There’s a lot of different auto-responders out there so it can be hard to know which one to choose. There’s pricing, ease of use, deliverability and many other things to take into consideration before deciding. The bottom line is you need something reliable and affordable that does the job.
Based on my experience I think MailChimp is a good solution for email marketing and is certainly worthwhile considering.
Why Email Marketing Is Important
If you have a website but are not using email marketing then you are leaving money on the table. Not only does it give you an opportunity to help people in your niche but you can provide them with real value, in a truly automated way.
This value builds trust which can lead to sales of products and services that your list are interested in buying.
Once everything is set up your email marketing system will work for you all day every day while you get on with building your business. Pretty cool right?
Assuming you know how to get people to sign up to your list and the basic principals of email marketing, you are going to want to get yourself set up with a good auto-responder.
What I Like About MailChimp
I recently signed up to MailChimp and have to say I’m pretty happy with the results I have been getting so far. I’m not saying it’s the worlds best email marketing platform (hey maybe it is) but it works for me.
Here’s 6 reasons why I’ve personally found it to be worthwhile…
#1 Flexible Payment Options
One of the cool things about MailChimp is that it allows you to test the waters for free first. You can build a list of 2000 subscribers before ever having to pay a cent, unlike Aweber for example where you have a 30 day trial and after that you pay monthly.
There is a very real drawback to this though.
As I found out you can only manually email these subscribers because with the free option you cannot automate any of the emails on the free plan. This is a pretty big feature to leave out and while you can’t complain about a free lunch, the free version certainly loses it’s appeal because of this.
They do give you the option to buy credits though which is not a bad way to go if you want to test things out, especially if you are new to email marketing and list building. You can buy the baseline amount of 300 credits for only $9 which gives you as long as you need to get your campaign off the ground before getting locked into any monthly fees.
If you had a basic automated email campaign of say 5 emails then this would give you your first 60 subscribers. Being a newbie it might take you several months to achieve this so that $9 is all you’ll spend in that time. Once you are ready you can then switch to a monthly option.
The monthly options start at $10 per month for your first 500 subscribers which is really affordable in my opinion. It is more affordable than Aweber at $19 per month which seems to be one of their major competitors. The pricing scales up from there depending on how many subscribers you have.
This scale pricing is good because the more subscribers you have the more likely you are to be offsetting these monthly costs effectively through your campaigns. I think it’s a fair and reasonable system.
#2 Easy To Use
The whole platform is really easy to use and they even throw in some humour to keep things interesting. The whole system makes it easy for anyone, even a total newbie, to be able to create campaigns and get everything rolling. They don’t have phone support that I can see but they do have live chat and a web form along with a bunch of helpful articles and how to guides.
They really have made this super simple which is good for me because I’m not a web designer and I am not very into the technical side of Internet marketing. I know what I need to know and focus on the marketing and content creation. So having something that makes my life easier is a big plus in my books.
There’s tons of different ways you can customise just about every aspect of your campaigns. There’s currently 23 different templates and each template can then be fully customised in a drag and drop fashion.
You can put images, videos, social buttons and just about anything else you can dream up in an email, or just use a basic text email instead.
You can customise the sign up forms, link people to custom pages after they subscribe and easily change the rules for sending your campaigns. Pretty much every aspect of your email marketing can be customised in the simplest way possible. It suites someone that has no idea at all about the technical aspects of email marketing and just wants a basic auto-responder, right down to someone that wants to customise everything to the finest detail.
#4 Easy Integration
I use WordPress and recently started using a plugin called Sumome, which is a neat little all in one tool to maximise your subscribers. MailChimp easily integrates with that plugin, WordPress in general and also links in with your Google Analytics to help you track everything.
The split testing is a really cool little feature that allows you to easily test different messages and send times to decide which works best for your target audience. Knowing what kind of messages and times perform best will allow you to put more effort into what works and create more profitable campaigns as a result.
There’s also a really intuitive and easy to understand way to analyse important data such as open rate, click rate, country of origin and growth stats among other things. You can even see how your efforts stack up against the competition in your industry.
One of the most important things with email marketing is learning what is and isn’t working so you can tweak your efforts. This platform gives you what you need an easy to understand way so you can get the job done.
MailChimp has spent a lot of time and money developing it’s system to have a high deliverability rate. They created a unique abuse prevention technology named ‘Omnivore’ as a way to weed out spam emails from being sent from within the platform. This is based on trillions of data points and works to keep the platform clean, which results in higher deliverability.
They also have a range of other measures in place to make sure they can continue delivering emails at the rate of 96-99%.
I don’t know about you, but I like my emails being delivered when I am paying money and spending time building my list. So far so good.
Based on my research and expereience as a MailChimp user I think it’s a pretty good platform. It has a lot of cool features, it’s easy to use and also has a good deliverability rate.
I’m not going to say it’s the best in the world, because I haven’t tried all of the platforms out there, but it definitely gets a thumbs up based on my experience.