MailChimp Review

Understanding the creation of a template was easy as it is a drag-n-drop system, but the video embedding doesn’t render until you send a campaign.


Valuable Features

The analytics are great for me because it helps me see who is interacting with the email and how many clicks I’m getting per edition. The templates are also very easy drag-n-drop setups that allow for quite a bit of customization.

Improvements to My Organization

As an author, I was going to a lot of effort to interact with fans and MailChimp has enabled me to make it easy for everyone to catch up on blogs they missed, see exclusive videos before it hits my YouTube channel, and catch up with the projects I’m working on. I feel it gives my monthly content longer life while helping me work smarter, not harder.

Room for Improvement

There are some YouTube elements that could be simplified. I’m unable to see the linked video render until I send myself a campaign (a test template doesn’t show the actual video) and that’s one thing that causes me to take extra steps before I send out the campaign.

The video embedding doesn’t render until you send a campaign, which makes it hard to see the layout. If I could test a template and see the total finished product, I’d rate this up to a 10. Also, from template to campaign, the sizing of the text changes so that certain elements look great in the template, but then skew in size when sent as a campaign. Not a huge problem, but it does throw off the look of the email. Otherwise, it does everything I need.

Use of Solution

I’ve been sending out newsletters since December of 2014. I’m doing a monthly email to subscribers on my list and finding that is a good period of time, so right now I’m using the free plan as my newsletter is just a few months into production.

Deployment Issues

I was able to test send initial campaigns to myself before the first email went to subscribers, so deployment was smooth. The process gets faster and faster the more I use the MailChimp system.

Stability Issues

I’ve not encountered any stability issues. Login is always fast and secure, and my account has never had any issues. All the campaigns have gone out at the exact day/time they were scheduled.

Scalability Issues

I was pleased to not have any issues. In fact, after a month, I found that a customized tab can be added to my Facebook author page to help me get more exposure. It has helped me gain traction and was very easy to link.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

Emails are answered timely and follow-up is always good. They have a great site and a blog where you're connected with great content to help your knowledge build as you go.

Technical Support:

MailChimp tech support is prompt and thorough. They helped me better understand their video element while being very patient. They have always followed up with me and don’t talk down to me, even when I have an obvious question.

Previous Solutions

I never used an email service such as MailChimp before – many others like Aweber. However, Aweber seems to have a cost to do what MailChimp’s free service matches.

Initial Setup

Setup was easy as I just needed to login with Facebook. Understanding the creation of a template was easy as it is a drag-n-drop system. The implementation of a video element to the template was the most complex as I didn’t understand that the template doesn’t show *all* of what the campaign will look like.

Implementation Team

I did it all myself.

ROI

I break even so far. In using the free version of this program, I have not made sales based on a buyer receiving a newsletter, and I haven’t had anyone unsubscribe. My YouTube channel has increased by at least 10 subscribers, and I consider that a decent ROI so far.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

For those starting out, this free version gives you a very professional look. I feel that if you have a couple hundred subscribers on your list, you’d benefit more from upgrading to a paid program as the options really open up when you pay. I feel MailChimp offers competitive rates for the level of tech support they provide, and that the more extensive analytics would be of tremendous benefit.

Other Solutions Considered

I spoke with other authors who use Aweber programs and found out they were paying for elements that MailChimp already offered for free. I did not evaluate it personally and I have only ever sent out campaigns with MailChimp.

Other Advice

Don’t just write another blog to send out to subscribers. Really take in the options MailChimp offers and create something eye-catching and unique. Most authors I know simply write letters to fans. I have found I can offer freebie links, videos, image elements that link to past blogs, etc, and I like to keep it short and sweet. So far, this is working when competing with the valuable time of fans, and if click rates are low, don’t give up – change it up!

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
1 Comment
Secretary at Lake Erie Logistics, LLCReal User

Thanks for letting me get some thoughts down for others looking to use MailChimp - I hope any interested will feel free to drop me a line so we can chat about their experience!!

23 June 15
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