MailChimp is an Email Marketing and Marketing Automation platform for small and medium businesses. It was launched in 2001 and is the trading name of a company called Rocket Science Group. The company was founded by Ben Chestnut and Mark Armstrong, with Dan Kurzius joining later. The company’s annual revenue is over 700 million dollars as per the latest reports available, and the company is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Intuit acquired MailChimp in November 2021 at a valuation of over 12 billion dollars in a stock plus cash deal. Ben Chestnut continues to be the CEO.
Beginning of Mailchimp
MailChimp began as a side product of the company, which was initially focused on developing E-Greeting Cards. The name Mailchimp was adopted from a prevalent E-Greeting character of the company. MailChimp soon started becoming popular and earned a few thousand dollars a month for the company. MailChimp began as a paid service and offered a freemium option beginning in 2009.
Today, MailChimp has over 11 million active users in 200 countries and an audience of over 4 billion people across the world. It is the largest Email Marketing platform globally, with a market share of over sixty percent in the Email Marketing industry. It has over 800 thousand paid customers and employs over 1200 people. Fifteen billion emails are sent every month using Mailchimp.
How to use Mailchimp?
- To start using Mailchimp you will first have to create a Mailchimp account. The “create an account” link on their website will guide you through the account creation process.
- The next step is to “Set up your Audience”. To set up your audience, you can import your contacts list to Mailchimp. You can edit the default information about your contacts or start using it straight away. MailChimp encourages you to have just one set of audience, but you can build multiple audience lists if you so desire.
- The third step is to create a customised sign up form. If you do not have any contacts yet, you can build a customised sign up form and post it to your website or Facebook page. The detailed procedure for creating a custom signup form is mentioned on their website.
- The fourth step is to start a campaign. A campaign is a message which you share with your audience using Email, Ads or any other channel. MailChimp users usually prefer Email campaigns. MailChimp allows you to view your campaign reports through a dedicated dashboard. You can view reports about how many people viewed your message, how many links they clicked, whether they liked your message, how many people unsubscribed from your campaign, users’ location etc.
- You also have the option to integrate Mailchimp with Google Analytics for a more detailed analysis. You can also make use of features to automate the communication process with your audience. MailChimp allows you to buy Google or Facebook ads through Mailchimp. It can also assist you to create beautiful landing pages for your websites and running postcard campaigns. MailChimp also offers the comfort of managing your Mailchimp account through an App on Android and iOS.
How does Mailchimp charge customers?
Let’s check the different Mailchimp plans.
1. The Free Plan
MailChimp offers a free plan and a Pay as you go option. It also provides some monthly paid plans for regular users. The free program allows you up to 2000 contacts in your audience group and a choice of creating a maximum of one audience group. It offers a Marketing CRM, Creative Assistant, Website Builder, Mailchimp domain, and Forms and Landing Pages. You can send a maximum of 10,000 emails per month and 2,000 emails per day. It allows social postings, Facebook ads, Instagram ads, and Postcards. It also includes some basic email templates, 30 days of Email support, a marketing calendar, 250+ App integrations, and survey forms. It also consists of a Content Studio that allows users to sync photos, graphics, and other marketing files. A limitation of this plan is that every email you send carries a promotional Mailchimp footer.
If you are a regular user who needs more features, an extensive contact list, more audience groups, and the ability to send more emails per day/ month, then you will have to opt for a paid monthly subscription. Paid monthly subscriptions are not cheap and are available starting at $ 11 per month for the Essentials plan, $ 17 per month for the Standard program, and $ 299 per month for the Premium plan.
2. The Essentials Plan
The Essentials plan includes Automations, Email scheduling, A/B Testing. You can create up to three audience groups. It allows for Behavioural Targeting and includes Sign Up forms. It also includes 100 plus pre-built email templates and 24*7 Email and Chats support. The Mailchimp footer advertisement gets removed starting with this plan, so there is no third-party branding on your emails. The starting price allows you to create an audience list with 500 contacts across all lists combined. If you want to include more contacts, you should be willing to pay more. It allows up to 50 thousand contacts for $ 299 per month. The monthly email send limit is ten times your contacts limit.
3. The Standard Plan
The Standard plan is for experienced marketers who want to scale and save time with advanced automation features and more data-powered tools. It offers features like Customer Journey Builder, multiple starting and branching points, pre-built journeys, custom coded templates. It allows for up to five different audience groups and a maximum of 100 thousand contacts for a price of $ 605 per month. Other features include Dynamic Content, Personalized Product Recommendations, Send time optimization, Customer lifetime value and Purchase likelihood, and Retargeting Ads. The monthly email send limit is 12 times your contacts limit. The minimum tier of this plan allows for only 500 contacts across all audience groups combined.
4. The Premium Plan
This is the only plan which offers phone support. The minimum tier of this plan allows for up to 10 thousand contacts across all audience groups combined. Other features include Multivariate Testing, an Unlimited number of audience groups, advanced segmentation, and up to 200 thousand contacts at the highest tier for $ 1300 per month. The maximum monthly email send limit is 15 times your contacts limit. All higher-level plans include all the features available in the lower-level plans.
We can see from our observations that Mailchimp offers only the most basic functionality with the free plan. If you want to start using its features and target a large prospect base, the cost of using Mailchimp becomes prohibitive. It is unlikely that most small businesses will find it worthwhile to spend so much on marketing using Mailchimp, especially since there is no assurance of Return on Investment.