There’s a constant flow of email marketers looking for an alternative to AWeber. The premium price is one of their reasons not to use Aweber.
The cheapest alternative is INinbox (Updated, Oct 2015: not cheapest one anymore). Their prices are great indeed, but their professionalism is far from an average standard.
Read my review and you’ll see what I mean. When assessing an email marketing service (and not only), the price isn’t the only thing you should look for.
So I’ve decided to share with you a cheaper but professional alternative that I have happily used since 2012: Mad Mimi.
I won’t post here the usual review that shows tons of features most probably you won’t use anyway.
I’ll tell you why I like Mad Mimi and I’ll emphasize the advantages in comparison with other similar services like AWeber or MailChimp (comparison). I’ll reveal also something usually hidden by reviewers: the cons I detected.
Let’s see the prices first. The price is an important aspect, I cannot deny it…
1. Pricing: Mad Mimi vs AWeber vs GetResponse vs MailChimp
If you’re looking for a free plan to test the waters, that’s possible. MadMimi’s free forever plan lets you store
2,500 contacts and send 12,500 emails per month.
Updated – January 22, 2015: The free plan now lets you store only 100 contacts, but you can send unlimited emails.
This is not a time-limited plan, but you won’t have access to all features. For example, the same like for MailChimp, the free users cannot enable the autoresponder add-on.
2. No Additional Half-Hidden Costs. Unlike AWeber/MailChimp
No matter how awesome your emails are, some people will unsubscribe from your mailing list. If you don’t delete them from the database, some companies – including AWeber – will charge you for these unsubscribers as if they would still be your subscribers.
MadMimi doesn’t charge you for unsubscribes.
If you’re a professional email marketer and you segment your mailing list, then you may end up by having duplicate email addresses throughout your multiple sub-lists. In practice, that happens when one subscriber is added to more than one sub-list.
Unlike AWeber and MailChimp, MadMimi doesn’t charge you for duplicate email addresses.
Conclusion: Depending on the email marketing company you use, some normal practices may double the prices you were supposed to pay according to the “official” Pricing Page. When using MadMimi’s service, there’s no such additional cost.
3. MadMimi’s Customer Support: Fast & Pro. Amazing
The customer support is another important aspect to be assessed when you select your email marketing company.
In vain you pay very low prices if there’s no one out there to help you when you need it. Not tomorrow. Not after two days. When you need it.
I don’t like to use big words. But MadMimi “forced” me to use that word in the headline above. Amazing. Honestly, in the first draft I wrote… fabulous. That’s how their customer support is. I’ll give you only two examples…
When I asked MadMimi whether they charged for duplicate email addresses or not, I got the reply after 5 minutes. AWeber responded to exactly the same question after 125 minutes. No, it wasn’t a one time lucky shot.
When I wrote the article Who Else Charges You for Unsubscribes?, I sent exactly the same email to more companies. GetResponse replied after 18 hrs. MailChimp replied after 24 hrs and 26 minutes. Campaigner and MadMimi replied after… 3 minutes.
How’s that possible? Let me quote from MadMimi’s site:
“Email support is available 24 hours a day, and we make a serious effort to respond in less than an hour.”
There’s no hype. It’s real. I’ve tested it many times.
4. The Deliverability of the Emails Sent via MadMimi’s Servers
Many newbies – including experienced bloggers, but still email marketing noobs – think that if they use a reputable email marketing company, no matter what they send their emails will land in recipients’ Inboxes.
There’s some truth in their belief. All pro email marketing companies invest time and resources in checking users’ practices and building relationships with the ESPs. The rest is just a myth…
Still many emails land in spam folders. That’s due to the users, not due to the email marketing companies.
Wanna see a screen capture showing an email sent via AWeber that landed in my spam folder? Read this article. I can show you similar pics for emails sent via MailChimp, iContact, INinbox or other companies. They aren’t relevant though.
Nobody can actually guarantee you a high deliverability. Use a pro company, learn more about email marketing, and then your emails deliverability will be fine.
No, this long intro doesn’t try to hide a problem MadMimi might have :) Take a look…
The screen capture above shows the CTR rate for the latest mailings I sent via MadMimi to one of my lists. If the click-through rate is around 50%, you may guess how good the deliverability was. Isn’t that so?
5. What are MadMimi’s Weak Points?
Many reviewers hide the weak points. They think that it’s a good marketing strategy. It isn’t, but I won’t develop this topic.
Sometimes reviewers add to the cons the fact that a certain feature isn’t available for the free users. That’s not a con, sorry. Now let’s get serious…
I’m not a fan of MadMimi’s signup forms. They aren’t ugly and you can customize them adding your logo, changing the colors, adding or removing fields. They are not the fanciest forms though.
Solution – Sign up for a free account with SumoMe. It integrates fine with your MadMimi account and it works both with regular websites and also with WordPress, Blogger, Tumblr blogs.
You can use SumoMe add-ons to add to your site
i) smart regular pop-ups (the “List Builder” add-on) and/or
ii) polite pop-ups that slide in from any corner of the website (the “Scroll Box” add-on).
Content/industries not accepted: work from home, make money online, lead generation opportunities, multi-level marketing (MLM), affiliate marketing.
Solution: use AWeber or GetResponse – both companies are internet marketing friendly.
MadMimi’s reports are pretty basic. You can find out who opened or clicked the links from a certain email, you can find out what emails each subscriber opened and what links they clicked, and you can compare the results for different mailings. Other reports aren’t available though. For example, there’s no report to show who hasn’t opened emails or clicked links since a certain date.
Explanation & Solution – Provided by Dean Levitt, MadMimi’s Chief of Culture:
“– Complex reports aren’t available to everyone because Mad Mimi is about keeping things simple and super easy. For many Mad Mimi customers, adding in more complexity to their user interface adds ‘noise’ to the ‘chore’ of sending newsletters.
– Any user who wants a report that shows only the inactive subscribers can ask, and MadMimi can have their developers run that job on their end and provide the result to the user.”
6. Other Potential Worries? MadMimi Has the Answers…
Yes, you can import your actual subscribers without them being required to re-confirm their subscription.
Both single opt-in and double opt-in are acceptable. It’s up to you.
Yes, MadMimi integrates with many useful things: LeadPages, OptinMonster, Gravity Forms, Google Analytics, Salesforce, Eventbrite, SurveyMonkey, PayPal (via Zapier), Etsy, and many others.
Other features: Drip Campaigns (autoresponder), RSS to Email (converts your latest blog posts into promotions and automatically sends them to your list), Stats Sharing (lets others see your email metrics), Facebook Signup (adds your Mad Mimi webform to your business Facebook page – Example), Social Links (adds to emails a set of icons that link to your social media accounts), and more.
The monthly payments are usually done via credit card, but they also accept annual payments via PayPal. If you have other special requirements, they’re listening.
7. MadMimi Review – Final Words
If you’re a pro email marketer, MadMimi – the same as most of the email marketing companies out there – may not be the best choice for you. You’ve got Infusionsoft (starting at $199/mo) and other companies.
However, if you’re a blogger, a regular newsletter publisher or email marketer, a small biz owner, MadMimi is a very good choice.
“If Constant Contact is the Microsoft of email marketing, think of Mad Mimi as the Google of the medium” – Adam Ostrow, Chief Strategy Officer at Mashable.
If you’re not yet convinced, the free forever plan is there waiting for you to test MadMimi, without any obligation.
To your email marketing success!
P.S. Should you have any questions, the comment area is waiting for you.