This post originally appeared in the February 6, 2020 issue with the email subject line "How should an email be?" and a list of email content best practices for 2020.

So yeah, we’re here. Reviewing Mailchimp, which says it has 60% share of the email market anyway.

Mailchimp is generally very good at:

  • Enabling on-brand designs of emails that look good across devices and clients
  • Sending and scheduling emails
  • Integrating into your CMS or CRM
  • Providing resources to train or learn on Mailchimp

For mailing lists under 10k, that’s all you need! But Mailchimp now has a bunch of cross-channel marketing automation-oriented functions too, and by all accounts, it does them just fine.

Mailchimp at a glance

Visual review of Mailchimp features: Integrates with common tools; improves efficiency; offers a partner program; broad capabilities; at the price of approximately a monthly steak dinner, although it varies. Mailchimp is a freemium tool with broad capabilities, is team-oriented and is intuitive.

Have you ever used an enterprise email platform? Hoo boy, they’re frustrating. In my experience, most enterprise systems will frustrate you with their capabilities, their UI, their lack of support. Mailchimp is the best designed email platform I’ve ever used, and it has been for over a decade. There’s a reason it can be proud of its market share.

It’s not for everyone. It doesn’t do everything great. It’s not really designed for long, content-focused newsletters like this one. It’s not designed for very involved, massive email sends. It’s buggy on occasion, like all software.

But it does most functions from automation to reporting perfectly well, and if you can’t figure it out, you can generally find help. It works perfectly fine as an email automation and newsletter system.

Others work just fine too. Campaign Monitor, SendGrid, SendInBlue, Squarespace: there are many roads to get you where you need to go.

One caveat: Don’t just change your email system willy nilly or because the new marketing manager likes something else better. Every time you change your email marketing platform, you’ll experience a decline in performance. But if you’re just starting out, sure: try Mailchimp. And if you’re already using Mailchimp, consider your motivations and do your homework before moving elsewhere.