MailChimp is one of the most established and most well-known email marketing services in the world. This ESP has over 14 million users globally and it’s so popular that it’s the first ESP most business owners, bloggers and marketers think of when they start building an email marketing program. Here's everything you need to know about MailChimp pricing.

However, the market has grown significantly since MailChimp first hit the scene. It’s no longer the only viable option available. There are other alternatives such as Bronto, Sailthru, and of course Klaviyo, who are doing things differently in order to give MailChimp a run for its money.

To find out how MailChimp stacks up against the competition, whether it’s still relevant and whether or not its pricing is right for your business, keep reading.

MailChimp pricing - what you get (and don’t get) for your money

Part of what makes MailChimp so successful is its ability to cater to customers at different levels of the business journey. This is reflected in the tiered and flexible MailChimp pricing structure. They have a free plan for people who are building an email list from scratch. There’s also a variety of paid Pro plans that you can graduate to as you scale up your email list. Then there’s a Pay-as-You-Go plan where you only pay for what you use. 

Their free plan comes with basic templates, segmentation, and dynamic multi-channel tools to help promote your business. However, it doesn’t offer any valuable email automation that would enable you to plan ahead as far as you like. The customer service on this one is limited at best, which means you have to look online for answers if you’re experiencing any issues. Suffice to say, the Free plan is as bare-bones as it gets. But, it does offer a good starting point for newbies.

For those with an existing email list, MailChimp’s Pro pricing plans offer a wider range of features that you’ll need as you grow. The Pro plan you pick will depend not only on the size of your email list but the features you use. Basically, the bigger your email list and the more features you use, the higher up the ladder you’ll go. 

When it comes to MailChimp's pricing, the most flexible and cost-effective of them all is the Pay-as-you-go plan. Here, you purchase credits upfront instead of paying a monthly subscription fee. These credits can then be used to pay for any emails that you send and one credit = one email. So, if you have 2,500 contacts that you send emails to on a seasonal basis, then you need only pay 2,500 credits. This plan saves you from the commitment of a monthly subscription while giving you access to all the features of the Essential Pro plan.

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Is MailChimp pricing right for your business?

The answer to this question depends on whether or not you find MailChimp features beneficial to your email marketing program. It also depends on how big or small your brand is. 

MailChimp’s Free plan is perfect for small business owners just starting out. It’s easier to launch and there’s less of a learning curve. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to scale or expand and the more you grow, the more you’ll hit a wall. 

It’s also worth noting that Mailchimp is heavily focused on visual templates and graphics. This makes it really valuable for selling visually appealing products such as jewelry, apparel, art, etc. 

But, if you’re looking for thorough segmentation and detailed reports that will help you make data-driven decisions and help you send more targeted content, then you’ll want to look elsewhere.

The benefits of MailChimp pricing

With MailChimp’s Free plan, you can use about 70% of their features for free. This means you can grow a sizable email list without shelling out a bunch of money every month for advanced automation features you don’t need. 

As your email list grows and you become more comfortable with the service, you’ll get bumped up to the paid Pro plans. Although more complex, these plans are better suited to the dynamic needs of a growing business.

Pro features such as automated workflows and A/B testing are essential to executing your email marketing strategy. In fact, when it comes to A/B testing, you get a bunch of options to play with. This includes subject lines, email content and send times. This feature is super easy to use and straightforward so MailChimp really shines when it comes to A/B testing.

From the Pro plans you also get access to a comprehensive email template library with the most consistent selection of well-designed and professional-looking templates. You can opt for a bare-bones layout or a full-blow template or ‘theme’. 

Regardless of the plan you pick, MailChimp integrates with hundreds of apps and services. So if integration is important to you then you have nothing to worry about here.

Is MailChimp worth it? MailChimp Pro vs Free vs Pay as you go

MailChimp Free

This plan is forever free and it’s suitable for anyone looking to grow an email list from scratch. There’s a subscriber limit of 2,000 contacts and you can send a maximum of 10, 000 emails per month. 

Notable features include:

  • Basic segmentation based on contact behavior
  • Standard reports
  • Multi-channel tools
  • Website landing page

The Downsides?

  • You only get access to a limited number of templates.
  • Only 30 days of email support. After that, you’re on your own.

MailChimp Pro

MailChimp has three paid monthly “Pro” plans:

Essential

For $12. 51 per month, the Essential Plan comes with:

  • Everything in the Free plan
  • Access to all of MailChimp’s email templates
  • A/B testing (no multi-variant testing)
  • 24/7 support via chat and email
  • You can send up to 50, 000 emails per month

Standard:

This plan costs $18. 43 per month and it comes with:

  • Everything in Essentials
  • Timewarp features so you can schedule emails based on your subscribers’ time zones.
  • Send time optimization to ensure that emails reach your contacts at the right time.
  • Access to custom templates
  • You can send up to 100,000 emails per month

Premium:

For $362 per month you get:

  • Everything in Standard
  • Multi variant testing (this means you can test SLs and CTAs as well as a plethora of variables at the same time)
  • Advanced segmentation based on multiple variables
  • 24/7 support via email, chat, and phone
  • You can send up to 200,000 emails
  • Customization options. For instance, if you need to send more than 200,000 emails you may request a customized plan to meet your unique needs.

MailChimp Pay-As-You-Go

The Pay-as-you-go plan mainly gives you access to:

  • All of MailChimp’s email templates
  • A/B testing capabilities
  • You can customize your emails for proper branding
  • You get 24/7 email chat support
  • Everything else you get from the Essential plan

The main difference between this plan and the paid Pro plans is that you’re required to purchase “credits” which you can then use to pay for the number of emails you send. One email send = 1 credit.

The Verdict

As a modern-day business owner, the long-term profitability of your business is in your email list. Making sure that you have a good piece of software that helps you nurture and grow that list is essential to your long-term success. Email marketing gives you a direct line of contact with your audience so you can market to them, offer discounts, and send them newsletters regularly. 

Also, people are more inclined to buy through a direct email. It offers a more personalized experience seeing that they have built a relationship with you over a period of time. You can keep current customers warm and educated about what you’re currently doing with your business while attracting new customers to build relationships with. 

MailChimp is a great ESP option for growing your email list, especially if you’re a small business, a beginner, or even a visually-defined brand. 

With MailChimp, the price to start is $0 as long as you have less than 2,000 subscribers and send less than 10,000 emails per month. However, you might find it difficult to grow with MailChimp past that point. That is why we prefer far more agile and comprehensive ESPs such as Klaviyo

Klaviyo is a platform that’s built to help boost business owners’ profitability through email marketing. Theirs is a data-driven model, whereas MailChimp is visually driven. Klaviyo helps to predict what customers will do next and is able to segment this thoroughly.

Klaviyo also offers an SMS service where you can create a texting relationship with your subscribers which is getting really popular right now. It compliments your email strategy and is something that most other ESPs don’t do. 

Do you want a thriving email marketing program? Then it’s time to work with a dynamic email marketing team with experience using all the major ESPs. Get in touch with us today and we’ll help you get the most value out of your chosen ESP.