the fly or after the fact based on any parameter that you can think of.

For example, I can easily create a custom segment of everyone who read my last blog post with a lead score greater than 30 who is taking my free mini course. It’s extremely powerful!

Go With Drip If…

  • You need the most advanced tagging and segmentation features
  • You want the lead score feature
  • You want to save time by implementing automations with your list
  • You are willing to pay more money for the best service out there

Click Here To Try Drip For Free

Mailchimp Alternative #2: ConvertKit

convertkit

ConvertKit is the email marketing solution that I’m recommending in my blogging course because it provides a balance of features at a reasonably low price.

ConvertKit is built for bloggers and is a great Mailchimp alternative because they are slightly cheaper than Mailchimp with a superior feature set.

Click Here To Try ConvertKit For Free

ConvertKit Has A Great User Interface

The best part about ConvertKit is that it’s easy to use and the user interface is clean and intuitive. If you are tech averse and want the easiest to use email solution out there, then ConvertKit is your best bet.

Because ConvertKit doesn’t have as many features as Drip, the menus are much simpler and easier to digest.

ConvertKit Offers Advanced Tagging

Similar to Drip, ConvertKit allows you to tag every subscriber with multiple interests instead of getting double charged for subscribers with MailChimp.

One crucial feature of ConvertKit is the ability to automatically tag a user based on what link they clicked within an email. Both Drip and ConvertKit have this feature. Mailchimp does not.

ConvertKit Is Cheaper Than Mailchimp

ConvertKit offers more functionality than Mailchimp at a lower price point which makes it a no brainer to switch. The real question to ask yourself is whether the advanced features of Drip are worth the additional cost.

Go With ConvertKit If…

  • You value a simple and clean user interface
  • You require “click to tag” segmentation for your list
  • You only need basic segmentation features
  • You don’t need a “lead score” or advanced automations
  • You are on a budget

Click Here To Try ConvertKit For Free

Mailchimp Alternative #3: AWeber

aweber

Aweber is the old school email marketing provider that used to completely dominate the blogging market before entrants like Drip and ConvertKit emerged.

At this point, the only reason that Aweber is on this list is because it’s easily the cheapest provider of the bunch.

However, the main problem with Aweber is that they haven’t innovated in a while and their user interface is a little clunky.

In fact, the service is almost identical to 5 years ago when I first started using their platform.

Don’t get me wrong.

Aweber has added a number of new features over the years like subscriber tagging and segmentation. But every new feature feels like it’s bolted on rather than designed from scratch.

Go With Aweber if…

  • You don’t mind a somewhat clunky user interface
  • You want a solid email platform that supports basic autoresponders
  • You run a simple list that doesn’t require complicated segmentation or automations
  • You are on a budget

Click Here To Try Aweber For Free

Mailchimp Alternative #4: Constant Contact

Constant Contact

Constant Contact is another email marketing provider that I recently evaluated for my blogging course. And even though I have not actively used this provider for my blog, I was attracted to this service for its email builder.

One of the biggest disadvantages to Drip, ConvertKit and Aweber is that their email builder is not that good if you want to create sales emails with lots of images and layouts.

For my blog, I primarily use text based emails so having a good email builder was never a consideration.

But Constant Contact offers an easy to use “Drag and Drop” email composer that allows you to easily craft visually stunning emails. In addition, you can quickly create surveys and polls which are built-in to the platform.

As a result, if an intuitive graphical email builder is important to you, then you may want to consider Constant Contact.

In terms of pricing, Constant Contact sits squarely between ConvertKit and Drip. And while it offers basic tagging and segmentation, it doesn’t come close to Drip’s feature set.

Go With Constant Contact If…

  • You want to create graphically rich emails
  • You want a solid email platform that supports basic tagging and segmentation
  • You want to create surveys and polls

Click Here To Try Constant Contact For Free

Mailchimp Alternatives That I Recommend For Ecommerce

If you run an ecommerce store, Mailchimp should be avoided at all cost.

First of all, one of the most popular shopping carts in the world, Shopify, no longer supports Mailchimp out of the box.

As a result, if you are on Shopify, then Mailchimp is a definite no-go. In addition, Mailchimp’s support for other shopping carts is equally as poor.

The following 2 Mailchimp alternatives are my email marketing recommendations for an ecommerce store.

Both services described below have their pros and cons, but they are ALL superior solutions for physical product sales.

Mailchimp Alternative For Ecommerce #1: Klaviyo

klaviyo

Most people who run an ecommerce store sell many products online.

For example, my online store carries over 480 SKUs spread out across multiple product categories.

The main advantage of Klaviyo is that it allows you to track the sales of every single product in your store so you can easily create targeted customer segments at the push of a button.

Let’s say you want to send out an email to every customer who purchased blue ladies handkerchiefs in the past 30 days. Piece of cake!

If you want to isolate your best customers based on lifetime value, Klaviyo allows you to easily create a segment of your highest converting shoppers.

It is for this reason that I personally use Klaviyo to run email marketing for my online store. There is no comparison to any other service.

Click Here To Try Klaviyo For Free

Klaviyo Has Built In Ecommerce Autoresponders

ecommerce autoresponders

Running email campaigns for an ecommerce store is far different than a blog because you have to market many different products online. As a result, you need the ability to dynamically generate your emails.

The following email autoresponders for ecommerce are built into Klaviyo and can be implemented at the push of a button.

  • Abandoned Cart Campaign – Customers who begin checkout but do not complete their order are automatically sent dynamically generated emails with photos of what’s in their shopping cart.
  • Browse Abandonment Campaign – Customers who look at products but don’t buy are sent dynamically generated emails with the products they browsed.
  • Customer Winback Campaign – Past customers who have not purchased in a while can be automatically sent promotions to entice them to buy again.
  • Customer Thank You Campaign – New customers can be sent a series of emails enticing them to leave reviews and share your store on social media
  • Cross Sell Campaign – Customers can be automatically shown related or complementary products based on what they purchased.
  • Repeat Customer Thank You Campaign – Repeat customers can be automatically sent special promotions to promote loyalty

When it comes to ecommerce autoresponders, what’s unique about Klaviyo is that it can dynamically pull in product photos from your store to improve conversions.

Here’s an example email from my shop where Klaviyo has pulled in the contents of my shopping cart when it was abandoned.

aboandoned email

Klaviyo Has Facebook Custom Audience Integration

facebook

If you run Facebook ads for your ecommerce store, then Klaviyo’s automatic custom audience integration is a game changer.

Klaviyo can automatically create Facebook custom audiences based on any email segment that you create. And the best part is that these custom audiences are dynamically updated!

For example, if I create a Facebook custom audience of customers who purchased blue handkerchiefs, this audience is automatically updated every time a blue handkerchief is purchased.

This allows me to easily synchronize my Facebook ads with my email campaigns!

Right now, whenever I send out an abandoned cart email, a Facebook ad is simultaneously run to the exact same customer.

Similarly, whenever I email out a coupon to my win back segment, a Facebook ad is automatically shown to the same segment.

email facebook coordination

Klaviyo’s custom audience integration essentially allows me to automate my Facebook campaigns!

This feature combined with the powerful segmentation features of Klaviyo make it a no brainer to signup!

Click Here To Try Klaviyo For Free

Mailchimp Alternative For Ecommerce #2: Privy

While Klaviyo is the best email marketing solution for ecommerce hands down, the one disadvantage is that it is a little pricey. So if you don’t need Klaviyo’s entire feature set, there are cheaper alternatives.

Right now, Privy offers a barebones email marketing solution for ecommerce that is less than 50% the cost of Klaviyo. But “barebones” is a bit of a misnomer.

Out of the box, Privy offers all of the basic autoresponders that you need like abandoned cart and win back campaigns. In addition, you can send broadcasts to segments of customers based on their behavior.

The main difference is that Privy’s segmentation features are not as powerful as Klaviyo and they don’t offer Facebook custom audience integration.

But if you are on a budget, then signing up for Privy is a great option.

Click Here To Try Privy For Free

Why Most MailChimp Alternatives Are Better

Features aside, all of the 6 email marketing solutions mentioned above are superior to Mailchimp because…

  • They offer phone, email and chat support – You can actually speak with a human when you have problems with your account
  • They won’t ban you without warning – Most of the providers above will warn you ahead of time if your emails are exceeding their spam thresholds instead of just cancelling your account.
  • They allow affiliate marketing – You can email your customers about whatever you would like without restrictions

The tone of this post probably comes across as anti-Mailchimp.

But I’ve been doing email marketing for over a decade and I’m tired of people signing up for Mailchimp only because of their free plan.

If cost is your primary concern, then read my post on Mailchimp Pricing.

Once you look closely at their different plans, you’ll soon realize that Mailchimp offers far less features at an inflated price.

Out of all the options presented in this post, here’s an executive summary.

  • Drip – Use Drip if you want the best and cost is not a factor
  • ConvertKit – Use ConvertKit if you want to good balance of price vs features
  • AWeber – Use AWeber if you are on a budget
  • Constant Contact – Use Constant Contact if you want a great email editor
  • Klaviyo – The best email marketing service for ecommerce period!
  • Privy – A great email marketing solution for ecommerce store owners on a budget

Good luck!

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10 thoughts on “Mailchimp Alternatives – 6 Competitors That Are Cheaper & Better”

  1. Leila says:

    What about Klaviyo? I remember you advocating for them a while back. Is there a reason you no longer recommend?

    1. This list is for blogging, not ecommerce. For ecommerce, klaviyo is the best solution by far

  2. Erica says:

    I love that you posted this! I’ve spent the last 15+ years in marketing automation and have watched it evolve over years. There are a ton of reviews for each email marketing company but you rarely get a straight forward critique from a long term user. I call MailChimp a third-tier MA and know there are many alternatives. Do your homework. If there is something that you really need for your business, and it is perpetually free, I always say – it’s free like a puppy. Know what you’re getting in to.

  3. Ken says:

    How does Mailerlite compare? I’ve seen several people sing its praises.

    I haven’t needed an email list yet but I intend to start self publishing soon, so I need to get one set up. So far the best options for me seem to be either ConvertKIt or MailerLite.

  4. Avi says:

    Hey this is nice article did you ever try and check out sendfox.com?

  5. Al says:

    Steve, I appreciate your honesty in sharing your experience and insights about these email marketing services. It’s great that the new generation of these like Drip and ConvertKit were built from the ground up with more advanced functionality like segmentation and tagging.
    One service that has been around is GetResponse which we’re looking at. What are your thoughts on their platform? Thanks!

  6. Mike says:

    Hi Steve, which email provider would you recommend for Bigcommerce? Thank you.

  7. Michael says:

    Steve, your experience with Mailchimp was every internet marketer’s nightmare! It’s incredible how reckless they are. Reminds me of Facebook… Thank you for sharing.
    I’m on Aweber. It’s okay. Just the way you describe it.

  8. Owen Shackleton says:

    I love Get Response and now that they have had an update, it’s even better.

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