Mailchimp started out as an email design firm to make email newsletters look better. They became the greatest email marketing service provider in the galaxy by making the entire email marketing process so beautiful a sales guy could do it. But they don’t stand still and haven’t stood still on that one product. So where is Mailchimp going? I do not have an “in” or a source. I’m just a fan and power user, but I can see where Mailchimp has been, and take a stab at where they are going. What has Mailchimp conquered already?

Email Marketing

I’ve used approximately 6 other email marketing services over the past 10 years, and Mailchimp is by far the easiest. It is this marketer’s opinion that making the email marketing experience a great user experience is what set them apart from so many others. The other services I have used are slow, clunky, and very hard to use.

Facebook Ads

Mailchimp hasn’t replaced Facebook ads, for obvious reasons, but they have built a better UI and UX for marketers who use Facebook ads to reach new audiences on Facebook. The Facebook Ad UI isn’t nearly as bad as email service providers’ UX, but there is literally no alternative, until now. Today, running ads on Facebook is just as easy as email marketing, because it’s been Mailchimp’d.

Instagram Ads

ditto what they did for Facebook, since you had to go through the Facebook ad UI to place an ad on Instagram.

Google Remarketing Ads

Didn’t see this one coming. However, remarketing is one of the most misunderstood marketing tactics ever. Powerful, but creepy, remarketing lets marketers use banner ads to “remind” website visitors that they were at your website. Seeing that ad lets the marketer stay top of mind and lead the visitor back towards making a purchase. Retargeting is not as huge as email marketing. However, it provides a stepping stone to one of my predictions below as it puts Mailchimp into the Google marketing machine.

Landing Pages

HUGE. Absolutely huge. There are dozens, maybe more than 100 landing page software providers, most of whom charge $20-$50 per month for a subscription to their service. Companies like Unbounce, Leadpages, Instapage, and Atlanta startup Landing Lion have great SaaS businesses providing a very valuable service to digital marketers who understand the power and value of highly focused landing pages. Mailchimp has an opportunity to destroy (by which I mean put out of business) most of these landing page software providers. That said, Mailchimp’s landing page service is free, and is very basic at this point. However, we know what they do: start simple and make it great over time. I have started using Mailchimp landing pages. Much like their email marketing user experience, their landing pages are stupid simple to use. Landing page software providers would be wise to figure out how to survive.

What I think Mailchimp is going to conquer next

  • CRM – If you’re an email marketer, your entire email list – aka all your contacts – is already stored by Mailchimp. You send reminders, track purchases, track touches and contact points. David Cummings has long predicted a low end CRM player would fill the space over which Salesforce plays. Mailchimp could make a great SMB CRM solution, and they already have a very large, loyal customer base.
  • Adwords – The Google Adwords product is extraordinarily powerful, but the Adwords UX is absolutely horrible. A disaster requiring a PhD in disaster recovery to use intelligently. Ever wonder why hiring an Adwords expert is so expensive? Because Adwords is really hard to do well. Dear Lord in Heaven, please please please Mailchimp the Adwords UX (yes, Mailchimp is now a verb). Google will thank you, as will their millions of advertising customers. Please.
  • Ecommerce – This one might be a stretch, but in case you didn’t know, they opened their own ecommerce store just to learn more about (aka empathize with) their ecommerce customers. Mailchimp also publishes an incredibly helpful newsletter just for small ecommerce shops. I devour What’s In Store as I apply their wisdom to Southern Baklava.

Of course I could be totally wrong, and that’s ok. I’ll keep on using Mailchimp for my email, ecommerce, landing page, and Facebook marketing needs. On a separate note, it’s great to have THE email marketing service provider right here in the ATL.



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