Your Guide to MailChimp

Your guide to understanding the pros and cons of MailChimp and why it might be right for your business.

If you don't know by now collecting emails of customers and potential customers is key to growing and nurturing your biz. When first starting it's most definitely okay to go with free (I highly recommend it) because the bells and whistles that come with a paid version might overwhelm you. I used the "forever free" version of MailChimp for the first three years of my business! I didn't move over to the paid version (currently $9/month) until January of 2015 and I only made the switch because I wanted to send automated emails (I'll explain that later). 

I remember when I was first contemplating sending out newsletters I had NO clue where to start. The tutorials were dated and confusing. Here is a guide of the features MailChimp. 

MAILCHIMP FEATURES

  • very easy to navigate/clean site
  • trusted by email senders (won't get sent to spam)
  • very easy to customize campaigns (drag and drop)
  • can easily read stats (opens, clicks, subscribers, etc)
  • plenty of online tutorials and videos provided by MailChimp if you get confused or stuck
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WHO MAILCHIMP IS BEST FOR

  • anyone with a list under 2,000 subscribers for the free version or 500 for the monthly version
  • non-techie email senders

Like I said above, I used the free version of MailChimp for the first three years of my business. When I decided to upgrade ($9/month) it was because I wanted to send automated emails. You could most definitely send a series of emails without the upgrade but the point is for it to be automated. You set the system depending on the trigger and MailChimp does it all for you. There are a few other benefits to upgrading like chat and support, social media testing, etc. 

CONS OF MAILCHIMP

  • contacts count as multiple subscribers if they are on more than one list
  • only support available is chat and email (no phone)
  • can only send to one list at a time
  • might need the help of a designer or coder if you want a custom and branded template

One of the hangups I started getting with MailChimp was that my subscriber count kept raising as I had people on multiple lists (and getting me closer to a higher monthly fee). Subscribers count as multiples if they are on more than one list. So for instance say you have a "general list" that all of your subscribers go to but you also have an upcoming event you want people to sign up to hear more about. Well if the same person signs up for both lists MailChimp counts them as two subscribers even if they used the same email. 

I also have a hard time explaining tech questions via email or chat so I do wish they had phone support at least for the paid version.

I highly recommend MailChimp to newbies and very small lists - I love that I started with MailChimp because it made it easy to create sign up forms and send campaigns so I was able to target my email list immediately instead of being confused with a bunch of tech stuff. 

Definitely check out their Quick Start Guide if you are recently getting into sending emails to your audience. 

Also spoiler alert but I just wrapped up the process of switching email providers. I'll fill you in about all that next!