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6 min read

7 of the best Mailchimp alternatives in 2023 (free and paid options)

By Deb Tennen · January 27, 2023
Hero image with the logos of Mailchimp alternatives

People love Mailchimp. And for good reason: it's one of the best email marketing platforms out there. So much so, in fact, that it made four of our best apps lists:

Of course, that doesn't mean it's the exact right tool for everyone. Depending on what you're planning to use Mailchimp for—newsletters, drip campaigns, transactional emails, or just as a free email marketing service—you can take a look at those lists for dozens of paid and free alternatives for Mailchimp.

But we've also done some extensive testing for head-to-head comparisons of Mailchimp and other email marketing software. Here, we'll share that list of Mailchimp competitors with you to help you decide which one is best for your business.

How we test: All of our app comparisons are written by humans who've spent much of their careers using, testing, and writing about software. We spend dozens of hours researching and testing, using each app as it's intended to be used and evaluating it against the other app. We're never paid for placement in our articles from any app or for links to any site—we value the trust readers put in us to offer authentic evaluations of the apps we review.

7 of the best Mailchimp alternatives

  1. ActiveCampaign

  2. ConvertKit

  3. Constant Contact

  4. HubSpot

  5. Klaviyo

  6. Sendinblue

  7. SendGrid

A Mailchimp alternative for more robust features and advanced marketing automation

ActiveCampaign

A screenshot of ActiveCampaign, our pick for the best drip email software advanced drip automations

ActiveCampaign has been on the block almost as long as Mailchimp (it's only two years younger), and it has some pretty advanced features. For example, its lead scoring options are extensive and give you much more control over personalization and segmentation than you get with Mailchimp.

But it's the marketing automation features in ActiveCampaign that really set it apart. You can do things like include SMS blocks and website messages as steps within your automated campaigns, which isn't possible in Mailchimp. ActiveCampaign's automation map is also nifty: it allows you to view multiple automated journeys on one map to see how they work together, giving you a much more holistic view of your campaigns.

Mailchimp offers a free plan and feels a lot simpler than ActiveCampaign, but with that simplicity, there are tradeoffs. So if you're ready to graduate from Mailchimp, ActiveCampaign is a solid next step.

Read more: Mailchimp vs. ActiveCampaign

A Mailchimp alternative for creators

ConvertKit

A screenshot of ConvertKit, our pick for the best drip email software for solopreneurs and creators

Where ActiveCampaign is for Mailchimp graduates, ConvertKit is better for folks who don't yet need a tool as robust as Mailchimp.

ConvertKit is pretty barebones when it comes to email building, and more advanced marketers will probably feel like there's something left to be desired. It lacks advanced testing options, and also doesn't offer much in terms of reporting, compared to a tool like Mailchimp. And its small number of template designs and customization options (unless you know HTML) are a bit limiting.

That's not to say it doesn't have its strengths. ConverKit offers flexible contact management, impressive automation capabilities (especially given the simplicity of the app overall), and a ton of landing page templates. And because the focus is really on solo creators, it offers some unique features that you won't find in most other email marketing apps (looking at you, tip jar.)

In the end, ConvertKit is best for creators and small eCommerce businesses. While Mailchimp offers more design customizability, better contact management, and deep integration options, you might not need all that for your solo endeavors.

Read more: Mailchimp vs. ConvertKit

A Mailchimp alternative for more templates

Constant Contact

Screenshot of Constant Contact's Labor Day templates

Compared to Mailchimp, Constant Contact is better for email marketing beginners who need simple features and ready-to-send templates. Even though its email builder isn't quite as robust as Mailchimp's, it has about twice as many (over 200) email templates that will cover you for nearly any campaign you're sending.

Constant Contact's automation features aren't as deep as Mailchimp's, but it can automate welcome, birthday, anniversary, and resending emails—and you can set up workflows for eCommerce websites. Similarly, the testing and reporting options aren't as advanced, but if you only need the basics, it has you covered (e.g., you can test subject lines, and you can see opens, clicks, bounces, and conversion rates).

Plus, Constant Contact offers phone support on every plan. If that's how you like to get your customer support, that could be the deciding factor.

Read more: Mailchimp vs. Constant Contact

A Mailchimp alternative for longer buyer lifecycles and an all-in-one tool

HubSpot

HubSpot's automations

The main difference here: HubSpot is an all-in-one tool that combines marketing, sales, content management, operations, and customer service into one platform, while Mailchimp is purely marketing software.

For example, the automations you can set up in HubSpot are highly advanced. This makes it much more suited for longer buyer lifecycles because you can trigger automated email sequences that nurture people all the way through the funnel and segment your list based on all sorts of factors, including their behavior and their stage in the customer lifecycle.

Having said that, it's not quite as easy to build an email in HubSpot. The builder is excellent, but Mailchimp has more templates and makes the process a lot smoother. Because HubSpot is very CRM-focused, there are a lot more moving parts—so it's natural that emails would be a bit more complicated.

Finally, you'll get more advanced analytics in HubSpot than you will in Mailchimp—again, it makes sense given all the integrated features you're working with.

HubSpot is just built to do a lot more than Mailchimp can do, so be sure you need all of its extra features before making the switch—it's harder to set up and, naturally, it'll cost you more.

Read more: HubSpot vs. Mailchimp

A Mailchimp alternative for eCommerce

Klaviyo

eCommerce automations on Klaviyo

The quick version: Klaviyo is more suitable for larger eCommerce brands.

For starters, you can add automated alerts for people shopping at your store—things like abandoned cart reminders, order updates, and alerts for price drops. And it's all a lot more customizable than in Mailchimp. You can also set eCommerce-specific benchmarks that help you compare how you're doing against other brands in the industry.

Klaviyo doesn't have as many digital marketing channels as Mailchimp. While Mailchimp lets you do landing pages, postcards, social posts, ads, and surveys, Klaviyo is limited to email and SMS. But that SMS option is key: it's something Mailchimp doesn't have built into its platform, so it's much more streamlined on Klaviyo if that's what you're looking for.

Overall, Klaviyo offers more granular customization and more in-depth options for segmentation, automation, and analytics, with special attention to the eCommerce side of things. So if you sell products online and want to see a solid and fast ROI, Klaviyo is a great option.

Read more: Mailchimp vs. Klaviyo

A free Mailchimp alternative

Sendinblue

Sendinblue chat widget creator

The first thing you'll notice is Sendinblue's generous free plan, so if you're looking for a free Mailchimp alternative, it's a good place to start. It offers unlimited contacts for free, and while it's not as robust as a true CRM, you can use it like one if you want. Plus, its segmentation options are impressive, and you can do transactional email—all on the free plan.

But Sendinblue also offers a few things you won't get with Mailchimp: like Klaviyo, Sendinblue lets you run SMS campaigns alongside email, and you can build automations to integrate both channels. You can even create a customized live chat window to embed on your website and then manage all the chats inside Sendinblue.

You won't get deep analytics with Sendinblue, and Mailchimp offers a lot of channels that Sendinblue doesn't, but if you need an inexpensive (or free) marketing platform, it's a strong contender.

Read more: Mailchimp vs. Sendinblue

A Mailchimp alternative for transactional email and deliverability

SendGrid

SendGrig's Sender Authentication page

SendGrid focuses on high-volume sending, especially for transactional emails. For that reason, it tends to be more geared toward IT/developer folks, with words like "inbound parse" and "IP access management" popping up all over the place. You can choose no-code, low-code, or full-code, which is a serious amount of flexibility. That's not to say beginners can't use it—it'll just have more of a learning curve (though the documentation is great).

SendGrid is also known for its deliverability (reports will vary a bit, but you're looking at around 97% for SendGrid and 86% for Mailchimp). It has all sorts of important things happening in the background to achieve this level of deliverability, and if you're dealing with transactional emails, that number matters. (You'll also get analytics focused on optimizing that deliverability.)

In the end, SendGrid is more technical than Mailchimp and may have a steeper learning curve—and if you're just working with a small list, SendGrid may not be the right choice. But if you're looking for a Mailchimp alternative for high-volume transactional email, it's a great app to check out.

Read more: Mailchimp vs. SendGrid

Which Mailchimp alternative should you use?

As ChatGPT might say, "ultimately, the choice between Mailchimp and another tool will depend on the specific needs and priorities of the user." I don't mean to sound like the robots, but it's true: figure out what your biggest pain point is with Mailchimp, and then take a few of these alternatives for a spin to see which one does the trick.

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