Liz covers Mailchimp’s recent move to a full-service marketing automation platform. Hear her initial thoughts on the changes after testing some of the new features.
The State of Mailchimp in 2019
Sandro [00:00:06] Welcome back to Liz and Sandro’s Marketing Podcast. We are the podcast that helps your business grow through all things digital marketing, including email marketing, search engines, social media and so much more. Today Liz is going to give us a passionate state of Mailchimp 2019.
Liz [00:00:26] That’s right. Last month, Mailchimp announced fairly significant changes to their platform. They’ve long been known as an email marketing platform but they have made an official push to be known as a full service marketing platform now. I have some mixed feelings about this. I see us in some cases continuing to use Mailchimp, in other cases we won’t. I’ve got clients who will be excited about this and others who won’t. So let’s start with a little bit of history for those who may not know; first and foremost, Mailchimp was an email marketing platform. You could create subscriber lists, you could build email templates and communicate with your list through email.
Sandro [00:01:04] And you say “was,” but I feel like if you ask people on the street they would still say that’s all they are. I still think that’s all they are. But you’re saying they’re becoming more.
Liz [00:01:11] True. Yeah. And I guess maybe because we are in a Mailchimp account pretty much every day. That’s a good point. That’s a good point.
Sandro [00:01:19] Well anyways. No. Sorry.
Mailchimp Has New Offerings Incl Landing Pages & Facebook Ads
Liz [00:01:20] No worries. So over the last several years, they have, I’ve observed that they have been adding new offerings to their packages, even to the “forever free” version which I have always appreciated. They have added email marketing automation or what they call workflows. They have added better ways to start to segment your audience. Although I’ll be honest, there were times where I didn’t feel like this was a true CRM. And if clients needed that I felt like they needed to look elsewhere. So I’ll talk about that in another minute.
Liz [00:01:53] But fast forward to 2019 and they have as of, I believe it was May 15th, they have rolled out the official announcement and added some new features. So you can actually start to build websites and landing pages with Mailchimp. They have improved CRM capabilities for managing your audience and you can also send out retargeting ads and ads through other platforms like Google and Facebook.
Mailchimp Overextending Itself?
Liz [00:02:20] So like I said before I have some mixed feelings about this and here’s why. I love that Mailchimp was a very simple email marketing platform. For clients who have never explored email marketing it was basically a no-brainer to get them going on Mailchimp because it was super simple and the price point was always great. And if you remember, we recently did in our “back to basics” series we did a back to basics on email marketing and I mentioned how many people have not even dipped their toes in the water of email marketing.
Liz [00:02:57] We still come across clients who I’m like, “Hey let’s get you on Mailchimp, let’s get you going.” But anyways now that we’re looking at all of these bells and whistles within Mailchimp and now that it is again this full service marketing automation platform, there’s definitely going to be times where I see us not recommending Mailchimp, where we recommend something that’s just email. Where we’re taking a closer look at something called MailPoet right now. It ties into WordPress very well and…
Sandro [00:03:31] MailPoet, P O E T?
Liz [00:03:33] Correct. Yeah, yeah. And probably should have looked at it years ago but I just love Mailchimp so much that we just always, always recommended Mailchimp. So again, for a client or a business that just wants email, you know, Mailchimp that may be a little iffy because there’s just so much in there now. And I observed even over the last couple months, I just kind of, I would by memory just kind of click click click and then I’m like, “wait, what page am I looking at?” Like it’s, the interface has become more robust, maybe a little more complicated to navigate which I’m not loving.
Does the World Need Another Full Marketing Platform?
Liz [00:04:14] And yes I’ll get used to it I suppose but I am still trying to get my bearings I guess is my point. I also don’t see us using some of the retargeting and advertising features that they’ve added. We as an agency, we’re up to speed on Facebook Ads Manager and Google Ads and we already have a lot of clients on those platforms. And yes, we have perhaps been using Mailchimp in combination with Facebook ads and Google ads. I just don’t see us suddenly starting to do everything through MailChimp.
Sandro [00:04:50] You said earlier, does the world need another full marketing platform?
Liz [00:04:55] Yeah I definitely… in my…because let me say this. You know my initial reaction to all of this was, “Ugh, change. Great. One more thing I’m going to have to learn.” And I’m sitting here in my office thinking, “Do we need another?” You know, there’s HubSpot, there’s Marketo, there’s ActiveCampaign. I mean the list goes on and on there’s so many of these platforms you know, do we really need another one? But I want to end on a positive note and I will say there are many times where I felt like I was pushing the capabilities of Mailchimp to the max and it couldn’t, it just couldn’t do what I wanted it to do. And I think some of these new features will help tremendously with that. So I am really excited.
Liz [00:05:41] Full disclosure, I have not tested all of the latest features yet and I may not test all of them because I don’t think I’m going to actually upgrade to like, the top tier package. It’s just, I just don’t see us needing it either internally or for clients. But I am going to really test all of these features. What I’ve tested so far I really like. And I can, already, let me say this because I can already kind of predict this.
Liz [00:06:04]What I feel like is missing from a CRM lead management perspective is I’m not seeing a very clear way to map out the sales funnel journey for a lead or a prospect. And they may never add that or maybe they will, I don’t know. And you could argue that, hey, you could keep track of that you know, on a whiteboard or somewhere else. I’m just a very visual person.
Liz [00:06:33] And the CRM that I’ve been working elsewhere for Hersh PR has just a visual journey of like, where the lead is. Like they’re top of funnel, they’re middle, they’re, okay we’re closing this deal or we lost this deal. You know, I didn’t, I haven’t seen that yet in Mailchimp. And maybe I need to dig a little further but I will say if that piece is missing, like that’s going to be a bummer for me. But that’s for me personally.
From SMB Perspective Mailchimp May Be Ideal
Liz [00:06:57] For other clients that we have, like that may not be a concern at all and they may just love all of the different ways that we can better segment audiences and reach them through email, through Facebook and through ads. So yeah, I really, I do like what I see. I kind of threw a little tantrum at first when I was like, “Oh great, more change.” But I am really excited for what they’re, for what I’m seeing.
Sandro [00:07:23] That’s from an agency perspective. Like what if it was a small business just starting up with Mailchimp. Would that be something they’d want to look at? Is that, are there better ways they could go about doing…
Liz [00:07:34] So I think from the small business perspective it’s actually very ideal because then you are managing everything from one place. You don’t theoretically have to learn all of the ins and outs of retargeting on another platform or whatever it might be. I definitely think there could be some benefits to that. And Mailchimp has a great help section so if you have problems you know, you can read about it. If you have a paid account you are, you do have access to, I think it’s chat support. I think phone support is a top tier feature. So yeah, I think yeah, from a small business perspective this could be great.
But Maybe Not For Agencies
Liz [00:08:13] I think I actually read as I was doing some research for this episode I think I read that Mailchimp said that most of their businesses, like most of their clients that use Mailchimp, are small businesses. They have less than 100 employees. Which in the big scheme of things is a relatively small company. You know that, you probably, I mean I guess it kind of depends on what you do but if you have a company of 100 you might have a marketing department of one, maybe two. So for that in-house person to have to manage all of that, yes, to do it from Mailchimp is probably going to be a tremendous benefit. From the agency side and from the end user side I think it’s positive.
Sandro [00:08:57] Great. I love this information. Email marketing is your forte it’s not in my wheelhouse at all so I love these updates.
Liz [00:09:04] I love it, yeah.
Sandro [00:09:04] Yeah. The only people I think of are Mailchimp when I think of emails. So, maybe they’ll change their name to Marketingchimp.
Liz [00:09:13] I predict some changes to their branding. I love Marketingchimp, that’d be great. I feel like I’m seeing less and less of the little monkey every time.
Sandro [00:09:21] Boo!
Liz [00:09:22] I know!
Sandro [00:09:22] Do you get the high five, the paw?
Liz [00:09:22] I know, I know. So we’ll see.
Sandro [00:09:26] Is that gone, do you know? The high five paw? When you complete an email.
Liz [00:09:30] You know what, I don’t, wow. I should pay… I know the little finger is coming down on the button, like when you hit the go button. But then I yeah, I click send and then I probably like, move on to another browser window. I move on too fast. Yeah.
Sandro [00:09:48] Thanks for keeping us up to date on all the things happening with Mailchimp. And thank you for joining us. If you like what you hear we’d love a review over on iTunes. You will find us there, on Spotify, Google Podcasts and so much more. Wherever you find your favorite podcast. If you have a question we’d love to hear it. Send us an email. Our email address is in the show notes. We’re also on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Thanks again for joining us. See you next time.