Are you paying too much for Mailchimp?

How to ensure you’re not paying over the odds…

“…I’ll not be happy if you’re using all that money to pay for your Mailchimp account”

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No one likes to pay more…

It doesn’t matter whether we’re in the deepest of recessions or are cresting the wave of opportunity and things are great.  No one wants to pay more than they have to.

…and despite this, with the many marketing tools that we use in our daily lives with “monthly subscriptions”, there are tools that we’re still paying for that we don’t need… and tools that we’re paying more than we need to for.

Now I’m not saying that you should stop paying for the tools that are essential in your business, rather that you should on a regular basis, audit the tools you are using and make sure you’re not paying over the odds.

One month may not cause a problem, but over a year, or even a lifetime, paying too much is never a good idea.


Are you paying too much for Mailchimp?

Firstly, I want to clarify that this is not about going to see if the grass is greener and checking out other email marketing tools.  I’m as big of a fan of Mailchimp as there is out there, and I’m not for one second suggesting that you waste some time and look for another email tool that’s cheaper.

For many, Mailchimp doesn’t cost them a bean, offering many of the tools for free… and in fact if you’re doing things right on a small level, you may not need to ever pay for it.

…and even when you are paying for it, for most of us, I believe it to be on par with many of the other email marketing tools out there.

But the fact of the matter is that everyone out there needs to review what they’re paying and make sure that it’s not over the odds.

It’s your responsibility to ensure you understand how you can ensure you aren’t paying more than you should

…and with ongoing changes & tweaks in Mailchimp’s pricing structure, that could potentially be the case.

So what things should you be aware of to ensure your Mailchimp bill is at the right level?


This is not an article about whether you should have a free or paid Mailchimp account

This article is also not going to focus on whether you should be paying for Mailchimp or not – I’ve already written one specifically on that subject.

There are a myriad of reasons why upgrading to a paid account for Mailchimp is a good idea… but for the purpose of this article, I’m going to assume that you know you need to pay for Mailchimp (e.g. you’ve got more than 2,000 contacts in your total audiences, or you want the features and benefits of a paid account).

…so with that in mind, where can you cut corners, without actually cutting the tools you need to use in Mailchimp?


How to not spend too much on Mailchimp…

Having looked at hundreds of Mailchimp accounts over the last few years, the fact is that there are a lot of organisations which are paying more than they should for Mailchimp.

…and here are most of the reasons why they’re paying too much:

  • Being on the wrong account level.
  • Not realising the impact of their account level on what they pay:
    • Both in terms of how pricing is structured and;
    • How the ‘count of total subscribers’ is calculated.
  • Having the same contacts/subscribers in multiple audiences.
  • Having contacts/subscribers who aren’t engaging or interested but not “cleaning” them.

All of these are in the control of you, the account holder.

Because of the impact of the account level you’re on, I’ve broken the detail on how the account levels work and what you can do to improve your situation into the following articles.

A special message for UK Mailchimp Users

If you’re a UK Mailchimp user you need to understand that since early 2020, Mailchimp has charged VAT on your bill.

…and if you’re not registered for VAT, then I’m afraid this means that your Mailchimp bill is upped by 20% (don’t blame Mailchimp, it’s not them, it’s the UK Govt).

If you are VAT registered, then you need to make sure that your VAT reference number is in the Account settings area so that Mailchimp can pay the VAT direct for you. Otherwise you’ll end up paying for it and then having to claim it back once you put your VAT number in (which is a hassle!).

Mailchimp didn’t really announce this, but it’s certainly important to ensure that you aren’t paying over the odds (Read all about it here).


Look after the pennies… and the pounds will look after themselves

It may be a phrase that comes from the UK, but its sentiment is worldwide… pay attention to your costs and it’ll work out well for you.

It’s your responsibility to ensure that you’re on the right Mailchimp Account for your business AND that you’re not paying for stuff you don’t need.

That requires a bit of understanding on your part of how you’re being charged and what you can do about it.

No matter what account you’re on, there are always things you can do to ensure you’re not paying more than you should.

So please check your costs regularly and ensure you’re not paying more than you need to.

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Robin Adams

Robin Adams

Robin Adams is a business owner who is passionate about helping businesses build effective marketing systems that work and don't waste money. Having a lifetime of Marketing experience (he's got a degree in Marketing before there were degrees in Marketing!) and having worked for big and small businesses and both client and agency side, he understands not only the theory, but the systems that are required to underpin everything.
51% marketer and 49% Chimp, Robin is the main man behind chimpanswers.com and the Mailchimp Answers Facebook Group - the world's biggest Mailchimp User Group. Connect with him on Linkedin.

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