MailChimp: Background

We’re back with a brand new analysis on how another popular SaaS company, MailChimp, onboards their users. If you have yet to check out the previous two blog posts from this series, featuring Asana and Mixmax, take a look before you dive into this one!

MailChimp is the world’s largest marketing automation platform that provides sophisticated tools that anyone can use to reach their customers and grow their business. MailChimp is mostly used to send marketing emails, automated messages, and targeted campaigns to a desired audience. MailChimp is one of the top bootstrapped companies out there and was nominated for the Best Bootstrapped Startup in 2015.

Onboarding

Day 1 – MailChimp Dashboard

After activating your account, MailChimp redirects you to your dashboard where a popup will appear. This popup welcomes new users to MailChimp, and also acts as a tour, showing users what you can accomplish with their product. I believe that this tour was very successful in giving a brief overview on how to use MailChimp’s basic features – creating ads and emails. Learning how to configure the features felt effortless due to how simple and short this tour was.

Day 1 – Welcome Email

What I really liked about MailChimp’s welcome email is how comprehensive it was. It included all their important features that a user needs to know in order to create a campaign from start to finish. The features were introduced in a chronological order, from the what needs to be done before creating a campaign, followed by creating and sending out the campaign itself, then finally all things involved after sending out the campaign. I thought that it was great that they were introduced in that order, however, I personally feel that it could be improved if they were numbered (E.g. 1. Build Your List, 2. Create a Campaign 3. Test and Send etc.). This would make it very clear that these features need to be used in that particular order.

I thought that the call to action button (‘Get Started’ button) at the bottom of the email was a great way to get users to start using the product. A call to action button is also effective as “learn-by-doing” is a tried and tested concept that shows that productivity is achieved through practice. I also thought it was clever to include the ‘Need Additional Support?’ segment in the welcome email, as it clearly informs users about their support coverage. I I feel that this welcome email, and in fact, all of MailChimp’s emails, are very visually appealing. The emails are clean and professional, while being colourful and exciting, making them very attractive to users. As a marketing automation platform that has the ability to send out emails and ads, MailChimp definitely demonstrated how aesthetically pleasing their emails can be with their onboarding emails.

Day 4, 22 – Learn New Feature

The purpose of these emails is to teach users in more detail how to utilize MailChimp’s features. These emails are short and to the point, something I really appreciate. I also thought it was very helpful that MailChimp added hyperlinks to the different resources MailChimp has, including their website help portal and guides. In addition, a call to action button was included at the end of each email.

Day 4 Email

Day 22 Email

Day 38 – Getting Started With MailChimp

This email was sent to introduce MailChimp’s step-by-step guide. If the guide is not introduced via email, it could easy go unnoticed on MailChimp’s website. The best part of the in-depth guide is that it allows the distillation of all necessary information in one comprehensive place, so that they can provide more details than what can be included in an intro tour and onboarding emails.

Summary

One of my favorite things about MailChimp’s onboarding is how they directed users to their online resources. I didn’t have to navigate my way through their website to find it. Plus, introducing these resources ensures that they are being noticed and utilized.

Here’s a summary of the interactions that MailChimp took to onboard me as a user.

Day 1 – MailChimp Dashboard / Welcome Email
Day 4, 22 – Learn New Feature
Day 38 – Getting Started with MailChimp

As you can see, I didn’t have as many interactions with MailChimp in comparison to the platforms I profiled previously. I feel that the lack of repeated interaction can result in users not becoming fully engaged with the company and the product. Another thing lacking about MailChimp’s onboarding was the lack of personal touch. Personal outreach or at least putting a sender name on the emails I received would take their onboarding to the next level.

However, although short, I feel that MailChimp was effective and successful in onboarding me as a user. Their product isn’t that complicated, so it could be the case that they’ve found that less is more. The entire onboarding process was effective, and simple, and taught me what I needed to know. If I wanted to explore other features, the guide would be the next place to learn more. I hope this blog post gave you some new ideas on how you could structure a successful onboarding process in the future, and be sure to check in soon to read the next blog post from this series!

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