Campaign Monitor vs. Mailchimp — A Guide for Frustrated Marketers in 2024

campaign monitor vs mailchimp

Email marketing is an amazing tool for growing your business. But let’s face it, picking the right software can be a real headache. Choosing the wrong one might end up costing you precious time and hard-earned cash. 

So far, you’ve narrowed your choice to Campaign Monitor vs. Mailchimp. 

Mailchimp is a full-featured marketing tool that lets you manage and connect with your customers through different channels. Although many users are happy with what Mailchimp provides, some people find it expensive and complicated to use.

Campaign Monitor is a general email marketing tool with similar features to Mailchimp. It lets you engage and communicate with your customers through email and SMS. Campaign Monitor doesn’t target a specific audience with its features, but most of its customers are enterprise-level users. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of both platforms to help you make an informed decision. 

We’ll also throw in a surprise third option that might just outperform those other two. 

Campaign Monitor vs. Mailchimp — Which Option is Better? 

Campaign Monitor Homepage
Campaign Monitor Homepage

Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp are both powerful platforms for automating your email marketing. 

They have more similarities than differences:

Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp have a few differences, though: 

  • Campaign Monitor usually costs more than Mailchimp, especially if you’re managing big email lists.
  • Mailchimp offers a wider range of features. You get everything Campaign Monitor offers, plus extra features like social media marketing.
  • Mailchimp’s user interface is more complex and takes more time to learn, but Campaign Monitor is simpler to start with.
  • Both tools have decent deliverability, but Campaign Monitor does slightly better, though there’s still room for improvement.
  • Campaign Monitor offers solutions for agencies to manage multiple client accounts. They also have while-label licenses for agencies that want to use their own branding. 
  • Campaign Monitor offers consulting and customized services to customers with other special requirements. 

Now, let’s get into the specifics.

Mailchimp Homepage
Mailchimp Homepage

Automating Your Marketing Efforts 

Winner: Mailchimp 

Marketing automation makes it easier to keep in touch with your customers and send the right messages at the right time, without it turning into a full-time job. With the right tools, you can expand and engage your audience while still keeping things manageable.

Let’s compare how Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp stack up in terms of automation features: 

FeatureCampaign MonitorMailchimp
Visual customer journey builder ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Personalization ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Multi-channel support ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
E-commerce automation ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Comparing Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp’s automation features

Visual Journey Builder

Mailchimp’s visual automation builder is its strongest feature. This visual tool helps you plot out and automate the journey your customers take before they decide to buy something from you. It lets you create any sequence from sales funnels to drip campaigns

If you’re on the Essentials plan, you’ll be limited to a maximum of four points per journey, but higher plans support up to 200 points and conditional logic. 

Campaign Monitor’s journey builder is also effective. It lets you set up event-driven workflows tailored to different triggers. You can use predefined events, such as when they sign up, or use sitewide events, such as clicking on a button or reading a blog post. 

So when a user takes a specific action, you can automatically send them the most relevant content to increase their interest and chances of making a purchase. You can also add delays to your automations so that the response gets triggered a certain amount of time after the event. 


Both platforms let you spice up your messages with dynamic content—from including the recipient’s name to offering email coupons and product suggestions.

You can also personalize your send times. Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor let you pick the best send times according to your recipients’ time zones and previous interactions.  

It’s also possible to personalize the subject line and sender name using personalization tags in Campaign Monitor — aka merge tags in Mailchimp. This way, you can insert the recipient’s name in the subject line or use a more familiar sender name for each recipient. 

Multi-Channel Support 

Mailchimp pulls your customer data and interactions from email, SMS, and social media into one spot. You can send marketing and transactional messages through email and SMS, and create and schedule social media posts directly from Mailchimp.

Campaign Monitor offers similar features, but it doesn’t include support for social media.

E-Commerce Automation 

Mailchimp offers versatile automation tools for e-commerce. You can send abandoned carts emails, welcome new subscribers, and re-engage those who haven’t been active lately. It also works well with popular online store platforms like Shopify and WooCommerce.

Mailchimp lets you build your own website, though you’ll need a separate subscription from their marketing services.

On the other hand, Campaign Monitor doesn’t have as much to offer for e-commerce automations. It’s possible to build your own automations, but you’ll need to spend a lot of time reinventing the wheel. 

The reason might be because Campaign Monitor’s parent company, Marigold, also owns CM Commerce, which is tailored for e-commerce email marketing and automation. They likely steer customers towards this more specialized—and more expensive—platform.

At Campaign Refinery, we don’t divide our products into multiple subscriptions to make you pay us multiple times. One subscription gives access to all the tools you need to automate your email marketing. 

Managing and Segmenting Your Email List 

Winner: Campaign Monitor

For your email marketing to be effective, you need a solid email list full of only valid addresses. That’s why you need to choose a platform that helps you manage your list well and weed out harmful addresses like spam traps.

Let’s see how Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor stack up in helping you achieve that:

FeatureCampaign MonitorMailchimp
List segmentation ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Tag-based segmentation⭐⭐
Duplicate contacts⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Subscriber caps⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Comparing Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp list management features

List Segmentation

Mailchimp makes list segmentation a bit challenging. You need to figure out tags, groups, segments, and audiences. The segmentation builder interface is also cluttered with lots of conditions and criteria. You can pick up to five conditions for a segment.

The segmentation builder in Campaign Monitor is slightly simpler but just as powerful. 

You can segment subscribers based on:

  • Activity in previous campaigns.
  • Actions in past automation journeys.
  • Subscriber details like their subscription date and location.

You can set up various rules for each attribute and link these rules using AND or OR operators. Plus, Campaign Monitor doesn’t put a cap on the number of conditions you can add to a segment, unlike Mailchimp.

Both platforms also let you automatically segment audiences based on how engaged they are. To use this feature in Campaign Monitor, you’ll need the Premier plan, while Mailchimp requires at least the Standard plan.

Tag-Based Segmentation

Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor use tags differently from most other mass email platforms

Campaign Monitor uses them for campaign organization and team collaboration, not for segmenting your audience. On the other hand, Mailchimp treats tags as extra bits of information that you can add about each subscriber. These tags aren’t very useful for segmentation, though. 

Duplicate Contacts

With Mailchimp, you can manage multiple “audiences” under one account, but there’s a catch: if you add the same contact to different audiences, the platform counts that person more than once, so you end up paying for duplicates.

This isn’t an issue with Campaign Monitor — you only pay for each contact once. Also, when you send an email to multiple lists or segments, the system checks for duplicate email addresses to make sure no one gets the same campaign twice.

Subscriber Caps

Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor’s pricing depends on how many contacts you have, and each price tier sets a limit on your list size. Mailchimp also limits the number of emails you can send for each plan, but Campaign Monitor only has a send limit for its Lite plan. 

Now, imagine a platform that lets you manage your contacts any way you want, with no caps on numbers, and it won’t break the bank. That’s exactly what Campaign Refinery offers.

With us, you can keep all your contacts and use our tag-based system to tailor your interactions with every subscriber, making each person’s experience uniquely personal.

Landing in the Primary Inbox — Deliverability 

Winner: Mailchimp  

Independent research shows that Mailchimp’s email deliverability rates have varied from 82% to 95% over the past four years. This suggests that, on average, about 1 in every 10 emails might not reach the intended inbox.

Campaign Monitor claims to have 99% deliverability, but say they can’t determine how many messages land in the primary inbox and how many go to the promotions tab. As email marketing experts, we find these unbacked claims hard to believe. 

Check out the comparison table below to see how Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor measure up against each other:

FeatureCampaign MonitorMailchimp 
Automatic list cleaning ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
IP reputation management ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Monitoring sender behavior ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Domain authentication⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Subscriber consent ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Comparing Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp’s deliverability features and practices

Automatic List Cleaning

Both platforms offer tools to spot subscribers who aren’t active anymore. You can try to re-engage them with dedicated campaigns, and if they still don’t respond, you have the option to remove them from your list. But there’s no dedicated feature for email list cleaning

IP Reputation

Both platforms are careful about the IP addresses they use to send emails. However, since these IPs are shared among various users who aren’t always checked, you might not always see the best deliverability rates

You can opt for your own dedicated email IP address, but to be honest, we think that’s more than most people need. In many cases, having a dedicated IP might actually be a disadvantage unless you’re sending emails frequently and consistently enough to maintain a good email sender reputation.

Monitoring Sender Behavior

Campaign Monitor watches out for risky email practices like high bounce rates, too many spam complaints, and a surge in unsubscribes. Their goal is to protect email deliverability rates for everyone.

However, their rules are a bit loose. They’re not clear on what it means to “exceed industry norms.” Also, if your spam complaints are too high, based on the company’s “reasonable discretion,” and you don’t resolve the issue within 30 days, they will suspend your account. Speaking from years of experience, we at Campaign Refinery know this kind of situation can hurt the whole platform and lower deliverability rates for all users.

Mailchimp also monitors its user activities. They have strict rules to prevent spam and ensure emails only go to people who have signed up. While they are stricter than Campaign Monitor, their inconsistent deliverability rates suggest that their efforts may not be enough.

Domain Authentication

Starting in February 2024, Gmail and Yahoo have updated their rules. This means if you send lots of emails, you’ll need to make sure your domain is authenticated.

Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp automatically add default authentication to marketing emails sent from their domains. 

However, if you prefer to send emails from your own domain, Campaign Monitor only requires you to set up DMARC — and they recommend  SPF. On the other hand, Mailchimp recommends using these protocols but doesn’t force them.

Subscriber Consent

You can’t use purchased lists or do cold outreach on either platform. Setting up double opt-in forms is straightforward with both, so you don’t have to resort to shady practices to get people to join your list. 

Mailchimp gives you a bit more wiggle room. You can add contacts who haven’t signed up for marketing emails but still send them transactional messages or confirmation emails.

At Campaign Refinery, we only work with carefully selected senders to keep our IP reputation top-notch. Joining us means you benefit from the good practices of our entire community. We also act quickly against anyone not following our rules to keep our reputation clean.

Campaign Monitor vs. Mailchimp Pricing — Crunching the Numbers 

Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor set their prices based on how many contacts you have, and both are often criticized for being pricey.

Mailchimp offers four pricing levels, including a free plan for those with up to 500 contacts. Once your list grows beyond 50,000 subscribers, you have two pricing options to choose from.

Campaign Monitor is more budget-friendly than Mailchimp if your email list has fewer than 25,000 contacts. If your list holds between 25,000 and 40,000, Mailchimp offers the lower price. For lists larger than 40,000, the more affordable option will depend on the features you need.

Even with larger lists, Mailchimp’s Standard and Premium plans can be more cost-effective than Campaign Monitor’s highest-tier plan.

Here’s what you’re looking at for a list with 50k contacts with Mailchimp: 

TierMonthly commitment Annual commitment 
Essentials $385Not available
Standard — extra features for content optimization, personalization, and A/B testing $630Not available
Premium — Better support, personal onboarding, and larger utilization caps. $90Not available
Overview of Mailchimp’s pricing for 50k contacts
mailchimp pricing 50k
Mailchimp’s pricing page for 50k contacts

Campaign Monitor doesn’t have a free option. Its prices kick off at $11 for 500 contacts. You can also purchase SMS credits if you contact the sales team. 

Here’s what the costs look like for 50k emails: 

TierQuarterly commitment Annual commitment 
Essential $349 per monthNot available
Professional — adds dedicated success manager, training, and 5GB storage$409 per monthNot available
Enterprise — adds AI, unlimited journey points, and custom contact fields $989 per monthNot available
Overview of Campaign Monitor’s pricing for 50k contacts
campaign monitor pricing 50k
Campaign Monitor’s pricing page for 50k contacts

Campaign Monitor vs. Mailchimp — The Verdict  

If you have a small business and need a marketing platform with strong e-commerce integration, Mailchimp could be a great fit for you.

There aren’t many scenarios where Campaign Monitor comes out on top. For example, if you run an agency and want to offer email marketing software under your own brand, Campaign Monitor’s white-label solutions can be handy. Besides that, Campaign Monitor doesn’t really have any unique advantages over Mailchimp.

We’ve created a detailed comparison table to show you how Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor stack up against each other:

FeatureCampaign MonitorMailchimp 
Email marketing automation AdvancedAdvanced
DeliverabilityRelatively higherFluctuates
Email editor User-friendly and simple Versatile and advanced 
Customer journey builder AdvancedAdvanced
List segmentation EfficientCumbersome
Dynamic content ComplexComplex
Analytics and reportingComprehensive and advancedComprehensive and advanced
Supported marketing channels Email, SMSEmail, SMS, Social 
PricingBased on contacts, starts at $11Based on contacts, starts at $26
Comparing Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp’s features

If you’re on the hunt for an email marketing platform with top-notch deliverability and budget-friendly pricing, it’s time to meet Campaign Refinery!

Campaign Refinery: Top-Notch Deliverability with the Best Price 

Imagine having to pay hundreds of dollars every month for a dedicated deliverability consultant that you might not even need if you follow the best practices. 

That’s part of the deal with Campaign Monitor. But what if you could achieve even better email results for much less?

That’s our promise at Campaign Refinery — sky-high deliverability without the eye-watering price tag.

Why Choose Campaign Refinery Over Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp 

Want to know why we’re better than Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp when it comes to email marketing?

These are only four reasons: 

  • We prioritize your sender reputation and security. From day one, we help you set up the DNS email records for domain authentication protocols to keep your emails secure. 
  • Our community is second to none. We don’t let questionable senders use our platform. 
  • Your list stays clean automatically. You won’t have to deal with spam traps, bounced emails, or invalid addresses.
  • Turn your campaigns into steady streams of revenue. Set them up once and watch them continuously bring in more money.

Is Campaign Refinery Affordable?

Our pricing is completely transparent and based on the emails you send, not the number of contacts. That means we don’t charge extra for your contact list or restrict its size. Your costs are tied to the emails you send and the number of times you clean your list. 

If you send a lot of emails, Campaign Refinery could slash your costs by up to 60% every month!

Skeptical? Take a look and see the difference for yourself:

Number of sendsCampaign RefineryCampaign Monitor — EssentialsMailchimp — Standard 
50,000 emails$99$189$230
200,000 emails$299$409$450
1,000,000 emails $1000Contact sales $1600
Comparing Campaign Refinery’s pricing to Campaign Monitor and Mailchimp (assuming you send weekly)

Is Moving to Campaign Refinery Complicated?

Starting with Campaign Refinery is simple. First, fill out our application form and have a chat with one of our experts. We’ll carefully review your specific situation and figure out the best way to transfer your data to our system.

The complexity of the move can vary based on the size of your list and which email marketing service you’re switching from, among other factors.

But don’t worry. Our team will be right there with you, helping you every step of the way as you join our community of trusted senders.

Ready to take your email marketing to the next level? Apply now to begin your journey with us!

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