What is most valuable?
The list management and segmentation options are probably our favorite feature. It allows us to manage one list but send campaigns based on segments. It’s a cleaner way to do it compared to Constant Contact where you need to have multiple lists with the same recipient on each which quickly becomes confusing and redundant.
We also love the drag and drop feature in creating and updating email campaigns! It makes it really easy to customize templates on the fly.
We also love that we can be added as managers for our clients. This allows us to login using our own account but toggle back and forth as needed.
How has it helped my organization?
The list management is the feature that really helps us function better. We are able to manage ONE list and segment campaigns by clients, city, whether the recipient has been to a presentation, etc.
We use Constant Contact occasionally for clients but the list management tool is not nearly as robust forcing you to add everything in a “tag” field which becomes a dumping ground for information but is the only way to segment a single list. It’s just not as usable.
What needs improvement?
One of the things that we like about MailChimp is that they are constantly improving. We are very happy with the features they offer and don’t find we are using “work around” solutions. However, if I had to say something, I would say the options for the RSS campaigns could be improved. Images from posts are fussy to add to RSS campaigns and adding excerpts vs. full posts or title only can be confusing.
For how long have I used the solution?
Westchester Marketing Café LLC has been using MailChimp for over five years. We were first introduced to MailChimp by a client, actually, but found it to be a better solution than VerticalResponse which we were using at the time, so we made the switch.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
No, set up was pretty easy. You can copy and paste your list, or import it using a myriad of options. Setting up the template was pretty easy as well.
Setting up the RSS campaign was probably the hardest part. But we ended up not using that feature since we wanted to be able to add other snippets besides just the latest blog article so we now do it manually anyway.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
I vaguely recall a problem some years back but we were able to resolve it quickly and without major incident. I don’t even recall what the issue was now.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
No. Along with most of our clients we are a small business so the lists we manage are all under 10K and pretty easy to manage.
We have not tried any of the other features such as the 360 integration that relates to eCommerce stuff which is where I would imagine scalability may be an issue.
How are customer service and technical support?
I really haven’t had to use customer service much but it is only by email which is unfortunate. Technical Support
Again, I really haven’t had to use technical support but it is only by email which is unfortunate. Anytime I’ve had question I search online and using their Knowledge Base which has not let me down yet. However, if someone was less familiar with HTML/coding I can see where this might be an issue.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We used to use VerticalResponse but made the switch because we found MailChimp to be easier and faster to work with. In particular, the user interface was far more user friendly. They also seemed to be more “cutting edge” and continue to add features and improve usability.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup was fairly straightforward, although obviously there was a learning curve. We had to familiarize ourselves with the interface, and make decisions about list management (i.e. what data to collect and/or add in the background as we imported our list), etc. However, we found the learning curve to be pretty short.
What about the implementation team?
We implemented it in-house.
What was our ROI?
We are a service company so ROI is hard to measure. We do, however, get positive results with calls and emails from our newsletter although sometimes this is simply in the form of a “thank you.”
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
There was no set up cost. We spend $10/month for the option of not including the MailChimp logo on our newsletter and another $1/month for the social integration which gives us information on our readers and their social media profiles.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We have not considered switching but as I mentioned we do occasionally use ConstantContact for clients. Every time we do we feel validated that MailChimp is the way to go!
What other advice do I have?
If you are not already working with a marketing person, it may be a good time to start. Having a strategy for your list, your email campaigns and social integration is key to success. A good team will help you get up and running more quickly and avoid common mistakes in the process.
Whether you are using a service to implement or going it alone, understand how you will be targeting your campaigns so you can properly manage your list. Importing your list properly will help you in the long term.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Mar 23 2015