Trying to decide between MailChimp vs MailerLite? Both of these email marketing software solutions are highly popular — mostly for being free in some form. But if you’re wondering which one is better for the long-term growth of your business, you’ll want to read this detailed review.
In this article, we’ll look at MailChimp vs MailerLite as well as the pros and cons of each one so that you can decide with confidence which one is right for you.
Table of Contents
With MailChimp, subscriber management is simply a matter if creating an audience (previously known as a list), and then using tags and segmentation to break it down into specific sub-sets. From here, you can then send relevant messages to each group of subscribers.
MailerLIte, on the other hand, follows a similar principle but with a slightly different naming style. Instead of managing subscribers with tags, they’re simply divided into groups. The process is the same, just with a different name.
Keep in mind that both MailChimp and MailerLite charge you based on the total number of subscribers on your account — even if people unsubscribe.
MailChimp boasts a deliverability rate of over 80%, which, when you consider it, is neither great nor terrible. Oftentimes when sending mail with MailChimp, your messages will land in the Promotions tab of Google’s Gmail, and it’s likely that your recipients will never see them.
MailerLite takes deliverability very seriously and leverages more intelligent email sending practices to help more of your messages end up in the inbox where they belong. However, it still lags behind industry leaders GetResponse and AWeber. Still, as part of our apples-to-apples comparison, MailerLite is ahead of MailChimp as far as deliverability goes.
Winner: MailerLite (but not by much!)
Creating Emails, Newsletters and Landing Pages
Both MailChimp and MailerLite have features beyond email marketing, including landing pages and pop-ups. But how easy are they to use and work with?
MailChimp offers a number of quality templates for you to use in order to embed on your site. You can also use similar templates for your landing pages and newsletters. The service also allows you to customize them but if you want to code your own, you’ll need to pay for the Premium package which can set you back several hundred dollars per month!
They do, however, offer you the ability to customize their existing templates using the drag-and-drop editor, so no coding or design experience is necessary.
Conversely, MailerLite carries over its clean, straightforward approach to its email, newsletter and landing page templates too. You can also use their templates or code your own, but you’ll need to upgrade to the paid plan to do so. As with MailChimp, MailerLite features an intuitive drag-and-drop editor to give you greater customization over their default newsletter and email templates.
Integration with Third Party Programs
MailChimp’s 200+ integrations with third party programs far surpasses MailerLite’s, however, MailerLite also has several integration options in addition to letting developers access their API, which is a programming interface that lets you integrate the service with other apps beyond those integrations that are officially supported.
What’s more, both MailChimp and MailerLite work with Zapier, which lets you “hook” in other apps to extend the functionality of each respective platform.
This is understandably a BIG consideration when deciding between MailChimp vs MailerLite. It’s one thing to design an email campaign every now and then, but what if you could automate much of the process? Both email marketing services allow you to do so, but MailChimp makes it extraordinarily and unnecessarily complicated.
MailerLite, on the other hand, has taken a much simpler approach. Its automations follow a more familiar “workflow” format, where you simply add triggers in an “if this happens, do this” style.
With the ability to create clear paths and branches, MailerLite has taken the confusion and frustration out of marketing automation. MailChimp isn’t far behind though, especially with its new take on the process, which they call Customer Journeys. Still, as of this writing there are still some wrinkles in the system that need to be ironed out, and until that happens, MailerLite is the clear winner here.
Reporting and Analytics
Both MailChimp vs MailerLite have solid reporting and analytics, and both services offer e-commerce reporting as well, however MailerLite is limited to online Shopify and WooCommerce whereas MailChimp has a much greater selection of e-commerce vendors to report from. Both services can also tie into Google Analytics, giving you a fuller picture of how your marketing campaigns are doing.
This is the biggest question we receive. If you just want to know which service lets you have the most subscribers for the least amount of money starting out, MailChimp is the answer.
However, if you’re looking into the future as far as growing your business and you want a fuller picture of your options, it’s a good idea to dig deeper in to MailChimp pricing and MailerLite pricing to have as close of a comparison as possible.
Both MailChimp and MailerLite have a free plan. With MailChimp, you get 2,000 suscribers with the ability to send up to 10,000 emails per month. With MailerLite, you get 1,000 subscribers with the ability to send up to 12,000 emails per month. Don’t forget that even if they unsubscribe, these users count toward your subscriber totals.
However, once your business starts to grow and you get more and more subscribers, MailerLite becomes the cheapest option, giving you a larger number of subscribers and an email sending allowance per month that’s cheaper than MailChimp for a similar plan. With this in mind, although MailChimp is the cheapest starting out, MailerLite is better for long-term growth, making it a clear winner.
We can’t realistically do a MailChimp vs MailerLite comparison without talking about support. Even if you’re a pro at crafting campaigns, creating landing pages and designing newsletters, you’re going to need a helping hand every once in awhile. So how responsive is their support? With free plans in any case, support is going to be lacking, so don’t let that cloud your judgment.
With MailChimp, you’ll get access to a knowledge base and tutorials, as well as 30 days of support on the free plan, but after that, you’re on your own. Contextual help is available at any time. The paid plans offer different tiers of support depending on which one you choose, with Premium (at $250/month) giving you access the phone support.
MailerLite offers an extensive knowledge base and video tutorials as well as support in multiple languages via email. If you have a paid plan, you can access support via live chat. If you need even faster support options as well as GDPR support, custom landing pages and emails, a dedicated account manager and priority support, consider MailerLIte’s “MailerPro” option which costs $100/month.
As you can see, both companies offer a wide variety of support options. However, in terms of priority support and the value that comes with it, MailerLite wins again. At $100/month, you get more features and more one-on-one support than with MailChimp at double the price.
MailChimp vs MailerLite: When Should You Use Each One?
Every business’ needs are different, however, you likely value certain features more than others, in which case it becomes much easier to choose between MailChimp vs MailerLite as your email marketing service of choice. With that being said:
You should use MailChimp if:
You need a solution that’s more than just email marketing – MailChimp offers comprehensive features including landing pages, a basic CRM, social media post scheduling and other ad features. The CRM itself is especially impressive if you don’t want to invest a huge chunk of money on bigger solutions or on extras you don’t need. With the MailChimp CRM, you can take advantage of advanced options like behavioral targeting based on purchasing behavior, calculate customer lifetime value and see how engaged your users are with your marketing initiatives.
You need advanced reporting options – MailChimp holds nothing back from its data or reporting. With a beefy analytics and reporting suite, it combines the normal email metrics (number of opens, clicks, bounces, unsubscribes) as well as audience analytics and more so that you can confidently calculate the ROI of your email marketing campaigns.
You want a solution that scales, hassle-free – MailChimp scales amazingly well, but this hassle-free functionality comes at a high price tag. As your subscriber list grows and you start tapping into new features, expect your bill to make considerable leaps and bounds.
You want great value for the money – MailerLite doesn’t nickel-and-dime you to death by making you pay more each time you want to add a new feature to your account. With landing pages, pop-up forms and even auto-resend of failed emails baked into the system, it’s a great deal for startup businesses or those who are looking for a simple solution to “get their feet wet” with email marketing.
You want speed and simplicity – MailerLite shines when it comes to sending emails in a way that won’t get you relegated to the user’s spam folder or promotions tab. It even lets you schedule your messages to send within a certain timeframe or time zone. If you just want an email marketing solution that works, without being complicated, MailerLite is an excellent choice.Now, that’s not to say that it’s bland or boring. it’s just that MailerLite has done a great job of cutting out the complicated steps of getting an email campaign up and running. We even use it ourselves here at MailFocus!
Support is a priority for you – MailerLite’s customer support is available in multiple languages, and customer service is even available for free plans, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
As you can see, both of these email marketing services do a great job when it comes to helping small businesses or solo entrepreneurs get up and running quickly and efficiently. However, beyond their free plan features, the solutions start to vary considerably. You’ll want to consider which priorities you truly value and what you really want out of an email marketing tool before you make your choice.
The good news is that both offer free plans that have no time limit, so you can take them both for a spin and see which one fits your needs!