MailChimp is the only e-mail marketing service I have used. Not only is the design user friendly, but so are the features.
The tabs and set-up make navigating very user-friendly. Generally speaking, you can get to a feature in two clicks or less.
Their service is free for e-mail lists of 500 addresses or less. To add names to your list, you just need a first name, last name, and e-mail address. Also, managing lists is pretty simple. You can have one huge list and segment the list to ensure that only certain information goes to individuals who requested it.
Creating and managing campaigns is a breeze. MailChimp walks you through the entire five-step process. They offer several template options to choose from depending on your message. After selecting the form, you can customize it with one of their designs or upload your own. They even offer a photo-editing program to help with design. If at anytime you have to stop while creating your campaign, just save your work and pick up where you left off at a later time.
Text, Photos and Videos
Text, photos and videos can be used to share your message. Generally speaking, the use of text is pretty straightforward. However, it was a little challenging to change some of the headers from subtitle to default text. I had to do a little finagling, but once it was done, it was fairly easy. Also, if you’re used to right clicking to get your menu, this option is not available. Instead you have to use keyboard shortcuts or the menu bar. The cool thing about MailChimp is they do show you the appropriate keyboard controls for the actions, but it’s still a little annoying for
Adding and resizing photos is very easy. Videos, on the other hand, require extra work. Videos cannot be inserted directly into your message. You first have to upload it to YouTube. Then, you add the video link to the message. If you want your audience to know the topic of your message, you have to insert a photo and then follow the above steps.
On a more positive note: MailChimp is working on improving this feature. At least that’s what the MailChimp blog said the last time I read it.
MailChimp offers you the option to share the title of your campaign and a link to the message on Facebook, Twitter and a couple other social networking sites after the message is forwarded to your e-mail list. This feature would probably be more effective if a brief description of the message was included.
The reports on MailChimp are very comprehensive. The number of times the message was opened; who opened it; how many times it was opened; and the time of day it was opened are just a few of the details that can be obtained. Reports can be downloaded.
I have never used the auto responder feature, so I cannot speak on that.
Tutorials & Instruction
The best features on MailChimp which actually made me select them as my e-mail marketing provider are their webinars and video tutorials. They hold regular webinars for new and current users to ask questions to make their experience more effective and efficient. Video tutorials are short videos available at almost any stage of your campaign creation for instruction. They even offer tips on how to grow your list.
Lastly, their blog and knowledge base is available 24/7 with answers to questions and new developments as they occur. I love their availability of information to make using their program easy to use.
MailChimp’s design, ease of use, and information overload makes them my preferred e-mail marketing provider. The little monkey is kind of cool, too.
Have you used MailChimp for your newsletters? What have you thought of it?
(If you use another email marketing service, please feel free to drop an email through the contact form if you are interested in guest blogging your experience with it.)