Zoho Campaigns or Mailchimp: Finding your business fit for 2024

by | Marketing Automation

Zoho Campaigns and Mailchimp emerge as frontrunners in the world of email automation platforms. Their presence is pronounced in industry reviews, praised for their robust features and capabilities. The question is, which one reigns supreme?

In this article, A2Z Cloud dives into a head-to-head comparison of these two email automation giants, discussing user experience, features, pricing, and customer support. Our goal? To arm you with the insights needed to make the right business choice for your marketing toolkit.

Mailchimp, a veteran in the field, has earned its stripes as a market leader due to its longevity and mature platform. But does this leave Zoho Campaigns in the dust? Absolutely not!

Let’s address the elephant in the room – Zoho is often under fire for deliverability issues. We’ll explore the reasons behind this and reveal how Zoho’s strict compliance with regulations is a hidden gem for small and medium-sized businesses.

And yes, full disclosure – we are a Zoho Premium Partner. But, we’re raising our hands to promise an honest, clear-eyed view of the pros and cons of each platform and get to the heart of what each tool can do for your business.

Platform overview

Zoho Campaigns functions as a standalone email automation product, natively integrates to Zoho CRM, and is just one of Zoho’s 50+ broader suite of business tools. If you’re looking for an all-in-one marketing suite (a unified platform that combines multiple marketing functions such as email marketing, social media management, analytics, and customer relationship management), then we would suggest exploring Zoho Marketing Plus. Mailchimp has evolved into an all-in-one marketing suite, featuring tools beyond email automation, including SMS, a website builder, and CRM functionalities but doesn’t have a CRM system.


User experience

When it comes to user experience, the contrast between Mailchimp and Zoho Campaigns is stark. Mailchimp stands out as the undisputed champion in user-friendliness. Its platform is not just intuitive but brilliantly straightforward, making navigating its backend a breeze for users of all skill levels.

On the other side, Zoho Campaigns, while manageable in its navigation, falls significantly short in comparison. The platform’s interface design and editor efficiency are simply no match for Mailchimp’s polished user experience. There’s no sugar-coating it – if ease of use and a seamless interface are your top priorities, Mailchimp is leaps and bounds ahead of Zoho Campaigns.

Feature comparison

Email Templates: Mailchimp offers a range of modern templates through its classic and AI-assisted builders. Zoho Campaigns, with over 200 designs, provides options for custom and coded templates but currently lacks an AI option.

List Management: Mailchimp’s list management has its limitations, with isolated lists and a potential increase in costs due to duplicate billing, where a single subscriber appearing on multiple lists is counted multiple times for billing purposes. Zoho Campaigns offers efficient list management without duplication issues and allows subscribers to be part of multiple lists.

Marketing Automation: Navigating the world of marketing automation can be a daunting task, especially for those new to the field. This is where Mailchimp’s visual editor truly shines. Its user-friendly approach, coupled with an extensive array of pre-built scenarios, makes it a standout choice for marketers who are just getting their feet wet. The platform simplifies the complexity of customer journeys, offering clear “if this, then that” paths that are easy to understand and implement.

While Mailchimp caters to ease and simplicity, Zoho Campaigns doesn’t lag in functionality. It offers a sophisticated workflow builder equipped with various automation paths, matching Mailchimp’s capabilities head-on. However, the catch is in the execution. For new users, setting up these intricate workflows in Zoho Campaigns can be more labour-intensive and less intuitive. The platform offers robust tools, but leveraging them effectively requires a steeper learning curve compared to the more straightforward approach of Mailchimp. 

MailChimp and Zoho Campaigns Workflow builder

CRM Integration: Zoho stands out for its seamless integration with its CRM, showcasing the platform’s renowned integration capabilities. This feature is instrumental for businesses aiming to manage their operations comprehensively. On the other hand, while Mailchimp offers CRM features, they are primarily limited to enriched contact profiles and lack advanced sales functionalities.

A key highlight of Zoho’s integration power is evident in Campaigns. For instance, when there’s a change in a contact’s status in the CRM, say from ‘Lead’ to ‘Contact’, the system automatically moves the subscriber to a more suitable list. This level of automation and synchronisation underscores the sophisticated coordination between Zoho’s CRM and email campaign tools, providing a streamlined and efficient experience for users.

Integration and ecosystem

Zoho Campaigns benefits significantly from integration within the Zoho ecosystem, enhancing its utility for users of Zoho products. In contrast, Mailchimp shines in its standalone comprehensive features and broad external integration capabilities.

Pricing and value

Zoho Campaigns offers a “Forever Free” plan that includes up to 2K contacts, 6,000 emails per month, and basic features like signup forms and ready-made email templates. The “Standard” plan, a step above the free tier, provides unlimited emails, basic segmentation, and advanced templates. The “Professional” plan includes more sophisticated features like advanced segmentation, contact scoring, dynamic content, and advanced workflows.

Mailchimp, on the other hand, has a free plan for up to 500 contacts and 1,000 emails per month, with limitations such as access to basic templates and a single audience list. Paid plans start at $13 per month for the Essentials plan, offering features like A/B testing and chat support, but with a 50,000 contact limit. The Standard plan, starting at $26.50/month, includes advanced automations and CRM features, while the Premium plan starts at $299/month, offering advanced segmentation and unlimited audiences. Additionally, Mailchimp also offers a pay-as-you-go option, suitable for seasonal or infrequent senders.

Below pricing tables are based off 10,000 subscribers

Strengths and weaknesses

Zoho Campaigns excels in affordability and seamless integration within the Zoho suite. Its integration with other Zoho applications is a significant advantage for users already within the Zoho ecosystem. However, its interface and editor are considered less intuitive compared to Mailchimp, which might be a drawback for some users.

Mailchimp is renowned for its user-friendly interface and a comprehensive set of features suitable for various marketing needs. Its strengths lie in its ease of use, a wide array of templates, and a broad range of integrations. However, it falls short in list management due to the way it counts subscribers, which can lead to increased costs. Additionally, Mailchimps CRM capabilities are limited compared to Zoho.

Customer support and community

Both platforms offer substantial support and resources. Zoho Campaigns offers personalised setup assistance through its partner network, ensuring users can get the most out of their platform from the start. This support is particularly valuable for businesses looking for a more guided approach to implementing their email marketing strategies.

Mailchimp provides a vast library of guides and tutorials, making it a great resource for self-learning and troubleshooting. The platform offers varying levels of support depending on the plan, with the Premium plan including phone support, a feature absent in lower-tier plans.

Which platform suits which business?

Zoho Campaigns is best suited for businesses utilising the Zoho ecosystem, looking for a cost-effective solution with good integration capabilities. Mailchimp is ideal for businesses seeking an intuitive, standalone marketing platform with a wide array of features.

Final thoughts

The decision between Zoho Campaigns and Mailchimp should be based on specific organisational needs, budget constraints, and the existing technological ecosystem. Zoho Campaigns is a strong contender for its affordability and seamless integration, while Mailchimp stands out for its user-friendly interface and comprehensive, standalone marketing capabilities.

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