4 Reasons why Mailchimp is a terrible choice for WooCommerce stores


hand drawn face of Kris Planeta

I worked with Mailchimp and WooCommerce for about 3 years. And to tell you the truth I cannot understand why people praise it so much.

Is it because of some affiliate bonuses? I don’t know. I also don’t know why people praise Klaviyo mailing platform which I talk about here.

What I do know however, that it is a really, really bad choice for WooCommerce stores.

At the moment I’m moving my last client from Mailchimp to a different platform. And here’s why.

Mailchimp got greedy

Mailchimp Pricing Table

In May this year (2019) Mailchimp made 3 things:

  1. radically changed its pricing
  2. radically changed the way the pricing is calculated for old and new customers (free too)
  3. informed their clients about the changes and introduced them on the same day

Among many controversial changes, the biggest one is this – unsubscribed and inactive subscribers started to be counted towards the plan’s limit.

How does it affect MC’s customers? What other controversial changes were introduced?

Read about it in this very informative post by David Gaughran.

Sending WooCommerce order notifications via Mailchimp doesn’t cover all use cases

Let’s be honest.

Emails that WooCommerce sends to customers are terrible.

Mailchimp however let’s you use their service to build and send some of them – order notifications.

Mailchimp order notification email templates

It sounds great but there are 2 issues with them:

  1. You cannot fully translate them
  2. You can’t send all the emails

The first one is self explanatory so I will just say that if your store is in any other language than english, than you are in no luck. Parts of your transactional emails will need to stay in english.

As for the second point…

Mailchimp can send emails for order confirmation, shipping confirmation, invoice, refund and cancellation.

The problem is when you take payments also via direct bank transfers (so without payment intermediaries like PayPal or Stripe).

Customers paying this way expect to get an email with bank details they can send the money to. And sellers want to send them “order confirmation” email only when they get the money.

But they cannot do that in MailChimp.

“Mailchimp for WooCommerce” plugin is pretty bad

Mailchimp relies on a plugin to send order and customer data from WooCommerce to its system.

Then, based on this information, it adds subscribers to chosen lists and triggers automations (e.g. transactional emails above).

The thing is that the plugin is prone to have connection errors and when it happens Mailchimp:

  1. won’t subscribe new people
  2. won’t run any automations
  3. and won’t tell you that there is a problem.

This happened to one of my clients three times.

Every time it happened he learned about it from emails from furious customers who paid but didn’t get their email confirmations.

The third time the problem the reason for the connection error was unresolved and he switched to competition.

Mailchimp’s admin panel is (still) unintuitive

Mailchimp Admin Panel

Lastly I left a minor issue (in comparison to the previous ones).

In 3 years I’ve been using Mailchimp, it’s admin panel got revamped several times making it slightly better every time.

Unfortunately is still has issues that haven’t been addressed.

Sever times me and my clients didn’t notice that an automated campaign got paused after one of our actions.

Several times I had to contact their support (which is available in paid plans only) with questions how certain things are done in their system.

I still remember that once I didn’t get the answer I needed because … the support also didn’t know how things worked.

And what is experience with Mailchimp and Woocommerce? Do you think they are a good fit or not? Please share in the comments below.

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