Social media, live chat, live video, and chatbots have people talking about efficient ways to interact, market, sell, and build brands. These technologies are new compared to email marketing, which has been around for decades. With that being said, 99 percent of people check their emails daily including me. Also, many of us enter our email inboxes frequently and more than our social inboxes. Not only is email marketing not dead; it’s alive, healthy, and kicking butt. Email marketing is an effective way to communicate, reach prospects and customers directly, and close deals.
Email marketing plays a pivotal role in my online business. As a traffic source, it ranks third after organic search and social media. I tweak and update my email marketing strategy at least once a month with the goal of increasing my open rates, clicks, and conversions. For example, I recently changed my autoresponse sequence and content. I also scan the marketplace quarterly for tools/services that might be better than what I am using. The market is highly competitive so companies are always trying to one-up each other, for example, several companies offer free email marketing services to attract customers. Free plans are excellent for beginners and folks with low subscriber counts.
Email marketing services boil down to user-friendliness, integration with other apps, and pricing. I use MailerLite, a top-rated email marketing provider. They integrate with my opt-in form plugin, Bloom, for a potent one-two punch. I use Bloom to get subscribers, and MailerLite to deliver my content. I’m happy with MailerLite, but let’s compare them to MailChimp, a major player in the market. I used MailChimp years ago, so it’s an opportunity to check in. Both companies have free plans, but I will compare their ten-dollar plans to see which business provides more value.
MailerLite was founded in 2010 and operates in Vilnius, Lithuania. More than 500,000 businesses, startups, and freelancers use their email and marketing services.
MailChimp was founded in 2001 and operates in Atlanta, USA. Millions of individuals and companies use their marketing tools to reach customers and grow their businesses.
Most email marketing software features are self-explanatory, and details are available at each website. Except for subscriber limits, MailerLite and MailChimp are nearly identical.
|Features||MailerLite $10/month plan||MailChimp $10/month plan|
|Subscribers||1,001-2,500||Up to 500 (501 = $15)|
|Emails per month||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Rich text editor||X||X|
|Mobile friendly emails||X||X|
|A/B split testing||X||X|
|Unsubscribe page builder||X|
|Send time optimization||X|
|Abandoned cart emails||X|
|Tracking and campaign reports||X||X|
MailerLite offers automatic resend and unsubscribe page builder capabilities. Regarding automatic resend, MailerLite states, “Increase your open rate up to 30% by automatically resending your campaign to those recipients who didn’t open it the first time or didn’t click any links.” Their unsubscribe page builder allows you to customize your page to retain subscribers and make the process more pleasant for unsubscribers.
MailChimp has a feature called “send time optimization.” STO looks at your list and determines the best sending time for distributing emails. STO relies on in-house data.
MailChimp is stronger than MailerLite for e-commerce, which isn’t surprising since they own Mandrill, a transactional email service. MailChimp integrates with Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, and a few other major platforms. MailerLite integrates with Shopify, WooCommerce, and a few smaller players.
A critical difference between MailerLite and MailChimp is pricing. Ten dollars with MailerLite affords 1,001 to 2,500 subscribers before you reach the next price level ($20 for 2,501-5,000). Ten dollars with MailChimp affords 500 subscribers then $15 for 501-1,000 and $20 for 1,001-1,500. At 2,500 subscribers, you will pay three times more for MailChimp compared to MailerLite ($10 vs. $30 a month).
MailChimp is a viable option until they are not. It’s typical of them to put themselves first, and users second. Furthermore, their policies can change abruptly. For example, MailChimp was the first email marketing company to announce cryptocurrency bans after Google, Facebook, and others. Also, they got rid of Alex Jones after Facebook, YouTube, and Spotify did. Suppose your blog mentions cryptocurrencies and you use MailChimp. It’s possible that today your account is active and tomorrow it is suspended or terminated. To make matters worse, MailChimp treats its suspended users like the plague by providing insufficient details and support. All the while, MailerLite is consistent with their policies and doesn’t banish users randomly.
For everyday email marketing, MailerLite and MailChimp are excellent. These companies are very alike except that MailChimp forces you to pay for additional features while MailerLite’s features are the same for every plan. MailerLite has a pricing advantage whereas MailChimp is better for e-commerce activities. Alternatively, Benchmark offers robust e-commerce capabilities for roughly the same pricing.
Separately, if you use AWeber, CampaignMonitor, ConvertKit, GetReponse, Mad Mimi, or Constant Contact, you’ll save up to 60 percent with MailerLite.