Mailchimp News Update - September 2019Pricing Changes, The Calendar & Tags
“Everything changes but you…”
So sang Gary Barlow and the rest of Take That back in 1993… and there are times that I’m sure we all wished this was true when it came to Mailchimp… but the times.. they are-a-changing.
Mailchimp continues to develop it’s platform and although sometimes we may wonder what that big monkey is actually doing over in Atlanta, most of us have complete faith that it’s for the better (although sometimes, it is hard to see the wood for the trees!).
Recent updates though have generally been received very positively. There’s a new calendar view on the system which will help (more on that later), and it’s clear to see that Tags are definitely something that Mailchimp are pushing forward with as their main method of segmentation (again, more on that in a bit).
However, you may have noticed a little notification from Mailchimp that they’re putting their prices up for Legacy customers from October 2019.
Now before you start throwing your toys around and screaming “it’s not fair” and wondering what it means to your lovingly crafted Mailchimp account and how it’s all going to change (much like the response to the pricing and structural changes back in May this year), take a moment and consider the following:
- Mailchimp are NOT CHANGING ANYTHING IN YOUR ACCOUNT
OK, so nobody likes price rises… but at least this time the big chimp has realised that changing what you can do at each level would create mayhem and chaos across the board… and so even though legacy pricing is going up… you will still have access to everything you had before – they’re not changing the structure of things… just the pricing.
- Mailchimp haven’t changed their pricing for over 10 years (apparently)
Inflation is something we all have to deal with (I remember when you could buy a marathon (aka Snickers for all you millennials) for 10p… now you’d struggle to get change from £1), and so not having had a price change for 10 years is pretty impressive.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want their prices to go up… but since they’ve not done it for a long time… and I trust that their investing in moving their business forward with new features and benefits… I’ll begrudgingly accept the change.
- Most people are on the free level
There are loads of people using Mailchimp at the free level and who’ll never get up to the paid level – and as such, this won’t affect you.
- The price increase is not on a “business-killer” level
Again, I’m not saying I like prices going up, but considering the cost of Mailchimp, unless you’re on a very high level of subscribers, the changes in price aren’t going to kill your business. For a list of about 10,000, the changes amount to about £10 ($12) a month, which for most business should not be an issue (and if it is, you might be in the wrong business!).
- If it is a step too far, the cost of moving is always going to be a challenge
If your monthly Mailchimp bill is in the hundreds or even thousands, the effect is going to be slightly bigger… but remember, you’re still paying based on subscribers… and you probably have a fair number of subscribers who you could “cull” as they’re just not that into you – and thus bring your costs down.
If you’re in this position, then now might be the time to cleanse your list – I’ve done this with a couple of accounts recently who had big audiences and their costs have halved without actually losing any active subscribers (book a chat if you want to learn more).
- The grass isn’t always greener
There are lots of other players out there… but regularly I hear people coming back to Mailchimp having realised that the other systems aren’t working the way they want… I’m not saying Mailchimp is the best (in fact I know there are many other email tools out there with more bells and whistles than the ‘chimp)… just that the grass is not always greener.
So before you start looking at alternatives or drafting a grumpy email to Mailchimp, take a moment. Nobody likes price rises… but as a Mailchimp user for 10 or so years myself, I have faith that they are doing this for a reason and that the increase in cash is going to be reinvested into making Mailchimp an even more powerful tool for its users.
…but if they put prices up next year….
A New View in Campaigns
Recently, and without much fanfare, Mailchimp pushed out a development in how you can view campaigns.
Traditionally, we’ve all come to know the basic campaign listing… where you can see about 4 campaigns before you scroll down!!!
I’ve never been a big fan of this – it takes up too much screen real estate and once you start having more and more campaigns it becomes a pain in the ass to navigate (Especially if you are using Mailchimp to do your social posts).
…but the new feature allows you to view campaigns by date – which is something which will really help if you’ve got lots of campaigns to work with.
Unfortunately, this hasn’t rolled out to all users AND it doesn’t allow you to click on a campaign to view/edit/replicate it – so it’s a bit ‘hamstrung’ in terms of functionality right now… but it shows that the peeps in Atlanta are at least thinking of how to display campaigns when we are all potentially going to be doing more of them!
So in a nutshell – not much to see here…but it might be a step forward in the right direction.
Tags, Groups, Tags, Groups, Whatever…
The big question on most people’s lips when it comes to Mailchimp is about how to segment your audience. With the changes earlier in the year relating to account structure which limited audiences on new accounts AND new free accounts, users who want to segment their audience were wondering what’s the best way to do it?
Groups… or Tags…?
Well as someone who has been a huge advocate for Groups… I’ve actually started using Tags for several of my client accounts and it’s working quite well.
…and the impression I get from the head chimps on the grapevine is that Tags are definitely the future.
What I have realised though is that in reality it doesn’t matter whether you use Groups or Tags… as in most instances they are as good as each other… the key question you have to ask is actually, how are you going to put people into Groups/Tags?… and this comes down to the tools you are using to capture information.
Some tools let you use Tags, others let you use Groups… others don’t do either.
My suggestion to you is if you are segmenting for the first time, I’d go with tags… only if you have a tool that let’s you use tags in your signup form process.
If the tool you use to create forms only lets you use Groups – use groups… they’ll be around as long as email marketing is still something to be used.
So it’s not actually whether you should use a tag or a group… it’s what the tool you use to capture people’s details allows…
Robin Adams is a business owner who is passionate about helping businesses build effective marketing systems that work and don't waste money. Having a lifetime of Marketing experience (he's got a degree in Marketing before there were degrees in Marketing!) and having worked for big and small businesses and both client and agency side, he understands not only the theory, but the systems that are required to underpin everything.
51% marketer and 49% Chimp, Robin is the main man behind chimpanswers.com and the Mailchimp Answers Facebook Group - the world's biggest Mailchimp User Group. Connect with him on Linkedin.