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The Huge MailChimp Change(s) You Need to Know About

By Wei Tan

The world’s most widely used (and best-known) email marketing platform, MailChimp, recently announced that they are moving away from its traditional role as an email marketing software vendor, to become an all-in-one marketing platform – at the potential risk – of alienating their core base of email marketers.

For over 20 years, Mailchimp’s core focus was email marketing – an audience it managed to capture to such an extent that it has become by far the most widely used email marketing platform globally. In the last few years, however, there has been a raft of developments as MailChimp has added tools such as Marketing Automation, Landing Pages, Forms and Social Ads to its feature set.

Most recently, On May 13th 2019 MailChimp announced a major change in direction, relaunching the product as an all-in-one marketing solution that combines, email, social, landing pages and a CRM allowing Mailchimp to compete more directly with the likes of Hubspot, Pardot, Infusionsoft, Active Campaign and Sharpspring.

Not stopping there, it was also recently announced that MailChimp was breaking ties with Shopify while also making a significant acquisition in the e-commerce website space purchasing a small Shopify competitor called Lemonstand, with the announcement that Mailchimps roadmap now includes the ability to build and manage your sites as part of the all-in-one solution.

One of the most significant changes resulting from the relaunch is the announcement of brand new pricing tiers, which will significantly impact some users. The latest pricing now includes four plans:

  • Free (2,000 contacts / 10,000 emails plus Social Ads / 1 list & 1 user)
  • $9.99/month (from 500 contacts / 500k emails / 3 lists & 3 users)
  • $14.99/month (from 500 contacts / 1.2 million emails plus includes Automations / 5 lists & 5 users)
  • $299/month (from 10,000 contacts / 3 million emails / access to all features / Unlimited lists & users)

Most noticeably is the strict rules around the number of lists (or Audiences as Mailchimp calls them), impacting users who may be uploading a new list every time they send a campaign.

The top tier pricing jumps from $199/month to $299/month for 10,000 contacts and increases from there so a price hike of around 30%.

However, the biggest shock to email marketers across the globe has been MailChimp’s ‘Terms of Services’ that was changed effective immediately as of the 13th of May, 2019.

If you’re currently using MailChimp to reach your email marketing goals, it’s essential for users to understand the updated changes and how this will impact you.

 

How the MailChimp impacts you and/or your business(es)

 

1. The new pricing is now based on audience size, not your email list

Mailchimp’s definition of an ‘Audience’ includes all types of contacts within your MailChimp account, including subscribed, unsubscribed, non-subscribed, double opt-in’s, cleaned contacts etc.

For email marketers, this means that you will be paying for ALL contacts even though they cannot be used for email marketing purposes, as mentioned above, non-subscribed, double opt-in, unsubscribed etc.

See below what Mailchimp had to say:

Mailchimps email to customers

The new pricing method has the potential to be extremely costly for email marketers, especially those using their free or cheaper plans.

2. The entry-level plan is now extremely restrictive

Mailchimp’s new plans have removed or restricted majority of the core features in the Essential paid plan and the Free plan.

The entry-level paid plan only allows you to have three email lists, which is now referred to as an ‘audience’ by MailChimp.

If you decide to pay for the Standard Plan, it will only allow five email lists, and if you need additional lists, you will need to pay for MailChimps Premium plan which starts at $299/month.

Below are the following features that are no longer with the entry level paid plan and free MailChimp plans.

Mailchimps email to customers

(Image via sendgrid)

If you were using the free plan before these updates, you can now only have one email list with several other important email marketing features unavailable to you now.

3. You will most likely incur additional charges

Unlike the earlier pricing structures, MailChimp will no longer automatically upgrade or downgrade your pricing tier anymore if your email subscribers increase or decrease.

So if you exceed the contact or email limits, then you will incur additional charges for that billing cycle.

Mailchimps email to customers

For example, if you have a 2,500 contact allowance in the Essential Plan ($29.99 per month) and your contacts increase by 2000 in a month, then instead of being automatically upgraded to the next plan ($49.95), you will have to pay $69.95.

Mailchimps email to customers
(Screenshot from MailChimp’s email to customers)

Thus, you will be paying much more than before without being able to use the features of the upgraded plan.

4. You no longer have unlimited emails on any plan

MailChimp used to allow businesses to send unlimited emails at no additional cost for up to 52,000 subscribers.

However, not one of the pricing plans includes unlimited emails. For email marketers, this means that there will be hefty additional charges to send more emails and will be left to look for other cost-effective alternatives.

5. Email credits

MailChimp’s new policy states that all email credits bought prior to these changes will expire on May 15, 2020.

This is extremely problematic for many users, including those who have stocked up email credits

Conclusion

MailChimp has drastically increased prices, removed important features, changed their product direction, implemented additional charges and have restricted features for users.

For many businesses, MailChimp was the go-to platform for its simplicity and cost-effectiveness, but with this new direction, MailChimp most likely won’t be such a viable anymore from a price, functionality or flexibility perspective.  

Fortunately, when it comes to email marketing, we are spoilt for choice, and there is a myriad of platforms that email marketers can implement.

If you believe you are going to be adversely affected by Mailchimp changes, now is the time to scope out the market and determine if it is the best solution for your business moving forward.

Get in contact today to discuss your best alternatives with one of our email marketing consultants on (03) 8547 0003 or email info@theorchardagency.com.au.

TAGS: Email, ECommerce,

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Wei Tan

CO-FOUNDER - THE ORCHARD AGENCY