E-Commerce & Development

Alternatives to Mailchimp: the 4 best GDPR-compliant email marketing tools in 2022

Roman Fischer

Digital Project & Account Manager

Konstantin Strauß

Junior Sales Manager


September 10th, 2021


March 4th, 2022

9 min

Are you still using Mailchimp or other American providers for email marketing? Then you should switch as soon as possible! Because using American tools has been associated with legal risks for several months. These risks include not only warnings but also fines, not to mention a massive loss of image. Fortunately, there are alternatives that can reduce this risk. In this article, we present the 4 best GDPR-compliant alternatives:

Why using Mailchimp is no longer legal in principle

The main debate surrounding newsletter and email marketing tools such as Mailchimp revolves around the protection of data used by European consumers. According to the European Court of Justice, when transferring data of European consumers to a third country, a level of protection must be maintained that corresponds to that of the GDPR. In the case of the USA, this level of protection was previously guaranteed by the "Privacy Shield" data protection agreement. However, this was overturned last year and is no longer valid. For this reason, online services that process consumer data in the USA, including Mailchimp, de facto violate the General Data Protection Regulation, which can lead to warnings, fines, and a massive loss of image when using this newsletter tool.

INFO: Immediate action must be taken. The use of American providers is now only permitted under certain conditions!

To be on the safe side, it is advisable to switch to a European provider. However, certain factors also need to be checked with these providers!

On the one hand, it must be ensured that the European provider does not use American sub-service providers, as this would again constitute a GDPR violation. On the other hand, the sole server location in Europe is not a guarantee that American authorities will not have access to it. Taking into account this information, we have selected the following European providers.

First: Our recommendation

Scenario 1: You have not yet used an email marketing tool

If you have not yet used an email marketing tool, you should definitely choose a European provider to avoid unnecessary risks such as potential warnings and fines. We show you which tools you can use!

Scenario 2: You are already using Mailchimp or another American provider

If you are currently using Mailchimp, for example, we recommend switching to a GDPR-compliant provider for the same reasons.

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The best GDPR-compliant email marketing tools in 2022

Okay, compliance with GDPR regulations is important, but what should not be forgotten is the email marketing tool itself. Here we show you first what a good email marketing tool must be able to do!

It must be noted in advance that the specific requirements for email marketing tools differ depending on their intended use. However, the following functions should be considered basic requirements:

  • Management of recipient lists

  • Personalisation of recipient addressing

  • Accurate timing of dispatch

  • Individual design of emails

  • Responsive web design

  • Verification of reader behavior: open rate & click rate

  • Output of analysis results

  • Data and legal security (see GDPR)

  • Interfaces to other offers such as WordPress, Zapier or Salesforce


MailerLite is a provider of various marketing tools from Lithuania, whose servers and subprocessors are all within Europe. The GDPR compliance of the tool is thus given and a permanent claim of the company, as the MailerLite GDPR declaration makes clear.

MailerLite offers a wide range of services:

  • Email marketing campaigns

  • Marketing automations

  • Landing pages and websites

  • Campaign reports and analytics

  • Support and integrations

MailerLite offers a 14-day trial period during which all premium features of the marketing tool can be tested for free. After that, the price is based on the number of subscribers who are to be addressed with MailerLite. For less than 1000 subscribers, MailerLite permanently offers a free version, which, however, is limited to a cumulated 12,000 monthly email dispatches.

This free version includes the following services permanently:


  • Basic email support

  • Video tutorials

  • Written blog posts and FAQs

Email marketing campaigns

  • Simple drag & drop editor

  • Built-in file manager

  • Adapted to mobile devices

  • A/B testing

Landing pages and websites

  • Free website

  • 5 free landing pages

  • Unlimited website visitors

  • Customizable website templates

Campaign reports and analytics

  • Email campaign reports

  • Surveys


  • List of countless integrations

  • API release

In addition to increasing the number of reachable subscribers, the premium version includes the following features:

  • 24/7 live chat support

  • Removal of MailerLite watermark

  • HTML editing mode

  • Templates for newsletters

  • Freely selectable domain address

  • Automatic resending of emails

  • Data about the click map on the website

  • Own creation of templates

  • A/B split testing


MailerLite is a powerful tool that goes beyond pure email marketing and even has websites and landing pages in its portfolio. Particularly convincing is the high range of functions in the free version and the flexibly adaptable pricing, according to the motto "pay as you grow". Because of the European server and subprocessor locations, the price-performance ratio and the good entry options, we give a clear recommendation of MailerLite to all self-employed persons, small agencies, but also rapidly growing companies. Testing the marketing tool is definitely worth it!

Go to MailerLite here


CleverReach is a marketing service provider from Germany that specializes in email newsletter marketing. Its servers and locations are exclusively in the EU, making the tool GDPR-compliant. On its website, CleverReach provides a GDPR declaration, as well as instructions and tips for complying with all legal matters.

CleverReach offers classic email newsletter marketing, including:

  • Creating and sending newsletters

  • Recipient management and CRM

  • Data protection and security

  • Analysis and data reports

  • Support and integrations

CleverReach does not offer a trial period during which all premium features of the marketing tool can be tested for free. However, there is a free Lite account from CleverReach that allows for sending up to 1,000 emails to up to 250 recipients per month for free.

This free version permanently includes the following services:


  • Free email support

  • Free on-demand seminars

  • Extensive help center

  • Video tutorials

Creating and sending newsletters

  • Newsletter drag & drop editor

  • Free newsletter templates

  • Automatic adaptation to mobile devices

  • Personalized newsletter delivery

  • HTML and source code editor

  • Custom newsletter templates

Recipient management and CRM

  • Import function for recipient lists

  • Tags and tagging

  • Multi-stage bounce management

  • Data export

Data protection and security

  • Highest data security (GDPR-compliant)

  • Secure data and server locations (EU)

  • SSL encryption


  • Interfaces to shop, CRM and CMS systems

  • Social media integration

Analysis and data reports

  • Basic data on opening and click rates

  • Unsubscribe rates and unsubscribes

  • Quality rating

  • Conversion tracking

In addition to increasing the number of reachable subscribers, the premium version includes the following functions:

  • A/B testing

  • Automatic response function and follow-ups

  • Removal of the CleverReach watermark

  • Free designer templates

  • Timed delivery

  • RSS feeds and dynamic content

  • Unlimited recipient lists

  • Unlimited automations

  • Geographic evaluation

  • Heatmap (link tracking)

  • Google Analytics integration

  • Custom domain address


For those looking for a pure email newsletter marketing tool, CleverReach is the right choice, as it specializes precisely in this area. This is evident in numerous technical functions and details, some of which cannot be found with other providers. Data security and GDPR compliance are a top priority here. The extensive range of features in the free Lite version is impressive, although there is no trial period for the Premium version. Nevertheless, it's worth trying out, especially for freelancers, small agencies, and small to medium-sized businesses, as the subscriber base can be flexibly expanded according to the "pay as you grow" model, typical in the industry.

Go to CleverReach here


SendinBlue is a German service provider whose servers and company location are in Germany. In terms of data protection aspects, this provider is generally a good solution. According to their own statements, SendinBlue meets all the conditions required for GDPR-compliant email marketing. In addition to the possibility of concluding a contract for order data processing, the service provider also advertises with a TÜV Rheinland test report, which confirms the correct implementation of technical and organizational measures within the company.

In general, SendinBlue offers the following functions:

  • Marketing & Transactional

  • Contact Management

  • Marketing Automation

  • Report

  • Support & Integrations

Apparently, SendinBlue does not offer a trial version of its paid packages. However, there is a free version (0€ / month), which includes the following features:

Marketing & Transactional:

  • Responsive email design (intuitive and responsive newsletter editor to create email campaigns)

  • Template gallery (customization of design templates to create emails that match the individual brand)

  • Email and SMS personalization (personalization of messages with contact information)

  • Chat (real-time communication with leads and customers)

Contact Management:

  • Unlimited contact details (import an unlimited number of contacts)

  • Advanced segmentation (segmentation function to search, save and manage contacts)

  • Customizable signup forms

  • CRM (organize team work and track each customer interaction with a Customer Relationship Management tool)

Marketing Automation:

  • Workflow editor (simple and powerful editor to create advanced marketing automation workflows)

  • User behavior tracking (tracking website visitor behavior to trigger compelling messages at the right time)

  • Up to 2,000 contacts


  • Real-time report (track results in real-time)

  • Email support (a friendly customer support team is available via email)

  • API & plugins (automatically add contacts and send emails and more by using integrations for popular platforms like WordPress, Prestashop, Shopify and more)

In addition to the numerous features offered by the free version, there are many more helpful features included in SendinBlue's wide range of offerings:

  • A/B testing

  • No daily sending limit

  • No SendinBlue logo

  • Send time optimization

  • Free dedicated IP address

  • Facebook Ads

  • Landing page editor

  • Unlimited marketing automation

  • Reporting by region and device

  • Heatmap report

  • Advanced opening and click statistics

  • Telephone support

  • Personal account manager

  • Multi-user management (up to 100 users)

Of course, everything costs money - the additional features can be booked within different expansion packages (Lite | Premium | Enterprise).

The various packages and their core contents are graphically presented below. The Lite package includes a sending limit of 10,000 emails (19€ p.m.) to 100,000 emails (69€ p.m.) per day. With the Premium package, you can send between 20,000 emails (49€ p.m.) and a maximum of 1 million emails (499€ p.m.) per day. On request, you can have a custom Enterprise package put together, which includes a personal account and customer success manager.


In summary, it can be stated that SendinBlue offers a very large selection of services, with something for everyone in terms of content and price. The free version and the personal account or customer success manager for higher demands are particularly attractive.

Go to SendinBlue here


RapidMail is a German newsletter tool provider, with its servers and company based in Germany, and therefore meets the basic requirements for GDPR-compliant email marketing. In terms of data protection and security, it is explicitly stated that a contract for order data processing can be concluded free of charge. Additionally, the Freiburg-based company advertises that, due to its ten years of expertise, it has already deemed data protection-related aspects important prior to the GDPR.

With RapidMail, one can start for free to test all the features and send test emails. Once payment details are provided, RapidMail is fully unlocked, and the sender address can be configured. The following contents are the core features of RapidMail:

Newsletter design:

  • Intuitive drag & drop editor

  • Over 250 design templates

  • Over 880,000 free images (high-quality and free-to-use images are directly available in the editor)

  • Responsive display

  • Personalized newsletters

  • 1-click product takeover (integrating shop items with one click)

  • Display tests (preview for various devices)

  • HTML upload (using own templates)

  • Using preheader (customizable addition to the subject line!!)

Newsletter delivery:

  • Whitelisting (delivery to many major providers without spam check)

  • Follow-up mailings

  • Marketing automation (automating welcome mailings, birthday greetings, or customer reactivations)

  • Time-controlled delivery

  • A/B tests

  • Sending attachments (PDF brochures, etc.)

  • Bounce management (automated bounce management)

  • Spam scoring (analyzing for spam suspicion before sending)

Managing recipients:

  • File import

  • Legally compliant registration forms

  • Shop/CRM connections

  • GDPR-compliant management

  • Recipient segmentation

  • CSV export

  • Unlimited recipient lists

  • Printable registration forms

  • Notifications (automatic information on registrations and cancellations)

Newsletter evaluation:

  • Clear dashboard (KPIs such as openings, clicks, cancellations, and bounces at a glance)

  • Real-time tracking

  • Sharing evaluations within the team

  • Click maps (which links were successful?)

  • Geolocating (evaluation by origin or countries of the recipients)

  • Evaluation by end devices

  • Activity history (viewing KPIs on a timeline)

  • Google Analytics integration (possibility for even more extensive analysis)


  • Efficient teamwork (RapidMail user management)

  • Optional takeover of the dispatch of transactional emails (order and dispatch confirmations, invoices, etc.)

  • Telephone support (free and personal)

  • Excellent deliverability (DKIM and SPF authentication)

What's really cool about RapidMail is that all tariffs have the same features (i.e., full functionality). Only the number of recipients can be increased or decreased depending on the tariff. Also worth mentioning is the offer of an non-binding flat rate for the one-time delivery of 250 emails (once €16). Below is a chart that visualizes the different tariffs:

One can see that the prices (flat rate = €9 p.m. | email subscription = €46.55 p.m.) are generally very low. However, there is no option for annual payment for monthly packages (which is usually lower). Also, it should be noted that RapidMail "only" allows a maximum of up to 2,500 emails to be sent. For small and medium-sized businesses, however, this should be sufficient! An additional tip: sending to a maximum of 10 recipients is always free.


RapidMail offers a wide range of functions that can be used in any tariff. However, the maximum number of emails that can be sent is relatively low. Therefore, RapidMail is particularly practical for smaller businesses with fewer recipients who still want to engage in highly professional email marketing. Based on all previous testing possibilities and flexibility in tariff selection, the provider is highly recommended!

Go to RapidMail here.

Have you chosen the perfect tool for yourself? And now?

Once you have chosen the right tool for yourself, there are still other points that are essential for a GDPR-compliant newsletter. To help you with this, we have provided a short checklist below that you should tick off before sending out your newsletter.

You should consider the following steps:

  1. Conclusion of a GDPR-compliant contract for order data processing with the preferred provider

  2. Registration form: only the email address is mandatory, the rest (name, etc.) is voluntary

  3. Registration form: integration of a GDPR checkbox; this field must be confirmed

  4. Registration form: double opt-in → the user must confirm the subscription again (email requesting confirmation of the subscription)

  5. Adding a privacy policy: purpose, revocation possibility, storage period and location (https://www.e-recht24.de/muster-datenschutzerklaerung.html)

  6. Unsubscribe link according to the single opt-out principle

We hope that our post has given you a good overview of the relevance of GDPR-compliant email marketing and wish you success in achieving your goals! Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions. We look forward to assisting you in selecting and setting up your email marketing newsletter!

P.S: Please feel free to share this post with a friend who should also be informed about the use of GDPR-compliant newsletter marketing tools!

Get in touch with us to see if we can help


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