So, I’ve been using Mailchimp with a few clients over the past few weeks and I thought it only appropriate to write a review about my experience with it. I also want to help those of you who are still trying to decide on what email marketing tool to choose, hopefully this article will help you make the right decision.
Why Email Marketing?
If you have a business and marketing is an integral part of your strategy (which it should be) then email marketing should be one of the most important parts of your marketing plan. Gone are the days when building a business was somewhat passive, communicating with your customers needs to be well thought out, planned and implemented with care and great attention. Once this is understood, the next step is to create content that your customers will find useful and attention grabbing. Be sure to check out our next week’s blog for tips and advice on creating great content for your audience, in the meantime here’s a helpful article by hubspot on 15 of the Best Email Marketing Campaign Examples You’ve Ever Seen.
What is MailChimp?
In short MailChimp is an email marketing service that enables you to send automated marketing messages and emails in the form of campaigns to your target audience. It also allows you to report on your performance for each campaign to help improve your efforts. MailChimp is one of the best tools to create email newsletters to send to your subscribers or share on social media.
Other MailChimp features include:
Mailchimp has the ability to integrate with other CRM tools like SurveyMonkey, Salesforce and Sugar. You can create multiple lists drawn from sources like these to create more powerful subscriber lists. You can also combine reporting from these other services for more comprehensive statistics.
The image below shows the options you can segment your lists to; as you’ll see you can target subscribers based on interests, behaviour, location, engagement and previous engagement.
You also have the option to save your segments to build upon later, this is great if you want reach out to your most engaged subscribers for example.
I know a lot of marketing teams love this feature, the ability to collaborate on campaigns across multiple departments and colleagues is fantastic! I’ve used MailChimp for large and small businesses and it is universally their most popular feature in my experience.
I previously mentioned the reporting feature, but I just wanted to go into a bit more depth since it’s such a crucial element of any email marketing mix. The beauty of email marketing is the ability to track your success, MailChimp gives you insight such as, open rate, unsubscribed contacts and bounce backs which means you can target the right people and avoid annoying the wrong ones.
Additionally you have the option to monitor subscriber activity in real time, compare how well your efforts are against your competitors and even see how campaigns are performing with domains like google.com, yahoo.com and hotmail.com.
There’s tons of online how-tos on MailChimp, however Mailchimp customer service relies mainly on the website’s FAQs and it’s Knowledge Base search engine. Alternatively, with the upgrades you can get priority support which moves you to the front of the cue when you need help.
MailChimp can be pricey. Some may argue this point with me…I literally had a bit of a debate last week with a colleague about this! I feel that if you’re a small business with a small email list of subscribers then you’ll love the Forever Free plan which allows you a maximum of 2,000 subscribers and you can send up to 12,000 emails. I however, have worked with small companies with subscriber lists of over 20,000 which means they can either communicate for free to 2,000 random contacts for free (which can be hit or miss) or spend $155.00 per month to reach them all. Ok, ok $155.00 a month isn’t ridiculously expensive if you see a good return on this investment, however it’s just something to bear in mind as your subscriber list grows.
Below is a screenshot from the MailChimp subscriber calculator to give you an estimate of what future costs could be.
Billing can seem a little complicated with MailChimp, although there are 3 different plans each plan has a different subscriber and email limit, monthly plans range between $10 – $199. Not only is there a monthly plan option there’s also a pay-as-you-go plan based on a credit system, the price per credit depends on how many emails you plan on sending, this can range between 300 credits to 25,000,000. Each pay-as-you-go email is worth between 0.02 – 0.03 credits so I’ll let you do the maths. It’s also important to note that there are several add-ons you can purchase with MailChimp which include API keys in the form of Mandrill and social profiles. Due to so many price variations I would advise you to check out pricing on the Mailchimp website to see what’s suitable for you.
MailChimp is a great tool for email marketing, I would especially recommend it for beginners as it is relatively easy to get up and running in a few minutes. There are a few learning curbs if you’ve never used an auto responding system before, but if you do take the time to learn you will reap the benefits even if it is just learning how to create spectacular looking email messages.
Alternatives to MailChimp
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