MailChimp, apparently, is mostly the very first email marketing or newsletter tool that pops up in the mind when you think of sending automated newsletters.
What’s great about MailChimp is their facility is provided to everyone to start email marketing from zero budget.
It is something that inspired a lot of small owners and businesses to start or at least try email marketing and automation.
But one of the biggest issues with MailChimp is it being too broad in its functioning, and have not much of specialization.
It is a pretty decent tool and there are arguments to be made from both sides regarding whether it is worth your buying or not in 2021.
So that’s we will do here. We are reviewing different aspects of Mailchimp Tool on the basis of their features, pricing, pros and cons, and much more.
Is MailChimp The Right Email Marketing Tool For You?
It Is Recommended If :
You require all-in-one solution for email inbound campaigns
MailChimp is known for focussing on the significance of running opt-in-based lead generation campaigns.
They offer features such as landing pages, forms, automated drip campaigns, and more to make it easy to do so.
Along with their in-built CRM, you can also set up customer profiles and even assign a lifetime value to your customers.
You’re looking for all the popular features of a email marketing tool
One of the great advantages of MailChimp is that it is successfully able to offer all the required features that you may expect from a commercial email marketing tool.
Everything you need is just provided to you under one roof, making your email marketing campaigns easy.
You want integrations in your email marketing tool
If you are specifically looking for a newsletter service tool or email marketing tool that supports multiple integrations with other tools, MailChimp is a good option.
You may be into e-commerce or a business owner, blogger, or website owner who wants to add various integrations to your campaign.
MailChimp graciously offers hundreds of integrations to both very well-known applications as well as niche applications.
You offer in-person or online services
MailChimp is effective with their appointment booking feature which can be easily added to the service listing page.
It integrates well with your availability for the time on your website. It also allows you to make online payments as well.
It Is Not Recommended If :
You want support but have less budget
MailChimp certainly wouldn’t be the answer when you want access to the support but don’t have much of a budget.
Their free plan has plenty of perks for users but what really bothers the users is there is no facility to access the email or live chat support.
If you want access to support with MailChimp, you have to spend money on their Essentials or the higher plans.
You do affiliate marketing
MailChimp is straightway not recommended for you if you’re an affiliate marketer.
There are various penalties applied when the respective policy is exploited including account cancellation.
So, it is better to just steer clear from MailChimp if your purpose here is to do affiliate marketing through it.
You are not well-organized
MailChimp puts a limitation on the maximum number of lists you can create, so it becomes essential for you to be extremely organized to manage your contacts.
Reviewing Different Features Of MailChimp
MailChimp’s email automation functionality is relatively efficient and robust as compared to its other features.
It is available with applied rules to send follow-up emails based on various factors and certain conditions such as opens, clicks, etc.
Users can also find more complex automation such as email links or goals to action as well via the Customer Journeys feature including workflow-based automation.
Ease Of Use
MailChimp offers a very clean and easy-to-use interface where using the tools also becomes simple and fast to learn.
Navigation, on the other hand, could have been better and more simple. It is because certain tools remain a bit hidden to miss out.
When you set up the initial opt-in process, it is somewhat challenging due to the confusing menus.
Rating: 4 ½ / 5
There are two editors available for the users to create and edit newsletters in MailChimp.
However, one of them is still in the beta version. Both of these editing tools are easy to use, fast, and don’t take much of a learning curve to adapt.
It offers the users to put content blocks in the editor to create a newsletter such as video blocks, content blocks, social media buttons, etc.
Personalization, as the part of editing a newsletter, isn’t completely facilitative for the users.
You will find the If/Then/Else logic but they aren’t very user-friendly but still available.
MailChimp does offer a handy cheat sheet to help the users to understand these concepts.
Users are also allowed to insert Merge tags in their email content to address their subscriber’s name or email address, to make it more personalized.
You can say that MailChimp’s deliverability rates are acceptable. Saying it is good will be a stretch but it can get there with mere few improvements.
So it does have great potential. A lot of times their emails apparently end up in the ‘Promotions’ tab of the inbox which is not usually checked.
It impacts the success rate of the email automation campaign as it tends to lower the open rates of your emails.
You will get all the standard email types that you will require such as the classic newsletter, transactional emails, autoresponders, and even A/B testing RSS as well.
So, as far as it comes to email types, MailChimp got you covered.
Rating: 4 ½ /5
MailChimp provides decent segmentation methods to their users to personalize their emails or make them more effective.
It allows users to create a combination of five position or negative conditional relationships such as what email client they’re using, whether they opened the emails or not etc.
However, it doesn’t offer management across the list because each list is siloed.
MailChimp Features – Detailed Review
You are going to need the subscriber’s list before you can create an email marketing campaign in MailChimp.
So, for that, you need to get sign-ups on your website. MailChimp offers an in-built form builder to simply create forms.
It is quite easy to use and helps you get started with your email marketing strategy for your website right away, even if you are a newbie.
MailChimp’s Form Builder is quite average and isn’t something out of the world to be honest.
It is definitely not as detailed and intuitive as other features or aspects of MailChimp to begin with.
It is true that the form builder makes it easy for new users to create sign-ups instantaneously, so they can start building their list.
The complaint here is that you wouldn’t find anything extensively facilitating in terms of design.
After building sign-up forms to create your subscriber list, you can get started with creating your first email marketing campaign on MailChimp.
MailChimp here offers you four types of campaigns to choose from :
- Regular : You can create a custom HTML email campaign with customized content and choose to send emails right away or schedule for later.
- Automated: Automated email campaigns allow you to create campaigns that offer automation features depending upon the plan you are rolled for.
- Plain-text: You can just send text-only emails without using any images or even using any formatting.
- A/B Testing: Using this campaign you can send more than one version of email to see which one gets you the best results.
MailChimp works great if you’re looking for a basic email marketing tool with the functionality of sending emails to your subscriber list.
Their regular campaigns are quite efficient, and not to forget, very easy to use and just get started with.
However, their regular campaign doesn’t include any detailed automation feature.
When it comes to sending automated emails or finding a tool that is highly efficient in email automation, MailChimp doesn’t offer something worth the buzz.
Still, we will discuss more how good or bad MailChimp is with their automation capability in the ‘Automation Features’ sections further in the article.
One of the key features of a commercial email marketing tool has to be its features for creating and optimizing landing pages.
With MailChimp, you also get a built-in landing page builder where you can create as many landing pages as you want regardless of your given plan.
You would find two types of landing page template where they are for
- Building your email list
- Promoting the products
These templates allow you to edit and fill the content gaps, include images, put your logo and other graphics.
You also get their default product page template that is a bit more complex and detailed with customization.
There are different sections to edit, add or customize such as logo placeholder, hero-style design, CTA section, image holder, testimonials space, and more.
Still, it is basic to use, so when you want to advance or get a bit more customization, you would need a dedicated landing page builder.
All in all, MailChimp’s landing page builder or templates aren’t enough if you want more customization or a more sophisticated landing page.
In this case, you definitely have to use a third-party dedicated landing page builder such as Instapage or Unbounce.
MailChimp offers almost a hundred templates and they are quite basic in their nature.
Their templates can be helpful if you’re looking for something very basic but not anything above that.
In fact, you would be able to find plenty of quality email templates offered by the MailChimp competitors in the same free plan.
However, they also offer pre-designed email layouts which come with customization.
It does allow you to customize to a great level, almost to create ‘themes’ for your emails.
Or you can also use the email templates use these fully-designed emails where you only need to just add your content
MailChimp Automation Features
This is where MailChimp truly lacks behind and disappoint especially on grounds of their longest-running reputation.
Their automation features aren’t capable enough to catch up to the competition when it comes to other evolving email marketing tools in the market.
With email automation, you cannot really run an email marketing campaign successfully unless you’re at an extremely basic stage or just want to send emails manually.
Automation is what really fuels the email marketing strategy for online businesses. It helps to scale, increase conversions, build consistency and engagement long-term without spending too much time on it.
Here are different features of their automation, their advantages, and limitation :
MailChimp automation does offer autoresponders for your email marketing campaign, so that’s something to count on the positive side.
You can set up auto-responses for your emails and make sure that you reach the new contacts or leads as soon as possible.
This will also allow you to send them auto-responses on the basis of different actions such as – on every new sign-up.
So this means, you will be able to automatically reach out every time a new contact signs up for your email.
You can also schedule your emails for the set date or set time of the prompted action.
For example, you can set up the autoresponder ‘welcome’ email to new contact after one day of their sign-up.
Further to the date, you can also schedule a series of emails that are sent to be automated over a period of time.
For example, an autoresponder email for their birthdays or holiday seasons and festivals.
Google Remarketing Ads
MailChimp also allows you a Google Remarketing Ad campaign that automatically starts for your target users.
It basically hits your already users or people who visited you or interacted with you in any way, any point of the time.
They show your ads to those targeted visitors to bring them back as they didn’t buy a product from you for the first time.
Sending customized emails to these remarketing campaign targets, you can add some extra incentive to encourage them to make the purchase.
Retargeted Abandon Carts
Another great automation feature from MailChimp, and probably the most exciting one that they offer.
It allows you to send automated email reminders to all the customers who’ve abandoned their carts for one reason or another.
Sending them customized emails to retarget those and encourage them again to complete the purchase.
Again, here also these emails will contain some added incentives, some special offers or discounts to push them to complete the transaction.
This is a basic email type and automation but highly significant to put your customers in the loop.
MailChimp offers some feedback emails that are automated to send to those customers who’ve just bought from your store.
These emails can be anything ranging from a short survey to ask them about their experience or it can be some additional value you want to provide them.
Pros & Cons Of MailChimp
Pros of Mailchimp
It offers a generous freemium plan
Mailchimp offers most of its tools and features in their free plan only. Users are allowed to send 10,000 emails to 2,000 of their subscribers.
It is quite a generous freemium plan and users aren’t making a bad deal out of it.
Mailchimp offers highly extensive, detailed, and thorough reporting, basically everything you would want to, or need to know.
Their detailed reporting and analysis also include Google Analytics integration, geo-tracking, social media, and more.
Efficient Template Editor
Mailchimp also provides an efficient and easy-to-use, simple but yet highly powerful template editor.
It comes with all sorts of features and options to customize your template design, format, layout, and other factors as well.
Not to forget how easy and clean the interface it is based on to make the learning curve extremely less.
The email automation and marketing tool further provide a plethora of additional or extra features to further make it a good investment.
They have various recent additions and upgrades in their feature set, expanding over their capability as well.
Some examples have to be these significant extra features such as appointment scheduling software, online store builder and so much more.
Cons of Mailchimp
Expensive Subscription Plans
Mailchimp can be really expensive for small business owners or anyone who is just starting out their business.
While it has a generous freemium plan, its paid subscription plan can match the initial investment pool a small business or a startup has.
This is because the prices of their subscriptions keep getting higher and higher as you would require more subscribers to send emails, more number of emails to send, and other tools as well.
As your need to use the tool grows, the subscription plan cost will increase too, and that comes out with high-cost subscription plans.
Lack of Slack Intgration
Slack is commonly used by small businesses as well as large enterprises, and even individuals and self-employed business owners.
It would be great to have the Slack integration in Mailchimp as its competitors certainly provide that.
Limitation of Varsatile templates
A lot of users have complaints about how they end up getting tired of using similar templates.
Mailchimp does a good range of creative and useful templates to use for designing or creating emails.
But a lot of them lack imagination in design, or are not updated as per today’s design style and trends.
To begin with, there are three basic categories under which MailChimp products are offered
- Marketing Platform
- Website & Commerce
- Transaction Emails
You will get all the multi-channel tools to use for free in order to grow your business and increase your audience.
You can grow your subscriber base up to 2,000 contacts
- Creative assistant
- Marketing CRM
- Website builder
- Mailchimp domain
This particular plan is for the users who are looking for round-the-clock support for their business or store.
It will cost you USD 9.99 per month based on 500 contacts.
- Everything in ‘Free plan’.
- Custom branding
- Email templates
- A/B Testing
- 24/7 customer email & chat support
The standard plan offers the users extensive data-driven email automation and optimization for business that want to grow
It will cost you USD 14.99 per month based on 500 contacts
- Everything in Free and Essential plan
- Send time optimization
- Customer templates
- Dynamic content
- Customer journey builder
- Branching points
The premium plan offers its users the most advanced email automation, marketing, and other kinds of features to scale your business to the next level.
It will cost you USD 299 per month based on 10,000 contacts.
- Everything in Free, Essential and Standard plan
- Comparative reporting
- Phone support
- Unlimited seats and role-based access
- Multi-variate testing