Sep 19, 2012

v7.6 – New MailChimp Features Going Live

It’s that time again: we’re pushing out new features this week (version 7.6 if you’re keeping score).  These features started going live on Monday, September 17th and will be available for all users by the end of the week.

Here’s what’s launching:

  • Signup Source for List Members
  • Send Campaigns in Batches
  • Plain-text Conversion Updated
  • Better navigation for lists and campaign organization

Signup Source for List Members

We’re now tracking where subscribers are coming from. For example, you can segment your list by members who joined via your store front (Chimpadeedoo), members who were added via our WordPress plugin, members who joined via your Facebook page, and so on. You can create segments based on Signup Source, too:

The screenshot above (courtesy of BoxScore Mania, recently launched by a long time user and friend of ours) shows what sources we currently track.
You can also find the source data inside each member profile on your list:

Important: Source data will be added on a go-forward basis. We can’t retroactively backfill old data with source info, because we never tracked it before.

Here’s a somewhat-related tutorial for tracking referrer source

Send Campaigns in Smaller Batches

It’s nice that MailChimp can deliver a bajillion emails super fast, but if you’ve got a very large list, that can actually be a bad thing. When your recipients open then click in your email, they can send a flood of traffic to your website, and overwhelm your servers and your customer service staff. Personally, I’ve gotten into the habit of warning our customer service staff before I hit send, scheduling for times when we have a full staff in the office, split campaigns into A/B groups, or Timewarped campaigns just to slow delivery down.

So we added a new feature that lets you send campaigns in batches. Click the "Schedule" button:


Next, choose "Batch Delivery" then specify the size of each batch, and how long you’d like MailChimp to wait between each batch:


Batch delivery

In the above example, delivery to a list of about 100,000 recipients will be stretched out across 8 hours, and sent in chunks of 12,665. We do it automagically, so you don’t have to think about it anymore. Because that’s what we do at MailChimp. We make your email problems disappear.


Plain-Text Conversion Improved

We changed the way we automatically generate your plain-text emails. I suppose I could show you some before and after versions, but plain-text is so boring. Just try it. We think you’ll love the new method, because it saves so much time. It’s such an improvement, people are actually tweeting about it (remember, this is about a plain-text feature):

Heh. Must be good. Either that, or the last way really sucked. Either way, we’ll take the happy tweets!


Better Navigation for Lists and Campaigns

In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve been cleaning up a lot in the MailChimp UI. Partly because we’re making room for an all-new campaign editor that’s coming soon, and partly because we think users’ tastes are changing (we think it’s being influenced by a shift to mobile devices). Back in v7.5, we slimmed down our navigation and we also cleaned up our Dashboard. Overall, things are less cluttered and "tighter."

On the Lists screen, we also cleaned up a lot of visual clutter:

All the links that were previously scattered all over the screen are now tucked away under the gear icon. That might seem inconvenient at first, but when you click the gear, you get direct access to all the "settings" screens underneath each list:


Previously, many of those settings (like for creating groups, or list defaults, or show/hide columns) were two or three clicks away, so this new design actually makes navigation faster and discovery better.

On the Campaigns screen, we’ve tightened up the interface as well. The toolbar across the top of the screen is nice and neat:


And for those of you neat-freaks with tons of folders, we made it easier to find those folders and organize your campaigns (notice the new search box):


Other Tiny Enhancements

When we release new features every 4 weeks, we mostly talk about the "big" stuff. That normally amounts to three or four features that are the most visible and impactful to our users. But every release also includes tons and tons of tiny improvements that don’t get mentioned. Which is a shame, because the devil’s in the details. For those of you interested in that kind of stuff, here you go:

Pricing Page

We have a TON of price plans in MailChimp. We keep things simple by offering three basic plan types: Pay-as-you-go, monthly, and free. But under each type, the options go on and on. So under your account settings, you’ll notice we’ve cleaned up the price list, and we added a calculator:

Sometimes, calculators can actually make it harder to see where you stand in the scheme of things (what happens if your list shrinks or grows?) so when you enter a number in our calculator, we also show you adjacent price plans to yours. We also added pricing details for sending transactional emails through our new Mandrill service.


WYSIWYG editor look and feel

We made some slight changes to the buttons in our WYSIWYG toolbar in order to be consistent with the tighter, cleaner look elsewhere in our UI:


Percentages are back

In v7.5, we got a little over-aggressive with our UI cleanup, and we removed the open/click percentages on the Dashboard, leaving only the hard numbers ("421 opens vs. 36% open rate"). Oops! Our mistake. We added percentages back:


Choosing Templates

When you create a new campaign, there’s a screen where we ask you to choose the type of template you want to use. In anticipation of our upcoming new editor, we redesigned this screen too:

The more "advanced" options for coding your own template or importing your code are at the bottom, and have new icons.



Remembering Your Test Emails

If you send a lot of tests like me, you probably hate having to constantly enter the same test emails over and over again. Now, we’ll remember them:


[Update (01/17/2013): This feature was pulled at the last minute before launch, due to a complication with another upgrade. We’ll make another attempt in an upcoming release]



Slimmer OAuth Screen, for API Integrators

One of our dev partners told us our OAuth screen (the "login screen" you get whenever you connect your MailChimp account with another app) was so  big that it caused scrolling when displayed within a modal window:


So we made the MailChimp logo and text a little smaller, and reduced the overall width: