Aug 4, 2010

GoldenMonkeys: Our upcoming new iPhone app

new-actionsLet’s say you have a subscriber list of tens of thousands of customers. Chances are, you’ve got a handful of "VIP" customers on that list that you want to follow very closely (big spenders, thought leaders, long term friends, members of the press, etc).

At MailChimp, we have a name for those people: Golden Monkeys.

Sometimes we’ll send them email newsletters with links and inside jokes, specifically to see if a certain customer clicks something (we recently sent an email with a link to this, to gauge their geeky-ness). Anyway, constantly logging in to our campaign stats and hitting "refresh" over and over again to see who clicked what is a chore. We started to think up ways to make that easier, then we thought "heck, this is probably something our customers would love, too."

So the guys in our new Mobile Lab (more on that later) have built an iPhone app that will send push notifications whenever a Golden Monkey opens or clicks anything in one of your MailChimp campaigns. If it sounds interesting, maybe you can help us beta test it.

Here’s how it basically works…

(keep in mind these screens aren’t 100% skinned yet)

You open the app, connect it to your MailChimp account, and specify your VIPs (ahem, golden monkeys):


Once you set them up, we’ll push notify you whenever a GM takes action:


You can also open up your GM list, and view all recent activity:


So what do you do with this information? Well, if the app tells you that Roger Waters just opened and clicked a spec sheet about some big new FloopJack 2.0 product you announced in your newsletter, maybe you can call Roger. Or send him some snail mail about it. Or even a sample of FloopJack. Or, if you know he follows you on twitter, maybe you tweet something like, "Sheesh, we’re running outta FloopJacks already!" to kinda make him want it more.

At MailChimp, we just like to know what some of our customers like. Personally, I always have this secret little "roundtable" of customers in my head (about 5 or 6 of them at any given time, and it rotates), and I’m always measuring how we do by how they react to our product, our customer support, our content, etc.  So if I send an email with a list of new enhancements or tutorials, I want to know that so-and-so is interested in this, but so-and-so is more interested in that. If one of our customers clicks more links to goofy memes, I may send them our "Spirit of the Wolf" t-shirt. If another customer clicks cutesy LOLcat photos a lot, I may send them a MailChimp plushy.

Help Us Beta Test

It’s piggy-backing off of the MailChimp API, but in a different kind of way (that I’m not nerdy enough to articulate). So we’d really like to get some people to give us feedback on this app.

We only have space for a limited number of testers (10, to be exact), so if we actually get more than 10 signups below we’ll have to draw numbers or something. The ideal beta tester has a relatively large list (more than 1,000), has more than one or two "golden monkey" VIPs that they’d pick from their list, has the AIM reports add-on enabled, will be sending a campaign soon, and actually has time to install a beta app on their iPhone (it’s sort of a complicated little hackity thing you’ve got to do in iTunes).

Sign up to be a beta tester?

MailChimp’s New Mobile Lab

As we announced in our most recent email newsletter to customers, MailChimp is going to be investing very heavily in social and mobile. You saw the beginnings of our social initiative in our v5.2 "Let’s Get Social" release last month. Response to those new features has been amazing. Now, you’re going to start seeing more mobile apps coming out of  MailChimp. This is in addition to Chimpadeedoo, and our first iPhone app (updates to those are coming soon as well). Not all of our new apps will be directly associated with email marketing, but they’ll always be useful for our customers (this article kind of explains it all).