CLOUD MARKETING AUTOMATION
MailChimp Alternativesfor Cloud Marketing Automation
22 October 2017
MailChimp is one of the biggest names there is in the world of marketing automation and emails. By automating your marketing in the cloud, you’re able to make your marketing efforts location-independent, which means that you can work as an entrepreneur with a remote team and even travel without ever missing a beat. But while MailChimp is one of the best ways out there to automate your business, it’s not the only solution. There are plenty of MailChimp alternatives worth checking out—and some of them hold up really well against MailChimp’s services.
Cloud Marketing Automation Explained
So what exactly is cloud marketing automation, and why do you need it? In the case of MailChimp, it means features like targeting your specific contacts with ads, sending out emails for abandoned shopping carts, and fusion with platforms like Facebook ads to draw in new business. It’s essentially a cloud-based strategy for making all of your marketing work without a hitch. With the right pricing and a robust set of features, it’s not difficult to see how this might be a boon to any company in search of a better way to handle marketing.
Let’s get specific. At some point in your business’s growth, you’re going to be too big for the amount of customers you currently have. That’s just the reality of it. You can either pay expensive employees to handle customer relations and marketing—which is great, if you can afford it—or you can rely on a cloud-based marketing automation platform to tackle the mundane activities like email follow-ups. That’s why we’re looking at MailChimp alternatives today: to find the features of quality marketing software and see how they stack up against other offerings in the same niche.
What is MailChimp and what we are going to compare it with
MailChimp is a top performer in this field, offering email marketing automation, advertising marketing automation, and enough features to follow-up with customers without your actual physical presence. That’s great. But is the price right for MailChimp, or are there a bevy of MailChimp alternatives on the market that could do the task just as well for a fraction of the cost? That’s our mission today: to compare MailChimp with the other cloud-based marketing automation offerings available to today’s businesses.
Why do we choose MailChimp Growing Business for price comparison
To accomplish that, we’re going to use MailChimp’s Growing Business to handle the basic price comparison. Why this one specifically? Well, chances are that if you’re reading this, you’re part of a growing business that’s in the market for MailChimp alternatives. So that platform is a natural selection for you. Perhaps just as important: we have to directly weigh specific tiers of these plans if we’re going to do a fair 1-to-1 comparison.
Unlimited email sending available with upgrade in price
Easy to integrate email services with pre-existing CRM solution
Message targeting gives your business a personal feel
Includes Intercom Messenger for automating customer support
Multi-channel messages with potential leads throughout marketing process
“Operator bot” takes care of marketing automation with live customers
Focus on email marketing with enhanced auto responders
Easy automation of marketing workflows in dashboard
Limited to one user of growth, which means best for bloggers/freelancers
Unlimited sending and automated email marketing processes
Chat and email support available for beginners
Up to three users adds an extra dimension for remote teams
Unlimited email sends unlocked with the smallest pricing tier
Unlimited users opens up possibilities for remote teams
Easy third party integrations for notifications and platform enhancement
Unlimited forms, courses, landing pages, and emails provides flexibility
Make certified experts available for migration to ConvertKit
Easy saving for access across different media
MailChimp AlternativesMailChimp vs other for Cloud Marketing Automation
MailChimp vs Intercom
The most obvious difference between MailChimp and Intercom is that Intercom doesn’t work in tiers so much as it does “selections.” You can choose the style of marketing automation you need, which means that you won’t really get much say in the price. That’s why we went with “Respond,” which lines up neatly with MailChimp’s own offerings, despite the fact that the price seems far askew. And there’s nothing wrong with paying a little more for a service, just as long as that service lives up to the cost.
Does Intercom’s Respond service live up to it? Well, it depends on your goals. If you absolutely have to relate to customers who want instant feedback, Intercom Respond is the way to go, offering its Intercom Messenger for responding quickly to someone who enters your site. And because there are multi-channel messages available for the entire marketing process, you’ll have no problem keeping in touch with people along the way. But if your needs are a little different, we recommend browsing the other offerings at Intercom or checking out the other alternatives on this list.
MailChimp vs GetResponse
You’ll notice one thing with GetResponse right away: the price lines up with MailChimp. That alone makes it worthy of consideration as a MailChimp alternative. And since GetResponse is just as focused on the email automation game as is MailChimp, it’s easy to see why this is so frequently touted as one of its chief competitors. The features we like here are the enhanced auto responders, which make your life on the other end of the inbox much easier. The dashboard makes it easy to handle marketing automation of all types.
The disadvantage here is that GetResponse is really aimed toward solo workers, at least on this tier. With just one user, it’s best suited for individual bloggers or freelancers who are still building their online presence. That means you’ll have to pay more to upgrade usage over time, particularly if you want to hire a remote team or even build a business. The good news is that’s how things should be, so it’s not particularly a curveball on the part of GetResponse.
MailChimp vs ActiveCampaign
With a reasonable price, there’s a lot to like out of ActiveCampaign. Although it’s about double the price you’ll pay for MailChimp, it’s still well below some other tiers you’ll discover on this list. And with unlimited sending included as part of its Lite offerings, that means you’ll get plenty of use out of this, even if you want to send emails over and over again. Another great feature is the quality of the chat and email support, particularly important for those who are starting a business online but who have absolutely no idea how to handle marketing automation at its most basic levels.
Another advantage here: you can use up to three users, which adds an extra dimension for anyone with remote teams. In other words, you can add on a user who you hire to handle your marketing automation, which totally automates your process. That makes it a hands-off solution for anyone who wants to have email marketing but doesn’t want to have to handle email marketing. And since we’re talking about cloud-based marketing automation, that may just be the way for you to go.
MailChimp vs Drip
If you’re getting tired of these tiers and limitations, then maybe you’ll want to move to “Drip.” Thanks to unlimited email sends—unlocked even with their smallest pricing tier—you’ll have no problem getting access to all the action you need. Sure, the price is a little stout compared to some of the others on this list, but remember that flat pricing like this is not automatically worse than the others, depending on the functionality offered. If another service makes you pay for upgrades that Drip already includes, then it may end up being cheaper in the long run.
There are also unlimited users, which means you won’t have to pay for the price of growing. That means you can keep on using this tier for a long time—maybe even stick to it as long as you need marketing integration. Because of all these unlimited features, which do a lot to simplify your life in the world of cloud-based marketing automation, there’s a lot to love about Drip’s most basic tier. We think it warrants a close look as the ideal MailChimp alternative for those looking to expand their features without maximizing their budget.
MailChimp vs ConvertKit
Finally, we come to a reasonably-priced option from ConvertKit. Although they don’t necessarily name their pricing tiers like the others, they’re simple to define. That’s because ConvertKit bases its services off how many subscribers you keep in your marketing automation. The bottom tier—0 to 1k subscribers—is the one we chose thanks to its price being closest to the other options on this list.
It might be a bit disappointing to see that you can only have up to 1k subscribers with this basic tier, but at least it’s a starting point for businesses that simply want to get the process moving. And there’s a lot to like about this tier thanks to the way the pricing is structured: that money is going toward unlimited forms, courses, landing pages, and emails. Basing the pricing off of subscribers means the service will grow with your business.
A major offering here is converting to ConvertKit. They make “certified experts” available to handle this, which means that if you want an easy experience moving platforms, this could very well make a worthy target. It’s certainly something worth considering for your next choice in marketing automation software.
Which is right for you? It depends on your needs. Intercom is dedicated more to the automation of live chats, which in turn makes your site more responsive. That’s great for service-based businesses, capturing leads such as someone looking for a legal consultation. If you simply want to unlock unlimited uses, ConvertKit and Drip offer you plenty of robust features for reasonable pricing, though you have to decide how you want that pricing to be structured. Overall, there are plenty of options on this list worth your consideration, even if MailChimp is one of the best we’ve found for cloud-based marketing automation made easy.