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When it comes to newsletters, MailChimp is often the first tool that comes to mind and for a good reason. This email marketing software giant sends more than 600 million emails daily and has done an excellent job marketing the platform over the years. Plus, they offer a free plan which allows users to send up to 12,000 emails per month to 2,000 subscribers — a big help for startup businesses. However, is this enough to stick with the monkey-themed email marketing platform in 2019?
While MailChimp is undoubtedly a capable and proven email marketing tool, many marketing experts would tell you that the latter has begun to show its’ age and that there are better alternatives out there. If you have been using MailChimp for a while, then you have probably suspected the same as well.
In this post, we go over seven reasons why businesses are choosing to leave MailChimp and why you might want to consider doing the same this year.
1. Not a long term email marketing solution
MailChimp is a reasonably basic email marketing tool that is mostly geared towards startup businesses. This is evident in their free plan that lets users send up to 12,000 emails per month to 2,000 subscribers. Unfortunately, this also means that it is not a long term solution and must be treated as such.
Eventually, you will have to move on to a paid plan as your mailing list grows and need access to more advanced features to optimise your campaign. Users find that MailChimp lacks many of these features and at a similar price point, other email marketing platforms offer more value for the money.
2. Duplicate subscribers
One of the biggest reasons why businesses are leaving MailChimp has to do with how they handle subscriber count. Simply put, if you have one person subscribed to 5 of your mailing lists, then that counts as five subscribers even if that person is using the same email address.
As MailChimp charge rates based on the size of your mailing lists, you can end up wasting money as you create more lists to generate leads for your business.
3. Not affiliate-marketing friendly
MailChimp prohibits the use of the platform in affiliate marketing as part of their terms of service. The details are sketchy, but there have been cases of users getting banned due to the use of affiliate links.
If you plan on branching out to affiliate marketing this year, then you would do well to consider a friendlier alternative.
4. Emails going to Spam or Promotions Tab
There have been many reports of MailChimp users finding out that the emails that they are sending out their subscribers are going straight to Spam or Promotions Tab.
Now even legitimate campaigns can get caught up in spam filters for many reasons that are unfortunately easy to overlook (wrong addresses, missing unsubscribe link, lack of permissions and the like). The problem is not specific to MailChimp but is considerably more challenging to work with (more details further on this list).
If you check your Reports page and find that most of your emails are going to spam or junk folders, then you might want to consider moving to another email marketing platform.
5. Poor Customer Support
Issues like the ones mentioned above wouldn’t be so bad if you can quickly get a hold of experts and have them sorted out. Unfortunately, this is not the case with MailChimp which only offer email and chat support to paying customers. Free users get email support for 30 days, and that is it.
Even with premium support, it can take days for their support staff to get back to you. In the meantime, users will have to sift through tutorials, discussion boards and videos to try to find answers on their own.
6. No useful segmentation feature
As reliable as MailChimp is as an email marketing tool, it is too basic and lacks some critical features that marketers need for 2019 and beyond.
One such feature is segmentation which allows you to categorise users according to specific actions or results. For example, you might want to make a segment for users that opened your email and deleted them afterwards or users that clicked on a particular element of your newsletter. Such a feature is crucial for creating a targeted email marketing campaign but is, unfortunately, lacking in MailChimp.
While MailChimp claims to offer segmentation features, it is just too barebones as it is not customisable and the subscriber has to chime in on which category they fall under.
7. Lack of advanced automation
Perhaps the biggest downside to sticking with MailChimp this year and in the foreseeable future is the lack of advanced automation features. Features that truly matter in the current email marketing landscape. What do we mean by that?
Well, while MailChimp does offer a degree of automation, it is again too simplistic and far too sparse for the modern email marketer. Automation is limited to a few preset workflows which you will have to adapt to suit your business. Even then, editing the automation workflow is a tedious process and is a far cry from the workflow editors of other email marketing tools that you can build from the ground up.
If you have been using MailChimp and having trouble with your subscriber list due to automation-related reasons, then know that this is not one of MailChimp’s strong suits and you should undoubtedly consider switching this year.
One such email marketing tool that you may want to consider switching to in 2019 is ActiveCampaign which offers all the automation features an email marketer could need. This includes automatic tagging, unlimited list segmentation, and an intuitive drag-and-drop automation workflow editor to implement just about any automated process imaginable.
As it is today, MailChimp is better suited for beginners that only need to send out occasional newsletters to their subscribers, and that is it. If you are a start-up business, then you can take advantage of their free plan at least until you hit the 2000 subscribers limit. Beyond that, however, you will want to start looking for a more capable alternative.