MailChimp is a PCMag Editors' Choice email marketing platform for several reasons. In addition to providing a host of free and affordable plans and features for smaller businesses, it's also able to scale for large organizations. The tool offers a host of templates and customizations that let you choose the right visuals and workflows for your specific needs. Perhaps most importantly, we found MailChimp to be a compelling choice for email marketers because of its exhaustive collection of out-of-the-box integrations with third-party applications such as Salesforce and Shopify. Earlier in the year, MailChimp furthered that extensibility by launching a Facebook Ads product. Today, MailChimp has announced that users can now build ads on Facebook and its subsidiary, Instagram.
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The product is designed to help the company's 15 million users attract new audiences via visually compelling, image-heavy display ads on Instagram. A free add-on, the Instagram Ads product lets MailChimp users select an Instagram audience to target, budget campaigns, and track results data within the MailChimp dashboard. MailChimp users can manage their Facebook and Instagram campaigns without leaving the email marketing tool. It also lets them combine MailChimp lists with Facebook-selected audience segments. Combined with MailChimp's existing customer relationship management (CRM) and e-commerce integrations, email marketers can build comprehensive, targeted campaigns across multiple mediums, without ever leaving the MailChimp dashboard.
"This is a streamlined, ad-building interface to make it super-easy to build and buy an ad in under a minute," said John Foreman, VP of Product Management at MailChimp. "Our primary focus is our e-commerce customers. Because their e-commerce sites are connected to MailChimp, they can go onto their site, grab a photo of a product, and create an ad for Instagram where product photography tends to be really nice."
Here's how it works: Users will design the ad within the MailChimp interface, choose an audience to target (including geo-targeting based on Instagram's location data), choose a budget, and click "OK." In addition to the ad creator, MailChimp users will be able to view revenue reporting and new customers acquired tied directly to the display ad campaign. Users can also track clicks, items sold, and subscribers added. MailChimp doesn't charge an additional fee; however, there is a minimum spend per day of $5, which is determined by clicks and can be shared between Facebook and Instagram in whatever ratio you'd prefer.
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Why We Recommend MailChimp
As we mentioned, when MailChimp added its Facebook ads feature, MailChimp was determined by PCMag to be easy to use, feature-rich, and flexible. For example, MailChimp offers more than 20 email layouts and more than 300 email templates. The tool features an HTML editor that lets you design your own templates, a photo editor that lets you adjust and add effects to imagery, and comprehensive reporting that lets you compare which layouts and designs have been most effective at attracting the right audience.
MailChimp recently added marketing automation to its free tool. These automations let marketers target specific lists with emails that are triggered by events, such as a subscriber's birthday or an abandoned shopping cart. Previously, only paid customers were given access to this feature.
MailChimp isn't a perfect tool, of course. Users can't immediately set up a paid plan and reports don't update in real time. Additionally, MailChimp doesn't offer a money-back guarantee, free trials, or 24/7 phone support. And some of its competitors, such as Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, and co-Editors' Choice tool Campaigner have already been offering similar social media marketing products for at least the past six months.