Dec 6, 2005

MailChimp v2.3 Launching Sunday

Update: Upgrades were completed at 6am. Happy Sending!

We’re launching MailChimp v2.3 this Sunday morning. So, the system will be unavailable starting at 2am EST (12/11/2005), and we plan to be back online by 8am.

We’re going to be setting up the new (awesomely powerful) delivery server, plus making a few new features live (just in time for the holidays! Merry Christmasukkah!).

What’s Coming in MailChimp v2.3:

  • Mainly, a really powerful delivery server. We need it to accomodate the growth we’ve experienced this quarter. So far, delivery is at least 5 times faster than our current setup. And this new system lays the foundation for some big new features we’re working on for you (Shhh—more on that later—my programmers can hear me right now).
  • Authentication. All campaigns will be DKIM (formerly "Yahoo Domain Keys") and SenderID authenticated, to make certain that Yahoo!Mail and Microsoft’s HotMail won’t flag your messages for "Potential Spoofing or Phishing."  Those two ISPs have been talking about implementing Authentication sometime late this year, and it’s expected that most other large ISPs will follow. If you don’t already know what Email Authentication means, it’s basically a way to prove that an email claiming to have originated from a specific server truly did come from that server. They say that very soon, major ISPs will begin marking incoming messages as "Authenticated" or "Not Authenticated." MailChimp messages will be covered. But Authentication doesn’t mean that all messages will now magically be "whitelisted" and never spam filtered. That still depends mostly on your content. All it means is that ISPs will receive your campaigns and read the behind-the-scenes message headers, and say, "Hmm, this message claims to be sent from that MailChimp server—yep, it checks out. Now let’s check the content…"
  • Cheaper credits, and more choices. We made our entire system a good bit more efficient, so that we could reduce prices for our customers. We call it, "Trickle-Down-Chimpanomics." First, we simplified our price "tiers" to 3, 2, 1, or half-a-penny per email. No more "3.14 pennies times pi, divided by the force of gravity, per credit" stuff. It’s just 3,2,1,or half a penny per credit. You decide how much you wanna pay up front. Then, we added a bunch more options within each tier (12 in all) to fit just about any list size. 
  • Non-profit discounts. Got a worthy cause? Qualified non-profit organizations get 15% off all their purchases. The discounts are applied automatically to their "Buy Credits" page.
  • Add-A-Member Page. If you’ve setup a MailChimp Managed List, we added a handy little form that lets you quickly add one single subscriber to the list (instead of clicking through your entire subscribe/confirmation process, or using the import-list option).
  • 2 New Campaign Stats. On the campaign report page, we added 2 new stats: "Date of most recent open" and "Date of most recent click." We added these so that you can see if people are still opening and clicking your emails, months after you’ve sent the campaign. That way, you can decide whether or not to archive all the images on your server, or keep them a while longer. You’d be surprised how long people come back to click and open emails.
  • Send to Multiple Test Addresses. In the last version, we made the "send to test address" only work for one address at a time. That’s because you could alternatively use the "copy-paste-external list" option to send to multiple addresses. But now the "test address" option also allows you to send to multiple test accounts. Just separate emails with a comma.
  • Plain-Text Spacing Some email servers out there seem to process plain-text messages weird. It resulted in some plain-text emails coming in double-spaced, and others coming in all in one single line. It was rare, and the issue wasn’t unique to MailChimp, but it was annoying, nonetheless. Our new system should not have this problem anymore.

And a bunch of other nerdy "behind the scenes" stuff that we hope you’ll find add up to a better experience, overall. We’re really excited to be getting authentication and lower prices out before the holidays, and even more excited about how this version paves the way for some really cool stuff down the road.