MailChimp has to be one of the most popular email marketing tools on the market today. And why, you may ask, do I need an email marketing tool?

It’s simple: you have something to offer whether that’s a service or product. You need customers. You need to grow your email list so you can reach your ideal customers. Who will BUY from you because they want to be ON your list and like and trust your brand.

Email marketing is not about collecting email addresses from the internet or business directories and spamming the life out of them with Sell, Sell, Sell messages! Used in collaboration with savvy social media marketing to spread your message even further, what’s not to like?

Why MailChimp?

To be fair, I could have written about MadMimi. I just wanted to share how easy it is to use this particular brand. This is based on my experience of sampling various email marketing platforms before I finally plumped for this Top Banana!  I have found MailChimp offers the solo entrepreneur the best in terms of Ease of Use, Support Features & Tutorials, Email Client Compatibility, Social Media Sharing & Analytics.

1. Ease of Use: From the moment that you visit their super snazzy website, everything is extremely simple to navigate, with clear step-by-step instructions to import your subscribers,  design a newsletter template from the myriad of options available, and even use your own HTML code. The User Interface design is amazingly clean and simple, but that’s just a personal preference!

2. Support Features & Tutorials: Video tutorials are available, as well as an extremely comprehensive FAQ/Search function which provides clear  instructions to help you with your particular issue. And, in the words of U2, if you still can’t find what you’re looking for, they have a Contact form and a Live Chat button.

3. Email Client Compatibility: Your email subscribers may be using Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, Thunderbird et al – but MailChimp software automatically selects the 10 most popular email clients from the subscriber’s list and displays exactly what the campaign will look like for each person. This can help you choose the right email layout & design that will display correctly in their browser. MailChimp also offers mobile optimized templates for smartphones.

4. Social Media Sharing: You can integrate your MailChimp campaign to Twitter, Facebook & Flickr – read more here: Let’s Get Social

5. Analytics: MailChimp really comes into its own with this feature. You can track how many Opens, Unread, URL clicks as well as how far your social media campaign has gone. You can view subscriber growth and decline.  MailChimp also monitors Hard or Soft “Bounces”. A “bounce” is when your email doesn’t reach the intended recipient perhaps through an incorrect email address being added or the email is no longer in use. The feature lets you easily keep on top of  your subscriber lists.

On a final note, please note that MailChimp do have strict anti-spam rules and if you send out lots of emails to addresses that have not subscribed to receiving your news, your account can be shut down!

As a small business owner, I find MailChimp a simple and perfect solution but as others will point out, it’s not for everyone, especially larger businesses. Your thoughts, as always, are appreciated.