Can you use Mailchimp for free?

We’re big Mailchimp fans. While there are certainly more powerful, robust email marketing and marketing automation tools, Mailchimp tends to keep things simple and easy to use. We’ve used them for years. While we help clients with other platforms as well, it’s our email marketing platform of choice in most cases.

Mailchimp has had a free plan for years. However, back on May 15, 2019, they made some significant changes to that plan.

So how do you know if Mailchimp’s free plan will work for you?

Legacy Free Plan

Before the change in 2019, many of our clients could use Mailchimp’s free plan. They could send a total of 12,000 emails per month and have up to 2,000 total contacts across all audiences in their account.

For most of our clients, as long as their email list was under 2,000, they could send up to six emails per month to their entire list. Since most of our clients sent a maximum of one email a week to their list, the free plan was a perfect fit for them.

The good news? As of the writing of this article, if you signed up before May 15, 2019, you’re grandfathered into that Legacy Free Plan. Keep your email list under 2,000 by deleting inactive subscribers, don’t send out more than six emails a month, and you’re good to go!

Mailchimp’s current free plan

If you signed up for Mailchimp’s free plan on May 15, 2019 or later, your limitations are a bit different.

You still get up to 2,000 contacts, but now there’s a 10,000 email limit per month and a daily limit of 2,000. So what does that mean functionally?

If you have a list of 2,000 emails addresses or less, you can send five emails per month. However, let’s say you send an email out that has a mistake. You can’t send a correction email out until it’s been 24 hours.

Even more importantly, you can’t schedule your emails ahead of time. You have to manually send them out whenever you want them to go out.

Should you use Mailchimp’s free plan?

You can use Mailchimp for free, but there are limitations. So how do you know if you should get a paid plan?

Let’s say your list has just under 2,000 email addresses in it. At the bare minimum, you can get Mailchimp’s Essentials Plan for just $20.99 a month for up to 2,500 contacts. Or you can get Mailchimp’s Standard Plan for $51.99 a month for up to 2,500 contacts.

If your email list is not making you way more than $20.99 a month, then you’re doing something wrong. Of course, if you sell low-priced items, then maybe you can make do with a free Mailchimp plan. But if you’re providing reasonably priced products or services, you should be making well over $20.99 a month from your email list.

If you’re selling services to other businesses, then you should definitely be making well over even $51.99 a month from your email list, and the paid plan is well worth it.

Can you use Mailchimp for free? Yes. Should you? Almost never.

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