August 11, 2016

6 Standout MailChimp Alternatives for Email Marketing

Every software category has a company or two that delivers a great product and a great brand experience. Helpdesk has Zendesk, and team collaboration has Slack. Email marketing has MailChimp.

With its easy-to-use interface, impressive array of features, and postal worker chimpanzee, MailChimp has won over a lot of email marketers. The software is so popular that people used it to send over 1 billion emails on Black Friday last year.

Photo courtesy of Mailchimp

Courtesy of MailChimp

MailChimp consistently publishes informative data about how marketers are using their platform, and they run some great advertising campaigns that only make the company easier to love (Mailkimp anyone?).

Despite its impressive pedigree, MailChimp isn’t for everyone.

If you’re looking for a monkey-free email solution, you have plenty of options to consider. Here are six of the best MailChimp alternatives.

1. Get Response

GetResponse offers many of the same features as MailChimp, like a drag-and-drop email composer, autoresponder campaigns, and in-depth list segmentation. But where MailChimp focuses on simplicity, GetResponse expands its feature set to include a landing page builder, exit intent pop-up, and full-fledged CRM functionality.

That’s not to say GetResponse is difficult to use — it’s easy to navigate — but if you’re looking for an email platform that can do it all, GetResponse can pound for pound with just about any other standalone solution on the market. Check out the video above to see the landing page builder in action.

2. Sparkpost

In March of 2016, MailChimp announced that its transactional email service Mandrill would no longer be available as a standalone service. To access Mandrill, people would now have to pay for a full-fledged MailChimp account.

Mandrill was pretty popular, and transactional emails serve an important function for most businesses, so this announcement left a lot of people searching for a new solution. Sparkpost offered to honor the existing terms of Mandrill customers’ contracts if they switched to the Sparkpost platform, and so positioned themselves as the go-to Mandrill alternative.

Sparkpost comes equipped with easy to understand APIs, an active developer community, and some of the highest delivery rates in the industry. This software also includes a host of other email marketing features that make it a true MailChimp alternative, rather than just an escape raft from Mandrill.

3. ActiveCampaign

Ease of use will almost always dictate how you feel about a software product. Too often, business software sacrifices the user experience in the name of a longer feature list.

Not ActiveCampaign. This system manages offers formidable marketing automation functions and a fully-functional CRM without degrading the user experience. You can A/B test emails, set up lead scoring rules, and build automation campaigns without having to contemplate a sabbatical every two weeks.

ActiveCampaign’s blend of automation and contact management probably makes it most attractive to B2B organizations, but its functionality and user experience make it attractive to any marketer — regardless of your industry.

4. Maropost

A significant percentage of MailChimp’s client base is small and medium-sized businesses, so marketers who work for larger organizations often look for MailChimp alternatives. If that story sounds familiar, Marapost is a good choice for you.

Maropost offers all of the requisite email functionality — split testing, send time optimization, automation campaigns — but it’s built to support much higher sending volume than most of its competitors.

Maropost also connects your email marketing to data from your ERP, point-of-sale, or eCommerce system using a customizable database. Factor in integrations with enterprise-grade CRMs like Salesforce and Oracle, and you have an email platform that’s built to scale.

5. AWeber

If you Google “AWeber,” you’ll see a PPC ad for MailChimp at the top of the search results page. This means MailChimp targets the same type of people who may also like AWeber.

AWeber offers a feature set that’s well-rouned, but easy-to-use. There’s the obligatory visual email editor and detailed segmentation options, but it’s mobile features that really set AWeber apart.

The Atom app is essentially a mobile form capture, which is perfect for collecting emails at the point of purchase, while the AWeber Stats app lets you access multiple reports from your mobile device.

6. Emma

Email development talent is rare, and the process of constructing an HTML template from scratch is arduous. Consequently, the depth and design of a template library plays a large role in which email software people choose.

Few products can match the design quality of Emma’s templates, and you’ll find the same attention to design in all of Emma’s features. The “lightbox” function makes for a nice email capture form, and the dashboard visualizes your performance data while also codifying each email’s metrics into a single “mailing score” for at-a-glance analysis.

* * *

MailChimp is a market leader for a reason, but it’s not flawless. The system might not always supply the CRM functionality that a B2B company wants, and there’s a big jump in pricing to access the advanced functions in the pro version.

Luckily, this software market is filled with viable, even excellent, MailChimp Alternatives. The six products listed are some of the best out there and should serve as a great shortlist for your email marketing software purchase. 

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1 Comments

  1. Paul

    I just started using Mailchimp, and I was surprised that it lacks simple features that I would have thought common. For example, I can’t find any way to add non-email info to the contacts list – even manually. Does everyone just keep other info on that subscriber (e.g. phone number) someplace else? Who want duplicated entries? And, even more surprising, I can’t attach a teeny-tiny .ics file so subscribers can automatically add something to their calendar. I can’t be the only user who wants to send event info to subscribers! (I run a small non-profit club). Are there a services that provides these sorts of features?

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