Why Mailchimp is the coolest email marketing program on the planet

Today I received a package in the mail – with a brand new t-shirt from our email marketing provider, Mailchimp. It’s a Christmas gift that

they sent out from their Austin, Texas HQ to clients all over the world. I must be one of a few people in New Zealand who received this package. The guy putting the package together might have wondered to himself where New Zealand was. Maybe off the coast of Alaska.

Pretty cool t-shirt don’t you think? This is quite a smart way to get people talking about Mailchimp. So for a couple of bucks, they’ve managed to get me to blog about this 🙂 I wonder if we send out free Euroasia t-shirts to clients it will produce the same effect. Well, maybe not with a monkey on the front.

Euroasia has been using Mailchimp since last year to manage our email marketing campaigns. We pay USD30/month (for 2500 subscribers or less). We’re about 100 short of the upper limit, after which we’ll have to pay USD50/month for up to 5000 subscribers. With the high Kiwi dollar, it’s pretty worth it. Especially seeing the features offered are far superior to what we had previously with our open-source email management software.

There are standard things like Analytics integration, subscriber activity reports, social media integration etc. Even not-so-standard things like the ability to add users on the fly using the Mailchimp app on my iPhone, or to view reports

on the go.

For those with a smaller subscriber base, Mailchimp offers a free email marketing plan: store up to 1,000 subscribers and send up to 6,000 emails a month. With no expiring trials, hidden charges or sneaky contracts. They won’t even ask for a credit card. All for ZERO dollars. You might be thinking there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Well, Mailchimp employs what’s known as a freemium model. In a September 2010 blog entry, they explain how it all works, and how they’re making a lot more money by offering free plans. They also describe their experience starting the Mailchimp business in the wake of the dot-com bust, and why it makes sense starting up a business in a bad economy (useful reading for all of you still thinking about whether to get started on the business idea you’ve been thinking about).

So what are you waiting for? If you’ve been using an underwhelming product to manage your email newsletters, the New Year is the time to consider Mailchimp.

Posted via email from Euroasia

Share this:

We can do better selling New Zealand overseas

Marketing guru Seth Godin showcased Ibex as an example of what a good website should look like in his blog today.
Ibex is a Vermont, USA-based company that sells outdoor clothing. Their long sleeve tops for men average about USD100 each. Not exactly cheap, but not over-the-top expensive either. Seth Godin outlines five things that make Ibex successful online:

  • They sell a product you can’t buy at the local store. This is easily overlooked and critically important. Because it’s unique, it’s worth seeking out and talking about. Just because you built a site doesn’t mean I care. At all. But if you build a product I love, I’ll help you.
  • They understand that online pictures are free. Unlike a print catalog, extra pictures don’t cost much. Make them big. Let me see the nubbiness or the zipper or the way you make things.
  • They use smart copy (but not too much).
  • They are obsessed with permission. Once you sign up, you’ll get really good coupons and discounts by email. Not too often, but often enough that my guess is that they make most of their sales this way. 25% discount on a product just like a product you love–just before Valentine’s day? Sign me up.
  • They aren’t afraid to post reviews. Even critical ones.

No doubt with the advent of online commerce anyone can sell anything online. As you go through the list, it’s apparent this is not rocket science. But it’s a wonder how few businesses get the basics right. This got me thinking about the missed potential for New Zealand firms. New Zealand is blessed with some of the most amazing natural resources in the world, superior products including honey, wool, seafood, dairy etc.

Almost all of the Ibex products I came across use the same raw ingredient: New Zealand merino wool.

A woolies zip t-neck (USD72) uses 18.5 micron New Zealand Merino lightweight rib; 150 g/m2. Not sure what the raw cost is, but probably not more than USD2 given the low price of raw processed wool. So basically of the USD72

retail price, maybe USD2 accrues to New Zealand wool producers and processors COMBINED, or 3% of the retail price.

OK, this may not be surprising to some people who already understand that it doesn’t matter if you have the best product in the world; if you can’t sell then you’re finished. However, my bet is the average New Zealander probably doesn’t realise the extent to which we’re “giving away” business. Coming back to the official website of New Zealand merino wool, the organisation tasked with marketing New Zealand merino wool globally.   The homepage is not particularly impressive, and people clicking on the “customer gateway” (curious terminology-

maybe they asked the resident IT geek to write this) get this “under construction” message. I don’t get these messages. If you don’t have a website, just wait until you have one. Why put up an “under construction” message?

Seeing this is the top site that appears on Google whenever anyone searches for “NZ merino wool” I’m not sure it’s a good look for foreign visitors researching NZ merino wool.

The 1992 Arthur D Little (American management consultancy) report quoted on the “About Us” page says:

New Zealand merino is unequivocally the best in the world and needs to be taken to the market in a manner which is distinctly different from the rest of the clip.

Sounds good. Hope there has been some progress in the 19 years since that report was published.

Posted via email from Euroasia

Share this: