Today we’re kicking off the first in our six part email marketing review series with MailChimp. What we’re going to do is have a look at the pros and cons of the application and any restrictions in place which might have an impact on your choice of email marketing tool!

A Bit Of History

Mailchimp was founded in 2001 and is now one of the world’s largest email marketing tools and by June 2014 was sending over 10 billion emails per month for its customers which is an amazingly impressive volume. There’s no doubt that MailChimp is certainly a popular offer for businesses of all sizes.

Because of the dynamic structure of the pricing system, this service can fit all types of businesses and growth rates, read on to find out more.

Pricing Packages

If you start at the bottom of the services list, you’ll find there’s a free service available for MailChimp! However, like all free services the restrictions are often enough to all but force you into a paid service. With the free service, you can have a subscriber list up to 2000 emails long and send out up to 12,000 emails per month.

While this might suit a very small start-up business, they’ll quickly outgrow this restriction where you’ll have to head into the realm of paid services which start from $10 a month for unlimited emails but only 500 subscribers.

The pricing structure is very dynamic which is helpful to growing businesses. They’ve even got an awesome cost calculator here where you simply type in your subscriber numbers and it will point you towards the plan you need to cover them all.

Don’t forget you can adjust your plan as your business grows to get more capacity as needed! Brilliant!

The Cool And The Not So Cool Features

There’s always pros and cons to any service designed to fit so many different business types so let’s cover the pros first.

MailChimp comes with a great package of reporting tools which you can use to track and follow progress when it comes to click rates, subscriber rates, unsubscribe rates and so on which is a great way to gauge how your emails are being received by your recipients. This is important to have because it really enables you to fine-tune your communications to be as effective as possible!

Depending on your personal preferences the MailChimp theme is somewhat light-hearted with links to funny YouTube videos which might not be appreciated by their entire audience and can be seen as potentially unprofessional by some customers. While these don’t have an effect on your customers, this could be contrary to some cultures and business environments mostly on the larger end of the scale.

MailChimp is also very easy to use which is a huge draw card. There’s plenty of tools built within to manage subscribers, and plenty of templates to use if you haven’t quite got the hang of customising your sign up forms and other pieces of email content yet.

Integration Abilities

MailChimp has hundreds of integration options with other services and apps. There’s too many to list so I won’t even try but click here to see their list and have a look for yourself. The best system to integrate with if you’re going to do so is direct selling from emails if you offer a service.

Summing Up

Give MailChimp a try if you’re a small to medium business that’s just starting out or is using a manual form of email marketing. It’s not perfect but because it’s so easy to use and has great tools to track how your campaigns are running it’s definitely worth a shot.

But don’t expect to make much use of the free service for very long you’ll soon outgrow it and end up paying at least $10 a month to really take advantage of the service!

Photo credit: Unsplash

Are you already using Mailchimp? I’d love your thoughts on the program. Please leave a comment in the comment section below.