Reasons not to use Mailchimp

Here’s Why Not Mailchimpmailchimp

Assume for a moment that you want to use email marketing for your business or project. Email marketing brings $44.25 ROI – it’s the best way to reach your customers/clients/friends & family and keep connected – here’s why I suggest you don’t choose Mailchimp. If you do – great – it’s important to use an email service provider.

Full disclosure – I am a Constant Contact solution provider, so that is what I use 100% of the time and I encourage others to, as well. For more on why I like Constant Contact, you can read elsewhere on this site, or join my e-list, and I’ll keep you posted.

This one is for anyone considering Mailchimp or using it currently – and why I recommend against that choice. I have used Mailchimp, and I’ve signed up for my share of newsletters – here’s what I think.

  1. Mailchimp makes you look bad. Unless you do a significant amount of customization of the onboarding process you tend to look like everyone else. From the sign-up form to the series of emails confirming that I want to receive your newsletter – to the newsletter itself – most peoples’ efforts look similar and that’s not a good thing.
  2. Gray – there’s a lot of gray in everything that Mailchimp does, and which in turn, you’re doing. From the sign-up process to the templates – gray. Do you like gray? It’s the color of the Portland sky much of the time – but there’s a wider color spectrum out there. If you want to improve your use of Mailchimp, find places to replace the gray 🙂
  3. The sign-up process. I join your email list and I’m put through a process that has me sign up; I receive a confirmation email; send that back in and get another email. This is a double-confirm. This wouldn’t be so bad except all along the way I’m receiving things from you which are lackluster. So, if you’re going with this process – get in there and customize the experience – brand it – push back against the gray. My first experience of your business shouldn’t be lackluster. Given that the first email you send a customer is the one with the highest open rate – you really want that to count. In this area, your first 3 emails are generally all a waste of the person’s time if you use Mailchimp. 
  4. Within Mailchimp, things can be difficult. Manipulating lists is one area I’ve felt can use a lot of help. If you’ll be doing much segmenting or data wrangling, this is an area to be wary of and hopefully avoid.
  5. Mailchimp Support? Like many online companies, you don’t get what you don’t pay for. This is one spot where you really want support. Your email marketing efforts are going to be key to your success – you want the best support possible. This is not Mailchimp’s strong suit (it is Constant Contact’s strong suit).
  6. Constant upsell.  List getting bigger – time to pay – want that feature? time to upgrade. Since getting used to a program takes time (esp. as they continually change) – get into something you’re going to want to stick with for a while. I find navigating a Mailchimp account cumbersome and so I will not work it and tend to unsubscribe from mailing lists that use it.
  7. All of the above should be enough to give one pause before going down the Mailchimp road. – and, all of this said – I do advise using Mailchimp over using nothing – it’s key to use an email service provider in this day and age.
  8. 6.12.18Podcast comparison: “Today email marketing guru Liz goes over the differences between the email marketing heavyweights: MailChimp and Constant Contact. What she found surprised her. She also lets you know if either can take the place of a full Customer Relationship Management system (CRM)

2.26.16 – This infographic is just in from Insiderhub. Here’s another comparison from May 2017 Constant Contact and MailChimp Comparison Chart.


2018 January comparison article.

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