Email marketing as an important part of every digital marketing strategy.
Whether you’re using emails to notify customers of an upcoming sale, share your latest blog, or send a newsletter, it can be a valuable tool for building and expanding your relationship with current customers and prospects.
There are many platforms available that make creating and sending emails and managing your lists simple and easy.
Today, we are going to compare and contrast two popular email marketing solution providers: Campaign Monitor vs. MailChimp.
Plans and Pricing
Although their pricing models differ, both MailChimp and Campaign Monitor offer clients their subscription services in three tiers.
Each offer pricing scales that are based on the number of subscribers you have.
In an effort to compare apples to apples as much as possible, we’re going to compare the monthly cost for 500 subscribers, 2000 subscribers, and 10,000 subscribers.
The entry-level plans from both companies have limits on the number of emails that can be sent out. MailChimp’s first-tier plan is called Forever Free. As the name suggests, there is no cost. However, it is capped at a maximum of 2000 subscribers and a total of 12,000 emails sent per month.
Campaign Monitor’s basic plan starts at $9 a month for 500 subscribers and a maximum of 2500 emails. For 2500 subscribers, the cost is $29 with a cap of 12,500 and for 10,000 subscribers, it’s $89 capped at 50,000 emails.
The higher tiers offered by MailChimp and Campaign Monitor don’t have limits on the number of emails that can be sent. The second level offering from MailChimp is their paid service that starts at $10 a month for up to 500 subscribers, going to $30 a month for 2500 subscribers and $50 a month for 10,000 subscribers.
Campaign Monitor offers their unlimited plan for $29 for up to 500 subscribers, $59 for 2500 subscribers and $249 for 10,000 subscribers.
The top-tier plan available from MailChimp is their Pro Marketer level that starts at $209 for 500 subscribers, $229 for 2500 subscribers and $274 for 10,000 subscribers.
Campaign Monitor’s Premier Plan is their top level offering that starts at $149 a month for up to 2500 subscribers. For 10,000 subscribers, the cost is $249 per month.
Of course, pricing isn’t everything. What is most important is the features and usability offered by both platforms.
A Comparison of Key Features
When it comes to email creation and management, the basics are well covered by both solutions.
In all tiers of their offerings, both have easy to use, customizable sign-up forms and great tools to create your email with a good range of templates available to you that can be customized.
All the plans, with the exception of MailChimp’s free option, give you the ability to create customized autoresponder emails.
These are emails sent automatically when triggered by a certain date or event, like someone signing up for your mailing list.
If you run into some trouble while working on an email campaign, you’ll be looking for places to find the answers to your problem.
MailChimp users on the Forever Free plan are limited to the website’s Knowledge Base pages, while subscribers of the Paid or Pro Marketer plans can access support via email 24/7 or live chat weekdays from 8 AM to 6 PM EST.
Campaign Monitor customers can reach out to a member of the support team via email, with priority being given to Unlimited and Premier subscribers.
That means basic customers may have to wait quite some time to get a response. Premier customers can also call the 24-hour phone support line from Monday to Friday.
When it comes to email campaigns, data can be critical. It can help you to determine what’s working, what isn’t working and why.
MailChimp’s reporting and data analysis tools are quite comprehensive, giving you the opportunity to go beyond open and click rates and drill down to see details like performance over time, opens by location and subscriber activity. And, with Google Analytics integration, you can go even further by looking at conversion rates, revenue statistics and more.
Campaign Monitor also offers an excellent set of reporting data for analysis, although not quite as comprehensive as MailChimp’s. Google Analytics integration is also possible with Campaign Monitor.
When you want to send a special message to a targeted audience, you need proper segmentation tools that allow you to group subscribers by a wide range of categories.
Perhaps you’d like to send an email to subscribers within a specific geographic area, or to those who are most engaged.
Both MailChimp and Campaign Monitor have robust list management and segmentation tools.
However, there are advanced options available in MailChimp’s Pro Marketer level for expert users.
A/B Email Testing
Here is an example where strong analytics and segmentation tools can be critical to your success. Among the best practices when it comes to creating effective campaigns with a strong ROI, A/B testing should play a significant role in your email marketing.
You can try out different headlines, images or any other element of your email to see which delivers the best results.
Once again, both platforms have the capability of A/B testing your campaigns, but at the Pro Marketer level, MailChimp goes one step further with multivariate testing that allows you to create and test as many as eight different campaigns.
Automation and E-Commerce Integration
Automation is the ability for the email solution provider to automatically send a message when a certain event is triggered.
Autoresponders fall within that category, but they can also include sending a special greeting on the subscriber’s birthday or for any other custom event.
MailChimp and Campaign Monitor offer e-commerce integration so that specific messages can be sent based on an action taken on your website, such as a confirmation email when a purchase has been completed.
In this category too, MailChimp goes a step further. Some advanced automation that can be accomplished through MailChimp includes abandoned cart emails, product recommendations based on previous purchases, as well as password reminder emails. It should be noted, however, that transactional emails such as these require adding MailChimp’s Mandrill API to your monthly subscription plan.
The Bottom Line
Clearly, when it comes to Mailchimp vs Campaign Monitor both platforms are very good when it comes to managing your email campaigns.
Although Campaign Monitor has some advantages over MailChimp, such as the ability for spam testing your campaigns and providing a white label solution, we feel that MailChimp has the upper hand based on price and some of their advanced features like multivariate testing and e-commerce automation.
Sure, you may not need features like these right away, but as your campaigns and your subscriber list grows, they may become quite useful down the road.
Contact Lead to Conversion™ and let’s discuss your digital marketing strategy and how email marketing can increase leads and sales.