One great type of marketing for MSP startups is newsletters, so I have my Mailchimp review from when we used it. Newsletters are excellent ways to establish yourself as a professional and an authority on technology.
A key component of good marketing is to give something away – because prospects get so much more once they have an established relationship. As IT professionals we have a great deal of knowledge and experience. We can suggest products or strategies to prospects to help them grow and secure their businesses. They will still need us to configure, manage and maintain those, which is what they pay for of course.
Informational tidbits are the allure to the prospect to sign up. Sharing our experiences with how we helped clients like them really sends the message home. The newsletter helps establish the fact that we can help the prospect specifically and effectively.
There are more good reasons to market using a mailing list, so it’s important that we get this Mailchimp review out to help the MSP Startup be successful.
Any tool we use to send newsletters has to have some basic features to ensure our success. Not all the options you need are available, so you have to study the product closely. Additionally, they don’t all price the tool the same way. I’ve seen everything from charging per month by recipients, by subscribers, by user, and even more. When you are comparing on price, you’ll need to know more about how you’ll use it to get a clear picture.
Measuring results is the top feature to start with. Without results, you are flying blind in your marketing. You need to know if your messages are being read, the links you include are being clicked, and even when people subscribe or leave your list. The sooner you identify content that works, or does not work, the sooner you can adjust. Some providers even offer A & B testing so you can see results on two slightly different newsletters sent to the same types of recipients.
Complying with regulations is another top feature to consider. If the provider offers double-opt in (and they all should), then you can tick that off the list. If they don’t, or it is somehow an extra charge, then perhaps be more critical.
A provider that cleans up after their own clients is another important consideration, and one you might not know until you’ve tried them. I’m talking about the providers who will allow anyone to use the platform. Those clients use it to straight up send out spam. They don’t properly select recipients who opted in. Worse, the provider makes it difficult or impossible to unsubscribe. You probably get enough spam yourself to identify some of those providers.
Categorizing subscribers is another feature which can help you out when you’re measuring results. You might get subscribers who are prospects, clients, or even just drive-by visitors. All these types of folks have the ability to get you more business, but perhaps in slightly different ways. When you consider the needs of more specific subsets of your audience, you can craft messaging that can really appeal to them.
Let’s get into our specific product review. First off, I want to tell you that in the above key feature areas, Mailchimp is a winner. The reporting is top notch, and I can customize how often and what areas are included on regular reports. I also get instant reports when we get new subscribers, or someone leaves. This is critical to discern what is working and what isn’t.
Mailchimp has offered some reliable delivery of our messages. We have very few bounces, and that’s really important. If you are familiar with email delivery you know the tools we have as administrators to control email flow. Senders have to comply with a lot of hoops to deliver messaging. Mailchimp does that well.
There are a couple levels to the categorization which is also a big help. It is flexible enough to allow you to use it in ways that compliments your specific marketing needs as well. You can also use some A & B testing to make sure your messaging is effective.
A huge added bonus feature is setting up email automation to new subscribers. When someone joins our newsletter, they get an email every few days gradually introducing ourselves to them and offering something in the last one. An eBook link or something of value is a nice present to someone who is going to be spending time reading your newsletters!
Wait, there’s more!
The added features of Mailchimp don’t stop with newsletter management. They have advertising features like Google Remarketing, and Facebook Ads to help integrate all your efforts under one roof, so to speak.
There is a design center which helps you build content that is consistent across all the platforms you use to get your messaging out. You can also save that, and any other images you have into an online library to use together or separately in your ads, newsletters, or even postcards. Oh yes, you can set up good old USPS postcard creation and sending all from this same platform.
What’s the Catch?
Mailchimp has been around for a long time and they aren’t well known for playing games. There’s not really a catch per se, but some words of advice can help out.
They don’t have exactly the same pricing model as many of their closest competitors. You will have to consider the frequency of email you send, and how large your mailing list could be. Mailchimp is certainly affordable, especially when you are an MSP startup. That’s a plus.
The number of features that differentiate them from the competition is important. You are getting a pretty sizable platform for what you are paying and integrating one contact list is a huge benefit. The drawback to offering everything is that you can’t specialize and if you need some custom changes to certain campaigns, you might be out of luck.
All that said, Mailchimp is an excellent resource for the MSP Startup and could even be something you grow out of, which is going to happen from time to time. It might be better to save money up front and plan to consider changing later. The experience in managing your own newsletters is invaluable when you someday delegate this activity to an employee or outsource it. You’ll need to know how to measure their performance too!
I hope you enjoyed this Mailchimp Review and if you have more detailed questions about my experience with it, I’d invite you to contact me. If you have a favorite tool that served you well, please let me know – I’d be happy to share your story here on the site as well – with credit to you of course!