MailChimp Review

You might know them for their monkey logo, or their popular monkey-themed teeshirts and more. Perhaps you heard of them because they let you start an email newsletter for free and send it to so many people, you wouldn’t need to worry about upgrading until you knew your newsletter was a success. Or maybe, if you’re the curious type, you’ve noticed so many of the email newsletters you subscribe to include links to this app.

Either way, if you read or send emails—*and really, who doesn’t?*—chances are you’ve heard of MailChimp. It started out as just another way to send email newsletters, albeit one that tried to make sending emails a bit more playful and a bit less stressful, but has grown into an app that can cover all of your email needs.

The basics are still simple and powerful in MailChimp. There’s dozens of pre-made templates that you can customize, or bare-bones templates for you to fill with your design, graphics and more, and a service to see how your emails will look in a variety of standard email apps. Save a template, and you can then use it to quickly send out emails in an interface that’s likely less complicated than your standard email app—or let MailChimp send out emails automatically from your RSS feed. Then, you’ll quickly know how your email lists are performing with built-in simple stats that’ll show open rates and more.

If newsletters aren’t enough, MailChimp’s new Automation tools might be just what you need. They let you quickly setup automatic emails that’ll go out to new subscribers, customers from a number of eCommerce systems, or anyone on your lists based on pre-set data like events and goals on your site. You’ll use the same templates for the emails, and a simple interface to schedule the emails to go out when you want. That’ll make sure everyone’s on the same pages, and will keep you from having to repeat yourself in your email updates. Plus, once your welcome emails go out, your new contacts will also get your newsletters without any work on your part.

Email used to be tied to Outlook on a PC at a desk, but nowadays email is as mobile as SMS. So is MailChimp. There’s a mobile app to manage everything in your account, as well as a Snap app to send email newsletters just by snapping a picture from your phone, and a mobile signup app to turn your tablet into a kiosk to signup new subscribers. There’s even a special app to keep an eye on your VIP subscribers, along with one to send coupon codes in your emails and scan them from your phone. Your mobile devices aren’t just another tool with MailChimp; they can quickly become an essential part of your email strategy.

Sending emails to thousands of readers can be stressful. MailChimp tries to take the edge off by making your email sending experience a bit more fun, and giving you the tools and knowledge—in free eBooks and more—that’ll help you get the most out of your email work. And if that’s still too much, you can turn to MailChimp’s even simpler companion email app, TinyLetter—or, if MailChimp’s not enough, you can use itsMandrill service to send emails directly from your own app. No matter what your needs, MailChimp’s a great family of apps for email lovers.

Matthew Guay, Zapier