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MailChimp vs. Campaign Monitor: Which Is the Best Email Newsletter Software?

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As a small business owner, your primary concern should be on growing (and promoting) your business, as well as establishing a better relationship with your existing (and potential) clients.

The most effective way to do this is with email marketing. The biggest benefit of email marketing is that it puts you in control. You decide on the timing and frequency you want to email your subscribers. When you send them an email, it arrives in their inbox primed to be interacted with.

When it comes to email marketing, there are two platforms that stand out among the rest for small business owners. Both MailChimp and Campaign Monitor are powerful marketing solutions for a growing small business.

In this article, we’ll take a look at their features and help you make an informed decision on choosing the right email newsletter software provider for your small business marketing goals. 

MailChimp vs Campaign Monitor Best Email Marketing Software
MailChimp vs. Campaign Monitor: Choose the best email newsletter software for your small business.

Let's dig into this email marketing software comparison guide.

Brief Overview of MailChimp and Campaign Monitor

MailChimp and Campaign Monitor are very popular choices due to their affordable pricing and the sheer amount of features they offer.

They both offer an easy drag and drop designer for your campaigns, a number of email templates, automation features, integration with third-party apps, advanced reporting features, email personalization, and more.

Here’s a basic side by side comparison of both MailChimp and Campaign Monitor:


MailChimp

Campaign Monitor

Price

Free with basic features/$10/month for up to 500 subscribers and all core features.

Free to send emails to 5 subscribers/$9/month for up to 500 subscribers and all core features.

Automation/Drip Campaigns

Yes

Yes

eCommerce Integration

Yes, Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, BigCommerce.

Yes, Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce.

Sign up Forms

Offers the ability to host sign up forms, embed them into your site and integrates with third party apps like OptinMonster.

Offers the ability to host sign up forms, embed them into your site and integrates with third party apps.

Social Media Integration

Yes, with the ability to share each campaign on Twitter/Facebook, integrates with Facebook Pages and Twitter Lead Generation Cards.

Yes, Facebook Pages and Facebook Ads.

Campaign Reports

Yes

Yes

Double Opt-In Forms

Yes

Yes

A/B Split-Testing

Yes, although more advanced testing is available on higher-tiered plans

Yes

Support

Email support available on paid plans only.

Email support available on all plans, phone support available on Premier Plan.

MailChimp - An In-Depth Look

MailChimp is often the first choice for many small businesses, simply because they offer a generous free plan and ease of use. Let’s take a more thorough look at MailChimp’s features.

Mailchimp
Mailchimp

1. Design Features

MailChimp is straightforward and intuitive to use. The campaigns are easily designed in several ways. You can use one of the pre-made email templates and customize it with your colors, add your images, logo, and social media follow and share icons.

There are various building blocks that you can insert into your newsletters or campaigns which include text, boxed text, image, image with a caption, image cards, image groups, video, buttons, and more.

The font choices are rather limited when it comes to MailChimp which means you cannot use Google Fonts or TypeKit Fonts.

You can also choose to send a plain-text campaign which renders your emails as just plain text and when you don't want to use images. There is also an option to upload your own HTML template.

Here's an example of beautiful email template made to work with Mailchimp. Use Kent to start working with a great newsletter design:

Kent MailChimp Template
Kent MailChimp Template

Or browse through more Mailchimp email templates from Envato Market: 

2. Email Campaigns

MailChimp allows you to send several different types of campaigns which include a regular campaign, plain text campaign, RSS-Campaign, and an A/B Testing campaign.

MailChimp users on a free plan have the option to send a final welcome email after someone subscribes which can be a great way to send them your free opt-in offer.

Other automation features are available on paid plans and are grouped by specific industry. For example, you can send automated email campaigns when someone joins your list as a welcome sequence, after someone makes a purchase in your online store, as well as send personalized emails on a subscriber’s birthday, specific dates, and more. Custom automation rules, called workflows, are also available to paid customers.

Learn more about how to work with Mailchimp for the first time: 

3. Subscribers and Lists

In MailChimp, your email subscribers are generally added to one list. However, you can add as many lists as you want or need. Lists can further be divided into groups and segments.

Where MailChimp differs from other email service providers, is the fact that you cannot send one campaign to multiple lists at the same time. To further complicate matters, if your clients or customers sign up for two different lists, they count them twice in MailChimp’s system. If you then proceed to send the same campaign to both lists, they will receive that same email twice.

Sign-up forms can be embedded into your website, or you can point your website visitors to a landing page hosted by MailChimp. If you don’t know how or don’t want to use their email forms, you can use one of many email opt-in form plugins which integrate with MailChimp.

They also offer integration with Facebook Pages and Twitter Lead Generation cards, as well as a mobile app to collect sign-ups, and a plugin for WordPress integration.

4. Third-Party Integrations

Aside from the eCommerce solutions listed above, MailChimp integrates with apps including FreshBooks, SalesForce, ZenDesk, SurveyMonkey, Google Analytics, Docs, and Contacts, eBay, PayPal, Etsy, and others.

If you’re looking for more advanced integrations, you can take advantage of MailChimp’s API which allows you to build custom applications.

5. Support

When it comes to support, users on the free plan are limited to MailChimp’s knowledge base which has extensive user guides.

Those on a paid plan have access to their email support which is available 24/7 and live chat support which is available 24/5.

6. Pricing

MailChimp is completely free if your database contains less than 2,000 contacts. They let you send up to 12,000 emails a month which gives you a weekly newsletter and a couple of extra email campaigns.

Paid plans are offered as a monthly plan starting at $10 for 500 subscribers if you want automation features. If, on the other hand, you have more than 2000 subscribers, the paid plan starts at $30 and allows you to send unlimited emails.

There is also a Pay-as-You-Go option which allows you to buy credits which you can then use to send campaigns to your email subscribers.

7. How it Helps Small Business Owners

Considering MailChimp offers a generous free plan, it’s a great choice for many small business owners who don’t have a big budget but want to start growing their email list.

Their email templates are easy to use and offer some nice features in terms of content, and most importantly, look great on mobile devices as well. What’s more, MailChimp even offers mobile apps which you can use to gather email subscribers during a networking event or a conference.

Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor deserved its place as the popular solution for small businesses thanks to its affordable pricing and powerful features.

Campaign Monitor
Campaign Monitor

1. Design Features

Like MailChimp, Campaign Monitor is easy to use and offers an impressive collection of templates which can be customized with your colors, images, and logo. There is also the option to use your own HTML template or use plain text.

In terms of design, Campaign Monitor has a user-friendly, drag and drop interface, that is simple to use. They also offer a wider selection of fonts, which include Google Fonts. When it comes to building blocks for your campaign, the selection is not as rich as MailChimp: you can add text, images, buttons, video, spacers, and dividers.

Design templates are categorized by the type of email you want to send.

Moka Campaign Monitor Template
Moka Campaign Monitor Template

2. Email Campaigns

The number of campaigns in Campaign Monitor is limited to only two types: regular campaign or A/B test campaign. Like MailChimp, Campaign Monitor offers personalization tags which allow you to insert your subscriber’s first, last or full name into the subject line.

There are other tags you can insert into your email campaign which include a Facebook Like button and a Tweet button.

3. Subscribers and Lists

Campaign Monitor allows you to have multiple lists as well as MailChimp but where MailChimp offers groups and segments, Campaign Monitor offers only segments. On top of that, if a subscriber happens to opt-in to more than one list, Campaign Monitor will not count them as two distinct subscribers.

Essentially, this means that you can send your email campaign to different lists and they will only receive it once.

When it comes to automation features, they don’t have as many options as MailChimp. Campaign Monitor refers to them as Workflows and they can be triggered when someone joins your list, on a special date, when someone enters or exits a segment, or when you have a site update.

When it comes to sign-up forms, Campaign Monitor seems to have a better selection. You can use a hosted landing page, embedded form, a subscribe button which will make an opt-in form pop up anywhere on your site where you place the code, Facebook page sign-up form, their very own plugin for WordPress, and a form for your iPad.

4. Third-Party Integrations

Campaign Monitor has their own App Store which offers integration with over 250 apps including QuickBooks, SalesForce, Magento, Kickbox, Boomtrain, as well as their own API. 

5. Support

Campaign Monitor offers an extensive knowledgebase, customer support forums, email support which is available 24/7, and phone support for users on their Premier plan.

6. Pricing

When it comes to pricing, Campaign Monitor is slightly pricier than MailChimp. Their basic plan allows you to send unlimited emails to 500 subscribers for $9 a month. The Unlimited plan allows you to send an unlimited number of emails as well as 5000 transactional emails for $29. Finally, the Premier plan is available for $149 a month and gives you access to their phone support and all of the features Campaign Monitor has to offer.

7. How it Helps Small Business Owners

Campaign Monitor allows you to start with a free account and test all of their features. However, you will have to choose a plan to send your first campaign. The good news is that their basic plan is low cost and includes automation features.

On top of that, Campaign Monitor integrates with a huge number of third-party apps out of the box as well as Zapier which means you can connect Campaign Monitor to almost any app out there.

Which One Should You Choose?

Choosing the best email marketing software is no easy task. When it comes to MailChimp versus Campaign Monitor, they are both excellent choices for small business owners. However, they both have their own set of cons as well.

MailChimp Pros

  • easy to use
  • offers a free plan to get you started
  • drag and drop template editor
  • large selection of email templates

MailChimp Cons

  • integrates with fewer apps natively
  • no support for the free plan

Campaign Monitor Pros

  • easy to use
  • drag and drop template editor
  • decent selection of email templates
  • huge number of third-party integrations

Campaign Monitor Cons

  • slightly pricier to get started
  • fewer choices when it comes to automated workflows

Are You Ready to Get Started With Email Marketing?

There is no doubt that an email list is one of your most important and valuable assets. It gives you direct access to your customers and allows you to establish a more personal relationship with them.

Choosing the right email email marketing software depends on the features you need and the budget you have available. If you use either of these system, then grab a high quality email newsletter template, so your marketing emails have fresh, professional designs: 

If you’re just getting started with growing your email list, MailChimp is a great solution as it’s completely free and gives you the basic tools you need to send email campaigns. It’s the perfect choice if you’ve never sent an email campaign before and want to come to grips with the basics. 

If, on the other hand, you already have some experience with email marketing, want more features than what MailChimp has to offer on their free plan without a high price tag, and having access to customer support is important to you, give Campaign Monitor a try.

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