Mailgun Vs. Mailchimp

updated on
December 2, 2022
Terry Williams
Candidate #1
Mailgun logo
Candidate #2
mailchimp logo
VS.

Email marketing: The tried-and-true way to send personalized content directly to your customers. When you get a fresh newsletter in your inbox, it sends a ping of excitement through you.  Or maybe it makes you roll your eyes. “Another one?” you think to yourself. “I get dozens of these a week!” 

As a business owner, you want your newsletter recipients to experience the former. What’s the difference between these two reactions? It comes down to the quality of that newsletter. 

  • Was it sent at the right time in the buying cycle? 
  • Did it connect with the target demographic, or did it read like it was sent to hundreds of people? (Even if it was, your reader should feel like it was written just for them.)
  • Did it go to their inbox or straight to spam/promotional folders?

You know that email marketing campaigns are a highly effective way to nurture leads and increase site traffic. Virtually all of your customers have email addresses. And the average ROI on email marketing is $36 for every $1 spentBut what’s the most cost-effective and efficient way to send email newsletters?

In this detailed review, I’ll compare two popular email marketing tools: Mailgun and Mailchimp. I’ll be breaking down exactly what they offer, how much they cost, and finally, how to determine which one to use. 

A well-timed email can make the difference between a customer who walks away and one who stays with you for years to come. 

Let’s get started:

Mailgun
Core Features
Mailgun logo
  • Email verification
  • Phone support
  • 99.9% Uptime SLA
  • Log retention
  • Affordably scale your email campaigns
  • Transactional emails
  • Powerful data
  • A/B testing
Best Price
Mailchimp
Core Features
mailchimp logo
  • Mobile app
  • Analytics
  • Personalization
  • Make emails that look good
  • Integrative
Best Price

The Winner

Mailgun logo

Mailgun

Price
Features
Accuracy
Best Price

Overview

Mailgun

Mailgun logo
Mailgun allows you to scale your email marketing with ease and without going over your budget. Founded in 2010, Mailgun was designed to compete with the other big names in the industry and make it easier for developers to integrate email marketing into their apps.
Mailgun integrates into your existing applications; it’s designed with developer-friendliness in mind. Use the powerful APIs to scale your business through email newsletters and transactional emails.
Price
Features
Accuracy
Best Price

Mailchimp

mailchimp logo
Mailchimp was founded back in 2001, and in 2021, Mailchimp was acquired by Intuit. You’re probably familiar with Mailchimp, thanks to Freddie, the monkey that makes the face of its brand.
But I’m not here to talk about its branding (even though Freddie is pretty cute). I’m giving you an overview of what the platform offers.
It aims to be an all-in-one marketing platform, complete with a built-in CRM, landing pages, and of course, a newsletter service.
Price
Features
Accuracy
Best Price

Features

You want to stretch your dollar as far as it will go. So, what exactly are you getting per month? I’m going to look at each feature offered by Mailgun and Mailchimp to highlight where they shine (and where they fall short):
Mailgun logo

Mailgun

Price
Features
Accuracy
Best Price

Email verification

After all the blood, sweat, and tears you pour into every email you write, you want to ensure those emails actually get delivered. Not to mention that you’re paying to use an email marketing service. So why waste dollars on emails that go to the wrong address?
Also known as email validation, this feature prevents your emails from being sent to abandoned email addresses. With this feature, you can validate each email you add to your sending list.
Why is this important? Email validation helps increase your open rate, reduce the number of emails sent to undeliverable addresses (your bounce rate), and protect your sender reputation.
Overall, email validation helps ensure your emails are delivered to the right people in the right places (not in the spam or promotional folders).

Affordably scale your email campaigns

Your subscribers are multiplying faster than your current plan can keep up with. It’s time to increase the number of marketing emails you send per month. And with Mailgun, you can do that without significantly increasing what you spend. The pricing plans give you a gradual transition from one tier to the next.
By the time you’re ready to scale up your campaign, you’ll have an easier time affording it, too. This makes Mailgun more affordable for small businesses.

Phone support

Need to contact customer support? When you have questions, you want answers—STAT! Waiting on an email back can be frustrating.
Customer support is one thing that sets Mailgun apart from its competitors. Mailchimp has phone support, too—but only for its Premium Mailchimp users, and those plans start at $299/month. Otherwise, you’re limited to chat support.

99.9% Uptime SLA

You’ll get up to 30 days of log retention. That means if you’re having problems, you can track every step of the delivery process to diagnose issues with your email marketing campaign easily. You can view log retention reports straight from your dashboard.

Transactional emails

Not all emails you want to send will be part of your newsletter. With Mailgun, you also get the ability to send transactional emails, which are triggered by an action on your website or mobile app (a password reset request, abandoned cart email, or welcome emails).

Powerful data

If you want to refine your marketing campaign, you need to find out what’s working and what’s not. What are the response rates on your emails? How many of your messages are being opened by your subscribers? Get access to this information at a glance with Mailgun.

A/B testing

Have you ever written two versions of the same email to see which will perform better? Mailgun lets you test different emails to find out what resonates with your subscribers. Send one email variation to a select demographic of customers and another one to a different set. The result? Data you can use to improve your email campaigns.
mailchimp logo

Mailchimp

Price
Features
Accuracy
Best Price

Mobile app

Want to work on your emails while you’re on the go? The mobile app, available for Apple and Android phones, lets you take your marketing campaign with you.

Analytics

See how people are engaging with your emails—are they being opened often, sometimes, or rarely? With all the data at your fingertips, changing your emails is super easy. Do more of what’s working, and get rid of what isn’t.

Personalization

Not all of your subscribers are the same; that’s why your emails should be unique, too. With Mailchimp, you can see the demographics of your customers, so you can customize your emails accordingly. Send targeted messages to reach all your subscribers. You can create segmented campaigns to improve open rates on different batches of emails.

Make emails that look good

The style of your emails may be just as important as the content within them, and if you aren’t a graphic designer, you’ll appreciate the templates that make this part easy. Use them to design emails, digital ads, social media posts, postcards, and even landing pages.

Integrative

Want to use Mailchimp with your existing marketing tools? The app features hundreds of integrations, including QuickBooks Online, Stripe, Shopify, and Squarespace Commerce.

Pricing

It’s one of the main questions you face when picking an email marketing software: How much will it cost you?
The first thing to note is that both options offer a free plan (but you’ll need to provide your credit card to get access to it). You can try out each tool and see which you prefer without spending any of your hard-earned cash.
Each free trial comes with pretty strict limitations; for a full-scale email marketing campaign, you’ll need to invest in a premium plan. But the option to try it for free is always nice.
Without further ado, I’ll delve into the pricing plans for Mailgun vs. Mailchimp:

Mailgun

Mailgun logo
Mailgun offers four pricing tiers. Keep in mind that prices vary depending on how many emails you send each month. The first is its Trial plan which, as you might’ve guessed, is $0/month.
  • 5,000 free emails per month
  • Email tracking & analytics
  • 5 days of log retention
  • Drag-and-drop template builder
The next tier, Foundation, is $35/month. It includes everything listed in the Trial plan, along with:
  • 50,000 emails/month
  • Email verification
  • Inbound email routing
  • 24/7 ticket support
The Growth plan (which you can get for $80/month) includes:
  • 100,000 emails/month
  • 1,000 email address verifications
  • 15 days of log retention
  • Instant chat support
  • 1 dedicated IP
Finally, there’s the Scale plan, starting at $90/month. You’ll get:
  • 100,000 emails/month
  • 5,000 email address verifications
  • Send time optimization
  • Live phone support
  • 30 days of log retention
 
Best Price

Mailchimp

mailchimp logo
I’m going to give you an overview of pricing based on the assumption that you have 500 contacts. If you have more than that, you can expect these prices to be higher.  With the Free plan, you get:
  • 2,500 monthly email sends
  • 500 maximum contacts
  • 1 user seat (the number of people who can access your account)
  • Pre-built email templates
  • Email support for the first 30 days
The free plan has several drawbacks; your emails will include Mailchimp branding, you can’t use A/B testing, and you can’t schedule emails, among others. With the Essentials plan, you’ll pay $11/month for:
  • 5,000 monthly email sends
  • 50,000  maximum contacts
  • 3 user seats
  • 24/7 email & chat support
  • 2 role-based access levels: Owner & Admin
  • A/B testing
  • Email scheduling
  • Automated customer journeys
The next step up, Standard, comes with all the features in the Essentials plan and is available for $17/month. It gives you:
  • 6,000 monthly email sends
  • 100,000 contacts
  • 5 user seats
  • 4 role-based access levels
  • Enhanced automated customer journeys
  • Content optimizer & send time optimizer
  • Dynamic content
  • Predictive segmentation
  • Pre-built journeys
And for large enterprises, the advanced Premium plan starts at $299/month. It’s a steep investment, but comes with a plethora of features, including:
  • 150,000 monthly email sends
  • Unlimited contacts
  • Unlimited user seats
  • Priority phone support
  • 5 role-based access levels
  • Advanced segmentation
  • Dedication onboarding specialist
  • Comparative reporting
  • Multivariate testing
Even though Mailchimp is designed for small to medium-sized businesses, it’s not very affordable for most of them. I prefer Mailgun’s pricing for this reason; it’s friendlier for start-ups and small businesses with smaller budgets for ad campaigns.

Conclusion

All things considered, I’ve finally determined which of these two programs to recommend.

And the winner is…

Mailgun! 

The biggest reasons are:

  • Mailgun’s pricing plans are more affordable.
  • Its email verification feature improves your email deliverability.
  • The ability to send transactional emails makes the software more versatile.

Based on the above, I believe you get better value for your dollar with Mailgun. Whether you’re a freelancer or a medium-sized business, it’s a more affordable alternative to Mailchimp. And you won’t sacrifice any of the features you need for a great price. 

Grow your brand and nurture customers through the sales pipeline with email marketing. I highly recommend using Mailgun to do so. It’s simple to use, affordable to scale up, and will impress your subscribers. Give the free plan a try today!

Read full mailgun review

The Winner

Mailgun logo

Mailgun

Price
Features
Accuracy
Best Price

From The Author

Terry Williams (fresh)

Terry Williams

For the past decade I've been building businesses and using SEO to rank them in top positions. For the last 5 years I've worked at a premier search engine marketing agency where it's my job to test and use SEO software, plugins, and strategies. Read my full bio here

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