How to improve Mailchimp

Mailchimp recently asked me to fill out a survey about how it could be improved.

Where to start!? The temptation was to flood them with a long wishlist of things I’ve identified since I started using Mailchimp. But that would have taken ages, and the longer the list, the more likely the Chimpsters would be to ignore it. (Am I kidding myself that they are really going to listen to me?)

So I honed my list down to four Mailchimp improvements that would really really make my life easier. Here they are.

1. Create A/B split tests at any stage
In Mailchimp, campaign type is set at the first stage of the production process. Once you have started creating a single campaign, you can’t suddenly decide to switch to a split test: you have to go right back to square one and start anew. Very annoying.

Other email service providers (ESPs) offer the ability to switch mid-campaign production. Mailchimp should too.


2. Content block targeting
All the content within a Mailchimp campaign gets sent to one list, or one list segment. But what if you have slightly different content you want to send to different segments on your list?

Say for example you want to provide an update to all of your list, but add a special thank you message to those people who have taken an action. In Mailchimp, you need to create two campaigns and send two separate emails with slightly different content.

Some ESPs let you target content within a campaign to different list segments. Mailchimp doesn’t. It should.


3. Content grouping
Moving content within a Mailchimp email campaign can be a hassle, especially if you use multiple items for one content group.

For example, you might have a newsletter with five or six stories, with each story block made up of multiple elements, such as an image, a text box and a button.

When your boss comes up and says ‘I think that story at the bottom should be at the top’, you have to move each story item – the image, the text, the button – one by one.

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to tick a box for each element, tell the Chimp to group them, and move them all together as one?

The less time you spend on clunky editing tasks like this, the more time you can dedicate to triple checking, optimisation and strategy.


4. Proper send time optimisation
If you have ever chosen to schedule a Mailchimp send, you’ll have noticed the offer to ‘let MailChimp optimise send time for maximum engagement’. This is the Chimp’s ‘send time optimisation’ function.

I have tested it, and it’s not very good. It has not resulted in higher engagement rates.

Mailchimp should use the better optimisation methods offered by a number of other ESPs. Read more in my post Does Mailchimp’s send time optimisation work?


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