Cheaper MailChimp Alternatives for WordPress – the Only 4 Tools That Make Sense

Email is THE tool in the online marketing world of today. When done right, it keeps your brand alive in your customers’ minds and creates valuable interactions through which you can find out what the market really needs.

And when it comes to WordPress, there’s a number of good services that can help you out and make your email marketing efforts more effective. One of the most popular ones is MailChimp. The great thing about it is that you can take advantage of its many great features and then integrate the whole thing with your WordPress site through a number of plugins.

But there’s also a downside. MailChimp can get quite expensive.

So in this post, we’re comparing 4 great MailChimp alternatives – tools that you should look into if you’re after a cheaper solution that gives you basically the same range of features.

 As always, here’s the short version. In case you’re in a hurry and just want to get a recommendation: 
MailChimpSendinBlueSendyTinyLetterMailPoet
mcsibsendytinypoet
FREE PLAN
free plan restrictionsup to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails a monthunlimited subscribers and up to 9,000 emails a monthup to 5,000 subscribers for personal purposesup to 2,000 subscribers
SENDING 20,000 EMAILS A MONTH*$30$7.37$2 *** free $8.25
 2,001 – 2,500 subscribersunlimited subscribersunlimited subscribersup to 5,000 subscribersunlimited subscribers
SENDING 100,000 EMAILS A MONTH**$75$66$10 ***$8.25
 5,801 – 10,000 subscribersunlimited subscribersunlimited subscribersnot recommended in most scenarios ****
STATS AND OTHER BUSINESS FEATURES
EASY EMAIL COMPOSING
OVERALL 5 / 5  5 / 5 3 / 54 / 5
VISIT:
* E.g. sending your newsletter twice a week to a list of 2,500 subscribers.
** E.g. sending your newsletter 12 times a month to a list of 8,000+ subscribers.
*** You also need to buy the software itself for $59.
**** Although the tool itself allows you to send a load of emails, your web host probably won’t be happy about it, which can result in you getting banned from your server. That’s why this isn’t recommended if you don’t have a powerful machine running your site.


What’s wrong with MailChimp?

MailChimp is indeed one of the most feature-rich email marketing tools out there (for WordPress and otherwise), but it does have its downsides.

Mainly, their pricing plans are rather strict and can quickly escalate your spending if you go over the allowed quotas.

For instance, the free plan allows you to have up to 2,000 subscribers and send them up to 12,000 emails a month. This is great for some businesses, especially those just starting out.

However, if you get your 2001st subscriber, you effectively lose your ability to message them all at once unless you upgrade to a plan that’s $30 per month.

If you ask me, $0 to $30 per month is a huge jump (= $360 per year).

Okay, there’s also the seemingly-cool pay-as-you-go plan. You pay just for the emails you send and you get a clear pricing table, right?

That is true, but in practice, the pay-as-you-go plan becomes even more expensive really fast. At 2 cents an email, it will cost you $40 to message your list of 2,000 subscribers one time. Two campaigns a week each month? That’s $320 a month.

But okay, maybe I’m being too harsh here. Let’s be honest:

mc

USE MAILCHIMP IF YOU ARE:

MailChimp could be a good alternative for small, local, or any other businesses that don’t need a big subscriber list. If you have a relatively small and constant user base (up to 2,000 customers), MailChimp can be very helpful to you.

It’s very important to estimate the possibility of your list growing over the 2,000 mark. If you stay under it, optimize your messages and regularly remove people who are not responsive, you will be able to make good use of MailChimp.

What are the alternatives?


SendinBlue

When it comes to pricing plans, SendinBlue seems to offer more logical criteria than MailChimp.

On the free plan, SendinBlue lets you send 9,000 emails per month, with a restriction of 300 per day. The advantage is that you can grow a list with unlimited subscribers. However, the issue here is that you can’t really reach them all at once since you can’t send more than 300 emails a day.

So compared to MailChimp’s free plan, SendinBlue’s doesn’t look that impressive. Unless you need autoresponders … SendinBlue does offer those for free while MailChimp doesn’t.

BUT

When it comes to premium plans, SendinBlue really manages to stand out. For only $7.37 a month, you can send up to 40,000 emails to an unlimited number of users. There are no daily restrictions either.

Now, about the features, both SendinBlue and MailChimp offer lots of modern and useful tools for a growing business. You can create original and good-looking campaigns, and then track them accordingly. Also, you can use attractive subscription forms.

PRICING

Free, $7.37, $39, $66, $173, $334, $603, $1,946 (monthly), based on the volume you need.

FEATURES

  • quickly create a campaign (intuitive newsletter builder, HTML editor, dynamic fields, responsive emails),
  • database segmentation and audience targeting (import files, segmentation, and dynamic lists, create forms),
  • advanced analytics and tracking (real-time statistics, export data, list of openers and clickers),
  • email autoresponder campaigns (welcome messages, birthday wishes, automated emails),
  • easy website integration (APIs, WordPress, Magento, and Prestashop plugins),
  • fast support.

USE SENDINBLUE IF YOU ARE:

 SendinBlue as a MailChimp alternative works great for two scenarios: 
  •  Startups and small businesses that are not very involved with email marketing yet and just want to test what’s out there and how to start experimenting with email as a marketing tool. The free plan works great for this purpose. 
  •  Businesses that want their email marketing tool to grow with them. Starting with the first premium plan, you will be able to send up to 40,000 emails a month for $7.37, and then you can scale step by step moving through the available plans. Each consecutive plan isn’t a shock compared to the previous month money-wise (like it is with MailChimp). 

Sendy

Sendy is very cheap ($0.0001 per email), but it also offers a handful of great features. MailChimp is still more feature-rich in some areas, and more user-friendly, but hey … that $0.0001 per email sure is tempting.

However, there’s one big difference between Sendy and the other solutions on this list. Sendy is a self-hosted thing. This means that you need to first get Sendy itself, and install it on your own web server. After that, you can use Sendy to connect with Amazon SES and send your emails.

Again, even though Sendy is installed on your own server, it uses Amazon for the actual email sending.

Working with Sendy on an everyday basis is really easy. All you have to do is write as you normally would in a text-editor-like environment and then send your campaign out. After that, you get access to the most important stats.

PRICING

There’s one-time payment to get the actual Sendy software – $59. After that, pay-as-you-go – $0.0001 per email.

FEATURES

  • multiple brands (manage multiple products and services),
  • lists and subscribers (mass import/delete subscribers, custom fields, single/double opt-in, custom subscribe/unsubscribe confirmation page, thank you/goodbye emails, subscribe form or API to add users),
  • send newsletters via Amazon SES,
  • advanced analytics and reports,
  • automatic bounce, complaint and unsubscribe handling (no manual post campaign cleanups),
  • custom fields (create more personalized content for your clients),
  • autoresponders.

USE SENDY IF YOU ARE:

 Heavy email senders is the preferred target group for this tool. For instance, sending 500,000 emails is just $50. This could be the most efficient MailChimp alternative on this list. 

TinyLetter

This tool is a simple and intuitive one, created by the guys responsible for MailChimp (yep, it’s a subproject of theirs). The tool is free, simple, and it lets you create basic, clean, and straightforward messages to your audience.

With TinyLetter, you get an easy-to-use dashboard to create your emails in and some text-editing features. You can personalize everything pretty neatly.

That being said, TinyLetter offers no business features whatsoever.

PRICING

Free

FEATURES

  • utterly simple,
  • lets you read replies, so you can continue the conversation,
  • very simple and personal sign-up process,
  • there are no templates, it’s all about the text content,
  • writing letters/content in an easy-to-use text box.

USE TINYLETTER IF YOU ARE:

 A sensible alternative if you want to use it for personal purposes. Due to the fact that there are no business features (stats, autoresponders, and so on) it won’t be of much use for commercial projects. 

MailPoet

A WordPress plugin that limits you to 2,000 subscribers (on the free plan), just like MailChimp does. But there’s one thing that MailPoet does really good. It allows you to send unlimited emails every month. Unlike MailChimp, which forces you to stop at 12,000.

The interesting part comes now: for only $6.90 a month, you can upgrade to use a range of premium features. Chief of which is the ability to send unlimited emails to an unlimited number of subscribers.

This works like a regular WordPress plugin. So you can do everything from your wp-admin without having to leave the dashboard.

The only downside here, though, is that although MailPoet itself doesn’t limit the number of emails you can send, your hosting provider might. Better double check that.

PRICING

Free, $8.25, $20.75, $33.25 (per month)

FEATURES

  • drag-and-drop newsletter editor,
  • sends your latest posts automatically,
  • autoresponders,
  • single and double opt-in,
  • over 70 themes (Photoshop files included),
  • statistics and analytics (opens, clicks, unsubscribes),
  • drag-and-drop subscription form designer,
  • newsletters ready for mobile devices,
  • list segmentation and organization in categories.

USE MAILPOET IF YOU ARE:

 This is a good MailChimp alternative for WordPress if you want to keep things in-house and be able to handle everything within your website, without using third-party tools. Also quite usable on the free plan if you don’t intend to send massive amounts of emails per day (which can get you in trouble with your web host). 

Summing it all up

MailChimp is a good email marketing service overall, and you can integrate it with your WordPress site pretty easily. But there are other alternatives on the market that will help you save money and get pretty much the same range of features.

Which is for you?

Here’s your in-the-nutshell comparison:

  • SendinBlue: Startups and small businesses that are just starting out with email. Also, businesses that want their email marketing tool to grow with them.
  • Sendy. The cheapest tool here if you’re a heavy email sender.
  • TinyLetter. People who want to send emails for non-business purposes
  • The MailPoet WordPress plugin. Businesses that want to keep things in-house without using third-party tools. Also, for businesses not planning to send many emails per day.

      Here’s the comparison table again:

      MailChimpSendinBlueSendyTinyLetterMailPoet
      mcsibsendytinypoet
      FREE PLAN
      free plan restrictionsup to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails a monthunlimited subscribers and up to 9,000 emails a monthup to 5,000 subscribers for personal purposesup to 2,000 subscribers
      SENDING 20,000 EMAILS A MONTH*$30$7.37$2 *** free $8.25
       2,001 – 2,500 subscribersunlimited subscribersunlimited subscribersup to 5,000 subscribersunlimited subscribers
      SENDING 100,000 EMAILS A MONTH**$75$66$10 ***$8.25
       5,801 – 10,000 subscribersunlimited subscribersunlimited subscribersnot recommended in most scenarios ****
      STATS AND OTHER BUSINESS FEATURES
      EASY EMAIL COMPOSING
      OVERALL 5 / 5  5 / 5 3 / 54 / 5
      VISIT:
      * E.g. sending your newsletter twice a week to a list of 2,500 subscribers.
      ** E.g. sending your newsletter 12 times a month to a list of 8,000+ subscribers.
      *** You also need to buy the software itself for $59.
      **** Although the tool itself allows you to send a load of emails, your web host probably won’t be happy about it, which can result in you getting banned from your server. That’s why this isn’t recommended if you don’t have a powerful machine running your site.
      What email marketing service do you use? Is there anything else worth mentioning here?

      • It’s a smart idea to regularly erase people in your list if they are unresponsive. Spend your planned time if you are going to do it to maintain your 2000 subscribers or less and make good with MailChimp.

        On the other side, if you are a newbie but your goal is to create a big business and magnet a really huge number of subscribers, the alternatives shared above are perfect. There are some options perfect for different goals and kind of marketing. The prices are cheaper.

        Thanks for sharing this with us, it is very informative. This will save lives. Haha! More power! 🙂

      • A very nice comparison of email marketing tools. I still use free version of mailchimp and its fine. I started working on emails very late, thus with low number of subscriber, its enough for me.

        The best alternative of mailchimp seems to be Sendinblue. Thanks for this aweosme post. Its useful!

      • Lawrence Berry

        I have been using mailchimp for some time now and it has really been great since I dont send out so many emails yet. These are some great alternatives and I will definitely have to look more into sendingblue and sendy as I start to grow my business even more. I have never heard of these email services before, but I am always willing to give new things a try if it can prove beneficial. This is great information, thanks for sharing.

        • Yes if you are under 2000 Mailchimp is the best 🙂

          • Rikke M. Dam

            Have you tried MailerLite?

      • What are your (or anyones) thoughts on AWeber? I’m currently using Mail Chimp, but I would love to be able to easily set up automations based on groups. Mail Chimp offers this, but to your point, it can get expensive as your list grows.

        • Haven’t tried AWeber for this purpose Danielle. At the moment for Themeisle I am trying to setup some scenarios with SendinBlue, their tools is in beta, is cheaper and it should be as strong a infusionsoft or other expensive MA ( at least I hope so 🙂 ).

      • Nice comparison, I was using Ininbox and recently changed to mailchimp. Will give a try to the alternatives mentioned here. Nice comparison

      • Hi! Thanks for reading the post, I’m glad it helped.

        Also, thanks for sharing Sprout24’s article. It has some great tools there. 🙂