EMAIL MARKETING: MailChimp

As e-mail campaigns become a fixture in the Online Marketing world, more and more of us find ourselves in charge of crafting and tracking them. The beginning can be overwhelming-- there are so many options for Email Marketing Tools. At Technogizmo, we encourage thorough research before selecting software, so I hope this article is just a stop in your journey through the numerous paid reviews, detailed breakdowns, and free trials.

Perhaps the most well-known Email Marketing Tool (EMT), MailChimp is held in high regard. Their most marketable quality is that they have a FREE option. You read that right if you have simple needs and under 2,000 contacts you can blast campaigns out all the livelong day while keeping your wallet firmly in your pocket. Some of you may need to read no further than that -- a highly rated EMT that’s free is hard to pass up, but let’s delve a little deeper into why people seem to be so crazy about MailChimp, and why some prefer other services.

The Downsides

There is really only one major downside to MailChimp: the Customer Service. Or rather, the form it takes. Unless you are a Premium Plan subscriber, you can’t call into a service line and talk to a real person. MailChimp provides many FAQs, support by email, support by chat, helpful hits, and pop-ups to make up for it, but for some people, this is a deal-breaker. As a Millennial, I despise the thought of speaking on the phone to strangers unless absolutely necessary. However, I have had colleagues in the past who prefer to have a professional walk them through a process rather than go through the time-suck that online research can become. Seeing as the Premium Plan costs $299.99/month, getting access to that phone line isn’t realistic for most customers.

To be frank, many of the other “issues” (read: minor complaints) Professionals have with MailChimp are only applicable if you are in the Digital Marketing Industry and have more complex needs out of an EMT such as automation, reporting functionalities and integration of other software. Since I am just a former newbie and not a master, I would recommend you check out these articles if you want a technical breakdown of MailChimp's more advanced services by Veteran Digital Marketers:

 

The Upsides

MailChimp does just about everything else right, so this list is significantly longer.

  1. Price: So, not only do they provide a free version of their service, the paid upgrades are reasonably priced. They also provide a handy price calculator-- I personally appreciate the transparency of their pricing. Free Package: up to 2,000 contacts, access to some templates, surveys and more
    1. Essentials Package: Starts at $10/month, up to 50,000 contacts, access to all templates
    2. Standard Package: Starts at $14.99/month, up to 100,000 contacts, Custom Coded Templates & Automation tools
    3. Premium Package: Starts at $299.99/month, 200,000+ contacts, multivariate testing, custom domains, advanced segmentation, phone support, and more. 
  2. Ease of Use: Everything about their program is straightforward and simple. One thing that struck me was how well placed the little “helpful hints & tips” were, they were prominent enough for me to make sure of them, but they never reached Clippy levels of annoyance. The account set up process is easy: you enter your information, fill out a short questionnaire about your business, and then you’re free to create a campaign. You can build it via HTML, and pre-made or custom templates. Then, you can easily import contacts via Salesforce, Excel, or other database programs. Screenshot of Mailchimp Builder
  3. Aesthetic: Minimalism is SO HOT right now and MailChimp has knocked it out of the park with their basic templates--- they flow well and are easy to personalize. Mobile-friendly, simple, and elegant, they are definitely worth a look.Screenshot of MailChimp's Minimal TemplatesScreenshot of MailChimp's Colorful Templates
  4. Security: This is something that MailChimp takes VERY seriously -- first off, you are verified via your address, and once you are verified they continue to make it very clear that they are not tolerant of spam running through their servers. They are TRUSTe approved and EU Safe Harbor compliant. My favorite part is that they require you to verify where your contact list comes from --- if someone has not consented to receive your emails, MailChimp will not let you send them. As a person who has an overflowing Junk Mailbox, I appreciate their consideration of my sanity. Additionally, since they have such a hard stance on spam, they are trusted by a large majority of Email Service Providers, so your emails are much less likely to be bounced or flagged.
  5. Integration: MailChimp is compatible with many different programs: You can use Eventbrite, WooCommerce, and even integrate CRM’s such as Square and Zapier. Add in conversion (how many opens, clicks on certain links, etc.) tracking through Google Analytics to improve your SEO and Call-to-Actions for more effective e-blasts in the future. They’re as easy to add as widgets, and smoothly integrate into your template.
  6. Contact List Segmentation: Managing contact lists can be one of the most time-consuming things you do managing an Email marketing campaign. MailChimp offers easy contact tagging and segmentation, allowing emails to be sent to multiple lists at once, and automatically filtering out the duplicates.

Final Thoughts

If you are in the market for an EMT, you would be remiss NOT to check our MailChimp. Between the price, ease of use, and clean design, it’s no wonder MailChimp is considered one of the best EMT tools in the business. It’s a perfect starting place for beginners and while it may not have the most personal customer support, the FAQs and helpful hints are thorough and concise. Needless to say, I highly recommend MailChimp.

But please, do not take my word for it. Continue your own research, and please check out the articles below, which give a deeper dive into the nitty-gritty:

 

Written by Sydney Grey. Special Thanks to Rhonda Hutchison.

Technogizmo.net and the Author are in no way financially associated with MailChimp or any other Email Marketing Softwares. The opinions in the articles are the Authors.

 

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