Audiences: Mailchimp has changed lists, but is it for the better?

There have been updates to Mailchimp recently, changing their lists to audiences. Immediately it strikes you as change for the sake of change. But there have been some significant improvements. In this post I look at what has changed and whether it’s worth putting money down on the platform.

Better insights and targeting

The first thing that is noticeable with the change to audiences: Insights and targeting become a lot easier. The lists never gave you the insights immediately, like where your audience signed up, how engaged they are, and where they are when they open their emails. But new audiences feature comes with a handy dashboard for each list, making this a lot clearer.

On top of that you can now immediately target segments with a couple of clicks; whether it’s to engage your audience more, send a thank you to those who signed up through Facebook, or a special offer to those who signed up on your website.

A new and improved interface

Browsing your lists was confusing, a lot of things happening and you could never be sure who you wanted to target. The addition of tags helped somewhat, but not completely.

Removing the initial lists of lists clears this up immediately. Being shown the credentials of the list immediately and being able to focus purely on that audience makes things a whole lot easier. It also helps spark ideas that you might not have had otherwise.

It spans everything

Reporting and campaigns have also changed too, following the audience update and it makes things a lot clearer when you are hunting through your account for analytics. It essentially treats every audience completely separate, which is definitely a step in the right direction.

Instead of seeing everything, all the campaigns sent, all the reports, for everything. You can now just have each audience analysed. Previously it felt like you needed to have one list to do everything, pulling people through to the right thing to get the best experience and join up campaigns and analytics, otherwise you’d just have a page of the same campaign going out to different people. However, the recent change makes things clear and easy and has even given me a few ideas on how to improve a few accounts I work on.

Does it make it worth paying for?

The great thing about audiences and Mailchimp is it’s free to small businesses, there are limitations to the platform and at the moment I don’t advise anyone to pay for it unless its regularly used and paying you back.

Audiences does certainly make it easier to get to the right people at the right time, but there are still some major flaws in the platform that others have. But it’s still the best free tool out there for small businesses to manage their email marketing.

There are still a few key things missing from Mailchimp in my eyes, but it is still a great starter for any small business looking to get into email marketing.

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