Mailchimp announced some big changes on 15th May 2019.  They are beginning to position themselves as an all-in-one marketing platform, with email just one part of that offering.  But what does that mean for people who, up until now, have been using Mailchimp for free and purely to send emails?

If you had a Mailchimp account before 15th May 2019, MailChimp will see you as a ‘legacy’ user.  You will be on their legacy pricing plans. Any new users will have to join one of the new plans – Free, Essential, Standard and Premium.  If you are a legacy user and want to upgrade, you will move to one of the new plans.

The majority of my clients and business owners who I know are using Mailchimp are on the Free Plan.  If you are too then the main points you need to be aware of are:-


Up to 15th May 2019 – you could have as many Audiences (Lists) as you wanted. Mailchimp encouraged you to have one Audience with many Groups and Segments (although that wasn’t always easy in practice).

Post 15th May 2019 – the Free plan now only allows you one Audience.  Legacy accounts will keep all Audiences already created but you cannot create any new ones unless you upgrade.


Up to 15th May 2019 – if you had less than 2,000 active subscribers then you did not have to pay.  Mailchimp did not include unsubscribers, cleaned email addresses or transactional subscribers only via an online store (receiving, for example, an order notification).  If the same person’s email is in two Audiences, Mailchimp saw that as two people.

Post 15th May 2019 –  Mailchimp now includes all contacts in your subscriber account, except clean and archived. As before, if an email address is in more than one audience, Mailchimp sees that as more than one person. Actually, Mailchimp are making these subscriber changes starting 15th June so you have some time do some subscriber management.

If you will not use any of the subscribers, whatever their status, for any other marketing use then delete them from your account.  Otherwise, you can ‘archive’ these contacts (you can always un-archive them later).


Up to 15th May 2019 – you had access to all the templates that Mailchimp offered.

Post 15th  May 2019 – any templates you previously created will still be available to you.  If you want to create a new template, you only have access to a basic range. This may sound limiting but it’s not really a huge issue to be honest.  People want value from an email first and foremost;  two of my favourite business/marketing experts, Jeff Walker and Marie Forleo, have no branding or fancy layout at all.


Up to 15th May 2019 – you could create any type of automation you wanted with as many emails in your sequence.

Post 15th May 2019 – any automations you previously created are still included in your account.  You can edit things like post-send action and triggers but you will not be able to add further emails.  With new automations you create on the Free plan, you can only have one email per automation.  EDIT June 6th: it now looks like Mailchimp have included more emails per automation if you choose the ‘onboarding series’ or ‘educational series’ – HOWEVER, under Pricing it clearly states that multi-step flows are not available to free accounts.  I shall keep my eye on this and edit this post as necessary.

Seats (Users)

Up to 15th May 2019 – previously on the Free Plan you could have as many Seats (Users) as you wished, with varying permission levels.

Post 15th May 2019 – any Seats (Users) on your account will still have access but you won’t be able to add any more.  If you have no additional users on your account, unfortunately, you won’t be able to add anyone.  However, should you require an agency or a VA for example to have access, you can still do this.  The agency needs to ensure they have defined themselves as an agency in their Mailchimp settings. Once done, they can connect with you as a Client and gain access to your account.


For many small businesses, the changes may not have too much of an impact.  Just be aware of the number of contacts in your account and don’t go over 2,000 (again, remember that Mailchimp counts one email in two Audiences as two Contacts).

Should you go up above 2000 contacts, want more audiences or advanced Automations then you will need to upgrade to one of the other pricing plans, starting at $9.99.


What do you think of the changes Mailchimp have made to your free account?


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