PROS / You can schedule emails to deliver at a specific time during each time zone.
CONS / MailChimp does not offer professional design services.
VERDICT / MailChimp is one of the best solutions for small business owners and bloggers who are just starting email marketing campaigns because of its free service, but its paid plans offer plenty of helpful features for any business's email marketing efforts.
MailChimp is one of the best email marketing services available because it is extremely easy to use for anyone, regardless of how tech savvy one is or is not. It's also an affordable choice whether you have 100 contacts or 20,000 contacts to reach. It includes advanced features in its email creation and tracking tools, and we had considerable success with it when we sent test emails to a variety of email clients. For these reasons and more, MailChimp earns our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.
Of the email marketing software systems we tested, MailChimp was one of the most successful in delivering emails to inboxes. We used a house-designed newsletter and created an HTML-coded email using a MailChimp template. Each one arrived in every email client we sent it to – MailChimp is one of only three services we tested to have such a high success rate.
One of the best features available with MailChimp is A/B testing. You can create two different emails with two different subject lines, or slightly different images or design, and then MailChimp tracks the open rate with one group. It then sends the email that was more successful to the group with the lower open rate, thereby increasing your exposure.
The time-warp option is another helpful feature in this email marketing solution. You can schedule your email blast to send at a reasonable hour in the morning, and if you have location information for your contacts, the email delivery time adjusts for time zones. This can prevent unsubscribes from readers who would've otherwise received an email too early, possibly prompting a loud notification on their phone that wakes them.
MailChimp makes it easy for you to take existing code from a newsletter or email and use it again within the application. Say you already have an HTML-coded newsletter on your website – you can simply copy and paste the code and then edit what you need to change and it's ready to go.
It's simple to create an email with MailChimp's template editor, in which you can drag and drop text boxes, images and buttons. As easy as the editor is to use, you can also create your newsletter or email in another program, such as Outlook, and then just send it to a specific address in MailChimp. It's then added to your account and you can send it as is. MailChimp even gives your newsletter or email a quick second look and flags any potential problems so you can fix them before you send it out. It's an easy system for new users who aren't all that skilled in design, but it's definitely do-it-yourself only. MailChimp doesn't offer professional design services, which would allow you to pay extra to have it design your newsletter or email blast for you.
Like the other best email marketing services we tested, MailChimp makes it easy for you to import contact lists to your account. You can add contacts individually or in bulk. You can even integrate contact management systems into MailChimp, so you have access to customer activity along with your customers' contact information.
Sign-up forms are important for building your fan or reader base. MailChimp lets you create custom pop-up forms that integrate with Facebook fan and business pages, or you can use a template form. MailChimp also makes it easy for you to create targeted marketing campaigns for your customers. You can segment your contact list by any type of information you have about your readers. For example, if you own a bookstore, you can survey customers on who their favorite authors are and then send out emails that pertain to the fans of science fiction, romance or historical novels.
Whether you're new to email marketing campaigns or already a pro, MailChimp is one of the best options. It offers basic and advanced features that can help you create the best newsletters and emails for your subscribers. The one staple of the best solutions that it doesn't offer is professional design services, but its templates are easy to customize to your liking.