Comparisons of Mailchimp and Mailerlite Email Marketing Platforms.
Before we get right into extensive comparisons of Mailchimp and Mailerlite services, let me start by preaching about my love for email marketing.
For the most part, it is one of the most personal ways to communicate with your customers. You could get so casual and sound like you are talking to your best friend or come off like you are a stranger who’s trying to establish a friendship. You can explore both long and short-form content depending on what works well for the campaign you intend to run. Let’s just say you can be yourself and keep testing various techniques without exhausting your budget.
So, if you aren’t already exploring this aspect of digital marketing, then you’ve been leaving some cool cash on the table. You can go back to check out our article on how to get started with your email strategy.
Who Are Email Service Providers?
In order to run effective email marketing campaigns, you must make use of an Email Service Provider (ESP). An ESP is a tool used by Email Marketers to carry out effective campaigns from the point of collecting email addresses to creating campaigns, launching, and tracking their performance, among other functions. One very impressive thing about these email platforms is the ability to treat each subscriber based on their behaviours and interaction with your business/brand.
Over the years, many ESPs have sprung up and each of them has its similarities, differences, and other features that make it more preferable to its counterparts. Some of the most popular ones are ConvertKit, Mailchimp, Unbounce, Constant Contact, Mailerlite, Sendinblue, ActiveCampaign, and many more. Apart from considering your budget, picking the best one for your business or personal use involves thorough research, comparisons, and some other factors. Well, if you are new to email marketing you’ll find out that Mailchimp and Mailerlite are sort of the most talked-about for small business owners and startups. Looking beyond their pricing and plans, it could be really difficult to decide which one to start with so we decided to do all the hard work for you.
Side-by-Side Comparisons of Mailchimp and Mailerlite Platforms
Mailchimp is, by far, the most popular email service provider out there and with their impressive branding, they are more attractive to newbies. This is even without taking an in-depth look at their features and other benefits. But after going through these comparisons of Mailchimp and Mailerlite platforms, we assure you that beyond the branding and popularity, you will be able to make a well-informed choice between both tools.
Plans and Pricing
This is obviously the best part to begin with. Your budget is a huge factor to consider when planning out any digital marketing strategy. And in this case, if you are on a strict budget, it would be wise to pay attention to what both platforms have to offer at their said cost.
There are 4 different plans on Mailchimp that individuals, small business owners, and bigger brands can use. Starting with the Free Plan, you can sign up at no cost whatsoever and send up to 10,000 emails/month to 2,000 contacts in a single audience. To upgrade to the Essentials Plan, you’ll pay $20.99/month for up to 50,000 contacts with 3 audiences and 500,000 emails. You can send about 1.2 million emails to up to 100,000 contacts with 5 audiences for $51.99/month on the Standard Plan. And lastly, with the Premium Plan, you get all the advanced features for more customisation. Costing $299/month, you can send over 3 million emails to more than 200,000 contacts with an unlimited number of audiences.
In 2019, Mailchimp introduced a new plan which they call the ‘Pay As You Go’ plan. This is a more flexible way to enjoy the Essentials plan features on Mailchimp without having to commit to the monthly charges. You simply pay for the number of email credits you need per campaign. The credit options range from 5,000 credits to 25,000,000 credits.
Taking a look at the pricing plan of Mailerlite you’ll notice how less pricey their plans are. Without any fancy name for their plans, you can start out for free with 1,000 subscribers but you can only send 12,000 emails per month. If you want to enjoy an unlimited number of emails sent to your 1,000 subscribers, you’ll pay $10/month. For 2,500 subscribers you’ll pay $15/month, 5,000 subscribers will cost you $30/month, and 10,000 subscribers cost $50/month — all with an unlimited number of emails sent monthly. This looks like a more affordable plan if you own a small business or have less budget.
Ease of Use
Most email marketers aren’t so technically inclined. This means the best ESP must be one that doesn’t require them to code or hire a tech guru to help out. Both Mailchimp and Mailerlite did well by creating platforms with ‘drag and drop’ features. All you need to do is select a template that resembles what you want your email campaign to look like. Begin to select the blocks you need and drag them to the spot you’ll like them to appear. With this drag and drop feature, you can even pick a blank template and customise your newsletters, promotional emails, etc.
User-Friendliness and Aesthetics
When it comes to user-friendliness, Mailchimp doesn’t absolutely pull this through. Having used both platforms for my email marketing clients, I can say that Mailerlite is a lot easier to use (especially if you are new to the world of email marketing). On Mailchimp, they make use of icons that aren’t easily recognisable. And regardless of how often I use this platform, sometimes I still need to hover over the icons to see their function before clicking. In addition to that, they update their platform frequently and change the position of things. With that, you’ll need to keep checking around to know the new position of an icon or feature.
In terms of aesthetics, Mailchimp looks a lot more appealing than Mailerlite. The use of their Monkey icon at strategic areas of their platform is actually fun to watch and interact with. Mailerlite is sort of basic; although it has a neat interface, it doesn’t really spur excitement, especially for new users.
The comparisons of Mailchimp and Mailerlite is getting stiff. Both platforms have templates that users can modify to create campaigns but one platform seems to be more generous than the other. Can you guess which is?
Mailchimp has about 100 templates on their platform and allows users of their free plan to access only 8 of them. However, Mailerlite has 62 templates and none of them is available if you are on a free plan. So mean right? I feel so too. On Mailchimp, you can also select a blank canvas and customise it using the drag and drop feature. The options available for the freemium users are the Drag & Drop Editor, Rich-Text Editor, and Legacy Rich-Text Editor. The only visually appealing and most recommended editor amongst all three is the Drag and Drop Editor. In it, there are a number of tools and settings you can test to help you produce a neat and pretty email campaign.
If you are more interested in having a variety of email templates to use for different campaigns on your free plan, you should stick with a Mailchimp account.
Automation and Workflow
To begin automation on Mailchimp you need to be on the Standard plan as free accounts don’t have access to this feature. Just in case you aren’t sure what email automation is, it is a system of having preset email campaigns which are sent out to all subscribers or a segment of your audience based on the triggers you’ve set to monitor their actions and behaviours. For example, you can automate your indoctrination/welcome series, birthdays, promos, etc.
So back to the comparisons of Mailchimp and Mailerlite; for the latter, you don’t need to be on a paid plan to enjoy using automation workflows. All you have to do is create your first automation workflow by setting up a workflow trigger then add the next step to your workflow. This could be an email, a delay, condition, or action. In this area, Mailerlite does a great job and even automation on Mailchimp’s paid plan doesn’t visually represent the workflow, so it’s quite uninteresting to work with.
There is a help page for both Mailchimp and Mailerlite where there’s an explanation of common problems users of their platforms are likely to face as well as other tips. However, if you need more support on Mailchimp like email or live chat support, you must get on a paid plan. Their free plan only gives email support for your first 30 days then you are left to figure things out on your own. Mailerlite, on the other hand, allows you to drop them a message directly on their website whether you are on a free plan or not.
The comparison of Mailchimp and Mailerlite will be incomplete if we fail to look at the deliverability rate of both platforms. After a recent email service deliverability test carried out by emailtooltester.com in March 2021, Mailerlite recorded a deliverability rate of 96.9% where Mailchimp had 86.9%. The table shows that Mailchimp’s deliverability rate dropped from 91% in September 2020 when they conducted the previous test. And over time, Mailerlite has recorded a more consistent and higher deliverability rate than Mailchimp. From this recent test, Mailerlite, Sendinblue, and ConvertKit recorded nothing less than 96% which is still higher than Mailchimp.
Mailchimp is a better option for e-commerce business owners due to its tools that are geared towards making marketing easy for these brands. If you simply need to promote your business or send out newsletters, Mailerlite looks like a better option for this.
We sure hope this article will help you make the best decision if you are confused about which of these platforms to embrace. It won’t hurt if you share this post with someone who’ll find it valuable. We’ll also love to hear your views on these tools in the comments section.