Previously, we used Feedblitz to power our newsletter. Feedblitz was one of the earliest services to offer a blog-to-newsletter service, and provided quick and easy integration with our website. I liked the personal service, and I liked the reporting.
The decision to change from Feedblitz to MailChimp was difficult, primarily because of the fact I have used Feedblitz for years, and I come from the old fashioned school of thought “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”
However, MailChimp does offer some functionality that made the decision inevitable. In no particular order, I saw the MailChimp benefits as being:
- It’s free. Currently, you can have up to 2,000 email subscribers on your list, and send up to 12,000 messages for month, and send for free. The pricing for larger lists, and more frequent mailings, is very reasonable.
- It integrates with your blog RSS feed. If you are writing a blog, then you can use MailChimp to save time and effort by making the core of your newsletter the content from your most recent blog posts.
- It integrates with Facebook. It’s a great marketing opportunity to offer your Facebook fans a reminder that you can also keep in touch with good old fashioned email, and you an have email subscription as part of your Fan page.
- Social integration. This is where it gets properly Big-Brother scary. MailChimp will pull data from all the major social networks, and let us know your Twitter handle, Facebook identity, how many friends you have, and your inside leg measurement.
- It has an amazing library of Resources. Whether you need a beginner’s guide or want to learn about advanced techniques, the MailChimp Resource Centre has something for everybody. Beautifully written, clear and easy, they have put alot of effort into their user guides.
- Split testing. Do you want to learn if one message sells well, or if another message sells better? Then you need to use split testing
- Mobile marketing. I’m looking forward to trying the MailChimp app for my Blackberry (or iPhone) and in particular, using the iPad app at exhibitions to get visitors to sign up for our newsletter even when there isn’t Internet access.
And of course MailChimp does all the things that are pretty standard for an email marketing platform: Google Analytics integration, standard free templates to get you started, spam testing, and more.
So, keep an eye out for our newsletter coming via the new MailChimp service, and I’ll keep you posted on my thoughts once we go live!