Reducing your Mailchimp bill – Legacy Users

The rules and advice on managing your account for users on the Legacy Mailchimp plan

Legacy Mailchimp Users Advice

“…you mean that even though I’m a Legacy Mailchimp user, I can keep my costs down?”

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Jan 14, 2022

Mailchimp Legacy Account Users – How to reduce your Mailchimp Bill

If you’re reading this, then you’re a Mailchimp ‘old-timer’, and have had your paid Mailchimp account since before May 2019, and haven’t upgraded since.

If you’re not a legacy user (and you can learn how to find out here), then you need to bounce over to the article we’ve written on standard accounts and keeping your costs down.

This is not about persuading you to upgrade, there’s other articles for that, but we do want to make sure that you understand how your bill is currently calculated and how to ensure you’re not paying too much.

…and being a paid legacy user, the rules are slightly different to a new standard account.

The key thing to consider is your monthly Mailchimp bill is calculated based on the maximum number of email subscribers you have across all your audiences during your billing period.

You are not charged for contacts in your database who are unsubscribed/non-subscribed (unlike those on the new plans), nor are you charged for those who are ‘cleaned’.

…but you will be charged for duplicate email addresses if they appear in different audiences within your account.

Mailchimp charges on a sliding scale, and at the end of each month, looks at the peak number of subscribers your account has had and basis the charge on this.

The bands it uses are slightly random in structure and they start jumping up in cost after 2,500 subscribers, but the levels are pretty comparable to the new account structures – so if you do decide to upgrade chances are you’re not going to be paying a whole lot more.

The key thing for you to remember is that billing is automatically calculated and changed each month – so you only pay for what you use and you don’t need to pay attention to it.

This is the key thing – as a legacy user you do not have to continuously check your account levels – it’s all done for you (one reason not to upgrade methinks!)

If you upgrade, the new account structures put the onus on you to choose your level and if you go above it, you get charged overages, but this doesn’t happen on the legacy plan.


Other things to avoid

So how can you make sure you’re not paying too much? Well since it’s all tied to the total number of subscribers you have, there are a few other things you should be looking to do.

  1. Avoid having multiple audiences
    • One of the big no-no’s in our book is having more than one audience.
    • This is covered extensively in this article on why you should have one audience in Mailchimp, but from a cost point of view, the key thing to know is multiple audiences potentially means email subscribers appearing more than once in your system – and you will get charged for those multiple subscribers.
  2. Be careful when creating temporary audiences or importing data that you won’t need
    • Sometimes you’ll create a temporary audience, to make managing or moving data easier.
    • Every time you do this your “subscriber count” will jump… and cost you more for that specific month.
    • It’s something we’re wary about when combining audiences
      • When we do this, we usually export from one audience and import into the other.
      • …but if you don’t then “archive” all the contacts from the old audience, before you add them to the new audience, they’ll both technically be live and thus your monthly bill will go up.
  3. Make sure you clean out any subscribers that are no longer interested (we call then ‘Zombies’)
    • Too many Mailchimp users avoid the question of subscribers who are no longer interested. They hope that these people will some day return to the fold and start engaging.
    • In most instances, they won’t… and thus you are paying to send emails to people who don’t want your emails. but just haven’t got around to unsubscribing – we refer to them as Zombies, they look alive, but are really dead!
    • There are multiple reasons why removing these people is a good idea – one main one being they are costing you money!

No one likes price rises

We’re not going to sit here and say that we’re happy that Mailchimp costs more… I don’t think any user is overly happy with a price rise.

…but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have the opportunity of making sure you’re not paying over the odds, and the tips we’ve provided should manage your costs as well as they can be.

Of course, there is another side to the equation – if costs go up, the onus on you is not just to make sure you’re not spending too much, but as much to make sure you’re making the most of the platform.

Realistically, cost increases like those you see from Mailchimp should be a motivator to do things better, to get more from the platform and grow your business.

Much like any tool, you’re going to have to pay to use it – but ultimately you are the one who can improve the return you get on your investment – in this case by just being better at email marketing.

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