I hate Mailchimp. There. I’ve said it.
I’m not usually one for hating things but after a recent foray into Mailchimp to help a lovely client migrate to MailerLite I realised that I do, in fact, hate Mailchimp.
I have some very specific reasons for this which I’m going to share with you here so if you are finding that you too hate Mailchimp you can go in search of a replacement with a list of requirements.
1. The way they count subscribers is mean
When you first start using email marketing you may well just have one list of people on your newsletter. As your business grows you might then add another list of people who attend an event or sign up for a freebie.
Someone who is on 2 lists (audiences) counts as 2 subscribers on Mailchimp. If they are on 3 lists they count as 3 subscribers. You can do the maths.
Even though they are just one person, with one email address they can count multiple times. And Mailchimp charges based on the number of subscribers so this matters!
(In the interest of balance, Mailchimp recommends you use tags and groups to split your audience rather than separate lists BUT this is so faffy to set up that Christmas will be here before you have got it set up so I’m sorry, they are not off the hook for this first boo boo.)
I’ve not quite finished. As well as counting people twice if they are on 2 lists, Mailchimp also count unsubscribed emails in your total subscribers and require you to manually delete those who have unsubscribed to keep your numbers down. Like I said, mean.
[Requirement for alternative system – one ACTIVE email address = one subscriber]
2. You can’t automatically move people from one list to another
Picture the scene. You’ve created a great freebie, you’ve slaved over a lovely welcome sequence of emails and made a lovely sign up form. Someone signs up! Brilliant.
They get sent your carefully crafted automated emails and then… nothing.
In order to get onto your main newsletter list from the welcome list you will have to go and manually move them from one list to another. In 2021.
I mean really Mailchimp. You can do better than that.
[Requirement for alternative system – ability to use automations to move subscribers from one list or group to another]
3. It’s really hard to find things!
I’m pretty tech savvy. I can cope with a dodgy user interface but Mailchimp has taken this to a new level. Further analysis suggests that their unhelpful names for things (a list is an audience for example) combined with multiple icons (that make no sense), dropdowns that are not obviously dropdowns and buttons that hop from the right to the left and bottom to the top are all part of the problem.
[Requirement for alternative system – a simple and easy to use interface]
4. Support could be better
When the above issues get frustrating you’re stuck. On their free plan there is no support beyond a 30 day trial of the email and chat. Nothing, nada, not a sausage. Does this fill me with enthusiasm to give them my money. Frankly no it does not.
You do get support once you pay, the times I’ve used it have not made my heart sing.
[Requirement for alternative system – some support available even on free/low plans]
5. Automations are limited
The best thing about email marketing is being able to make connections with people and share value.
The second best is that automations can be used to do this while you are walking the dog, having a lie in, on your yacht etc. But Mailchimp’s automations (or journeys as they like to call them!) are limited to sending emails off a trigger.
Compared with other tools that let you add tags, move people from one list (audience) to another, trigger other automations and more then Mailchimp is just not up there.
[Requirement for alternative system – automations that are called automations and that can do more than just send an email i.e. add tags, groups, change values]
6. Mailchimp was my first true tech love.
OK there’s a back story here. When I first set up my business I LOVED Mailchimp. I used it for my own business, I set up clients with it, I set up our local Parish council on it and I delivered Mailchimp training. I waxed lyrical about it.
I loved the quirky branding (they’ve subsequently sacked the money who pressed the red send button which was so fun!) and I loved that they offered a free and easy way to get started with email marketing.
Then they got fancy, added way more complicated stuff and in short we grew apart. I can’t help feeling cheated. Mailchimp let me down. Broke my heart. Mailchimp, it’s not me it’s you.
I could go on but these are the main points that make me grumble and feel a little bit sad every time I have to use Mailchimp.
And the main reason I use a different tool for my own email marketing. If you want to know which one then you might want to read this post I wrote, kind of the opposite to this one and all about why I love… (go on you know you want to find out which platform it is!)