I've had my share of experimenting with several email marketing software (EMS) platforms over the years. From super simple MadMimi to even professional Aweber for marketers. In the last couple of years, I used Mailchimp heavily as my go-to email platform. Then I discovered Mailerlite and for many reasons, have loved using them versus the very popular MailChimp.
Now, I actually use both for different things as they are not created equal and both have something the other does not so sharing the pros and cons of both allows me to weigh the strengths and weaknesses in case you're seeking an alternative to your current email marketing software.
As a small business, I'm always looking for a great deal whenever it comes to making business purchases or investments. For many small businesses and brands, getting a good bang for your buck really makes a difference. Let's get into price.
MAILERLITE VS MAILCHIMP PRICING
When I first discovered MailerLite, I was looking for a more money-efficient alternative to what I was paying for on MailChimp for the CreateHER Stock email list. I was paying $50 a month for a list of over 4K subscribers and I wasn't utilizing many of the tools available because well... I didn't need them so it seemed like a great waste.
When I originally signed up for MailerLite, they offered a small business plan for an email list up to 5K for $10 a month. THAT was a huge difference from what I was paying for MailChimp. However, they have since changed their pricing but since I joined in August of last year, I was grandfathered and able to keep the old pricing structure for future growth. Can we say winning? I currently pay only $20 a month for up to 10,000 subscribers. There are over 6k subbies on my biggest list to date so this is a great deal. As you see below, their current pricing which shows they surely want to compete with the more popular email marketing platforms.
For what MailChimp offers, I'd say it's nice to have the option to pay monthly or pay as you go for a set range of subscribers. Their pricing is a bit more up in the sky than MailerLite. MailerLite does not offer a pay as you go option but you can opt to pay annually instead of monthly if that's your preference.
Note: MailChimp is free for up to 2000 subscribers vs 1000 on MailerLite - for only 12000 emails sent monthly. MailerLite plans allow for unlimited sending on each plan including free. Had I stayed with MailChimp for my biggest list, I'd be paying well over $50 vs the $20 I now pay.
MAILERLITE VS MAILCHIMP FEATURES
This is where it gets goooood. As a "minimalist", I don't like to overdue it in many areas of my business so when things are simple and straight to the point, I work much easier without confusion. MailerLite offers just enough for me and what I do without being too much or requiring me to click through to various places. MailChimp is great and offers many things that I consider work best with those more invested in e-commerce and product sales - something I don't consider my work to be.
With MailerLite, I love logging in and immediately seeing my dashboard sharing my stats all in one, easy to view space. From subscriber growth to any change in form signups or unsubscribers.
Both platforms offer features such as automation, creation of sign up forms (popups and embeds), subscriber analytics, etc. In regards to automation, MailChimp recently made automation a feature for all levels of accounts including free, which wasn't previously. MailerLite, however, does not offer automation in the free plan so all my automated content is created via MailChimp for my smaller lists.
Forms - MailerLite is my go-to for sure as not only do they offer signup forms where you can create both some very nice pop-ups (with templates) and embedded forms, but they also offer landing page templates that can be customized and used. MailChimp does not offer landing page templates and I'm not a big fan of their pop-ups (unless you got the time and skills to code a very nice one).
I have to say that MailerLite definitely offers more customization when it comes to forms that make it easy for even those who consider themselves to be design-challenged. You can also let the pop-up know if you want it to show up on mobiles and tablets or not. MailChimp forms are a bit more straight to the point with pop-ups but do allow a bit more room for customization with their standard sign up forms. Both offer confirmation email and thank you page options.
Note: They both feature options for integration. MailChimp offers more integration options for online stores and such which is great, unlike MailerLite - although MailerLite does offer integration/plugins for Wordpress and Shopify users.
MAILERLITE VS MAILCHIMP EDITING + OTHER FEATURES
Drag and Drop Editor - Yes to both offering this editing set up. You see your content on the left and editing tools on the right. MailerLite offers more options, which I love.
Landing Pages - Yes. Last I checked, MailChimp integrates with InstaPages, so it's not something that's just available on their platform directly. MailerLite as I mentioned before offers landing pages with use of templates available within their platform.
Auto-Resend - Yes in MailerLite and no for MailChimp. // This is a great feature in MailerLite if you sent out an email and it triggers an updated, auto-resend of that email if a subscriber did not open the original within a certain timeframe according to how you set-up the triggers for it. For example, they may have actually opened an email sharing your latest promotion and you just want to resend a more personalized reminder. Be careful though, this can be low-key creepy if not done properly ...lol.
Content Managers + Organization - Yes for both platforms. Each has their own content managers which is great. If you know you use lots of images or even plan to re-use, take advantage of the organization of folders for each. Saves time and helps big time. Now MailChimp offers GIF search, unlike MailerLite, BUT you can embed HTML for a GIF if you want. Another great feature in MailerLite is if you have video you want to share, once you input the link, it automatically creates a GIF from a clip within your video instead of just an image you get with MailChimp. You can even customize the color of the play button. Go ahead and be fancy you video creators!
Revision History - Yes for MailerLite. No for MailChimp. Great for being able to go back in time to make a change, right? Surprised this isn't something offered by MailChimp as well by now.
User Permissions - Yes for both! Collaboration is great so if you a team or designer ,you can allow certain access to them. MailerLite offers 5 user types which includes being able to create a custom user with certain permissions. MailChimp offers 5 user types as well but no custom user.
Reporting - Yes for both. Each, of course offers reporting on things such as open and click-through rates and all. MailerLite, however, offers a bit more. It features a click map which visually shows you exactly where and what percentage of your subscribers click within the newsletter. Great way to monitor subscriber engagement. Howbahdet? MailChimp has something similar with click tracking, but in text/overview form, mostly.
Affiliate Programs - Yes to both. MailChimp offers Monkey Rewards, which if anyone signs up for a paid account with them through the monkey rewards badge within your newsletter or link, you both receive $30 in monkey rewards credits. MailerLite gives your referral a $20 credit for signing up (paid account) and you get the same credit as well.
Customer Support - Yes for both. MailerLite takes a win here as they offer customer support for all levels of accounts which includes a knowledge base and live chat. MailChimp offers customer support for paid accounts but do have a knowledge base available.
Overall, I still have to say MailerLite is the best platform for me. Although both offer something great, depending on what you do and what you desire - you have many options to choose from. MailChimp is much stronger with e-commerce based businesses as I'm sure seeing how much you made in sales through an email is great! MailerLite, I think is best for more service-based, infopreneur-esque businesses and brands. What's your favorite email marketing software to use and why?