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You might know MailChimp for their monkey logo or popular monkey-themed swag. Perhaps you tried it to send an email newsletter for free. Or maybe, if you're the curious type, you've noticed so many of the email newsletters you subscribe to include links to this app.
Either way, if you read or send emails—and really, who doesn't?—chances are you've heard of MailChimp. It started out as just another way to send email newsletters, albeit one that tried to make sending emails a bit more playful and a bit less stressful. Today it's a suite of tools to automate your email marketing.
The basics are still simple and powerful in MailChimp. Create an account, and you can import your email list and send a message to everyone with dozens of pre-made templates that you can customize with a drag-and-drop editor. It'll help you make sure everything looks great with Inbox Preview to see how your emails will look in a variety of standard email apps. And it can send out emails automatically from your RSS feed.
Don't have a list of people to email? Don't fret. MailChimp includes a landing page builder that uses the same tools to help you build a website for your newsletter. Or, you can make a form to share online or embed in an existing website so people can sign up.
If newsletters aren't enough, MailChimp's Automation tools might be just what you need. They let you send birthday emails, welcome messages, shopping cart reminders from a number of eCommerce systems, and almost any other automated message you want to send, with templates to make the emails easily. MailChimp will recommend you add an automated email for new signups when you make a landing page, or you can add more anytime you want. Use the same templates for the emails, and a simple interface to schedule the emails to go out when you want (with an option to send emails on your recipents' timezones if you want). With the Pro add-on, you can also use MailChimp's Mandrill transactional email service to send emails through SMTP or an API from your in-house apps so all of your email messaging goes through MailChimp.
All that's left is Reports where you'll find details about every email campaign and subscriber in your lists. You can see which emails worked better, which subject lines got more clicks—then can try to improve things with MailChimp's A/B testing that lets you send multiple versions of your email and test them out.
Sending emails to thousands of readers can be stressful. MailChimp takes the edge off by making your email sending experience a bit more fun, and giving you the tools and knowledge—in free eBooks and more—that'll help you get the most out of your email work. And if that's still too much, you can turn to MailChimp's even simpler companion email app, TinyLetter. No matter what your needs, MailChimp's a great family of apps to help you send better email.
Originally published December 3, 2014; updated March 23, 2018 with new screenshots and feature details