MailChimp Comparison and Review



MailChimp Review

Pros:

  • ChooseWhat CheckExcellent email creation tools (scored 5 out of 5 stars)
  • High quality contact management system (scored 5 out of 5 stars)
  • High quality campaign reports (scored 5 out of 5 stars)
  • Can create A/B test campaigns (to test subject line, from name, time sent)
  • Can export a clean contact list that automatically removes bounced and unsubscribed email addresses
  • Can import contacts from Gmail and Mac Contacts
  • Unlimited Image Hosting

Cons:

  • Phone support not available

Conclusion:

MailChimp is a very popular, email marketing tool with lots of integrations and frequent improvements. However, they DO NO offer phone support, but do have live chat support from friendly, knowledgeable customer service reps. If you don't mind not be able to talk to someone on the phone, MailChimp you will have a hard time finding a better email marketing service.

Ease of Use

MailChimp received 5 out of 5 stars for Ease of Use. They offer 319 templates (305 themes and 14 basic layouts) that are very flexible and let you edit and replace images that are included. These templates allow up to three columns of text. They offer unlimited image hosting space, which exceeds the Market Standard. MailChimp also has a WYSIWYG editor for creating emails, which allows you to see what your email campaign will look like to your readers as you are editing it. Mailchimp now allows you to drag and drop both images and content blocks when creating your email campaigns. MailChimp allows you to remove their logo from your eNewsletter for free as long as you have a paid account.

Features

MailChimp offers a spam checker, which is an automated process that will scan your email for typical spam keywords. MailChimp offers an autoresponder, which allows you to send a standard welcome message to your new subscribers once they sign up. They also integrate with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, making it easy for you to stay connected with your customers via social networking. You can also create an A/B test campaign to test out different components of your email campaign. Reports integrate with Google Analytics, which is a tool that tracks the traffic of your readers from your email campaign to (and throughout) your site. MailChimp also offers a mobile application for iPhone, iPad, and Android users.

Managing Contacts

MailChimp scored 5 out of 5 stars for Managing Contacts. They allow you to import contacts from Excel, Salesforce, Gmail, Mac Contacts, and a varitey of other sources, and you can also manually with cut and paste. You can also import contacts from Outlook as a CSV file. They also automatically remove unsubscribed and bounced emails from your contact list, making it even easier to manage.

Customer Service

MailChimp received 4 out of 5 stars for Customer Service. They offer live chat support (for paid subscribers only) and email support from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST Monday through Friday. However, they do not offer phone support. Despite their lack of phone support, we found their customer service to be direct and courteous with little wait times.

Campaign Reports

MailChimp received 5 out of 5 stars for Campaign Reports. Their reports accurately reflected user actions, and display opens, forwards, number of clicks, bounces unsubscribes, top performing links, and spam reports. You can receive reports in an email, display your reports in graphs, and export reports into a spreadsheet.

Pricing

MailChimp’s free trial includes 2000 contacts for an indefinite amount of time for up to 12000 emails per month. They offer both contact-based and email-based pricing. For up to 500 contacts, it costs $10. For up to 1,000 contacts, it costs $15. (See below for full list of contact based pricing options.) On the other hand, if you are looking at the email-based pricing, it costs $9 for 300 emails, $30 for 1,000, $60 for 2,000, 100 for 5,000 and $150 for 7,500.

Contact based pricing (unlimited emails to those contacts):

  • 0-500 contacts: $10/ month
  • 501-1,000: $15
  • 1,001-1,050: $20
  • 1,051-1,150: $25
  • 1,151-2,500: $30
  • 2,501-2,600: $35
  • 2,601-2,700: $40
  • 2,701-2,800: $45
  • (Pricing continues up in $5 increments up to 50,000 contacts for $240/ month)

MailChimp News

Monday, April 25, 2011

MailChimp Now Offers Inbox Inspections for Free

MailChimp’s Inbox Inspector is a feature that tests what your email campaign will look like in the most popular email providers, such as Gmail, Outlook, etc. It also checks to see if your email will even make it past spam filters. All of this testing is done with one click of a button, so that you don’t have to manually go and test everything yourself.

When this service was first offered in 2007, it was $39 for three tests. This spring, MailChimp announced that this feature is now free of charge to all MailChimp users. They also expanded the service to allow you full program views instead of just the email portion, the option to see them in both Explorer and Firefox, and offer Apple Mail inspections.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

MailChimp Launches New Features

MailChimp announced the launch of new tracking and analytics features, along with other cool miscellaneous upgrades to help give users a more robust email creation tool.

New improvements and features include:

  1. Revamped campaign reports. With all of MailChimp’s tracking features, such as subscriber activity, ROI tracking, Google Anlytics, social sharing stats, timewarp charts, and more, they decided to clean up the features and make their campaign reports more organized. A new feature includes “Campaign Reach” stats that will tell you how many people your email has reached through social channels.
  2. FEED:  XYZ merge tag. This feature lets you insert multiple RSS feeds into any campaign and break it into different items, so you can apply CSS to each element.
  3. Co-branding options. With MailChimp’s co-branding, you can make your MailChimp account feel more like your own brand and site. Now you can use that same co-branding functionality in their VIP Rports.
  4. Downloadable Backups. You can now back up all your lists, campaign stats, templates, and more through MailChimp.
  5. Miscellaneous features. Other upgrades include tweaking infrastructure and optimaztion to make email creation speedier and changes to their billing system.

Learn more about these new features and sign up for MailChimp.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

MailChimp Releases Golden Monkeys iPhone App

Email marketing software MailChimp has released its latest iPhone app called Golden Monkeys. It can be difficult to keep track of all of your subscribers, which is why MailChimp has launched Golden Monkeys. This is what MailChimp calls your VIP clients who subscribe to your eNewsletters, such as big spenders, loyal clients, etc.

This new app will alert you whenever a Golden Monkey opens or clicks your email campaign. It’s a great way to keep track of the very important folks on your list. You simply select the Golden Monkeys on your list, and the app will alert you (in almost real time) whenever they open or click your campaigns.

The Golden Monkeys app for Android is not yet available.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

MailChimp Adds Facebook Comments Tool

MailChimp, a popular email marketing provider, recently announced last week the addition of a new feature that integrates with Facebook, making it easier to create more social marketing campaigns. By blending Facebook's commenting abilities with MailChimp's targeted email marketing capabilities, the two have joined forces in order to enable a more communal dialogue between marketers and their audience, instead of the traditional one-way street email campaigns have traveled in the past.

Now, rather than privately answering the responses you receive to a campaign, Facebook Comments allows your conversation to go public. MailChimp allows a simple Facebook Comments merge tag to be inserted into a campaign. Users click the tag and are able to respond to the message as well as the comments of every other subscriber.

What's more, since users can now sign in with their Facebook profiles, comments may also be posted to a commenters’s individual Facebook profile. This can be a dream come true for aspiring marketers, because not only does your email campaign allow you to target information to your subscribers, but you're also gaining access to your subscribers' personal network of friends.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

MailChimp Launches Version 5.2 with Social Integration and New Features

This week email marketing software provider MailChimp announced the launch of version 5.2. The latest version of its email marketing service will include some new social features and enhancements to existing features.

MailChimp is adding the option to integrate the Facebook Like button directly into your email campaigns, along with the ability to track your total Likes in your MailChimp stats. This function will tell you who’s clicking on Likes, how many people clicked it, and how many users were referred from the Like button. In addition, MailChimp has created a Facebook app that allows you to collect email subscribers directly from your Facebook Wall.

The Social Pro add-on syncs your email list with MailChimp’s social graph. This will show you what social networks your subscribers are on, who’s following you on Twitter, and their influence.

MailChimp is also launching a Raplet for the Rapportive Gmail plugin in, which lets you see if a contact has opened or clicked any of your recent MailChimp campaigns.

Another addition is the AutoConnect Templates. If you have an Etsy, Yelp, iTunes, eBay, or Amazon profile page, MailChimp can automatically design an email template based on those pages for you to send your followers.

Other new features and refinements include:

  • User-agent tracking: MailChimp will show you what email apps your subscribers are using.
  • Gravatar integration: If a Gravatar exists for your subscribers, their photo will appear in their member profile.
  • More autosave options built into the campaign building process
  • Larger campaign content editor window
  • Pre-built fields for your signup forms

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Use MailChimp's Winning Templates For Your Email Newsletter

A couple of months ago, MailChimp announced an Email Template Throwdown in which web designers could compete for best template created with their email marketing service. The victors would win a sweet Championship Wrestling Belt along with their victory and $600. More than 70 designers entered the contest, and a couple of weeks ago Mailchimp declared three Template Throwdown winners and three honorable mentions.

The winners included Melanie Wilke and her “Good Manners” template, Scott Hardigree and his “Indiemark” template, and Dominique Elkind with her “Public Banana” template. Runners up were the “Slick Simian,” “Mad Cow,” and “Scrapbook” templates. Check out all the winning templates.

The winners’ templates are now available for users to utilize within MailChimp. You have the capabilities to tweak each template just as you would with any MailChimp template. With powerful tools, such as a/b testing and segementation, MailChimp is an easy email marketing software for small business owners who need to send out eNewsletters without the fuss of designing their own email campaign.

Monday, May 3, 2010

MailChimp iPhone App Now Available (iPad App Soon to Follow)

Fresh off the news last week that MailChimp was working on a prototype for an iPad app, the email marketing software provider announced this week that they have finally completed an application for the iPhone.

No date has been set on when the MailChimp iPad app, called Chimpadeedoo, will be released. But the idea is that you have an iPad placed in your store running this app so that customers can quickly subscribe to your list. Because the iPad is so new and fun to play with right now, this is a pretty neat little app, enabling you to easily gain subscribers without them having to remember to sign up at home.

Meanwhile, the eNewsletter site released it iPhone app this week, which includes features like subscriber services, list management and detailed reporting. With the iPhone app, users can add subscribers to a list, edit list members, view campaign statistics and reports, get campaign updates and more.

"Mobile technology is finally moving beyond simple SMS texting," says MailChimp CEO Ben Chestnut. "There are so many cool ways companies can engage with their customers now, and it's exciting that MailChimp is in the middle of it, helping make those connections."

Monday, May 3, 2010

Let's Do the TimeWarp! MailChimp launches version 5.0

Earlier this month MailChimp, a popular email marketing service, announced the launch of its latest version, which includes a ton of cool upgrades to its software, such as a geolocation tool and a time zone function.

Geotargeting allows users to send segmented campaigns based on their subscribers’ locations. You simply choose a city, define the size of the radius around the city and MailChimp send the campaign to subscribers only in that area. This tool is a great resource for businesses to promote local events and sales without having to do additional research or ask for subscribers’ addresses.

Another new function is MailChimp’s TimeWarp feature, which sends email newsletters in the local time zone of the subscribers receiving it-meaning if your contact list has subscribers in different U.S. time zones, you can have your email campaign delivered at the same local time in all time zones instead of submitting your email once, regardless of time zones. This is a great tool if you want to properly time your emails. A lot of email experts discuss the perfect timing of newsletters as being after the early morning rush, so if you sent your email from your time zone that meant your email was received from your entire list all at once. Now you can accurately plan when everyone receives the newsletter.

Learn more about how to get more people to open your emails.

MailChimp’s new auto-translation tool lets users create campaigns in one language and send them out in another. MailChimp can automatically detect each subscriber’s language and translate the email. This feature is perfect for those users who have an international mailing list and need readable emails no matter where they are located.

Other new functions include a Delivery Doctor, which pre-diagnoses delivery issues with spam filters, an integration tool with flickr and a redesigned template directory that was built to allow more flexibility and possibilities with their templates.

While most of these new email newsletter resources are available on the permanent free trial, Delivery Doctor and TimeWarp are only available for paid MailChimp subscribers.

MailChimp's Pricing

Free Trial

Indefinitely

500 Contacts

$10.00

1000 Contacts

$15.00

2500 Contacts

$30.00

5000 Contacts

$50.00


MailChimp's Ratings

Ease of Use

5

Managing Contacts

5

Campaign Reports

5

Customer Service

4

MailChimp's Features

WYSIWYG Editor

Yes

Import Contacts From

Excel, CSV, Cut & Paste, and Salesforce

Email Deliverability

100%

Reports Display

Opens, forwards, number of clicks, bounces, unsubscribes, top performing links, and spam reports

Customer Service

Email and live chat (M-F 9a-5p ET)

Quantity of Templates

319

Image Hosting

Unlimited

Automatic Bounce Cleanup

Automatic Unsubscribe Removal

Website Signup Form

A/B Testing

Google Analytics Integration

Social Networking Integration

-

Autoresponder

Spam Checker

Human Approval

-

Brand logo removal

-