Create a digital workspace for your team with Slack

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Communicating with your team via e-mail can be a sluggish and unwieldy task. And when it comes to improving performance and getting things done, internal communication is still one of the most important factors for efficient team work. But if traditional e-mail communication is outdated, what would be a better alternative? Today, I will show you a great tool for creating a digital workspace for your team and successfully reducing the number of e-mails in your inbox for a more effective workflow.

  1. So, what is Slack?

Slack is a cloud-based software that creates a chat room for you and your team members where you can send direct messages, create different channels and groups, and streamline your workflows. It is a great way of simplifying communication and organizing your conversations in an efficient and optimized way, reducing the time that an e-mail correspondence would need. Moreover, Slack provides you with a searchable archive of old conversations and files that have been sent between members so you can find them easily when you need them.

Slack consists of the following main components:

  • Teams – a team is the group of people you will communicate with via Slack – if you are a smaller organization, you will probably have all your colleagues at one chat room, but if you are a part of a bigger organization, you will have a variety of interconnected workspaces. To become a part of the team, you have to be invited by an Admin.
  • Channels – channels can be either private or public, and they can be organized around a topic, projects, or departments; for example, if you want to have a channel only with the members of your Marketing team.
  • Messages – these are the direct messages that you send to your team members, and they are only visible to you and the other member/s in your channel.
  • Search – you can find the search box in the upper right corner of your workspace and use to to search any file or information within your channels.
  • Notifications – this is Slack’s way of identifying the messages or elements that need your attention. You can choose to receive them on your desktop, mobile device, or by e-mail.

WHAT IS SLACK annual_meeting

In other words, Slack is a communication channel for your business so you can reduce unnecessary e-mail and increase productivity.

      2. How do I activate it? Do I need to download anything?

You don’t need to download anything to get started with Slack, but you have to be invited by a WorkSpace Owner or an Admin. A WorkSpace Owner is the person who created the chat room, and the Admin is the one recruited for managing and organising the team. If you are the one who is going to manage the chat room, you will be the one inviting other members.

Optionally, you can download Slack as a desktop app for Mac, Windows, and Linux, or as a mobile app for iPhone, Android and Windows Phone.

      3. Can I get a certification in Slack? Does it cost anything?

Surprisingly, you can get certified in Slack for the following profiles:

  • Engineering Manager – click here
  • IT Manager – click here
  • Customer Support Rep – click here

Slack certification is a new project that Slack is working on, so you can expect more options for different profiles because some of them are still in beta version. It doesn’t cost anything and you can follow this link to wait for updates and more information, because the article is still in beta.

     4. Slack Rating

PCMag: 4.5 / 5 (Editor’s rating)

GetApp: 4.6 / 5 (2378 ratings overall)

G2Crowd: 4.5 / 5 (4295 ratings overall)

     5. What features does Slack offer?

Some of the features that Slack offers are the following:

  • Status Updates;
  • Instant Messaging;
  • Activity Feed;
  • Notifications;
  • Comments and Voting;
  • Discussions;
  • Online status of coworkers;
  • File Sharing;
  • Version Control;
  • Tagging;
  • Task Management;
  • Calendar;
  • Mobile.

    6. What are the pros and cons of Slack?

Pros:

  • Reduces e-mail traffic;
  • Facilitates connection between long-distance teams;
  • Access to a repository of archived messages;
  • A good variety of integrations;
  • Documents and multimedia are easy to share;
  • Multi-channel communication;
  • User-friendly interface;
  • Mobile apps.

Cons:

  • Creates expectations for instant reply to messages;
  • Constant notifications can be annoying;
  • History and call features can be improved;
  • Can become a distraction;
  • Can´t collaborate across multiple teams.

    7. What prices are associated with it?

Free Plan: mostly suitable for small teams, doesn’t offer a lot of features, but it´s for unlimited amount of time. Comes with a file storage of 5GB and a maximum of 10K of searchable messages.

Standard Plan: 6.25 EUR per active user, per month, and it is billed annually. It is suitable for teams and businesses ready to use Slack for projects and a lot of conversations. Comes with unlimited searchable messages, 10GB storage per team member, unlimited third-party integrations, group video calls with up to 15 participants, and a lot of other features.

Plus Plan: 11.75 EUR per active user, per month, and it is billed annually. Suitable for businesses that need SSO, Compliance Exports, and other premium features. Comes with unlimited searchable messages and third-party integrations, 24/7 support with four-hour response time, 20 GB storage per team member, and a variety of other features.

To consult all premium features, click here.

    8. Should I upgrade to Premium?

As with everything, it always depends on a variety of factors such as the number of members in your team, the amount of files you are sharing, and the amount of messages you are exchanging between members. If you are a small company, I suggest that you start with the free version and work your way to the paid versions as you see which features are useful for your business. If you are a bigger company, it will probably be a better option to start with the Standard Plan and move on to the Plus Plan if needed.

   9. What other tools can I pair with Slack?

Slack provides a rich variety of integrations with other tools, such as:

  • Google Hangouts – a tool for communication with your team members via voice calls and video conference;
  • Twitter – a social network and micro blogging service;
  • Git Hub – a library of source codes;
  • MailChimp – an tool for automating E-mail Marketing;
  • Trello – a collaborative project management tool;
  • Asana – a project management tool;
  • Blossom – a project management tool for software development;
  • Google Drive – a cloud-based platform for storing and sharing files;
  • Groove – a customer support tool;
  • DropBox – allows team members to share files.

     10. What else do I need to know about Slack?

Surprisingly, Slack has a very fun shop where you can buy cool branded stuff and support charities! Check it out here.

For getting started with Slack, make sure to check this article and this video.

I hope you enjoyed this article, stay tuned for more!

Ani Miteva

 

Grow your business through social media with Sprout Social

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In an increasingly online world, communication on social media is becoming one of the most powerful tools to engage customers with your brand. Did you know that there are more than 2.4 billion social network users worldwide? According to Statista, the average time that internet users spend on social media is 109 minutes per day. This means more than 2 hours of engagement daily: liking, sharing and commenting on posts that bring value to the user.

And while there is no doubt that social media is an extremely powerful way to engage with your current clients and reach potential ones, it is really important to do it the right way, aligned with the company’s strategy and goals. Today, we are going to talk about Sprout Social, a social media management software founded in 2010 by Justyn Howard and Aaron Rankin.

  1. What is Sprout Social?

Sprout Social is a social media management software that helps brands to communicate and engage with their customers on a variety of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. It allows you to publish and tag ongoing content, schedule cross-network campaigns, monitor activity across multiple social networks, and easily interact with customers via an intuitive, easy to navigate dashboard. Moreover, Sprout Social is packed with a powerful analytics tool that measures your social stats, such as clicks, retweets and likes, and helps you identify recurring trends or patterns that are providing useful information for your business.

Sprout Social offers you three main functions:
  • Publish: which allows you to publish content on multiple social media platforms, and schedule it to be published automatically at any given time of the day.
  • Engage: a function that helps you monitor your incoming messages, posts, and mentions in order to find conversation opportunities.
  • Analyze: which gives you insights and allows you to measure your performance to see whether it is in accordance to your KPIs (Key Performance  Indicators).

Sprout Social has a beautifully designed dashboard that you can navigate easily, optimizing your social media presence and performance.

Resultado de imagen de sprout social dashboard

Sprout Social lets you monitor the activity and interaction of your users on all your social feeds at one place, capture all mentions of your brand, manage your tags and keywords, and easily respond to all messages. The tasking feature of the platform allows you to assign messages to team members, view conversation history, solve issues, and create brand advocates.

Additionally, Social Sprout provides audience intelligence and gathers data from all your social media networks, turning it into useful reports. Some of them include:

  • Twitter Comparison to see how your profile compares to competitors;
  • Facebook Pages that analyzes Facebook data;
  • Trends about the presence of your brand on social media;
  • Engagement for analyzing response rates and times;
  • Task Performance that analyze tasks usage and completion between team members;
  • Sent Messages for insights of your interaction with followers;
  • Google Analytics to view website traffic and user acquisition.

Some of the reports, such as Twitter Listening and Tag Report, require an upgrade to Corporate Plan, but the majority of them are included with your Basic plan.

      2. How do I activate it? Do I need to download anything?

Sprout Social is cloud-based and you don’t need to download anything in order to start using it. All you need to do is go to their website and register for a 30-day free trial. After the trial has ended, you will be asked to select a paid plan.

     3. Can I get a certification in Sprout Social? Does it cost anything?

Sprout Social currently doesn’t offer any certification. However, according to their website, they will be launching an Agency Partner Program:

We will be launching marketing, sales and services support for our agency partners. This includes partner badges, co-marketing resources, sales support, partner awards, certifications, the opportunity to learn a listing in our marketplace and more. We will officially launch details on the program over the next couple of months.

For more details on the upcoming Agency Partner Program of Social Sprout, consult their website.

    4. Sprout Social Rating

G2Crowd: 4.4 / 5 (522 ratings overall)

TrustRadius: 7.6 / 10 (190 ratings overall)

FinancesOnline: 8.9 / 10 (17 user reviews)

GetApp: 4.4 / 5 (53 reviews)

    5. What features does Sprout Social offer?

Some of the features that the software offers are the following:

  • Smart Inbox;
  • Social CRM;
  • Keyword monitoring;
  • Content publishing across multiple platforms;
  • Viral post;
  • Analytics and Reporting;
  • Monitoring;
  • Mobile;
  • Link performance analysis;
  • Audience engagement tools;
  • Team collaboration tools;
  • Integrations.

     6. What are the pros and cons of Sprout Social?

Pros:

  • Great user interface and easy navigation;
  • All social network messages in a unified stream called Smart Inbox;
  • Real-time data reporting;
  • Message scheduling;
  • Discovery feature for monitoring interactions with users;
  • A wide variety of reports;
  • No additional feels for the reports;
  • A lot of features for post engagement and monitoring;
  • Analytics for real-time snapshots and trends.

Cons:

  • Some features can only be accessed for certain platforms;
  • Discovery feature is a little bit challenging for beginners;
  • No Pinterest integration;
  • Could be expensive for small agencies (cheapest plan starts from $99 a month);
  • Room for improvement with other integrations.

     7. What prices are associated with it?

Premium: $99 per user/month;

Corporate: $149 per user/month;

Enterprise: $249 per user/month;

To check the features that come with every plan, click here.

     8. What social media integrations does Sprout Social offer?

Among social media networks, you can integrate with:

  • Facebook;
  • Twitter;
  • Instagram;
  • LinkedIn;
  • Google+

Additionally, Sprout Social offers the possibility for integrations with UserVoice, Bitly, Google Analytics, ZenDesk and Feedly.

     9. What else should I know about Social Sprout?

Social Sprout offers a mobile app so you can easily manage your social media performance and activity on the go. You need to have an account with Social Sprout in order to be able to use the app.

Get the app here for Android and here for iOS.

I hope you enjoyed this article, stay tuned for more!

Ani Miteva

 

 

 

What is Salesforce and how does it benefit your business?

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Engaging with your customers and maintaining quality relationships with them instead of betting on one-time sales really pays off in the long run. Did you know that it costs between 4 and 10 times more to acquire a new customer compared to retaining a current one? With this in mind, it is extremely important to manage your customer relationships on a high level, but when your business is growing it can be a tough task if you aren’t using any tool to keep track of this aspect.

That’s why today we will talk about Salesforce, a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) software that allows you to connect with customers and easily keep track of your sales pipeline.

  1. What is a CRM?

Before moving on to Salesforce, I want to talk briefly about what exactly a CRM is, and how it will boost your company’s performance and sales – in other words, why your business needs it.

CRM or Customer Relationship Management is an approach for managing your company’s interactions with current and potential customers. It focuses on customer retention and revenue growth in the long run instead of nurturing short-term transactions. By using data analysis, you can keep track of all your customers at a single place, and successfully encourage communication and repetitive sales that lead to sales growth.

Nowadays, a CRM is usually referred as a specific tool, most often a web application or software, that allows companies to focus on individual customers. A good CRM tool allows you to store and organize customer data such as contact details, transactions, client company’s details and past interactions. It provides you with an easy way to manage campaigns, complete tasks and seal deals, send and track e-mails, manage leads and track their conversion. Moreover, CRM tools usually provide you with extremely useful and meaningful reports about your customers’ trends, patterns and behavior.

Your business needs a CRM tool for a variety of reasons, such as optimizing your marketing strategy, increasing your sales performance and growth, and storing useful data to analyze customer behavior. Building and most importantly, maintaining quality relationships with customers is essential for the success of absolutely every company. 

    2. What is Salesforce? 

Salesforce is the world’s leading CRM software and enterprise cloud ecosystem that offers a complete integrated solution for managing your company’s current and potential customers. It is the first CRM platform that is entirely cloud-based, meaning that you don’t need absolutely any additional hardware nor software as you can access the data from anywhere as long as you have Internet.

The platform offers a variety of solutions that are not only limited to CRM, including Analytics, Marketing Cloud, Customer Support and eCommerce. Check them all here.

salesforce products

Source: salesforce.com

However, as it is an extremely comprehensive platform, it is better to explore each product individually, which I will do in further posts. Today, the focus will be Salesforce’s customer relationship management tool.

Salesforce CRM is considered one of the best CRM tools for small, midsize and enterprise organizations. It helps you collect and track your customers’ data and their interactions with your company without having to download any additional software. Since all the information is stored in a cloud, you can access it from any place, any time.

Salesforce CRM is a software that offers a lot of features such as e-mail integration, forecasting, customer engagement, sales management, analytics, and marketing automation. These features allow you to automate the whole process of generating quality leads and reduce the time needed to complete a sales cycle.

     3. How do I activate it? Do I need to download anything?

As I already mentioned, it is completely cloud-based and there is no need to download anything to start using it. What you need to do is go to their website and register for a free 30-day trial period. After the trial has ended, you will be asked to select a paid plan.

     4. Can I get a certification in Salesforce? Does it cost anything?

Yes, Salesforce provides a variety of different certifications depending on the job role or hierarchy. Below, you will find the prices for each exam (prices can change, so it’s always better to consult Salesforce directly if you are planning to take one):

  • Administrator – $200
  • Advanced Administrator – $400
  • App Builders – $200
  • Architects – $400
  • Consultants – $200
  • Developers – $200
  • Marketers – $200
  • Pardot Experts – $200
  • Specialists – $200
  • Salesforce Certified Technical Architect – $6,000

These are only the main categories, and inside each category you will find more specific certifications such as Data Architecture and Management Designer or Application Architect (for category Architects). After you’ve passed the exam, you also have a maintenance fee of $100 (may vary) per year to maintain your credential valid.

The majority of the exams are multiple-choice with between 90 and 120 minutes duration.

To consult all credentials, certifications, and prices for specific exam within each category, click here. You can register here for a certification.

Additionally, Salesforce provides courses that help you prepare for your certification. You can consult them here.

     5. SalesForce Rating

TrustRadius: 7.8 / 10 (1414 ratings overall)

G2Crowd: 4.2 / 5 (2739 ratings overall)

PCmag: 4.5 / 5 (Editor’s review)

     6. What features does Salesforce offer?

Salesforce has the following features:

  • Contact Management;
  • Community Management;
  • Lead Generation;
  • E-mail integration;
  • Forecasting;
  • Marketing and Sales leads;
  • Innovative apps;
  • Analytics;
  • Mobile access;
  • Contact Manager;
  • Real-time visibility;
  • Dashboards;
  • Automated workflow;
  • Reports.

   7. What are the pros and cons of Salesforce?

Pros:

  • Customizable dashboard with a variety of widgets;
  • Easy navigation and intuitive layout;
  • Cloud-based (no additional software or hardware needed);
  • Supports all major browsers;
  • Social media function;
  • Fully equipped with functions for every stage of the cycle;
  • Reduction of costs (easy to learn the basic functions);
  • Integration with a lot of apps;
  • User-friendly.

Cons:

  • Accessing all the functions can be quite expensive for small businesses;
  • Prices rise per increasing number of users;
  • A lot of limitations with the cheaper versions;
  • Need for additional modules;
  • Customization can be tricky and takes time;
  • Customer support needs improvement.

8. What prices are associated with it?

The CRM solution of Salesforce is associated with the following costs:

cloud pricing

Source:salesforce.com

Consult the pricing for the rest of the Salesforce products here.

     9. What else should I know about Salesforce?

Currently, Salesforce is working on a new desktop user interface called the Lightning Experience, which is modernized, sales-centric and faster than the classic Salesforce interface. It provides a variety of new features such as:

  • Efficient navigation and switch between apps;
  • Quick access to productivity tools such as Notes;
  • New record layouts;
  • Easy filtering and data visualization;
  • A beautiful and modernized new dashboard and interface.

The Lightning Experience is a new desktop app with more than 25 new features and perfectly optimized for speed. To learn more about it, visit this page of Salesforce website.

Tip: If you have a LinkedIn Premium account, I strongly recommend you to take the course Learning Salesforce, which provides you with a great demo on how the platform works and what are its key features. If you don’t have a LinkedIn Premium account, you have a 30-day free trial once you’ve registered in LinkedIn (unless you’ve used it already).

Tip 2: To additionally strengthen the communication with your clients, make sure to check this awesome tool called Slack.

I hope you enjoyed this article, stay tuned for more!

Ani Miteva

What is Google Analytics? Features & Pricing

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If you have a website or a blog and you haven’t started using Google Analytics yet, then this is your wake-up call. Google Analytics is one of the most powerful analytics tools for understanding your customer’s behavior and gaining insights about your website’s traffic, as well as measuring your advertising ROI.

But before you implement Google Analytics in your business strategy, let’s dig down deeper into its essence.

  1. What is Google Analytics?

Google Analytics is a Freemium web analytics service provided by Google that tracks your website traffic and provides you with useful reports on the way your visitors are behaving once they get there. It collects data by tracking users that are coming from organic search (unpaid search), CPC (Cost-Per-Click or paid campaigns), referrals (from another website), E-mail (traffic from e-mail campaigns) and direct search, or users that arrived by typing directly your site into the browser.

The data that Google Analytics collects is compiled into reports that fall into the following 5 categories:

  1. Real-Time Reports – showing users’ behavior in real-time including current active users and pages, page views per minute, traffic sources, country they are browsing from, conversions and much more. In other words, these reports show where users are coming from, and whether they are converting.
  2. Audience Reports – these reports show the activity and characteristics of users such as their age and gender, their country of origin, their interests and even the technology that they are using. You can also find out how engaged they were, and whether they are new or returning visitors.
  3. Acquisition Reports – they display data from the channels that brought traffic to your website such as Marketing and Advertising campaigns, organic search, social traffic, etc. You can also see results from your AdWords campaigns, as long as you have linked AdWords to your Google Analytics account (we will talk about that later).
  4. Behavior Reports – they show how people are engaged on your website including the pages they viewed, landing and exit pages, what visitors searched on your site, and whether they interacted with a specific element.
  5. Conversion Reports – they allow you to track website goals based on business, Marketing and eCommerce goals, as well as your product and sales performance.

In other words, Google Analytics is a great tool for understanding the behavior of your website’s visitors, which Marketing and Advertising efforts are the most efficient for bringing traffic, and where you should focus your money and time in order to get the highest conversion rate.

2. How do I activate it on my website? Do I need to download anything?

In order to activate Google Analytics on your website, you need to create a Google Analytics account and add a small piece of Java tracking code for each page on your website. You don’t need to download any additional software. The code collects anonymous information on how the user interacts with the page. To get started with Analytics, click here.

3. Can I get a certification in Google Analytics? Does it cost anything?

Any person can get an individual certification in Google Analytics by becoming a Partner. It doesn’t cost anything to take the exam and obtain the certification, and it takes as little time as creating an account. To become a Partner, click here.

Once you’ve watched the video tutorials, you can take an individual qualification exam with 70 questions. You have 90 minutes to do it, and you need a passing score of 80% to obtain the certification. Your certificate has a validity of 18 months.

Remember that you need to study both GA for Beginners and Advanced GA for the exam, as these are not two separate exams.

4. Google Analytics Rating

TrustRadius: 8.3 / 10 (1135 ratings overall)

FinanceOnline: 5 / 5 (18 ratings overall)

G2Crowd: 9 / 10 (1122 ratings overall)

GetApp: 4.5 / 5 (124 ratings overall)

5. What features does Google Analytics offer?

Some of the features that this tool offers are the following:

  • Advertising Reports;
  • Campaign Measurement;
  • Real-Time Reporting;
  • Cost Data Import;
  • Remarketing;
  • Social Reports;
  • Funnel Analysis;
  • Segmentation;
  • Traffic Sources.

To check all features, click here.

6. What are the pros and cons of Google Analytics?

I believe that this section can be quite subjective because everyone perceives difficulties in a different way. Here is what users think about the advantages and disadvantages of the GA tool according to GetApp and G2Crowd:

Pros: 

  • A wide range of features and real-time indicators;
  • Completely free web analytics site;
  • Cross-platform tracking;
  • Detailed website visitation reporting;
  • Easy to understand, everything is at a simple glance;
  • Easy to set up on any page;
  • Interactive and visual interface;
  • Ability to track conversions.

Cons:

  • Can be difficult for beginners or non-marketers;
  • Too many in-depth features that take a lot of time to be understood;
  • Limited number of goals and views per property;
  • Limited creation of custom reports;
  • Reports can be downloaded only in PDF;
  • Upgrading to Premium is extremely expensive.

7. What prices are associated with it?

  • Certification: Free
  • Google Analytics Standard: Free
  • Google Analytics 360 (Premium): $150, 000 or $12,500 per month;

Check this comparison chart  to see the features and limitations of both.

8. Should I upgrade to Premium? 

As I haven’t been able to compare both versions for obvious reasons, I can’t provide my own insights, but your question is answered by brianclifton.com

9. What other tools can I pair with Google Analytics?

You can link Google Analytics with some of the following tools:

  • Google AdWords: an online advertising tool that helps you improve your ad campaigns.
  • Google AdSense:  a tool that helps you earn money by displaying relevant ads on your website.
  • Search Console: helps you understand how users find your website.
  • AdExchange: a platform that facilitates the buying and selling of media advertising inventory.

You can find all Google Analytics Product Linking in the Admin Tab of your GA account (Admin – Property – Product Linking). Go directly if you have already logged in your account.

I will talk about these tools in my future posts.

10. What else do I need to know about Google Analytics?

Obviously, the Google Analytics tool is extremely comprehensive and has a wide variety of features that can help you improve your sales and Marketing performance in the long run. If you are new to it, my biggest advice would be to watch the tutorials provided by Google (even if you choose not to take the exam) so you can understand the logic behind the product before you start using it.

Google Analytics for Beginners Tutorial

Advanced Google Analytics Tutorial

Or you can go to the Google Analytics YouTube Channel, where apart from the tutorials for the exam, they have a lot more videos with deeper insights.

Did you miss any important information from the article “What is Google Analytics?” Let me know in the comments!

Ani Miteva

MailChimp Review 2018: Features & Pricing

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Gone are the days where you had to write plain, boring e-mails that you would send one by one if you wanted better personalization, searching through a big messy Excel database to find what you needed. Nowadays, the digital customer is scrolling through hundreds of e-mails daily, and if yours don’t catch his attention immediately, he probably won’t ever go back to them. Luckily for you, companies have adapted rapidly to the dynamic behavior of the customers, and there are plenty of E-mail Marketing tools you can choose from to create beautiful and personalized e-mails ready to launch automatically to your whole contact list. Today, we will do a MailChimp Review 2018, and discover everything that you can do with one of the most popular tools on the market.

If you aren’t using an E-mail Marketing Automation tool yet, or you are planning to but you don’t know why it adds value for your business, then this post is for you.

In my future posts, I will explore as many E-mail Marketing tools as possible so you can make the right choice, but today I am exploring MailChimp, one of the most widely used ones.

  1. What is MailChimp?

MailChimp is an E-mail Marketing and Marketing Automation software that offers basic and advanced features for creating personalized, beautifully designed templates for e-mails and newsletters. With MailChimp, you can manage the list of your subscribers, send thousands of e-mails at once, and more interestingly, observe how your e-mails perform after being sent – whether they have been opened, and whether receivers engaged with the elements inside them.

MailChimp has a beautiful and simple interface that allows you to easily navigate through it, which is especially great for people who are new to E-mail Marketing, since they find no difficulties using it. The functionalities are divided into 4 categories: Campaigns, Templates, Lists and Reports, where you can easily manage your E-mail Marketing campaigns, save templates that you will be using at another moment, import lists, and see reports on how well your campaigns performed.

     2. So, what exactly can I do with MailChimp?

Depending on the subscription plan you’ve chosen, you might be limited to a certain extent with features such as multivariate testing, comparative reports or number of e-mails you can send, but all plans allow you to the basic functions of E-mail Marketing, which are pretty good:

  • Design and launch E-mail Campaigns: doing this is as easy as creating a list of contacts (you can import the ones you already have from another database), and design your own e-mail by choosing one of the MailChimp templates and customizing it according to your preferences. You are ready to send e-mails straight away, or schedule them for another time.
  • E-mail Campaign Automation: MailChimp allows you to set up automated e-mails such as a thank-you-email for subscribing, an annual mailing for happy birthday, or gathering feedback.
  • List Management that lets you import your contact lists and create targeted marketing campaigns for your customers.
  • A/B Testing and Time-Warp option: the first feature allows you to test out your e-mail campaigns before you send them to your contact list, and the second one, as we already mentioned, gives you the possibility to schedule your e-mails and newsletters so that they can send automatically at the right time to the right customer.
  • Geotargeted campaigns: you can target only a selected group of your subscribers depending on their country or geographical area.
  • eCommerce integration:  if you have an online store, MailChimp allows you to connect it to your MailChimp account in order to track the amount and number of purchases from a particular campaign. This feature allows you to follow up if your customers abandon a cart or complete a purchase.

     3. How do I activate it on my website? Do I have to download anything? 

No, you don’t need to download or install any software on your computer. You just go to mailchimp.com, create an account, and you are ready to get started.

     4. Can I get a MailChimp certification? Does it costs anything?

There isn’t currently any official certification by MailChimp, but there is a website dedicated to the verification and recognition of people’s skills that rewards you with badges and certificates: credly.com. You can use it to prove your experience in MailChimp.

MailChimp itself provides you with learning resources so you can learn how the platform works, and it also gives you the possibility to find an expert for 1-on-1 training sessions and international webinars.

    5. MailChimp Rating

G2Crowd: 8.6 / 10 (2131 ratings overall)

PCMag: 9 / 10 (editor’s choice)

TrustRadius: 7.9 / 10 (824 ratings)

    6. What features does MailChimp offer?

Some of the features are the following:

  • Marketing Automation;
  • Segmentation and Groups;
  • Analytics for tracking audience engagement;
  • Reports;
  • MailChimp Mobile;
  • Multi-user accounts;
  • Facebook and Instagram Ad Campaigns;
  • Abandoned cart;
  • Delivery by Time Zone;
  • eCommerce integration.

To see all of them, click here.

     7. What are the pros and cons of Mailchimp?

As with absolutely everything, there are always advantages and disadvantages, so let’s take a look at them:

Pros:

  • Free plan for small businesses (up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 e-mails per month);
  • Built-in, customized e-mail and newsletter templates;
  • Third-party integrations;
  • Highly functional and intuitive;
  • E-mail scheduling according to time zones;
  • Good analytics and reports;
  • Simple and user-friendly;
  • Free learning resources;

Cons:

  • Lack of 24/7 customer support;
  • Lack of professional design services;
  • High frequency of updates (every 4 weeks), which can be confusing;
  • E-mail Automation is limited;
  • High-priced subscription plans;
  • Incomplete list management;

     8. What prices are associated with it?

MailChimp offers 3 plans:

  • New Business: Forever Free – if you have 2,000 or less subscribers and send up to 12,000 e-mails a month, you can use this tool for free without expiring trial or credit card required.
  • Growing Business – it starts from $10 a month and the price is calculated on the number of subscribers you have.

Here you have two types of plan, one is paying Per month, and the other is called Pay as you go.

If you choose pay Per month, you have unlimited amount of e-mails, and the price varies depending on your subscribers:

0 – 500 subscribers: $10

501 – 1000 subscribers: $15

1001 – 1,500 subscribers: $20

If you have more than 1,500 subscribers, calculate your price here.

If you choose the plan Pay as you go, you receive E-mail credits that you get with a prepaid amount:

300 credits – $9. 000.03 cents per e-mail

1000 credits – $30.000.03 cents per e-mail

2000 credits – $60.000.03 cents per e-mail

Check the rest of the prices for e-mail credits here.

  • Pro Marketer – this plan is priced like an add-on, and it is recommended for businesses with more than 50,000 subscribers (although you can purchase it with any number of subscribers). It costs an additional $199 on top of the plan that you have already chosen. It includes multivariate testing, advanced reporting, the option to stop delivery, and priority support.

     9. Should I upgrade to Premium (Pro Marketer)?

Of course, it depends on the size of your mailing list as Premium provides a lot of advanced features for better performance, but if you are just starting with E-mail Marketing, I would recommend you to use the standard plans, and upgrade as your list grows. When you feel that you are ready to go Pro, you can do it anytime. But if your list of subscribers is relatively small at the moment, you might not be able to take the full advantage of the advanced features yet, so take your time to grow your list first.

    10. What other tools can I pair with MailChimp?

MailChimp offers more than 500 third-party integrations and add-ons for a variety of sectors such as e-commerce, non-profit, or real-estate. Here are some of the most popular ones:

  • Google Analytics to track campaign success;
  • eCommerce 360 – integrations with shopping cart programs such as Shopify, Magento and BigCommerce;
  • CRM Integrations with Salesforce, Zoho, Sugar CRM, etc.
  • Zendesk for offering customer support;
  • Eventbrite for managing event invitations;

…and many more!

    11. What else should I know about MailChimp?

MailChimp offers social sharing along with E-mail Marketing, giving you the possibility to post automatically newsletter updates on social media. If you go Social Pro, you get an add-on that collects demographic data from subscribers based on their activity on social networking sites.

You can also pair it up with Google Analytics  to gain additional insights about your customers´behaviour.

Did you miss any important information from our MailChimp Review 2018? Let us know in the comments!

Ani Miteva