Comparing Email Marketing Platforms

Comparing Email Marketing Platforms: My Experience with SendGrid, MailChimp, MailGun, Drip, Mautic, and More

Hey everyone, Sameer here, CEO of Social Champ. You might know us for simplifying your social media scheduling, but did you know there’s another marketing channel we’ve been exploring lately?

Email marketing. Now, I’m not talking about just sending out generic newsletters. Studies show email marketing boasts a ridiculous ROI of 3,600%! That’s right, for every $1 you invest, you get a potential return of $36. Talk about bang for your buck.

At Social Champ, we’ve been using email marketing for everything from nurturing leads to sharing product updates, and let me tell you, the results have been amazing. We also tried out a lot of different email marketing platforms before finding the perfect fit.

So, to save you the time and hassle of testing them all out yourself, I’m putting together a blog comparing the top contenders. I’ll discuss their features, pricing, ease of use, and everything in between to help you find the platform that best fits your needs. Stay tuned!



The first stop on my email marketing platform exploration was our old friend, SendGrid. Honestly, it was a smooth ride the whole way through. Their reliable email delivery made it easy to keep in touch with customers, and it was a great starting point for the team to get comfortable with the platform.

But when it came to visuals, I always felt like I was hitting a wall. SendGrid’s templates felt a bit, well, ordinary. I couldn’t create the eye-catching, engaging content I was aiming for. This is when I knew it was time to explore other options, and that’s how the SendGrid vs. Mailchimp battle began.

But before we discuss MailChimp, here’s a quick breakdown of SendGrid:


  • Smooth and reliable email delivery: Never worry about your emails getting lost in the void.
  • Easy to use: Great for beginners or teams new to email marketing.
  • Free plan: Perfect for testing the waters before committing.
  • API access: Integrate SendGrid with your existing apps and workflows for a seamless experience.


  • Limited design capabilities: The templates and editor can feel a bit restrictive if you’re looking for more creative freedom.
  • Pricing structure: As your email list and needs grow, the costs can climb quickly.
  • Limited support on the free plan: Only ticket support is available, which may not be ideal for urgent issues.


  • Free: Send 100 emails per day forever, with basic features.
  • Essentials: Starts at $19.95 per month for up to 100,000 emails.
  • Pro: Starts at $89.95 per month, includes dedicated IP, advanced features, and phone support.
  • Premier: Custom pricing for high-volume senders and additional support.

Ultimately, SendGrid is a solid option for beginners or businesses who prioritize reliable delivery and simplicity. However, if you’re looking to push the boundaries of design and have a larger budget, you might want to explore other platforms.



As I mentioned before, my search for a platform with stunning visuals led me to Mailchimp. Its extensive library of templates and user-friendly drag-and-drop editor were a breath of fresh air compared to SendGrid’s limitations.

But Mailchimp’s true edge lies in its powerful segmentation and automation features. These allowed me to personalize my campaigns and target specific audience segments with laser focus.

Whenever I compared Mailchimp to other platforms, it consistently came out on top in terms of user-friendliness and feature set. Here are a few platforms I compared it to.

  • Mailerlite vs. Mailchimp (I have not used Mailerlite, but I’ve done my research on this!)
  • Klaviyo vs. Mailchimp
  • Hubspot vs. Mailchimp
  • Sendinblue vs. Mailchimp
  • Constant Contact vs. Mailchimp (I have not used Constant Contact, but I’ve done my research on this platform. It was sadly out of budget for us.)
  • ActiveCampaign vs. MailChimp
  • Drip vs. MailChimp
  • MailGun vs. MailChimp

However, Mailchimp comes with a price tag. As my needs grew, the platform started to feel heavy on my wallet. It became clear that Mailchimp was better suited for established businesses with larger budgets.

Here’s a quick breakdown of Mailchimp:


  • Visually stunning and user-friendly interface: Design eye-catching emails with ease.
  • Powerful segmentation and automation: Personalize your campaigns and reach the right audience.
  • Extensive library of features: It has everything you need to run successful email marketing campaigns.
  • Free plan available: Great for testing the waters before committing.


  • Pricing can become expensive: As your list and needs grow, so do the costs.
  • It may be overwhelming for beginners: The sheer number of features can be intimidating for new users.


  • Free: Send up to 1,000 emails per month to a maximum of 500 contacts.
  • Essentials: Starts at $6.50 per month for 500 contacts, includes basic features and A/B testing.
  • Standard: Starts at $10 per month for 500 contacts, adds advanced features like automations and landing pages.
  • Premium: Starts at $175 per month for 10,000 contacts, including priority support, dedicated onboarding, and additional features.

If you’re a beginner or a business on a tight budget, other options might be more suitable. However, for those who prioritize design flexibility, advanced features, and scalability, Mailchimp is definitely worth exploring.



My exploration of email marketing platforms took a turn when I discovered Mailgun. It was a breath of fresh air for my developers. The detailed logs, strong infrastructure, and APIs made it a developer’s dream. They could integrate email sending seamlessly into our applications and have complete control over the process.

However, Mailgun comes with a catch: it lacked the user-friendly interface and drag-and-drop features I craved. While it offered basic templates, it wasn’t ideal for creating visually appealing email campaigns. This meant I still needed to explore other platforms, and the search for the “all-in-one” solution continued.


  • Developer-friendly: Strong APIs, detailed logs, and robust infrastructure.
  • Scalability: Handles large volumes of emails efficiently.
  • Reliable delivery: Ensures your emails reach your audience’s inbox.
  • Free trial: Allows you to test the platform before committing.


  • Not beginner-friendly: Requires technical knowledge to use effectively.
  • Limited design capabilities: Lacks user-friendly drag-and-drop features and advanced design options.


  • Pilot: Free for the first month, then renews at $49 per month. Includes basic features and limited usage.
  • Starter: $99 per month. Includes essential features and increased usage limits.
  • Contract: Custom pricing for high-volume senders and additional features.

Mailgun is a fantastic choice for developers and businesses that prioritize technical control and scalability. However, if you’re a beginner or need a platform with strong design capabilities and a user-friendly interface, Mailgun might not be the best fit.



As I continued my quest for the perfect email marketing platform, I stumbled upon Drip. And let me tell you, the competition of Drip vs. Mailchimp became crystal clear after trying both. Drip offered advanced automation and segmentation features. It can automate complex workflows and target specific audience segments with laser precision, mimicking what I loved about Mailchimp’s capabilities.

However, just like Mailchimp, the price tag of Drip became a hurdle for our team. With a list size of only 2,500 subscribers, the $39 monthly fee felt a bit steep. If budget wasn’t a concern, I might have stuck with Mailchimp for its wider range of features, even though Drip’s automation was superior.

Here’s a quick breakdown of Drip:


  • Automation and segmentation: Automate complex workflows and target specific audience segments with ease.
  • User-friendly interface: Easy to learn and use, even for beginners.
  • Focus on eCommerce: Integrates seamlessly with popular eCommerce platforms.
  • 14-day free trial: Allows you to test the platform before committing.


  • Heavy on the budget: This can be expensive for small businesses and those with limited budgets.


  • Free trial: 14 days, no credit card required.
  • Paid plan: Starts at $39 per month for 1-2,500 contacts. Includes unlimited email sends and basic features. It actually offers a pricing calculator on their website. You can input your specific needs and list size to see a personalized estimate of their costs. This can help you decide if Drip fits your budget before you commit to a free trial.

Drip is a powerful platform with much to offer, especially for businesses focused on automation and segmentation. However, its pricing might not be ideal for smaller teams or those with limited budgets.


Mautic Community

After venturing through the maze of popular email marketing platforms, I turned to open-source options. Then, I stumbled upon Mautic, and let me tell you, it was a game-changer.

Mautic is an open-source software. This means it offers customization and integration capabilities, allowing me to build and mold the platform to my exact needs. No more feeling limited by pre-set features or locked-in functionalities.

For someone like me, who enjoys both creativity and control, Mautic was a great option. It allowed my team to craft email marketing campaigns that were truly unique and on-brand. And the best part? The price tag was significantly lower than the closed-source options I had explored.

Here’s a quick breakdown of Mautic:


  • Open-source: Free to use and modify, offering ultimate flexibility and customization.
  • Powerful features: Extensive set of features, including landing pages, forms, marketing automation, and A/B testing.
  • Scalability: Can handle large email lists and complex marketing campaigns.
  • Cost-effective: Free to download and use, with minimal hosting and maintenance costs.


  • Steeper learning curve: Requires technical knowledge and time to set up and manage effectively.
  • Limited support: Relies primarily on community forums and documentation for support.
  • Not beginner-friendly: This platform can be overwhelming for new users without technical experience.


  • Free: Mautic is open-source software, so there is no licensing fee. However, you may incur costs for hosting, development, and maintenance.

Essentially, Mautic is a great platform for those seeking complete control and customization over their email marketing. However, its technical nature makes it less ideal for beginners or those who prefer a user-friendly, out-of-the-box solution.

Platforms That Didn’t Workout

Other than the email marketing platforms I already mentioned, I also tried out some other platforms that I thought were worth mentioning. I say they didn’t work out because they didn’t stay for too long, so my experience with them is very short, but let me share it with you.

  • Klaviyo: I started using Klaviyo, and it had all the features I needed, but I was required to get premium for complete access, which was a massive turn-off for me at that point. Besides that, Klaviyo is a more e-commerce-appropriate platform and could have helped more with my business needs.
  • Brevo (Previously Sendinblue): Using Sendinblue was a more pleasant experience than using Klaviyo. Its transactional email capabilities and SMS marketing made it a good choice, especially when I was on a budget. However, I needed more templates and faced some performance issues with this platform.
  • ActiveCampaign: ActiveCampaign stood out for its automation prowess. Designing complex, multi-step automation was not only possible but surprisingly easy. However, since I was not willing to get an expensive email marketing platform, I had to give up on this one as well.

Mautic vs MailChimp

After experiencing numerous email marketing platforms, I can say that I have had the best experience with Mautic and MailChimp. These two really have what an efficient email marketing platform should have.

But since we are making comparisons here, I would like to make an in-depth analysis of these two to identify which one is actually better. Both platforms offer their own unique benefits for digital marketers, but as we explore them, you might find why Mautic has earned a special place in my heart (and perhaps in my marketing toolkit).

MailChimp – Great for New Users

As a newbie marketer, I was instantly hooked by MailChimp for its super easy-to-use interface and top-notch features. Truly, it was a no-brainer to use; I hardly had to put in any effort to learn my way around it. You can create campaigns, automate emails based on subscriber activity, and get insights into your emails’ performance—all in a very intuitive interface.

However, as I got more experienced and needed advanced features to excel at email marketing, MailChimp started to lose its charm for me. I needed something to fulfill my advanced needs without costing me a hand and mouth, and that’s when Mautic came to my rescue!

The Flexibility of Mautic

The best thing about Mautic is that it’s open source, which means it’s endlessly customizable, and that’s where it truly stands out. You can tailor it to your heart’s content without investing a lot of money in it.

Whether you’re tech-savvy or have a development team, Mautic’s flexibility allows you to create a marketing platform that’s as unique as your brand. You are not limited to using the available templates; if you can dream it (and design it), Mautic can do it!

While I have to agree that you need to give yourself some time to grasp Mautic fully, you can’t just have everything as per your liking; it’s just about what you prefer, and learning a steeper interface was not a problem for me, so Mautic won a few extra points here. While MailChimp served as an excellent starting point for my email marketing adventures, Mautic has taken it to a whole new level.

Final Verdict

What I learned from my experiences with email marketing platforms is that no single platform has everything you need. Each business has its unique needs, goals, and audience. My experience taught me the importance of understanding these factors before choosing the right companion for Social Champ, and luckily, I found one, MAUTIC.

I would like to mention that everything written in this blog is just my honest opinion, and I’m not getting paid to promote any of these platforms— I wish I were, though!

I have had a great experience with Mautic; hence, I prefer it over the other email marketing platforms, but that does not mean that other platforms are not good. Everyone has different needs, so you might have a different experience with each platform.

You can draw your own comparisons of these platforms, so you don’t have to rely on others’ opinions if you want to learn about Mailerlite vs Mailchimp, and in a way, it’s better to try these platforms yourself.

And, if you want a one-on-one discussion with me, book a meeting, and we can have a detailed chat.

I’m always happy to help!

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