One of my goals is to help small businesses follow-up with their prospects and customers. We teach all about marketing automation and how to follow-up with prospects. Today I’m going to review an email autoresponder and mass emailing tool, called MailChimp. Over the last several years, MailChimp has gained a footing in the online world as a reliable and easy to use emailing tool. Today in this post, I’ll break down the good and the bad and why I suggest it for some of my clients.
As many of you know, I typically suggest Infusionsoft because of the automation aspect and in today’s post, I’ll tell you why your business may prefer MailChimp to Infusionsoft or vice-versa.
Simple Email Automation
The main thing I really like about MailChimp, is how easy this tool is to set-up. If you’ve ever tried to set up an automation tool, then you know that there can be a steep learning curve. I learned Mailchimp in about a day and a half and had my first campaign and offer ready to go shortly thereafter. I really like how MailChimp also offers various ways to send to your list including a/b testing, rss feed automation, and how easy it is to send a regular ol’ campaign. All in all, I would say that this is one of the easiest email systems and it’s about 1/10 as hard to learn this tool versus Infusionsoft.
Great Pricing Plans to Fit your Budget
Giving the service away for FREE is a great way to get people in the door. MailChimp goes beyond that and allows you to add up to 2000 subscribers and send out as many as 12,000 emails all for free. That is a great starting point for small businesses wanting to test things out. They have some great monthly plans which can grow along with your small business. I started out with the 501-1000 list which allows me to send unlimited emails for just $15.00 per month.
The high volume pricing seems a little high in my opinion, but if you have a million people on your database, then you can probably afford the $4,623.00 per month. If you’re not sending emails very often, except for once or twice a month, then the pay as you go credits will work nicely for your business as well.
For what you get in regards to email deliverability, easy to use control panel, and beautiful templates, I think the overall pricing is very fair in regards to what you get for the price.
RSS to Email Feature
What sold me on MailChimp is the automation! MailChimp’s RSS to Email solution allows my list to receive my blog’s RSS feeds via email without any work on my end. For example, as I blog daily about marketing, MailChimp will take my post’s RSS Feed and put them into a pretty little email as shown here. The system automatically sends them to the prospects on my list and keeps them up to date with what I’m writing about.
MailChimp’s “chimp feeder” system can also combine several RSS feeds into one feed allowing you to consolidate Podcasts, Blog Feeds, Twitter Feeds, and even product feeds into your daily, weekly, or monthly email.
I really like this because it is marketing automation at its finest. Set it up once and forget it! This is why I highly suggest MailChimp for smaller companies as their first email autoresponder.
That isn’t to say that MailChimp doesn’t have some drawbacks…
True Automation Versus Email Broadcast
In a nutshell, I am happy if any client of mine is aggressively capturing leads for future follow-up. However, there is “GOOD” and there is “BETTER”. While MailChimp is good for the companies who are not doing anything, there are some other solutions like Infusionsoft which I choose if I only had the budget for one solution.
Infusionsoft segments lists better and moves people along a buying cycle automatically. It also integrates a shopping cart, order forms, and a wide variety of CRM tools. However, that isn’t the way MailChimp is set up. MailChimp does what it is created to do, send email.
Before I go under attack that MailChimp doesn’t have marketing automation, I will tell you that it does. It does have some autoresponder email capabilities. However, each Autoresponder is listed under a separate campaign, making it hard to see the bigger picture if you were sending 7-10 follow-up emails. All in all, MailChimp is great for a general list and for bloggers, but perhaps not so great for those who want to build a true marketing funnel.
Why I Use MailChimp and Who it was Built For
Yes, I use MailChimp and I really like it. It is perfect for my situation where I’m not really trying to sell anything on my Blog just yet. I can give away an offer and don’t have to worry about following up as MailChimp will do that for me with the RSS-to-Email campaign. This makes this system great for bloggers and companies who would like to email their prospects or customers on a regular basis without pushing them through a marketing funnel.
For those of you looking for a marketing funnel, such as taking them through various prospect stages all the way to customers, then you’ll likely choose a marketing tool like Infusionsoft.
In my specific situation, I’m using MailChimp as my main prospect list which in the future will push my readers over to other marketing funnels built in Infusionsoft. For example, if a subscriber in my MailChimp campaign wants to learn more about something I’m doing, they will go to that website and opt-in. The product I’m working on will have emails that come from Infusionsoft and that campaign will have the automation. They will basically have two different superscription from me, one through MailChimp and one through Infusionsoft. This is fine because MailChimp is for my blog where Infusionsoft will send emails for my training company or for my clients with LMS Internet.
I give MailChimp a rating of 4.5 stars out of five. It has great functionality, isn’t buggy, and does what is is created to do. While some of the other marketing automation tools are better, they are built for a different purpose. MailChimp does with excellence what it was created to do and that is why you can’t knock it compared to Infusionsoft. They are two different animals, built for two different businesses. I am perfectly happy to use both in my business. Some businesses might need Infusionsoft, while others might need MailChimp. It really depends on the business and their goals. The Important thing is that you use some sort of follow-up and use an offer to generate more leads!
You’ll also get to see how MailChimp works as well and how the RSS-to-Email feature works. I’ve also created a video below to allow you to see inside of the control panel of MailChimp.