Mailchimp in a NutShell
|Also Best For:||Individual websites, and eCommerce|
|User Accounts:||Multiple, with individual logins|
|Segmentation and Geo:||Yes|
|Media Available:||Tablet, mobile, social media, web|
|Industry:||Advertising, marketing, eCommerce|
Key Features and Workflows
And what about the key features and workflows for Mailchimp? Here is an overview.
- Creating Email Campaigns
- Reporting and analysis
- Design and Ease of use
Creating Emails and Campaigns
One of the things that stood out to me about the provider is the way it’s geared toward easily creating campaigns. This section houses most of the tools you’ll need to create emails, schedule them, and send them out as well as monitor your success.
I found that it was surprisingly easy to go from zero to ready-to-send email thanks to MailChimp’s creation wizard. You can create individual emails, set up full cycles, and plan longer-term campaigns all from one location.
- Emails Sent/Opened and Links Clicked – While they offer one of the simpler reporting features, it covers the essentials you need to succeed. This includes emails sent, emails opened, and the number of link clicks. You can also filter out based on date/time, device used, and can even offer tracking heatmaps to show the hottest links.
- Deliverability Rates and Delivery by Time Zone –MailChimp deliverability clocks in roughly around 84% which is near the industry average. One thing to keep in mind is that sometimes emails sent via the app may wind up in your customers’ Promotions tab on Gmail. The paid versions include delivery by time zone for more specific scheduling.
- Creating and Importing Email Lists – When you’re ready to populate your mailing list, MailChimp lets you either upload an Excel or CSV file or import them from your CRM and marketing tools or create a brand-new list. You can also create brand new sign-up forms for new email lists to expand your marketing reach.
- Split Tests and A/B Testing – I was pleased to see that they offer a functional and easy-to-use A/B testing feature, although it is reserved for the paid plans. Additionally, you can use the platform’s multivariate testing to ensure every component of your email is perfect for the task at hand.
- Personalization – The provider gives you customization at both the macro and micro levels. You can personalize emails and flows based on deep segmentation and customizable conditions. Although it can take a little bit to get used to the system’s internal logic for segmenting, I was able to create complex campaigns in little time once I was familiar with the tools.
Reporting and Analytics
If you can’t see your campaigns’ progress, you’re not likely to get much out of them or see any improvements in your business.
MailChimp offers both A/B testing and multivariate testing, as well as many of the standard features to track an email marketing campaign’s success and progress over time.
Engagement Reports – I was happy to find that MailChimp offers many of the most common engagement metrics, including recipients, number delivered, open rates, click rates, audience averages, number opened and clicked, and more. You can see each in the main dashboard or dive deeper into specifics.
Heat Maps – One of the features I was impressed with is MailChimp’s click map and click performance. This feature lets you see your emails as your readers do, showing the links that are clicked most often to give you an idea of what is working and the best placements for future links.
Campaign Comparison Reports – The provider lets you build custom comparative reports to track the performance of multiple campaigns over time. The feature is available starting with the Pro plan and lets you track campaigns sent out in the previous 18 months.
Segmentation – This was one of my favorite features in MailChimp’s reporting, which includes a variety of preset operators and parameters to create a wide range of segments based on incredibly specific triggers. This lets you better understand each group and tailor messages to encourage engagement.
Social Media Tracking – Because MailChimp lets you easily publish your mail campaigns on social media, it also offers tools to better track them. The data can be filtered and combined with mail campaign data for a much better overall picture.
ROI Analysis – I was surprised to see that MailChimp’s ROI reports take a much broader view. You can compare ROI across all your connected channels, including your e-store and social media accounts, and compare it to your mail campaigns to see what’s truly effective.
Email marketing software doesn’t work in a vacuum; it has to connect to and receive data from a variety of sources including your CRM, your analytics tools, and more.
I was impressed to see that MailChimp doesn’t hold back when it comes to offering third-party connectivity.
Regardless of the plan you choose, you’ll be able to integrate MailChimp with over 200 different apps.
- Google Analytics – I was pleased with MailChimp’s integration, which lets you use data from Google Analytics to supplement the reporting you’re receiving about your existing campaigns. You can use conversion tracking to see your success rate, and track visits to campaign pages to see how emails are working.
- API Integrations – MailChimp’s API can connect to a variety of RESTful APIs, and it allows you to integrate many of the tools you need directly into your app manually, or even automatically in some cases.
- Ecommerce Tools – No matter which of the major eCommerce tools you use, they have a connection. The platform includes one-click integrations for major eCommerce services including Shopify, Magento, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and more.
- CRM Integrations – As they are highly interconnected, being able to connect your CRM tools to collect and send data to your email marketing software is essential. MailChimp offers integrations for tools like Salesforce, HubSpot, Zoho, and Zapier, though some may require third-party connections.
- Social Media Integrations – To quickly connect your social media accounts with MailChimp, you can use the company’s social integration collection, which includes add-ons for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. You also have access to social sharing so you can update your accounts with newsletter updates and sign-up pages for new users.
- Apps - The platform truly shines here, with one-click connectivity for over 200 App integrations that include popular tools like Xero for contact syncing, Canva for graphics, and a variety of analytics tools to give you a better view of your campaigns.
- Plugins – One of the things MailChimp prides itself on is ease of use to connect the tools you need for everyday operations. This includes basic integrations such as project and task management but can include deeper connections to programs that are vital to your business.
An important thing I discovered about MailChimp is that it is geared to help you start your first email campaign as a small business, so it focuses on making it as easy as possible for you.
When you first create a campaign, it lets you select from one of 15 pre-made automation workflows by clicking on the “Automated” tab.
These automations include useful email flows such as welcome messages (which can be single or multiple email chains for onboarding or education), abandoned cart flows for eCommerce sites, and post-purchase emails to keep users engaged.
You can also create your own email triggers using some logic conditions (if/then/etc.), although this is more recommendable for advanced users or at least those more comfortable with MailChimp.
One aspect I felt could be improved is that they don't offer a workflow view, so it can be tricky when you have more complex flows to plan.
Design and Ease of Use
For me, one of the most vital aspects of any email marketing software is how well designed it is, and how easy it is to use.
The job of any email marketing platform is to make your life easier, not harder, and I’m happy to report that MailChimp largely succeeds with a straightforward design and intuitive tools.
Drag-and-Drop Interface – You can start to build your emails easily thanks to MailChimp’s straightforward drag-and-drop editor for any email template you choose. You can start from any preset template, and take advantage of basic photo editing tools, as well as built-in mobile optimization.
Landing Page Creator – I was surprised to see that not only does MailChimp let you create landing pages, but it gives you an unlimited amount. You can quickly build pages to support your campaign using the company’s Content Studio, which features a variety of templates and drag-and-drop functionality.
Email Templates – One feature that I found useful—especially for users who are not design experts—is the wide variety of email templates MailChimp offers. While there are 23 base templates to choose from initially, you also have access to hundreds of themed templates, including specific industries, occasions, and other needs you may have.
Sign-Up Forms Within Newsletters Tool – if you’re using email marketing to expand your contacts list, MailChimp helps with its easy to construct sign-up forms The company operates on a strictly “Opt-In” model, so your users will have to accede to receive emails. However, you can easily build sign-up forms and include them in your social media, websites, and landing pages.
|Price: N/A||Price: $9.99/month||Price: $14.99/month||Price: $299/month|
Mailchimp Customer Service
The free service gives you access to 30 days of email support, but not much else. Once you sign up for a paid plan, you’ll have access to the company’s around-the-clock email and live chat support, as well as unlimited email access.
The premium plan comes with phone support on weekdays and queue priority.
All users can access the company’s extensive knowledge base as well as its informative FAQ section.
Mailchimp Contact Information:
The Rocket Science Group, LLC
675 Ponce de Leon Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30308 USA
I had never used MailChimp before, so I was intrigued by the countless reviews and articles I read about it. After trying it out, I discovered a service that gives you excellent pre-made templates, excellent free plans, and a great suite of tools for small businesses.
With a great variety of features and pricing plans, They have earned its reputation for a reason.
What I Liked About MailChimp
Overall, it is an excellent entry point to email marketing software if you’ve never had experience with the tools.
The platform’s easy signup, excellent free account, and a multitude of features make it worth a look even if you’re more established but need an affordable email solution.
The company’s email templates also make it easier to get started, and I liked the simplicity and intuitiveness of the drag-and-drop designer.
Finally, the ease with which I could create landing pages, signup forms, and new email workflows made it a useful tool to get on track quickly.
What I Didn’t Like About MailChimp
Even so, there are a few areas where the company could offer some improvements.
Mainly, I would love to see the ability to create fully new templates for every account level (currently customizable templates are only available for Premium users).
Additionally, while the automation tools are excellent, they are a little complex to use and require some digging and trial-and-error to get working where you want them to.
Finally, I would like to see the company offer more extensive customer support to all its plans. Currently, free and Basic users have access to email support, which can take some time.