Mailchimp Review

Mailchimp Review

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7.8/10 (Expert Score)
Product is rated as #17 in category Email marketing service
Mailchimp is an email management service that was created by a company called The Rocket Science Group. The cloud-based service has been in the market since 2001. The founders are Mark Armstrong, Dan Kurzius, and Ben Chestnut, who started working on Mailchimp as a side project before it rapidly gained a following. The software is currently the primary focus of the group. However, they continue to develop a variety of other web applications.
Features
7.5
Easy to use
9
Pricing
8
Support
6.5
PROS:
  • User-friendly
  • Free plan
  • Useful analytics and detailed reports
CONS:
  • Uneven customer servic
  • Confusing plans
  • The re-opt-in process required for transferring lists

Mailchimp incorporates a fun-and-games attitude to a serious and useful program. This makes it stand out among other email management services. Currently, the name Mailchimp is the most powerful brand name among all email management service providers that are in the market. The company also offers a free option, which is the best of such an offer that you can find. Users who opt for paid plans get access to a wide variety of high-level marketing features such as spam filter diagnostics, autoresponders, time zone list segmentation, and tools to use for social networking integration.

Mailchimp currently has more than six million users, including community groups and well-known companies such as The Economist, Vice UK, and TED. The number of outgoing emails that the company handles each month averages to about five billion. Mailchimp does have an excellent reputation and is by far the most popular choice of ESP, but that does not mean that they are resting. The company continues to work on the service to make everything more versatile and easier to use.

Mailchimp Pricing

The current pricing plans are quite simple, designed to cover the needs of all company sizes at the best prices.

Free Plan

This plan is mostly designed for new businesses. It allows them to try out some of the features offered by the service, allowing you to make informed decisions regarding purchasing a plan. Users with modest needs who get their fill from the features of the free plan can enjoy the service indefinitely without ever having to pay anything.

The plan allows you to have a maximum of 2000 subscribers and to send a maximum of 12000 emails each month. That is considerably a good offer as it is, given that you do not pay anything for it.

The free plan is similar to the paid plan, but without spam filter diagnostics, autoresponders, delivery by time zone, social pro, and email client testing. That means that your email marketing campaign will still miss quite a lot with the free plan.

Each email that you send will also have a Mailchimp badge. To get rid of the badge from your emails, you have to upgrade to a better plan.

Growing Business Plan

Just as the name suggests, this plan is suitable for growing businesses. It is a perfect choice when your company has an email list that contains more than 2000 addresses.

The number of subscribers determines the price that you will have to pay for the plan. The price can be any amount between $10 and $410,800 per month, with the cap to the number of subscribers and emails being 102,525,000 and 1,230,300,000, respectively.

The plan also offers you segmentation and reporting features that are a lot more advanced compared to those of the free plan. It comes with Mailchimp’s Mandrill, which is useful for creating and sending targeted messages to particular subscribers.

Even though the plan is not on the cheap end of the spectrum of email management services, it still offers you quite a lot. Your business is also more than likely to get a high return on investment, as expenditures on marketing usually pay off eventually.

Pro-Marketer Add-On

You can gain access to some of the most advanced marketing features offered by Mailchimp by paying only an extra $199 per month. Such features include advanced reporting and multivariate testing for up to eight variants, among others.

With the Pro-Marketer add-on, you can also stop email delivery if you run out of stock, and enjoy priority support as well.

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Local or Web-Based Installation

Mailchimp is 100% cloud-based. That means that it offers all the benefits associated with cloud storage, such as easy access from anywhere and reduced investment in office space. The company does have mobile applications as well, for both Android and iOS. That allows you to stay on top of your email marketing operations at all times.

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Features

Currently, Mailchimp handles a lot more than just email marketing. It is a generalized CRM service, which gives you various new ways to interact with your existing and potential customers. All the features are available to all users who use the paid plan, irrespective of the number of subscribers they have. The free plan users do get some of the program’s features as well. Some of the top Mailchimp features are highlighted below.

  • Email designer

Mailchimp’s email designer includes a drag and drop editor. It also has a wide array of preset templates. Still, users can also code their own if they prefer or require something different from what is available on the presets. The interface is also optimized for mobile and allows for basic photo editing.

  • Multi-User accounts

All the accounts on Mailchimp do allow for multiple users. The distinct permissions and logins for users are viewer, author, manager, admin, and owner. This feature, which is quite unusual for an ESP, comes in quite handy for many businesses.

  • Analytics and reports

Mailchimp users can access A/B split testing. The users also have access to numerous resources such as revenue, domain performance, subscriber activity, and click maps. The service also integrates with Google Analytics, which allows additional optimization of email marketing and data collection.

  • Mandrill

The idea behind Mandrill is to add a personal touch to all your e-commerce communications. You can use it to interact with customers regarding their activities on your online store, allowing you to build good business relationships.

  • Automation

Automation ideally runs your email marketing campaign on your behalf. You make use of triggers and responses to set automation. You have to make a few tweaks to get the optimal effect, but you can use any of the preset scripts on Mailchimp to get started.

  • Custom forms

Mailchimp allows you to easily create custom signup forms for email marketing lists that are permission-based. The forms can integrate with Facebook pages and company websites.

  • Delivery by time zone

This feature, which is available on the paid plan only, allows automatic segmentation of lists in a way that ensures all subscribers receive the email you send at a time when they are awake.

  • Geolocation

The feature allows the software to record locations of the subscribers, which allows you to segment list and be able to target subscribers based on the geographic locations in which they are.

  • Reporting

The reports section on Mailchimp is quite strong. It has a list of statistics ranging from open and clicks rates to performance post-send, and top links clicked. The section also includes a physical world map that gives visuals of the locations in which people who have opened emails are, and a list of subscribers who have the most opens.

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Integrations and Add-Ons

There are more than 500 integrations and add-ons on Mailchimp. To get an integration, you can search its name or look for in in the Industry Collection. Industry Collections are designed for the e-commerce industry, publishers, nonprofits, and musicians. Below are a few of the most popular Mailchimp’s integrations and add-ons.

  • Google Analytics

Mailchimp has full integration with Google Analytics, which allows users to track the success rates of their campaigns. Users gain access to high-level stats regarding revenue generation of their newsletters. Users can also apply Google Analytics tracking to any archived campaign.

  • eCommerce 360

There are many different shopping cart services, which Mailchimp integrates with, including BigCommerce, Shopify, Magento, and Pinnacle Cart.

  • Zendesk

This integration comes in handy for users who use Zendesk to offer support to their customers. It allows them to manage subscriptions and keep track of all support tickets.

  • CRM integrations

Mailchimp also has various integration options for a variety of popular CRMs such as Zoho CRM, Salesforce, Sugar CRM, and Contactually.

  • Eventbrite

This add-on helps to enhance the capabilities for users to improve event management, using the built-in tools of Mailchimp.

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Social Media Integrations

There is an integral connection between email marketing and social media, which makes it essential to review the social media aspects of the service.

  • Social sharing

This feature is available on all plans and allows users to post newsletter updates automatically on Twitter and Facebook. It also tracks stats and creates social signup pages to generate more subscribers.

  • Social Pro

This add-on is for the paid plan only. It collects subscribers’ demographic-related data from social sites. It also provides information on how your subscribers use social sites. The information can be quite useful for list segmentation.

  • Social Integrations Collection

This is a collection of add-ons and integrations, which allows further integration of Mailchimp with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

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Security

Mailchimp takes both security and privacy very seriously to ensure that all users are protected. The company has MTAs in data centers that are located across the US. The data centers have both electronic and physical safeguards.

All the data centers also have DDOS mitigation in place. Mailchimp stores all large email lists in individual databases, which helps to protect against data corruption. Free accounts and smaller accounts share databases.

The company supports the use of Google Authenticator, which is an optional free add-on used to provide two-factor authentication for signing in. Regarding privacy, Mailchimp is EU Safe Harbor and TRUSTe compliant. It also has an anti-spam policy and protection.

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Ease of Use

To sign up for an account, all you need to do is enter your name and email address. With that, you will be already on your way to starting to benefit from the service. When you sign in for the first time, you will have to input additional information such as the name of your organization, physical address, and website. You can also upload a profile picture if you want to, and subscribe to Mailchimp’s email list.

Mailchimp’s dashboard does not particularly stand out. That is because Mailchimp does not use striking colors, which is probably to draw your attention to the more essential things. The dashboard, however, has a clean, crisp look and is quite easy to use.

The first three options that you will have are to start building an audience, create or import a list, and send a campaign. A dashboard will then replace the options after you choose one. The dashboard will show your list growth, recent campaign activity, and news feed.

Importing contacts was the one area in which Mailchimp had fallen short until recently. It was versatile, but it had an old feel and was not very user-friendly. However, the issue is now a thing of the past. You can import your contacts quite easily from various integrated file types or sources. In case you import a list that will require you to upgrade your plan, the system will notify you in advance for you to decide whether to go ahead and import the list.

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Email Campaign Creation

To design a campaign, you do not necessarily need to have an established list. The service has an option for sending to yourself, which makes it an excellent option for any new marketer who wants to test the system.

While creating an email campaign, you have to enter all the relevant information of the campaign, tweak social media settings, select tracking options, and many other options. The broad merge tags selection provided by Mailchimp allows email customization.

The next step is to choose a template. There are 23 basic templates on Mailchimp, but there are hundreds of theme-based templates, which cover a wide variety of occasions and industries.

Irrespective of whether you start with a pre-designed theme or basic blank template, you will find it quite easy to use the Mailchimp’s editor. It allows you to add images, dividers, text blocks, and buttons into the template using the drag and drop feature.

There are numerous layout options for you to choose, and you can save anything that you develop if you want to access it in the future. You can also enable the autosave feature, which means that your work will be saved after every 20 seconds. You will not have to worry about losing your work in case your computer crashes.

If you are tech-savvy and prefer to code your work, you can design your emails whichever way you want, using HTML. You can also import HTML code from a zip file or website, in case you already have a design that you can use. Irrespective of the design method you use for your emails, you can still preview how they will look on mobile devices and desktop.

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Running the Email Campaign

Running the email campaign is a straightforward task. After you are done with the design process, and you are ready to send, you can select a list to which you will send, and test the subject line. You can also make any necessary last-minute adjustments at this point. You then choose whether to send the email immediately or schedule it so that it can be sent on a later date.

You can add your list to Mailchimp in any of the variety of options provided by Mailchimp. If you have an existing file in XSL or CSV, you can upload it directly. You can also import the contacts from another program such as Google, Highrise, Salesforce, Eventbrite, Zendesk, and Batchbook. Note that Mailchimp does emphasize the importance of opt-in permission-based lists.

There are a few exciting features that are related to managing lists, which are offered by Mailchimp.
For example, the service can automatically create a signup form for the new list that you create. You can then personalize the signup form and use it on your social sites or your website.

List segmentation is another area that puts Mailchimp ahead of the competition. Other email marketing management services usually offer list segmentation only as a general feature. Mailchimp, on the other hand, goes further by turning segmentation into a genre that contains a huge number of in-built ways of sorting and targeting contacts on lists and automation presets. Mailchimp also allows you to enjoy the benefits of automation without necessarily having to break out of the wireframes.

Because Mailchimp is a rationed/paid service, wasting emails because of mistakes is something that all email marketers will want to avoid. To help with that, Mailchimp provides a checklist that indicates the sections of your campaign, which might have some problems. It also confirms whether you want to use various features such as Social Cards.

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Customer Service

Mailchimp has probably the most extensive customer support system in the industry. That said, the company still does not offer telephone support because of cost-related issues. The customer representatives are very courteous and handle every problem that you present to them professionally. The urgency of your query may determine how quickly you get your response. Below are the support resources that are offered by Mailchimp.

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Live Support

 

  • You can get live support on Mailchimp through email, live chat, and social media. Email support is available 24/7. Live chat support is available on weekdays between 8 am and 9 pm EST. Because of the high number of support requests, live chat is available only to paid customers. The main social media platforms for Mailchimp are Twitter and Facebook, which are quite active. It takes minutes to hours for the customer representatives to answer questions on social media platforms.

 

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Searchable Knowledge Base

 

  • Mailchimp also has a knowledge base, which is searchable on every device. As a user, you only need to use keywords related to your issue to get relevant information that can help you to resolve it.

 

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Negative User Reviews

Despite Mailchimp being the most popular email management service, some users do not seem to like it very much for a variety of reasons. In the past, Mailchimp has taken advantage of such complaints and negative reviews to improve its service, and it is more than likely that the same practice will continue. Some of the common complaints are highlighted below.

  • Uneven customer service: While some users are happy that Mailchimp’s customer service response time is based on urgency, others are not.

 

  • Confusing plans: It can be a bit confusing when determining the amount of money to pay for the service.

 

  • The re-opt-in process required for transferring lists: You have to go through the opt-in process when you want to transfer a list out of or into Mailchimp.

 

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Positive Reviews

A high percentage of Mailchimp user reviews available online are positive, averaging 4/5 stars on a majority of the review sites. Some of the positive user reviews are highlighted below.

  • User-friendly: Being user-friendly is the trending positive comment about Mailchimp. That means that using the software is simple and straightforward. Email marketers who want to try out an email management service can have an easy time when they start with Mailchimp.

 

  • Free plan: It is human nature to love free things, especially when they are good. Mailchimp offers a free plan that is quite useful, which a lot of users seem to love. The paid plan also provides quite a lot of value, which makes Mailchimp even more popular.

 

  • Useful analytics and detailed reports: It has Google Analytics integration and various other reports and stats, which are way above par for the offered price point. However, you will not find any analysis or reports with the free plan.

 

  • Impressive editor: A majority of users report that they do find it very easy to use the editor for customization, with some saying that they even enjoy using it.

 

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Final Words

Mailchimp is an easy-to-use ESP that has been time-tested and proven to be reliable and effective. It comes with numerous amazing features and very reasonable pricing. Its privacy and security policies also help to make it the best there is in the industry. The user-friendly software is suitable for newbies as well as experienced experts. Generally, finding anything negative about Mailchimp is rather difficult, except for a few things that do not affect its productivity significantly. Every email marketer should give Mailchimp a try.

Mailchimp Review
Mailchimp Review

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