Whether you’re a new business looking to make a splash or an existing company looking to drum up some fresh business, it’s likely you’ve considered email marketing. Having a direct line to your customers, clients, friends and family and bringing a return on investment of $44.25 makes it a simple choice for business of all ages and sizes.
Before you sign up for anything, we encourage you to do your research. Many businesses sign up to Mailchimp because of its brand recognition, but there are many reasons why the reality of working with this service fails to live up to the hype.
Having used Mailchimp and having signed up for more than a fair share of newsletters ourselves, we wanted to highlight a few of the ways we feel it falls short:
- It can make your company look amateurish. Unless you take the time and effort to do significant customisation to your newsletter – which isn’t available in the free version – your newsletter will look like every other newsletter made in a free Mailchimp subscription – and that’s a lot of people! Everything from the sign-up form to the confirmation emails will look eerily familiar to any of your customers who’s signed up to a newsletter in the past several years.
- Limited availability for customisation of templates
You’d better like grey, because it’s one of the most common colours in Mailchimp emails and forms. Again, if you’ve got a paid subscription, you can customise some of this away, but not all of it. If you’re a brand that has a fun or active image, you might be better served somewhere else with a wider array of colours.
- Long and drawn out lengthy sign up process
Most Mailchimp sign ups involve receiving a confirmation email, sending that back, and receiving a second confirmation email. This is unnecessary, and can also really hammer home how boring your templates look. If you do go through this process, make sure that you’re giving your customers something a bit more interesting to look at to ensure that you’re giving them the right idea about your business.
- Simple tasks like manipulating lists can be unnecessarily difficult in Mailchimp
Other services offer more intuitive user interfaces that allow you to do more. What’s more, navigating Mailchimp accounts is often cumbersome and difficult even for experienced marketers.
- Mailchimp Support leaves a lot to be desired. Like many online companies you don’t often get the level of service you need, and email marketing is one area where you’ll really want professional help as it can be a key way to reach potential customers.
- The constant upsell can be positively exhausting
Everything from expanding your mailing list to adding features requires an upgrade. Getting used to a program – especially one in active development – takes time, so pick one that you’re comfortable sticking with for a while. Don’t pick a free service and suddenly need to find the money to get a premium subscription; get something with longevity right out of the gate.
This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it should be enough food for thought to get you to do some research before you sign up for anything. Mailchimp is definitely better than no email marketing, but think carefully before you commit your brand and your business to something.
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