Mailchimp alternatives - the 5 best options

If there’s only 1 brand that people know when it comes to email marketing software, no doubt it’s Mailchimp.

It’s a good all-in-one marketing platform for everyone and anyone who wants to do email marketing, plus a whole lot of other things (which we’ll discuss below).

In this post, I’m going to put my “content creator” lens and review 5 Mailchimp alternatives from this “content creator” perspective.

If you’re short on time, but want to save 80% in email tool expenses every month yet still enjoy great email opens, try BirdSend free here.

Some of the things you might not like about Mailchimp

  • It’s a large corporation with more than 1,200 employees. In Sep 2021, Intuit has even bought Mailchimp for $12 billion USD — meaning this giant company is getting even bigger.

    Intuit buys Mailchimp for $12 billion
    Source
    • Typically, a company of this size has a lot of bureaucracy. Staff has to get approval from their supervisor/manager for simple things. It’s hard to talk to a real human that empathizes with you. 1st-level support does not have good product knowledge. End result is you get slower and less competent support to solve your problems.
  • Don’t take data privacy seriously.
    • Previously, Mailchimp announced they were going to disable double opt-in. This means users can only use single opt-in to collect email addresses. Single opt-in is not legal in all countries. After many European users complained, the decision was thankfully canceled.
  • Generalist all-in-one platform.
    • Apart from email marketing, SMS, CRM, and e-commerce selling features, they can also do Facebook and Instagram ads management, posting to social media, postcard-sending, domain registration, and more.
    • A jack of all trades is a master of none.
    • Typically, an all-in-one platform is not straightforward to use because of the many different menus/options they provide inside the user interface.
    • When you rely too much of your business operations on 1 single platform, when they suffer from an outage, all your marketing pieces go down.
  • No free migration if you’re looking to switch to Mailchimp.
    • You’d need to spend a lot of time and energy moving your data from your current email service provider.

Now let’s discuss the 5 Mailchimp alternatives.

Mailchimp Alternative #1 – BirdSend

Overview

  • BirdSend is an email service provider / email marketing tool my team and I especially created for content creators only, and no one else.
  • Saves you 80% in email tool expenses every month.
    • Allocate the huge savings to other areas of your business. Or maybe take a vacation to recharge yourself.
  • High email opens / good deliverability

    Mailchimp alternatives #1 - Amy Pelzner's review for BirdSend
    (click here for full image)
  • How is this possible? How can affordable pricing and high deliverability go hand in hand?
    • It’s possible because we don’t spend money on paid advertising at all. We pass the savings to our customers.
    • The majority of new customers know about us via word of mouth.
    • We allocate the majority of our funds to product development, to ensure the tool is good. Otherwise, folks wouldn’t want to refer us to their friends and peers.
  • Free migration
    • If you’re wondering if the Mailchimp alternatives on this list offer free migration or not, don’t worry. You don’t need to spend tons of time and energy moving over to BirdSend. We understand you don’t have much time. Simply let us do the hard work of migrating over all your data from your current tool to us.

      BirdSend customer Naa Ardua's review
      (click here for full image)
  • BirdSend is the fastest tool at setting up automated email sequences / drip emails.

    Because you create all emails in the sequence inside ONE single page. If you have 20 emails in the sequence, you create (and edit) all inside this ONE single page. If you can find another tool that’s faster, let me know and I’ll give you a complimentary paid BirdSend account.

    This Mailchimp alternative's super fast email sequence creation


    Another BirdSend review from Dennis Demori
    (click here for full image)
  • Very focused and dedicated tool; only for 1 type of audience
    • It only does email marketing. No SMS, no postcard marketing, no ads management, no social posting, no ecommerce selling, no bot marketing, etc. It only does 1 thing — email marketing for 1 type of audience — content creators. The same can’t be said of the other Mailchimp alternatives on this list, which we’ll see below.
    • Because it’s very focused, the tool is streamlined and very easy to use since it doesn’t have to cater to all user types (it’s only for content creators) and business sizes (it’s only for solopreneurs or small businesses with less than 10 team members).
  • Humanly responsive customer support that empathizes and listens to customers’ feedback and provide real solutions instead of providing generic, canned replies that don’t solve the problem at hand.

    What Camila Rojas have to say about this alternative to Mailchimp - BirdSend
    (click here for full image)

Features

  • 1-click resend to subscribers who haven’t opened. This maximizes the number of people opening your emails with just a click of your mouse.

    Set and forget it auto resend to unopens
    (click here for full image)
    • This feature is available for both broadcasts and sequences / drip emails.
    • Set it and forget it while you’re setting up the campaign. No need to come back after email has been sent and manually checking and then setting up the resend (like some other tools).
  • With this Mailchimp alternative, subscribers have the freedom and power to choose which topics they want to hear.
    • Subscribers can choose which topic to unsubscribe from, instead of unsubscribing completely from all topics.
  • A/B test emails to maximize your email results

    Comprehensive a/b test feature of BirdSend
    • Set winner criteria — by higher open rate, click rate, or revenue
    • Duration of the test can be customized
    • Can set ratios for the original, variation, and winner emails
  • Preview text to further entice folks to open your emails
    • This text displays right after the subject line. You can think of this like a 2nd subject line. Tease subscribers to open your email with an enticing preview text.
  • Incentive emails
    • Use double opt-in without subscribers needing to “click to confirm” their subscription. Use this feature to automatically confirm subscribers while delivering your lead magnet / freemium you promised.
  • Abandoned cart emails
    • Automatically send follow up emails to folks who abandoned their cart, to convert them into customers.
  • Email marketing automation
    • Email sequences / drip campaigns
      • Exclude sending emails on certain day(s) of the week
      • Exclude contacts with certain tag(s) from receiving emails
    • Link triggers
      • E.g. If contact clicks a particular link in a particular email, do X.
    • If this happens, do that
      • E.g. If contact completes sequence X → subscribe to sequence Y, tag with Y, remove tag X from contact.
  • Send or schedule one-off broadcasts or newsletter-type emails.
  • Quickly know your stats and easily tag/segment contacts based on any stats type
    • E.g. You can tag/segment people who opened or clicked your emails or those email addresses who bounced.
  • Built-in spam testing lets you test how “spammy” your email message is.
    • Strive to get a low spam score before sending your email leads to even better open rates.
  • Revenue tracking
    • Out of the Mailchimp alternatives on this page, BirdSend is the only one with built-in sales revenue-, lifetime value-, and average lifetime value (ALTV)-tracking for every email you send. This allows you to instantly know who your VIP subscribers are, so you can spend more time on them and treat them better. You’ll also know which emails are your top revenue generator so you can mimic these emails for future campaigns.
    • Can also easily know the ALTV for specific campaigns/tags.

      Lifetime value tracking feature of this Mailchimp alternative

Cons

  • We use a simple and lightweight email editor (this could be a pro depending how you view it, as explained below).
    • If your definition of a good email message must include fancy email design, BirdSend is not for you.
    • Since BirdSend’s users are content creators, we believe the content of your email should be the core focus, not fancy email design. After all, your subscribers subscribed to you in the first place because of how your content can help them, not because of how “good looking” your email is.
    • Simple email design translates to less backend html code, which improves email deliverability.
  • We’re a relatively new player in the email service provider space and have only been around since 2018.
    • We’re however not beginners when it comes to software development. Before BirdSend, my small team and I have been developing software since 2010.
  • Our team members are tiny.
    • We only have a total of 7 team members, including myself. But this also means we’re much more agile and willing to listen to our customers. No bureaucracy — which helps with product development and providing good customer support. Real humans are here to help and willingly listen to your feedback.

Pricing

  • Free migration, no matter which contacts level plan you choose.
    • We’ll move over your data (contacts, forms, sequences, integrations, etc) from your current email tool to BirdSend, at no charge.
  • All features unlocked at all contacts level.
  • Price is grandfathered in at the price you joined, for every contacts level tier.
    • When BirdSend increases pricing in the future, you get to keep your current pricing. Even when you go over your current contacts level tier and go to a higher tier, your pricing follows the old pricing for that higher tier, NOT the then new pricing.
  • Doesn’t count unsubscribers and unconfirmed contacts.
  • Count only unique email addresses towards billing.
    • If Peter Parker has multiple tags and is subscribed to 3 different sequences, you only get charged 1 contact. In Mailchimp, you’ll get charged for 3 contacts.
  • Not only is the starting pricing plan affordable (3-5X more affordable every month), the subsequent contacts level tier still remains affordable. No huge surge in pricing as you grow, which might not be the case with some email tools.

Mailchimp vs BirdSend At A Glance

Mailchimp (Standard)BirdSend
Target audienceEveryone and anyoneContent creators only
Target business sizeAll sizes. From small, medium, to big corporations.Solopreneurs and tiny team members of less than 10
Top featureAll-in-one marketing platform can do everything under one roofSuper fast sequence / drip emails creation and editing — everything done on a SINGLE page
ConSetting up simple email campaigns can be challenging due to a huge number of options/menus available to choose fromRelatively new player in the email marketing game. Have only been around since 2018.
Price (5k contacts)$79.99/m$19/m

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Mailchimp Alternatives: #2 – Aweber

Overview

  • Aweber has been around for more than 20 years. Like Mailchimp, it’s one of the grandaddies of email marketing.

    Alternative to Mailchimp #2 - Long Aweber history
  • They used to be really popular. I was even their customer for a few years back in 2012, before I created BirdSend.
  • Sadly, only until recently that they start keeping up with the times with regards to email marketing. In between that time, other email service providers have sprung up offering better functionalities. But it was a little bit too late as they have lost a lot of market share.

Features

  • Their “automatically get your branding colors from your website and using it in your emails” feature is convenient.
  • Can do the usual suspects – email autoresponders / email sequences.
  • One-off broadcast emails for this Mailchimp alternative is pretty straightforward to set up.
  • Sell products through them (E-commerce selling)
    • They take a certain percentage off your revenue on top of payment / Stripe processing fees.

Cons

  • Limited “if this happens, do that” automation
    • You can only set up basic link tiggers like: if subscriber clicks link X, tag with X or remove from current campaign. But that’s about it.
    • If you want more advanced stuff, e.g. if subscribers clicks link X, subscribe to sequence Y, you can’t. Or if you want to record a conversion, you also can’t.
  • Archaic list-based segmentation but can also do tagging (like other Mailchimp alternatives) might confuse people who are not advanced users.
    • It requires more effort and time to set up a separate list and configure the settings for each interest. Imagine setting up and managing 10 lists. Not to mention you also have 30 tags. How are the tags and lists supposed to work together without getting messy?
  • It’s a hassle to set up drip emails, especially if you have many. For example, if you have 10 emails in a drip campaign, you’d need to go back and forth and load 10 different pages. It’s inconvenient and you waste time.
  • A/B testing is flawed and cumbersome
    • First, you’d need to manually set up 3 different email messages. The system doesn’t automatically do this for you.
    • Second, you’d need to login to your account after some time, to manually check which one is the winner, and then manually send the winner to the remaining recipients.

      Mailchimp alternatives #2 - Aweber's cumbersome email split test feature
      Source
    • If you’re on a vacation with your family, they might not be happy that you brought work.

Pricing

  • A free plan is available with the following limitations:
    • Max 500 subscribers.
    • Max 3k emails sent/month.
    • Their logo on the bottom of every single one of your emails.
  • There’s no free trial since they have a free plan.
  • Aweber, like a few others on this Mailchimp alternatives list, counts people who unsubscribe as well as unconfirmed folks toward your billing.
  • They also count the same email address in different lists multiple times.
    • E.g. Sam who is on 5 different lists gets charged as 5 subscribers. It’s common for someone to subscribe to multiple different lists. Multiply that by thousands of subscribers and your bill can get expensive quickly.

Mailchimp vs Aweber At A Glance

Mailchimp (Standard)Aweber
Target audienceEveryone and anyoneEveryone and anyone
Target business sizeAll sizes. From small, medium, to big corporationsAll sizes. From small, medium, to big companies
Top featureAll-in-one marketing platform can do everything under one roofRelatively easy to use
ConSetting up simple email campaigns can be challenging due to a huge number of options/menus available to choose fromA/B testing is cumbersome and flawed
Price (5k contacts)$79.99/m$49.99/m

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Alternative to Mailchimp #3 – GetResponse

Overview of this Mailchimp substitute

  • GetResponse is like a Swiss Army knife. Whichever marketing tool you want for your online business, this platform probably has it.
    • In addition to being an all-in-one marketing software, its target audience is also everyone and anyone, no matter the industry. Plus, whether you’re a solopreneur or a large company, all are welcome to use this platform.
  • It features a unique dashboard that you can customize when you login to your account, something the other tools in this list don’t have.
  • GetResponse looks after its customers well by providing good customer support.
  • One of the early pioneers of permission-based email marketing software, they’ve been around since 1997.

    Another Mailchimp competitor - GetResponse founding year

Features

  • Automation
    • Drip emails / sequences
    • If this happens, do that automation
    • You can also build visual automation flows for more complex workflows (only available in Plus plan or higher).
  • Broadcast / newsletter type one-off emails
  • Lead scoring (Plus plan)
    • Profile your contacts by assigning them with a score. The most engaged and most likely to buy has a higher score than those who don’t engage as much.
  • Abandoned cart emails (Pro plan)
    • Allows you to capture leads who almost completed their checkout process but didn’t, and then sending them follow up emails to close the sale.
  • Spam testing of your email messages to ensure they have a low spam score before sending.
  • Sell your products online
    • They integrate with Stripe and PayPal. As long as you have an account with either, you can start collecting payments.
    • Auto delivery of simple digital products when a product is sold.

Cons

  • Email deliverability could be improved.
  • All-in-one marketing platform + platform for everyone and anyone regardless of industry and company size means GetResponse has to consider all kinds of use cases and bake those into the platform.
    • Which is why they have features like Google Ads and Facebook Ads management, website builder, support/chat tool, E-commerce selling, and even webinar capabilities.
    • This means there are tons of options inside the UI. If you’re new to the platform or if your needs are simple, you could find it confusing to navigate and use.
  • Like many of the Mailchimp alternatives on this list, GetResponse uses the classic email “list” concept, while also has the ability to do tagging.
    • This could be confusing as you’d need to create a list for each different interest (cumbersome), and then also do tagging for each of the different lists. Over time, this could get messy.

Pricing

  • They have a free plan with the following caveats:
    • No automation at all
    • No drip emails / sequences
    • Max 500 subscribers
    • Their branding on all your emails
  • For the paid plans, they offer a 30-day free trial.

    Mailchimp alternative #3 - GetResponse's pricing
  • They don’t charge unconfirmed and unsubscribed contacts which is good.
  • However, they charge you multiple times for an email address that is in multiple different lists
    • E.g. Jacob is on 5 different lists. You will be charged for 5 contacts.

Mailchimp vs GetResponse At A Glance

Mailchimp (Standard)GetResponse (Plus)
Target audienceEveryone and anyoneEveryone and anyone
Target business sizeAll sizes. From small, medium, to big corporationsAll sizes. From small, medium, to big companies
Top featureAll-in-one marketing platform can do everything under one roofAll-in-one marketing software. The only one in this list to feature webinars functionality.
ConSetting up simple email campaigns can be challenging due to a huge number of options/menus available to choose fromDeliverability could be improved
Price (5k contacts)$79.99/m$79/m

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Mailchimp Alternatives: #4 – ConvertKit

Overview

  • ConvertKit is a good email service provider for creators.
  • They have recently ventured into Ecommerce too.
    • You can sell products through their Stripe account and they’ll take a percentage cut on top of the Stripe payment processing fees.
  • Good deliverability and customer support.

Features

  • Like the other Mailchimp competitors, ConvertKit has email automation capabilities like:
    • Email sequences / drip campaigns / autoresponders
    • If X happens, do Y. E.g. If subscriber clicks email link, tag “interested in X”.
    I consider these “price of entry” features that any email service provider (ESP) must have before they can label themselves as ESPs or email marketing tools.
  • Send newsletter-type or one-off broadcast emails.
  • Like BirdSend, ConvertKit users are able to quickly set up email sequences with the help of their 1-page sequence setup.
  • Incentive emails
    • Again, same with BirdSend, contacts can automatically confirm their subscription when they click an email link to download your free incentive / pdf.
  • Auto resend to subscribers who haven’t opened your broadcast emails.

Cons of this Mailchimp competitor

  • While you’re able to set up auto resend to folks who haven’t opened your broadcast emails, you’re not able to do so in sequences.
  • Subscribers can’t unsubscribe from certain topics only, they can only unsubscribe completely from you.
    • E.g. You email folks about these topics: traveling to Europe and traveling to Asia.
    • Some only want to hear about Europe but not Asia, and vice-versa.
    • Some subscribers unsubscribe from you completely just because there’s no way for them to unsubscribe only from 1 of them.
    • Result: you lose more subscribers than you could have. The time and energy you put into acquiring them is somewhat wasted.
  • Since ConverKit is now an all-in-one tool with its latest venture into E-commerce selling capabilities, there are more options inside the UI.
    • Some folks might find it a bit harder to use and navigate.
  • No abandoned cart NATIVE automation with other cart tools — where a lead abandoned their order in your shopping cart and you automatically follow up with them via emails
    • Native means out of the box functionality without any additional 3rd party tools to “connect” ConvertKit and the cart tools.
    • Because there’s no native abandoned cart automation, you need Zapier.
  • You don’t know why someone unsubscribes
    • ConvertKit does not collect feedback from unsubscribers on why they unsubscribed from you.
    • It can be a challenge if you want to know the reason behind the unsubscribes and want to improve your unsubscribe rate.
  • Sales and revenue tracking could be improved
    • While they tell you how much money you make, they don’t tell you which emails are making sales.
    • They also don’t tell you how much revenue a specific email generates.

Pricing

ConvertKit pricing plans - a Mailchimp competitor
  • There’s a free plan with the following limitations for this Mailchimp alternative:
    • Can only send one-off broadcast emails.
    • No sequences. No automation of any kind.
    • Maximum of 1k contacts.
    • Their branding / logo is in every email you send.
  • They offer a 14 days free trial.
  • People who unsubscribed and unconfirmed contacts do not count towards your plan, which is good.

Mailchimp vs ConvertKit At A Glance

Mailchimp (Standard)ConvertKit (Creator)
Target audienceEveryone and anyoneCreators
Target business sizeAll sizes. From small, medium, to big corporationsSmall businesses
Top featureAll-in-one marketing platform can do everything under one roofEasy segmentation via tags
ConSetting up simple email campaigns can be challenging due to a huge number of options/menus available to choose fromSimple email editor. Folks who want fancy email design might not like it.
Price (5k contacts)$79.99/m$79/m

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Mailchimp Competitor #5 – ActiveCampaign

Overview

  • It seems like they’ve only been around recently. But they’ve actually been in business since 2003.

    ActiveCampaign first started a long time ago
  • ActiveCampaign is also an all-in-one marketing tool for every business type and size. It caters to everyone and anyone, from small businesses to large organizations.
    • Apart from email marketing, it can also do: CRM, shopping cart / online selling, site messaging / chat / support, SMS, and more.
  • It features very advanced automations
    • Whatever automation you can think of, you can probably implement it in ActiveCampaign.
  • It’s a trusted brand with good deliverability.

Features for this Mailchimp alternative

  • As mentioned above, it can do very advanced automations.
    • Simple automations like drip email campaigns / sequences can, of course, be set up.
    • Open and link triggers.
      • If someone opens email X or clicks link Y, do Z, etc.
    • Conditional yes/no automation is also possible.
  • Sales & CRM features available in “Plus” plan.
  • Site messaging where you can chat with visitors/customers on your site is also available (“Professional” plan).
  • Sending regular newsletter-type emails (one-off broadcasts).

Cons

  • User interface is somewhat slow. Maybe it’s because it can do so many things (all-in-one platform).
  • Sales attribution tracking is only available in the higher level “Plus” plan and beyond, which is really expensive.
    • It’s also only available for Square, Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce.
  • It offers “list” creation capabilities, but can also do tagging.
    • This might confuse folks as to which one to use for segmenting their contacts.
    • List-based segmentation is not convenient, because you’d need to set up a separate “list” together with its many different settings, for each interest. E.g. Weight loss for beginners, intermediate, and advanced folks. Compare this with tagging where you can simply create a new tag on the fly and there’s no “setting” for you to set up.
  • Setting up simple email drip campaigns is clunky and involves a lot of mouse-clicking.
    • It’s easy to be a tad frustrated by this experience, especially if you’re in a hurry and just want to quickly fire off some campaigns.
  • Because it boasts so many features, it can be quite a challenge to use the software.

Pricing

  • There isn’t a free plan.
  • They offer a 14 days free trial though.
  • They do offer “grandfathered pricing” — i.e. you get to keep your current fee when they increase their price in the future.
    • However, the price lock is only for 2 years.

Mailchimp vs ActiveCampaign At A Glance

Mailchimp (Standard)ActiveCampaign (Lite)
Target audienceEveryone and anyoneEveryone and anyone
Target business sizeAll sizes. From small, medium, to big corporationsEveryone from small, medium, to large companies
Top featureAll-in-one marketing platform can do everything under one roofVery advanced automations
ConSetting up simple email campaigns can be challenging due to a huge number of options/menus available to choose fromSlow UI. Setting up simple sequences is cumbersome and involves a lot of mouse-clicking.
Price (5k contacts)$79.99/m$99/m

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Mailchimp Alternatives Price Comparison (price per month)

Brand1k Contacts2.5k Contacts5k Contacts10k Contacts25k Contacts50k Contacts100k Contacts
Mailchimp (Standard)$51.99$51.99$79.99$105$230$320$540
Aweber$29.99$29.99$49.99$69.99$149.99??
GetResponse (Plus)$49$59$79$95$179$299$499
ConvertKit (Creator)$29$49$79$119$199$379$679
ActiveCampaign (Lite)$29$55$99$155$259$345$505
BirdSend$9$14$19$29$69$109$209

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TLDR – which Mailchimp alternative should you choose?

If you want to save 80% in expenses every single month plus at the same time enjoy high email opens, go for BirdSend.

For an all-in-one marketing tool that can do advanced automation, site messaging/ chat, sales & CRM, lead scoring, give ActiveCampaign a try.

Should you want webinar-, website building-, and ecommerce selling capabilities in addition to email marketing automation features, go for GetResponse.

Welly Mulia

👋 My customers (Content Creators) send 30M emails/month via BirdSend. They save 80% in email tool expenses every month while still enjoying high email opens.

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Try BirdSend Free Now!

Save 80% every month. High email opens. Super fast email sequence setup.

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