MailChimp is an email marketing service that enables users to create email newsletter campaigns for their business. That’s not all though, as MailChimp offers a range of other services including announcement tools and bulk email plans. MailChimp comes with many unique and easy-to-use features, which we’ll be taking a look at in this review.

Features

One of the main features that stands out in MailChimp is that it allows the user to design email templates from scratch through a user-friendly process. The beauty of this process is that it gives users full control in customizing the template to their liking. MailChimp comes with other nifty little features like the incorporation of social media and click tracking in email campaigns, which allow you to keep track of subscribers. A common problem associated with email marketing is that the design of the email newsletter can be distorted in some email clients; this is where MailChimp really steps up as it offers a preview of how your email newsletter will appear in different email clients, allowing you to make adjustments so that the design is consistent across all formats.

MailChimp offers a variety of campaign tracking tools, including: subscriber activity reports, interactive graphs, and click tracking. These tools are particularly useful for keeping track of the location of your subscribers, what client they use to access the newsletter, and basically how your subscribers engage with the content you provide. Other email marketing services, like Aweber (which, I’m told, is used to send out the daily LockerGnome newsletter), provide a full analysis of how and when users interact with links in emails. MailChimp provides similar information in the form if interactive graphs, which display statistics such as what percentage of users clicked and how many users opened the email. This sort of information is important in effectively managing an email marketing campaign.

While some email marketing providers are struggling to keep up with the demands of social media, MailChimp is right on top of it. The social networking features offered by MailChimp are impressive as they enable you to integrate email marketing campaigns with your social media profiles. For instance, you can see how many tweets and re-tweets have been made in relation to your email marketing campaign. MailChimp can also be easily integrated into WordPress through a simple process.

Pricing

MailChimp offers very competitive pricing and a range of monthly plants. New users can take advantage of a free account offered for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 sends.. This gives you the opportunity to try out the service before purchasing a plan. Monthly plans range from $10 a month to $240 a month, with the lowest plan limited to a total 500 subscribers and the highest plan capped at 50,000 subscribers. For larger businesses, MailChimp offers a maximum plan of 3,100,000 subscribers for $12,930. These plans indicate that MailChimp caters to both small and large business as the pricing is very affordable.

Customer Support

MailChimp provides a range of support options, including email support, a customer forum, live chat, and an article page where you can enter in keywords related to your problem to find a solution. MailChimp support is quite efficient in terms of the response time, but its lack of phone support is an inconvenience, to say the least. While the response time of 24-48 hours isn’t bad, it isn’t practical if you are after a quick solution, and this is where phone support would be handy. Either way, the live chat support does make up for the lack of phone support to an extent, although I found that live chat often has long wait times and doesn’t always solve your problem.

Accessibility and Ease of Use

MailChimp’s simple user interface and easy-to-use features are what set it apart from the competition. The dashboard contains everything related to your email marketing campaign with easily accessible features and tools. The beauty of the interface is that it is designed to be easy to use for experienced and new users. In fact, the entire process of signing up to creating a fully operational email campaign is simplified so that anyone can create effective email campaigns. If you are after an easy-to-set-up email marketing service, then I highly recommend MailChimp as it has a good balance between ease of use and professional features.

Final Thoughts

MailChimp is an impressive email marketing service that offers a wide range of features to create effective campaigns. The intuitive features combined with a range of professional templates from which to choose makes MailChimp an absolute delight to use. The campaign reporting and monitoring tools provide useful information and assist you in running a successful email marketing campaign. Additionally, the monthly plans on offer are reasonable and affordable for small business owners, which make the email marketing service appealing for both large and small-scale businesses.

The only downside of MailChimp is that affiliate marketing is against its policies. This makes it difficult to monetize the email newsletter. Other than a few drawbacks, MailChimp is a decent and simple email marketing service that boasts a variety of professional templates and features.

CC licensed Flickr photo shared by Gustavo Pimenta