Email marketing has become an essential tool for online growth. It has been touted by marketing experts as the key to a successful online business. In fact, many have said if you don’t have an email list, you don’t have a business. Small businesses that don’t embrace it are missing out on big opportunities.
There are a lot of choices for email marketing software available, but when it comes to being budget-friendly, no software come close to MailChimp.
Mail Chimp Pros and Cons:
The following features are what have made me a fan of the Freemium plan for life!!
1. Up to 2,000 Free Subscribers
Having to pay to build a list from scratch can really create a barrier to entry for small businesses starting out with email marketing. MailChimp alleviates this by offering a generous 2,000 free subscribers. No other email marketing software offers this to my knowledge.
2. Up to 12,000 Free Emails Monthly
This is another feature that is exclusive to MailChimp. Its great to have all of these free subscribers but if you can only send one free email a month, that may not be enough. Even if you max out your free subscribers, you can still send up to 6 emails a month at no charge. That's probably more than a small business would need.
3. Easily Connect Campaigns to Social Media Outlets
While this feature isn't unique to MailChimp, they are the only company that allow free accounts to send email campaigns to Facebook and Twitter .
4. Easy 3rd Party Integrations
Because of the way that Mail Chimp has been programmed, it is usually one of the first email applications to get integrated with 3rd party software.
5. Good Email Campaign Variety
When creating a campaign inside of MailChimp, there are several campaign types to choose from: Regular campaign, RSS Feed campaign and an A/B Split Test campaign. My personal favorite is the RSS Feed campaign because its a one time set up and MailChimp will automatically send out an email with a snippet of latest blog post on the specific time and day of the week that you set. No more remembering to manually send an email of your latest blog post. I also like the split test campaigns which allow you to test different subject lines and text to see which one gets more opens and clicks.
6. Many Beautifully Pre-Designed Email Templates
The plug-n-play templates that are available in MailChimp are beautiful and very easy to customize. Their real-time editor allows you to see the changes you make as you type and they offer a lot of flexibility with colors and font choices. Its simple to duplicate a section of the email or remove an unwanted section.
Since MailChimp has the Freemium account, there are some features not available unless you pay. These are only cons in the sense that they aren't part of the free plan.
1. No Autoresponders
Inside of Mail Chimp they call it Automation, but regardless of the name, autoresponders are an important piece to successfully generating revenue from your email list. Most small businesses don't have time to always create new emails and having the ability to set up several emails in advance and have they go out to new subscribers at specified intervals makes it a lot easier. My advice is to set up the RSS Feed campaign so that you don't have to manually send an email each time.
2. No Inbox Inspector
The Inbox Inspector allows you to see how your email will look in multiple email providers such as G-mail or Yahoo. This is very helpful because its important to make sure your email looks its best in all programs. To work around this, you could set up dummy accounts in major email providers and send a test email to those accounts.
3. No Social Profiles
One paid feature that Mail Chimp offers is the ability to gather publicly available social data on your subscribers. Learning about who your subscribers are will help you create more relevant emails that will resonate with your list.
I have been recommending MailChimp to my clients for the last few years. I’ve used big time software like Infusionsoft or 1 Shopping Cart but for small businesses just starting out, Mail Chimp is the best email marketing software available. Any other comparable software offers (at best) 30 days free. Why pay for something when you don’t have to? I’ve been using MailChimp personally for over 3 years and I will continue using it!