MailChimp Email Marketing Tool
(The Definitive Review & Tutorial 2019)

All you need to know about MailChimp
Could this be the right Email Marketing Tool for you?

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This Review Will Teach You Everything You Need To Know About MailChimp Email Marketing Tool. The EntrepreneursGateway.com Team have left no stone unturned in this Definitive Review.

What are the Pros and Cons of MailChimp?

How does MailChimp Compare against the Competition and Ratings?

Most importantly, will MailChimp get the EntrepreneursGateway.com’s seal of approval as being one of the best Email Marketing Tool’s on the Market?

Is it easy to use and does it come with lots of features?

Well, we have tested every feature to the MAX!

Let’s Get Started…

 An EntrepreneursGateway.com Review you can Trust!

Effectiveness

For basic email marketing, it works flawlessly, but not for more complex automations.

Cost

Its free plan is the most generous plan anywhere and is also very competitive with paid for plans.

Usability

User-interface is very intuitive with only a few limitations.

Support

Active community groups, great live chat support, and extensive documentation. Great!

We Like

  • Easy to use user-interface.
  • Great split-testing ability.
  • Reasonable form builder (but inconsistent across form types).
  • Extensive library of expertly created email templates.
  • Well supported by other third-party services and apps.
  • Various support channels.
  • Amazing Free Plan.

We Don't Like

  • Can still be list-centric.
  • The segmentation and grouping options can be quite confusing.
  • Restricted marketing automation abilities.
  • Basic automation workflow builder.
MailChimp Sign Up

Introduction

When you think about email marketing tools, the first one that normally springs to mind is MailChimp.  It’s probably because of their great marketing and their charming monkey!

Established back in 2001, by Ben Chestnut and Dan Kurzius, MailChimp’s headquarters are based in Atlanta, with additional offices in Brooklyn and Oakland, and, employs over 800 staff.

MailChimp offers everything you need for business growth. From sending out emails, to running a targeted campaign, to setting up email automations, and now claim to send over 600 million emails daily through their platform.  That’s a lot of emails!

In this review, I will be seeing just how MailChimp copes with email marketing and what my likes and dislikes are.

Features

#1. System & Segmentation

In this section, you’ll discover which method MailChimp uses with list segmentation.

This not only saves you time, but ensures that you offer the right products to the people that are interested in them.

Let’s find out how MailChimp did.

MailChimp Segment

There’s no denying that tag-based systems are much better, so why is MailChimp still so heavily list-based?  I’m not sure why they haven’t made the change!

At the moment, your current contacts will be counted several times if they are included on multiple lists.  For this not to happen, you need to use MailChimp’s segmentation options, but that’s very complicated!

It is possible to segment your lists by creating ‘groups’, but it does get very confusing and quite frustrating.

For example; you want to identify anyone that clicked on a specific link in an email you sent. Because it’s not possible to add any behavior-based tags, trying to pull this off is difficult.

With post-campaign segmentation, you will get pretty close but will count for every link that’s clicked in the campaign.

MailChimp Segment

If you were to download a report and check which subscribers clicked on a specific link, you can then re-upload those people into a new list…..

See what I mean?….  its such a pain when other email marketing tools out there let you do this by simply clicking a button.

It’s fair to say that this is my biggest issue with MailChimp, and prevents itself from being a strong contender in today’s market.

The technology is there inside MailChimp, but being limited to just a one-off segmentation is even more frustrating!!!

MailChimp Trigger

Verdict: MailChimp is still in the list-based age, and we've no idea when this transition to a tag-based era is going to happen.

#2. Automation

Automation is the main reason why people use email marketing right?…..Can MailChimp automate your marketing to save you time and increase your profits?

Let’s find out…

MailChimp Automation

With MailChimp, you are given ‘workflow recipes’, giving you’re a pre-made automation framework from which you can build upon, meaning that you don’t need to start from scratch.

MailChimp Lists

These ‘workflow recipes’ don’t have a lot of substance, and I feel that it’s something anyone could copy within a matter of seconds.

OK, so what I really struggled with automations builder. It was so basic.  Not what you would expect from a company like MailChimp. 

MailChimp Educate

For one, it’s only possible for you to build linear automations which really limits you to building basic automations.

This seriously prevents you from building anything advanced or intelligent.

Verdict: MailChimp isn't for you if you are looking to build anything BUT extremely basic marketing automations.

#3. A/B Testing

In this section you’ll discover just how MailChimp manages it’s split testing capabilities? 

How can it improve your goals and conversion rates?

We put it to the test…

MailChimp A/B Test

Yes…..  I can now give MailChimp a little bit of credit!  They have got their split-testing ability spot on!

MailChimp's #split-testing #functionality is truly spot on!

You not only have a whole lot of options that you can play with, it even manages this without it feeling too over complicated.

MailChimp A/B Test

It’s impressive, but there is one slight issue in that this function will only work when you send one-off email.

At present, there isn’t any support for autoresponders. Nor is there any ability to split-test their automation workflows. It’s something I feel would be a winner if they did.

Verdict: Although you don't get to split-test your automations, this is one of the best and simple split-test environments you can come across.

#4. Form Building

Almost every email marketing tools have their own form builder.  But…..are MailChimp’s form building capabilities enough to help you to build your forms seamlessly to ensure your leads are captured through whichever method you use?

This is what we found….

MailChimp Form

You have the option of building your forms and hosting them on MailChimp’s website or your own website.

The form builder is really where smart things happen, and it does offer you everything you need to be able to build both a clean and high-converting form.

MailChimp Form

And it’s important to note that configuration and design options will change depending on the form type you choose.

For example; some embeddable forms have additional layout styles which you can’t get with the hosted forms…

MailChimp Form

Wanting to design your own forms?

Similar to the layout options, the control level you have over your customization changes is dependent upon the type of form you build.  It would be nice to have seen some type of consistency with this.

It did work, but I felt the interface was very old-fashioned.

MailChimp Template

Verdict: Spot on with the basics, but felt the builder is very average.

#5. Email Templates

We all know that having a selection of email templates not only saves you time, but is also a way to keep the consistency of your brand. It’s also vital that they are responsive, so that it doesn’t matter what device your customers are viewing them on, your email won’t disappoint.

So how does MailChimp compare when it comes to their choice, design, customization and responsiveness of their email templates?

MailChimp Templates

MailChimp’s email templates were excellent. Compared to its competitors, they offer the most well-designed and diverse selection of templates.

What’s even more appealing is that you can start from scratch if you didn’t want to use one of their templates.

MailChimp Templates

This approach looks at the purpose of the email, rather than what it looks like (telling a story or selling a product).

All good so far….now onto the template editor.

In terms of customization, the template editor is very adaptable.

MailChimp Templates

I noticed only a few limitations, such as not having the ability to adjust both the top and bottom margins, but overall, I’m happy with them.

Verdict: With some of the best email templates available, MailChimp's visual email editor is also pretty good.

#6. Integrations

Can MailChimp communicate with third party applications?

It’s vital that your email marketing software can integrate with the most popular software tools out there….

Here’s what we found…

MailChimp Intregration

It’s fair to say that when it comes to app integration, MailChimp is by far the most supported of all the email marketing software tools out there. They have over 700 integrations available to their customers.

Verdict: MailChimp is the market leader with their integrations.

#7. Tracking & Reporting

No email marketing tool is complete without being able to track and report.

How does MailChimp rate at being able to review its data analytics so that it helps you to improve the overall effectiveness of your email marketing and also improve your profits?

Let’s find out…

MailChimp Overview

This is a section of MailChimp that will definitely win you over. With its simple design and comprehensive data, it’s more than enough for anyone who wants to go all out with their analytics.

MailChimp Performance

Having entry to automation and comparative reports lets you delve into the numbers to make parallel comparisons over your campaigns. You can view monthly performance reviews and some additional stats, but it’s important to note that their comparisons are only offered on their higher tier plans.

MailChimp also offers ‘comparative reporting’ allowing you to delve deeper into the numbers, making parallel comparisons throughout your campaigns. (see video – https://mailchimp.com/features/comparative-reports/)

This feature is only available if you are on one of the higher level plans, and as such, I couldn’t test it.

MailChimp Comparative

Verdict: Other than the comparative reports restriction, MailChimp offer extensive reporting facilities.

Check out The Definitive Review & Tutorial for #Email #Marketing #Tools and stay in touch with your contacts!

Support & Documentation

MailChimp Get Started

Having the option of speaking to an actual human is what most of us look for when we need help, so having the live chat option is always good.  You can also email your query which is just as helpful.  That being said, you will probably find what you’re looking for through their knowledge base, so that would be a good start!

MailChimp Get Started

The knowledge has been redesigned recently, to try to make it easier to search on various devices. Simply pick from one of four categories:

  1. Quick Answers;
  2. Need Help Getting Started;
  3. Glossary;
  4. Video Tutorials.

Finally, there is a MailChimp Answers Facebook community group that has over 2,000 members.

MailChimp Header

Testing Deliverability

We wanted to truly test the deliverability with each of the email marketing tools within this review.

This can be quite difficult to test, and we then decided upon two different methods:

  1. Run an identical campaign to measure the open rates across all email marketing tools;
  2. For a more analytical, instant result, test with GlockApps.

This process is covered in more detail – check out my roundup review on email marketing tools, so go check it out!

The Results:

With our testing, the open rate for MailChimp came in at a respectable 35.7%.

So with GlockApps, see the screenshot below to see how it performed:

MailChimp Results

To get a better understanding of these results, the attached table has been put together and here is what this looks like for all the email marketing tools we are covering:

Software Open Rate Inbox Tabs Spam Missing
34.6%
65.7%
23.9%
9%
1.5%
30.10%
--
--
--
--
34.4%
89.6%
6%
1.5%
3%
39%
85.1%
1.5%
13.4%
0%
36.1%
91%
1.5%
7.5%
0%
34.77%
71.6%
4.5%
17.9%
4.5%
35.7%
84.8%
7.6%
6.1%
1.5%

Please note that unfortunately, AWeber wouldn’t let me test with GlockApps. Extremely frustrating!

Is MailChimp The Right Email Marketing Tool for you?

With any tool on the market, MailChimp may not be the right choice for everyone. Let’s try to identify who this tool may be suitable for…

Budget Bloggers

If you’re looking to save a few pennies, MailChimp is regarded as being one of the more reasonable options available.

Let’s see the numbers, based on the lowest plan for others out there in the marketplace.

Software Free Plan 1,000 subs 10,000 subs 25,000 subs 50,000 subs 100,000 subs
No
$29 p/m
$139 p/m
$225 p/m
$299 p/m
$459 p/m
No
$29 p/m
$69 p/m
$149 p/m
$392 p/m
$792 p/m
No
$45 p/m
$95 p/m
$295 p/m
$335 p/m
$595 p/m
No
$29 p/m
$119 p/m
$199 p/m
$379 p/m
$679 p/m
Yes
$49 p/m
$149 p/m
$254 p/m
$429 p/m
$779 p/m
No
$15 p/m
$65 p/m
$145 p/m
$250 p/m
$450 p/m
Yes
$15 p/m
$75 p/m
$150 p/m
$240 p/m
$475 p/m

What makes this appealing if you are on a tighter budget is the forever free plan allowing up to 2000 subscribers and a massive 12,000 emails per months, without even spending a penny.

That’s not all, and it recently started to give free users access to marketing automation, which was well received.

They do come with the MailChimp branding, but still, this is a very competitive free plan.

Beginner Bloggers

Through most of this review, MailChimp has stayed true to its easy use, with the majority of this down to the interface being so user-friendly.

It also does a fantastic job of breaking down sophisticated features such as A/B testing into something much more manageable.

Small Businesses

This is great for small businesses as it can take advantage of the free plan, with the choice to upgrade when more sophisticated functionality is required.

Best for Bulk Emails

This list of the best email marketing software would be lacking without MailChimp.  It’s a service which has been around since 2009 and is one of the leading tools on the market today.

Best for E-commerce

MailChimp’s biggest and most powerful e-commerce features are driven by your store data. When connecting to your store, your purchase and your customer’s information will sync automatically, giving you the ability to build your list and provide the option to subscribe at the time of checkout.

All this information helps you to learn what your customers like, thus being able to recommend a product they may want.

Here is a list of shopping carts and e-commerce solutions for MailChimp:

  • Shopify
  • BigCommerce
  • Magento
  • WooCommerce

Conclusion

MailChimp has been around for quite some time, now, and is a reliable email service provider providing you with all the basics you require to add email marketing to your business. If you’re a newbie to email marketing, and on a budget then this is perfect as it has the bonus of the forever free plan.

Disclaimer

(The EntrepreneursGateway.com team are committed to produce independent, thoroughly researched and comprehensive guides and reviews for the best products and services that will help you in your business and your life. If you like what we do, you can support us through our chosen links, which earns us a small amount of commission which helps us fund our research and maintenance of the blog to better help you. Learn more about our Review Process.)

Now, over to you...

Now I’d love to hear from you:

Are you going to purchase MailChimp or are you already using it?

Perhaps you started reading this review with the intention to buy, and maybe now you’re not so sure!

Feel free to leave a comment below and, we’ll see if I can help…. or check out the other reviews like ActiveCampaign or ConvertKit.

Still not sure, got a question, I’ll be personally replying to comments and questions that come in.

If you like this article don’t forget to subscribe and let us help you grow your business.

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