Mailchimp Review: CRM Features, Software Price, Pros & Cons
Mailchimp is a powerful player in the email marketing space. But should you consider using Mailchimp in 2023? What are its most notable features, and is the free plan suitable for SMBs?
We'll answer all these questions in this detailed Mailchimp review. And stay tuned until the end when we look at what real customers are saying.
But just to set it up: this email marketing software giant owns 72.68% of the email market share, so it’s obviously doing something right. The second email marketing platform on the list, ConstantContact, owns just 5.08%.
Okay, let's dive in!
Mailchimp review 2023: Is Mailchimp software any good?
After writing this extensive Mailchimp review, we can safely say Mailchimp is undoubtedly one of the best cloud email marketing services for creating, managing, and analyzing email marketing campaigns. Its collection of features now includes domain and website hosting, landing page creation, a website builder, and CRM features.
In terms of digital marketing, the software lets you do everything from creating opt-in forms and segmenting your audience to creating automated emails that follow a predefined sequence to improve conversion. On the plus side, it has a 96-99% deliverability rate.
If you're looking for an email marketing campaign manager that also ranks among the best CRM software, Mailchimp is a solid bet. It has a free version, is very user-friendly, and can integrate perfectly with any other tool. Even if you have never used email marketing software before, you’ll likely feel comfortable navigating it.
Mailchimp pricing plans
First of all, how much does Mailchimp cost? Let’s first review Mailchimp prices:
*Prices start at
How much is Mailchimp for nonprofits?
Nonprofits and charities get a 15% discount. To get approved for a discount, nonprofit companies must submit a request for a nonprofit discount. Visit Mailchimp's contact form and select Billing. The approval process can vary depending on your location.
Are there any Mailchimp coupon codes or promo discount vouchers?
We did our research, and it seems at this moment, there are no Mailchimp coupon codes or promotional discount vouchers. You may find that some third-party apps offer some coupons and vouchers, but make sure you always check directly with the vendor to see if such deals or promotions are valid.
Mailchimp overview: What is Mailchimp & What is Mailchimp used for?
You'll rarely find a person in the marketing world that hasn't heard about Mailchimp. The name almost always rings a bell.
But what is Mailchimp and how does it work?
Mailchimp is so much more than a simple autoresponder. It has evolved to become an all-in-one marketing platform that helps SMBs grow faster. Recently, the company has added eCommerce tools, and customer relationship management (CRM) features to its offering. There are also website hosting and design functionalities.
The email marketing tool has also added some artificial intelligence capabilities, which can help with audience analytics and provide recommendations for optimizing your marketing campaigns. Seasoned marketers might not be impressed with this feature, but marketing newbies can definitely profit from it.
And did we mention there's a freemium version? The free plan is suitable for many entrepreneurs with a low budget. It's even a top-notch tool for email marketing beginners that want to expand their business by using the latest marketing and automating techniques. Those new to email marketing would be lucky to hear Mailchimp has an extensive knowledge base that offers resources like help articles, videos, guides, and case studies.
How does Mailchimp work?
Mailchimp is a web-based application that you can use in any web browser without needing to download and install a heavy software program on your device. You'll only need a valid email address to start using the software. If you have an existing store, you can connect it with Mailchimp in a few clicks.
Once your account is created, you can start loading your contacts into the software. You can import contacts from another service, upload a CSV file, or copy/paste contacts directly into the system from a spreadsheet document.
If you don't have a list of contacts yet, Mailchimp has you covered! You can capture leads via signup forms with prefab formatting. These can be deployed on-site rapidly or by sharing social posts across multiple channels to increase your brand's reach.
And that's it!
Once you have a solid list of contacts, you can start running your email marketing campaigns. You can send email newsletters, follow-up emails, surveys, landing pages, postcards, etc.
Mailchimp free vs paid: what’s the difference?
This section will focus on Mailchimp's Marketing Platform pricing plans. Please note Mailchimp also provides separate Website and Commerce plans, but we won't be discussing them here.
Mailchimp offers one free plan and three paid plans that give you access to the Marketing platform. You can simply choose a pricing plan that fits your needs, budget, and audience size. Even with the free account, you can have 2,000 subscribers, which is a considerable amount, especially if you're a small business.
The free plan is ideal for small companies and solopreneurs. You'll get access to all the essential marketing features to grow your small business, like segmentation, tags, surveys, behavioral targeting, templates, landing pages, pop-up forms, single-step automation, basic reporting, and integration with over 200 apps.
However, there are some limitations. For instance, as we mentioned earlier, you can only have up to 2,000 subscribers, and there's a monthly email send limit of 10,000 emails and a daily limit of 2,000. The free plan also lacks live chat support and phone support. Features like multi-step automation, customer journeys, and transnational emails are also unavailable with the free plan.
The cheapest paid plan, called the Essentials plan, starts at $11/month for 500 contacts. The price increases as you add more contacts. This plan unlocks features like email scheduling, A/B testing, email scheduling, customer journey builder, and 24/7 customer support.
The Standard plan starts at $17/month for 500 contacts. It unlocks more advanced features like multiple starting and branching points, pre-built journeys, custom-coded templates, and predicted demographics.
The highest-priced plan starts at $299 per month for 10,000 contacts. It offers powerful features like advanced segmentation, comparative reporting, multivariate testing, and phone support.
Mailchimp features list
Now that you’ve got an idea of what's the main difference between Mailchimp's freemium version and paid plans, it's time to take a closer look at its most important features.
The main features of Mailchimp are:
Tags, groups, and segmentation
Email templates and email builder
Reports and analytics
Social media management
Mailchimp offers several types of automation, including classic automation and customer journeys. Classic automation involves sending automated emails that are triggered by a specific action, like creating an account, while customer journeys are more advanced. You can use customer journeys to build an automated marketing path that includes multiple starting points and branches.
The platform lets you choose between a pre-built customer journey or create one from scratch by using the builder. The classic automation feature is available to all plans; the Customer Journey builder is available to users of all paid plans; the pre-built customer journeys are available with the Standard and Premium plans.
There are also transactional emails that are triggered by user actions, like requesting a password or placing an order, but this feature is only available as an add-on.
2. Tags, groups, and segmentation
Tags let you add different labels to your subscribers as they join your email list. For example, you can apply tags like:
Groups are used for sorting your subscribed contacts based on their interests and preferences. They function like categories and can be an effective way of managing diverse contacts.
The segmentation feature works similarly to tags, but it's more advanced. Instead of adding data to your audience, you're using the data you already have to target and filter contacts into segments.
You can choose a single condition or combine up to 5 conditions to target the right contacts for each campaign. The conditions can be any combination of your tags, groups, merge fields, or subscriber data. For example, you can create a segment to send an email to contacts who are based in New York, work as software engineers, and have opened your last campaign—and that's only three conditions.
3. Email templates and email builder
Before creating a new campaign, Mailchimp will suggest using a pre-built email template you can customize to fit your brand. The number of email templates you have at your disposal varies based on your plan. The templates are built around specific themes like newsletters, e-commerce, holidays, sports, and events. Simply choose a template, add in your content, and you've got yourself a beautiful email campaign.
Additionally, you can always create a new template from scratch by using the easy drag-and-drop editor.
Mailchimp doesn't fall short when it comes to integrations. More than 200 different integrations let you connect Mailchimp with any tool that's essential for your business. There are all kinds of integrations that cover different categories, like:
Booking and scheduling
You can even sync your Shopify store to Mailchimp and use the data to send targeted emails like order notifications, promo codes, or abandoned cart emails.
5. A/B testing
The A/B testing feature lets you see whether your content is presented in the best way possible to your audience. You can test different variables like your subject line, from name, content, or send time. You can test one variable with up to three variations. For example, you can test three variations of the subject line to see what type of content performs the best. You can determine a winner based on click rate, open rate, total revenue, or you can manually choose the winning combination.
6. Reports and analytics
Reports are available from the moment you send your first campaign. You can track how your campaigns are performing with insights into data like open and click rates, social activity, purchases, and other interactions.
Additionally, you can use Google Analytics on your landing pages or website to better understand your page visitors.
7. eCommerce tools
The software lets you connect your online store and start automating your workflow. Or, if you don't have one, you can launch and personalize a site using the software's easy-to-learn website builder. Creating a website for selling products or offering services is fairly easy. All you need is one product or service to launch a store. The platform comes equipped with a myriad of eCommerce tools that give you everything you need to manage an online store. For instance, you can create or connect a Stripe account to receive payments from all major credit cards. If your business offers professional services, you can use Mailchimp Appointments to add scheduling tools to your website. Your visitors can choose to book a meeting in person, online, or over the phone, depending on the type of service you offer.
You can even have a custom domain for your site, but you must have a Websites & Commerce Core plan or above.
8. Social media management
There are also a bunch of social media management tools. From organic posts to targeted ads, you can manage your social channels all in one place, directly from the Mailchimp platform.
You can schedule or instantly publish posts across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can create Facebook ads to find new fans, connect with existing ones, or retarget your website visitors. You can create Instagram ads to promote your brand in a visual way to find your fans and retarget site visitors.
You can even schedule your social post to publish at a time that works best for you and your followers.
Mailchimp pros and cons
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of Mailchimp:
The most notable Mailchimp benefits include:
It's a powerful tool for marketing.
Mailchimp can be a powerful platform that can improve your marketing game. You can send newsletters, create landing pages, plugin to your ecommerce store, and measure your efforts, all from one platform. Many of these features come for free, which is also a plus, especially if your budget is tight.
It has become an all-in-one marketing platform.
Mailchimp has evolved into a fully-fledged marketing platform that does so much more than just email marketing. The company has been adding new features like landing pages, website creation, social posting, Facebook ads, postcards, and marketing CRM tools.
There's a free plan.
Using the platform on a free plan can be a significant advantage for businesses that are just starting out. Newer businesses usually have tighter budgets, and paying $30+ per month to send emails to your ten subscribers seems a bit excessive.
Luckily, with Mailchimp, you don't have to pay anything to use the platform, or at least not until you reach 2,000 contacts. By the time you reach this number, you'll probably be making enough money from your list to justify the expense of a premium plan.
You can improve your conversion rate.
The ability to map out multiple customer journeys and set relevant email triggers can guide your subscribers toward taking action. By using these features, you can send automated messages to subscribers based on their immediate actions on your website.
A simple action such as a customer abandoning items in their cart could be a trigger to send them a relevant marketing email, which improves the likelihood of order completion.
Although the pros outweigh the cons, here are some of Mailchimp's limitations:
It can get pricey.
One of the major Mailchimp cons is that it can get quite expensive as your email list grows, especially for smaller businesses with tight budgets. The company has recently made slight changes to its pricing plans.
At the moment, none of their paid plans offer unlimited emails. For example, the lowest paid plan, Essentials, lets you send only up to 10 emails a month per contact. So, if you have a contact list of 20,000 subscribers, you can only send up to 200,000 emails per month. The monthly price goes up as you add more contacts.
If you have 50,000 contacts, the monthly price jumps to $299/month. If you have more than 50,000 contacts, you'll need to subscribe to either the Standard or Premium plan. For 75,000 contacts, the monthly price for the Standard plan jumps to $475/month. If you exceed your monthly limit of contacts and sent emails, Mailchimp will automatically bill you for your overages.
The free plan has some limits.
Although Mailchimp offers a great free plan, it can be quite limiting for some companies, especially if you have a larger contacts list. There's a monthly send limit of 10,000 and a daily limit of 2,000 emails. In other words, you can't send more than 10,000 emails per month. Another downside is that the free plan lacks some features like automation and email scheduling.
There's a slight learning curve.
If you're new to Mailchimp or if this is the first time you're using email software, it can take a while to get used to the platform. The good news is Mailchimp has an extensive knowledge base with how-to guides and tutorials that can speed up the onboarding process. But the more you use the platform, the more familiar you'll get.
Mailchimp complaints & praise (from real Mailchimp customer reviews)
When examining Mailchimp reviews, what stands out is users' satisfaction with the software's ease of use. People say the interface makes it easy for new users with no knowledge of how email marketing works to find their way around the system.
Another common praise is how users can do all kinds of things from one single tool, like sending emails, capturing data, creating landing pages, and measuring their campaigns' effectiveness without even leaving the software. And the best part is you can do it for free with the freemium version, which is a good starting point.
Many users seem to like Mailchimp's marketing automation feature as it lets them schedule email blasts hours, days, or weeks in advance. The numerous email templates with different layouts make creating emails much easier, and on top of that, emails look much more professional. Alternatively, users find the email builder easy to use. They say the drag and drop elements make it super simple to put together a great-looking campaign.
Some more negative Mailchimp reviews and criticisms focus on things like the inability to have more than one audience with the free version. Other users complain the dashboard has become pretty messy, and it can be difficult to find what you are looking for. People also complain the platform can get costly once you get a good amount of subscribers.
Review of Mailchimp support
In terms of support, Mailchimp has its upsides and downsides. The good thing is that users of the free plan only have access to technical support in the first 30 days. This can be a downside for smaller businesses that are newbies to the world of email marketing and need help using all the features the system can offer. After the initial 30 days, users of the free plan only have access to Mailchimp's knowledge base and lack other types of support like live chat and phone support. The upside is that Mailchimp's knowledge base is quite vast and includes all types of content, like videos, help guides, tutorials, podcasts, and more. Users of the paid plans get access to email support and live chat support, while Premium users also get phone support.
Is Mailchimp worth it? Our conclusion
We've already established the wide usage of Mailchimp and looked into its top features. We dived into what customers are saying online and briefly mentioned the software's pros and cons.
But the question remains: Is Mailchimp worth it? Why use Mailchimp for business?
For those of you who are still wondering, it comes down to this:
If you're a startup or an SMB with simple needs, this is an excellent system to start with. The software is ideal for sending out simple newsletters and creating basic automation. You can even use it to create a simple but aesthetically-pleasing website and host it on a Mailchimp domain. For more details, make sure to check out our Mailchimp website builder review.
And let's not forget Mailchimp's free plan that's pretty decent.
Overall, it's a very intuitive platform, and the drag-and-drop email builder is easy to work with. However, Mailchimp can become quite an expensive platform if your needs are more complex.
Think about your needs and do a complete analysis before deciding on a system. If you only need simple email sending capabilities, this would be a good fit. And if you decide Mailchimp is not the right platform for you, check out some of the Mailchimp alternatives like Activecampaign, Hubspot, and Getresponse.
FAQs about Mailchimp
Is Mailchimp legit?
Yes, Mailchimp is a completely legit email marketing platform. It is one of the best email marketing platforms for creating, managing, and analyzing email marketing campaigns. Its collection of features now also includes a domain and website hosting, landing pages creation, a website builder, and CRM features.
Is Mailchimp safe?
Mailchimp offers great data protection, with good infrastructure security in place. The platform is encrypted with TLS, and login pages and logins via the Mailchimp API have brute force protection. The company performs regular external security penetration tests, which means the platform is well-protected against cyber-attacks and data breaches.
Is MailChimp free plan good?
The Mailchimp free plan’s ideal for solopreneurs, startups, and SMBs that don't need advanced email marketing features. You get basic marketing features like email newsletters, automation, segmentation, templates, opt-in forms, basic reporting, and 200+ integrations. Subscribers are limited to 2,000, with a monthly email send limit of 10,000.
Is Mailchimp good for beginners?
Mailchimp is an easy to use platform with an intuitive UI. Beginners might need some time to get used to the platform, but the more you use it, the more familiar you'll get. There's also a large knowledge base with how-to-guides and tutorials that can speed up the onboarding process.