SendGrid vs Mailchimp: Which Tool Is Better for You?

SendGrid vs Mailchimp

Did you know that email marketing generates $44 for every dollar spent


Or that consumers who receive email offers spend 138% more than those who don’t?


Statistics like these prove the power of email marketing.


Whether you’re just starting to create your email marketing strategy or you want to boost the efforts you’re already making, choosing the right email platform can make your work a lot easier.


Two of the platforms you can pick from are SendGrid and Mailchimp, and you’ve probably heard about them before. 


The question is, which one is best?


Keep reading as I compare these two email marketing tools!

1. What is SendGrid?

SendGrid logo

SendGrid logo

SendGrid is a cloud-based email marketing tool that focuses on email deliverability and that allows you to send emails to your subscribers without having to bear the costs of managing your own email servers.


This is one of the top email platforms available today and it delivers more than 18 billion customer engagement emails every month, for huge brands like LinkedIn, Airbnb, Pinterest, and Uber.


SendGrid offers two types of products:

1.1. Email API plans: If you want to integrate email into your app or website

Email API plans

You can try SendGrid’s email API features for free for 30 days and, during this period, you can send up to 40,000 emails


If you like it, you’ll have three plans to choose from:

  • Essentials, which includes foundational email features from $14,95 per month.
  • Pro, which focuses on maximizing your email delivery, from $89,95 per month.
  • Premier, which allows you to boost your email program and provides you with extra support from SendGrid’s team, for a custom price.

As for the features, with Business you’ll get:

  • SMTP and API
  • Technical support
  • Purpose-built mail transfer agent
  • Reputation & delivery visibility
  • Dedicated IP addresses
  • Link branding
  • Universal links
  • Real-time analytics
  • Advanced statistics
  • Searchable email activity
  • Customer Success Manager
  • Dynamic templates
  • Two-Factor authentication
  • Privacy Shield certification and GDPR compliance

1.2. Marketing Campaigns plans: If you want to create and send email marketing campaigns

Marketing Campaigns plans

You can also try SendGrid’s marketing campaign plans for 30 days and you’ll be able to store up to 2,000 contacts and send up to 6,000 emails


After that, you can upgrade to one of two paid plans:

  • Basic, which you can use to design, send and evaluate email marketing campaigns from $15 per month.
  • Advanced, which provides you with more advanced features to take your email strategy to a new level, from $60 per month.

Some of the features you can get access to with SendGrid’s marketing campaigns plans are:

  • Design & code editors
  • Segmentation
  • A/B testing
  • Automation
  • Dedicated IP included
  • Send scheduling
  • Content personalization
  • Link click tracking
  • Geographical distribution
  • Built-in Best practices
  • Authentication

2. What is Mailchimp?

Mailchimp logo

Mailchimp logo

Mailchimp is an all-in-one marketing platform that allows you to easily create, send and manage newsletter campaigns.


Mailchimp has a free membership for businesses that are just getting started with email marketing and three paid plans for those that are looking to boost their email marketing efforts:

Mailchimp pricing
  • Essentials, with must-have features and added support, from $9,99 per month.
  • Standard, with useful insights for brands who want to get more customers, from $14,99 per month.
  • Premium, with more advanced features and customization options, from $299 per month.

Once again, the features you get access to depend on the membership you go for, but some that are available are:

  • Email templates
  • Marketing CRM
  • Behavioral targeting
  • Custom domains
  • Websites
  • Audience insights
  • A/B testing
  • Event-based automation series
  • Multivariate testing
  • Advanced segmentation
  • Phone support

3. What are the differences between SendGrid and Mailchimp?

As you can see, both SendGrid and Mailchimp have a lot of useful features that can definitely boost your email marketing efforts.


But of course, they both have pros and cons, and knowing them can it a lot easier for you to pick which one is best for you


Let’s take a look at some of the differences between the two email tools:

3.1. SendGrid’s pros

SendGrid’s pros
  • It’s easy to integrate with other systems, such as Hubspot, IBM, and Microsoft Azure Marketplace.
  • It’s quite affordable, especially considering the features each plan includes.
  • If sending 100 emails per day is enough for you, you can have a free plan forever.
  • It’s easy to implement through their API.
  • You can send a large number of emails without any problems or difficulties.

3.2. SendGrid’s cons

SendGrid’s cons
  • It’s quite an advanced tool, which means that if you don’t have some technical knowledge, you might have a hard time mastering it. This isn’t a con for all users, but it’s the type of challenge that can certainly stop some smaller companies from choosing this software.
  • The interface is a bit confusing at first.
  • The editing feature isn’t as user-friendly as it could be and it sometimes has frustrating bugs.
  • The customer service has some flaws.

3.3. Mailchimp’s pros

Mailchimp’s pros
  • It offers stellar automation features.
  • The editor is easy to use and has great editing options.
  • Youll have access to incredibly comprehensive reports on your email campaigns.
  • The free membership is a great option for small businesses, as it includes most of Mailchimp’s features.
  • The integration options are excellent.

3.4. Mailchimp’s cons

Mailchimp’s cons
  • The more advanced plans aren’t as affordable as other options.
  • The sign-up system isn’t the best. This is a small detail, of course, but I’d say it is still worth mentioning.
  • It doesn’t allow affiliate marketing, so if that’s your industry, Mailchimp simply isn’t a good option for you.
  • The templates are quite basic.

4. What is the best email service?

As you can imagine, the answer depends on many factors: your email marketing goals, your budget, the size of your company, your team’s technical knowledge, and the list goes on. 


But to put it in a simple way, between the two platforms we’ve discussed today, I’d say that the right answer is:

SendGrid, if:

  • You are a developer (or have one in your team)

As I said before, one of the downfalls (or perks, depending on who’s using it) of SendGrid is that it is quite a technical platform to grasp.


However, if you or someone on your team does have the necessary knowledge to master this tool, then I’d say go for it. 


You won’t waste much time exploring and understanding the features and you can make sure you make the most out of this tool.

  • You need to send a large number of emails

If you have a long list of subscribers and send them newsletters on a regular basis, you might have had issues with other platforms due to the scale at which you’re operating.


In that case, switching to SendGrid is a good idea, as the tool is prepared to send millions of emails without compromising delivery or speed.

  • You want to focus on deliverability

One of the first things I mentioned in this guide was that SendGrid has a special focus on deliverability so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the software is a good option for anyone who wants to improve that factor of their email marketing strategy.


In fact, SendGrid has a 97% average delivery rate for businesses that opt for their Expert Services, which is a higher number than usual, and it can result in a 6% increase in your open rates.

Mailchimp, if:

  • You want a platform that’s easy to use

Not being a developer or not having much technical expertise won’t stop you from creating a successful email marketing strategy for your business


It just means that you’ll need to choose a tool that’s easier to master, like Mailchimp.


If you look for any reviews on this tool, you’ll see that it is exceptionally user-friendly


Plus, it offers many resources and guides that can help anyone make the most out of its features.

  • You need stellar automation features

As you know by now, one of the perks of using Mailchimp is the incredible automation features you’ll have access to… for free


Given that SendGrid is still testing their automation tool, if that’s an aspect of email marketing that you want to amplify in your business, I’d say go for Mailchimp.

  • You’re a small business

If you own a small business with a subscriber list of fewer than 2,000 emails and if sending 12,000 emails per month is more than enough for you, then the answer to “Which email service is best for me?” couldn’t be easier: it’s Mailchimp.


Why? 


Simple: it offers a plan with amazing email marketing features for 0 dollars a month


As your business grows, you’ll likely need to upgrade your membership but for now, to keep it cheap while ensuring high-quality features, Mailchimp is the way to go.

5. What if I want an all-in-one digital marketing tool?

Just like any other digital marketing software, SendGrid and Mailchimp have their strengths and weaknesses and after reading about both of these tools, there’s probably one that seems more suitable for you.


However, both tools focus on email marketing. 


But what if you need software that allows you to take care of other components of your digital marketing strategy?


Well, in that case, I’d say the right platform for you is Systeme.io.

Systeme.io's pricing

Systeme.io's pricing

Systeme.io is an all-in-one marketing software, meaning that you can use it to send newsletters, launch a blog, create an online course, sell physical products, create an affiliate program, run webinars and much more.


All of this for a mere $27 per month. Give it a go!

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