Dec 19, 2005

2005 Customer Survey Results, iPod Nano Winner

A big "THANK YOU!" to everyone who spent time filling out our 2005 Annual MailChimp Customer Survey. Wow. 3 times as many people took part in this survey as last year’s (we think it might have something to do with the fact that we actually had an incentive this year—an iPod Nano). Speaking of the Nano, one of our neighbors from the north won the random drawing. Congratulations to Kirsten, from Victoria, British Columbia! It goes in the mail today, Kirsten. We’ll try to get it to you before the holidays, and before Steve Jobs invents an even smaller iPod.

We think of our Annual Customer Survey as an "employee performance review." Only we’re the employee (yours), and unlike the crappy kind of review that your boss makes you sit through every year, we actually can’t wait to hear ours. The constructive feedback we get is priceless, and because so many creatives use MailChimp, some of the comments are hilarious (click the link). We learned a lot from this year’s survey, and we’re already working on improvements and new features based on your feedback…

We learned there were certain things that our customers really, really liked about the chimp, and there were other areas where we had some room for improvement…

What You Said You Liked
Here are some of the positive comments and insight we received about MailChimp…

  • Our customer service: Lots of people said they loved our response time, live chat, and knowledge base. Dan, our head of customer service, is really happy about this (but please don’t let it get to his head).
  • Extreme customization: You can customize the design of absolutely everything in our list management tool, and make it all seamless to your site visitors. The tweakers really love this. However, if you’re not a coder, it’s a little difficult to grasp. We’ll make that process smoother for everyone soon.
  • We stay out of your way: You have full control over every aspect of your email designs (no ugly templates or logos in your footer), and our "design-it-yourselfers" really like that. But some example template code wouldn’t hurt.
  • Someone commented that our help docs and knowledge base articles are nice, because they’re actually useful, and they "don’t assume that we’re all complete idiots."
  • Infinite Personalization is Great: Lots of customers use their own opt-in list from their customer database, and "merge" infinitely many fields (see how) to personalize their messages. We’ll be sure not to muck that up.
  • Just plain easy: News flash—people hate complexity. So the "easy to use" thing is a big plus for MailChimp.

But There’s Room for Improvement
On the flip side, here’s what you told us we need to work on…

  • Pricing options: While MailChimp is extremely affordable for "getting started," some of you are long past that stage, and want more options. We’re working on that. In the meantime, inquire about non-profit discounts, and special agency pricing here.
  • Our extreme list management customization is—well, extreme: It’s nice to customize list management’s form, page, and email notification design. Real nice. But it takes a while to get it all done. And if you’re not a hard core designer, it’s hard to grasp. We’ll fix that soon.
  • List Management Options: We built MailChimp for web designers and programmers (but that was way back in 2001) who already had databases of their own. So we were just a simple delivery tool, with no built-in list managament system. But recently, we were starting to see more "small business" customers using the chimp, so we added a really simple list management tool for them. Many of you like it, because it’s so simple. But lots of you want way, way more segmenting options built in. We’re already on it. In the meantime, you technically can do some powerful segmenting with our list management tool. Dan will post a knowledge base "how to" article soon.

Funny Comments
Our customers are a creative bunch, so some off-the-wall comments are to be expected. Here’s some of the funnier feedback we got this year…

"What’s our biggest weakness?"

  • "Not enough monkeys"
  • "The yellow is too bright – but then, it wouldn’t be MailChimp if it weren’t yellow."
  • "Not enough monkey metaphors."
  • "The monkey fetish"
  • "Not enough contests"
  • "Cost, but that’s because I’m cheap."
  • "It kinda emits this weird smell when you click the radio buttons."
  • "We actually have to do some of the work?"
  • "You don’t send me free beer"

"What are we NOT doing well to help your business?"

  • "Did i say, free beer?" (Note: last year, it was tea. Now, everyone wants beer. Our customers are definitely getting smarter)
  • Do monkeys like bagels? Because that’s what you get here. A big, round, toasted poppy seed bagel. With banana cream cheese. Your system rocks.
  • I don’t see you over here sweeping. I don’t see you at any of our staff meetings, or client pitches. IN FACT, that gives me an idea. You should go out with a chimp on a leash and visit companies at staff meetings and give out bananas that have your URL printed on them, and run little demos of how easy it is to chimp people. Train the monkey, and make the laptop like a hurdy-gurdy. YOU could be the Hurdy Gurdy man. Just like Donovan sung it.
  • Donating large amounts of cash

Hmm, is there a business model in roaming around the country with a dancing monkey, while handing out free bagels, bananas and beer?