Mandrill, a transactional email platform built by MailChimp, is a powerful delivery service that can be used for personalized, one-to-one e-commerce emails, and automated transactional emails like password resets, order confirmations, and welcome messages.
Both of our platforms are used to send email, but they serve different purposes. In this article, you'll learn whether you should add Mandrill to your MailChimp account.
Types of Email
MailChimp is primarily a bulk email service.
Bulk email services send campaigns to multiple recipients at once, usually for marketing purposes. You can also create certain types of transactional messages in MailChimp, like order notifications.
Mandrill is a transactional email service.
Transactional email services send email to one recipient, triggered by the recipient's action or inaction.
How Billing Works
MailChimp has several plan options.
MailChimp offers several payment plans, including Forever Free, Monthly Plans, and Pay As You Go. Plans include different sets of features to best fit your needs.
Mandrill is a paid add-on to any MailChimp Monthly Plan.
Mandrill is a monthly paid add-on for any MailChimp Monthly Plan. Every new Mandrill account comes with 2,000 free trial sends. After you use the 2,000 trial sends, you'll buy blocks of email credits at a recurring monthly rate. Users on Forever Free and Pay As You Go Plans can add a Mandrill trial with 2,000 free sends, but you'll need to upgrade to a Monthly Plan to continue using Mandrill.
How You Manage Subscribers
MailChimp is a subscriber-based system.
Mandrill is a recipient-based system.
Contact lists and other recipient information can't be stored in Mandrill. Instead, this data is managed in your own database or application, and passed to Mandrill in your API request or SMTP message when the transactional email is triggered.
How You Create and Send Emails
MailChimp offers design tools to help you send campaigns.
MailChimp provides you with the tools to create beautiful campaigns without any prior knowledge of HTML coding. When your campaign looks how you want, you can schedule or send your campaign from the MailChimp application.
Mandrill requires HTML and API knowledge to send email.
Although Mandrill is accessed through your MailChimp account, it doesn't offer the same tools and features as MailChimp. Mandrill templates have some limitations compared to MailChimp templates, and need to use accepted HTML code. When you're ready to send, you'll use the Mandrill API or an SMTP integration.
You'll need to add SPF and DKIM records and verify ownership of all sending domains in Mandrill. Mandrill will not send any email from unverified domains or domains without valid SPF and DKIM records, including public domains like gmail.com and yahoo.com. Learn how to set up sending domains.
Mandrill is an advanced feature and is recommended for users familiar with custom coding and using an API or SMTP integration. If Mandrill seems right for you, and you're currently on a MailChimp Monthly Plan, you can add it to your account. Users on Forever Free and Pay As You Go Plans can add a Mandrill trial with 2,000 free sends, but these accounts will need to upgrade to a Monthly Plan to continue using Mandrill.