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Ask a question. Give advice. Share resources. Looking for software or hardware recommendations? Want to know how others are using text messaging in their work? Trying to find examples of IT policies? The NTEN Discuss forum is a great resource for all of the above and more! It's the general discussion list for the NTEN community, and folks all over the US (and the world) are sharing their questions, answers, and news about nonprofit technology.

What's the deal with MailChimp lately? Alternatives?

  • 1.  What's the deal with MailChimp lately? Alternatives?

    Posted 29 days ago
    Edited by Stacy Dyer 29 days ago
    What is up with MailChimp lately? I've used them happily for years, but in the last few months, they are pulling out of integrations and breaking my tech stack, especially on the e-commerce side (Shopify). I'm annoyed enough to do something about it. Anyone else in this boat with me and thinking of jumping ship from MC?

    What other EM alternatives are you guys using? Share your favorite! Or if you hate yours, for whatever reason, share that too, so I can avoid your fate.

    Full disclosure: I've already decided I'm probably going to migrate my most active client to Constant Contact even though it has its cons too. I've shopped around a bunch already, and would love to hear from anyone in the community who may have already been dealing with their own migration.

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    Stacy Dyer
    Austin, TX
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 2.  RE: What's the deal with MailChimp lately? Alternatives?

    Posted 28 days ago
    I can't speak to current problems with Mailchimp because I rarely use it. I've used Constant Contact and don't like it; have used Aweber and like it pretty well. My favorite email marketing tool, however, is GetResponse, and GR makes it easy to import lists created elsewhere. It also offers a 50 percent discount for nonprofits. The company's customer service is generally great. I've used GR for more than five years now, and it's what I always recommend.

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    Mary Weaver

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  • 3.  RE: What's the deal with MailChimp lately? Alternatives?

    Posted 24 days ago
    A 50 percent discount!! That is really significant. We've used Campaign Monitor (with a Salesforce integration) for a few years and I mostly like it for my team, but their nonprofit discount is only 15 percent. Hadn't planned on making any changes, but that deep a discount could be worth the pain of moving. Do you happen to know anyone who uses with a Salesforce intergration?

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    Loren Drummond
    Digital Content Manager
    Seattle, WA
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  • 4.  RE: What's the deal with MailChimp lately? Alternatives?

    Posted 28 days ago
    We use Campaign Monitor which we like for Salesforce integration and the automation features.

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    Mary Gaughan
    Boston, MA
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  • 5.  RE: What's the deal with MailChimp lately? Alternatives?

    Posted 28 days ago
    Hi Stacy,

    I have no connection/relationship with mailchimp and I am only sharing my own impressions here, based on the work I have done in the past.

    I have worked with Mailchimp off and on over the years, primarily to set up integrations with core CRM and other systems. What I have found is that their integration strategy has always been unpredictable and shaky without any committed roadmap. They had a Salesforce-based app a few years back that was abruptly pulled out, and then another integration solution was put up in the marketplace after some time.

    At the same time, on the front of adding features related to Marketing Automation etc. (which are related to the core product functionality), they have had a steady march. I myself have used these features to set up drip-type campaigns for my own business purposes and this was a differentiator with Constant Contact because CC did not have anything close then (and if I am not mistaken, even now).

    Overall, my suggestion relative to integration would be to look into independent, third party vendors like Syncapps or Zapier. (I do not intend to endorse these products, but just want to mention that there are options available). Each one comes with its own pros and cons, but their commitment to the market seems to be steady.

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    Medha Nanal
    Strategic Data/Database Consultant for Nonprofits (Fundraising, Operations, Programs)
    www.topcloudconsult.com
    medhananal@topcloudconsult.com
    650.600.9374
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 6.  RE: What's the deal with MailChimp lately? Alternatives?

    Posted 28 days ago
    Wow!  Can you share the details?  We are considering using them for email.

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    Ranel Porter
    Concord, CA
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  • 7.  RE: What's the deal with MailChimp lately? Alternatives?

    Posted 27 days ago
    Stacy -

    I'm sorry you're experiencing these issues with MC.  Here are some links that I've found helpful discussing alternatives.

    Hope this helps.

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    Henri Makembe
    Partner
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  • 8.  RE: What's the deal with MailChimp lately? Alternatives?

    Posted 27 days ago
    Hey Stacy,

    MC had a major pivot in strategy, and decided to reformulate their offering as a digital marketing platform, rather than an email marketing tool. For a long time, MC has been consistently ahead of many of its competitors in terms of feature-set, especially on the marketing automation front. At this point, MC wants to compete with HubSpot and other eCRMs. I really enjoyed this piece, admittedly somewhat slanted, on the move: https://davidgaughran.com/2019/05/16/mailchimp-alternatives-criticism-changes-pricing-plans/

    Generally speaking, choices for email newsletter should be substantially guided by the requirements of integration back to the CRM, in my opinion.

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    Isaac Shalev
    http://www.sage70.com
    Stamford CT
    @Sage70
    isaac@sage70.com
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  • 9.  RE: What's the deal with MailChimp lately? Alternatives?

    Posted 27 days ago
    I enjoyed reading through the links shared by both Henri and Isaac. Thank you both for sharing!! These pieces give so much insight into what is happening and also what might be coming.

    I know that I might sound like a broken record, but let me dig a bit deeper into my take on this whole re-strategizing and why that impacts some peripheral product lines such as integrations.

    Having worked in tech product companies (both platform as well as integration), I can "see" why MC appears uncommitted about integration. One, any tech product company needs a lot of resources and focus to create a competitive set of core features to win the market. Integration typically falls along the periphery.

    Second, integration has, in itself, become an independent field with many specialty vendors offering connectors between various systems. Platform companies first focus on creating an open and standards-based set of API's, and a prevalent business model is to partner with others to offer integrations. Many choose not to create own integrations. Some have tried and backed out such offerings (notable examples in small-medium business space are Eventbrite and Intuit).

    Overall, your pain point seems to be relative to integration, and not pricing or core feature set (based on your post). If that's true, then my suggestion would be to look at independent integration vendors whose bread and butter is integration. They have the army of product specialists who will keep their products in sync with constantly changing API landscape and support/sustain the products.

    Now, this may not be what you wanted to hear, because doing so is not only disruptive to your work, but also forces you to go back to the whiteboard to rethink your tech stack. Also, there will be newer projects and related costs. However, this will be a more sustainable model. Even if you switch MC in this process and get another alternative product, I would still recommend that you take this opportunity to review your integration strategy.

    Happy to discuss more offline. Feel free to reach out.


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    Medha Nanal
    Strategic Data/Database Consultant for Nonprofits (Fundraising, Operations, Programs)
    www.topcloudconsult.com
    medhananal@topcloudconsult.com
    650.600.9374
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    2020 Nonprofit Technology Conference Logo  w/ Baltimore Skyline


  • 10.  RE: What's the deal with MailChimp lately? Alternatives?

    Posted 24 days ago
    @Stacy Dyer I used to use MC as well but their free account was quite limited, especially when it comes to automations.

    If you're looking for integrations, automations, and in-depth reports - ActiveCampaign is worth checking out.

    I found an article on Shopify integration with Zapier and they also offer up to a 20% discount for nonprofits.

    Also, there's an app for Salesforce which is $9/mo but they also offer a discount.​

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    Chuck Spidell
    The Nonprofit WordPress Security Expert
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  • 11.  RE: What's the deal with MailChimp lately? Alternatives?

    Posted 21 days ago
    We use Hubspot and we also get a pretty steep discount mainly because of our volumes but with that volumes come steep pricing in general. We like the features and there is an integration from Shopify into Hubspot.

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    Contessa Siegner
    Sr. Director of IT & Operations
    Matthews, NC
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