What is most valuable?
Being able to create editable templates for our clients. Once we uploaded the custom template they can then use it every month without worrying about the code, they just change the content and images. I also like the action based responses that you can set up for contacts. It allows scheduling of funnel messages based on particular action and time that has passed.
How has it helped my organization?
I've been creating email newsletter campaigns for over 10 years. With MailChimp I can set up an entire account with custom templates and rules in place for the client. From there they can change the content on their own. When they want another version of the email that is easy as well. Having dynamic fields built in to populate data from the contact database is great personalization that we can't do at scale.
What needs improvement?
Right now there are more features and functionality then most clients ever need or request. MailChimp is always innovating, adding new features, and functionality. I also like their lab projects which have created several very cool apps, especially the one for promoting events.
For how long have I used the solution?
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
No serious issues that we couldn't find a solution to.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
No, even when we've had clients sending over a million emails a month we never saw a difference in delivery rates, bounce rates, etc. It scales without an issue.
How are customer service and technical support?
I can't recall ever having to contact customer service in my 9+ years. The online guides and forums are pretty good at providing information for almost any scenario. Technical Support
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Over the years we've used most of the popular platforms like Constant Contact, Vertical Response, and SilverPop. If you count the marketing automation tools as a ESP then we've also used HubSpot, Marketo, and Act-On. MailChimp is solid and easy to use for clients, but has all the power we need to build great campaigns, A/B test them, get them delivered, tracked, and report.
How was the initial setup?
We usually set up complex accounts for clients, but the system is easy enough to use so while the capabilities of the account is complex and powerful...using it isn't.
What about the implementation team?
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
That depends on clients and how much mail they send. Most clients are sending less then 250k with standard pricing while the big senders (million +) require custom pricing. When compared to other solutions the costs are competitive and the satisfaction I hear from my own clients is well worth it. I don't get calls about how to do this or that, errors, or problems. Email is usually time sensitive so I don't want anyone to have a problem at the 11th hour. With MailChimp we never ran into those issues.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
Sure, from stand alone bulk email systems through the more commercial products like Constant Contact and Vertical Response. Each has their pros and I recommend all three, but I tend to recommend and use MailChimp more due to the ease of use for the client. When it's so easy for anyone in the office to use it makes managing and running campaigns that much easier.
What other advice do I have?
Try it out with the free trial, here's the link for MailChimps free trial http://bit.ly/1dQHoak and also try out the other competitors. Most have free trials, so use that time to get familiar with the user interface, features, and functionality that you are looking for. A lot of times a feature on paper looks great, but when you go to use it you find that it doesn't work like you need it to. Take it for a test drive and find out for yourself.