MailChimp was founded in 2001 as a side project and has grown into an industry giant offering a complete suite of tool designed to help anyone create stunning and dynamic email marketing campaigns with fully trackable features at prices which are not only competitive, but beat the competition in most cases.
MailChimp offers many options for their users and includes a comprehensive on-site Knowledge-Base with articles and tutorials on each of MailChimp’s features. Short videos are included in the tutorials for those who want a more visual approach. MailChimp has a good pricing structure and is very transparent in what their plans include as far as features and the limits of subscribers, emails, etc. There are a few holes in the coverage which could not be found online, nor by contacting customer service. With the Forever Free plan, many small businesses can access tools which are easy to use and available only for a monthly subscription elsewhere.
MailChimp offers both a free trial of and a 30-day money back guarantee for its services. Users will also be treated to an unlimited image hosting capacity, meaning they can upload as many of their own images as they desire.
As mentioned above, our review team found that nearly every question which they had was easily answered by website research. The customer service interactions and requests for more information were lacking with agents that gave nebulous answers or did not respond at all (email requests for information went unanswered for 3+ days).
In addition to the lack of phone support, MailChimp offers no mobile-friendly email templates. For a company that has been in business since 2000, one would think MailChimp would be aware of these issues and work hard to resolve them.
- 0 – 2,000/12,000/Free
- 0 – 500/unlimited/$10.00
- 501 – 1,000/unlimited/$15.00
- 1,001 – 1,500/unlimited/$20.00
- 1,501 – 2,000/unlimited/$25.00
High Volume Senders
- 80,001 – 85,000/1,020,000/$425.00
- 85,001 – 90,000/1,080,000/$450.00
- 90,001 – 100,000/1,200,000/$475.00
- 100,001 – 105,000/1,260,000/$500.00
- 105,001 – 110,000/1,320,000/$525.00
Pay as you go CRM credits – one credit is equal to one email sent
Email credits/cost per email/total cost
High Volume Senders
(Information for intermediate-sized companies was requested but was not received by our reviewers.)
MailChimp features one of the most friendly dashboards and user interfaces in the industry. While the features are high-tech, the user does not need to hold an advanced degree in computers to maximize their usage of the dashboard.
MailChimp has a very simple user interface which allows you to see your individual contacts, their interaction with your past campaigns as well as their purchasing history and interests, allowing you to target your marketing in ways that would otherwise occupy much time. One can search for common interactions, interests, etc. and create new lists as well. Keeping tone of MailChimp’s website, the process of segmenting and targeting lists is called, “Hairball.”
While the ability to sort and target lists is common in the industry, MailChimp by far does the best job in making this feature user friendly as well as explaining to new users how to properly target their campaigns.
We could not find a clickmap. However, MailChimp allows users to track their campaign’s success and failures with comprehensive click tracking. Included in their services are the following statistics:
- Click rate: Percentage of total recipients (successful deliveries) who clicked any tracked link in the campaign.
- Clicked: Number of recipients that clicked any tracked link any number of times.
- Clicks per unique opens: Percentage of recipients that registered as an open who also clicked a link in your campaign.
- Total clicks: Total number of times tracked links were clicked by recipients. This count includes multiple clicks from individual recipients.
- Last clicked: The most recent instance of a recipient clicking a tracked link in the campaign.
- Top links clicked: The urls that were clicked the most in the campaign.
MailChimp doesn’t have specific templates designed for mobile users, but they state that each of their templates is optimized for all different email clients and screen sizes.
MailChimp is not clear as to where and how outside images are stored and the capacity for images stored on MailChimp’s servers. Our team requested this information of their helpdesk, and did not receive information back.
When looking through materials, our reviewers found that there is ample information about how to save your images to best fit the templates, so one could assume that this capability is available.
In October, 2014, MailChimp announced its latest product – MailChimp Snap which allows users to take mobile photos from their Apple device and insert it directly into an email campaign.
Each email template has been optimized for every email client and can be previewed before the campaign is actively sent.
A/B testing is available to all accounts on MailChimp with some adjustments. For those using the Forever Free plan, A/B testing is available and unlocked after “a few” campaigns have been sent and tracked. The website is not clear about how many campaigns must be sent and tracked to unlock this feature and customer service agents did not respond to our review team’s requests for more specific information on this beyond “a few,” saying that it was dependent on the product’s uses and the specific campaigns sent.
MailChimp gives specific scenarios of ways to use A/B testing to improve your campaigns by learning about your subscribers’ interactions with emails.
MailChimp has many tools to track your subscribers’ behavior with your campaigns, which are available via the MailChimp website and all of the following can be exported into a simple spreadsheet to help you track offline as well.
Surveys can be created and inserted into campaigns directly with templates or external tools like Survey Monkey or Survey Gizmo can be integrated with your MailChimp account. MailChimp offers a complete tutorial on inserting surveys either way in their extensive knowledgebase article on surveys.
Social Media and Other Integrations
MailChimp allows you to set up a block on the templates linking to your social media profiles as well as past campaigns or promotions easily with the Social Follow Contact Block and the Social Follow Contact Block.
Other Reporting Features
The following interactions, behaviors and statistics are tracked for each email marketing campaign in the user dashboard:
- Recipients – Number of subscribers the campaign was sent to.
- Delivered – Date and time the campaign completed sending from MailChimp servers.
- Open rate – Percentage of successfully delivered campaigns that registered as an open.
- Click rate – Percentage of successfully delivered campaigns that registered a click.
- List average for opens and clicks – Average percentage of opens or clicks on previous campaigns sent to this list.
- Industry average for opens and clicks – Average percentage of opens or clicks for campaigns in the selected industry set for your account.
- Opened – Number of recipients that opened this campaign any number of times.
- Clicked – Number of recipients that clicked any tracked link any number of times in this campaign.
- Bounced – Number of recipients that registered as a hard or soft bounce.
- Unsubscribed – Number of subscribers that opted out of your list using the unsubscribe link in this campaign.
- Total opens – Total number of times the campaign was opened by recipients. This count includes multiple opens from individual recipients.
- Successful deliveries – The number of recipients that didn’t hard or soft bounce on this campaign.
- Clicks per unique opens – Percentage of recipients that registered as an open who also clicked a link in your campaign.
- Total clicks – Total number of times tracked links were clicked by recipients. This count includes multiple clicks from individual recipients
- Forwarded – Number of times the campaign was forwarded using the Forward to a Friend form. This stat considers forwards only through the Forward to a Friend form and is not able to detect when a subscriber uses the forwarding function in their email program.
- Forward opens – Number of times the campaign was opened by someone who was forwarded the campaign using a Forward to a Friend form.
- Abuse reports – Number of recipients that reported your email as spam. Subscribers that report a campaign as spam are automatically unsubscribed from your list.
- Last opened – The most recent instance of a recipient opening the campaign.
- Last clicked – The most recent instance of a recipient clicking a tracked link in the campaign.
- 24-hour performance – A graph detailing subscriber activity (opens and clicks) for the first 24 hours after the campaign was sent.
- Top links clicked – The URLs that were clicked the most in the campaign.
- Subscribers with most opens
Subscribers that opened the campaign the most times.
- Social performance – Provides a bird’s eye view of how well your campaign is doing across different social media outlets. When your campaign generates Facebook or EepUrl activity, we’ll link to the stats on the report Overview. You can click the links to view more detailed information about the social activity for your campaign.
- Top locations – Displays where in the world your subscribers are opening your campaigns. Using geolocation tracking we collect your subscribers’ location information to gather the name of the country subscribers are from.
Other Contact Management Features
You can sort your contacts, send to selected contacts, offer coupons and promotions in your email campaigns as well as give your subscribers ways to follow you (or leave you like yesterday’s fashion).
Other Email Creating Features
Adding an image map is easy with MailChimp’s step-by-step tutorials to enhance your email campaigns. Templates are easy to use and intuitive. Should there be a feature with which you are not familiar; the Knowledge-Base is a virtual encyclopedia of topics to help you design your campaigns.
Additionally, MailChimp offers several third party integrations to help your email campaigns do exactly what you want them to.
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