Mailchimp: Keeping it Personal
This week I want to send a shout-out to a company that makes my life easier every time I share a blog: Mailchimp. I’ve been a loyal customer since 2009, though “customer” implies some form of payment and I’ve been taking advantage of their “forever free” plan for the past seven years. 2000 subscribers and 12,000 emails each month is currently more than adequate to house this mailing list and the list for SnipeToday. Should either outgrow those limits, Mailchimp offers two convenient ways to upgrade: monthly or pay as you go.
I’m sure there are numerous other companies that offer similar email marketing services, though Mailchimp proudly states that they are “the world’s leading email marketing platform.” According to their website, they send more than a billion emails a day. But the reason I’m such a loyal Mailchimp fan is not their size; it’s their personality. They make it easy, but they also keep it light. Their mascot, Freddie, reminds me of that every time I go to their site. He’s smart, he’s friendly, and he’s present on every page.
The few times I’ve contacted the Mailchimp help desk, the banter has been upbeat and lively—though it never, ever interferes with getting a quick answer to my questions. I don’t know if they still do this, but in the early days the reward for being a good customer was a virtual “banana,” as in “That’s exactly right, two bananas for you!” After one particularly lengthy help desk session, they even sent me a chimp coloring book and a T-shirt—even though I felt I should be thanking them. If that’s how they treat their forever free customers, I can only imagine what they do for the paying kind.
I haven’t had to call the help desk in several years, because the technical side of sending emails that look good has continuously and dramatically improved every year. No longer do I have to grapple with html tags and formatting details, because Mailchimp templates take care of that. There are almost too many to choose from. And all the ones I’ve tested are easy to read on a variety of screens.
Currently Mailchimp has a statement on their home page that I heartily agree with: “Being yourself makes all the difference.” Blogs succeed when they are personal and genuine, because that’s the only thing that differentiates humans from bots. Companies succeed for the same reasons, though most lose touch with that perspective as they grow. Mailchimp’s company culture is “proudly weird,” an approach that feels more personal than corporate. That wouldn’t work on its own, but when combined with technical expertise and products that simplify and improve our communications, it makes them stand out in a very crowded marketplace.
So thank you, Mailchimp. You’ve made it easy to check one item off my list each week; sending updates to my most devoted readers. And more importantly, you also make me smile—every time I see Freddie.