Wisevu Email Marketing

A 2019 marketing report1 stated that despite the popularity of social media, 91% of marketers still consider email marketing their most effective marketing channel. With the average ROI being nearly $42 for every $1 spent2, email marketing is a highly appealing marketing platform for SMBs and non-profits struggling with limited budgets.

Security Concerns in the NPO Space

Despite the apparent efficacy, however, cybersecurity is a crucial challenge that NPOs must address when making their final decision regarding email marketing.

A 2017 Internet Security Threat Report found that one in 131 emails contain malware.3 In 2019, threat actors launched phishing attempts against prominent non-governmental and humanitarian organizations, such as the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN World Food Programme, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.4 More recently, a threat actor compromised an account through a leading email marketing service and sent malicious emails to 350+ organizations, including NPOs.5These security breaches not only tarnish one’s brand image but pose legitimate threats to subscribers, donors and well-wishers. It is in this context that choosing the right email marketing platform becomes a critical factor. This article explores the functionalities, pricing, nonprofit discount, and security of leading email marketing platforms.

Here’s a quick glimpse into how the top three performers compare with each other.



Considered a powerhouse in the email marketing solutions space, Mailchimp is a proven solution used across the world by businesses of all sizes. The platform sends over 600 million emails every day and reputedly owns 60% of the global email marketing software market.6

Key Features & Benefits

  • Simple Interface: The platform is most popular for its ease of use. The interface is pre-loaded with a wide variety of email templates, allowing even those with minimal design skills to develop professional emails. It also offers access to multiple resources and materials, helping even beginners design more effectively.
  • Customizable Autoresponders: With customizable auto responders, you can send customized emails to various segments depending on each segment’s website behaviour. For instance, first-time users would receive welcome emails, donors would get acknowledgement emails, supporters who have not interacted for a specific period would be sent engagement emails, and so on.
  • Robust Integrations: With its API, Mailchimp can successfully integrate with websites and e-commerce platforms like WordPress, WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento, and many more. It can also integrate your PPC and remarketing campaigns on Facebook, Instagram and Google as well as hundreds of other leading software like HubSpot CRM, Stripe, PayPal, Slack, Podio and a lot more. No coding is required to connect Mailchimp to over 4000 of the most popular apps, ensuring easier automation.
  • Targeted sharing: Mailchimp integrates with all popular social media platforms and enables social sharing. It also allows you to connect instantly with website visitors by embedding forms on your website and creating effective pop-ups.
  • List Segmentation Capabilities: Mailchimp allows you to use audience and contact information to target and filter all your contacts into segments. Segmentation options are extensive, so you can choose a single condition or combine up to five conditions to target the right contacts for each campaign. Its advanced segmentation capabilities allow you to add a set of nested conditions for different combinations of data you’ve collected—like purchase activity, age range, gender, location and more.
  • Classic Automations: The free plan does not offer automation. The Standard plan however allows you to create a classic automation series.  Your activity and contact data are used to send emails automatically to specific contacts as and when they meet your trigger and sending criteria. 

Privacy and Security

  • TRUSTe Privacy Verified Seal: The privacy program, policies, and practices meet the requirements of EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield.7
  • Data Centre Security: With multiple MTAs placed in different world-class data centres around the United States, DDOS mitigation at all data centres, and a documented infrastructure continuity plan in case of a nuclear attack on the data centre, Mailchimp’s security is top-notch.
  • Protection from Data Loss and Corruption: Mailchimp’s databases have multiple layers of logic segregating user accounts; account data is mirrored and regularly backed up off-site.
  • Application Level Security: The application is encrypted with TLS; brute force protection via the Mailchimp API is available for all logins.
  • SOC II Compliant PCI DSS Certification: Annual SOC II audits are conducted; credit card processing vendor is compliant with various card association security initiatives, including the Visa Cardholder Information Security and Compliance (CISP), MasterCard® Site Data Protection Program (SDP), and Discovery Information Security and Compliance (DISC).
  • Email compliance is ensured by tracking and documenting consent as per the GDPR and CASL policies. 
  • Different vendors conduct external security penetration tests involving high-level server penetration, in-depth testing for vulnerabilities, and social engineering drills.
  • All information is encrypted using the SSL protocol (Secure Socket Layer) before being transmitted over the internet.
  • Information disclosure would occur only when accompanied by a court order or subpoena.

Pricing & Discounts

  • The free option allows you to send 10,000 emails a month to 2,000 subscribers.
  • Starting at $9.99 per month, the paid version grants you a limit of 10X over the free version.
  • Paid packages vary from $9.99 to $312 per month.
  • A 15% discount is available for verified charities and nonprofits. (US nonprofits have to submit a copy of their official 501c3 status. If you’re an NPO outside the US, you have to send your website link and other additional proof of your nonprofit organization via email.)
  • A 10% security discount for three months is available for those who add two-factor authentication. Learn more about Mailchimp discounts and Mailchimp integrations.


Active campaign

With a deliverability rate of 95.6%, ActiveCampaign is a powerful “customer experience automation platform (CXA)” that combines email marketing, marketing automation and CRM for powerful segmentation and personalization across channels–social, email, messaging, chat and text. Shortlisted as both a ‘top performer’ and an ‘emerging favourite’ in 2021, ActiveCampaign comes with over 500 pre-built automations and more than 850 integrations. A basic understanding of digital marketing and experience is required to leverage all the benefits.

Key Features & Benefits

  • Sales Automation and CRM integrationThe powerful integration between marketing, sales, and CRM empowers departments to move out of silos, apply learnings across the organization, and deliver superior end-user experiences by automating personalization across various touchpoints.
  • Automation Workflow Builder: This feature allows you to work with drag-and-drop blocks, create advanced follow-up sequences, and trigger emails. It also enables you to set up automated recurring donations through drip campaigns. These intuitive follow-ups help increase personalization and relevance, which in turn increases customer engagement.
  • Deeply Personalized Email Marketing: With its powerful end-to-end integration, ActiveCampaign makes it possible to create customized campaigns with minimal effort and improve responses in real-time based on customer behaviour. It gives you access to data across the entire customer lifecycle, based on which you can customize and schedule your content, delivery channel and delivery time.
    Entire customer segments can be automated and followed up with dynamic email content and A/B test flows.‘Content blocks’ can be saved in the library and reused across different campaigns. Further, the ‘conditional content’ feature enables you to personalize your communications based on a particular recipient’s interest.
  • Complimentary Data Migration: ActiveCampaign imports lists, contacts, custom fields, and tags, allowing users to migrate from other email vendors with minimal data loss. NPOs can also recreate their email templates, automation workflows, opt-in forms and landing pages.

Privacy and Security

  • Collected data stored in the U.S complies with GDPR, SOC 2, and HIPAA.
  • In-house tools automatically detect anomalous activity throughout the product development lifecycle.
  • Systematically conducts offensive engagements to discover and correct vulnerabilities faster than those with malicious intent.
  • Protects personal data transfer through a series of intercompany agreements.
  • Processing of personal data is as defined by European law and also complies with the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework and the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework. 
  • All information is encrypted using the SSL protocol (Secure Socket Layer) before being transmitted over the internet.
  • The platform may have to disclose information to authorities if accompanied by judicial or governmental subpoenas, warrants or orders.

Pricing and Discounts

  • ActiveCampaign does not have a free version but offers a 14-day free trial. 
  • A total of four packages varying from $7.50 to $139.50 per month are available under three categories-B2B, B2C and e-Commerce. This pricing is subject to change, so make sure you check the website for the latest pricing and offers.
  • Verified nonprofit organizations furnishing valid documentary evidence get a 20% discount. Learn more about ActiveCampaign’s discounts for nonprofit organizations.


Cyber impact

Rated the fastest growing email marketing solution in 2020, this Canadian email marketing service is especially suited for small businesses and NPOs in Canada. It complies with the Canadian Anti-spam Law (CASL). Since billing is in Canadian dollars, NPOs could save themselves the trouble of navigating exchange rate fluctuations. Integrations are available through the built-in API or Zapier.

Key Features & Benefits

  • CASL Compliance: Fully equipped with consent management, automatic consent expiration reports and alerts, and a smart consent module, the platform helps you keep track of ongoing changes to CASL.
  • Better Deliverability RatesThe US follows an opt-out law, while Canada follows an opt-in law. The opt-in law ensures a better open rate, less likelihood of being marked as spam and decreases the chances of hard bounces. As a result, the mails tend to reach more interested audiences when compared to mass mailing lists.
  • Bilingual Campaigns: You can maximize sales in French-speaking areas by making every link available in French and English.
  • Unparalleled Customer Support: Unlike many other email marketing platforms that restrict customer support to paying customers, Cyberimpact provides unlimited support to new users for 60 days (chat, email or phone). Users can also make use of the introductory webinars and extensive resources available in both French and English.
  • Powerful Editor: With one of the most straightforward email editors in the market, Cyberimpact provides responsive templates for all levels of users. You also get access to a vast library of stock photos and images. Unlike other email applications, it also allows you to embed promotional videos without a third-party application.
  • Integrated Marketing Automation: This sophisticated feature is generally available only to large corporations, but Cyberimpact makes it affordable and accessible to SMBs and non-profits. Its integration with other marketing tools makes it possible to send customized messages such as welcome emails, acknowledgement emails after contributions, engagement emails, donor retention emails, automatic reminders regarding renewals and more.

Privacy and Security

  • Data collected by Cyberimpact is stored on servers in Canada and protected as per the Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act.
  • Email compliance is ensured by maintaining and tracking consent history as per the CASL policy; however, there is no compliance with the GDPR policy.
  • Under a legal obligation or an injunction order, the platform may have to disclose information to authorities to protect and defend its rights.
  • All information is encrypted using the SSL protocol (Secure Socket Layer) before being transmitted over the internet.

Pricing and Discount

  • The free package allows you to send unlimited emails to 250 contacts. 
  • Paid packages range from 17 to 40 CAD for 500 contacts and increase correspondingly for a larger number of contacts. 
  • There are no special discounts for nonprofits.

Comparison Table of Email Marketing Platforms

 Features  Mailchimp  ActiveCampaign  Cyberimpact
Pricing for NPO’s 15% discount for verified NPOs 20% discount for verified NPOs No discount
Consent history maintenance Yes Yes Yes
CASL and GDPR compliant Yes GDPR  Only CASL
Information disclosure under a legal obligation Only if  accompanied by a court order or subpoena May be disclosed if accompanied by judicial or governmental subpoenas, warrants or orders May disclose information
A/B Testing Available Available Not available
Dynamic Content Available Available Not available
Customer Surveys Available Not available Available
Drip Campaigns Yes Yes Yes
Datacenter USA USA Canada

Ultimately, the platform you choose must reflect your NPO’s priorities, concerns, marketing strategies, budget and expertise. All of the above offer good security. If you are looking for an easy-to-use platform that combines maximum benefits, offers top-notch security and is pocket-friendly, Mailchimp would be your best bet, especially if you have an email list that is under 2000 subscribers/members/donors.

If you’re a large NPO with various departments and you’re seeking an all-in-one marketing automation tool, ActiveCampaign would be a great option to explore. If you are a smaller NPO based in Canada, and CASL, high deliverability, and French language options are primary considerations, Cyberimpact would be a good choice.

Which email marketing platform are you currently using for your NPO, and what do you like/dislike about it? Let us know in the comments section below.


  1. DMA Marketer Email Tracker 2019. DMA, https://dma.org.uk/uploads/misc/marketers-email-tracker-2019.pdf. Accessed 27 August 2021.
  2. The Ultimate List of Email Marketing Stats for 2021. Hubspot. https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/email-marketing-stats. Accessed 27 August 2021.
  3. Internet Security Threat Report, Symantec, 2017. Symantec,  https://docs.broadcom.com/doc/istr-22-2017-en. Accessed 27 August 2021.
  4. Phishing Campaign Targets Humanitarian and Other Non-Governmental Organizations, 2019. Trend Micro, https://www.trendmicro.com/vinfo/us/security/news/cybercrime-and-digital-threats/phishing-campaign-targets-humanitarian-and-other-non-governmental-organizations. Accessed 30 August 2021.
  5. Phishing attack against US government, NGOs shakes assumptions on containment, 2021.
    https://www.cybersecuritydive.com/news/phishing-attack-us-government-constant-contact/601134/. Accessed 30 August 2021.
  6. Mailchimp Annual Report, 2020. Mailchimp, https://mailchimp.com/annual-report/mailchimp-hq/. Accessed 30 August 2021.
  7. EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield. https://www.privacyshield.gov/servlet/servlet.FileDownload?file=015t0000000QJdg. Accessed 30 August 2021.
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