MailerLite vs Mailchimp: What to Choose for Your Email Marketing Program?

Written by: Chris Donald
Chris is Managing Partner at InboxArmy and has more than 25 years of experience in email marketing

Email marketing is one of the most powerful ways to engage with your target audience in personalized ways and create richer, longer-lasting connections with them.  If done right, it can help you reach a larger audience. It gives you the freedom and flexibility to adapt your strategies. Perhaps most importantly, email marketing can help you improve conversion rates, increase brand recognition. But to capture all these benefits, you need the right email marketing platform. Two of the most popular platforms available today are Mailchimp vs MailerLite.

Which one should you choose?

And how can you make the best choice for your organization and brand?

“No one sends emails anymore! Email marketing is dead!”

Whoever said this is obviously unaware of these facts:

  • At the end of 2022, there were nearly 4.26 billion email users. By 2025, there will be 4.6 billion. (Statista)
  • Over 3.13 million emails are sent every second. (Market.US) and 99% of users check their inboxes every day. (HubSpot)
  • 60% of consumers say they have made a purchase after receiving a promotional email. (ConstantContact); 50% buy from marketing emails at least once per month (Salecycle)
  • Email marketing drives an ROI of $36 for every $1 spent, higher than any other channel, including social media. (Litmus)
  • 1 in 2 media planners and 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach customers. (HubSpot)

InboxArmy’s head-to-head comparison of MailerLite vs Mailchimp will help you understand each platform better and then decide which one’s right for you.

What is MailerLite?

What is MailerLite_Blog Banner

MailerLite is a feature-packed platform to create personalized, on-brand emails for any audience and for many use cases. With its rich toolset and intuitive interfaces, you can easily set up transactional emails, newsletters, and even landing pages, blogs, and subscriptions to attract your target audience, connect with leads and customers, and promote your brand.

Each email can be personalized and targeted for each subscriber, increasing your chances of monetizing your audience and strengthening customer relationships.

MailerLite also includes powerful automations tools to simplify the way you build email workflows, send triggered emails, test messages before sends, and track campaigns.

Automated emails are a great way to reach your audience with the right content and at just the right time. Through MailerLite’s automations, you can also set up multi-trigger email automation and track automation history from when you first activated automated workflows.

All in all, MailerLite provides numerous, user-friendly editors templates, automations, and libraries to help you set up:

  • Email marketing
  • Websites and blogs
  • Signup forms
  • Landing pages
  • Paid newsletter subscriptions

In addition to digital marketing tools, MailerLite also provides tools to sell digital products, set up payments, and connect your MailerLite email marketing program to your e-commerce store. 

What Can You Do with MailerLite?

What Can You Do with MailerLite_Blog Banner

MailerLite is especially useful if you want to set up, scale, or optimize your email marketing program with targeted and personalized transactional, triggered, or newsletter emails. It is also a good choice if you need to:

  • Build a website for your brand
  • Set up a blog to drive more traffic to your website and establish thought leadership
  • Set up landing pages or signup forms to collect more leads
  • Sell and promote e-books, downloads, subscriptions, or other digital products
  • Integrate your e-commerce platform with MailerLite to create email marketing campaigns based on customers’ buying behaviors
  • Sell digital products

With MailerLite’s full set of digital marketing tools, you can collect high-quality leads, attract new customers, engage with existing customers, and build customer loyalty with personalized, targeted content.

Use its advanced email marketing features to collect more subscribers, automate workflows, and set up engaging, responsive campaigns. You can also manage all campaigns and subscribers, and also monitor and optimize campaign performance with easy analytics, sales tracking, and visual click maps.

Email automation is one of the USPs of MailerLite. There are many automated workflow templates you can choose from to guide subscribers through every step of their journey, react to subscriber behaviors with triggered emails, and set up next-level targeting with multi-trigger automation.

E-commerce integration is another powerful differentiator of MailerLite. Leverage this capability to nurture e-commerce customers with perfectly-timed emails when they purchase a product or abandon a purchase. The integration will enable you to:

  • Trigger abandoned cart emails to bring more customers back to your e-commerce store.
  • Cross-sell or upsell in real time with order confirmation emails.
  • Cross-sell products based on prior purchases.
  • Send informational emails after every purchase to stay connected with buyers and encourage repeat buys.

MailerLite also comes with an API so you can integrate all the tools and web services you currently use in your marketing program, like CRM platforms, WordPress, PayPal, social media, etc.

Some other things you can do with MailerLite are:

  • Monetize newsletters by selling subscriptions on MailerLite landing pages.
  • Set up RSS campaigns to notify subscribers about new content.
  • Deliver relevant content based on subscribers’ interests, geography, or behaviors.
  • Set up custom post-unsubscribe survey pages to understand why people leave your list.
  • Track audience engagement, click-throughs, conversion rates with real-time reports.
  • Import products from your e-commerce platform into MailerLite to easily create newsletter content.

That said, some of these features can require some user training and experienced marketing teams. For inexperienced or smaller teams, the best way to take advantage of the platform is to work with a team of MailerLite experts like InboxArmy.

Who is MailerLite For?

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MailerLite is a good email marketing platform for small businesses, solopreneurs, freelancers, and bloggers. Thus, any modest business user with a small email marketing budget and up to 1,000 subscribers can benefit from MailerLite. Businesses with over 100K subscribers need to use the more expensive Enterprise plan.

MailerLite’s automation workflows, segmentation capabilities, and built-in website and landing page editors are useful for users who want to leverage email marketing and send more than just newsletters.

Users looking for more complex trigger-based automations and comprehensive reporting (e.g., social tracking) may not benefit from MailerLite.

MailerLite is best if you:

  • Have a small business or a small marketing team
  • Need a lightweight, user-friendly, and efficient tool for email marketing, landing pages, or e-commerce integration
  • Have a small budget for digital marketing/email marketing
  • Need email support and on-demand access to knowledge resources

The Pros and Cons of MailerLite

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MailerLite is one of the best platforms for email marketing. However, it can be time-consuming to set up, especially if you are asked to complete an approval process before sending emails.

But once you complete the setup, you can get started easily and set up your first email campaign in very little time, especially if a team like InboxArmy is supporting you.

MailerLite’s automation functionalities will allow you to optimize contact tagging, and audience segmentation without increasing your workload. You can also create many kinds of email automation workflows, such as when a subscriber joins a group, clicks a form, clicks a link, etc.

Some of these automations are available for free. However, complex automations are not available in MailerLite so if this is what you need, Mailchimp is a better choice.

With MailerLite, you can set up many types of email pop up forms to drive lead generation. With templates and numerous appearance options, the forms are easy to set up and customize for your website and audience.

Also, its built-in email, newsletter, and landing page templates can be customized and personalized for your target audience. However, the templates lack some diversity (compared to other platforms like Mailchimp) and are not included with the free plan.

MailerLite provides many reporting features including a reporting dashboard and visual click maps. You also get all the usual metrics to track email campaign activity, subscriber engagement, opens by location, sales, etc. However, if you require more in-depth analytics, MailerLite may not be the right choice for you.

Now that you know more about MailerLite, let’s take a look at Mailchimp.

What is Mailchimp?

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Mailchimp is a very popular platform, especially for email marketing, because it includes numerous tools to automate email campaigns, populate emails with attractive dynamic content, set up personalized customer journeys, and create more engaging branded content with AI.

Mailchimp’s email marketing tools and automation capabilities to set up targeted and personalized multichannel campaigns, including email campaigns. The platform can help you create detailed audience segments and set up triggered emails based on customer behaviors.

You can also leverage pre-built journeys to increase conversions and cross-sells, reduce abandoned carts, drive more sales, and deliver unique experiences to each subscriber and customer.

It’s easy to design and deliver personalized and targeted emails at scale with Mailchimp. The platform will capture key customer information like buying behaviors, survey responses, chat interactions, and support tickets to help you enhance your personalization abilities and deliver more tailored emails to your target audience.

You can further personalize your marketing with predictive insights about your contacts, powered by Mailchimp’s AI engine.

What Can You Do with Mailchimp?

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Mailchimp includes numerous marketing and commerce tools to:

  • Build websites with custom domains.
  • Create automated customer journey maps using conditional logic and branching points.
  • Launch online stores.
  • Create landing pages to collect more leads and grow audiences.
  • Connect business tools with Mailchimp to send more targeted campaigns.
  • Create targeted ads and organic posts on social media.

With this platform, you can expand your marketing program to email, landing pages, digital ads, social media, e-commerce, online surveys, and postcards.

It includes capabilities to set up automated and branded email campaigns, including templates, targeting tools, automations, reporting, email A/B testing, and AI-based predictive analytics. Use these capabilities to create engaging emails, send the right message to each subscriber, and create more effective campaigns. 

Mailchimp also includes tools to optimize send times, assess campaign performance, and analyze audience engagement. You also get tools to help you enhance and personalize content, customize email designs, add online scheduling to your website, consolidate multichannel campaigns into a single view, and segment audiences based on shared traits.

In addition, the platform will provide tailored recommendations and predictions to help you:

  • Create personalized content for any digital channel.
  • Boost revenues by targeting customers by likelihood to purchase.
  • Set up automated trigger-based emails, abandoned cart emails, and engagement emails to attract, convert, and engage with more customers.
  • Sell more via custom landing pages.
  • Build more followers via social ads and posts.
  • Get to know your audience and keep track of their demographics, behaviors, activities, etc.

One of the things that differentiates Mailchimp from other digital marketing platforms is its powerful AI-based functionalities. Leverage these functionalities to create on-brand designs, personalize your marketing, refine email subject lines, and optimize content for maximum attention, traffic, and conversions.

Who is Mailchimp For?

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Mailchimp is an exceptionally popular email marketing platform. Even though the company markets it as a tool that’s “built for growing businesses”, all kinds of businesses can benefit from its tools and integrations, including small and medium businesses (SMBs) and larger companies.

Mailchimp is best if you:

  • Need an all-in-one marketing platform to help you with social media, website-building, landing pages, and e-commerce in addition to email marketing
  • Want to automate single-step automations like welcome emails, order notifications, and abandoned cart reminders
  • Require more advanced reporting and in-depth analytics
  • Require native integrations with e-commerce platforms, plugins (e.g., WordPress), and forms and pop-up apps
  • Need email and live chat support

Mailchimp is known for its user-friendly, intuitive nature. However, smaller marketing teams who are new to the platform or inexperienced in email marketing may find it a bit challenging to use. For these teams, outsourcing email marketing program to an external team like InboxArmy is a good strategy.

The Pros and Cons of Mailchimp

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Mailchimp is popular because it provides a comprehensive featureset to establish an online presence, market the business via numerous digital channels, and grow their audience of subscribers and buyers.

The platform includes dozens of tools for digital marketing, social media advertising, audience segmentation, content personalization, campaign testing, and campaign analytics and reporting. It also includes tools for integrations, customer journey mapping, and e-commerce.

Another advantage of Mailchimp is that it offers multiple pricing tiers to match the needs of different kinds of businesses and marketing teams. A free version is also available if you have 500 or fewer contacts for your email program.

The Mailchimp team provides support via email and live chat. Premium customers also get phone support. Plus, all Mailchimp users can access its knowledgebase and marketing tools to make the most of the platform.

Other advantages of Mailchimp are:

  • Easy to set up if you have a small list of contacts to import
  • Range of built-in forms to embed in your website
  • Easy to create simple automated email workflows
  • In-depth analytics to measure campaign performance
  • AI-powered capabilities like smart recommendations and send time optimization
  • Behavioral targeting and personalization tools to build 1-on-1 customer experiences
  • Digital asset management tool to easily manage marketing files
  • Easy list management, subscriber management, and template management

One drawback of Mailchimp is that some of its features are less intuitive, like list management. Since its lists are siloed, you cannot manage them collectively. Also, some of your emails may end up in the Promotions tab (e.g., in Gmail) so they may be overlooked by subscribers.

InboxArmy can help you avoid this problem and increase the visibility and email deliverability of your campaigns. Many of the platform’s features are gated so you won’t be able to access them if you sign up for the free plan. A free trial is available for the Standard and Essentials plans so you can test-drive the platform before purchase.

MailerLite vs Mailchimp: A Head-to-head Comparison

Let’s take a look at MailerLite vs Mailchimp with this head-to-head comparison table:

Features*

MailerLite

mailerlite logo

Mailchimp

mailchimp logo..

Suitable for Email marketing

E-commerce

Websites

Landing pages

Forms

Digital selling

Email marketing

E-commerce

Websites

Landing pages

Forms

Digital ads

Social media posts

Setup Somewhat time-consuming Fairly easy with a small list of emails to support
Ease of use Easy Can be complex with some features
List management Yes

Easy with contacts tagging

Yes

Siloed, cannot be managed collectively

Customizable templates Yes Yes
Forms Yes Yes
Automations Simple workflows only Complex workflows available
A/B testing Yes Yes
Send time optimization No Yes
Reporting and analytics Simple In-depth and detailed
Support Email support for all users

24/7 live chat support only for Advanced plan users

Email and live chat support for all users (except free users)

Phone support for Premium plan users

Access to knowledgebase Yes Yes
Free trial available Yes

(30-day Growing Business and Advanced plans)

Yes

(30-day Standard and Essentials plans)

Free plan available Yes Yes
Behavioral targeting Yes Yes
E-commerce integration Yes Yes
Dynamic email content Yes Yes
Free marketing tools Very limited More range
Suitable for  SMBs

Solopreneurs

Freelancers

Bloggers

SMBs

Large enterprises

Solopreneurs

 

* All features are not available in the Free versions of these platforms 

In-depth Analysis of MailerLite vs Mailchimp

Here’s a detailed comparison of MailerLite and Mailchimp with respect to some important characteristics and features.

1. Price

Price-wise, MailerLite and Mailchimp are comparable, if you sign up for MailerLite’s Growing Business or Advanced plans OR Mailchimp’s Standard or Essentials plans (for 500 contacts). 

Mailchimp pricing plans

Mailchimp pricing

For 500 contacts and U.S. companies, Mailchimp’s pricing plan (Essentials & Standard plans cost $9.26 per month and $13.83 per month, respectively)

One big drawback of Mailchimp with respect to pricing is that prices go up steeply if you have more than 1,500 contacts.

MailerLite pricing plans

mailerlite pricing plans

If you are in the US, MailerLite’s Growing Business plan will cost you $9 per month while the Advanced plan will cost $19 per month. 

If you have over 100K subscribers, contact MailerLite for custom pricing information:

Of course, Free versions are available with both. However, MailerLite’s Free plan is only free if you have up to 1,000 subscribers. Also, the plan severely limits the number of tools and features you can access.

For example, you can only create one website, set up fewer than 10 landing pages, access only basic email support, etc. You cannot access embedded forms, email pop-ups, landing page templates, or newsletter templates, set up multiple automation triggers, create RSS campaigns, or perform A/B split testing.

Mailchimp’s Free plan is also free only if you have fewer than 500 contacts. In other words, the Free plan only allows for 500 contacts. Even so, the plan includes many of the same tools that are included in the paid plans to help you grow your audience and build your business.

2. Built-in Editors and Ease of Use

Both Mailchimp and MailerLite come with built-in editors to set up and edit email campaigns. They also have backends that are fairly easy to navigate and use.

Easy setup is a USP of Mailchimp. However, some functions can be hard to find in Mailchimp. Also, some features are not completely intuitive, especially for beginners. One example is adding opt-in for new sign-ups. Another is list management.

MailerLite has a well-designed, more intuitive interface. It’s also easier to use since it is more lightweight than Mailchimp. However, it can take more time to set up MailerLite, especially if you are importing a large number of contacts for your email marketing program.

3. Built-in Templates

You get built-in professional email templates with both platforms. It’s easy to customize these templates and adapt them to your brand and specific audience.

Plus, all templates are mobile-responsive so if your audience is largely mobile-based, you have a solid way to set up many types of campaigns to engage with them.

However, MailerLite’s templates are not as numerous or diverse as Mailchimp’s so if you want a wider choice in templates, Mailchimp is the better option.

Also, the free MailerLite plan doesn’t include any templates so you will have to work with a MailerLite team of experts like InboxArmy to create templates from scratch. You also cannot create your own newsletter and landing page templates with the free MailerLite plan.

The free Mailchimp plan does include templates. However, you will only get “Basic” templates, as opposed to pre-built templates that are available with the Premium, Standard, and Essentials plans.

You also get custom-coded templates with the Premium and Standard plans, which are not available with the Free and Essentials plans.

4. List Management

List management is one of the weaknesses of Mailchimp. Lists are siloed so you cannot manage them collectively to remove the duplicates and avoid duplicate sends.

For example, if you want to send emails to contacts in more than one list, you may end up sending the same message twice (and incur costs twice) because the lists contain duplicate contacts.

List management is easier in MailerLite because you can tag contacts by interest groups. You can create segments and automatically remove contacts from one group if they join another group.

Also, MailerLite doesn’t have confusing naming conventions like Mailchimp, which also simplifies list management and cleanup.

5. Email Automation

Mailchimp is the clear winner when it comes to email marketing automation. You can create both simple and complex automated email workflows with Mailchimp’s email marketing and automation tools.

With just the free plan, you can easily set up single-step automated workflows for welcome emails, order notifications, abandoned cart reminders, and more.

If you sign up for the Premium or Standard plan, you also get a multi-step automations builder for more complex workflows, such as nurture campaigns, customer onboarding, event-based automations, etc.

MailerLite offers automations so you can send automatic, targeted emails to subscribers when they:

  • Join a group
  • Complete a form
  • Click a link
  • Approach an anniversary or birthday
  • Sign up for a newsletter or free trial

If you get the Advanced plan, you also get the multi-trigger email automations and multiple automation triggers. These features are not available with the Free and Growing Business plans.

Overall, MailerLite offers more automation features but the scope for complex automations is limited. Mailchimp doesn’t have this problem, meaning you can set up many types of complex automations with the higher plans.

6. Reporting and Analytics

If you only need a simple reporting dashboard and usual metrics to track email campaign activity, subscriber engagement, opens by location, unsubscribes, etc., MailerLite will be enough for you.

However, if you need more in-depth analytics as well as conversion data to assess campaign performance and calculate marketing ROI, you need Mailchimp.

All Mailchimp plans include basic reports to help you monitor trends, track campaign performance, and create better campaigns. With the Premium and Pro plans, you also get comparative reporting so you can compare multiple campaigns in order to identify patterns in subscriber engagement and improve campaign content.

You can also generate campaign Snapshots to view aggregated Results, Performance Over Time graphs, and comparative results.

7. Support

Mailchimp and MailerLite both support their users via email. Free users of MailerLite can access basic email support from Monday to Friday.

Free Mailchimp users only get access to email support for the first 30 days after purchase. MailerLite also provides 24/7 priority email support for Growing Businesses and Advanced users and 24/7 live chat support for Advanced users. Phone support is not available with MailerLite. It is available for Mailchimp’s Advanced users.

With both Mailchimp and MailerLite, you will get access to guides, tutorials, and other resources in a knowledgebase, regardless of which plan you sign up for.

If you are a Mailchimp user and on the Free plan, you can access a repository of free marketing tools to make the most of the platform. The number of free tools available in MailerLite are either limited or inaccessible for users on the Free plan.

FAQs

1. What is the difference between Mailchimp and MailerLite?

Both platforms are fairly intuitive and easy to use. However, MailerLite can be more time-consuming to set up even though it is slightly more user-friendly. Mailchimp is easy to set up but not very intuitive for certain features like list management and contacts tagging.

Both platforms include many tools that can be difficult to learn for novice users and onboarding a team of experts like InboxArmy can be helpful, regarding of which platform you choose.

2. Mailerlite vs Mailchimp: Which platform is cheaper?

MailerLite’s Advanced plan is more expensive than Mailchimp’s Standard or Essentials plans for 500 contacts. However, as your contacts list grows from 500 to more, Mailchimp’s prices go up very steeply.

3. Which platform is better for email marketing Mailchimp or Mailerlite?

Both Mailchimp and MailerLite provide user-friendly email marketing tools. However, if you sign up for the free plans of either platform, you will be able to access more tools with Mailchimp compared to MailerLite.

4. Which platform is better for e-commerce integrations?

You can link your e-commerce store to both Mailchimp and MailerLite to power your e-commerce email marketing programs. You also get sales reports with both platforms, regardless of which plan you use.

5. Which platform is better for landing pages and social media advertising?

Both platforms include tools to create landing pages. However, MailerLite is better for social posting and advertising. You can also create Facebook and Instagram ads as well as re-targeting ads for Google, Facebook, and Instagram with Mailchimp (Premium and Standard plans only).

Mailchimp vs MailerLite? Which One Should You Choose?

So which platform is the better choice for your organization?

Answer: It depends on what you need.

  • Do you need a lightweight tool, mainly for email marketing?
  • Simple email automations, basic reporting, e-commerce email marketing?
  • Do you want to sell digital products?
  • Are you budget-conscious?

Then choose MailerLite.

  • Do you need a complete marketing tool that can do much more than email marketing?
  • More advanced reporting?
  • Support for complex automations?
  • Support for social media advertising?
  • A marketing CRM?

Then choose Mailchimp.

We hope you found this head-to-head comparison of MailerLite and Mailchimp useful. If you require more tailored advice to help you make the best choice between these two popular platforms, contact InboxArmy. We have expertise and experience with both and can help you identify the platform that can best satisfy your requirements. Click here to schedule a free consultation with an authorized InboxArmy representative.

About Author

Chris sent his first email campaign in 1995. He’s worked directly with Fortune 500 companies, retail giants, nonprofits, SMBs and government agencies in all facets of their email marketing and marketing automation programs. He’s also a BIG baseball fan, loves a good steak, and is mildly obsessed with zombie movies. For more information follow him on linkedin

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