1. Visual Capabilities
Our previous large scale e-mail distributor was having some glitches and we wanted to go with more custom visual capabilities. When I spoke with our previous provider, they actually recommended Mail Chimp. Somehow I don’t think they’re focusing on their e-mail distribution side of the business! Not only does Mail Chimp provide basic templates, they also provide great tools for embedding your own graphics in the site or developing your own templates
I never thought I was one for statistics, but I really like the graphics that Mail Chimp provides that help me evaluate how my campaigns are doing. This is great for showing my superiors how the campaign is going and letting them see that this means of communicating with people is effective. Of course it’s always cool to see the map of where people are opening the e-mails, but I especially like being able to compare my campaign stats with the industry averages.
The e-mail click maps that overlay on the actual e-mail so you can see where peopl are clicking and what’s effective gives immediate feedback that can be used to improve the next campaign.
3. Comparison and recommendations
When I looked at other services like Constant Contact and iContact, I found that many of the alternative companies provide similar services and features, but I just was really pleased with they ease of use for Mail Chimp. I know, it’s not profound, but it just made sense.
4. Plays well with others.
When I send a campaign out, I can easily Tweet a short url out to my Twitter pals. With Analytics 360 I could pull info from my site data and see how the campaign is actually turning into values added or ROI. Currently, I haven’t used this feature (but I could!) and Chimp is promising more features in this area in the future. (I have been joyfully reading stats from Google’s Analytics for several years now to see how my sites are doing.
5. Ease of use
I’m not a computer whiz and even though this was recommended to me by our IT department’s Web guru, I found Mail Chimp to be pretty intuitional and easy to get going very quickly.
Mail Chimp provides lots of snazzy, simple videos for training and they have Live Chat for getting questions answered and they’re pretty quick about it! They also have “live” tours you can take to learn how to do more with the system.
7. A-B testing
A sweet feature for sending out two variations on an e-mail to whatever percentage of your list you want, then sending the one that did best to the rest. For example I could try two variations of a subject line to 10 percent of my list, let the system calculate which one got the best open rate, then send that one out to the rest of the list…all without a hassle! That’s nice.
8. List managment
Really the only issue I’ve had with Mail Chimp was when I made the switch and imported two overlapping CSV lists. When I imported the second list it overrode the group information that I was including. Once I realized that, it was a simple fix. Mail Chimp does a beautiful job of keeping my lists clean. Unless I force someone back into the system, even if I re-import a list, it doesn’t add them back in if they unsubscribed, complained, etc. The ability to let people self-manage their subscriptions was a major factor for using this system. The current gues management system that we use, has too many hoops to jump through to make it easy for this sort of mailing.
9. It’s Fun
They do a good job of keeping the whole process fun. When it’s processing they even let you know that they’re doing things, like making you a grilled cheese sandwich. Sadly, I’ve never gotten the sandwich itself because apparently the Chimp ate it “because he got hungry.”
Have you found a mail service that you love? Or hate? What’s working for you?