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Welcome back to Reviews Boss; it’s time for another high quality, honest review. Today we are taking a look at a hugely popular email service provider, Mailchimp.
In this Mailchimp review, which is updated and relevant for 2019, we are going to cover just about everything you could want to know about this service, in order to determine if it is the right choice for your needs.
How Have I Experienced Mailchimp?
If you’ve read any of my previous reviews, then you’re probably familiar with the fact that I spend a lot of time sending email newsletters.
For my own affiliate marketing/drop shipping/other related work, I use Aweber (which I am currently working on a review for that will be up in April 2019).
However, in my day job I use Mailchimp. In fact, I spend at least an hour a day – if not more like 2 or 3 – working with this platform. I’m very familiar with how Mailchimp works and what you can and can’t do with it, so I’ve decided to do a quality review.
NB: Because of the fact that I use MC for my regular employment, I will have to block out any sensitive information on the screen shots for this review. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
What Is Mailchimp?
As mentioned at the start of this review, Mailchimp is an email service provider.
Have you ever signed up to an email newsletter on a website, and then you receive emails into your inbox from that company on a regular basis?
Those sort of promotional, mass-sent images are sent using an email service provider just like Mailchimp.
Here’s what you need to know about pricing for this service:
The exact price you pay for either “Growing Business” or “Pro Marketer” depends on exactly how many leads you have, and the volume of your sending.
There’s a handy calculator to help you work out how much you might be spending:
Note About The Free Tier
Mailchimp is free to a certain number of subscribers and sends per month. This makes it ideal if you’re sending out emails for a small business, budding eCommerce store etc. And what’s even better is that the functionality isn’t reduced either!
Big props to Mailchimp for offering this quality free tier. It gives small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs a great way to get their foot in the door for email marketing.
Is Mailchimp Affiliate Friendly?
Short answer: No. Mailchimp is famously unfriendly towards affiliate marketers. In fact, I wouldn’t bother for a second trying to run affiliate links in your emails when using this particular service.
Here’s what their TOS say:
So it’s pretty clear that affiliate marketers are not welcome. It’s a shame … but at the same time the free tier of Mailchimp would be abused beyond imagination by unscrupulous affiliate marketers if affiliate marketing was allowed.
If you’re looking to run affiliate campaigns, then stick to a service like Aweber that is far friendlier towards affiliates.
Don’t like the sound of MC, or want to make sure that you’re getting the best deal? Here are some alternatives that might be worth investigating:
- Aweber – this is my ESP of choice for my own work. Not as nice interface for creating emails, but affiliate friendly and good service. However, I think that Mailchimp is probably better for ecommerce or physical businesses due to their platform’s ease of use.
- Constant Contact
Setting Up Your Campaigns
Creating campaigns in Mailchimp is a straightforward process, and once you’ve done it a few times it will feel like second nature.
Here’s how you go about creating and sending campaigns:
Adding Lists To Mailchimp
What good is an email service provider if it isn’t easy and straightforward to add your subscribers/leads?
One thing to note when importing your leads into Mailchimp is the system called “Omnivore”. This is some kind of database validity checker that your imported leads will be passed through before being properly added to your list.
If you have lots of email addresses that Mailchimp doesn’t like, e.g:
- Admin email addresses
- Dodgy domains
- Emails flagged as spam
Then you could find yourself on the sharp end of an Omnivore denial. This has happened to me a couple of times in the past, when importing large email databases for my employer. I uploaded the CSV files or whatever, but because there were too many leads that Omnivore had identified as being “high risk” the upload actually froze the account! This meant that we couldn’t send any more emails until such time as we fixed the list … serious “heart attack” stuff when it happens to you!
The good news is that you can just roll back the import and then get your sending privileges back.
A solution to this is to just import in smaller quantities. E.g. if you’ve got 50k leads to import, then break them up into blocks of 10k. This way you are less likely to trigger any Omnivore warning, and you can get on with the business of sending emails faster.
By far the worst thing about Mailchimp is its extremely lacklustre support. Now this isn’t too much of a problem if you don’t run into any major issues – most problems that you will encounter can be fixed by checking FAQ on MC’s site, or by Googling what other people have done.
However, if you do encounter a “mission critical” error it can be very frustrating not to be able contact anyone over the phone to talk through the problem.
Instead, you’re probably going to find yourself referred to the FAQ/knowledge base on the Mailchimp site. This is especially annoying if the issue you are dealing with has anything to do with deliverability and your emails going to spam.
If you’re transferring your list from an existing email service provider, then you might want to pay close attention to this section of my Mailchimp review.
Recently I had to move a sizeable (~45k) email list from a very niche provider on to Mailchimp. Now the actual creation of the account and
It was at this particular juncture that I found Mailchimp’s lack of telephone support to be extremely frustrating. I wasn’t able to call anyone – or even speak on a live chat messenger window – in order to get help with the massive deliverability issue that was literally costing my employer thousands of dollars each time we sent an email.
Things I found that helped:
- Use Mailmonitor.com (check out my review of Mail Monitor here) in order to measure to a fairly accurate degree your deliverability metrics. Although this isn’t the most accurate tool in the world, it will help to give you some valuable insights into whether or not your emails being sent from Mailchimp are going directly to spam.
Full disclosure: I haven’t used Mailchimp Pro, but have done some research on what it is and how it can help. Here’s what you need to know:
Let’s conclude my Mailchimp Review, all updated and relevant for 2019. Is Mailchimp worth joining? And, if you’ve got enough leads, is it worth paying for?
If you’re an affiliate marketer, then no. Mailchimp is simply unfriendly to anyone who wants to make money as an affiliate, and they should be avoided at all costs. I know that some people have tried to get away with it in the past (and occasionally succeeded) but if you’re actually trying to make a serious business with affiliate marketing then you should steer clear of Mailchimp.
Now what about if you’re running a “proper” business? I’m talking something like an eCommerce store, bricks and mortar store, consultancy business … whatever.
In that case, you’re probably going to love Mailchimp. It’s well-priced, easy-to-use, and reliable. There is a reason so many people use it for their business emails.
The only real problem I have with Mailchimp (from the perspective of using it for a business) is the lack of support available. As mentioned previously, only email/ticket support is available. There is no phone line you can call if you have any urgent issues, which is frustrating and may not be acceptable to you depending on what sort of business you operate. I have definitely had exasperating moments in the past when using MC for my “day job”, having to try and get support for what were serious issues affecting us … but which MC probably didn’t view as all that important.