On this week’s Women Conquer Business podcast I talked about the nasty breakup between MailChimp and Shopify and how all small businesses can become more resilient to these types of changes to their digital marketing landscape.
Since recording the podcast episode we learned more about what’s going on with MailChimp.
Watch this Video About MailChimp Shopify Breakup
Transcript: #1 Most Important Thing About the MailChimp Shopify Breakup
The Women Conquer Business podcast. I just wanted to follow up on a few things that I talked about at this week’s show. And I hope you’ve listened to it. If you haven’t. I talk about the breakup, which was actually pretty nasty. Dare. I say salacious for a couple of software companies MailChimp and Shopify.
Basically, they broke up. They’re not getting along anymore. And there were some disagreements about privacy and other things that were found in the terms of service that meant that the two couldn’t communicate anymore. And I go through. Some workarounds and talk about how that kind of situation can really cause problems throughout a small business community.
As I’ve been helping a lot of people sort through the details on which where to go, what to do, what the next steps are, and all of that kind of thing. So after I recorded the show MailChimp came out and announced that they’re trying to become a full-service digital marketing platform, they’re making several changes to the platform.
Some of which looked really exciting when they announced it. As always the devil’s in the details, right? So here’s the thing. MailChimp is still good for a lot of things, but some of their announcements are a little bit concerning one. It turns out that they bought a competitor of Shopify and at some point, they’re going to be launching websites.
Just remember before you go into any sort of agreement with a provider of any kind. And in this case, MailChimp in particular, just remember that when you do that and they’re entering into a new place, like in this case websites, it’s not really their bailiwick. It’s not what they’re known for.
They’re known for email marketing and they’re tacking on a website. So I would actually urge people not to use the website platform when they first log in. But a bunch of us nerds talk about it and look at it and see if it’s good for things like SEO and being seen. And that kind of thing. The more concerning thing in the immediate term for people who are using MailChimp right now is actually buried in the terms of service of their announcement, which is one of the things that I had talked about on the show.
And I know. Terms of service are super boring. But it was in the details. And sometimes it’s really important to read. In fact, all the time. It’s really important to read what you’re agreeing to when you sign up for a service or when they say that their terms have changed and that’s especially true for something like MailChimp.
When, for example, if you are a small business and you’re using MailChimp because it’s free for the first 2000 subscribers. So when they made the changes, first of all, it was a botched announcement. They announced the changes and they were effective basically immediately. So there are no.
Opportunities to really ease yourself out of MailChimp. You’re pretty much okay, I have to accept this and move on. So if you accepted it and moved on and especially if you’re using it for free, there are a few things about MailChimp that you’re going to want to consider. The 2000 subscriber limit includes all of the pieces of the audience.
So you may have noticed if you’ve logged into MailChimp recently that your lists have now been called audiences. And I thought it was interesting. I was trying to figure out why, and I think it’s because they had these changes coming. This was part of the rollout for the changes. So if you have MailChimp and you have the free version with the 2000 free subscribers, just know that includes.
Everybody in your audience, people who’ve subscribed people. Who’ve unsubscribed, basically everybody in your list, except for people that you’ve archived. So for a lot of people who were bumping up against, people who have a lot of people on their lists it means then that they may actually be charged at some points, like up to a hundred percent more because now it is.
Everybody except for your archive content contacts. This is a problem for people, especially if you do business in Europe and you’re complying with the European union’s privacy laws and which require you to hang on to people who’ve unsubscribed and keep some records. So there are a lot of challenges.
Another big change that’s happened in MailChimp that people are pretty upset about is that you can only have under the free account. I think three audiences personally, I don’t think that’s a big problem. I always recommend that people, if you’re using MailChimp only have one list or.
They’ve changed it to an audience. So only have one. And you can do so much within MailChimp with groups and segments, and now they have tags that you don’t really need to have a bunch of different lists or audiences. But just know that under the free account, you can only have three.
That could be an issue for some people. But the biggest issue of all that I ran into when working with somebody whose account is in the last week, is that if you’re on the free version, right? The workflow that you get is you can only do one email at a time. So if you wanted to do say a welcome sequence of a certain number of emails coming in and coming through.
You’re stuck with one email unless you want to pay which makes it similar to other services active campaign or convert kit and other places where you have to pay for the service to get a lot more full-scale automation. But it’s a change and it’s something that happened immediately.
Not all of these things have been grown from grandfathered in, unfortunately. And how do you find out about these kinds of things? There are two ways of finding out one, you either need something to work desperately and it no longer works. Or, so you discover it by accident or somebody is helping you and they discover.
Or the other thing that happens is when these changes come out and someone makes an announcement, you get the boring email that says there’s been a change to my terms, to your term, to our terms of service. You actually look at it and find all of the things that are going on and, or you ask somebody else to read it and help you discern what’s happening because these terms of service really limit or enhance the business experience when you’re using different pieces of software.
Digital marketing and a program like MailChimp is really vital hub for your overall digital marketing picture. So it’s really important when you’re using these different pieces of software that you look at it and look at the terms of service and think about the things that make sense or don’t make sense and ask questions.
And if you don’t get those questions answered by a provider, in some ways you have your answer because now, Not going to answer your questions. I don’t cover all of this isn’t a recap of the podcast. This is actually an extension of some of the things that I talk about in there.
But I do give you the number one thing that you can do to protect your business from messes like this. I do discuss terms of service a little bit, but I actually suggest something else that’s even more critical to help you make sure that when these announcements come out. You know exactly what is affected and how to pivot and change what you’re using for your business.
Listen to the Podcast Episode
In addition to solving hairy marketing operations problems, I host one of the best business podcasts for women, the Women Conquer Business podcast, with conversations, strategies, and how-tos for sustained business and startup growth. But if you want the REAL story, I am an uber-nerd who loves dad jokes, building seamless systems, and helping leaders find more joy in their work. Curious about the tools I use? There’s a Kit for that.