Email Marketing – Mailchimp vs Sendgrid

Why send email campaigns?

There are so many benefits to email marketing…they can increase brand awareness, build stronger relationships with existing customers, boost sales, increase traffic to your website…to name just a few! 

We know that millennials spend approximately 6 and half hours a day checking their emails (source: Adobe). I mean, ask yourself, how often do you check your emails? Thanks to mobiles, we are constantly checking our emails, wherever we are! 

Email marketing is a great way to keep in touch with your customers, and customers love it when they’re looked after, so…where do you start? 

Fortunately, there are platforms out there which allow us to easily create attractive marketing campaigns and send to a database of opted-in customers for free! 

This week we’re looking at two of the most popular platforms out there – Mailchimp and Sendgrid


Mailchimp

Mailchimp logo

Cost 

4 pricing plans available: 

Basic: FREE 

With this plan you can send to up to 2,000 contacts (in one ‘audience’) with a range of templates to choose from. 

Essentials: 9.99USD per month 

Send to 50,000 contacts (up to 3 audiences) with access to all available templates, A/B testing and custom branding, as well as 24/7 support. 

Standard: 14.99USD 

Everything you get in Essentials, plus advanced insights, retargeting ads, customer templates and automation. You can send to up to 100,000 and 5 different audiences. 

Premium: 299USD per month 

All of the features in Standard, plus advanced segmentation, phone support, send up to 200,000 contacts and unlimited audiences. 


What’s to like about Mailchimp? 

Well, it’s really easy to import your contacts. 

As long as they’re saved as a CSV file (if they’re in an Excel spreadsheet, just go to File > Save As > change the document type to CSV (comma-separated valued). 

Alternatively, you can manually enter the contacts directly in to Mailchimp. 

There are some great templates to choose from, even on the basic package. These templates make it easy for those who find it difficult to get creative. 

Know HTML? Mailchimp gives you the option to edit in HTML which, if you know you’re stuff, can make your marketing campaign more customised and professional. 

You can also schedule your email marketing campaign. This is great because you can schedule your emails to be sent on a day, or at a time you know your customers engage the most. 


What’s not to like about Mailchimp? 

The image resizing tool seems to be a little temperamental and doesn’t resize images automatically.  

Other than that, there isn’t much to get frustrated about with this tool. 

Why not sign up and have a go yourself? 


Sendgrid

Costs 

As with Mailchimp, there are 4 pricing plans to choose from. 

Free: Free (obviously!) 

You can send 40,000 emails for the first 30 days, then 100 emails a day. Forever. 

Essentials:  

14.95USD per month for up to 50,000 emails 

29.95USD per month for up to 100,000 emails 

Pro

89.95USD per month for up 250,000 emails 

249USD per month for up to 650,000 emails 

449USD per month for up to 1.3 million emails 

749USD per month for up to 1.5 million emails 

Premier

No prices online, you need to give them a call to discuss your requirements. 


What’s to like about Sendgrid? 

Although Mailchimp appears to be very user friendly and is an attractive platform to use, I have to say that Sendgrid, once you’ve got to grips with it, is SO much easier to use! 

Everything just seems much neater and AND, unlike MailchimpSendgrid allows you to do some A/B testing with the FREE package. 

For those that don’t know what A/B testing is, it is basically just testing two different versions of a campaign to find out which works best.  

With the paid plans, you can send one version of a campaign to 25% of your database, the other version to another 25% and Sendgrid will work out which version has been the most successful, and will send that version to the rest of your database! 


What’s not to like about Sendgrid? 

Sendgrid isn’t as ‘pretty’ as Mailchimp to look at, but the email campaigns you can create appear to be more professional, and they’re definitely easier to put together. 

Sign up to the FREE plan today to have a go. 


So, which is best?

After having created marketing campaigns using both Mailchimp and Sendgrid, I’d have to say that Sendgrid has my vote. 

Easy to use, professional looking emails and the ability to A/B test for free just pips Mailchimp to the post for me. 

Ready to start your own email campaign? Take a look at our blog – Email Marketing Made Easy – for some useful tips!

What email marketing platform do you use? Are there any others you’d suggest giving a go? Drop your comments below. 

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