Nothing may be free in this world. But there sure is a whole lot of freemium. From game apps to media platforms to B2C and B2B software, many companies offer a basic version of their product free of charge both to educate and entice potential customers toward making the eventual purchase. Oftentimes, this purchase involves various tiers of subscription pricing, and nowhere is that more evident than in the email marketing platform market.

There are dozens of services that offer freemium versions, each a different package in terms of total subscribers, monthly total email sends, automation capabilities, and email editor options. But as a startup, the ultimate question here is more than just how powerful the freemium email marketing is—it’s also how that platform allows your company to scale, first within the freemium version, then beyond.

And while other email marketing services might offer higher monthly limits on total subscribers and emails, MailChimp’s Forever Free Plan can function for any inexperienced entrepreneur as a crash course not only in the essentials and subtleties of email marketing, but also as a foray into landing page creation, pay-per-click marketing, and extensive analytics.

Even if you haven’t yet sent a single marketing email, after a few months working within MailChimp, you’ll have grown into a seasoned marketer across a variety of digital channels.

The Basics

With MailChimp’s Forever Free Plan, you get:

  • 2,000 subscribers/month
  • 12,000 emails/month
  • List segmentation & tagging
  • Multi-user accounts
  • Guides & tutorials
  • Email support for 30 days

The one snag here is that, with any of MailChimp’s paid subscriptions, you get 24/7 email support and weekday live chat support. With the freemium version, you only get email support for the first 30 days after signing up. But, because MailChimp offers a robust amount of Guides & Tutorials, you truly aren’t missing out, especially if you’ve worked out any severe beginner’s kinks via the email support during your first month.

Promote Your Brand & Product

When it comes to core capabilities, MailChimp offers an easy-to-use email editor interface that also includes a diverse library of pre-made templates to:

  • Sell products
  • Make an announcement
  • Tell a story
  • Follow up
  • Educate

and themes for:

  • Newsletters
  • E-commerce
  • Events
  • Holidays
  • Subscriber notifications

MailChimp’s editor is an intuitive, drag-and-drop platform that allows you to create and position text boxes, images, video, call-to-action-buttons, social share buttons, social follow buttons, headers, footers, and more.

For a beginner, it’s probably best to choose a template or theme then modify it accordingly within the editor, but if you’re feeling froggish, you can create your own template in the editor, or even code it from scratch

Marketing Automation

Here’s where you really begin to guide potential clients through the marketing funnel. First and foremost, you’re able to create signup web forms and popups for your website as well as share these forms across all your digital channels. Then, as your mailing list grows, you’ll be able to hit subscribers with a score of different automated messages that you’ve created:

  • Welcome
  • Date-based
  • RSS-to-email
  • Abandoned cart
  • Product recommendations
  • Product retargeting
  • Order notifications
  • Product follow-up
  • Customer re-engagement
  • Best customers
  • First purchase

Though MailChimp’s automation can seem complicated at first in terms of creating workflow, delay, queues, and triggers, the Guides & Tutorials section will walk you through any confusion.

Landing Pages

Sometimes, as a young startup, creating landing pages on your website for every promo and offer just isn’t feasible. Maybe building quality pages on your website is more complex than you have time for; maybe you don’t have the cash to outsource more web creation. Whatever your circumstance, MailChimp makes landing page creation simple and sleek all at once.

Here again, MailChimp’s template library creates so much value. The platform offers templates to:

  • Offer a free download
  • Promote exclusive offerings
  • Hold a contest
  • Announce a presale
  • Highlight products

You can also modify these templates via the drag-and-drop builder.

Content from your site also auto-populates into MailChimp’s file manager, so you’re able to keep your branding consistent from email to landing page to website. MailChimp claims 36% growth rate for your subscription list when using their landing pages, but, even statistics aside, the strategy is very simple—offer a straightforward promo, and the minimalist design of these pages cuts out all the distractions between your customer and converting.

Integrations

Another area where MailChimp outdoes its freemium competitors is its connectability. You’re able to integrate your account with almost 200 applications, including:

For example, with eCommerce platforms, MailChimp can automate mailing list segments based on shopper behavior throughout your online store. With an app like Square, you can sell products directly through your MailChimp landing pages.

Ad Creation

MailChimp truly becomes a one-stop shop by enabling users to create Facebook, Instagram, and Google remarketing ads. Right within the MailChimp platform, you can create ads for all three platforms, while also connecting your online store to each campaign, allowing for MailChimp to provide you with the ROI metrics that fuel your marketing.

Keep in mind that, though MailChimp is the middleman here, there are no added fees for creating ads within the platform.

Analytics

No matter whether you’re strictly running email campaigns, or you’re utilizing all of MailChimp’s add-ons and integrations, you’ll be privy to the platform’s extensive reporting, including:

  • Data for all emails, automations, social ads, Google ads, landing pages, and more
  • Growth, engagement, and revenue reports
  • Mobile app data dashboards and sales notifications

If you’re planning on driving traffic directly to your website, you’re also able to integrate Google Analytics completely, allowing you to:

  • implement conversion tracking for both manual and automated emails
  • set different titles for each email (to distinguish them in Analytics)
  • track A/B testing
  • view Google Analytics in both its own platform and in Mailchimp (Analytics360)

Get Ahead of the Curve

At tekMountain, we strive to remind our startups that maximizing productivity is key when there aren’t enough bodies to handle all the responsibilities of a young company. With solutions like MailChimp, not only can an entrepreneur save a lot of time by accomplishing multiple arms of marketing in a single platform, they can also learn a lot about each marketing arm, helping to further inform their business strategy, especially the people they eventually hire to handle those marketing responsibilities.

Contact tekMountain today to learn more about how your startup can benefit from a cohesive email marketing strategy.

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