How do we keep this site running? This post may contain affiliate links — the cost is the same to you, but we get a referral fee. Compensation does not affect rankings. Thanks!
Searching for the best affordable email marketing service (or even a free one)?! Two hugely popular services, Benchmark and MailChimp, are at bat in this review to see which one comes out on top. It’s not an easy call—MailChimp has been the longtime go-to service for free plans and affordable higher plans. But Benchmark has stepped up the competition big time over the last few years in what appears to be a direct challenge to MailChimp’s pricing and features. Read our Benchmark vs MailChimp review to learn about what each has to offer.
Find out what email marketing features each service offers (and doesn’t offer) in this table.
|Template Editor||WYSIWYG & HTML||WYSIWYG & HTML|
|Social Media Marketing|
|RSS Feed Integration|
|Spam Score (Checking)|
|Private (Dedicated) IP Address||$28.95/month|
|Split A/B Testing|
|Trigger Based Messaging|
|Customer Support||24/7 email|
Live chat and phone M-F 7am-5pm PST
|Email and phone M-F 9am-5pm|
See the table below for a pricing comparison between Benchmark and MailChimp.
|Free Plan||Up to 2,000 contacts/month|
|Up to 2,000 contacts/month|
|Lowest Price Plan/Month||$11.95 (600 contacts)||$10 (500 contacts)|
|Up To 2,500 Contacts||$28.95||$30|
|Up To 5,000 Contacts||$46.95||$50|
|Up To 25,000 Contacts||$149.95||$150|
As you can see, Benchmark and MailChimp offer pretty similar pricing tiers, with Benchmark being only slightly lower.
What Do You Get With Their Free Plans?
MailChimp and Benchmark offer the best free email marketing plans. Their free plans are pretty similar, with a generous number of features. Both give you 2,000 contacts per month, but Benchmark has a slight edge, allowing for 14,000 emails sent per month compared to 12,000 with MailChimp. With both services’ free plans you get full access to all their templates, easy drag and drop editors, contact importers, basic list management and segmentation, and basic reporting features. The major differences? Benchmark includes autoresponders in its free plan; MailChimp does not. But MailChimp’s free plan gives you inbox preview, while Benchmark’s doesn’t.
Benchmark vs MailChimp: How Else Do They Differ?
- MailChimp’s Developer API and number of apps/integrations offered far surpasses what you’ll get with Benchmark.
- Benchmark offers demographic list segmentation capability whereas MailChimp does not.
- MailChimp gives you unlimited image hosting, while Benchmark has a cap at 10mb, no matter what plan you have.
- Benchmark offers live chat, phone and email customer service with all plans, including their free plan. MailChimp, only gives you live chat and phone support with their higher tiered paid plans.
- MailChimp’s inbox preview features are more advanced than what Benchmark offers.
Benchmark and MailChimp Competitors
How do Benchmark and MailChimp stack up against their competitors? Check out our Email Marketing Software Article, where we review more than 20 companies. There you’ll find key features, pros and cons, pricing, and even our “best of” picks for different business types and needs. We also include a large comparison table to help you easily see the differences side by side.
Who is Our Winner?
After careful consideration, we’ve decided that the battle between Benchmark vs MailChimp is simply too close to call for an overall winner. We do recommend Benchmark for email marketing newbies over MailChimp. Benchmark’s customer support access and reputation is better than MailChimp, which could make all the difference if you’re new to email marketing programs. We also love that you can get autoresponders with Benchmark’s free plan.
MailChimp gets our vote for more seasoned email marketers, or if you just need a bit more bang for your buck. MailChimp’s advanced features have an edge over Benchmark’s, you get unlimited image hosting, and they offer significantly more integrations/apps (and a powerful developer API) compared to Benchmark. But it’s worth looking into both in more detail—and you can try each out with their fantastic free plans!
Learn more about Benchmark’s features in this video:
If you’ve used both Benchmark and MailChimp, which would you choose and why?