MailChimp's All Grown Up
The system maintenance went well this past weekend (it took us only about 5 minutes).
We just realized MailChimp's 6 years old now (August 21st was his birthday). We've been so busy we forgot to celebrate! Here's what we've been working on the last couple weeks:
- We hired a new kick ass programmer, and a new kick ass customer service person
- We hired a new marketing person to help spread the monkey love
- We moved into a new, larger office space
- We launched a brand new website, with a totally new "grown up" look and feel.
- We introduced new monthly price plans, for users who send frequent campaigns (we still offer pay-as-you-go plans)
- Inbox Inspections are available "a la carte" now, so that anyone can use them (whether they're a registered MailChimp customer or not).
Whew. Still working on even more enhancements to launch soon.
The New Website
The most common feedback we ever get from website visitors is something along the lines of, "Are you guys for real? I mean, you're a real business, right? You can do the same stuff that xyz.com offers, right?" Sigh. The old design was nice, but for some business owners it seemed a bit too happy and easy and "too good to be true."
And we had lots of web designers and creative agencies who use MailChimp, but told us they're kind of afraid of telling their clients about us. Monkey business is scary to some people.
So we changed the design to make us look a little more serious (at least on the surface). For fans of the chimp (Frederick von Chimpenheimer is his name) don't worry. We're still going to keep things fun.
This new website design is kind of like how when your boss walks by, and you put a really serious look on your face until he's gone. You actually look like you're getting business done, and not watching YouTube. Kinda like that.
New Monthly Plans
Since we launched in 2001, we've only offered pay-as-you-go plans. The pay-as-you-go model is perfect for new email marketers who aren't quite ready to send campaigns every single month. But once their list grows to a certain size and they start sending campaigns more frequently, they always ask us for monthly plans. It's probably the #1 complaint we've received since day one (from our larger clients).
Personally, we've never liked monthly plans, but we can see how they're more affordable (and convenient) under certain circumstances. Of course, our pay-as-you-go plans are still there for people who like them.
Current MailChimp customers: If your list is large, and you send campaigns often, you might consider switching to a monthly plan (here's a listing of the new plans so you can do the math). Or, you might be in one of those companies where it's a royal pain in the butt to get the company credit card from your boss every single time you want to buy email credits. Monthly plans will make life much easier for you. Otherwise, if you signed up for MailChimp specifically for our pay-as-you-go plans, you have nothing to worry about. Nothing changes for you.
MailChimp System Maintenance (Round 2)
Last weekend, we took the system down for maintenance. We couldn't finish all our work, so we're picking up where we left off this weekend.
MailChimp will be down all day Saturday, and we'll possibly go live on Sunday (but to be safe, we're officially saying Monday morning 9am).
Sorry for any inconvenience. Your scheduled campaigns, bounces, tracking, singups, etc. will all work just fine during the maintenance. You just won't be able to log in to your accounts.
MailChimp down for maintenance this weekend
MailChimp will be down for some minor upgrades this weekend starting on 12am Saturday (August 18th). We'll be back online Monday at 9am (August 20th).
The outages will be intermittent, so don't plan on logging in at all over the weekend (take a break for once!).
If you have campaigns scheduled for the weekend, there's nothing to worry about. The delivery servers and scheduled campaigns will not be affected at all.
Image spam down, PDF spam up
According to this article over at DMnews:
Image spam is down from a January 2007 high of 52% of all spam, to about 8% (as of July).
But since spammers tend to fill any vacuum they find, PDF spam is now up (along with Excel and ZIP files). They're saying PDF files have long been trusted, business-related file types, so it's much easier to slip past the filters for now.
Sigh. Why don't spammers ruin the reputation of some other file type? Like Powerpoint? Wouldn't it be great if nobody could ever send a .PPT file to you via email ever again?
More on image spam here (and how HTML email designers can mistakenly look like spammers)
Back To School Email Marketing
All the parents I know are so smiley and positive today. There's a noticeable bounce in their step that I haven't seen in months. Oh yeah, school's back in session!
What do today's kids want? Here's some interesting research from ShopLocal.com:
"ShopLocal surveyed 500 preteens and found that 73% want handheld gaming systems, 70% are asking for new computers and 69% want a new cellphone."
Handheld gaming systems are a back to school item now?
The Shoplocal.com survey seems to jibe with these survey results from The National Retail Federation.
Just in case you plan to send some back to school email campaigns, here are a few links to help:
- Royalty-free "Back to School" images from iStockphoto.com, and LuckyOliver.com (you might search for "school", "teacher", and "homework")
- See what the major retailers are doing by searching for "Back to School" email campaigns at NewsletterArchive.org
- The back to school season is a reminder that the holiday season is approaching, and it's time for e-commerce store owners to start ramping up their website efforts. Here are some tips from Practical Ecommerce
MailChimp Is Moving
We're growing and hiring (check out the open positions) at a rapid pace, and we need more room. So we're in the process of moving to a new (much, much larger) office this weekend.
Anyways, we'll be back online Monday morning (8/6/07) at 9am ET with Live Chat and email support.
AT&T (don't you love monopolies?) won't promise that our telephone system will be 100% ready. Ever. You should be able to call if you need support, but if you experience any weirdness, you'll know why. If the phone's konking out when you call, hop on Live Chat or email us. Thanks!