Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I give you tips and tricks for being your own content marketer. This week’s post is all about how to decide whether you should pay for your newsletter management software.
If you have a newsletter, or you’ve been thinking about getting one, you’ve probably heard of Mailchimp. It’s email marketing management software is among the best known in the U.S., along with Constant Contact.
Different people have different reasons for choosing their newsletter management software. I went with Mailchimp simply because it’s what my website hosts recommended and I’ve never regretted it.
Before I go any further, I want to make it clear that Mailchimp has not paid or compensated me in any way to write this post. I’m simply a fan who wants to write about how much I love this company and why.
How It Works
Mailchimp does not charge you for maintaining your newsletter until you’ve reached 2,000 subscribers. Until recently, that meant you needed to have 2,000 people currently subscribed to your newsletter, but now Mailchimp counts people who have unsubscribed as part of your list.
I was on one of my entrepreneurial Facebook groups recently when I saw someone complaining about this and announcing they were going to move to another email marketing manager, but I feel no need to follow suit. Admittedly, my subscriber list is still small enough that I don’t have to worry about getting charged, even with the addition of the few unsubscribes I’ve had over the years. But even if they did start charging me, I would happily pay up because Mailchimp has been consistently upping their game over the past few years and I could not be more delighted with what I’ve seen. For example…
Mailchimp gives you access to tons of data about the people you’re contacting through your newsletter and they allow you to access that data and make the most of it. Age, gender, location, etc. – all the things that can help you identify your audience and what they want from you. Mailchimp then helps you turn that data into targeted marketing campaigns so you can address your audience’s pain points, which is great because creating a marketing campaign that doesn’t resonate with them is just a waste of everyone’s time. Mailchimp will even use that data to help you find and identify potential audience members who are not yet signed up for your newsletter, but are similar enough to your subscribers that there’s a good chance they might be interested in what you have to say.
The reason I’m not upset that Mailchimp has started including unsubscribes in the audience count is because they’re going to start providing the same amount of data on all those unsubscribes as on all the people who are still subscribed to your newsletter. So you get to see with which demographics your message is not resonating and if there’s something you need to change as a result, or if they’re just not part of your ideal audience.
The ability to schedule when your newsletter goes out is pretty basic, but Mailchimp has taken it a step further by allowing you to schedule when each individual newsletter goes out. That means you don’t have to send it out to all your subscribers in one batch, instead, you can make sure each subscriber gets it at the time that’s right for them. All you have to do is create the newsletter, click a button, and let Mailchimp take care of the rest. The power of reaching people at a time that works best for them should not be underestimated, because if they don’t open it when they first see it, the chances they’ll open it later go down the longer they leave it in their inbox.
Mailchimp will also help you build meaningful relationships with your audience by finding their address and helping you design a card Mailchimp can send on your behalf. Want to remind someone that it’s been a year since they subscribed to your newsletter and/or became a customer? Send them a personalized card to celebrate. It adds a personal touch and shows you care on a level that an email just can’t match.
If you’re using other online tools to gather information on your audience, you can integrate the information from those tools with the information collected by Mailchimp so you’ll have access to all your audience data in one place. This means you don’t have to be a professional data analyst in order to try and figure out what all your numbers mean, and how you can make the most of that data – Mailchimp takes care of all that for you.
Even if you don’t use Mailchimp, you’ve probably at least received an email from Mailchimp after signing up for a newsletter they manage. You might have noticed that their emails include the Mailchimp logo at the bottom, but by paying for an upgrade, you can replace that logo with your own to maintain brand consistency throughout your content marketing efforts.
Mailchimp will also start offering website and domain hosting pretty soon. That’s not live yet and I don’t know what the rights or ownership will look like, so I can’t recommend that yet. I can only say it’s another example of the way Mailchimp is upping their game and looking for ways to become a one-stop shop for content marketers.
Ultimately, it’s all about what you consider to be valuable. If you have a ton of subscribers, but all you do is shoot them a quick email once or twice a week without much in the way of personalization, then the new Mailchimp is probably not for you. But if you want to get to know your audience and what makes them tick so you can use that information to attract more customers and get better at retaining existing customers, then I don’t see a reason to use any email management system other than Mailchimp.
What do you think? Do you use Mailchimp? Are you among those switching to another email marketing management software? Feel free to let me know if you think I’m way off base.
If you like what you see here, you can sign up for my newsletter at the top of this page to make sure you never miss an update. If you’re ready to ditch the DIY and hire a professional to level up your content, let’s chat.