Do You Need Really to Break Up with MailChimp? By Katy Martin at Tall Poppies Design (Wordpress Developer, Designer, and Digital Strategist)

Do You Need Really to Break Up with MailChimp?

You’ve had a good run with MailChimp, but you’re starting to get frustrated. You’re tired of having too many lists. You’re paying double for people because they’re on more than one list. You want to do things you just can’t do with MailChimp. Maybe it’s time to dump the chimp for the new guy in town, ConvertKit.

Tempting isn’t it? But before you jump, let’s think about this…

Should you break up with MailChimp?

Probably not.

I hear all the raves about ConvertKit. I’ll admit ConvertKit is intriguing, and those rave reviews are legitimate. But to move your list is a daunting task. It’s not something you do on a whim in a moment of frustration.

Just think about all the places your email client is embedded into your site. There is a lot to do if you change email newsletter providers. True, that alone isn’t reason enough to stick with a particular provider. In fact, I often shift my clients from Constant Contact, aweber, or Mad Mimi to MailChimp.

Bottom-line: If you’re making a change, make sure you have a plan (and a budget) to make the swap successfully.

And before you make a switch, ask this:
Are you are using MailChimp properly and to its full extent?
Not sure? Don’t make the break yet.

Get MailChimp to Do What You Want It to Do

Before you jump ship, let’s take another look at MailChimp. I’ll tell you up-front that MailChimp is my preferred email newsletter manager. One of my mentors, Tara Gentile, once said on Facebook: “There should be a name for a MailChimp super fan: Chimpie, Chimper, FreddieFiend?” Yup, that’s me.

Why? I love how easily we can integrate this software into every nook and cranny of your website, from your opt-in forms to your shopping cart to your course software. I love that we can easily track who is subscribing—when, where and how—and in turn, segment your list so that you can manually (or auto-magically) send highly targeted campaigns.

If you are not using your current email client to it’s fullest extent, or if you are remotely dissatisfied, switching to ConvertKit or any of the others isn’t the necessarily the solution to your problems.

I recommend starting afresh with MailChimp, and get to know it better.

On the other hand, have an account with Constant Contact, Mad Mimi, or another provider? You can transfer them over. *wink*

Bogged down with multiple lists? Shift to Groups and Segments.

Use a form builder like Gravity Forms in your WordPress website to deliver unique opt-ins instantly and funnel subscribers to Groups. Yes, you can use groups and segments to avoid paying twice (or more) for subscribers. I also use the WooChimp plugin to sync WooCommerce and MailChimp so that all purchasers are funneled to specific Groups in MailChimp.

And whenever I investigate new technology, such as a new learning management software (LMS) like LearnDash, Kajabi, or Teachable, I ask whether purchases made with these tools can also be tracked precisely and ideally funneled to specific groups. Many of these platforms promise to work with MailChimp, but when you get into the nitty gritty part of the set-up, it turns out they do sync, but they require you to create a new list for every product or course. Suddenly you have multiple lists, and multiple duplicate users on those lists, and now you’re paying multiple times for each user… ugh. Do your research.

Let me provide a quick run-down of how you can marry Gravity Forms and MailChimp:

  1. Login to MailChimp and go to your main list, and then Manage Subscribers, Groups. Add a new group, make sure it’s hidden, and then call it something like “Marketing Tracking.” Add a sub-group to it, such as “Website Opt-in.”
  2. In your website, install Gravity Forms and the MailChimp Add-on (from the Gravity Forms add-on menu)
  3. Add a new form! It can have First Name, Last Name and Email fields; or just an email field. They can be all compulsory fields… or not. Your call!
  4. Then go to the MailChimp settings for that form, and link it to your main list, and click the box to send all subscribers to that Group you just set up in MailChimp!

Now you can create campaigns in MailChimp (perhaps even auto-responders) that target that Group specifically; or several Groups in the one list; or even several groups for a certain date range, or who opened a certain email. The specificity is pretty amazing once you start experimenting!

{ Of course that is a very quick run-down and there is more set-up involved when you first get started with Gravity Forms, and you can actually control a lot more than just the fields and how it works with MailChimp. You can control what message or page the user is directed to once they hit “Submit.” For example, you can create a new page in your website and add a link to your opt-in gift so subscribers can instantly download it, and skip the whole MailChimp double-opt-in process. And since we mentioned “Submit” you can easily update the text on the buttons… I could go on forever about just how much you can do with Gravity Forms!

I’ll absolutely be keeping my eye on ConvertKit and exploring what it can do, but for now, I’m sticking with MailChimp until I have an extensive list of things it can’t do well (and right now, I have only one gripe, but that’s another email to come soon!).

What’s driving you bonkers about MailChimp? Feel free to email me, or chat about it on Facebook!

Free Video Tutorials!

Need a little more direction? I have a series of 5 short videos to walk you through how to use Gravity Forms for all your lead capture forms, and how to sync them with MailChimp so that you start making your email marketing life easier! Just fill out the form to get instant access to the videos.

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