Mad Mimi Review- Great Email Marketing Service or Disgruntled Grandma?

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by Kevin

Disclosure – This article contains affiliate links.  If you have any questions please see my Disclosure page.

Today I will be taking a look at the email marketing services of Mad Mimi, a little known Internet based email marketing firm that has received quite a bit of buzz for their “What you see is what you get ” (WYSIWYG) email design interface.  For an explanation of what I consider important in any email marketing service see my post here.

Mad Mimi – Email Marketing
Purpose: Email marketing, email autoresponder, contact list management

I wanted to give it a proper review so I signed Internet Tool Time up for their service and after filling out a small amount of information, I logged in and was surprised at the feature set I found. I have listed some of the stand outs below:

–    Competitively  priced rate plans and services
–    Easy to use WYSIWYG email design tool
–    Quality list management tools – multiple contact lists, import/export of lists,
–    Compare multiple campaigns, Google Analytics integration, click tracking
–    24/7 email support and live chat during business hours

The first cool thing I noticed was their modular approach to services.  What it does is it allows users to add and/or remove services as needed so customers only get charged for the options they select.  Here are just a few of the options available with prices included:

–    Drip/scheduled campaign s – additional $5 a month
–    Web/subscription forms – Free
–    Google Analytics – Free

Their base monthly rates range FREE (yes, FREE!) for a 100 member lists, all the way up to $699 for a 350,000 member list.  After fussing with all the monetary details,  it was time to see that design interface that everyone has been talking about.

With high expectation I clicked the compose drop-down button and I was presented with multiple options  that immediately led to a decision; would I go with a template, a hand coded HTML promotion, maybe just a plain text email, a RSS promotion, a new drip campaign?  Since this was a simple test and I like coding as much as I like having a tooth pulled, I chose “new” which placed me in the default template.  I then uploaded some images, selected a theme (you can create your own), inserted my text and within a few minutes I was able to create my first Mad Mimi email promotion with zero hassle.  As I went through the design process, I noted several features that should make designing an email campaign quick and simple:

•    Fast image upload and manipulation with an added BONUS – Mad Mimi will host the images FREE FOREVER!
•    Automatic resizing of images
•    Modify fonts, font colors, backgrounds, etc. even if selecting a theme.
•    Useful markup language that after a small learning curve, is very handy.

After creating my campaign, I went straight to the web forms to create a form for Internet Tool Time and this is where I ran into a couple of problems. My first issue was that I was unable to use the campaign I had just created as my opt-in response to readers.  My thought process led me to believe that I had just created a campaign that I could send to my new subscribers as they opt’d-in to my newsletter.  But after digging around, I could not find a place or configuration that would allow me to select the previously created campaign.  The software wanted me to create a new email, which would be sent as a response to the newsletter opt-in, with the confirmation link embedded.  In the essence of time, I simply copied/pasted the text from the campaign to the new response email.

It was then that I discovered my second problem with the service, as there was no way to build specific responses for specific websites; a user opting-in to website A would receive the same response as a user opting-in to website B.   Mad Mimi would track the originating website but would send the same response email to both.  Normally, this would be a deal breaker but since I was not completely familiar with the product, I immediately fired off an email to the support team just to make sure I was not missing something.  I will update everyone when I hear back from their support team.

UPDATE: After several emails back and forth with support I was told that the web forms module is being upgraded and the functionality should be available in the next few weeks (today is – 11/22/2009).  Additional workarounds and support answers provided below in the last few paragraphs of the post.

UPDATE: The now support multiple web forms for multiple web sites.

With web form and opt-in response created it was time for the true test of any email marketing service – sending emails.  After getting Internet Tool Time setup and configured for the new web form, my wife and I both opt’d-in to the newsletter.  Within seconds, we both received the auto-response I had created and the email actually looked better in my inbox than it did in the creation tool.  Nothing specific had changed but the windowing of my email client placed the modules together seamlessly.  After gazing at my wonderfully created email I wondered how quickly the statistics would be updated so let’s move along to the tracking/reporting features.

All good email marketers require tracking for email delivery, clicks, bounces, etc throughout their campaigns; well Mad Mimi has all of this built-in without having to deal with any of the technical stuff.  Once the email was in my inbox, the campaign  statistics had updated with 1 delivery, 1 view, 0 Untraced, 1 Clicked, 0 Forwarded, 0 Bounced and 0 Unsubscribed (my wife hadn’t opened her email yet but the stats did update correctly when she did).  Each statistic has a clickable link that will take you to additional details which is incredibly helpful when gauging the success of a particular campaign.  The tracking/reporting features offer additional detail about each subscriber’s activity and the ability to compare campaigns giving you complete vision into what works and what does not.  A cool feature I noticed after receiving the initial campaign  was the “Forward to a Friend” link that is automatically added in the footer giving receivers the ability to forward the email easily without leaving the campaign email.   Mad Mimi’s service also integrates with Google analytics but I did not delve into that with this review.

Mad Mimi defines the subscriber/contact lists as “audiences” and these are completely manageable from the audience panel.  Here you can have an unlimited number of lists, import/export lists, and view detailed statistics for particular audience members.  The service also provides automated de-duplication of the contacts that may sign up for multiple newsletters or subscriptions.  I found Mad Mimi’s list management to be one of the most intuitive features of their service.

Great email design and creation aren’t worth reviewing if they do not provide excellent support.  My experience with their support has been great, albeit it only one email about the web forms.  I did find their help pages to be extensive and actually…helpful…if you get a chance I would suggest clicking over and having a look for yourself.

UPDATE:  I was surprised to have an email conversation with their support personnel about the limitations of the web forms over a late Saturday afternoon.  I was correct in that fact that you would only be able to have one response to multiple websites, so I questioned them about setting up a separate account for each additional website and this is the response I received:

“I don’t see a problem with this, but I think there may be a more elegant solution.  Let me pass this onto the team, and see what they come up with. ”

Around 12 hours later I received another email stating that there was an upgrade to the web forms module and to expect the additional web form functionality in a couple of weeks.

I’ll update the post whenever I see those upgrades because without this feature it may become frustrating when trying to generate specific responses.

And so it is…I like the email service that Mad Mimi is providing and as of this post I intend to use it for this blog.  Does it have some faults?  Sure.  But the simple, easy interfaces and reporting seem to make up for any of the challenges that I might have with the product.  I think the service is perfect for the beginning Internet marketer on a budget but may be insufficient for marketers with multiple websites or domains.  I have a good feeling though that they are dedicated to providing a quality service and if they to deliver they will be a major player in email marketing services space, so click on over to Mad Mimi and get your new email marketing system up and running.

If you have had any experience, good or bad, with Mad Mimi or if you would simply like to comment or offer suggestions please feel free to do so in the comment section.  I look forward to hearing from you, thanks!

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