For the past 4 years I have been running a side online business using Mailchimp for my emails. Over that time I have set up a 100% automatic email system.
I was making money from the business and getting responses but never took the time to delve deep into the email data.
To give you a quick over view, the system I am using has been customised for this business. People fill out a 15 question form and then get an automated response based on what they filled out. The way it has been set up means it sits in 2 different parts of the Mailchimp system. Because of this the statistics of the first email that is sent does not show in the main dashboard of the Mailchimp account. (Don’t worry too much about trying to understand that, I am just explaining why this has just come to light.)
The problem is that I have found out only about 15% of the first email in the auto responder series are being opened. That might be a high open rate for some people, but for me it is crap! The reason it is so bad is that the people filling out my 15 questions must be serious about wanting information from me other wise they wouldn’t be filling out my contact form!
I should be getting an open rate of close to 100%!
Now you are probably thinking – Maybe they were fake signups. Well I know for a fact they are not. I know because:
- There are 15 questions to be answered. (It is not just asking for an email address)
- Every person goes into a database separate to the Mailchimp account.
- I email every person in the database approximately 1 month after their initial signup if they haven’t booked with my business.
- The list looks legitimate- I can see the information provided is not fake.
These days it is the only business I still run through Mailchimp. I have been lazy not checking it, I know that! I had set it up 4 years ago, it sends emails, I was getting business, so I didn’t think to look into it. From the dashboard everything looked fine.
THINGS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM…
From the dashboard everything looked great. The open rate of emails #2-10 were very high. That is because of the 15% who got the first email, they where opening the other emails almost every time!
I have now noticed the stats have gotten worse and worse for the last few years. I was always the biggest advocate of Mailchimp. I always told people that it is so user friendly and cheap when starting out.
Over the past few years I have changed all my other businesses except this one to another other system. And due to the custom website form that was developed for this particular business I left it as it was. These days custom forms are much easier to setup, however only 4 years ago things were very different.
To think now that I have been missing out on so many potential clients makes me sick to the stomach! And the worst part is that over the past 4 years I have had people ring to say they never received the email, and I have asked them to check their junk box. Think of all the others that never called me!!!
Talk about a massive F*** up!
Yes Mailchimp is easy to use, but when setting up a “final welcome” as my developer had done for this auto responder system. There are no stats on the open rate in the dashboard. Because of this and that fact this was just a side business that wasn’t priority, I never delved deep into the stats of the open rate.
Don’t worry, I don’t entirely blame Mailchimp!
But the reason why Mailchimp is so bad is that I have now realised that Mailchimp has a VERY LOW open rate compared to other email systems!
After a lot of investigating it seems that of all the tests done, Mailchimp has a lower success rate than other similarly priced options. I personally don’t like Aweber as it is hard to navigate and you need to be a designer to create anything half nice in their system. BUT at least the emails get through!!!
Don’t take my word for it! Go take a look at what others are saying. I now realise this has been a little know fact, almost kept secret by people in the know as they are happy for you not to have your emails go through. The difference between 4% on the delivery rate could lose you $10,000 to $100,000 per year! Or even more for some businesses!
The reason why Mailchimp has such a bad delivery rate is that they allow a lot of “spam” businesses to use their system. Once an IP address starts getting a lot of complaints, that IP will be blocked by email providers such as Google, Hotmail, Yahoo and many more. This is why certain emails get sent to your junk email rather than your main inbox.
I don’t want to sound vindictive. This is not about putting down Mailchimp, this is about warning others of what might be a massive problem in their business. I am just going by the facts. Every good business owner knows your email list means everything in the online world. Having your emails land in someones junk is not ok. It is not a little annoying, it is very, very bad and could mean the difference between success and failure.
Luckily for me, this was only a side business & I have always sent another email to all enquiries a month after their first contact if I haven’t heard from them. This business wasn’t keeping food on the table for me. But what about you? Can you afford to be losing 4,10 or 60% of sales due to your email marketing system?
For all my other businesses I have recently moved to Active Campaign. You don’t need to pay $300p/m for a good system! I also think as a small business there are a lot of features offered by the more expensive email marketing systems that you will never use. Do your research, work out which features you really need and work out your budget.