Oct 15, 2013

New Feature: Conversations

When you send an email to your customers, some of them reply. And since you’re a good marketer who wants to deliver awesome customer service, you reply to their replies. You also think it’s cool if they reply to your replies to their replies (because this means they actually care about you, which is truly rare).

But as your list grows, it gets harder to reply. That’s because you find yourself sifting through all the "I’m away on vacation" autoreplies and bouncebacks that clutter your inbox every time you send an email (I get about 10,000 autoreplies when we send an email to all our users). Finding the replies from actual humans is like finding a needle in a haystack while changing a tire on a moving bus filled with infinitely many monkeys typing Shakespeare. You can either hire more staff to sift through the bajillions of autoreplies, or you can give up and just use the dreaded "do-not-reply" tactic. And that’s precisely when your customers will decide that you just don’t care anymore, that you’re not communicating—just propagating.

That’s why we created our new Conversations feature. When you send a campaign, we’ll filter out the autoreplies and only show you the ones from actual humans. Even better, we’ll track all your one-to-one conversations with your customers, so you never forget why you started your business in the first place: them. There’s an article about conversations in the KB, and here are some screenshots to show you how it works.


When you’re building a campaign, it’s as easy as checking the "manage replies" box:



If your MailChimp account has multiple users with access, you can even specify who gets notifications about replies:


When you send a campaign and it gets replies, you’ll see this little blue envelope icon:



Here’s what it’s like to reply to someone’s reply:


When you view a member’s profile, notice there’s a new link called "Conversations"


Hey, if you’re having a good conversation with a customer, why not add a note about it in their member profile?


If you’ve got our Social Profiles module activated, you might learn even more about this customer and decide they’re a VIP  (and your best-of-the-best VIPs might be worthy of the Golden Monkey classification):


How much does it cost?

The Conversations feature is available at no additional cost to paying customers. If you’re a freemium customer, it’s likely you have a smaller list, and this feature won’t benefit you much anyway (the conversations in your inbox aren’t overwhelming yet). As you grow, just rest easy knowing that this feature is ready and waiting to help.


Deja vu?

Some of you may remember this as ReplyTo, a MailChimp Labs experiment that we unveiled last year. This is what we do. We experiment a lot and launch our ideas as "Labs" projects (to keep expectations low at first, and so that we never get too scared to tinker and fail). Sooner or later, we connect experiments (a topic I spoke about here, fwiw). Conversations is a combination of ReplyTo and Mandrill. Behind the scenes, we’re using Mandrill to track inbound email and to send outbound one-to-one replies.