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Showcase: Buk America

Thm_buk_1 "A BüK is an inexpensive pamphlet—just $1.49—containing one provocative essay, short story, portfolio of pictures, collection of poems, or other surprising entertainment, readable in the time it takes to drink a cup of coffee."

BüK uses MailChimp to send some pretty fun email campaigns.

Every holiday, they do something creative at the top of their emails with the latest BüK they've published. Makes you kinda look forward to what they'll do next. Here are some example HTML email campaigns they've done for:

You can find more HTML email showcases from MailChimp customers at:
http://showcase.mailchimp.com

June 29, 2006 in Email Design | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

MailChimp v2.4 Live

We just launched MailChimp v2.4, making it more powerful than ever:


  • Setup infinitely many lists, with infinitely many members. We'll manage opt-ins, delete unsubscribes, and clean bounces for all of 'em. Free.
  • New & improved interface for the Create Campaign screen
  • Faster loading pages
  • Details here

June 26, 2006 in MailChimp News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

World Cup Email Campaigns

Thm_sottoChef Riccardo Ullio, owner of Atlanta's Fritti and Sotto Sotto Restaurants, recently used MailChimp to send some beautifully designed World Cup emails out to his customer list. Look at that ginormous screen! Italian food and free WiFi?!?!?!? Too cool.

Fritti saw a spike in guests the day after this campaign (we can attest to that, since Mark, our lead programmer and giant soccer fan, was in that crowd). I'm sorry Mark, I meant to say "futball fan."

Fritti gives guests a card at every table to fill out their email address if they want occasional updates. It's helped them grow a customer email list in the thousands. They send out menu changes, specials, and an occasional "do it yourself" recipe from Riccardo himself.

For the World Cup tie-in, they sent several campaigns reminding customers of upcoming games with Italy or USA.

June 23, 2006 in Emarketing, Business | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Keeping Spam Trap Addresses Off Your List

Spam_trap_1 There are anti-spammers and ISPs out there who create fresh new email addresses, and post them on websites as "bait."  They create these "spam traps" to capture spam-bots, who bounce around the Internet and "scrape" email addresses from websites.

This is why you never, ever buy those fishy email lists of "30 million opt-ins." You never know if there's a spam trap on the list (actually, you can pretty much count on them being on the list).

Here's a nice article from ReturnPath with tips for keeping spam trap addresses off your list:
http://www.returnpath.biz/resources/archives/2006/05/one_way_to_keep.php

Some of their tips include:

  • Use the double opt-in method (this is built into MailChimp's list management feature, by the way).
  • Always remove email addresses that hard bounce. If you keep sending messages to bad email addresses, ISPs assume you're a bot (MailChimp automatically removes hard bounces from your lists).

They also mention a different kind of method that's kind of like quarantining new emails to be sent from one specific IP address for a little while (read through all the "cohort" stuff). If your quarantine IP address gets blacklisted, you dump those new addresses, because the list is "tainted." It's an interesting tactic. It's probably worthwhile if you're a marketer who purchases lists on a regular basis (and ReturnPath happens to sell ECOA services). Guess you'd also need a good amount of IP addresses to spare too. I'd be a little worried about getting my entire range of IPs blacklisted, but these days few anti-spammers go that far. The blacklists that do block huge IP ranges generally aren't being used by major ISPs anymore anyways.

At MailChimp, we've actually got a vaguely similar "quarantine" process, to help with our deliverability. Without going into too much detail, all "new" customers are kept within a certain range of IP addresses. As they send more email and become more and more trusted, they're moved up the range to a set of IPs with other low-complaint, long-time customers. The idea is that if you've been with us for 5 years, you're a lot less risky than someone who just signed up with us yesterday. Your campaigns should be sent from a different set of very stable IPs. Then we've got a range of IPs for users with double-opt-in lists in place. These are the least risky, and have the fewest complaint and deliverability issues. Just a little something we do behind the scenes to keep your campaigns running smoothly.

June 22, 2006 in Spam Topics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

CAN-SPAM and Affiliate Marketing

Good one from the ESPC. If your company allows affiliates, marketing partners, or independent contractors to send out emails on your behalf, be sure to read this article about how CAN-SPAM affects you:

"In fact, Ken Dreifach, the former chief of the Internet Bureau for New York AG's office, was quoted on the record as stating that "even advertisers with layers of affiliate networks, sub-affiliate networks and independent contractors can still be found liable if any link in the chain is found to have acted illegally."

http://www.imediaconnection.com/content/10013.asp

The article includes some due diligence tips to monitor your affiliates' practices, like:


  • Standardize email templates for CAN-SPAM compliance
  • "Seed" your email lists to make sure that emails sent out are CAN-SPAM compliant
  • Use brand-monitoring services

We've got some tips of our own, if you're going to allow affiliates to do your marketing for you:


  • Don't do it
  • If you really have to do it, don't use anybody that uses the word, "blast." As in, "yeah, we can blast that out for ya." That's always a bad sign that they're not very interested in the permission aspect of email.

June 22, 2006 in Spam Topics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Email Showcase: Rooftop Comedy

Thm_rooftop_1

From time to time, we like to highlight some of our customers' cool campaigns on our site. This latest showcase is from Rooftop Comedy. If you're a fan of Chris Porter ("Why is Willy Wonka on the stage?") on the Last Comic Standing TV show, you'll like this campaign.

Really cool because:

1. They use a tease to a video in their email.
2. It only uses one image. One.

It's uncensored, with lots and lots of inappropriate language and it's so politically incorrect.

So yeah, it's really funny.

About Rooftop Comedy:
Rooftop Comedy was founded by one comic, some internet geeks, and former broadcasters. We're doing something that hasn't been done before: bringing live comedy, swearing and all, to a larger audience.

If you've got an email campaign you think should live forever in our showcase, just let us know.

June 21, 2006 in Email Design | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tweaks To MailChimp's Interface

MailChimp Users: Some of you might have noticed some slight changes to your Create Campaign Screen interface today. As you probably already guessed, we did it to accomodate our upcoming multiple lists functionality. We also thought it was time to update the design a little (it was starting to look like an old dinosaur there). And while we were in the code, we optimized a few things to make it load a lot faster for you. For a sneak-peek at what's still on the way:

Before:

Create_before_1

After:

Create_after


June 20, 2006 in MailChimp News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Learn From Spammers

We've written so many posts and tips and case studies on writing better subject lines, and avoiding spam filters. You know, the usual stuff like, "avoid using ALL CAPS BECAUSE THAT'S LIKE YELLING" and "don't use too many exclamation points!!!!"

But sometimes, it's just easier to watch someone else screw up.

So if you're new to email marketing, and you want to learn how to write good subject lines that don't get spam filtered, here's a quick tip:

Bettersubjectlines

June 20, 2006 in Tips, Tricks, Best Practices | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Download Excel Reports Faster

ExcelreportsdownloadIf you like to download the Microsoft Excel formatted reports for each of your MailChimp campaigns (like to merge them all into one gigantic spreadsheet or something) we've made it a little  easier to download them. You no longer have to click into each campaign to get to the big "Download Excel" button.

Just go to your "Reports" tab, and you'll find a little excel icon next to each campaign. Right click and "save as" for each report you want to download.

June 19, 2006 in MailChimp News | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Email Newsletters: Surviving Inbox Congestion

Heatmap A big thank you to MailChimp user David Mejias for pointing out this new article over at Jakob Nielsen's usability site: Email Newsletters: Surviving Inbox Congestion.

It's got some neat email newsletter usability case studies, including another one of those eye-tracking "heat map" screenshots, showing where the human eye goes on the screen when reading an email newsletter (here's another heat map study, but this one's animated).

All kinds of interesting stats there, like:

  • the average time allocated to a newsletter after opening it was only 51 seconds
  • participants fully read only 19% of newsletters
  • On average, users maintained 3.1 email accounts each, using different accounts for different purposes.

Full article at:
http://www.useit.com/alertbox/newsletters.html

June 14, 2006 in Tips, Tricks, Best Practices | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

 
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