Sendlane vs Mailchimp 2021 Comparison

sendlane vs mailchimp

Published by Al Rose

Last Updated on October 30, 2021 by Today Testing Team

Has your research into Sendlane and Mailchimp left you wondering which of these tools you should use?

In this review, we intend to help you make the right choice by exploring how both tools automate email, the integrations they support, their deliverability rates, how well they handle list management, the kind of customer support they offer, and other features such as templates, template editing functions, analytics, forms and popups.

I encourage you to take advantage of the 14-day trial periods offered by MailChimp and Sendlane to test drive them before buying. MailChimp’s also offers a completely free plan, so you may want to start there and then upgrade to one of its paid plans.

Table of Contents

What Is Sendlane?

Sendlane is a marketing tool that leverages user behavioral data and automation to help you create emails, sms and pop ups for your marketing campaigns. Sendlane also lets you create behavior-based pop ups whether you want to increase sign ups, reduce cart abandonment, or serve up offers to increase sales.

What Is Mailchimp?

Mailchimp started off as an email marketing software 20 years ago, but has over the years grown into a full-fledged marketing platform that provides most of the services you need to succeed online: from website creation, to content creation, marketing CRM, landing pages, digital ad creation and management, social media management, and email marketing.

As Sendlane was created by marketers, a seasoned marketer or an agency would benefit more from using it. MailChimp on the other hand caters well to growing businesses and is therefore probably not the best tool for a professional marketer.

Key Conclusion: Go for Sendlane If:

  • You already have a contact list
  • You want a tool with more advanced segmentation features
  • You want to split test your campaigns
  • Budget is not an issue

Key Conclusion: Go for Mailchimp If:

  • You want an all-in-one marketing tool for your businesses
  • You are new to business and are in need of a website builder
  • You want to start off with a free plan
  • You want a tool that is generally lower priced

Mailchimp is a veteran email marketing tool that has helped a lot of businesses to start, grow and scale since the early 2000s. Sendlane is a relatively new email marketing software that was created to fill in some of the gaps left by old timers like MailChimp. If you want an all-in-one marketing tool for a limited budget, go for MailChimp. If you want more advanced email marketing features, go for Sendlane.

In Depth Feature Comparison

Getting Started and How Easy The Platforms Are To Learn

MailChimp’s free plan has limited capabilities, but it also provides a smooth experience just like the paid plans. You will get more advanced features on the paid plans, such as automation and Multivariate testing. These features require a little more doing to set up, but assuming you have mastered the basics on the free plan, you shouldn’t have any challenge at all. If you are a newbie and on a premium package, you can use MailChimp’s library of resources to figure things out. You can also use Mailchimp’s prebuilt options such as prebuilt segments, to help you navigate difficult and time-consuming tasks such as building new segments.

Mailchimp_ease of use_prebuilt segments

That said, although Mailchimp’s new and improved interface is attractive and more user friendly, it cannot compare to Sendlane’s ultra-modern UI. As we mentioned earlier, Mailchimp had some weaknesses, among them its UI. Sendlane, being a latter entrant into the game, had the time to study MailChimp and come up with a UI that would outdo MailChimp’s.

The result is a sleek tool with a dashboard that is clean, neat, intuitive and quite user-friendly even for beginners. The simple labelling in Sendlane’s layout further increases this tool’s simplicity and makes it easy to learn in mere minutes. Using Sendlane requires no onboarding, making the 14-day trial period sufficient for testing out the tool’s features.

But, just like with Mailchimp, you have to wait for a vetting period before you launch any email marketing campaigns. They for example review your email drafts to ensure that you are not using Sendlane to send spam emails or conduct any criminal activities.

With both tools, although you might have to figure out advanced features, this should be easy to do as you have access to learning material. But Sendlane’s tutorials and explainers are detailed and easier to follow. More so, due to the general simplicity that Sendlane approaches each of its functions, you may not need any of the help content at all.  

Winner:

Sendlane is overall the simpler tool to use. Mailchimp has a lot of tools, but it is light. Nevertheless, some of its features are somewhat hidden, and the naming for its menu options isn’t as clear or straightforward as Sendlane’s. This can make the tool seem complicated during the initial set up process.

Email Automation Comparison

Sendlane automatically tags or segments visitors based on how they respond to triggers. It also allows you to define the entire length of your workflow (funnel), and follows your customers through every step. This results in behavior-based lists and segments that automatically set up without you having to do any additional segmenting separately.

SEndlane_automations

You can control all your email automation in the automations tab. Select workflows or autoresponders depending on the automation you want to create. The process is very self-explanatory from there; it takes you step by step until you have your entire workflow set up.  

The triggers use If/else and yes/no functions to classify your visitors or even trigger new workflows. For more personalization, add merge tags in your email body. This will allow you to address your audience members by name.

Mailchimp’s also allows you to build classic automations to eliminate repetitiveness, schedule timing so that you send emails on time, and segment your audience so that only the right recipients receive your emails.  Classic automations use triggers to create workflows that run on their own.

Mailchimp_automation

All Mailchimp plans support single email automation while email series automation is available on the higher plans.

Winner: both

Mailchimp and Sendlane use triggers to streamline your communication with customers throughout their lifetime with you. both tools therefore help you to manage how and when you personalize your offers.

Email Deliverability Rates

Email deliverability can make or break your campaign. Factors such as send time, spam filters, mail queue and quality of content can all affect email deliverability. While you can control content quality, you have no control over the other factors. Sometimes, even your email campaign platform cannot control email delivery if they do not own the sending IP addresses.

This is the case with MailChimp. MailChimp’s sending servers are often flagged by spam filters, causing emails to be blocked.

Sendlane on the other hand owns and manages their email delivery infrastructure, resulting in better delivery rates.

Winner: Sendlane

Sendlane has its own IP addresses, and since it works to preserve the reputation preserve the reputation of those IP addresses, your emails are less likely to be flagged as spam.

Email Templates and Template Editor

MailChimp’s templates may look a bit dated, but they get the job done. What’s more, the collection of templates is created with goals in mind: make an announcement, follow up, sell products, educate, tell a story. This way, you don’t need to guess which template to pick. Simply choose the one that most suits your goal and customize it in the drag and drop editor.

Mailchimp_templates

And if those templates won’t get the job done, you can go with the basic formats:

These multiple template formats to give you the flexibility to work with different content blocks to create designs that are unique to your brand.

The page editor in Mailchimp looks dated, and it doesn’t let you customize your forms a whole lot. It is however very simple to use, and it gets the job done. You can add elements to your form to customize its appearance. You can also edit any element in the form by hovering over it and selecting the pencil icon that appears.

Although Sendlane was created to fill in the weaknesses of tools like Mailchimp, it does itself have a major weakness: its email template collection is no more impressive than MailChimp’s. I expected to get a wider variety of templates in Sendlane, but to my surprise, they are quite few. Interesting to note is that Sendlane offers quite a collection of landing pages, perhaps to make up for its deficiency in email templates.

That said, Sendlane’s template editor has a clean layout, and its drag and drop feature works without any lags.

Winner: both

Sendlane has fewer templates but its template layout is more modern looking and easier to work with. Mailchimp has more templates, but its editor looks dated and offers few customization options.

Email List Management

Sendlane offers contact management through its lists section. One of the major functions of the lists feature is to collect contacts, although you can also use it to segment your contacts and launch personalized campaigns. This is one of the ways you can use Sendlane to improve response rates.

Sendlane_list management

You can use opt-in forms to get new signups but if you already have a contact list, you can import it into Sendlane via csv or txt, or directly from an integrated tool.

List management on MailChimp takes place in the audience tab on the top bar menu. Mailchimp also has a contact management feature, but it differs from Sendlane’s in some aspects. For example, Sendlane organizes contacts in CRM-like fashion, and also offers engagement functions. It also offers simple segmentation where you can group your contacts based on a few parameters, or more complex segmentation where you can group contacts more dynamically.

Mailchimp_audience

MailChimp relies on a combination of user behavioral data, predictive analytics and other insights to segment contacts. This results in more accurate segmentation and more options for personalizing campaigns.

You can import contacts into MailChimp via csv, txt, subscription forms, by integrating tools, or enter it manually.

Winner: MailChimp

Sendlane’s list management feature is simple to use, but Mailchimp’s is more dynamic and as it resembles a CRM, you can achieve more with it.

Forms and Pop Ups

Mailchimp supports pop-up sign-up forms, embedded forms, and forms created using third party mail services. You can use different display options depending on the type of form you use. For example, you can choose to display embedded forms in horizontal, condensed or classic format.

Mailchimp_forms and popups

Mailchimp’s pop-up sign-up forms can be fixed, modal or slide-in forms. You can also style them differently to get your most preferred alignment of graphics. Additional pop-up settings allow you to time your pop-up forms to display during your preferred intervals.

If you’d rather create sign up forms from scratch, MailChimp gives you this option as well. 

Sendlane’s also supports banners, inline pop ups, or pop ups that display while a visitor is viewing a page. Banners can be at the bottom or at the top of a page and will stay fixed as a visitor scrolls. Inline pop ups give you the flexibility to display them anywhere on a page by adding code.

Sendlane also allows you to style your forms and pops by dragging and dropping different elements. You can also specify pop up positioning and set conditions to specify actions after a visitor signs up.

Winner: both

Sendlane and MailChimp use forms and popups to attract more sign ups. You can easily customize popups and forms on both tools.

Reporting and Analysis

Sendlane’s analytics dashboard contains all the top metrics you need to see, such as click rate, email open rate, subscribes and unsubscribes, and spam reports.

Sendlane reports update in real time to give you the kind of on-toes tracking you need to make a timely response during an ongoing campaign.

MailChimp’s reporting dashboard is dull when you compare it to Sendlane’s. It does however offer a healthy collection of reports and insights such as geo tracking, click mapping, openers, social media and clients. You can also get more data, such as conversion tracking, which you can do with a Google Analytics integration,

Winner: Sendlane

Real time tracking, intuitive reports, clean dashboard design, are some of the things that make Sendlane’s reporting and analytics features win.

Integrations

Mailchimp integrates with more than 800 tools. This increases communication between your email campaigns and all of your other tools and teams. You can integrate Mailchimp with ecommerce tools, social media platforms, and website tools. Some direct integrations may be missing, although this shouldn’t be a problem as MailChimp works with Zapier and other third-party integrators. If you want to integrate shopify for instance, you can do so using Zapier.

Sendlane also offers some default integrations, and also provides its own API for building integrations that aren’t supported by default.

Winner: MailChimp

Mailchimp supports more integrations including Zapier and other third-party integrators. API integration in Sendlane may be complicated for some.

Customer Support

Mailchimp has a knowledge base that covers users’ content needs quite thoroughly. The interface is easily searchable, helping users to easily find the help they need. But this is the only help you get on the free account.

You have to upgrade to a paid account to get 24/7 chat support.

You can access the knowledge base from anywhere in Sendlane, even in the editor, as it overlays on the area you are working on so that you don’t lose your work.

What Tools Are Available on Sendlane and Not on Mailchimp?

  • Dynamic content
  • SMS
  • Pre-built automation funnels

What Tools Are Available on Mailchimp and Not on Sendlane?

  • RSS-to-Email
  • CRM
  • Mailchimp VIPs
  • Website creation
  • Ecommerce

Sendlane vs Mailchimp Pricing

Besides a completely free plan, Mailchimp’s marketing platform plan has three paid tiers.

Free plan: Costs $0 for 2000 contacts, a daily send limit of 2,000 and monthly limit of 10,000. This plan gives you most of the features that you get on the paid packages, plus some simplified features to get you started, such as one-step automations, and subject line helper.

Essentials: Starts at $9.99/month for 500 contacts, up to $270 for 50,000 contacts. Email send limit in this plan is 500,000, which is 10 times the contact limit. You can access chat support, conduct multivariate testing, create multi-step campaigns, use custom branding, and access 24/7 email support at this level.

Standard: Starts at $14.99/ per month for 500 contacts, up to $540 for 100,000 contacts. Email send limit is 1,200,000, which is 12 times the contact limit. You will also get the following on this plan: better insights, advanced customer journey building, behavioral targeting, custom templates, and use of dynamic content.

Premium: $299/month for 10,000 contacts, up to $1190 for 200,000 contacts and 3,000,000 email sends, which is 15 times the maximum contact number. This plan offers more customizations, advanced segmentation, advanced multivariate testing options, unlimited team roles and phone support.

Besides these main plans, MailChimp also has a different plan called websites and commerce. Here is what it will cost you:

Free plan: $0, plus 2 % transaction fee and stripe processing fees.

Core: Starts at $10 per month 1.5 % transaction fee and stripe processing fees.

Plus: Starts at $29 per month 0.5 % transaction fee and stripe processing fees.

The websites and commerce plan gives you all the resources you need to build a website or an ecommerce store. You get all the stores building features on all the price tiers in this plan.

The Sendlane pricing structure is also quite detailed, although it’s a lot less complicated than MailChimp’s. It has 2 price levels: Growth plan at $79/month for 5,000 contacts, and professional plus, at $208 per month for 10,000 contacts.

Sendlane is currently offering a 6-month discounted access to the growth plan for $497. Taking up this offer will save you some money and also give you exclusive access to Sendlane’s Ecommerce Email Academy. This might be just what your business needs to accelerate growth during its first 6 months.

You can access all of Sendlane’s core functions and features on each price level. The only difference is that as a Professional plus subscriber, you will get personalized onboarding and pretty much all the handholding you need until your business grows. You even get a dedicated account success manager.

Winner: Mailchimp

MailChimp is cheaper than Sendlane, and although its pricing is too detailed, it offers something for everyone.

Decision Time: Sendlane or Mailchimp?

If you want to save money with a simple yet powerful and flexible tool that will help you launch and grow your business, go for Mailchimp. Its subscription gets costlier as you grow, but a positive ROI will justify the cost at that level.

If you are looking for more advanced email marketing features and you are not worried about cost, go for Sendlane.

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