by Suzie Blaszkiewicz
Published on 5 February 2015
Update (06/26/17): This post has been updated to include new screenshots and pricing information.
When you think of email marketing solutions, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Chances are it's MailChimp (or chimp mail, if you're new to the email marketing world and only vaguely know there's some popular chimp-named email marketing app out there). The email marketing software is widely considered to be top banana in the cloud-app space, thanks to its easy-to-use interface, variety of mailing template options, and configurability.
On top of that, there's no monkeying around with the free version of Mailchimp: it lets you send up to 12,000 emails to a maximum of 2,000 subscribers per month. From there, $10 a month will let you send an unlimited number of email campaigns to 500 contacts, while incremental $5 payments will give you access to more subscribers. MailChimp's flexible payment plans also let you send more emails to more subscribers with better personalization.
Alas, while MailChimp is good, it's not the only option for email marketing. While it may be an industry favorite, plenty of other email marketing options have gained prominence over the years, and they might actually be better for your business. Choosing the right solution means keeping a few things in mind:
With all of this in mind, take a look at how some of the leading email marketing competitors compare to MailChimp to see if there's a better option for your business.
Campaign Monitor markets itself as an elegant and simple email marketing tool that will easily help you create effective campaigns. The drag-and-drop editor makes it easy to get started, and its image-focused templates allow for more visual campaigns. Campaign Monitor's interactive analytics also let you see your most engaged audiences, as well as your most successful calls to action.
Campaign Monitor's basic plan lets you send 2500 emails to 500 people for $9.00 per month. From there, prices go up based on the number of subscribers that you have, ranging from $29 for 2500 subscribers, to $299 a month for 50,000 subscribers. Different price tiers are available if you want more features like priority email and phone support.
If you want email marketing software and marketing automation in one, try Infusionsoft. This fully-fledged marketing automation solutions offers robust email marketing features and is best for freelancers and small businesses. Some of its key features include a 99 percent deliverability rate, trackable results, automated campaigns, and social sharing.
There's no free option, but Infusionsoft does offer various subscription plans starting at $99 per month with 3 months free if you commit for a year. This pricing plan includes 500 contacts and 2500 emails a month, with features for CRM and marketing automation. From there, prices and features go up starting at $199 a month, with higher pricing plans offering additional Sales Automation and eCommerce functionality.
SendinBlue is an email marketing software that offers dynamic and responsive template tools. Features include scheduling and auto-responders, real-time reports, and integration with Google Analytics. Its IP reputation monitoring ensures that your messages aren't flagged as spam, and it offers a plugin that works with WordPress, PrestaShop, and Magento.
The free plan allows you to send up to 9,000 emails per month to an unlimited number of contacts. If you upgrade to the Micro plan for $7.37 a month, you can send 40,000 emails to an unlimited number of contacts, while the next bump gets you 60,000 emails with advanced reporting and no SendinBlue branding for $39 per month. At the highest end of the spectrum, you can send a whopping 15 million emails for $1,946 a month.
Zoho Campaigns is another email marketing software designed for small to mid-sized businesses. It includes ready-made templates and customizable layouts, as well as offering: social media and Google App integration; analytics for click-through and open rates; and integration with Zoho CRM to help zqualify sales leads.
Zoho Campaign's free plan lets you send 12,000 emails to up to 2,000 subscribers every month. The minimum paid subscription lets you send an unlimited number of emails to between 1 and 500 subscribers for $5.00 per month, increasing by $5 increments based on number of subscribers. If you're not ready to commit to a subscription, you also have the option to "pay-as-you-use", getting anywhere from 250 to 100,000 email credits for prices ranging from $6 to $750.
ActiveCampaign serves the dual purpose of email marketing and marketing automation. It lets you send newsletters, manage contacts, and automate your marketing campaigns. Aside from multi-language support, you can create dynamic email content that's visually stunning; track your subscribers' demographics; and get live user support.
For $9.00 per month, its Lite package lets you send unlimited emails to up to 500 contacts. Costs move up to $49 and $149 per month for 1000 and 2500 contacts, respectively, while different plans has varying price points based on functionality. If you're ready for a long-term commitment, you have the option of paying annually and saving 15 percent.
Aimed specifically at small businesses, Constant Contact is another popular email marketing solution to help grow your subscriber list and maximize your email campaigns. With a variety of templates, contact management, and integration with popular CRMs like Zoho CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and Nimble, Constant Contact ensures that you stay on top of your most promising leads with your email marketing campaigns. Further integration with social media means that you can turn your campaigns into social media posts in order to get more eyes on your content.
Constant Contact will start you off with a 60 day free trial of its fully featured software. After the free trial, pricing starts at $20 a month for up to 500 subscribers, increasing in price up to $95 a month for between 5000 and 10,000 subscribers, with custom pricing available for over 10,000 subscribers. Constant Contact offers discounts for paying 6 or 12 months upfront, as well as discounts for nonprofits.
Every small business has different email marketing needs. Some place a premium on mobile-friendly tools that have awesome analytics; others need email marketing software that supports a large number of integrations. Regardless of what your own business needs, the number of subscribers you have- and amount of money you're willing to spend- will play a big role in helping you choose the right email marketing software. MailChimp offers many benefits, but despite its status as king of the email marketing jungle, there might be a different tool that better's more tailor-made for you.
Original article published on September 10, 2014.