I recently switched my Email Service Provider (ESP) from iContact to MailChimp. I’d been with iContact for 2 years and was happy with their service. My emails we delivered reliably without being caught in spam filters and I liked the template that I was using (one of their basic templates with a few minor edits). So, in effect, I was a satisfied customer. Why did I switch?
Better service for a better price.
In putting together the ecommerce elements of my WordPress blog, I discovered that MailChimp offers integration with all of my various pieces: shopping cart and membership site software, included. They were the only provider that integrated with everything. (I wish this wasn’t the case; more companies should make it this easy for developers). This it and of itself would be enough to justify switching.
But MailChimp goes way beyond a simple email program. MailChimp actually offers services that the other email programs haven’t even begun to think about. Here’s an overview of all that you get with MailChimp.:
- Track opens
- Track clicks (including plain-text clicks)
- Add Google analytics tracking to your URLs
See not just how many click your links but what they do on your website once they get there!
- Send your message with Timewarp
Drop your email in inboxes at the same local time around the world
- Test your email with Delivery Doctor
Check for common delivery issues that might prevent your email from reaching inboxes
- See how your email will appear in 30+ email clients with Inbox Inspector
Ever had a customer tell you they couldn’t read your email? Won’t happen again.
- Social Share
Share you email message across your social networks and track the resulting activity (For details about all of MailChimp’s social features, download their free report: Let’s Get Social Guide).
This paid feature (its free for everyone until March 2011) allows you to see what social networks your subscribers are on. Ever wonder if your “peeps” are on a network you don’t know about? Now you can engage with them wherever they hang out.
Getting Started: Weekly free webinar that will walk you through creating your first campaign.
Social Share Your Campaigns: Free monthly webinar describing how to get the most out of MailChimp’s social features.
The one feature that other Email Service Providers do a better job of than MailChimp is providing easily customized sign-up forms. Luckily, you only need to know a bit about html to customize the sign-up code MailChimp provides.
Pricing for Everyone.
MailChimp has structured their pricing to make their service affordable to everyone, regardless of the size of your list or how often you mail.
- Freemium: Their free account has a 2000 subscriber limit with a total email send limit of 12,000. There is no time limit to this free level and it doesn’t require a credit card. This is what all free trials should be. At the free level, you do lose some of the additional features (Timewarps, Delivery Doctor and Inbox Inspection).
- Monthly Plans; Monthly plans range from $10-$240. Up to 500 subscribers will cost you $10; 50,0000 subscribers is $240.
- Pay-as-you Go: You pay per email, not by the month. 300 emails cost you $9, 2000 emails are $60 (there are more options with the price per email going down when you buy more).
I love the pay-as-you-go option. When you are just getting started, you don’t have a big list and likely don’t email very often. This option allows you to have all of the nifty paid features, but at a price everyone can actually afford. Genius.
One of the other neat features that MailChimp offers is list member rating. This 5-star rating system lets you know at a glance which of your subscribers is most engaged with your materials. You can then use this information to segment your list, allowing you to mail specific offers to those who are most likely to click your links. Brilliant.
The money in your list isn’t in the names, it’s in your ability to interact with the people behind those names. Swtch to MailChimp and that process just got a whole lot easier.