Hacker News

35 Comments:
nbrempel said 2 months ago:

I've been using Mailchimp for a while and I'm very confused with the software. Lists changed to "Audience", and it seems they want me to segment my audience using tags instead of having separate lists which just makes things more confusing for me. I guess they are moving away from "email" software to more general "marketing" software. Also the editor is surprisingly bad.

I'm planning on experimenting with https://www.mailerlite.com to see if it's more to-the-point.

whymsicalburito said 2 months ago:

Having a single contact list that is segmented by tags and other criteria is more standard in marketing platforms. I think you're right that this is part of their migration to being a more full featured marketing solution.

jonah said 2 months ago:

As a matter of fact, that's exactly what they're doing. I received an email from them yesterday talking about their all-in-one Marketing Platform with CRM.

https://mailchimp.com/marketing-platform/

vfulco2 said 2 months ago:

I agree. I hoped to grow with them but the design changes and new legalese game playing are terrible. Out of there soon.

paulsutter said 2 months ago:

I’ve had unsubscribes go to the website within minutes, talk to a rep using Drift, then eventually buy.

An unsubscribe means “no more email” it doesn’t necessarily mean no interest. It’s important to track the whole funnel not just each campaign.

d-sc said 2 months ago:

I unsubscribe anything that is not a person or relevant notification even if I pay for a service. [flight itinerary w/ confirmation number = ok, Spotify trending = not ok]. I suspect other people do as well.

simongr3dal said 2 months ago:

In general you can turn off every notification option companies give you, without fear, because they are more or less required by law to send you the "transactional" (useful confirmations and notifications) emails.

At least that's my understanding.

CamelCaseName said 2 months ago:

Not worth the risk, because you never know their implementation.

I once opted out of all emails from a crowd funding startup.

Turns out that "all" emails really means all. I couldn't reset my password.

Wowfunhappy said 2 months ago:

> Turns out that "all" emails really means all. I couldn't reset my password.

I can understand there being a gray area around what is important information and what is marketing, but not getting password reset emails is just a bug. That never makes any sense and I highly doubt it was intentional.

Wowfunhappy said 2 months ago:

I have to say, I'm getting quite annoyed with what some companies consider "essential" emails.

Take eBay, for instance. For certain orders (and not others), I have begun to receive emails for each of the following:

• Order confirmation

• Preparing for shipment

• Shipped

• Will be delivered today

• Actually delivered.

This is useless noise. Fine to provide the option, but damn it, I've already opted out from as many messages as possible. The only email that should be "required" is order confirmation, and maybe one additional email for when the item has shipped.

mxstbr said 2 months ago:

I moved my newsletter[0] from Mailchimp to Buttondown[1] and have been very happy. The price is much cheaper, and Buttondown does exactly what I need it to do: manage my list of subscribers and send emails reliably.

As the cherries on top I can compose my emails in markdown and their public API is nice to use.

Highly recommended for personal newsletter needs!

[0]: https://mxstbr.com/thoughts

[1]: https://buttondown.email

ukulele said 2 months ago:

I understand the cynicism, but for now at least this is not affecting pricing (which is still based on subscribers [0]).

Seems like it's more about finding ways to target users who have unsubscribed from a mailing list. That has its own thorns, but a sly price hike doesn't appear to be one of them so far.

[0] https://mailchimp.com/help/about-mailchimp-pricing-plans

joecot said 2 months ago:

I received an email to my free Mailchimp account explaining this change, which included this:

> As a current user of our Forever Free plan, you'll now be in the new Free plan as long as your audience size is 2,000 contacts or less. The new pricing structure is based upon the total number of contacts you can market to, which now includes unsubscribes and customers who have simply not opted-in yet. You can check your Mailchimp account to see how many contacts are in your total audience. And keep in mind, you can always archive contacts you aren't using. On June 15, 2019, the pricing change will go into effect if you have more than 2,000 contacts.

So it sounds like it very much does change pricing on June 15th, at the least meaning previously Free users will now have to pay, unless they go in and manually archive unsubscribed emails.

brndn said 2 months ago:

I got this email from them today:

> If you are a current free user You can remain a free user so long as you have 2,000 or fewer contacts in your audience, and you’ll now have the new free plan features. If the new way of counting contacts causes your audience to exceed 2,000 contacts before June 15, 2019, we’ll automatically archive your unsubscribed and transactional contacts. After June 15, we’ll begin calculating your audience as described in Section 7B of our TOU, but you can always manually archive contacts to keep your audience under 2,000 contacts.

So it sounds like they are actually automatically archiving unsubscribed emails if it puts you over the limit.

joecot said 2 months ago:

OK, that wasn't in the original "Exciting updates coming to your Mailchimp account" email. That appears to be from today in the "Updates to your Mailchimp account" email from Mailteam Legal. I'm guessing someone from legal saw that original email and puckered a bit, and drafted this clarification.

ukulele said 2 months ago:

Good to know, and so sounds like there is reason to be cynical after all.

brndn said 2 months ago:

They are actually automatically archiving unsubscribed emails to keep free users under the limit.

> You can remain a free user so long as you have 2,000 or fewer contacts in your audience, and you’ll now have the new free plan features. If the new way of counting contacts causes your audience to exceed 2,000 contacts before June 15, 2019, we’ll automatically archive your unsubscribed and transactional contacts. After June 15, we’ll begin calculating your audience as described in Section 7B of our TOU, but you can always manually archive contacts to keep your audience under 2,000 contacts.

jeremymcanally said 2 months ago:

And billed this change as “exciting” for the user when they sent the announcement email, which struck me as...tone deaf. If you’re doing something I won’t like just tell me straight.

c0vfefe said 2 months ago:

From a company's perspective, breaking bad news without some positive spin is "tone deaf" to their PR interests.

jvagner said 2 months ago:

They announced a lot of things, and this was just one change in a slew of new product expansions. Seemed reasonable to me.

jeremymcanally said 2 months ago:

One paragraph of like six was about the new Marketing Platform they're offering (the rest were about this change), which for free users like myself, I'm pretty sure doesn't really warrant a lot of excitement. I realize I'm a free user, but I use it for a small list of people. I really have zero use for any of the new stuff they're offering. I'll probably just jump over to MadMimi or something else similar since it seems their focus is moving more towards multi-channel marketing and less on running a mailing list.

Speaking of: I'm confused by their push into "Marketing Software™" to be honest. There are a lot of people doing that already, and all the MC users I know (which, granted, is only a sample of say 20 people) don't use it in the way they're trying to pivot towards. I'm guessing they'll shed a ton of current users in this change up, but maybe they'll gain an equal or greater number of folks looking for what they're offering? I guess we'll see.

jvagner said 2 months ago:

It's a pretty significant cost-calculation change, and thought the charge may not land yet, it'll probably land later on. Also, a lot of people manage MC accounts for clients, so this will be a head's up discussion in those engagement discussions ("That tool we use for audience segmentation..? The price calculation may be changing because they're now counting unsubscribes..").

That said, to your second point: a lot of people just want simple, email list management. And for that, MailChimp has gotten a little unwieldy. But in a more sophisticated digital marketing strategy, some of their other components make more sense. They're competing with the base CRMs out there, and they'd rather not be one half of an equation where they'll eventually lose out because customers need to move up the offering chain. And in remarketing and attribution oriented campaigns, the new MC features make more sense, in theory.

Lastly, many many many companies out there barely use their marketing tools. If you think in terms of analytics, tracking, audience targeting, remarketing, etc., a lot of people are just using the thinnest feature set to fake their marketing. If you tie a few tools together, it gets a bit harder, so those MC customers who are trying to level up a bit need to figure out an additional element of integration. It's detail oriented and prone to error. By bundling these together, they can help their customers level-up without confronting the integration burden.

shostack said 2 months ago:

All of the major ESPs (email platforms) are moving to be marketing clouds.

They realized they were well suited as they store much of the audience data and logic for that sort of automation. Then they just need to connect to other platforms which is relatively easy integration.

This in turn gets them more lock in with features and data. Exporting all that data and logic is a major headache. I know because I've dealt with such a migration twice now.

Since there's still valuable data about unsubscribed users if they are wired up to your DB, and since you could presumably still retarget them with audience lists in other channels that aren't impacted, I understand this move.

Likewise, their pricing change from auto changing your pricing tier to having you forecast is fairly standard for large email platforms, but frankly a little customer hostile imho. It shifts the risk from them to you to know your volume. Sure if you want true pay as you go, you can use the underlying mailer tools (Amazon SES, Sparkpost, etc) but business users will struggle with that.

creaghpatr said 2 months ago:

Someone commented a good point, you could just export your unsubscribe email addresses and then delete them out, that's arguably a good practice.

kennywinker said 2 months ago:

Such a good practice that the software should do it for you.

creaghpatr said 2 months ago:

Sure but they would charge you for that service, isn't that the point? Hubspot tells me which contacts I should avoid sending to, but I still have to pay to have those contacts so they can tell me that.

toasterlovin said 2 months ago:

The difference being that you're not sending emails to unsubscribed addresses, so they don't really occupy the same conceptual space as subscribed addresses.

SyneRyder said 2 months ago:

A couple of other things I've noticed while logging in today:

* Whatever the previous free tier limit was on mailing lists, I'm now getting a warning that "You can't add another Audience - If you’re ready to build another audience, you’ll need to upgrade your account." I currently have 3 lists/audiences that I think are grandfathered in, previously the limit seemed to be on total subscriber numbers across all lists, not the number of lists.

* I can't archive Cleaned addresses (ie email addresses that have been unsubscribed because they've been bouncing emails), so they're permanently in the Audience numbers even though you can't (and shouldn't!) market to them. I assume they need to be archived so the system knows "don't allow this email address to be resubscribed".

* Maybe this is a Firefox Windows bug, but if you've got only one person in your search/segment, and you try to select Actions -> Archive, on a standard Full HD monitor the Archive & Delete menu options are offscreen and you can't scroll the page down to click on them. Meanwhile options like "Resubscribe" (!) and Make VIP are visible. Zooming the page out to 80% works, but it just feels like one of those dark patterns, even if unintentional or a bug.

I'm definitely looking for alternatives now (recommendations welcome). Even if these are all things I can work around, I don't like their overall trend. I should have got the hint when Mailchimp started defaulting new lists to not require a confirmed opt-in from subscribers...

said 2 months ago:
[deleted]
alentodorov said 2 months ago:

I believe it’s related to their recent-ish push into using Mailchimp as a source for Facebook custom audience advertising.

blat001 said 2 months ago:

Yes, a common use case for a marketing platform is to retarget opted out users as they have demonstrated some affinity for your brand.

Most likely just don't need to receive 2-3 emails a day from you

hiroshi3110 said 2 months ago:

Are there any newsletter or campaign mail service that automatically schedule amount of mails so that they will not blocked? Say I'll going to send the first volume of newsletter to 10K email address (not a cold mail, they are our users).

xfitm3 said 2 months ago:

This company needs to change its name.

castis said 2 months ago:

If you find "Mailchimp" offensive, that's on you.

jessaustin said 2 months ago:

Eh, I'm having a hard time reading "offense" into GP. That could be me being obtuse, but I kind of prefer my more charitable interpretation. Perhaps the suggestion is more a matter of commercial taste?