March 25, 2024

Mailchimp Prices by Plan, Plus Add-ons & Extra Costs

Reading time about 8 min

Mailchimp offers a free plan and three pricing tiers to help businesses grow with email and digital marketing. We’ll go through everything you need to know about Mailchimp prices, including extra costs and the pay-as-you-go alternative.

During the past two years, Mailchimp evolved from an email marketing platform to an all-in-one digital marketing suite. While there are more features now than before, Mailchimp’s prices went up twice to compensate.

For this reason, many brands are looking to Mailchimp alternatives, but it’s good to take a look at their offer and weigh your options.

Mailchimp pricing plans overview

Below is an overview of Mailchimp prices for each plan, along with core features and add-ons. Pricing is based on the number of contacts you have and the plan you choose.

Mailchimp extra costs

When comparing Mailchimp prices, it’s easy to miss some details. There are certain limitations to each plan that can result in extra costs. 

  • Unsubscribed or non-active contacts. All of your contacts are billable, not just your actively subscribed ones. The only contacts you won’t be billed for are “pending,” “deleted,” or “archived” contacts. 
  • Overage fees. Going above your contact limit or monthly email sending limit will cost you. 

Overage fees for contacts start at $6.50 for 250 additional contacts (Essentials plan) and can go up to $125 for 10,000 additional contacts (Premium plan). 

The fee depends on how many contacts you already have and how many you went above your limit by. When you pay for extra contact storage, you’ll also get extra email credits. While it’s not a bad solution, it can be surprising.

  • Transactional emails. To send order confirmations, password resets, and other critical messages, you’ll need to buy extra transactional email credits. You can only start buying them on a Standard plan or higher. They expire at the end of each month. 

Mailchimp prices for Transactional emails start at $25 per block of 20,000 monthly email credits on a sliding payscale. 

Further reading: Related reading: Transactional Email Explained: Definition, Best Practices, & Setup

  • SMS marketing (US-only). If you want to reach contacts right on their phones you’ll need to have an Essentials plan or higher and be located in the USA. You’ll also need to buy SMS credits. 

Mailchimp prices for SMS credits start at $20 for 1,000 monthly SMS credits. Prices increase linearly so there is no benefit to buying in bulk. 

Further reading: Related reading: SMS Marketing: Definition, Benefits, and Best Practices for Top Results

  • Custom domain for your Mailchimp website. Mailchimp lets you build a website for getting your brand off the ground. 

A domain with Mailchimp costs $10/month. 

Mailchimp prices per plan

It’s easy to grow out of Mailchimp’s free plan quickly. If you have more than 500 contacts, use automations, and send transactional emails or more than 1,000 emails a month, it’s time to upgrade to a paid plan. 

Or, you can go with another email marketing service that has a strong free plan. For example, Brevo offers 300 free emails a day up to 9,000/month with unlimited contacts. 

Mailchimp Essentials plan

Mailchimp’s first pricing tier is the Essentials plan. With it, you increase your contact and sending limit. 

You also unlock single-step automations (customer journeys), 3 total audiences, simple A/B testing, all email templates, and the option to purchase SMS credits (US-only) as an add-on. 

This plan is best for small businesses that need to send a lot of emails but don’t need to do in-depth reporting or testing.

Further reading: Related reading: B2C Marketing Automation: How it’s Different & Examples to Get Started

Mailchimp Standard plan

The Standard plan is where advanced features start to get interesting. These features cover many core marketing needs for small businesses and medium-sized companies.

On the Standard plan, you have:

  • Advanced segmentation. Create contact groups based on behavior or demographics.
  • Split marketing automations. Make more complex automations, not just linear workflows.
  • Real-time reporting and analytics (including comparative reporting). 
  • Multivariate testing. This is like A/B testing but for more than two campaigns (think of it as A/B/C testing).
  • Send Time Optimization. This feature uses machine learning to schedule email campaigns at the best time for each individual contact. 

Further reading: Email Segmentation: 10 Strategies & How to Get Started

Mailchimp Premium plan

Maichimp’s Premium plan should offer the most comprehensive marketing tools. However, when you look into it, the Premium plan is more about increasing access to more users and raising email sending limits. 

The Premium plan provides:

  • Unlimited audiences. Mailchimp audiences are essentially contact groups you can make in your database. They help you organize contacts.
  • Unlimited seats. Anyone on your team can access the company Mailchimp account.
  • Increased role-based access. You can assign anyone on your team a role from a choice of five roles.
  • Email sending limit up to 15x your contact count limit. You get the most bang for your buck in terms of email sends per price you pay.

Premium plan is best for companies with big teams that send a lot of emails. 

Mailchimp pay-as-you-go plan

Related: What is Mailchimp?

If you don’t want to commit to a monthly plan, you can also just pay for the emails you want to send. However, you’ll only have access to the features on the second pricing tier, the Essentials plan

Pay-as-you-go pricing starts at $150 for 5,000 email sends (credits) and increases at a sliding payscale. You can buy credits in blocks of 5,000 emails. Each credit is one email send and they expire at the end of the billing month. 

PAYG pricing is good for users who just need to send emails from time to time, and not every month. It’s also good for users who don’t need many frills, complex automation workflows, or customer segmentation. 

Looking to beat Mailchimp prices?

After comparing Mailchimp’s prices per plan, one thing becomes clear quickly — the most important features and functionalities become available on the Standard plan. 

If you have 20,000 contacts with Mailchimp, you’ll pay $285/month for 240,000 emails. Add on a bundle of transactional emails and you’re looking at $305/month. 

Rather than stick with Mailchimp’s prices, switch to another provider and save. There’s Amazon SES for simple email services, or Brevo for affordable emailing and an in-depth CRM database and multichannel marketing to boot. 

This is how to migrate from Mailchimp.

With Brevo, you can send 250,000 emails, marketing or transactional, for just $239/month, regardless of how many contacts you have.

Scale your email marketing with Brevo

Free plan includes access to all core email features, unlimited contacts, 9,000 emails/month, 40+ email templates, and advanced segmentation.

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