So you want to build an email list, but haven’t yet decided which email marketing service you are going to use? We’ve all been there, browsing through different email marketing services sites, trying to figure out which has the best features for your business.
We’ll take a look at the features that these email marketing services offer and give you an insight on the best email marketing service to consider. Let’s get down to business.
What To Look for in An Email Marketing Service
Here are some few questions we want you to ponder before you dive deeper into this:
Which kind of automation emails are you planning to send? Are you going to send autoresponders or advanced triggered emails?
Do you want access to useful analytics? Are you eager to know the emails that are being ignored and the emails that are getting opened?
Which design options are you looking for? Which visual components do you want to incorporate into your templates to make it compelling?
Does it have A/B testing? This makes it easier to optimize your emails.
Do you want to pay per subscriber or email? While some services prices are based on the email list size, others are based on the number of emails you send.
Do you want the email marketing service to be compatible with WordPress? Since you are here, chances are; you are a WordPress user. Opting for an email marketing service that’s compatible with WordPress might be a good option for you.
Campaign Monitor vs. Mailchimp
Let’s start by taking a look at some of the templates that Campaign Monitor offers you. With more than 60 premade email designs, this email marketing service has clean, simple, and modern-looking templates.
You can either use the premade templates or customize your templates. If you choose the latter, you will notice that adding images, texts and buttons is a natural process. Not to mention, you can enter your organization’s name and address on the email footer.
Campaign Monitor also takes you through the process of customizing your emails. This makes it easier to design your templates. You can play around with drag and drop features until you find something that suits your style.
While Campaign Monitor allows you to create lightboxes and embeddable forms for your landing pages, it doesn’t have various options for lead captures. Such choices include slide-in content and pop-up emails.
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So, what does Mailchimp offer in terms of templates?
Well, Mailchimp has some of the best templates out there. They are versatile, diverse, and quite customizable. Unlike Campaign Monitor templates, most Mailchimp templates are not fully loaded with content. You have to work on a story that is going to entice your subscribers.
Mailchimp visual editor packs drag-and-drop functionalities, which can be used to customize templates. Unfortunately, there are no options that let you adjust the top and bottom margins.
Campaign Monitor lets you send multiple autoresponders. In their parlance, the process of sending automated emails is referred to as ‘Subscriber Journeys’. Such journeys allow you to create a series of automated emails based on the rules you define.
A journey designer is also available to help you create different automated email series. It enables you to set specific triggers that start the automated series journey. The automation process is very visual. You can see how your emails are going to look like and the types of emails that different subscribers will receive based on their actions.
While subscriber journeys have superb functionalities, adding a new subscriber to a journey can be a rather hectic process. To add a new subscriber, you have to pause your campaign, go to your records, and add him/her from there. This is quite different from Mailchimp because it lets you add a subscriber through a single click.
With that in mind, Mailchimp also offers different automation features.
It has various automated email presets organized into different categories. Each preset has trigger and schedule settings that ease up the setup process. Alternatively, Mailchimp also offers you a custom option, which allows you to build an automated email series from scratch.
One thing that makes Mailchimp unique is the ability to integrate its automation functionalities with your website. This allows you to send emails based on what subscribers are doing on your site.
Analytics And Insights
One of the best ways to know if your campaigns are performing well is to check the analytics. With Campaign Monitor, you can quickly review your analytics. You can know the unsubscribe rates, click-throughs, and further details regarding a specific subscriber. Not to mention, such statistics can be exported through a PDF.
Unfortunately, Campaign Monitor doesn’t let you split-test send times and entire campaigns. While Campaign Monitor has decent analytics features, Mailchimp has much more integrated features.
Do you want to know what Mailchimp offers you in terms of analytics and reporting tools?
Mailchimp lets you view your emails’ basic results, such as click-throughs, email open rates, and comparative overviews. With Mailchimp, you can know the number of emails that get delivered and the number of emails that bounce back.
Another superb feature that Mailchimp packs is the send optimizer, which lets you know the best time to send an email.
Usability and User Interface
On the usability front, Campaign Monitor is straightforward to navigate. There are also a lot of different features for beginners. An example of such a function is the inbox preview, which shows you how your email will look like in your subscriber’s inbox.
On the other hand, Mailchimp’s usability is quite straightforward. It offers you unlimited storage, which can be used to save images. Plus, the campaign builder is quite flexible.
Unlike most email marketing services out there, Campaign Monitor doesn’t have a free plan.
It has three different paid plans—basic, unlimited, and premier. While those three plans have some standard features, they differ in certain ways.
These are some of the key distinctions found in those plans:
- Basic plans have a limit on the number of emails you can send to your subscribers in a single month. If you have an email list with 500 subscribers, you can only send 2500 emails a month. On the other hand, if you have a list with 30,000 email addresses, you can only send 250,000 emails. Also, with basic plans, you are limited to designing automated sophisticated subscriber journeys.
- Unlimited plans don’t limit the number of messages you can send to your subscribers. These plans also offer sophisticated automated email journeys.
- The premium Campaign Monitor plans boost unlimited plans by offering you phone support and send-time optimization. The latter is a feature that sends e-newsletters at specific moments when they are likely to get opened.
Since the pricing depends on the size of your database, we are going to give you an overview of three different scenarios that will help you understand Campaign Monitor pricing:
Note: These are monthly prices.
- A database with 500 subscribers will cost you $9 in the basic plan, $29 in the unlimited plan, and $149 in the premium plan.
- A database with 25,000 email addresses will cost you $199 in the basic plan, $399 in the unlimited plan, and $499 in the premium plan.
- If you have a top-tier database with a list of 50,000 subscribers, you will pay $299 for the basic plan, $699 for the unlimited plan, and $989 for the premium plan.
Does Mailchimp have affordable prices than Campaign Monitor? Let’s find out.
Unlike Campaign Monitor, Mailchimp offers you a free plan. This might be a suitable option if you want to try out Mailchimp features. It lets you host a mail list with 2000 addresses and allows you to send around 10,000 e-newsletters each month. However, your e-newsletters will have Mailchimp ads.
Paid plans are billed in the following way:
- Essentials– starts at $9 for a list with 500 email addresses.
- Standard– starts at $14.99 for a list with 500 email addresses.
- Premium– starts at $299.99 for a list with 500 addresses.
SendinBlue vs. Mailchimp
SendinBlue has more than 200 templates. While some templates are a little bit outdated, others look quite stylish. This email marketing service also has a drag and drop editor that can be used to edit email templates. However, it is not as versatile as the Mailchimp email builder. Why’s that?
The email builder has limited functionalities when it comes to tweaking the background of your templates. It doesn’t stop there. Sendinblue only offers you eight different fonts. This limits your creativity to some extent.
Comparatively, Mailchimp’s email builder is more versatile than SendinBlue’s email builder. You can seamlessly add unique images and social media buttons to your email template.
SendinBlue’s automated email and SMS series are referred to as workflows. Different workflow templates can be redesigned to fulfill a particular purpose. Such templates help you to get more familiar with the automation process.
The automated workflow series also allows you to base your emails on the ‘if/then’ conditions. This determines the next email that your subscriber is going to receive. If one of your subscribers fails to open an email, then he/she will get a different email as compared to the subscriber who had read the previous email.
SendinBlue lets you add transactional features to your emails. This feature sets it apart from Mailchimp.
Is Mailchimp’s automation as good as Sendinblue’s automation?
Here’s the difference between the two; SendinBlue lets you access automation features in all the plans, while Mailchimp allows you to use automation features in top-tier plans. Most features found in Mailchimp’s automation are also found in SendinBlue’s automation.
Analytics And Insights
SendinBlue lets you run A/B tests on email content and subject lines. It also has email reporting tools that give you metrics on subscription clicks and open rates. Top tier plans provide access to much more sophisticated features. Such features include insight into the best position to place a button in a template and advanced click reports.
Unlike Mailchimp, this email marketing service also offers insight into transactional emails.
Does Mailchimp have better analytics and insights?
In the lower packages, Mailchimp lets you test three Campaign types. If you opt for the premium plan, this email marketing service enables you to split test 8 variants. It is also worthwhile to note that Mailchimp can display your results based on the industry benchmark. This feature is not available in SendinBlue.
SendinBlue’s user interface is straightforward and easy to navigate. It has a minimalistic design that is quite user-friendly to beginners. From the dashboard, you can see the number of contacts you have in your email list and your email stats. SendinBlue has an excellent interface overall.
On the other hand, Mailchimp also has a user-friendly interface. Every feature is laid simply and effectively. While tracking down functionalities is easy, finding the landing pages section can be quite challenging for some users.
All SendinBlue plans are based on the number of emails you send. They also allow you to have unlimited contacts. The free plan is a feature-constrained trial that will enable you to send 300 emails per day.
Paid plans are billed in the following manner:
- Lite plan– 40,000 emails at $25 per month.
- Essential plan– 60,000 emails at $39 per month
- Enterprise plan– 120,000 emails at $66 per month, and 350,000 emails at $173.
- Premium plan– This plan is suitable for large organizations that send more than 350,000 emails in a month. The price is customized based on your needs and the number of emails you are planning to send.
Let’s take a look at Mailchimp’s pricing?
Mailchimp has three paid plans— essentials, standard, and premium. The essentials plan doesn’t let you automate your marketing emails through autoresponders. If you are keen on automation, you should consider the standard and the premium plan.
If you don’t send emails frequently, you can consider using the ‘pay as you go’ plan. This option allows you to pay a certain fee, depending on the number of emails sent. It is based on the essentials plan, so it has the same functionalities as the essentials plan.
A word of caution: watch out on your subscriber count while using Mailchimp.
Let’s say you have 1000 subscribers on your account, then 200 unsubscribe from your list. Mailchimp will charge you as if you have a subscriber list of 1000 addresses. You can resolve this by deleting unsubscribed addresses from your list.
Which Email Marketing Service Should You Choose?
Now that you’ve gone through those three email marketing services, the next thing you need to do is to choose a suitable platform.
A little while ago, our favorite email marketing service was Mailchimp because it had a user-friendly interface. However, since SendinBlue upgraded its interface, it has become quite competitive.
And you know what?
SendinBlue allows you to manage your email marketing features from your WordPress admin dashboard quite easily.
While Campaign Monitor is a reliable email marketing service, we couldn’t find a solid reason to choose it over Mailchimp or Sendinblue. However, when it comes to automation and personalization, Campaign Monitor has some exciting features. Such features can only be useful if you are willing to put in the work. Campaign monitor might be suitable for you if you like such features.
Campaign Monitor vs. MailChimp vs. SendinBlue: Final Thoughts
While finding a fully-reliable email marketing service can be a rather daunting task, the platforms we have recommended above have excellent features. If one doesn’t suit your needs completely, you can switch to another service and try out its functions. Eventually, you will find a suitable email marketing service that you are comfortable with.
Which is your favorite email marketing service out of these three? Let us know in the comments below!