Email marketing is a crucial part of any businesses' marketing strategy, and two of the most popular tools companies use to create and send marketing emails are Mailchimp and HubSpot. Thousands of business owners have successfully implemented one or both of these programs to improve their relationships with customers and make their marketing campaigns more efficient. So when it comes to choosing a platform, which email marketing software wins? That depends on your business. Each program has unique features that could benefit you, so let's dive in and check them out.
As one of the largest names in email marketing, almost everyone is familiar with Mailchimp. The platform's popularity is partially due to its beginner-friendly nature. This ease of use makes the software the first choice for many new email marketers or small businesses. Although it's added features over the years, Mailchimp remains primarily a simple email marketing tool that allows businesses to connect with subscribers of their email list.
- Marketing CRM - The CRM tool (customer relationship management) will allow you to manage your contact list and see a detailed overview of your relationship with a given customer, similar to searching your list of friends on social media.
- Email campaigns - You can easily create an email marketing campaign using template themes that are targeted toward specific campaign types, or you can create your own campaign from scratch with the email editor.
- Audience management - This feature is similar to the CRM, but it breaks down your contact list into different audience segments. This can help with lead nurturing and better your ability to connect with different types of clients.
- Automation tools - These help you automate workflows based on behavioral triggers. They can often help with lead generation because they give you the ability to respond accordingly with autoresponders if a customer abandons a cart or signs up for an email list.
- Analytics and reports - The detailed e-commerce reports allow you to gather detailed information about your customers and your marketing efforts that will give you actionable insights into how your business is performing.
- Customer journey builder - You can create customized paths based on how customers interact with your company to increase your chances of converting a sale.
- Dynamic content - This feature allows you to take one template and tailor it specifically to your brand by offering unique content for different recipients.
- A/B Testing - With this tool, you can test variations of your email campaigns to see which ones perform better so you can continually improve the outcomes of your marketing efforts.
Mailchimp offers a free plan that includes their CRM with support for up to 2,000 contacts and one audience. You'll also get the Creative Assistant, Website Builder, and a Mailchimp domain. For more features, you'll need to choose one of the paid plans.
- Essentials: This is the basic paid plan and it costs just $9.99 per month. It supports 50,000 contacts and three audiences. It comes with all features of the free version plus email templates, multi-step customer journeys, custom branding, tools for A/B testing and 24/7 customer support from the help desk.
- Standard: This tier plan costs $14.99 per month, and it supports up to 100,000 contacts and five audiences. It includes everything from the Essentials tier plus a customer journey builder, send time optimization, behavioral targeting, custom templates, and dynamic content.
- Premium: This is the mac-daddy Mailchimp plan, coming in at $299 per month and supporting up to 200,000 contacts and an unlimited number of audiences. It includes everything in the lower packages plus advanced segmentation, multivariate testing, phone support and unlimited seats.
HubSpot emerged in 2006 in response to the changing ways in which customers interact with ads online. As one of the first all-in-one inbound marketing tools, it focuses heavily on automating email marketing but also provides tools to support those leads throughout the sales funnel to help out your sales team. Compared to Mailchimp, HubSpot is a more complete digital marketing solution because it offers so much more than a basic marketing platform.
- Email Tools - With HubSpot's tracking tools, you'll know as soon as a contact opens an email. The email templates even allow you to reuse your best-performing emails.
- Call Tracking and Recording - HubSpot has made this function super user-friendly because making and recording calls happens through your web browser and are automatically stored in the CRM.
- Appointment and Meeting Scheduler - This is a calendar built into the HubSpot CRM that makes it easy to schedule meetings that are convenient for everyone by displaying the availability of each person involved.
- Sales Automation - Personalizing emails and following up on leads is time consuming. HubSpot's marketing automation frees your salesforce up for other things, such as following up with prospects.
- Sales Playbooks - This section of HubSpot consists of easy onboarding and effective sales enablement by offering a variety of marketing services and materials. Battle cards, sales pitches and other useful documentation can be stored and easily accessed through this feature.
- Quotes - Part of landing a sale is generating professional quotes. HubSpot's tools make it easy to generate and send them to customers for approval, while tracking the whole process.
- Sales Analytics - Sales data drives business decisions, so having all that data in one place can be invaluable. The marketing hub provides you with actionable insights and complete transparency over your business so you always know what's the best next move.
- Mobile - Busy professionals are often on the go, but being out of the office doesn't mean being out of the loop when you use HubSpot's mobile app. It puts all the power of your desktop version at your fingertips.
For more info on HubSpot, check out our article, Why Go HubSpot.
HubSpot's basic CRM is free, but for more advanced functionality, you can choose one of the three paid tiers.
- Starter: This plan is $45 per month for up to two users. It includes quotes, simple automation tools, calling features, a meeting scheduler, a live chat and simple reporting.
- Professional: This middle tier option is $450 per month for up to five users. It includes everything in the starter package, plus extras like enhanced customization tools, forecasting and more analytics and reporting features.
- Enterprise: The highest level plan is $1200 per month for up to 10 users. It includes everything in the previous packages plus playbooks, call transcription, lead scoring and custom reporting.
When debating HubSpot vs. Mailchimp, many startups and established businesses alike might scratch their heads and wonder which would work best for the business in the long run. The programs might seem extremely similar, but there are some key differences that can help you make up your mind.
- Templates - A well-designed email will convert more leads to sales, so having templates is important. Mailchimp offers more of them, but HubSpot allows for greater customization.
- Functionality - Although Mailchimp has automation features, they offer fewer than in HubSpot, which was initially designed as a marketing automation platform.
- Reporting tools - Mailchimp will provide the basic analytics you need to make decisions, but HubSpot goes more in-depth so you can get a granular look at how your business is operating.
- Add-ons - HubSpot offers plenty of third-party integrations for most of your needs, but Mailchimp simply has more. This is largely due to the missing features in Mailchimp, which are compensated for by third-party tools.
- Landing pages - Both programs offer the ability to create and test landing pages, though HubSpot's tool has been around a little longer and is a bit more polished than their competitor's.
Like many things, the best product will depend on the needs of your business. HubSpot comes with many more features for a reasonable price, so most businesses will be better off choosing that option. Mailchimp's limited features, however, mean there are more integrations available. If you already have software that fulfills the additional features HubSpot brings and simply need email automation added in, MailChimp might make more sense. If you'd like more help deciding which software fits your business needs best, feel free to contact us today!