One of the questions we're most often asked here at EmailOctopus is: “Why should I use you, over MailChimp?”
MailChimp, founded in 2001, has brought email marketing to the masses, making it much easier for marketers to do and bringing great interest to the industry in general. We're very similar tools, at very different price points. So it's worth covering what EmailOctopus can do, up against one of our most highly regarded competitors.
We take a more indepth look at the two respective platforms, and compare their feature sets.
The process for importing users into Mailchimp, and EmailOctopus, is not so different. You simply export your user list from your current email service provider, and ensure the columns are formatted correctly for your new provider.
Both EmailOctopus and Mailchimp accept email address and name fields, which are very handy to allow you to create custom campaigns for your users.
EmailOctopus has a simple WYSWIG (What you see is what you get) editor which allows non-technical users to build basic emails very quickly. You can also input any HTML you have already, so if for example you have an already created newsletter, you simply copy and paste your HTML in and away you.
Mailchimp offers more complex features for newsletter design, with some in-built templates. Their templates allow drag-drop editing, along with WYSWIG editing. For less technical users, or for those without a design already created, this can be time-saving.
Both Mailchimp and EmailOctopus support responsive emails built in HTML, allowing you to create campaigns which work beautifully across mobile and desktop devices. With over 50% of emails now being opened on mobile, this ability is great for increasing conversion
EmailOctopus and Mailchimp both have Automation features built within their platform. This means that you can schedule, and set-up, drip campaigns to your customers which will run without you never ever needing to touch them. These are great for onboarding users or re-engaging already purchased users.
MailChimp only offer automation in their paid plans, which start at around $25USD if you have 2000 subscribers. EmailOctopus offer automation in all the plans, including the free plan. If you're a startup and small company within less than 1,000 subscribers; you can still harness the power of automation at no cost.
EmailOctopus's automation is based upon lists and time. After a user enters a list you can send them a specific email X days/hours later. In its simplest form this allows you to create rich onboarding experiences, and with more advanced usage with the API you can add/remove users from lists allowing you to automate emails based upon on site behaviour.
MailChimp also offers similar functionality, although after a recent update allows you to create more personalised automation workflows than EmailOctopus. You can integrate it with some web stores, such as Magento or WooCommerce to personalise the automation campaigns based upon products or on site behaviour.
Reporting on both Mailchimp and EmailOctopus platforms is quite comprehensive. At a glance you can track all the important metrics such as open rates, clickthrough rates, unsubscribes and bounces. Both platforms also provide this data in real-time, which is slightly addictive when sending campaigns.
MailChimp does make it slightly easier to drill down into the data further for example, you can look up somebody on your mailing list and get an overview of what lists they are on, their location, and what emails they've previously opened. MailChimp also offer a member rating system, in which it rates the quality of the users on your list. The value of this is questionable, but it is included in all plans.
Mailchimp's pricing is relatively expensive, particularly if you have a list in excess of 50,000. A list of 250,000 within Mailchimp would cost in excess of $600 USD, compared to $75 USD of EmailOctopus - that's before you've even considered sending any emails! Mailchimps free plan holds up to 2,000 users compared to the 1,000 of EmailOctopus however the Mailchimp basic plan lacks features such as automation and includes a Mailchimp logo on all communication. You'll need to upgrade to a paid plan to get the cool stuff, and that's where it becomes expensive.
EmailOctopus is a fantastic tool if you're looking to send email marketing campaigns for not much money. It requires only a little more set-up than Mailchimp, due to you needing to create and link it to your Amazon SES account; but once set-up it's as simple (if not more so) to use as it's more costly competitor.
Mailchimp does have some extra features, bells and whistles which is to be expected at it's significantly greater pricepoint. The templates and segmentation the main difference.
Overall, it depends on the make-up of your team and how much money you want to spend on your email marketing campaigns. If you have access to a semi-technical team, and want access to send millions of emails a month for just a few hundred dollars EmailOctopus is a great platform which is adding more features every day.
If you don't mind spending the money, and don't want to spend 10 minutes setting up, then Mailchimp is a good alternative.
Why not try EmailOctopus? Our support team are on hand to help you get set-up, and we're adding features such as templates and extending the automation, over the coming months. All plans include a free 14-day trial with absolutely no sales calls or pestering to turn that into a paid account. It's absolutely no obligation, all you need is a credit card and valid email address.