Beginner’s Guide: Mailchimp vs. SendGrid – Choosing Your Fit

mailchimp vs sendgrid

Choosing an email marketing platform can feel overwhelming, especially if you’re just starting out. Beginners find Mailchimp easy to use, while expert marketers prefer SendGrid due to its broad technical use cases.

Does your business require a developer-focused platform or an overall marketing automation platform? 

In this guide, we’ll break down the key differences between Mailchimp and Sendgrid to help you make an informed decision.

Sendgrid is more developer-focused and does well with high-volume transactional emails and email deliverability. The platform provides deliverability expertise to ensure the emails reach the recipients’ inboxes. It offers robust analytics, API, and tools to optimize the sender reputation.

Mailchimp is a comprehensive email marketing platform that caters to a broad audience, from small businesses with basic needs to those with advanced marketing requirements. It’s renowned for its ease of use and automation functionality. It offers tools beyond email marketing, such as landing pages and social media management.

Both Sendgrid and Mailchimp present a wide range of marketing tools for all types of businesses. But to help you choose the best, we’ll unpack their pros and cons, pricing, and ideal use cases.

Mailchimp vs. SendGrid: Which Option is Better?

SendGrid Homepage
SendGrid Homepage
Mailchimp Homepage
Mailchimp Homepage

Sendgrid emphasizes email deliverability and transactional emails, while Mailchimp focuses on ease of use and other email marketing features. Choosing one could become challenging without sufficient information on both.

We’ll compare and analyze Mailchimp vs. Sendgrid features, including:

  • Email deliverability,
  • Ease of use and design,
  • Automation, 
  • Audience Management,
  • Integration, 
  • AI-powered email marketing,
  • Unique features, 
  • Pricing.

Email Deliverability 

Winner: Draw

Email deliverability is a critical factor determining your email marketing success. Both Mailchimp and Sendgrid aim to achieve better deliverability rates. 

Although Sendgrid’s email deliverability rates (the ability of emails to reach your intended recipient’s inbox) are unclear, it claims to have a 97% average delivery rate (the percentage of emails that successfully reach the recipient’s server). Its email validation API validates emails before sending them and helps increase email delivery rates. The platform also ensures better delivery rates through automated IP warmup, branded links, SPF and DKIM authentication, and email validation tools. 

Mailchimp claims to have a 95.5% email deliverability rate, where users benefit from the positive reputation of other senders on the platform. Despite Mailchimp’s strict security measures, some users report that emails often land in the promotions tab instead of the primary inbox

Feature Sendgrid Mailchimp
IP and Domain Reputation Management ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Email Validation API⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Advanced Authentication Protocols⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Mailchimp vs. SendGrid – Email deliverability comparison

Ease of Use and Design

Winner: Mailchimp

An intuitive interface helps you focus more on the email marketing results than the navigation itself, especially if you’re a beginner. Mailchimp and SendGrid are pretty straightforward, with tutorials and guides to help you set up accounts.

SendGrid provides a user-friendly dashboard and a template creation tool for personalized email campaigns. However, the platform would make more sense to developers than email marketers. If you’re just starting out with email marketing, you’ll find much technical jargon, and it could take hours to get the hang of their complex menus.

SendGrid’s interface can be complex compared to Mailchimp, especially for non-technical users.

Sendgrid ease of use and design
SendGrid ease of use example

Mailchimp offers a modern and straightforward interface, making it easy to find the tools you need and navigate. The campaign builder helps users visually design emails without the need for coding knowledge. It also offers a large library of pre-built campaign templates with pre-designed blocks to enhance the overall look of emails.

Mailchimp ease of use
Mailchimp ease of use page
Feature Sendgrid Mailchimp
Beginner-friendly Interface⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pre-built campaign Templates⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Drag-and-drop Editor⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Mailchimp vs. SendGrid – Ease of use feature comparison


Winner: Mailchimp

When it comes to automation features, Mailchimp takes the lead over SendGrid; here’s how.

Mailchimp offers more flexible triggers for automation workflows and list nurturing. Their pre-built automation journeys come with built-in proven strategies to engage your audience. The platform allows you to integrate data from apps and web services, helping you connect with customers wherever they are. 

Mailchimp claims that the automation emails built in their custom journey builder help customers increase click rates by 127% compared to bulk emails. 

mailchimp automation stat
Automation statistic by Mailchimp

SendGrid’s automation is not as robust as Mailchimp, but it helps you send welcome messages with onboarding series, nurture attendees before an event starts, and follow up with leads.

Unlike Mailchimp, you can access the automation feature in the free plan. The platform lets you add contacts, craft single or recurring emails, and send time-based drip-series. You can also update content and subject lines in real-time and track your automation performance.

sendgrid automation page
SendGrid automation page
Feature Sendgrid Mailchimp
Flexible Triggers⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pre-built Workflows⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
API Integration⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Mailchimp vs. SendGrid – Automation feature comparison

Audience Management

Winner: Mailchimp 

Both Mailchimp and SendGrid prioritize segmentation through user-friendly tools. 

With SendGrid, you can create segments based on demographics, customer insights, email types, engagement, and activity. You can store customer insights in custom fields and segment subscribers using text, number, and date fields.

Mailchimp’s audience tools help you identify customer purchase patterns with real-time insights into behavior, interests, engagement, and purchase activity. Each contact’s behavioral data helps you send personalized email marketing campaigns

The platform predicts customer behavior and helps you identify high-value segments. You can also connect your store and leverage customer info for a data-driven marketing approach. Mailchimp also allows you to use advanced segmentation that can combine “And” and “Logic” in a single segment, which is included in their standard plan or higher.

Feature Sendgrid Mailchimp
Information FieldsBasic Advanced
Dynamic Segmentation⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Mailchimp vs. SendGrid – Audience management feature comparison


Winner: SendGrid

Integrations help you connect and use your favorite platforms without having to switch between different applications. Mailchimp and SendGrid offer integrations, helping you connect your stores, accounting tools, etc.

Mailchimp offers a wide range of native integrations with popular business applications across categories such as CRM, social media, and project management. If you’re a developer, you’ll find the tools to integrate your favorite marketing tools and send marketing campaigns, and transactional emails, or build your own open commerce stack. 

With Mailchimp’s investment in the developer community, you can access new integrations as they develop. 

While Sendgrid offers fewer integrations, it is more robust and caters to developer needs. Its API is considered powerful, allowing for highly customized integrations with a wide range of tools. Plus, SendGrid connects with Zapier, giving you access to thousands of other marketing tools.

If you rely heavily on pre-built integrations and lack developer resources, SendGrid’s options might seem limited compared to Mailchimp’s breadth of resources.

Feature Sendgrid Mailchimp
Native Integrations ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
API Access⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Third-party Integration ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Control and Customization through APIs⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Mailchimp vs. SendGrid – Integration feature comparison

AI Marketing Tools

Winner: Mailchimp

As the AI trend grows, marketers often decide to choose a platform with AI-assistance, such as subject line tester, email content generation tool, or general ideation assistant. Mailchimp and SendGrid offer powerful AI tools to improve the overall email experience.

SendGrid’s real-time API scans your email list to determine invalid email addresses while the email validation tool helps users submit the correct email address, eliminating typos and errors.

The AI monitors your sending patterns and identifies risky behavior to improve overall email deliverability. It also paces your email re-tries with each ISP, ensuring maximum inboxing with each provider. The AI scans real-time email marketing metrics and performance to provide actionable insights. 

Mailchimp uses Intuit Assist, a program that works across Intuit tools. The AI-generated automation and fully built emails allow you to welcome new contacts, recover abandoned carts, and win back lost customers.

The AI generates brand-aligned email and copy, but if you require data assistance, their data science tools provide recommendations to improve email content, create brand-oriented designs, and optimize email timing.

Mailchimp also claims its automation builder helps increase click rates by up to 115% compared to bulk emails. 

While both platforms help you craft AI-powered emails, Mailchimp’s AI is more diverse and easily accessible.

Feature Sendgrid Mailchimp
Deliverability Optimization⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Audience Insights⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
AI-generated Automation⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Mailchimp vs. SendGrid –  AI feature comparison

Other Unique Features

Winner: Mailchimp 

Beyond fundamental functionality, such as automation, segmentation, and analytics, seek unique features in an email marketing tool. In this regard, Mailchimp and SendGrid don’t disappoint their users.

Mailchimp makes it easy to create beautiful landing pages with the help of pre-built templates. The landing page builder pulls product images from your connected e-commerce store directly. You can also host a contest, a giveaway, or offer a free download. 

Another noteworthy feature is its content optimizer which benchmarks your email content against millions of other top-performing campaigns and offers data-driven suggestions. If you’re active on social media, you can schedule social media posts, automate the content, or run targeted ads to recapture the audience’s attention.

SendGrid’s sign-up forms are simple and let you embed them on your website or share a link to the landing page. Once contacts add their names, you can create automation to welcome and nurture them.

Email statistics is another feature that shows deliverability statistics, transactional email analytics, and engagement data, allowing you to have a 360-degree understanding of your audience. You can also track data in real time and measure category tags or run custom analyses using data exports.

Feature Sendgrid Mailchimp
Landing Page Builder ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Sign-up Forms⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Social Media Scheduling ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Mailchimp vs. SendGrid –  unique features comparison

Mailchimp vs. SendGrid Pricing: Which is More Affordable? 

Pricing could be the biggest factor when choosing an email marketing service. You must weigh each ESP’s features and pricing tiers while considering whether they fit within your budget. 

Mailchimp is generally considered more affordable for beginners or low-volume senders. It offers a free plan for 1000 monthly sends and email support for the first 30 days. 

Here’s a breakdown of its pricing structure for 1500 contacts.

Mailchimp Pricing PlanPriceFeatures Included
Free$0‣ Limited monthly email sends
‣ 1 user
‣ 1 audience
‣ Email support for the first 30 days
‣ Limited pre-built email templates
‣ Limited creative assistant and reporting and analytics
EssentialsStarts at $ 8.99 / month ‣ All features of the standard plan
‣ 150,000 monthly email sends
‣ Phone and priority support
‣ Premium migration services
StandardStarts at $15.59 / month ‣ Generative AI features
‣ 18,000 monthly email sends
‣ 5 users
‣ 5 audiences
‣ 4 – role-based access
‣ Up to 200 journey points
‣ 1 personalized onboarding session
Premium Starts at $137.90 / month‣ All features of standard plan
‣ 150,000 monthly email sends
‣ Phone and priority support
‣ Premium migration services
Mailchimp pricing plans

SendGrid lets you choose between a marketing plan and an API plan, and here’s the basic cost structure for marketers.

SendGrid Pricing PlansPriceFeatures Included
Free $0 / month ‣ Design and code editors
‣ Segmentation
‣ A/B testing 
‣ 3 Email Testing Credits 
‣ 1 Signup Form
‣ 1 Teammate
‣ Ticket support
‣ Automation
Basic Starts at $15 / month ‣ Everything on the Free plan
‣ 10 Email Testing Credits
‣ 5 Signup forms
‣ Ticket and chat support
Advanced Starts at $60 / month ‣ Everything on the basic plan 
‣ 60 Email Testing Credits
‣ 15 Signup Forms
‣ Guaranteed response times on ticket, chat, and phone support
‣ 1,000 Teammates
‣ Automation Dedicated IP included
SendGrid Pricing Plan 

Mailchimp is more affordable and offers plenty of features and customization options, while SendGrid is better for high-volume email sending. 

Mailchimp vs. SendGrid: Making the Final Decision

If you’re starting out and want to test the waters, Mailchimp could be a great fit. But if you’re looking to scale your email marketing with advanced features, SendGrid is the way to go. 

Choosing a platform depends on your needs, budget, and technical skills. Let’s compare features quickly to help you pick the most suitable one.

AI content creation
Real-Time Analytics
IP and domain reputation management ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Advanced authentication protocols
Goal setting/Tracking 
Pre-built automation workflows⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
AI-powered tools⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
AI-generated automation⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Social media scheduling 
Mailchimp vs. SendGrid Features

If you have a huge email list and require powerful marketing automation and exclusive features, Campaign Refinery is the best choice.

How Campaign Refinery Ticks All the Boxes 

Campaign Refinery offers the highest inbox placement rates in the industry, prioritizing getting your emails to recipient inboxes. The platform boasts an automatic email list cleaning tool that removes invalid email addresses from your list, maintaining a positive sender reputation.

Clients immediately notice a 6x increase in their inbox placement rates after joining us.

Why Choose Campaign Refinery Over Mailchimp vs SendGrid?

Campaign Refinery is a comprehensive email marketing platform focused on email deliverability. We understand the complex landscape of inbox placement and provide cutting-edge deliverability technology to cater to all businesses. 

While ESPs offer a broad range of marketing tools, Campaign Refinery focuses on email marketing, offering advanced features and deeper functionality to senders.

Here’s what puts us ahead of other email marketing platforms:

  • Top-notch email deliverability: Enjoy the highest email deliverability rate on the market alongside strong security infrastructure.
  • Automatic email list cleaning tool: Keep your lists clean automatically by removing harmful and invalid email addresses from your email list.
  • Engagement gamification: Delight subscribers by offering points-based incentives for performing actions on your emails.
  • Mandatory domain authentication: Avoid spam traps by authenticating your domain before onboarding with us.
  • Full feature access: Use our premium tools and exclusive features regardless of your pricing tier.
  • Credit system: Purchase an ‘X’ number of credits and use them as you like – to clean email lists, send emails, or perform other actions.

All our clients are handpicked to determine compatibility. We verify profiles to ensure they’re legitimate senders and regularly monitor their sender reputation and deliverability rates after they join us. 

Is Campaign Refinery Affordable?

We charge based on credits, not the number of emails sent or subscribers you have. Campaign Refinery is known for its transparency with pricing—you start at $99 monthly with full access to premium tools and higher deliverability rates.

Here’s what our pricing tiers look like.

Campaign Refinery
Pricing Tier
PricingFeatures IncludedCredits Included
Business plan Starts at $99 / month ‣ Unlimited Contacts
‣ Built-in Contact Cleaning
‣ Engaged Delivery System
‣ Automation Rule Builder
‣ Free Campaign Library 
‣ Custom Audience Builder 
‣ Evergreen Flash Sale
50 K
Growth plan Starts at $299 / month ‣ Everything in the Business plan
‣ Turn off ”powered by” Text
‣ Reduced Overage Cost
‣ Increased API Volume Limits
200 K
Enterprise plan Starts at $1k+ / month ‣ Everything in the Growth plan
‣ Dedicated success manager
‣ Lowest Overage Cost
‣ Custom API volume
1 M
Campaign Refinery Pricing

Is Moving to Campaign Refinery Complicated?

The complexity of moving to Campaign Refinery depends on your current platform and data volume. 

However, we make the transition smoother by offering 24/7 support, data export/import tools, and data cleaning and mapping. 

Your email lists will be screened for potential issues before you make the move. This allows you to have a seamless email marketing experience while utilizing our sophisticated marketing tools to improve your email marketing results.

Get access to our sophisticated tools and become a top sender with Campaign Refinery.

Apply to join us, and our support team will be right with you!

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