What is MailChimp?
And how can retail businesses use it?
Posted by Andrea Baker on
Used by over 12 million people, MailChimp is the leading app for sending marketing emails, automated messages and targeted marketing campaigns.
It allows businesses to set up and manage subscription lists and send emails to subscribers through a simple-to-use template system. Since it first began in 2001 MailChimp has evolved to handle an average of 1 billion messages each day, and provides feedback to business on what emails are piquing the interest of clientele.
Here's the rundown on MailChimp, who uses it and how it works.
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Who's it for?
From retail chains and bloggers to online stores, veterinary surgeries and restaurants, MailChimp is for every business that has a message to tell their clients or information to share.
A web-based app that requires no software installation, MailChimp works on most browsers, including mobile devices. You simply log in to your account via username and password.
How it works
In its simplest form, you sign up for a MailChimp account, add your subscriber list manually or via import, draft a newsletter or email and you're already off and running. In reality the service offers much more than that.
Subscriber lists work on an opt-in basis to comply with anti-spamming legislations. This essentially means you have to have someone's permission to send them emails, and they can opt out at any time. Part of the set-up process requires establishing a sign-up form for new subscribers, but you can also copy and paste subscriber information, import it from your CRM or bring it in from a spreadsheet.
Your list can be broken up into user groups and segments so you can specifically target varied customers. Once you have your list, you can start creating emails via the template options available. It's as simple as picking a name and designing via drag and drop. There are a host of mobile friendly options and plenty of newsletter templates to get you up and running.
When you're ready to send out a "campaign", it enters MailChimp's queue but can be distributed immediately via Twitter and Facebook. This option allows you to be noticed by non-subscribers on your social media, and they can then opt-in for direct emails.
There is also an RSS feed option, which allows users to send blog posts to subscribers directly from a blog or webpage, and the RSS option also has extras like sidebar information where you can incorporate a call to action.
An additional paid feature offered by MailChimp is message automation, so users can automatically update clients, and notify them of rewards or information. This feature is activated by a specific trigger like buying a product or subscribing.
Arguably, one of the most important assets of this app is its advanced reporting, which enables users to ascertain how many people opened an email, what links they have clicked on and where they are approximately located. This enables more targeted future campaigns to hone communication with customers and people interested in what you do.
MailChimp integrates with a staggering number of other apps - over 800 in total. These include the big names like Google, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Shopify, Salesforce and more.
MailChimp has a varied cost structure that caters to business of all size. For small-time operators with fewer than 2000 subscribers, it is free to send up to 12,000 emails each month.
Professional operators with a subscriber list between 1001 and 2000 receive additional features such as marketing automation, targeting and segmentation, A/B testing, and team collaboration for a fee of between AUD$27.08 each month and AUD$47.09. These paid options allow for unlimited emails.
For big business requiring enterprise level features like performance monitoring, multivariate testing and more advanced reporting, there is a subscription price of AUD$269.46, plus an additional monthly fee depending on subscriber numbers.
MailChimp is renowned for its ease of use, from sign-up and setup to intuitive design features that incorporate drag and drop techniques, with numerous templates to choose from. The app is also highly regarded for its access to reporting and analytics.
On the downside, while MailChimp has a thorough knowledge database, support is only available for upgraded accounts.
- Ease of use
- Easy Automation
- Free version packed with features
- Heaps of free templates
- Templates can be hard to customize
- Would like more reporting features
There's a reason MailChimp is a leader in the email marketing field, and it's easy to test out if this may be the marketing solution for you by starting your free account and walking through the process.