Feb 25, 2011

Co-branding, better header designer coming shortly

As companies get more customers, they grow bigger and bigger, and so do their dev teams. Almost inevitably, you start to see a downward spiral: roadmaps get bloated, launch times get delayed, more devs are hired to handle the workload, middle management gets added (someone needs to watch over those devs, right?), and on and on. Pretty soon, upper management’s quoting inspirational books and hiring expensive consultants and holding pep rallies about "re-architecting the company for the future" which basically means "We really f-d up back there, and it’s gonna take a while to fix this guys."

MailChimp’s nowhere near slowing down (some have warned me we’re moving dangerously fast), but the thought of slowing down scares the bejeezus out of us. So a couple months ago, we decided to change the way we work to prevent that downward spiral. I won’t bore you with the details, but I’ll tell you that this basically means we’re pounding down on the gas pedal, and are going to be updating MailChimp much more frequently than in the past.

And on that note, we’ve got another round of updates that should go live early morning Monday the 28th (if everything goes as planned). I’m posting a short summary below, but the team will get more details and screenshots up after we go live. The most significant features:

Co-branding the MailChimp UI. You’ll be able to customize the MailChimp UI in order to make it match your own brand and feel more like home. Upload your own logo, set the color scheme for navigation and buttons, specify background colors, and even upload a custom background image. I’ve seen some sample customizations already, and they’re absolutely stunning. They reminded me just how important and awesome our recent app redesign was. If you’re a web designer who sets up MailChimp accounts for clients, this is an excellent, professional, not-so-party-pooper way to tone down the monkey business.

New header designer. A really long time ago, we built a header design tool. You could choose from a library of stock images, then overlay some text. Well, we just went back and revamped that tool to be more "drag-and-droppy." In addition to adding text, you’ll be able to upload and overlay your logo, reposition it, resize it, and set some transparency. We’ve also created some new industry categories and beefed up the selection of beautiful stock images a little.

Paid Subscription Enhancements. In December, we launched a paid subscriptions feature. We’ve been getting a lot of feedback from customers since then, and will be launching some refinements to the entire payments process.