Can you provide a brief description of your company?
I work SnapMobile, a Chicago app development company. We've built a platform that enables us to build apps in about a fifth or a sixth of the amount of time and cost that it typically takes.
What role do you play there?
I am a partner at the company and the head of growth.
What was the business challenge your clients were facing that initiated the need for this platform?
There were several reasons. One was managing our current clients. We're about a year in. We have somewhere between 20 and 30 current clients. We use MailChimp to manage them, send newsletters, and reach out to them. Then, equally as importantly, trying to do some new business growth with email lists. Finally, capturing emails on our site, which was the initial impetus of using this tool called SumoMe to capture emails on the site with MailChimp.
How does your company implement this platform or software?
The number one way we use it is it captures anyone who comes to our site and then signs up. We say, "Oh, do you want to receive a white paper on …?" – whatever when they're about to leave. They put their email in that, or if they do a new project request, it captures all those emails and builds lists. We also import our existing clients as their own list, and then we import many of our contacts with people who we've talked to or just even lists that we've purchased from other marketing tools or that we've received from other cold sales-type providers. We have a bunch of different lists on it, and we'll just create email templates and send them out to them, and what it's good at is helping you without the need for a developer to create nice HTML email templates. It's best if you have a designer but, if you don't, they have several templates with which you can do it yourself.
We do look at the analytics, and we actually had a high open rate from many of our emails that we sent out. We saw that and that does affect us. It's just that I think it would help more if we were actually using it more heavily, but it makes analytics pretty easy to understand, so that is nice.
Was your company considering other platforms? Why this platform?
We did. One of the reasons we liked MailChimp was the pricing structure. It's not the cheapest, but MailChimp gives you a good number of sends and features for free. So if you're where we are, meaning we need something, but we're not going to do email marketing heavily quite yet, it's good for that. You don't want to pay much to set up a tool that you know you're going to use in the future, but you just aren't going to use just yet. It allows you to become ramped up, which is great for smaller companies. Outside of that, it's incredibly user-friendly. We looked at some others, but MailChimp was the most user-friendly platform.
Third, and possibly most importantly, it integrates well with many different up-tools, such as SumoMe. It integrates with a number of other CRMs [customer relationship management tools] as well, so it's easy to import the lists into them and clean them up easily. That was huge because we were finding that, even with a few hundred people on the list, if I had to go in and manually clean up that list and import it, it was just brutal. Frankly, email marketing isn't successful enough overall for me to spend hours cleaning up these email lists. We're just not going to do it right now. Its simplicity is the reason why we tackled doing some of this stuff before we were even ready to use it because it made it so simple.
How much does your company spend to utilize the platform?
We're still at the free tier.
Were there any software features or tools that really impressed you?
I would say the templates for the HTML emails. That was probably my favorite part, and I'm pretty sure that other tools have something similar. It has a number of them, and they were nice. I also liked its import process. It sounds boring, but it's important because that's a huge pain. It has a nice interface for it to understand that you've imported a bunch of columns. Some match because they have a list of column names that are pretty common. It understands when some columns should just match those names, and when they don't. It'll ask you to match them up yourself or give you suggestions, so it actually makes that process pretty user-friendly and relatively simple to use.
Looking back, are there any areas of the software upon which you feel could be added or improved?
I don't know if I'm a heavy enough user to know that yet, but I would just say even more integrations with CRMs. We had a CRM initially that didn't integrate with MailChimp, and we were trying to decide which one to get rid of. Ultimately, MailChimp won out, and we got a new CRM to integrate with it. They should make sure that they are paying attention to some of those newer startup CRMs and making sure to integrate them because I think it's just a real pain when they don't integrate with one another when I am trying to import any list.
Do you have any results, stats, metrics or trends that you can share?
We did one big client newsletter so far, and I believe that our open rate it said was above the usual metrics. When it tells you the analytics, it takes your company's size and your number of customers and puts you in buckets and tells you the type of company you are and things like that. It tells you what's a good open rate, what's a medium rate, and what's rate is not so good. We fell in the good position – the highest category. I think a large part of that was just that the tool helped us. Obviously, their newsletter itself must have been decent, but I think the tool helps us make a pretty good newsletter without it taking a ton of the team's time. I know that our first newsletter fell in what they consider the very high range for similar companies to us.
Do you have any recommendations or advice for anybody that might consider using MailChimp?
I think the number one thing is if you're set on MailChimp, just make sure you're choosing a CRM that integrates with it simply so you can import quickly without having to just download a CSV, clean it up, and upload a CSV. I think that's what makes or breaks any of these tools. Like I said, our initial one didn't, so we had to switch.
We ask you to rate the software on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best.
What would you give the software for functionality of the features available?
5 – I haven't encountered anything that I think they should have or should add, but don't have.
What would you give the software for ease of use or ease of implementation into your business?
5 – It was simple in that category.
For support, as in responsiveness of the team or helpfulness of the resources available?
5 – I don't know that I've actually had to use their support much. I think it's unfair to give them a lower score.
How likely are you to recommend the software to a colleague or similar business?
5 – I always tell people they should use MailChimp.
For overall satisfaction with the platform?
5 – I don't have any complaints with it. That being said, I'm not an extremely heavy user.