I can finally report on my experience with the email marketing service Mail Chimp! In a word: AWESOME. I’ve been dragging my feet about getting on the HTML marketing email bandwagon because it seemed like it’d be too much work and possibly too much expense, but Mail Chimp proved me wrong. I did some rudimentary research before getting into this–I’ve noticed that a lot of people used Constant Contact so that was the first site I looked at. Very comparable to Mail Chimp, the only difference being that Mail Chimp offered pay-as-you-go plans. Since my mailing list is about 200 people and I really only send out quarterly, the pay-as-you-go made more sense to me. I bought 300 credits for $9, whereas the cheapest monthly plan is $10/month. But I can easily upgrade whenever I want. The math was the main deciding factor, but a close second was just how darn cute and well-designed Mail Chimp’s site was! See Exhibit A:
It’s also chock-full of humor, an example of which can be seen in the title of this blog post. I love it when I log in and see the changing messages of the chimp in the upper right corner:
Seriously, they sold me with this stuff. And I’m sure I wasn’t alone. Well, it’s one thing to be cute and clever, but does it work? Yes! Their email setup interface is as easy to use as this blog and there’s a ton of helpful tips everywhere you turn. Probably the hardest/most tedious part was getting your mailing list into the address book. I was able to import addresses from my Gmail, but not from a particular group, so I had to hand-weed some addresses, but it was worth the effort.
So, after crafting my first email campaign, I sent it out last night. I’d actually scheduled for it to go out at 10pm, but it must be EST because I noticed that it went out much earlier than that. That’s something that wasn’t clear to me, but it wasn’t a big deal. The real fun is looking at the reports: you can see how many people opened the mail, how many clicked, WHO clicked, etc etc. Very helpful information! Now I see what the fuss is about with this kind of email marketing. And if people want to unsubscribe it makes it super-easy for them and me. Overall, I’m very pleased with this service.