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Mailchimp is an email marketing tool that is hugely popular among new business owners and almost seems like a right of passage for new business owners. As part of the test of whether you have enough tenacity, grit and determination to make it as a small business owner have to set up Mailchimp without banging your head on the table more than 300 times. If you can’t do that you might as well give up!

But Mailchimp is not the only bear at the picnic and lots of businesses quite quickly move onto different tools like ConvertKit, ActiveCampagin, ConstantContact and more once they have enough cashflow to justify paying for their email marketing tool.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t use Mailchimp, there are lots of people who get on well with it, but I do have some specific issues with the way it works that drive me a bit mad and while they have made a lot of improvements to it in the last couple of years it’s still got some basic issues.

1. The way they count subscribers

Firstly let’s be clear that Mailchimp offer a very generous 1000 subscribers for free which is jolly nice of them.

However, while 1000 subscribers may seem like a dizzying number of people to be signed up to your emails when you first start out they way Mailchimp count a subscriber is a little bit sneaky. When someone signs up for your freebie you will put them onto a list in order to send them some nice automated emails (see the next point) and then you’ll move them to the main list so you can send them a newsletter. At this point they are showing up twice in Mailchimp so you’ve used 2 of your free spaces.

Mailchimp only let you sign up to a waiting list once so you have a new list for every freebie you offer. Or waiting list. Or workshop. And so on. And while this might not seem like a big problem when you are starting out with 1 freebie it can quickly turn into a big, fat, complicated mess of lists and if each subscriber ends up on 2 or 3 lists then your actual number of followers before you start paying is more like 300-500 which is not that hard to get. I don’t really mind that you have to pay, I mind how complicated it all gets.

2. Automations can’t move people from one list to another

Automations are really cool. They are the part of all good email marketing tools that allow you to send people emails while you are in the pub or on holiday without lifting a finger, based on what they have asked for and how they have interacted with your previous messages. It’s brilliant.
Mailchimp introduced automations to their free account last year which means you can send a welcome email to a new subscriber as well as a series of really useful emails spaced over a polite period of time. Unfortunately you can’t use automations to move people from one list to another (which you can with a lot of the competitors). This means that your list management has to be manual, which takes time and also means you are more likely to make errors.

3. The editor is not very easy to use!
This point is slightly picky but even when I was in Mailchimp every few days I found the editor really confusing. You type into the box on one side of the screen to edit the text that shows on the other side. This is very old school and the number of times I have clicked on the actual text to edit it would make me rich if I’d had a penny every

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