When you first start working with newsletters there is a good chance that you will use the free version of the email automation tool Mailchimp. However, as you develop your email marketing further you will probably quickly run up against the restrictions of the free version of this tool. So should you buy a paid licence, or is it better to choose a different platform like Webpower? We compare the advantages of Webpower versus Mailchimp to see if Webpower is viable as a Mailchimp alternative.
Update July 2020: the U.S./EU Privacy Shield has been invalidated. See updated information below.
Generally speaking, we can say that Mailchimp is a popular tool among companies that are taking their first steps in the field of email marketing. Webpower, on the other hand, is popular with marketeers who want to have a more professional approach. These may be organisations that are already in a more developed phase in their email marketing, or that wish to take the next steps in the field of marketing automation.
These organisations make use of the possibility to start at a somewhat smaller scale, and to have the platform grow along with their activities. Another factor that plays a role is that Webpower users are allocated a personal advisor who assists them in taking the next steps.
So which of these two email automation tools is best for you? In this article we assess the viability of Webpower as a Mailchimp alternative and we help determine the best email automation tool for you.
One of the most important subjects to examine when finding a Mailchimp alternative is, of course, functionality. What can the two email platforms do? And perhaps equally important, what can’t these tools do? For both Webpower and Mailchimp you can buy various types of licences of the email programs. Your choice of licence would depend on which functions you can and cannot use.
As it is your specific objectives that determine which functions are relevant for you, we will explain a number of options that are popular among different types of users
Segmenting in database
The ability to segment based on information in your database forms the basis for personalisation in email marketing. Both solutions offer this possibility.
If you’re not familiar with html and css, a user-friendly editor in which you can put together simple email templates is a must. Both email platforms offer this option.
Landing pages and web forms
The place to lead email recipients, for example to increase your conversion rate. These options are also offered by both Webpower and Mailchimp.
Sending newsletters is often the first step towards marketing automation. With a flow builder you automate specific activities based on certain events. An example is automatically modifying email content based on the articles that someone has previously clicked on. Alternatively, it can be based on an abandoned shopping cart mail. Both Webpower and Mailchimp offer the possibility to easily set up these automated flows.
The only way to determine if you are on the right track with your email marketing and to see where there is room for improvement. Both of the email tools give you insight into your performance.
Planning social content
Email marketing and social media can effectively reinforce one another. With your users’ permission (refer to a copy of the GDPR), you can use data from your email database to, for example, approach your target group via social media. Mailchimp allows you to do this on the same tool. Webpower re-targeting on social media is also possible, however you would have to export data to your social tool first.
Text message tool
The possibility of additionally sending your recipients a text message. For example, as a confirmation of registration or a reminder of an event. With Mailchimp this is only possible through an integration with third party software. In contrast, Webpower provides this option within its tool. Even more, it allows you to integrate text messages in your automated communication flow. This is useful if you wish to remind people of an unopened email containing important information via a text message.
This is similar to the previously described re-targeting via social media, but instead it goes through the Google Display Network. In Mailchimp this is possible from a single environment. With Webpower this is only possible through exporting your data to the advertising tool.
A useful feature in Webpower for anyone who organises events is the event manager. With this option you could create a registration form, then indicate a maximum number of participants and set a closing date. Furthermore, you can automatically set the registration form to close and display a text that informs recipients that tickets are no longer available. You could also start up an automatic flow with, for example, reminders for people who have registered, a thank-you mail to people who have visited the event, and so on. Mailchimp does not have such a functionality.
Is Webpower a cheaper alternative to mailchimp? This question is unfortunately not so easy to answer because both tools have different types of licences.
Both solutions allow you to choose a licence whereby you pay variable costs based on your actual use. For those who wish more certainty, you can opt to pay a fixed amount per month – irrespective of the use. This is possible for both Mailchimp and Webpower. The answer to the question regarding costs therefore really depends on what you intend to use it for and the scale at which you do this.
Mailchimp is usually the cheapest solution for small-scale users. However, the larger your database grows (which is probably the intention), the more likely it is that Webpower is the most cost-effective solution. When it comes to flexible licences, this solution has a better model than Mailchimp. Relatively speaking, costs decrease the moment you start to send out more.
The point at which the licence costs for Webpower are less than those for Mailchimp depends in part on the features that you use. Most organisations reach that point at approximately 50,000 database contacts.
Both Mailchimp and Webpower offer various support options. You can contact the suppliers of both email tools by email as well as telephone should you have any questions.
It is important to point out that the possibility of the Mailchimp telephone support channel only comes with the most expensive premium license. With all their other licences you are referred to the online knowledge base, or to chat or email. With the free version of Mailchimp, the support department is actually no longer available after the first 30 days. Afterwards you can only refer to the knowledge base.
Also useful to know: the Mailchimp support department is based in America. Webpower’s support department is based in the Netherlands. This makes it much easier to get in contact if you are a European based organisation. Moreover, Webpower offers a personal account manager who will help you develop further and achieve optimal results with the platform.
If you wish to make a start with email marketing within the EU, you will be subject to the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). These European privacy regulations impose stringent requirements on the processing of personal data. Companies who do not adhere to these regulations can be penalized with substantial fines.
The GDPR largely relates to the manner in which you deal with data yourself. For example, you need permission for storing and using email addresses for sending newsletters. Furthermore, people have to provide their explicit consent if you want to analyse their email statistics. If you do not have this permission, it is good to know that both Webpower and Mailchimp offer a solution. Both tools provide the option of deactivating the tracking pixels necessary to register statistics at a personal level.
The European regulations also impose requirements on the suppliers with whom you work. They have to ensure that their information security is in order. In principle, they are only permitted to store data on servers within the EU, with the exception of some countries.
Privacy Shield (U.S.) has been invalidated
In July 2020, the European Court ruled the Privacy Shield, the “data transfer framework” between the EU and the US, invalid. According to the Court, it is in breach of the GDPR.
Due to the tightened privacy regulations (which in Europe we adhere to with good reason) and the international legal disputes, you find yourself in an uncertain position outside of Europe when it comes to your data. This can hinder you in your progress. Make sure, therefore, that you take good care of these matters. Only then can you confidently start to properly use and benefit from data integrations. The advice from our experts: always store your data safely and ‘future-proof’ in Europe. Better safe than sorry!
And yet, if you opt for European data storage, you cannot unfortunately be absolutely sure. If you want to have everything concerning data storage and safety arranged well, choose an organisation that is ISO certified too. Webpower is ISO-certified in the field of information security, and has the Privacy Guarantee gold security label.
Finally, in relation to GDPR compliance, you should know that you need more than permission to process people’s data. You also have to be able to demonstrate that someone has given their consent. Thus it is important that you can register in the tool when and where someone has issued an opt-in. This is possible with both Webpower and Mailchimp.
Want to know more about the differences between Mailchimp and Webpower?
Hopefully, this article has been useful to help you determine a better Mailchimp alternative. However, your specific situation will still determine which solution is the best for you. If you would like to find out more about how Webpower can help you get the most out of your email activities, contact us for a free demo today. We will be happy to discuss your specific objectives.