In the world of email marketing, there are a few big players who dominate the market, MailChimp is one of these and we think they’ve got it pretty spot on. I must mention at this stage that we are not being paid to promote their services, we’re sharing this because we found something we use regularly that is awesome in our opinion. Email marketing remains one of the most powerful of the digital marketing tool kit in terms of engagement and return on investment.
Some of the things we think make it awesome include:
- Easy to use campaign design
- User Friendly and powerful reporting
- Powerful APIs to automate your email marketing
- A/B testing on content
- Ability to select auto post to Facebook and Twitter
- Free accounts for low sender users
- Great customer service
User friendly and powerful reporting
Most email marketing systems offer reporting of sorts and some are better than others. We have found that MailChimp reporting gives us fast access and the level of detail we require for different campaigns, there are also extensions available for even deeper levels of reporting. Some of the campaigns we have set up for our clients have complex automations in place. For example, we may have an auto list created for people who purchase a certain item through our client’s website and they then get sent an automated email after a certain time period asking for feedback, or checking to see if any top-ups are required.
As marketing professionals it doesn’t make sense for systems not to talk to each other and there’s nothing more frustrating than finding a brilliant tool or system only to find out they don’t have developed and tested API’s.
The MailChimp system allows us to create links between client websites and their MailChimp account to automate various actions, a few of these are described above. Another great example of an automation we have implemented using the API is for a client with an ecommerce site: When a customer hasn’t made a purchase for more than a certain time period, the automation pings them a “We Miss You” email and discount code. This has generated significant revenue.
MailChimp also had (this find has now ended) something called the million-dollar integration fund, where funding was available for developers who want to create cool extensions to their software, and so they now have a bank of integrations, you can view these here.
A/B testing allows you to try out a few different ways of approaching something; content style or image choice for example. You send two different versions of your email out to a segment of your database, it then gives you the results of which version generated the best results. You then learn something and take this forward into future campaigns.
We don’t always recommend that people have auto postings to Facebook and Twitter setup in every tool they use but it can work for certain messages and campaigns which can save time and be very effective. Of course we recommend a mixture of messages honed specifically for audiences in specific social media arenas, as this adds a level of personalisation.
Many marketing systems will offer a free version of an account and often this comes with limitations that mean you can only really use it for trial and testing purposes. There are elements of MailChimp that do require paid for account status to access but compared to some, its pretty generous.
So how do you qualify? all you need to have is a small contact database and send less than 12,000 emails each month, this is called their “Forever Free” plan and is perfect for business start ups or smaller companies. One downside is that you do have to show a “Monkey Rewards” badge on your campaigns and on your sign up forms but its a small price to pay for having the free use of their system in our opinion. If you decide you like the system and your marketing efforts help to grow your contact database, you can upgrade to a paid for account really easily.
Great Customer Service
Nothing worse than needing help or feedback from a marketing tool and having to wait a week for a response – or worse still no response. MailChimp are really proactive with their customer service and we have personally found them to be responsive, helpful and very enthusiastic about their product. I guess we have a lot to thank Facebook and Twitter for in terms of the way that companies have changed their customer service style and quality but MailChimp have always been great at this aspect.
In summary, we think they’re awesome and we hope they continue being awesome for years to come.
If you are interested in talking to us about help with your email marketing campaign, from strategy and design through to delivery and reporting please don’t hesitate to get in touch, we’d love to help.