Like Mailchimp or better!

1. GetResponse

GetResponse is a feature-rich solution, as shown in the comparison graphic, and at just $65 a month, it™s actually one of the few solutions on this list that comes in cheaper than MailChimp™s paid version! ($10 cheaper, to be specific.) It™s best suited for small to mid-sized companies, but it™s scalable!

What Makes It Special: GetResponse really does have a TON of features, many of which other vendors don™t even offer. The highlights: up to five split tests (the most of any vendor I looked at), a QR code generator, and a landing page creator. (Yep. That™s right. GetResponse comes with a landing page creator.)

The Downsides: GetResponse™s templates do have an outdated look. Fortunately, they™re very easy to tweak. Further, some users found that GetResponse did not easily integrate with other high level software.

2. Constant Contact

11-18-2014 9-38-32 AM

Perhaps the most popular of Mailchimp alternatives, Constant Contact is a great email marketing platform for small businesses. The pricing is very flexible, and it™s based on how many contacts you email. Pricing starts at $15/month for up to 500 contacts and goes up from there.

What Makes It Special: Constant Contact not only markets themselves as a solution for small business, they really deliver. They offer many, many ways for small businesses to learn about email marketing and how to use Constant Contact. Their educational resources include live and on-demand webinars, as well as live classes – day-long courses on how to use the software, held in multiple locations across North America. In addition, they work hard to make putting together emails really intuitive. One of the most interesting things they do is break their 400+ templates into industry and function.

The Downsides: Constant Contact has a couple of downsides:

  • There™s no split testing, which is unfortunate because everybody knows, marketers love to test campaigns.
  • The campaign features themselves are a little rough, particularly in the area of auto-responses.
  • The mobile app is currently limited to IOS.

3. Emma

11-18-2014 9-40-29 AM

Emma is a modern email marketing system, with a pricing model that starts at $30/month for 1000 emails.

What Makes It Special: There are actually a number of factors that make Emma a great solution to consider for your small business:

  • Emma can help you create truly beautiful emails. Their 40 templates really stand out among all the email marketing services. And when they custom design a template for you, it looks  very professional.
  • Perhaps even better, Emma™s reporting features are pretty stellar. Emma not only has easy-to-read reports, Emma actually makes it easy for you to pull out actionable data from the reports.

The Downsides:

  1. Those custom templates I mentioned above… well, they cost extra.
  2. Emma doesn™t offer A/B testing. We know how I feel about that.

4. AWeber

11-18-2014 9-41-09 AM

AWeber is an email solution for small business marketers who don™t have a lot of time to spend on their email marketing campaigns. Their pricing plans start at $19/mo for up to 500 contacts.

What Makes It Special: AWeber works really hard to live up to their claim of being the best solution for time-strapped email marketers, as I mentioned. One of the greatest ways they do this is by offering 700+ templates. This huge library of templates means you™re pretty unlikely to have to do much customization. Pretty awesome. Oh, also, they offer up to 4 split tests at one time! Major brownie points.

The Downsides: AWeber™s data import is a bit iffy. If you upload a list, customers may have to reconfirm their subscription to your list.

5. iContact


iContact is geared toward businesses with a smaller email database size, as evidenced by the fact that their most expensive plan is for up to 5,000 contacts. Plans start at $14/mo for 500 contacts.

What Makes It Special: iContact differentiates itself as being easy-to-use for people who have no idea how to use email marketing. And they succeed. One feature I was really impressed with was the Message Coder tool. This tool allows you to customize your email templates without having to know HTML. While most email builders have a “What You See Is What You Get” (WYSIWYG) editor, many of the other solutions on this list only allow you to customize the actual layout of the template with HTML. iContact also provides a large amount of easy to comprehend learning material, including full length articles and live/recorded webinars.

The Downsides: Despite their focus on ease of use, iContact™s interface is fairly clunky. It lacks the streamlined, modern feel that most other solutions have today. You can check out their website (or the above screenshot of their homepage) for a preview of the interface. It™s mostly an aesthetic problem, but ultimately, it depends on your preference as a user. I suggest you sign up for a free trial first to decide for yourself.

6. Mad Mimi

Mad Mimi

Mad Mimi is one of, if not the, most affordable email marketing solution available today. Their plans start at $10/month for 500 contacts, and they also have a generous free plan that gives you 2500 contacts with 12,500 emails/month. They™re even willing to customize a plan for you. For the full run down on their pricing plans, compare the various packages on Mad Mimi™s website.

What Makes It Special: I LOVE Mad Mimi. And they deserve my love for a couple of reasons.

  • They have insanely awesome customer service. I say this from personal experience. I chatted with all of the vendors on this list that offer an IM feature on their site. Only Mad Mimi™s representative (Brad, I think?) responded in a friendly manner. Further, he was the most helpful of all the representatives I chatted with. For this reason alone, Mad Mimi earned my eternal love.
  • Emails you send with Mad Mimi are 100% customizable, and it™s really easy to modify them. No HTML knowledge necessary. Just design away.

The Downsides: For a start, Mad Mimi™s emails are 100% customizable because they don™t have any templates. But Brad assured me that this wasn™t an issue because you have access to a large gallery of stock photos, and the emails are really easy to build. The other big thing is that Mad Mimi has no ability to split test. Ouch.

7. SendInBlue


SendInBlue has a super flexible pricing plan, as well. They have 8 plans, including a free version, that run the gamut for any business size.

What Makes It Special: SendInBlue is a bit of a dark horse – it™s not a very well known solution, but everyone who uses it seems to love it. SendInBlue™s pricing, as I said, is really awesome, especially because they make it fairly customizable for your business size. Also, if you™re looking for an easy uploader, SendInBlue is your go-to solution. SendInBlue makes uploading contact lists super easy.

The Downsides: The biggest one I could find is that while SendInBlue does allow you to embed social media sharing buttons in your emails, they make it a little difficult. You have to put all the social media buttons they have in the template, regardless of whether or not you use that platform.

8. Infusionsoft


Infusionsoft is a great program for small businesses looking for an email marketing system with some integrated CRM and ecommerce functionality (the more you pay, the more functionality you get). Their basic package starts at $199/mo. (Seems expensive in comparison with a lot of the options on this list, but keep in mind that all the other options are intended for companies who have a third party CRM.) Depending on the level of functionality your company requires, Infusionsoft with its built-in CRM and Marketing Automation capabilities might be all you need!

What Makes It Special:

  • As previously mentioned, Infusionsoft is not just an email marketing platform. Having your CRM and marketing automation programs all in one platform is really awesome. You only have to input contacts once, for instance!
  • Infusionsoft has an outstanding campaign builder. It™s a graphic drag and drop builder that makes visualizing your automated campaign insanely easy.
  • Infusionsoft is also really committed to educating their customers about their product and industry. Infusionsoft offers several unique educational programs. They organize local meet-ups around the US for users to connect and brainstorm. They host InfusionCon annually to bring the industry together. They also have Infusionsoft University, where they offer advanced and basic courses on how to use Infusionsoft. And finally, if none of those options helped you figure out their product, you can actually go to their headquarters and work through all your problems with an expert.

The Downsides:

  • No split testing. Much sadness.
  • Infusionsoft can get pricey. It starts off significantly more expensive than just a simple email marketing solution because of the added CRM and Marketing Automation functionality. But Infusionsoft will also make you pay on top of that for any and all extra features.
  • The reporting feature is difficult to use. Users have complained that in order to get any useful data from the reports, you have to configure your own.

9. SimplyCast

SimplyCast has a free plan for up to 2000 contacts and unlimited emails. The next plan up is just $9/month – making SimplyCast a really good solution for a small business.

What Makes It Special: SimplyCast has great reporting functionality. The reporting was built for someone who is not very familiar with email marketing, so it™s extremely easy to set up and understand.

The Downsides: The only big downside to SimplyCast is that the customer service can be iffy. If you have the free plan, you only have access to 30 days of customer service via phone. Other plans have unlimited access via phone, but only during business hours. If you send an email, they do try to get to you within 24 hours, though. The chat feature is truly terrible. Apparently, it can go for hours unanswered. When I tried it personally, they answered me immediately, but I found the representative to be extremely unhelpful.

10. ActiveCampaign

A view of ActiveCampaign's template folder

ActiveCampaign is a great option for any business size. They offer an extremely flexible pricing plan for any business, from small to enterprise, and they even have a free plan! Prices start at just $9/mo.

What Makes It Special: ActiveCampaign™s email management abilities are all-around solid, from the split testing to the functionality to create special date-based campaigns. (You can send customer birthday emails, for instance!) And as another plus, ActiveCampaign makes it seriously simple to upload contacts. In fact, they are the only solution I found that allows you to sync your contact info from a third party program, like your company™s CRM.

The Downsides: Active Campaign™s list-building tool is rough. It does not allow you to split or merge lists easily.


So those are my suggestions for the top ten Mailchimp alternatives to consider for your business. Do you use any of the above, or do you prefer the tried-and-true, Mailchimp? Or is there another email marketing solution I™ve missed here? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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