A well designed and properly targeted email marketing campaign can move prospects through your sales funnel, improve brand awareness and help you collect feedback – amongst many other benefits.
Sounds pretty great, right?
But before you can press send and start enjoying the benefits of email marketing, you’ll need to figure out which email platform is going to work best for you and your business.
MailChimp is one of the leading email marketing platforms and is known for its easy-to-use interface — perfect for beginners wanting to send newsletters and automated messages with little to no learning curve.
However, MailChimp does have its downsides and might not be the best choice for businesses who have needs beyond basic email marketing.
And if you don’t have the design or coding skills to create a beautiful email template, then you might be stuck with a stock-standard design, which can reduce the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.
Basically, MailChimp is a good starting point, but you might outgrow it at some point.
Luckily, there are several MailChimp alternatives that might do a better job at meeting your needs. Here are nine of the top Mailchimp competitors worth checking out.
Robly is known for its OpenGen technology, which resends your email campaign within 10 days after the initial send (with a different subject line) to your subscribers who didn’t open it the first time.
They also offer A/B testing, mobile-responsive templates, device-specific reporting and the ability to have their system send each email at different times to get the best open rates (called Robly A.I.).
Robly’s often compared with Constant Contact — another MailChimp competitor — and has similar customers, so their site has a whole page on how to switch to them and how the two email marketing platforms are different.
Their customer service is ranked highly. The product is also visually appealing and easy to use. Their OpenGen and Robly A.I. capabilities help take the guesswork (and headache) out of scheduling campaigns, while also helping to increase your open rates.
If you want all of the bells and whistles, this might not be your best option. You won’t find a plethora of design templates and fonts, which can limit what you want to achieve.
Here’s what some their customers had to say:
“Service and functions of Robly are outstanding. All the staff here are extremely happy with the results of our campaigns. Saving money is only a secondary feature. Can’t get any better!” — Tara Barnett-Thomman, director of marketing, Color Me Mine
“We made the switch for our 150 franchises from Constant Contact about four months ago and haven’t looked back. Robly is constantly adding new features and is incredibly responsive to my needs.” — Scott Kelly, executive vice president, Crown Trophy
“Working with Robly’s great team is a BLAST. From my first contact with sales to the high quality/professional HTML Robly created, I knew they understood my business and how I wanted to present myself.” — Lester Mejia, head of digital marketing, McMahon Group
The purpose of marketing automation is to, well, automate things — and that’s something Drip focuses on heavily. They have 18 triggers and 16 actions in their automation rule builder, which covers things like moving subscribers in and out of campaigns and synching their details to another application, such as your CRM.
They also have a lead-scoring algorithm that tracks a variety of events to show which of your subscribers are the most engaged. This can be extremely valuable if you have a sales team that calls on prospects.
Its drag-and-drop workflow creator helps you plan and manage campaigns from start to finish, without having to design something of your own. Drip takes what you want to do and puts it together for you quickly and easily.
For example, your user journey workflow could look something like this:
Drip’s support team is also on top of things, which comes in handy when you’re in a bind and need help.
The integration capabilities is a definite concern if you have other platforms you work with. You might need to find a freelancer to help you set everything up. And the trickier the integration, the more time and effort you’ll have to put in to make sure everything works as expect..
There’s also a bit of a learning curve when it comes over from Mailchimp.
Take a look at what their customers have to say:
“Since implementing Drip, my subscription rate has tripled.” — Paul Yoder, Donorelf
“I’ve been playing with Drip all day. It’s the best email tool I’ve ever seen. I can’t believe more people aren’t talking about it.” — Brian Moran, SamCart founder and CEO
“As a geek, I love Drip because it’s lightweight, straight-forward and engineered by people who know how to write software. As a marketer, I love Drip because it pieces together everything that heavyweight tools like Infusionsoft and Ontraport have, with the addition of features that make my life easier and my business more profitable.” — Brennan Dunn, Double Your Freelancing
From forms and newsletters to automated follow-up messages, AWeber helps you create communication campaigns using its email marketing tools.
The platform has a drag-and-drop editor to create campaigns, autoresponder follow up, sign-up forms, HTML email templates and integrations to all of the various other tools you probably use to run your business.
The setup is pretty intuitive and it integrates well with platforms like WordPress, Facebook and PayPal, to name a few. The emails sent from AWeber don’t have as much of a “templatey” feel as some of the other Mailchimp competitors, helping them to look more natural — and reducing the chance your email will be flagged as spam.
You may run into problems if you have multiple users on your account, since you can’t set permissions for different admins. Some of the form designs are a bit outdated, as well, so it might be difficult to find one that really fits your brand’s style – without hiring a designer.
AWeber also lacks capabilities in terms of automation, and it can be difficult to export follow-up messages.
See what AWeber users have to say:
“I chose AWeber because I simply could not find any other provider that offered all the tools I needed under one platform, such autoresponders, self-hosted sign-up forms and integration with third-party apps. I also love AWeber’s pay-as-you-grow billing scale, which enables companies with smaller mailing lists to have full access to all the robust features AWeber offers without being up-charged.” — Cole Mize, Cole Mize Studios
“I use AWeber’s click-through rates to identify topics of interest for our audience. I also use it to ‘grade’ our headlines, since click-through is tied closely to the title of the article in the newsletter. Email has also been a great resource for setting expectations and building relationships with our audience.” — Kathryn Aragon, CrazyEgg
“I’ve used several other providers but just wasn’t happy with the results. I had heard about AWeber for ages from the top blogging gurus. I finally decided to do a trial membership, and I was completely impressed. It’s ease of use instantly got my attention and helped me know it was the right program for me.” — Jill Winger, The Prairie Homestead
For small businesses looking to combine a variety of different tools into one solution, Infusionsoft is worth taking a look at. It allows you to capture leads, manage your e-commerce sales, create email newsletters and, oh yeah, handle your marketing automation too.
Infusionsoft is a great alternative to Mailchimp – IF you’re ready for it. Infusionsoft gives you an all-in-one CRM and marketing automation platform, which saves time and money since you’re dealing with one tool for everything. Its advanced automation capabilities are a definite plus, as well.
Analytics to track everything aren’t great and the e-commerce features aren’t as advanced as some of the other MailChimp alternatives.
There’s a fairly steep learning curve too, which can slow some people down, so you’ll probably want to invest some time watching their training videos to get the most from it.
Here’s what their customers had to say:
“Infusionsoft has allowed our business to truly take care of our customers in ways that we never could prior to Infusionsoft. It’s not about mass emails. It’s about giving your customers what they’re asking for.” — Eric Sparrow, CEO of Milkhouse
“Infusionsoft allows you to connect with your customers in a way that no other CRM allows you to do. In the last year of using Infusionsoft, we’ve noticed exponential growth. We were growing at a rate that was almost unsustainable until Infusionsoft came into play. We grew sales 400%.” — Patrick Whaley, CEO, TITIN
“I use Infusionsoft to keep in touch with my past guests, and they come back. We gained the No. 1 spot in our region on TripAdvisor as a result of guests’ reviews solicited by Infusionsoft.” — Yvonne Halling, Les Molyneaux
Using a whiteboard-like layout, you can create multi-channel messaging journeys in Autopilot’s canvas — all before publishing it and watching the live results. Autopilot also allows you to connect apps, forms and sites to automate your email marketing and communication tasks.
You can personalize the customer’s experience by sending emails, in-app messages, SMS and postcards to deliver your marketing.
The client journeys you create can help you visualize and track the sales funnel much more easily than other Mailchimp competitors can (such as Infusionsoft).
You can also send your communication through a variety of channels — like SMS, in-app messages and more — so you’re not just limited to simple email marketing.
Because Autopilot is so powerful, it might feel a bit overwhelming when you come across from Mailchimp. My advice is to take it slowly and build out a single client journey first. Then, as you get the hang of things, you can explore Autopilot’s advanced features.
See what some of their customers had to say:
“In comparison to the other products on the market, Autopilot is in a league of its own. With minimal effort, we’re now automatically engaging customers with personalized emails and in-app messages. The new journeys we’ve created with Autopilot have in a short period helped us increase online conversions by 30%.” Tyson Quick, Instapage CEO
“Autopilot has helped us revive dead clients, get more repeat purchases and see a 150% increase in online sales.” — Toby Marion, Golden Gate Wine
“We didn’t have to bang our heads against the wall to get off the ground with Autopilot. It’s easy for my team to use so they can focus their efforts on growing the business.” — Zak Holdsworth, Hint Health
Beyond its email marketing and marketing automation functions, GetResponse also allows you to create landing pages and webinars. You can then use the built-in analytics to track how all of your marketing efforts are performing.
You can also create journey workflows with its drag-and-drop creator. Plus, GetResponse allows you to create surveys to gather additional feedback from your customers.
You’ll find added features that aren’t as common in the other Mailchimp alternatives, including surveys and a variety of good-looking templates. Even with their blank template, you can quickly drag and drop different elements to make it your own.
You can also easily view what your newsletter will look like on smartphones and the “perfect-timing” feature helps your messages arrive at, well, the perfect time. 24/7 live chat is also handing, especially for those working into the wee hours or outside the U.S.
GetResponse can make it difficult to successfully import your list over from Mailchimp – if you’re not clear about how people were added to your list initially. For example, one GetResponse customer had a list of 10,000 subscribers that they imported from a competing platform, but only 1,000 of their subscribers actually made it across.
Also, unlike with some of the other MailChimp competitors, GetResponse doesn’t give you the option to resend an email to everyone who didn’t open your message when it was first sent.
Here’s what some GetResponse customers have to say:
“We chose GetResponse as the platform for our revamped regional newsletter and have been delighted with our selection. From a simple and intuitive design interface to efficient and effective distribution, GetResponse has made our newsletter creation and distribution process straightforward and enabled us to keep our focus where it needs to be — on developing our content. Whenever questions have arisen, online customer support representatives have been prompt and helpful in setting us on the right track.” — Noel Boivin, UNESCO Bangkok
“I have worked with GetResponse for several years. Their platform is very functional and ensures us access to the latest email marketing solutions. What I value the most is their professional approach and sense of security they give us. What’s more, the communication with our Account Manager is smooth and easy, and he is always very accurate, paying attention to details. Thanks to such a partnership, all the complex activities are now simple and pleasant.” — Katarzyna Kobus, communication coordinator, Scania Poland S.A.
“Since I changed providers, moving over to GetResponse, I noticed my open rates have increased by a whopping 60% and click-through rates have increased as much as 200%.” — Dave Guindon, InterestArchitect
Drift uses messaging to help you generate leads and communicate with your customers. This sales communication platform helps you set up a Driftbot (basically an automated chat option for your site) that uses artificial intelligence to answer questions from your website visitors.
Instead of needing your sales team to be on your site responding to chat questions 24/7, Driftbot can prequalify leads for you. It can answer basic questions and also find out information that will be useful once your team jumps back in. You can have the messages routed to a certain department or person, as well.
Drift is customizable and easy to install. You can even send different messages to visitors on your site, depending on which page they’re on.
Drift also integrates with workflow tools like Salesforce, Zapier and Slack, so you can send messages from your website visitors and customers to your team via the tools they already use to communicate.
They still have a little way to go with features simply because it’s such a new product. Also, their free plan is fairly limited, so it’s not ideal unless you have a very small business.
See what their users have to say:
“For many prospective customers, Drift is the first interaction they have with the Leadpages team, and many of them remark that they’re thrilled to discover how knowledgeable and responsive the people on the other side of the chat box are. It makes an impression that’s often enough to seal the deal.” — Clay Collins, CEO, Leadpages
“The bot isn’t about replacing a human; the bot for us is about augmenting and taking the user down a journey so then we can jump in at the right moment.” — Tom Wentworth, CMO, RapidMiner
“It’s hard to believe there is nothing else out there that is as easy to use or so well thought out. It’s been about two decades of a society relying on web browsing and it seems like a long time for a product this brilliant to come out. It’s not about the product alone. It’s the experience. Drift has an awesome culture that makes for awesome experiences for me as a user. Amazingly well done!” — Joe Jerome, founder, Brand Builder Solutions
Wishpond gives you the tools and templates you need to create landing pages, popups, leads database, forms, contests, promos and marketing automation.
It integrates with tools like Insightly, Highrise, Salesforce, Infusionsoft, Batchbook, Pipedrive, MailChimp, Constant Contact, AWeber, SurveyMonkey and others.
With a range of inbound solutions, Wishpond is pretty simple to use and can help kickstart your lead-gen activity. There’s also a wide variety of social campaigns and templates available and it’s fairly easy to create and maintain those campaigns too.
One thing I like is that you can edit a campaign while it’s running, which allows you to make adjustments and last-minute calls based on some of your immediate outcomes and findings. Wishpond also has a long list of tools it integrates with.
Wishpond lacks folders to organize social campaigns. Also, some of the page layouts and functionality can be a little different as you move between the app, which means placement of buttons, menus, etc is always changing, increasing the learning curve a little.
Here’s what their customers have to say:
“I love that the software allows me to build a professional-looking landing page, plus a thank you page, collects and stores email leads for me, shows me views and conversions and allows me to email leads. All of this in one handy package.” — Tanya Clare, director & IT consultant, T C Consulting
“I usually cringe when I have to contact customer service at most companies, but at Wishpond, that has never been the case. I don’t ever feel like I shouldn’t contact Wishpond, I’ve always felt truly supported from the moment I opened my account. I feel like I have a team of people behind me willing me to succeed with my business. Always ready to give the best advice.” — Jacqueline Carlisle, editor-in-chief of THINK Magazine
“We love Wishpond’s applications and their customer service is excellent: create great content on Facebook, build great landing pages and integrate email campaigns and more. Their dashboard user interface is powerful but not too geeky and pricing is high value/low cost.” — The Huffington Post
Intercom is one a customer messaging platforms designed for product teams working in SaaS and e-commerce. You can communicate a new feature with custoemrs as soon as they first login to your app, send a survey to engaged customers and also segment your customer base.
Intercom offers customer messaging products for sales, marketing and support teams that are all connected in a single platform.
You can use Intercom to engage your internal team, as well as your customers, in real time. It’s efficient at monitoring your customers and their usage of your product/web site, as well as setting up automated messaging campaigns and communications.
Intercom is a HUGE product. It has hundreds of features and can take a while to learn. Also the pricing can be confusing for new customers because there are 4 very different ways you can use the product, depending on what your needs are.
Check out what some of their users said about using Intercom:
“Intercom has changed the way our sales and support teams collaborate. It’s costly to acquire a single customer, so having a single tool that lets us track, coach and support users through every step of the funnel is priceless.” — Jason Mills, director of sales and success at Expensify
“As a start-up, Intercom is an easy choice. It’s a platform with a combination of products that’s truly unique and accomplishes multiple jobs around customer communication. At the highest level that was the biggest differentiating point for us.” — Emery Wells, CEO, Frame.io
“Users are quick to dismiss things that seem fake or contrived, and personalized messaging is one of the best ways to get users to actually receive and read the message you are sending.” — Ben Jordan, InVision