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MailChimp is a freemium email marketing tool. Similar to Wufoo, they offer a free plan (good through 2,000 contacts). A bit of background: MailChimp grew their business significantly when they decided to go freemium. How? At the bottom of every email, it would say something like Powered by MailChimp. Every customer email sent helped to spread the word. It created a kind of viral loop.
Now all of this landing page theory is nice, but reading about landing page design and actually designing an effective landing page are two very different things. If you want to create landing pages for your marketing campaigns, you have two basic options: 1) build the pages directly on your site or 2) create the landing pages using a landing page tool.
Overall: This software is a nice one-stop to create positive outcomes from (and for) visitors to our website. Before we tried ClickFunnels we were putting a lot of stress (i.e. asking a lot of) on our IT and web developer because every time we wanted to start a campaign we asked him to create a funnel using multiple software applications. With this software, it eliminates the need to bog down our web department as ClickFunnels allows one user to create, manage, and monitor a website funnel.
Cons: Despite the promised functionality, Backpack and Actionetics are highly limited. In 2-3 years, the functionality may be unparalleled, but at the moment the little bugs make it an extremely frustrating process. I can't find a good reason to pay the additional money when there are alternatives like Mailchimp for a far better CRM and other decent affiliate solutions out there.
Cons: The customer support has gotten worse recently. They used to have live chat on their site, now they use some weird ticketing software that I do not like. I will say this, there support is very good but a lot slower than I'd like. When they do get back to me, it typically solved my problem immediately. But sometimes it takes a full day or more for them to respond. This can be valuable lost time for a business, especially if you're running ads to a page that stops working.
Their homepage has an interesting graphic. It’s the first step of the sales funnel. A branding line similar to Mint.com’s, MailChimp’s slogan Being yourself makes all the difference really has nothing to do with the tool. That might be a good thing. It’s aspirational marketing not unlike Grasshopper above. It’s about identity, freedom, and self-expression — ideas that are bigger than a product.