Mailchimp is a tool that used to come to mind every time you heard "email marketing". Which is kind of obvious: it's an email service provider that’s been around since 2001. Since then, many alternatives have come along, all with their pros and cons. Unisender is one of them.
Unisender has been a top player in email marketing in Russia and CIS since 2008. Ironically, it's even known in Russia as a "Russian Mailchimp alternative". Unisender is currently expanding its service to the US market and can definitely compete with Mailchimp in many ways.
In this article, we're going to do a very honest and thorough comparison of Mailchimp and Unisender to figure out which one turns out to be best for your business. We will talk about both positive and negative things for both players on all levels.
Let's dig in!
Mailchimp is a marketing automation platform. It used to be focused purely on email marketing solutions. Now, the company focuses on independent business owners who run their business themselves or with a team. Mailchimp offers multiple options in the field: landing pages tool, visual content creation tools, and social media management.
Unisender is an email service provider. It is an easy-to-use email marketing service for small- and medium-sized businesses. Unisender is very focused on email marketing solutions, though it has some other tools to offer.
Let’s start with something fairly straightforward: you need an email builder to create emails. Both Unisender and Mailchimp have drag-and-drop email builders.
Let’s compare Mailchimp and Unisender email builders and templates.
|How an email looks|
|Customized to fit your brand||+||+|
|Number of columns in the layout||2 columns maximum||12 columns maximum|
|Changing the number of columns in a block||-||+|
|Creating and saving unique email blocks||-||+|
|Custom header and footer||+||+|
|Email Builder Blocks|
|Free image database||-||+|
|Email builder templates||80+||120+|
|Templates by industry||-||+|
|Hiding mobile-specific blocks||-||+|
|Hiding desktop-specific blocks||-||+|
|Hiding AMP blocks||-||+|
|Test email from email builder||+||+|
TLDR: both have quite a few blocks, but which has it better?
The main thing about email builders is the number and the contents of blocks they have to offer.
Mailchimp and Unisender email blocks detailed comparison
In Mailchimp there are 13 blocks: text, boxed text, divider, image, image group, image + text, share button, social follow buttons, button, footer, code, and video. There is also a beta version that only has ten blocks.
Unisender ones it up by just one block, making it 14. There are more things you can do with each of them, however. You can add countdown timers for upcoming offers, attach menu buttons, or a carousel of images (AMP-blocks).
In Mailchimp, you can customize each block of your message in the ‘Style’ tab. You can choose fonts, spacing, and alignment separately for different parts of your message, for example, for header, body, and your email mobile version.
You can customize the settings for each block.
In Unisender, each block can be customized separately, but they are customizable to a higher degree. You can indicate the exact number of pixels for indentation or hide a block for a certain device type. The best thing? All these settings are in one tab, so you don’t have to switch tabs to access the setting you need.
In Unisender you can create separate email versions for mobile devices — add different buttons and text. This is possible because you can hide any block for mobile or desktop devices. We focus on that for a reason: 60% of people use phones to read their emails, so this option really comes in handy. Mailchimp doesn’t have this option.
You can use your own HTML templates both with Mailchimp and Unisender. You can just use a visual HTML editor to edit your message.
What Unisender does better than Mailchimp
- In Unisender you can create an email from scratch. In Mailchimp you have to always use a template;
- In Unisender you can save separate email blocks (for example, a footer or a header) to use them in other campaigns. In Mailchimp you can only save entire emails;
- Unisender has 100+ free templates. Most Mailchimp templates are not available for free;
- Unisender has 12 email layout columns vs only 2 in Mailchimp.
What Mailchimp does better than Unisender
- Mailchimp has an image editor where you can add text to images and use filters on them.
- In Mailchimp you can add comments to test emails for quicker communication with your team. Send a test message and get the response with comments and edits, all stored in the Comments section of Mailchimp’s builder.
Check Unisender out in action — access Unisender email builder in 1 click, for free, no registration required.
Since both Mailchimp and Unisender offer a whole lot of email marketing features, let’s compare all of them in the chart.
|Troubleshooting contact imports||-||+|
|Additional contact fields||+||+|
|Sending an email|
|Subject line helper||+||+|
|Subject line stop-words checker||-||+|
|Resending unopened campaigns||-||+|
|Google Analytics integration||+||+|
|Standard email metrics||+||+|
|Dynamic reports||First 24 hours||+|
|Lists open rate benchmarking||+||-|
|Metrics “marketing checkup”||-||+|
|Subscribing and unsubscribing|
|Email list building|
|Embedded signup form||+||+|
|Pop-up signup form||+||+|
|Automation and autoresponders|
Unisender email marketing perks
- Tools to improve your campaigns. ‘Recommendations’ tool gives you tips on how to improve your campaign to avoid spam folders. ‘Marketing checkup’ tool gives an overview of your email marketing results and provides feedback to boost performance.
- Unlimited contact lists. In Mailchimp you can have a maximum of 3 contact lists for the Light subscription plan and 5 for the Standard plan.
- Detailed campaign reports. Unisender offers both basic and in-depth analytics: click map, dynamic opens report for a month, device types report.
Mailchimp email marketing perks
- Different tools to collect contacts. You can create a signup landing page for contacts and put a signup form on your Facebook page. NB: Unisender offers the same features via Facebook and Tilda (a website builder) integrations.
- Surveys. You can share your survey on social media or an email. It’s possible to embed a survey into an email, too.
- Managing campaign responses without leaving Mailchimp. If your subscribers reply to your email, you will see their answers right in the Mailchimp interface and can respond.
Both Mailchimp and Unisender offer email workflows, segmentation, and A/B tests.
To keep your campaigns away from spam folders, you need two things.
- Good domain reputation. It depends on your domain, the quality of your email list, the frequency, and the quality of your campaigns.
- An email service that ensures good deliverability.
Emaildeliverabilityreport.com cites Mailchimp’s deliverability as 80.54%, probably due to its size and varied user base. Unisender offers an outstanding 99.8% deliverability.
Mailchimp provides 286 integrations with all types of software and websites. Analytics, chatbots, CRMs, etc.
Unisender offers several important ones (e.g., Magento, Facebook, Zapier).
Unisender offers a free direct integration with Facebook Lead Ads. Unlike in the case of Mailchimp, you do not have to have a paid Zapier account to automatically add Facebook leads to your email list.
A free option is available for both services. A Mailchimp free plan includes 10 000 emails and 2 000 contacts (including unsubscribes). You can send your email across just one list (‘Audience’). You will also have limitations, such as no A/B testing or automation.
With Unisender free plan you can send 1500 emails to a maximum of 100 contacts. However, all features (A/B testing, automation, and many others) are available on a free plan.
Let’s compare MailСhimp and Unisender paid plans for 5000 contacts. The price is listed in USD
|Cost per subscriber in Light||0,0048||0,01|
|Cost per subscriber in Standard||0,0056||0,016|
|Discount for annual subscription||30%||None|
As you can see from the chart above, email marketing with Mailchimp will cost you two to three times more than with Unisender for a similar number of subscribers.
MailСhimp has everything for emails and even more than that. Recently, it has expanded its focus from emails to marketing in general. Here are the options that come with it:
- Built-in image editor. Add text and filters to your image without leaving Mailchimp;
- Creating landing pages and setting up Facebook and Instagram ads inside Mailchimp;
- Postcards! The company takes care of printing and sending out postcards for any of your clients.
- Creating and conducting surveys
Unisender stays focused purely on email marketing. No editors or postcards, but here’s what it does have:
- Marketing Checkup. This smart tool automatically gives an overall assessment of your campaign’s performance and provides recommendations on what you can do better. It analyzes sending frequency, email list growth speed, deliverability, opens and clicks, subscribers activity, and loyalty and suggests concrete steps you can take to improve things.
- Recommendations. This tool checks your campaigns for errors. It detects words that might create a risk of landing in spam folders, the weight of your emails, short/long links, and many other parameters.
That feeling when you see that a big chunk of your “Webinar date change” email campaign landed in spam, and it's 10 pm and your ESP support team works 9 to 5… It’s in moments like this that we realise how important it is to get help from your email service provider support representative exactly the moment you need it, not hours later.
Both Unisender and Mailchimp offer user support via phone, chat or email. But there are quite some differences.
|Free plans||✓24/7 support via chat, email or phone||✓AI helpbot and email support, available during office hours|
|All paid plans||✓24/7 support via chat, email or phone||✓AI helpbot and email support during office hours
✓Weekday 24 hour chat support.
✓Weekday phone support (9 am - 9 pm ET).
❌No 24/7 support
|Extra options (pay as you go, email credits)||✓24/7 support via chat, email or phone||✓AI helpbot and email support during office hours
✓Weekday 24 hour chat support.
✓Weekday phone support (9 am - 9 pm ET).
❌No 24/7 support
As you see, Mailchimp limits their support options depending on the plan you choose. Important: whatever plan you choose with Mailchimp (even the most expensive one), you will never have a 24/7 access to their support team help via all channels.
Unisender provides 24/7 support via all channels - phone, chat or email - for all their users (free or paid) without any limitations.
So, what’s the final choice?
Mailchimp is a platform with all types of marketing tools. You can create a landing page and set ads for your social media, but get ready to pay an arm and a leg. There are lots of options, and with those options comes a headache. The UI is decent, though it gets weary clicking through options. There are way more integrations with services that you might even need.
Unisender is an email service provider with a much lower price, an easy-to-use yet powerful email builder, a deeper focus on email marketing (including many smart tools to boost your email marketing results), and an extensive knowledge base to answer all your questions. And, did I already mention the outstanding deliverability of 99,8%?
The final choice is always down to you and your business needs. Try Unisender for free to see all of its features and superpowers.