Feb 22, 2011

Chimp Chatter Gets a Facelift

Way back in May of 2008, we came up with a feature called Chimp Chatter (boy, that old blog post brings back memories). The idea behind Chimp Chatter was to provide useful updates about your campaigns, right on the MailChimp Dashboard. You could even subscribe to its RSS feed (pretty forward thinking, back in the day when RSS was gonna kill email and all). Anyway, Chimp Chatter’s been long overdue for a revamp.

You may also recall a cool feature we launched last year called MailChimp Faces. It showed subscribers’ avatars and gravatars right there on your Dashboard, making your list feel less like a bunch of stats, and more like — well, people. And our users seemed to genuinely like seeing the faces of their subscribers. But changes to the Social Pro data set forced us to drop Faces.

Which really, really sucked for me because I think it’s kind of important to make email marketing a little more human. It’s kinda what we do here at MailChimp.

So when we recently redesigned our app, we updated two birds with one stone:

Chimp Chatter was totally redesigned to look less like a bunch of tiny lines of text, and more like a stream of friendly updates.

For example, this is what I saw the day after sending an email about some upcoming server maintenance:

It was a breath of fresh air seeing our customers’ faces, and reading their comments (I used MailChimp’s built-in Facebook Comments integration), right there on my Dashboard.

In addition to comments, we’ll show you faces whenever your subscribers do other stuff, such as unsubscribe from your list:

By the way: seriously?!? I don’t live up to this dog’s standards? You know I had to click into that profile to learn more:

I learned he’s in Lincoln Nebraska(ish), he last read my email on an Android smartphone, and unsubscribed after receiving my latest RSS-to-email blog update. I even checked the campaign’s unsubscribe exit survey, but he didn’t leave any feedback. Oh well, he’s been a subscriber since October 2009, so I can’t complain too much. We had a good run.

See? Faces make everything more fun, and that helps you learn more about your customers.

Chimp Chatter will also tell you when people "Like" your campaigns:

(thanks, dude!)

Chatter will tell you when subscribers update their profiles, or when new people sign up to your lists:

And of course you can set your Chimp Chatter preferences like before:

Moving forward, the plan is to include more useful status updates about your MailChimp account in this new Chimp Chatter timeline.

I couldn’t think of a witty face-related conclusion, so here I leave you with this Facersize video: