Entrepreneurs and small business owners, like myself, frequently need to manage email lists and send out marketing or promotional emails to clients and potential customers. There are dozens of email marketing tools out there, but my favourite is MailChimp.

MailChimp, free email marketing software
There’s a lot to love about MailChimp, a free and easy email marketing tool

MailChimp lets you easily manage and send beautifully designed, well performing marketing emails. You can generate emails automatically from RSS feeds, A/B test different emails, auto-schedule emails, and much, much more. MailChimp powers (almost) all the email tools on this site and most of my side projects and client websites. Plans are cheap (they start at free!) and the service is one of my favourites.

In the episode, I also briefly touch on Mandrill, a companion to MailChimp that’s focused on sending out transactional emails. It’s a cool app in its own right, and integrates tightly with MailChimp which is especially awesome. If you’re already an avid MailChimp user, Mandrill is likely a much better choice than Amazon SES, Postmark, Sendgrid, and the like.

Awesome email lists with MailChimp and Mandrill — Audio player

[powerpress]

Awesome email lists with MailChimp and Mandrill — Transcription

Hello there sport racers, this is Chris Van Patten, and this is as always the Wrapp Up, where we talk apps, and services, and digital tools of all kinds that I like using. Just a quick technical note, this week I’m using my MacBook Air build-in microphone just as a little test to see how this works. If the sound is different, or not as good, or better, please let me know what you think.

Jumping right in this week I want to talk about MailChimp. MailChimp is a freemium application for building email lists and sending out messages to that list. I love MailChimp. I’ve been using them for quite literally years now for my cell phone, for clients, and also to different projects, and I can’t recommend them highly enough. If you’re familiar with Constant Contact or Aweber or any of these other applications MailChimp is basically the same thing. It lets you store an email list and then send emails, marketing emails specifically out to them.

MailChimp is great for a number of reasons. One is that it starts out as free. Unlike most of its competitors MailChimp actually has a free plan so you don’t have to pay to try it out. Now if you are on the free plan they’re going to put a little banner in the bottom of your email. It’s called MonkeyRewards, and actually that’s a good thing for you even though you’re seeing a banner because that’s actually the referral link so you’re going to get credit off of that if somebody clicks through.

Another reason MailChimp is great is the design. MailChimp has an incredibly modern so called flat design. Where some of the other competitors have really clunky difficult to use interfaces MailChimp is absolutely simple. It’s drag and drop. If you want you can also customize the HTML and get into that detail, but you don’t have to. You can pick from a template, really easily and it will come out looking great.

MailChimp also stands apart because they’re very good about security and abuse. They take spam and things like that very seriously. MailChimp emails as a result get delivered noticeably at a better rate than some other providers because they don’t take spam lightly. They banish that and completely remove it from the network.

I also love MailChimp because they integrate with everything, so you can integrate MailChimp with your Word Press website, you can go on apps from your phone that integrate with MailChimp, you can do all kinds of things, you can access the social networks, you can see which fans are tracking and reading your emails and that sort of thing. It’s incredibly powerful. They have all sorts of these great integrations.

They’re also very modern. You can actually access MailChimp through an API, which isn’t too surprising, but their API is very complete unless you do all kinds of stuff from subscribing users, to sending out emails literally through their API, you have all kinds of awesome options.

Their interface, I have mentioned before creating emails is very easy, but their interface itself for reading reports or changing things on your account is also fantastic and everything is super clear. They’re only showing information that you absolutely need so you don’t get bogged down in tons and tons of options and tons of details, although they do have that kind of flexibility if you seek it out.

The other thing I also love for their side app called Mandrel. And Mandrill is just a service for sending out email via API specifically focusing on transactional email, sending out your new passwords, all kinds of stuff like that, notification emails, whatever you can think of they can send that through Mandrill. Mandrill integrates back into MailChimp, which is great, so you can see that somebody has an account with your service and you can link that account through Mandrill into your MailChimp and you can see the stats the same way you would in MailChimp, and the possibilities there are endless.

You can also integrate Google Analytics. You can do A/B testing with your emails. They also create lots of little side apps that you can use to integrate into email. I like Gather, which lets you test your subscribers about events and things like that. They just have all kinds of awesome, awesome features.

I highly recommend checking out MailChimp. The pricing is fantastic. Again, it starts at free, and then you pay via subscriber beyond that. You can also get credits. You can send out a certain number of emails at a price point. It’s really fantastic and you should definitely give MailChimp a look .

The link to check out MailChimp is MailChimp.com, but you can also find you can sign up at cvp.me/mailchimp, which is an affiliate link but it’s cool to use that and to support Wrapp Up, which I’m sure you love so, so much. Right, this has been the Wrapp Up. I have been Chris Van Patten and I will talk to you next week. Bye-bye.

(Note: all links above are referral links. Except this one: check out MailChimp. Just in case you’re anti-referral or whatever.)

Published by Chris Van Patten

I'm an entrepreneur and product lead, and owner of Tomodomo, through which I help companies build their digital publishing platform.

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3 Comments

  1. Hi, Chris, I am only a little jealous at your ease in the land of
    technology… I’m trying to send out less than a hundred emails via
    MailChimp and I like the ease in using the templates provided. I
    imported my contact list and want to edit it for changes or errors, and
    to my chagrin the list was imported in a total random order instead of
    the alphabetized order I see in my Gmail contact list. I’ve tried
    sorting it to no avail. Do you have any quick easy steps for me to
    follow? I’m still in the “try it for free” stage, and so I can’t easily
    contact MailChimp for reply.

  2. For anyone unaware there have been significant Mandrill Policy Changes as of yesterday (Feb. 24, 2016) that require a paid Mailchimp account in order to use Mandrill any longer. There is chaos stirring on the internet regarding this very bold decision by Mandrill. Additionally, they gave everyone a very short time frame to get moved to another provider before your account will be terminated for non-compliance.

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