Using MailChimp for email marketing

Using MailChimp for email marketing
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MailChimp is an online marketing automation platform with extremely handy email marketing related functionality.

This is an ongoing post. Please suggest corrections, explanations, etc. in the comment section at the bottom of this page.

All their features, including their email marketing ones, are comprehensive in nature and very customisable, but yet fairly easy to use. Pricing is very flexible, but mainly depends on the total amount of email recipients and ranges from free to a couple of hundred rand.

Email lists

MailChimp has been around for a couple of years now and knows how to simplify email marketing. Basic functionality related to email marketing includes the creation and management of email lists, monitoring the quality of these lists, and the easy incorporation of these lists into email campaigns. On top of their online platform (no software needed), they offer secure, fast and reliable email servers to make sure each and every email is delivered to its recipient.

MailChimp email list
A shortened version of a MailChimp list. This list was imported from a CSV.

Email campaigns

By creating email campaigns, one email can be sent to multiple recipients on the email list (without them knowing about each other). Various types of campaigns are available, including RSS Feed (one that automatically posts email containing, for example, information from a website), to once-off emails. Depending on the settings, scheduling of campaigns is also possible. The campaign creator process takes the user in a step-by-step fashion through the various settings and options and ends with a WYSIWYG template (reusable layout) builder. Optionally, the process can be in a ‘wizard format’ to guide first-time users. MailChimp has all the tools you need to create comprehensive and professional looking emails.

MailChimp has multiple professional looking templates to choose from.

Pricing and plans

MailChimp offers different pricing plans and different add-on plans with regards to functionality. The pricing plans are mainly aimed at the amount of email recipients (subscribers) and/or the amount of emails sent per month. Apart from the Forever Free plan, frequent senders with large email lists will benefit more from the Monthly plans, while infrequent senders can make use of the Pay As You Go plan. MailChimp also offers a ‘Pro’ add-on plan which allows for more advanced functionality.

MailChimp pricing structure
The three basic MailChimp pricing plans – Forever Free, Growing Business and Pro.

To start off with, MailChimp can be used for free up to 2 000 email recipients or up to 12 000 emails per month. Basic features for the Forever Free plan include the email designer, segmentation, marketing automation, Facebook campaigns and basic analytic reports.

When the recipient and/or number of emails per month limit has been reached, paid-for plans (Monthly and Pay As You Go) plans needs to be activated. Pricing for the Monthly plan is related to the amount of subscribers, while the pricing for the prepaid Pay As You Go plan is based on credits per email sent. Paid for plans have additional functionality including Inbox Preview, email delivery by time zone, advanced analytics, chat, custom branding and e-commerce tools.

MailChimp growing business plans
Example of the Growing Business tiered structured pricing. On the left is the Pay As You Go plan and the Monthly plan is on the right. These prices are in South African Rands.

Analytics

Basic analytics are available on all the plans, but paid-for plans and add-ons plans add more advanced analytics. Basic analytics include open rate and list quality statistics.

Getting started

Getting started with MailChimp
Getting started with MailChimp is easy. To get a Forever Free account, use your own email address and follow their instructions.

With their Forever Free plan, MailChimp is a great tool, even for smaller audiences. Getting started is as simple as having access to an email address and signing up. With their well set up guidance, they will take it from there.

About the author
Renier busies himself with improving his English writing, creative web design and his websites, photoshopping, micro-electronics, multiple genres of music, superhero movies and badass series.
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