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 Is Mail Chimp Worth It?
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RJB
Ecommerce Template Expert

United Kingdom
716 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2019 :  12:28:34  
I have around 12k mailing list subscribers but rarely send out promotional emails. On the occasions when I have used the mailing list I sent the emails directly from the mailing list admin page and I suspect a lot of them may have bounced, and my internet IP ended up being blacklisted. I'm thinking that Mailchimp may be a better option but with 12k subscribers, the cost is £125+vat per month for their standard plan which seems a bit steep to me. Can anyone advise if they have found Mailchimp to be worth the cost or recommend a cheaper alternative solution?

Thanks,

Richard.

Sinbad
Administrator

65850 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2019 :  13:13:43  
Hi Richard, a question on Mailchimp came up yesterday, dbdave had a good workaround to keep the domain from getting blacklisted. https://www.ecommercetemplates.com/support/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=112204

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dbdave
ECT Moderator

USA
8797 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2019 :  13:19:06  
I have mixed feelings about mail chimp. They recently raised my monthly rate by more than 20%.
I have 17k + subscribers.

The issue is I am terrible about sending these and only do a few a year, so it becomes expensive.

If you are sending at least a few campaigns a month, then I would say it's worth it.
There is a ton of analytics that can be powerful and the emails will be formatted well to display on the most devices.

I am going to try sending from the admin again, but it smaller (targeted) batches. I want to filter a category or product and market to those customers.

Depending on your host, sending 12k+ emails from your admin might be painful.

Steved
Ecommerce Template Expert

United Kingdom
842 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2019 :  13:20:02  
Hi Richard,

In our experience, Mailchimp is worth it. It makes the process extremely easy and you donít risk your own IP being blacklisted. The reporting and analysis tools are very good plus it will additionally automatically link/post to all social media if you use that. Importing your mailing list from ECT is easy and it keeps tabs on bounced emails and unsubscribed customers for you. They also offer signup form code and other useful bits and pieces to implement on your website if you need it.

To take full advantage, I think you need to be sending out about 1 promotional email a week and we also had a company called mailbakery make us a Mailchimp template specifically based on the look of our websites. Mailchimp have many good templates though if youíre happy to create your own.

You could always trial with a smaller list. I believe up to 5000 is around £50 a month.
I sound like a Mailchimp salesperson (Iím not!) but I think the reality is that I am happy to pay for software or a service that makes a job, quicker easier and more efficient. Like you, we used to send mailouts from our sites but it was utterly painful and now with Mailchimp itís easy.

Steve

RJB
Ecommerce Template Expert

United Kingdom
716 Posts

Posted - 11/15/2019 :  14:19:32  
Hi, Thanks for all the helpful replies. I saw Dave's suggestion to use a separate domain for mailing, but I'm not sure if that would solve the problem I experienced as it was my IP address provided by my ISP that was blacklisted.

It's good to hear about a positive experience with Mailchimp. I too have found mailing directly from the site quite painful and this is one reason why I rarely bother. A bit of laziness on my part too. The ease of use with Mailchimp is quite appealing and I suppose the high cost may motivate me to make good use of the service.

It would be good if I could create a smaller mailing list as a lot of my records are quite old and probably at least half are of no value now. I can't think of a good way to sort through 12k+ email addresses though. It would be good if there was a way to filter the subscribers who have been active customers within the past year or two.

Thanks again,

Richard.

John M
Advanced Member

377 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2020 :  04:29:10  
You can try SparkPost or sendgrid which are much cheaper.

John

dbdave
ECT Moderator

USA
8797 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2020 :  11:09:37  
Hi Richard,
quote:
It would be good if I could create a smaller mailing list as a lot of my records are quite old and probably at least half are of no value now. I can't think of a good way to sort through 12k+ email addresses though. It would be good if there was a way to filter the subscribers who have been active customers within the past year or two.



I always remove unsubscribes and not founds from my list.

I want to be segmenting my list (about 17k subscribers) and sending more targeted emails. That was not easy to do with mailchimp.
There are some powerful filtering built into the ect for sending targeted email.
I just moved to a dedicated server at Servelink. It's not cheap, but I now have total control over sever settings like email limits.

Like most hosts, Servelink has a limit of 500 email every 10 minutes max. I understand why they do this on the shared servers.
With my own server, I can now have control over that and I will (very soon) be sending campaigns from my store.
I know the blacklisting could become a problem, but my list is very clean.
When I paused my mailchimp account, I downloaded all unsubscribes then then (using a CSV too I wrote) I removed all of those from my ect list.

I also use double opt in for a long time now. We don't get as many (confirmed) subscribers, but the ones we do get, they have asked (twice) to be added to our list, and we know their email address is valid.

That $175.00/mo I was paying M/C helps cover a big chunk of the dedicated server, so I hope it all works out.

David

RJB
Ecommerce Template Expert

United Kingdom
716 Posts

Posted - 04/19/2020 :  11:52:56  
Hi,

I think it's been nearly 6 months since I posted here asking if Mailchimp was worth it ..well, following the advice received I decided to give it a try and I'm pleased to report that from my personal experience it has been worth it. I started with a list of 12k+ subscribers so the subscription was expensive initially, but I found that I was getting an almost instant response to the emails sent which resulted in a big boost in sales which more than covered the cost. I was surprised at the response because when I previously tried sending emails directly from the store admin I received very little response which makes me wonder how many of the emails were actually being delivered. After sending weekly emails via Mailchimp for the first 2 - 3 months I was able to see which email addresses were worth keeping and delete the old and unresponsive ones and after optimising the list I'm now getting a similar level of response at a much-reduced subscription cost. I still feel that Mailchimp is quite expensive, but the cost does motivate me to send out marketing emails regularly and the platform makes it very easy. I may look into the cheaper options suggested though, thank you.

Richard.

Edited by - RJB on 04/19/2020 12:04:10

John M
Advanced Member

377 Posts

Posted - 04/20/2020 :  02:29:57  
So we have from Google cloud, 3 dedicated virtual servers, 2 in Europe and 1 in the US, each with 3.75GB memory and 20GB SSD's for ~$80 per month that uses email from Sparkpost for $30 per month which provides 12,500 emails per day and 100,000 emails per month. The performance of the Google servers are simply stunning and you have total control of the environment. Spark post also has Recipient Validation at a reasonable cost as well which you can use to clean your list once a year. There is also no restrictions to the the number of recipients on Spark Post. Compare this to Mailchimp and it is easy to see it is a rip off.

You should not consider running your email marketing from your own server since your IP address will absolutely guaranteed to be blacklisted. Simply configure postfix (sendmail) to use a third party like Spark Post or Sendgrid and off you go... Most IP Addresses are now blacklisted by default, e.g. AOL, and it will take a lifetime to contact each Postmaster out there (millions) and negotiate to whitelist your IP... time is much better spent on other things.

John


Edited by - John M on 04/20/2020 02:37:06

dbdave
ECT Moderator

USA
8797 Posts

Posted - 04/21/2020 :  10:09:32  
quote:
You should not consider running your email marketing from your own server since your IP address will absolutely guaranteed to be blacklisted


Totally untrue.

If you have a great list that is clean and you do not use shady tactics to get people to (unknowingly in some cases) sign up, then it's pretty safe.
16,000 emails out on my own server (sent over about 15 minutes in batches of 2000) with no ill effects. No blacklisting.
Less than 100 unsubscribes and about 60 bounces.
I have spent years cultivating my list and for a number of years now, have used double opt in.
We get less confirmed signups, but we also have a solid list of customers who specifically asked for our emails, who we do not abuse.

The point is, it can be done without the blacklisting.

Soon, when things begin to return to normal, I will begin segmented emails right from the powerful tools built into the cart.

Thanks,
David
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