Mailchimp vs. Mandrill

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.

Add Order Notifications

How billing works

Mailchimp has several plan options.
Mailchimp offers several payment plans, including the Free plan, paid 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 a Mailchimp Monthly Plan.
Mandrill is a monthly paid add-on for Standard and higher paid monthly plans. Users with a legacy paid Monthly Plan also have access to Mandrill. With Mandrill, you'll buy blocks of email credits at a recurring monthly rate. Users on Free, Essentials, and Pay As You Go Mailchimp plans will need to switch to an eligible monthly plan to use Mandrill.

Learn more about Mailchimp pricing plans

Learn more about Mandrill pricing plans.

Calculate your monthly cost on the Mandrill pricing page.

How you manage subscribers

Mailchimp is a subscriber-based system.
You create audiences in Mailchimp and send campaigns to your confirmed subscribers. Our Terms of Use require you to get express permission from anyone you send to.

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.
About Transactional Email

Terms of Use and Anti-Spam Requirements

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.

How to Use Mandrill to Send Email

Learn how to push a Mailchimp template to Mandrill.


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 and Learn how to set up sending domains.

Next steps

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 legacy, Standard, or Premium plan, you can add it to your account.

Add Mandrill to Your Account

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