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HubSpot vs. Mailchimp: Which marketing tool is right for you? [2024]

By Katie Paterson · October 26, 2023
Hero image with the HubSpot and Mailchimp logos

For most of my career, I've used HubSpot for marketing simply because the companies I worked for already used that platform when I joined the team. But since going freelance, I've been working a lot more with clients who use Mailchimp

HubSpot and Mailchimp are both excellent marketing tools, but my experience of using them over the years has taught me that they're suited to quite different markets. For this article, I spent time in both apps to dig deeper into the differences between HubSpot and Mailchimp and see how they stack up. Here's what I found.

HubSpot vs. Mailchimp at a glance

Choosing between HubSpot and Mailchimp as your marketing platform depends on a few core factors:

  • Your budget

  • Your business goals

  • Who will be using the tool

In the end, these are completely different tools with completely different goals. Mailchimp is purely marketing software, whereas HubSpot is an all-in-one tool that can (if you want) combine marketing, sales, content management, operations, and customer service into one platform. For that reason, HubSpot is built to do a lot more than what Mailchimp can do. 

If you want a tool that can do your marketing, sales, customer service, and operations, then you shouldn't be comparing HubSpot to Mailchimp at all—instead, you'll want to compare HubSpot with Salesforce or a similar all-in-one tool.

Here, I'll focus on comparing the parts where Mailchimp and HubSpot overlap. In practice, this means comparing Mailchimp's full offering with HubSpot's Marketing Hub package, focusing mainly on email marketing, marketing automation, landing pages, and reports and analytics.




⭐⭐⭐⭐ Solid free plan; paid plans are more expensive (and not super straightforward), but it can be cost-effective if you plan to use all the features available

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Robust free plan and pricing system that comes in three tiers; Premium tier is substantially more costly than the other two plans

Ease of use 

⭐⭐⭐ A steeper learning curve for new users because it's an all-in-one tool

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Comparatively beginner-friendly

Contact and email limits

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Unlimited contacts for free, but you're limited to 2,000 sends per month on free plan; on paid accounts, email send limits are based on number of contacts you're paying for (5x on Starter and 10x on Pro) 

⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1,000 sends per month on free account, which allows for up to 500 marketing contacts (5k on Essentials, 6k on Standard); email sends (and price) go up incrementally depending on the number of marketing contacts you have

Landing pages

⭐⭐⭐⭐ 20 free landing pages on the free plan; up to 10,000 on any paid plan; pages more customizable, with smart content and A/B testing available on the Professional plan

⭐⭐⭐ Unlimited landing pages on the free plan, but there are more limitations and no A/B testing available


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Very advanced automations available

⭐⭐ Basic automation; impressive for an email marketing tool, but doesn't compare to HubSpot

Email templates / design

⭐⭐⭐⭐ 45 templates; very customizable

⭐⭐⭐⭐ 100 templates; less customizable


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 30 reports free; goes up to 100 reports on Pro plan and 750 on Enterprise; deep and valuable metrics

⭐⭐⭐ Very basic on free plan and not as insightful as HubSpot even on the most expensive plan

Social media

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Advanced scheduling, publishing, and analytics, but only available on Enterprise tier

⭐⭐ Basic posting options; scheduling available only on Standard and higher plans; can only schedule posts for 2+ hours in advance


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1,000+ native integrations; also integrates with Zapier

⭐⭐⭐⭐ 300+; also integrates with Zapier

AI features

⭐⭐⭐⭐ Create or optimize any rich text or write copy from scratch; create social media posts and AI-generated images; still in beta

⭐⭐⭐ Very similar AI features to HubSpot's, but only available in the email builder (not landing pages or social media); includes subject line helper (which HubSpot doesn't have); available on Standard and above

HubSpot's sophisticated marketing automation caters better to longer buyer lifecycles

Based on my experience using both HubSpot and Mailchimp, I'd say it's the automation features that really set the two tools apart. When it comes down to it, HubSpot's automations are just a lot more advanced than Mailchimp's.

This is primarily because HubSpot is built with a different end-goal in mind. HubSpot is an all-in-one tool that caters to larger businesses with sales teams. As an inbound marketing tool, it allows you to use sophisticated automation workflows to nurture contacts through longer buyer lifecycles (check out a few of my favorite HubSpot workflows). These workflows allow you to trigger automated email sequences that nurture contacts down the marketing funnel and allow you to segment your audience based on their behavior, lead scoring, and what stage they are in the buyer lifecycle. 

Here's an example of what a HubSpot's workflow looks like:

HubSpot workflow example

While Mailchimp's automation is pretty advanced for an email marketing tool, it's much more basic compared to HubSpot. Even on the free plan, you can set up autoresponder emails that trigger when someone fills out a form or makes a purchase on your website, and on the Essentials and Standard plans, you get access to a customer journey builder that allows you to create basic workflows based on customer behaviors (e.g., when they sign up to make a purchase, they're tagged as a "New customer" and sent a welcome email).

Here's an example of what an automation workflow looks like on Mailchimp:

Mailchimp workflow example

If you're a business that has a short buyer cycle (e.g., a customer can land on your website for the first time and might make a purchase on the same day), this is all the automation you're likely to need. But if your customers tend to take longer to make a purchase (maybe they'd want to speak to a salesperson because it involves more money or commitment), then a tool like HubSpot will better support your needs.

Building and sending an email in Mailchimp is simpler

Both Mailchimp and HubSpot offer excellent email builders that are easy to use and intuitive—even for someone with no design or marketing experience. You can easily add elements like text boxes, images, videos, and social buttons just by dragging them into your email from the sidebar menu. It's also easy to drag and drop your different elements around the page, select the colors you want, and add images and logos to get your emails looking on-brand. 

To show you how similar they are, here's Mailchimp's classic editor:

Mailchimp's classic editor

And here's HubSpot's:

HubSpot's email editor

If you're a bit more confident with email design, you can choose to build your own emails, but both tools have a decent selection of slick out-of-the-box templates. Having said that, Mailchimp comes with double the number of templates HubSpot has (100 designs compared to 45 in HubSpot), which makes it stand out as the quick-and-easy option if you're less confident with designing your own emails. 

When it comes to actually sending your emails, you don't have to think too hard with Mailchimp. Because HubSpot's email tool is deeply integrated with a CRM, there are a lot more fields to check through before you hit the Send button, which leaves a bit more room for human error. Even after using HubSpot for years, I still get that sense of trepidation that I might have missed something each time I send an email because there's so much to think about. You don't get that feeling sending emails through Mailchimp. 

HubSpot offers more advanced analytics 

For any marketing tool to do its job of supporting your marketing strategy, it needs to provide analytics that you can learn from. Both HubSpot and Mailchimp offer reporting features that provide metrics on everything you can do with each tool. 

Naturally, HubSpot's analytics features are more advanced than Mailchimp's, because as a tool, it's built to do more. As an all-in-one tool, it makes sense that HubSpot has made analytics a main feature, as this helps users visualize the impact different areas of the business have on each other and on company revenue when using the platform.

You get 30 reports on HubSpot's free plan, and it goes up to 750 on the Enterprise package. When I ran a marketing team, we structured our entire marketing strategy and all our meetings around HubSpot dashboards because the data they provided was so valuable and easy to customize to our needs. 

HubSpot reports

Mailchimp's analytics offering is more basic in comparison, but if you're only using reporting to understand how people are engaging with your email marketing, it gets the job done. You can review the stats of individual emails on the free plan (for example, opens, clicks, and unsubscribes), and if you upgrade to Standard or higher, you get a wider overview that allows you to compare your campaign data.

Mailchimp's reports

Recently, Mailchimp has done some work on upgrading its analytics and reporting to provide more in-depth, actionable insights for those paying for their marketing plans. But if deep analysis and reporting are an important part of your marketing strategy, HubSpot can support this better than Mailchimp.

Mailchimp is easier to set up

Considering everything I've covered so far about these two tools, it won't surprise you that Mailchimp is easier to set up than HubSpot. Since HubSpot is a more complex tool that offers a whole load of different features, it takes a bit more consideration to embed it into a business.

It's not uncommon for companies to hire external HubSpot consultants to manage the setup process for them. In fact, there are entire agencies that focus exclusively on providing HubSpot assistance—they even list out their top HubSpot solutions partners on their website. 

Mailchimp solution partners aren't a thing because the tool isn't complex enough to require it. The setup process with Mailchimp is quick and straightforward—you could be set up and using the tool in less than an hour. 

One example of the contrast in setup is importing contacts. In Mailchimp, it's really easy to do because the fields are all extremely basic: all you can include in your CSV is the contact's first name, last name, and email address. When doing the same in HubSpot, it's a more complicated process. Because HubSpot is also a CRM, every contact you upload will be stored with its own contact record. These contact records have a whole load of fields that help growth teams build a picture of who the contact is and how warm they are as a lead. It's pretty advanced, and this makes importing contacts a bit more tricky—you have to spend a decent amount of time preparing your CSV before you import it into HubSpot.

HubSpot landing pages are more customizable

Both HubSpot and Mailchimp offer functional, well-designed landing pages for capturing leads, but you can do a bit more with landing pages on a HubSpot package. 

While Mailchimp offers an unlimited number of landing pages, you only have 10 template designs to choose from, and they don't offer much wiggle room for customization. If you do customize a landing page to make it more unique to your brand, you can't save it as a new template for future use. 

You're limited to 20 landing pages on the HubSpot free plan, but realistically, you're not likely to ever hit that limit on a budget-free marketing strategy anyway. HubSpot offers 20 landing page template designs and they're more customizable, with custom HTML. You can also A/B test HubSpot landing pages, save CTA buttons, and add smart rules that mean visitors see a slightly different version of a landing page based on different criteria like their country/language or stage in the buyer lifecycle. None of these extra options are accessible with Mailchimp's landing page builder.

Mailchimp is more affordable for email marketing

Both Mailchimp and HubSpot have pretty generous free plans: 

  • Mailchimp gives you 500 contacts and 2,500 email sends a month.

  • HubSpot gives you unlimited contacts and 2,000 email sends a month—a little more flexibility, but a little less on actual email sends.

Once you do move to a paid plan, Mailchimp is the cheaper option. With three tiered options that go up incrementally depending on how many contacts you have, Mailchimp's simple pricing structure is really one of its strengths. HubSpot also has three tiers for its paid marketing plans, but they work out to be more expensive because they offer more features. HubSpot does offer customizable bundles in an attempt to make the tool more affordable, but it still gets very expensive pretty quickly.  

For example, if you had 5,000 contacts, you could send 50,000 emails a month for $69/month on Mailchimp's Essentials plan. On HubSpot's equivalent Starter plan, that same number of contacts would cost you $96/month, and you'd only be able to send half the number of emails (25,000 emails, which is five times the number of contacts).

If you're at a larger org and budget isn't an issue for you, HubSpot for sure has more to offer and will scale with your teams. But if you're a small business looking to build your top-of-funnel marketing contacts, Mailchimp probably does everything you're likely to need it to do.

You can do more with HubSpot's social media features

Both Mailchimp and HubSpot allow you to post to your linked social media accounts without ever having to leave the platform. But with HubSpot, you can manage your entire social media marketing strategy directly from inside the tool.

The way social media is embedded into both tools' pricing plans is indicative of what they can do (and who they're catering to): Mailchimp's social media offering is basic but can be used for free; HubSpot's is a lot more advanced, but it comes at a cost. 

On Mailchimp's free plan, you can create social messages and post them across Facebook, Instagram, and X (but scheduling is only available on paid plans).

Mailchimp's social media sharing options

And that's just about all you can do. In fact, social media is such a low priority for Mailchimp that it's not even listed on their marketing pricing plan

HubSpot, on the other hand, only gives Professional-tier users and higher access to its social media management tools. But it's easy to see why it's limited to paid packages—you can do so much with it. 

To start, you can manage a load of social media channels from within the platform, including LinkedIn and YouTube (neither of which Mailchimp supports) and get in-depth performance analytics on any of the platforms you manage within the tool. It even tracks and reports on posts that weren't published through HubSpot.

You can also manage conversations and interactions on any of your linked social accounts directly from within HubSpot. In this sense, HubSpot's social media dashboard is a bit like a social media management tool like Buffer. If you're replacing a social media management tool with HubSpot, you can probably justify the cost of the higher-tier package.

Both tools are doing a lot with generative AI

Both HubSpot and Mailchimp have lots of AI going on behind the scenes, and they now also have generative AI-powered content optimization tools that can improve your content (or if you're really stuck, even write copy from scratch). 

The tools have almost identical approaches to AI content writing: you can ask it to rewrite, expand, shorten, or change the tone, as you can see from these screenshots. 

Here's what HubSpot looks like:

HubSpot's generative AI feature

And here's Mailchimp:

Mailchimp's generative AI features

HubSpot's AI content writer is available to use on any written content you create through HubSpot. Just highlight any rich text, click the lightning bolt icon, and you'll see options for how you might want to optimize your copy. On Mailchimp, you can only access the content optimizer in the email builder—it's not available for landing pages (yet). 

It's worth mentioning that there's a lot of AI development happening with both tools, so it's worth checking in to see what's changed since I wrote this. For example, HubSpot's AI content writer is still in beta, so I can't even tell you which package you need to be on to access it yet. (Watch this space for updates!)

You can automate both tools with Zapier

Both HubSpot and Mailchimp integrate with Zapier, so you can connect them with thousands of other apps to automate your mission-critical workflows. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • 6 ways to automate business processes in HubSpot

  • 6 ways to automate your email marketing with Mailchimp

Zapier is the leader in workflow automation—integrating with 6,000+ apps from partners like Google, Salesforce, and Microsoft. Use interfaces, data tables, and logic to build secure, automated systems for your business-critical workflows across your organization's technology stack. Learn more.

Mailchimp vs. HubSpot: Which should you choose?

With all this in mind, choosing between Mailchimp and HubSpot should be pretty straightforward once you understand your needs:

Mailchimp will be the right marketing platform for you if: 

  • You need a tool that's simple and easy to use (even for beginners)

  • Your main focus is email marketing and community building

  • Your business model relies on shorter buyer lifecycles

HubSpot will be the right marketing platform for you if:

  • You have more marketing budget to play with

  • You have experienced marketers running your campaigns

  • You have a longer and slower buyer lifecycle that involves a sales team

  • You're planning for substantial growth

Related reading:

  • HubSpot vs. Salesforce

  • ActiveCampaign vs. Mailchimp

  • Constant Contact vs. Mailchimp

  • HubSpot vs. ActiveCampagin

  • The best HubSpot alternatives

This article was originally published in December 2022. The most recent update was in October 2023.

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