Email marketing has proven to be one of the most effective marketing strategies in the age of technology and MailChimp, a popular email marketing platform, has helped businesses, big and small to leverage the technology for a cheap price; however, it seems like, with the new policy update by MailChimp, marketers should begin looking for an adequate alternative soon.
On May 15th, Mailchimp sent an email announcement to all its users that significant changes are coming to the popular email marketing platform. One of the most notable change that the company will be implementing is its bid to become a more holistic marketing platform by integrating into its system an “all-in-one Marketing Platform for going businesses.”
The new MailChimp brags of a “powerful” Marketing CRM, a tool that Mailchimp said could help growing businesses “build better relationships” with their customers. A CRM tool or a Customer Relationship Management tool is an approach to manage the company’s interactions with current and potential customers by using data analytics about the customers’ history taken from available big data to improve communication and marketing.
The announcement also boasts that MailChimp will soon have new features like social posting, more retargeting options for Instagram and Facebook, and an “Audience Dashboard.” MailChimp aims that with the new system upgrade, growing businesses will have more opportunities for their users to create “effective multichannel campaigns that connect with your audience so you can grow faster.”
But what’s the catch? Pricing.
The old Mailchimp rose to popularity because of the inexpensive and effective ways that small and medium enterprises can use the tool. However, with its new update, this supposedly “free” tool will begin to charge their users in a different – and rather sneaky – way.
According to Mailchimp’s email, they will be changing the definition of “audience,” a metric they formerly used to charge users. In the MailChimp update, the company will no longer determine the monthly charges of a user based on subscriber counts – a common standard among email services. Instead, Mailchimp now bases its monthly fees on a new metric called “Audiences.”
Notably, these Audiences includes unsubscribed emails, which means that users will now be charged for all the emails they sent, including those that caused someone to unsubscribe from the mailing list.
“With so many new channels to put to work for your business, our definition of “audience” is changing to include all of the contacts you can market to regardless of their email opt-in/subscriber status. So that happy customer that’s been on your subscriber list for two years? They’ll still be a part of your audience. But those customers that unsubscribed and that customer that attended your event but never opted into your newsletter? They’ll be in your audience now too,” MailChimp wrote in an email they sent to their users to notify them regarding the new policy update.
Naturally, Mailchimp clients aren’t happy with the new update and have expressed their concerns regarding the new pricing model in the famous email services company as their monthly charges can go up to as much as 100%. Notwithstanding, confusing over the new pricing policy has also triggered a response from the notable business guru David Gaughran, who said that users should shift to a better alternative than the new MailChimp. In a blog post that Gaughran posted in his website, he said that he is also confused regarding whether or not the latest policy updates will affect old accounts and responses from Mailchimp did not ease the confusion either.
“The situation was compounded with a lot of confusion, as the Help pages at Mailchimp weren’t yet fully updated to account for these changes, and Support seemed confused about whether existing users would be grandfathered in under the old terms. First, Mailchimp explicitly told me in an email that legacy users would be affected by this new policy,” Gaughran wrote in a blog post.
“Several hours later, after a hugely negative reaction online, Mailchimp appeared to backtrack, saying that legacy users would be unaffected by these changes — which would only apply to new users. Whether this was a change of heart, or muddled messaging, or a simple error, it’s hard to know for sure,” he added.
An analysis made by Gaughran also states that free plan users will be the ones who will be affected by these changes the worse. At first, a new user will remain free-of-charge up until they reach 2000 subscriber, after which they will transition to a paid plan. With the new pricing policy, not only the free plan accounts will count unsubscribed emails in the initial 2000, but they will also transition to a paid plan soon after, which costs them more money.
“Mailchimp failed to respond to these inquiries and would only confirm that if you purchase any add-ons to your legacy plan, this may immediately trigger a move to the new pricing regime. So, I think it’s probably wise to conclude that this change will come to Legacy Monthly plans too, sooner rather than later, I would guess — probably under some guff about “harmonizing our payment plans” or similar corporate blather,” Gaughran laments.