Email Marketing- MailChimp

MailChimp

MailChimp is a fun email marketing service designed with simplicity and ease in mind. The interface is bright and welcoming with a smiling cartoon chimp as their mascot. This is not your stuffy old bosses email marketing service. This service was designed for people.

There are three primary areas to consider when deciding your email provider:

  • Cost
  • Ease of Use (amount of technical knowledge required)
  • Function/features (e.g., Deliverability rates, social integration, templates, etc)
  • Help / Support

Cost - as low as FREE

One of the first things small business owners consider when looking at a new vendor is cost. How much is this going to impact my bottom line? MailChimp was the first email marketing program I’d seen that not only offered a completely free account. Many offer a free trial, which is extremely limited, but MailChimp offers a completely free account.

The current offering is a subscription list of up to 2,000 people with up to 12,000 sends per month. What does this send limit look like? Let’s say you have 500 people in your contact list, and you send a newsletter once a week. That’ll be 2,000 sends for the month, leaving you with plenty of additional sends for a promotional email, holiday greeting, or something similar.

What’s the catch?

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, right? So what’s the catch with MailChimp allowing you to use their product for free? In exchange for your free account, they’ll put a little piece of branding in the bottom of your email.

What you don’t know is that most other providers, including Constant Contact and iContact, put this branding in their emails, even on paid accounts. So you’re not losing anything by allowing this branding. Also, this branding is at the bottom of the email, even below the “subscription management” links, so the likelihood of it detracting from your email is very small.

Paid Accounts

MailChimp does offer paid accounts. These range from as low as $10 per month for a list of 500 or less, up to $240 per month for a list that 25,000-50,000, with unlimited sends. For companies with lists over 50,000 MailChimp does still offer a plan, but there are send restrictions based on the size of the list.

What do you gain for paying MailChimp?

  • No MailChimp Branding, or earn a commission on any paid account through the use of branding (called Chimp Rewards)
  • Premium Templates
  • Access to additional features
  • Larger marketing lists, and unlimited sends

Ease of Use

One reason why I am such fan of MailChimp is how easy it is to use. I have technical knowledge that allows me to use just about any program available; however, our clients to not. Once the account is setup it is very difficult to actually break the template, regardless of whether you use a custom designed template or a standard template available from MailChimp.

If you know how to use a word processing program like Word, you’ll be able to use MailChimp with ease. It is very easy to setup a great looking email and not take a huge commitment of time just to setup the email. We have used some programs that require 60-90 minutes or more just to setup the content in the email template.

Features and Functions

Here are some of the features and functions we appreciate about MailChimp:

  • Deliverability: MailChimp delivers 95-100% of emails sent. What does this mean? Your emails get to the recipient’s inbox. The biggest thing to be concerned with here is the reputation of the mail server. When an email marketing provider gets caught spamming, it ruins it for every user of the provider. MailChimp works hard to keep their server’s reputation clean.
  • Templates: MailChimp has dozens of easy-to-use templates available. If you go with a premium account you’ll also get access to the premium templates.
  • Social Integration: MailChimp offers integration with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more. When you send a campaign, you have it also posted to your Facebook page/profile and your Twitter Account. You can easily ‘embed’ a YouTube video in your newsletter (as we have done several times). You can also put social sharing functions in your campaign to make it easy to for recipients to share on Facebook, Twitter, Delicious, Reddit, and more.
  • Event Promotion: MailChimp makes it easy to promote events by integrating with Facebook Events and EventBrite. Using predesigned templates, you tell MailChimp what event you want to promote, and it pulls all the information into a beautifully designed template.
  • Website Integration: We work almost exclusively with WordPress, Joomla and osCommerce for our clients. MailChimp offers extremely easy integration with these CMS tools to allow you to collect information directly on your website and add it to your MailChimp account.

Help/Support

MailChimp has a comprehensive help and support section that includes a searchable knowledgebase, huge PDF guide, email tickets and live chat. When we contacted live chat it only took a moment for someone to respond. They politely and quickly answered our questions.

They also have a blog that includes articles and tips about email marketing and a weekly webinar.

Summary

MailChimp is a fun, easy service that still has a few quirks to work out. However, we found our overall experience with them to be pleasant.

Feel free to contact us using our contact form.

Posted on 2011 Jun 04 by dlstudio

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