I have to tell you, keeping in touch with people via email has for me at least, been a royal pain.
I have a pretty enormous email user group now, and over the past few years I have tried out pretty much every major email service I could find. I tried the big ones, the small ones, but I never found what I needed. Until now that is.
I have just switched my email groups, from Aweber, to a service called MadMimi.
And I am slightly in love.
I left Aweber because they had, IMHO, pretty draconian rules on how you can get names and emails into your own list, and I pretty much lost the plot with them over this on several occasions. That, and the over complex system which just kept getting in the way of running the business and connecting with people. And I felt that an email service should NEVER get in the way actually sending email! It should speed things up.
More recently I tried MailChimp, and I thought that was going to be my puppy, until I discovered how it handled internal groupings. And so that went puff too!
Finally, I gave the juggernaut Constant Contact a go. Surely it could deal with my needs?
You’d think so, but nope. Admittedly I only gave it two hours. But really, should’t be up and running in 20 minutes? Or even 2 minutes?
So what’s the problem with these services?
In short, these solutions were over complicated, had bizarre internal logic on how their systems work (it’s their way or no way) or simply, they were a bit rubbish at some aspects of what they did.
Here’s what I wanted.
1. To be able to import lists from opt-in events without having to jump through twenty hoops.
2. To be able to get a simple and editable web form to put on my web pages (like the one on the top right of this page). I just needed it to be simple and easy to modify.
3. A REALLY great email creator. Now all the services offer this, but I have to say, none were very good. Certainly not easy to use.
4. I wanted it to be cost effective.
5. I wanted it to work in a way that was logical for me. Not in a way that was logical for them.
And that’s how I found MadMimi.
At first I rejected it as being a bit too ‘off the wall’, but after Constant Contact crashed and burned for me, I thought I would give it a shot, and boy am I glad I did.
Here’s why. MadMimi is…
1. Super easy to import lists from other opt-in events (such as Eventbrite)
2. Super easy to keep separate lists which you can combine at any time for a single mail out.
3. Super easy to create THE BEST looking emails I have ever made. This feature alone is SO good, it’s worth moving for (pic right is my first email that took ten mins to build).
4. It’s CHEAP! Really cheap.
5. Even Gen in LA, who had previously had no end of problems sending out emails, was up and running with zero help. And that, as anyone who has worked with Gen, will know is a technological miracle! 😉
6. At every step, the system operated in a totally logical way (plus they have a lovely live support team who answered my one question immediately)
Now here’s what else it does.
1. I can add administrators who have access to predefined lists. So Gen in LA has access to her Film Maker Junction list but not the London Screenwriters Festival lists for instance.
2. It’s genuinely easy to use.
3. And it’s just a little bit ‘fun’ too.
It’s free to setup an account with up to 100 email addresses, so there is no excuse to not give her a whirl right now. UPDATE – Now 2500 emails (link at bottom of sign up page)
UPDATE – MadMimi keeps geting better. I have been using it under stress now and it’s not let me down. Feedback from users is good too, they report fewer duplicated emails arriving in a large mailout. Also, they have iPhone app, which is pretty basic, but a bonus!