Why I am leaving MailChimp after five and half years
I’ve been blogging since 2007 occasionally sending out an email here there back then.
I accelerated my blogging around 2010 but not knowing any better throwing up 100 – 200 words with a couple of pictures seemed to be all you needed.
Although the mantra today seems to be content is king by the time 2012 rolled around I began to see the merits of seriously blogging and started emailing weekly.
I never missed a week but I would very the days the times our email deployed and it was usually heavily laden with marketing messages.
While I was struggling to increase my opens and clicks I began to realize that people really wanted information especially in our niche which is captive birds.
We migrated our website including our blog which was on the hosted platform 3-D cart as it was slowly degrading.this was in August of 2016
Because we didn’t have access to the blog database on 3dCart I hired two offshore and one onshore contractor to migrate our thousand plus blog posts.
Each post was placed into a Google doc and then moved into our new WordPress blog. Today were at about 1.25 million words on the blog.
Is never easy to come up with fresh content on a weekly basis and a strong case has been made to leverage evergreen content these days.
For the past three months I started at page 53 in the back of WordPress looking at everything that we’ve written since day one.
Crappy little posts with 100 or 200 words and outdated advertisements got deleted and redirected to more relevant posts.
Other relevant posts that just didn’t have enough content 250 to 300 words, got blended into larger post of the thousand and 2500 word range.
The original posts got deleted redirected to the “new” larger posts.
Between that and my schedule of writing fresh content weekly I’ve been able to send out a single email once a week for the past 250 weeks.
Because I got tired of hearing the term “newsletter” which sounded a little stiff we branded ourselves by calling our weekly email the Birdie brunch.
We add pictures of brunch buffets and great plated meals
We now deploy out at 7 AM using MailChimp’s time warp which allows it to be delivered to inboxes at the same time regardless of time zone.
So when you get an email from us you’ll get it every Sunday morning at 7 AM regardless of where you are on the planet.
We’ve been using MailChimp as our ESP since August 2012. It seemed fine for a few years. Whenever you had a problem you contact support being on a paid plan a response was prompt in a solution was found.
In the past six months out of 11 tickets that I have opened with MailChimp support I’ve gotten only one response indicating that they are closing a ticket.
I tried live chat but the conversation degraded when I was told that my site was coded wrong and apparently I was the only site of 8 million MailChimp customers that had this particular problem – which is always a red flag.
What are some of the issues that I’ve been experiencing? Email stop being responsive. Images don’t change size on desktop tablet nor mobile.
The link that enables the user to view the email in a browser is still http not https.
There are times when I am pushing out the emails at the last minute and the Mail;Chimps email template stopped being responsive in the MailChimp platform so that I’m scrolling back and forth across 2000 pixels trying to put together content and images.
We lost the ability to post videos in the email for about 6 months
I don’t expect a lot for $150 a month (22,000 plus subscribers) but I do expect a response now and then.
About 16 months ago we migrated to Zen cart and bought the chimp champ[ module from one vendor who claimed to be the developer but was unable to install the module.
We were refunded and bought the module from a second vendor who claimed to be the developer but ignored more than a dozen emails seeking integration help with MailChimp.
Thus our $400 investment has laid dormant and we have no automation. I reached out to one of our team members who actually worked for the second developer but has been unable to get chimp champ to work between MailChimp in Zen cart.
This is a one of many reasons were leaving Zen cart moving to woocommerce but that’s a whole other story.
If customers can’t read emails we lose them and as all of you know new email address acquisition is one of the toughest things you can do as an SMB.
As far as I’m concerned MailChimp’s lack of concern is inexcusable.
I’ve now begun a search for suitable replacement. I started with the other big dog on the block Constant Contact.
I filled out the forms and may or may not have created an account but they had enough information to contact me, which they did.
Brandon from Constant Contact introduces himself on the phone last week. I explained my issues with MailChimp and related to him that we were moving to WooCommerce using WordPress as our CMS.
File under you can’t make this sh*t up
Brandon said “that’s great because Constant Contact owns WordPress. We also own blue host which is part of WordPress”
So I’m new to this whole web thing I’ve only been a webmaster for 15 years and operate currently 12 WordPress sites. I’m pretty familiar with owns WordPress and I asked Brandon “then who is Automattic?”
He didn’t know – I asked him who owns Jet Pack and WooCommerce – he had heard of neither.
The conversation ended with my typical nicety unfortunately the words can’t be used in prime time.
But wait there’s more
This guy calls back up, speaks to my wife and threatens to “blacklist us”
I asked my wife if I could speak to him but he hung up too quickly
You can’t make this stuff up – I am open for suggestions on WordPress and WooCommerce ESP recommendations.