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MailChimp ReviewWe’re switching our email marketing services to MailChimp, and I thought this would be a good time to give our review .

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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!

24 responses to “Switching to MailChimp: MailChimp Review”

  1. Hi Susan,
    Never heard of this before. Sounds jolly interesting.
    I currently use iContact for email newsletters. Will mailchimp replace this and look after all the unsubscribe, remove stuff as well as showing me the popular bits, etc. IContact expensive too.
    Dave Butcher

    • Susan Hallam Susan Hallam says:

      Hi Dave

      MailChimp does indeed provide all the reporting that you need for your email marketing: how many people have opened, clicked, the most popular content. And it also does manage all the unsubscribe process, too.

      And as you say, the price is right!

      Cheers
      Susan

  2. Simon Gray says:

    Hi Susan
    Thanks for this. I will be sure to check this out.
    have a great weekend!
    Best regards
    Simon

  3. Finally got MailChimp fully set up after Susan told us about. I’m using a simple template and its great. I communicate regularly with 100+ people and it removes all those problems with Spam etc. You can easily see who’s received/read it which also identifies the fibbers who deny all knowledge.

  4. Have you any idea what their deliverability rates are like? This is the big issue if swapping from a paid provider like Getresponse or Aweber, as their reputations are pretty much founded on getting nearly everything through.

  5. Susan Hallam Susan Hallam says:

    Deliverability is a big issue, and one that you need to keep a close eye on.

    There are many factors that influence delivery rates, and first among them is the accreditation of your broadcast partner. Like all reputable broadcasters, MailChimp has strict protocols for subscribers to use opt-in lists (no rented lists) and are swift to crack down on dirty lists (high bounce, high unbsubscrive.)

    Econsultancy have just written an excellent guide to improving your email deliverabilityi:
    http://econsultancy.com/uk/blog/8054-15-best-practice-tips-for-improving-email-deliverability

  6. Thanks Susan.
    I am heading over to their website right now!
    From the info you have already provided I should be able to qualify for the ‘FREE’ deal.

  7. Hi Susan,

    Might just be a coincidence and unrelated to your switch to mailchimp but previously your emails have come through just fine – Postini blocked the one subject line ‘Newsletter for 30/09/2011’ and marked it as ‘Junk’. It is set to’aggressive’ blocking though. Luckily I do scan the blocked messages and spotted it (I’ve now added you to the white list).

  8. Hi Iain, thanks for the feedback.

    Postini seems to be casuing problems for all MailChimp users. MailChimp themselves admit to having problems getting THEIR emails past the very tricky Postini and only know of 8 campaigns that have ever past it’s barriers. The common theme of the emails that DO get through are that they are heavier on copy (text) than images. The templates of the successful campaigns also had extremely clean HTML code.

    You can use MailChimps predesigned templates if you’re not able to write code yourself and they’re excellent.

    Inbox Inspections from MailChimp will also allow us to spot potential delivery issues with Postini users in future. Inbox Inspetions are $3 each but great value to ensure every single email gets past Postini.

    Glad you’re still enjoying the emails from Hallam Iain!

  9. Suzie Pearson says:

    Chaps

    I found out about MailChimp a while ago and found it really easy to use.
    The other thing I like is their service.

    I couldn’t find quite the answer I was looking for in the help section for something, so I emailed them. They’re based in the US (as far as I can tell) and I had a lovely personal email ready in my inbox the next morning. Brilliant!

    Cheers

  10. Amanda says:

    We use MailChimp and have been jolly pleased with it. We also love their cheeky banter…
    (X) enable MailChimp humor
    ( ) disable MailChimp humor – because I am a party pooper
    Funny! A bit of humour goes a long way on a working day.

  11. I’m in the process of switching to mailchimp for much the same reasons. I was using Constant Contact but realised that I get for free what CC want to charge me $30 a month for.

    It’s a no brainer really.

    Karl

  12. Rix says:

    MailChimp requires your physical address on the bottom of it’s emails which is fine for businesses but not so great for bloggers who don’t want readers turning up at their door to complain about a post or difference of opinion.

    It’s a real shame because I would have liked to have used the service. A PO box address is not an option for everyone financially especially when you are just starting out.

    Real shame. Other rss->email solutions don’t seem to require this.

  13. Mailchimp looks great! Thanks for the info. 🙂

  14. Adriel says:

    I’ve been using Imnica Mail however am very unhappy with deliverability of their messages.. I’m now switching over to Mail Chimp… great services and rates I think

  15. Adriel says:

    I’ve been using Imnica Mail however am very unhappy with deliverability of their messages.. I’m now switching over to Mail Chimp… great services and rates I think

  16. Paul says:

    Mailchimp are a bunch of non professional amateurs if you ask me. I’ve been with them for months, paid £100’s and now I found out that all the autoresponders I did setup up during this time, never worked, missing on literally 100’s of leads worth £10,000’s because of the google analytic code they said, furthermore, on the latest version 8, they changed a fundamental feature without prior notice: we are working with account managers that needs to see their clients responses, one by one; now the open and unopened report link have been disabled for good so the share reports do not shown any more email by email who opened and who clicked, also the paragraphs have disappeared [a bug]. In all circumstances nothing but “there is not a ETA for this, ETA for that..” a complete shamble!
    And if you are reading this, Mr Mailchimp, your reply in response to this is not welcome, unless you are willing to indemnify £20,000 in lost contracts, and don’t even start with the software is provided as is, because that only means it is totally unreliable as it has been demonstrated. Good luck with that!

  17. Ocha says:

    I have just signed up with Mailchimp and it looks like it will do everything I need it to. As I start a campaign I will learn more, but for now it is my email marketing choice too.

  18. R.M. says:

    Mailchimp is one of the least trust worthy providers. I created a free account with them, and after some time in using it they suspended my account and stopped replying to my contacts to the support. They claim the reason is that I imported an email list to the account which included invalid emails and caused high bounce rate in sending. I don’t see this is a valid reason to suspend an account of a customer who entrusted their services, as their system could have validated the email list upon import. They can’t see the system drawback, and simply putting the blame on the user. Moreover, having the customer support not responding to users communication is a very disgusting behavior!

    • Never again MailChimp says:

      I had the EXACT same problem and there is nothing wrong with my mailing list. I don’t recommend MailChimp to anyone. This company is a total pain and I would deeply regret paying for their services. They need to stop being “listing police” and react only if there is a considerable volume of complaints by RECIPIENTS. Not by some automated machine that gets it all wrong all the time.

  19. Bi says:

    TERRIBLE CUSTOMER SERVICE WHEN PROBLEMS ARISE!!! Until today, I had been with Mailchimp for about three years with a large account. I had to change payment methods. For mystery reasons, their credit card gateway (not my own credit card processor bank) wouldn’t accept my valid card. I had an urgent blast to get out on deadline, so I DROVE TO MY BANK AND MOVED THE CASH TO MY BANK DEBIT CARD. Drove back, tried to use that card. Same result. So I couldn’t get the blast out. But the really bad part was that THERE IS NO WAY TO SPEAK TO ANYONE AT MAILCHIMP – I REPEAT – YOU CANNOT GET ANYONE ON THE PHONE – and they did not respond to my urgent emails after saying that the problem was my card. IT ALMOST SEEMED AS IF THEY WERE TRYING TO DRIVE ME AWAY – A $2,880/YEAR CUSTOMER. . BOTTOM LINE: DON’T USE THIS VENDOR!! WHEN THERE IS A PROBLEM, YOU CAN’T REACH ANYONE. I switched today to IContact. It was very easy, and I talked to THREE helpful IContact people in the process of switching. YOUR CHOICE: NOBODY ON THE PHONE AND IGNORED EMAIL REQUESTS FOR HELP WITH MAILCHIMP or GET LIVE HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT WITH ICONTACT.COM..

  20. Never again MailChimp says:

    I’ve used MailChimp only on trial but have already decided to never return to the company. I would never recommend this company to any marketer.

    MailChimp keeps blocking my account all the time complaining about my “lists”. My lists are perfectly clean and have been meticulously collected. I have never even once had problems with them with any other mailing services. I have never been blocked or received complaints from recipients of my newsletters. They barely even opt-out. But with MailChimp my lists are branded as invalid and a problem.

    With MailChimp it’s not possible to keep deadlines nor to conduct email marketing. Every campaign is being delayed for days on end for monitoring reviews as my account gets blocked. The company has a very strange approach to morbidly monitoring your list and auto-blocking you with each campaign.

    Never again. This is NOT worth it. And I would NEVER pay for all the problems I’ve had with them. Other than that, their user interface has been nice to use.

    • Email Marketer Person says:

      I have to echo this exact sentiment. If you are a new user and start out with a decently-sized list, MailChimp will put it on hold for days and request that you have EVERY SINGLE PERSON ON THE LIST CONFIRM THAT THEY WANT TO SIGN UP FOR THE NEWSLETTER (sorry for all the caps – there are no other text formatting options), regardless of how you compiled the list. So let’s say you’ve been collecting names at events on a sign-up sheet, or you’ve just moved from another company. MailChimp will NOT ALLOW you to use the list if it’s above a certain number unless you have EVERY SINGLE PERSON respond to an opt-in email before you can ever send a newsletter. This is patently absurd and completely impractical. Basically, if you start out with a large email list, you can’t use MailChimp!!!

      And even if you somehow manage to get emails out, they will ban you if you have even a few bounce-backs (e.g. emails sent to addresses that don’t work anymore. What if a person just left a company and their email was deactivated? Should a MailChimp user be punished for that? Literally even a few bounce-backs will result in a BAN from sending emails, regardless of whether the emails are completely legitimate and have a superb response rate from its recipients.

      In short, if you start out with a large email contact list, YOU LITERALLY CANNOT USE MAILCHIMP.

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