Jan 11, 2012

New MailChimp features: video-friendly emails, discount for AlterEgo users, static segments

We’re launching some new features in MailChimp today (we’re at v6.7, if anyone’s tracking that kinda stuff). The new features should be completely rolled out to all 1.2 million users across all data centers by early Friday. We start the new features at our US4 data center, then US1, then US2.

Here’s what’s rolling out:

  • Automatic video conversion for RSS-to-Email campaigns
  • Discount on MailChimp if you use it with AlterEgo
  • Static segments: create segments fast by uploading a list of email addresses
  • Daily Deals is now an industry category
  • GMT +12 timezone support added. Welcome to MailChimp, Republic of Kiribati!

More details and documentation will be posted soon, but if you’d like a general overview…

Automatic Video Conversion for RSS Campaigns

Most email applications just won’t reliably display embedded videos within HTML email (because email apps pretty much block any code that might pose a virus risk). That’s why we created our video merge tags back in 2009 . These are great whenever you’re manually building a newsletter, but what if you have an RSS-to-email campaign that automatically grabs content from your blog? Nobody wants to stick special tags in their code when they’re writing a blog post (I sure as heck won’t). So we made MailChimp automagically detect videos in your RSS feeds, then insert our video merge tags for you. There’ll be a new checkbox in the campaign creation process that activates this feature. More details, plus some cool new video merge tag options, will be posted soon.

Update: apparently, our engineers made this work for ALL your email campaigns, not just RSS ones. Win!


Discount For Activating 2-Factor Security

We’re rewarding all our AlterEgo 2-factor security users for being good, security-conscious netizens of the email eco-system by giving them a 2% discount on MailChimp. (Get it? 2-factor security -> 2% discount?) If you manage a large list in MailChimp, this discount can be a pretty significant savings for you. And 2-factor security just might be able to save you from email breaches (which is significant no matter what the size of your list). If you’re an agency who manages clients in MailChimp, you should consider setting up AlterEgo for your clients, because it’ll make you look pretty darn responsible, and save them a little money.


Upload Your Own Segments

MailChimp’s built-in segmentation builder is pretty easy to use, but some of our more advanced users just want a super-fast way to manually upload a list of email addresses to build a segment (like a "do not email" segment, or maybe some complex segment that only they can build with their proprietary e-commerce systems). Since these aren’t dynamically constructed in our app, we call them "static segments." Most people build these and then upload to MailChimp via our API. Well, in v6.7 we’ve exposed this functionality within the MailChimp interface for anybody to use. Screenshots and tutorials are in the works.


Daily Deals Industry

We thought it might be cool interesting for geeks if we did a wrap up of 2011 at MailChimp. One thing that came to mind was how many Groupon-style "daily deal" sites signed on to our service. There was definitely a trend there. We want to do an analysis of how this industry performed (anonymized and in aggregate, of course). However, we first had to make it an actual industry in our system (for those of you who don’t know, specifying your industry will show you how you compare to your peers):

If you’re in the "daily deals" industry, make sure you change your category (it’s under your contact information in MailChimp) so you can be included in our analysis.


GMT +12

We received a request from a user in the Republic of Kiribati to add their timezone in our options. Since we’re on a mission to spread our monkey love to every corner of the globe, we thought we’d add this really quick. Also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiribati