Aug 31, 2015

How Chimpadeedoo Became MailChimp Subscribe

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We’re excited to introduce MailChimp Subscribe, our revamped and rebranded mobile signup form app for tablets. Released today for Android and iOS, Subscribe replaces Chimpadeedoo as the best way to collect subscribers at your storefront, trade shows, conferences, or just about anywhere—with or without an internet connection. And we’ve changed more than just the name. We’ve added a bunch of features to improve the experience and make your workflows more efficient.

But wait, how’d we get here?

Good question. Back in 2010, we experimented with the idea of a signup form for iOS tablets. We made a bare-bones version of it, gave it a preposterous name, and released it into the world. We weren’t sure if anyone would care, but then people started downloading it by the thousands. So, we made some improvements and released a better version about a year later. And in 2013, we rounded out the product by releasing an Android version. Our users could collect subscribers on nearly any modern tablet, and the app was being used in ways we couldn’t have imaginedBut we knew we could do better.

MailChimp Subscribe - Flow Diagram

Our motto around the MailChimp HQ is "listen hard, change fast." So our research team polled Chimpadeedoo users in January to find out what we should update and change. The response was amazing, but also reaffirmed a lot of the suspicions we’d had and feedback we’d previously gathered. While Chimpadeedoo was already the largest tablet subscription app on the market with more than 87,000 downloads, there was some core functionality missing. Users wanted more forms, greater support for groups, and a dead simple way to integrate their brand into the design.

Thinking about users

Now you can create as many signup forms in MailChimp Subscribe as you’d like. Create one form for weekly sales, one for your storefront, another for festivals. A/B test different forms to see what attracts customers and makes you more money. And because we realized that most businesses aren’t going out and buying fancy new tablets to run this app, we made sure MailChimp Subscribe will perform well on nearly any tablet, no matter how many forms you create.

MailChimp Subscribe - Multiple Forms

Better groups support

When you create a signup form on MailChimp Subscribe you can include groups as checkboxes, radio buttons, or drop-downs, just like on our app’s web forms. But now, you can also funnel subscribers directly to a segment.

Our goal was to make it easy, but also powerful. The solution we came up with was to inject a step into the form creation process. If you have a group attached to your list, we prompt the user like so: “Would like to add subscribers to one of your groups?” Then, it’s up to the user to pick a segment. The rest is automatic—subscribers get funneled into the proper groups as they’re added.

Better Groups!

Customize, customize, customize

Once we enabled forms for any occasion, dressing them up became top priority. Just like in previous versions, you can still upload your company logo, change messaging, show and hide form fields, align logos, and more. But with MailChimp Subscribe, it’s even better. Add flat background colors to your forms, or add a background image. You can even give it a nice blur effect, all natively done in-app.

I worked on these updates with Galvin Butler, our Android engineer. “Blur was a more technically demanding feature than we’d expected," Galvin says. "To provide a deep blur quickly requires a lot of a tablet’s memory and processing power. Combined with the right kind of caching required to manage multiple forms, it turned out to be the most complex feature in Subscribe.”

MailChimp Subscribe - Forms

But wait, there’s more!

Do you like your design, but don’t want to recreate it for every form? Subscribe’s got you covered—replicate your form, change the list, and we’ll copy your design to the new form. Connect multiple accounts so you can manage different teams or switch from your day job to passion project with ease. We even made a splashy page that shows off MailChimp Subscribe’s new functionality. We’re really excited about this new iteration, and it’s available now on Android and iOS. Update your devices and let us know what you think! Rest assured, we’ll put that feedback to use.