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MailChimp vs Mandrill: What are the differences?

MailChimp is a popular email marketing platform tailored for managing campaigns and marketing automation, while Mandrill, an API service by MailChimp, specializes in reliable transactional email delivery for developers, ensuring the timely and personalized dispatch of critical messages. Let's discuss the key differences between them.

  1. Pricing Model: MailChimp offers a freemium pricing model, allowing users to send emails to a limited number of subscribers for free. They also offer paid plans with more features and higher email sending limits. On the other hand, Mandrill operates on a pay-as-you-go pricing model, where users pay for the number of emails sent. This can be advantageous for users who send a high volume of emails or have varying email sending needs.

  2. Email Marketing vs Transactional Emails: MailChimp is primarily focused on email marketing campaigns, allowing users to create and send bulk emails to their subscribers. It provides features such as email templates, automation workflows, and advanced analytics to optimize marketing efforts. In contrast, Mandrill is designed for sending transactional emails, such as order confirmations, password resets, and notifications. It offers a robust API for developers to integrate and send personalized transactional emails on behalf of their applications.

  3. User Interface and Ease of Use: MailChimp offers a user-friendly interface with drag-and-drop email builders, ready-to-use templates, and intuitive campaign management tools. It is suitable for users with little or no coding experience. Mandrill, on the other hand, provides a more technical interface and is targeted towards developers or users familiar with API integrations. It requires some coding knowledge to fully utilize its capabilities.

  4. Email Deliverability: Both MailChimp and Mandrill have good email deliverability rates, but there are slight differences in their approaches. MailChimp has strict policies and guidelines that users must follow to ensure high deliverability. It provides tools to check email deliverability and monitor spam reports. Mandrill, being a transactional email service, has a focus on high deliverability and provides advanced features like dedicated IP addresses and email authentication methods to improve deliverability.

  5. Automation and Segmentation: MailChimp offers robust automation and segmentation capabilities, allowing users to create personalized email journeys based on customer behavior and preferences. It provides advanced segmentation options and triggers based on subscriber activity. Mandrill, being primarily a transactional email service, does not provide extensive automation and segmentation features like MailChimp. It is more focused on the transactional email sending aspect.

  6. Support and Resources: MailChimp offers comprehensive support through live chat, email support, and a knowledge base with tutorials and resources. They also have a vibrant community forum where users can seek help and advice. Mandrill, being a part of the MailChimp family, shares the same support resources. However, as Mandrill is targeted towards developers, it provides additional technical documentation and resources specifically aimed at developers integrating the Mandrill API.

In summary, MailChimp is suited for users looking for a user-friendly email marketing platform with extensive automation and segmentation capabilities, while Mandrill is more suitable for developers or users who require a robust transactional email sending service with advanced API integration options.

Advice on Mailchimp and Mandrill

For transactional emails, notifications, reminders, etc, I want to make it so writers/designers can set up the emails and maintain them, and then dynamically insert fields, that I then replace when actually sending the mail from code.

I think the ability to use a basic layout template across individual email templates would make things a lot easier (think header, footer, standard typography, etc).

What is best for this? Why would you prefer Mailgun, SendGrid, Mandrill or something else?

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Replies (4)
Justini Powell
Lead Developer at Watermark Community Church · | 4 upvotes · 88.1K views
Recommends
on
Twilio SendGridTwilio SendGrid

If you need your emails to be sent in a time-sensitive manner, I'd recommend SendGrid. We were using Mailgun and the lag because they aren't "transactional" in nature caused issues for us. SendGrid also has the ability to do dynamic templates and bulk send from their API. I don't know that they have the shared layout ability you mentioned, though.

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Mika Henriksson
Coder at mhenrixon Consulting · | 4 upvotes · 88K views
Recommends
on
PostmarkPostmark

The only transactional email service that I've been able to stomach is Postmark! It is by far the easiest (and quickest to get feedback from) service that I have come across. While drowning in attempts to debug Mandril, Mailgun and others I get quick feedback from Postmark in what I need to do.

Postmark for the win!

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Vit Ulicny
Recommends
on
MandrillMandrill

We are using more extensively Mandrill.

It is a ok tool, which gives you the power for emailing with nice set of features.

The templates editing and management is a bit tricky, but this is mostly related to email templates in general, which are hard to create and maintain.

I do not think you can share the parts of the templates. You can have your predefined templates with possibility to insert dynamic content.

They provide a limited possibility to preview and test your templates.

The template editor is text only. For the better editors checkout http://topol.io or https://mosaico.io

Unfortunately, I do not have experience with the other tools and possibilities to manage templates.

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Aric Fedida
Founder, CTO at ASK Technologies Inc · | 1 upvotes · 87.4K views
Recommends
on
Twilio SendGridTwilio SendGrid

At this stage, all of the tools you mentioned do email delivery pretty well. They all support email templates as well. Here are some considerations:

  1. Twilio owns SendGrid. If you're an existing Twilio customer, in my opinion that's a good reason to use SendGrid over the other solutions. The APIs are solid, and Twilio has excellent developer tools that allow you to create interesting automations (which is important for scaling).
  2. Mandrill was created by MailChimp, who have massive experience with email delivery and specifically with emailing beautiful email templates.
  3. Mailgun is a tool on its own. Like the other two, it supports mail templates and is built to be controlled almost exclusively via APIs.

SendGrid and Mandrill have pretty nice WYSIWIG template editors as part of their platform. Not so sure about Mailgun.

So for me the considerations would be: 1. How easy is it for you to integrate with their API? How complete is their API in terms of your own specific needs? 2. Prices: Which one works best for my budget? 3. Am I OK with editing the templates elsewhere (or even by hand), and then pasting the code into Mailgun? Or do I want the comfort of Mandrill or Sendgrid with their WYSIWYG editors?

Personally I'd go with Twilio, simply because it's such a massive ecosystem they are less likely to go bankrupt, and their APIs are rock solid.

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Pros of Mailchimp
Pros of Mandrill
  • 259
    Smooth setup & ui
  • 248
    Mailing list
  • 148
    Robust e-mail creation
  • 120
    Integrates with a lot of external services
  • 109
    Custom templates
  • 59
    Free tier
  • 49
    Great api
  • 42
    Great UI
  • 33
    A/B Testing Subject Lines
  • 30
    Broad feature set
  • 11
    Subscriber Analytics
  • 9
    Great interface. The standard for email marketing
  • 8
    Great documentation
  • 8
    Mandrill integration
  • 7
    Segmentation
  • 6
    Best deliverability; helps you be the good guy
  • 5
    Facebook Integration
  • 5
    Autoresponders
  • 3
    Customization
  • 3
    RSS-to-email
  • 3
    Co-branding
  • 3
    Embedded signup forms
  • 2
    Automation
  • 1
    Great logo
  • 1
    Groups
  • 0
    Landing pages
  • 189
    Simple installation
  • 141
    Great api
  • 123
    Generous free allowance to get you started
  • 114
    Cheap and simple
  • 99
    Trackable
  • 59
    Well-documented
  • 54
    Doesn't go to spam
  • 47
    Great for mailchimp users
  • 32
    Webhooks
  • 28
    Client libraries
  • 7
    Heroku Add-on
  • 6
    Easy to use
  • 5
    Meaningful Metrics
  • 5
    Free
  • 3
    Advanced Tagging and Reports
  • 3
    Mobile Access
  • 3
    Status Update
  • 2
    Very chimp-like
  • 2
    Great Documentation
  • 2
    love this service
  • 1
    Free Plan
  • 1
    Webhooks for bounce mail

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Cons of Mailchimp
Cons of Mandrill
  • 2
    Super expensive
  • 1
    Poor API
  • 1
    Charged based on subscribers as opposed to emails sent
  • 1
    Really hard to pull analytics out via api

Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

What is Mailchimp?

MailChimp helps you design email newsletters, share them on social networks, integrate with services you already use, and track your results. It's like your own personal publishing platform.

What is Mandrill?

Mandrill is a new way for apps to send transactional email. It runs on the delivery infrastructure that powers MailChimp.

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