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In this Mad Mimi review, we take a look at the pros and cons of one of the cheapest email marketing tools available. Should you use it for your business, or go for a better — but more expensive — solution?
When it comes to picking a tool for creating e-newsletters, there are simply loads to choose from: Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, Getresponse and Aweber…the list goes on.
On first inspection, these products allow you to do the same thing: put attractive marketing messages in inboxes. But they can differ enormously in terms of both price and features, and it can be difficult to know which one to use.
In this review we take a look at one of the most affordable e-marketing tools out there: Mad Mimi. Is it cheap and cheerful, or does it cut too many corners to make it a professional email marketing solution for your business?
Read on to find out!
Mad Mimi pricing
As mentioned above, Mad Mimi is very competitively priced.
There are four main plans, each with several pricing sub-tiers (fees are in USD):
$10 per month allows you to host and send e-newsletters to 500 email addresses
$12 per month — 1,000 email addresses
$16 per month — 2,500 email addresses
$27 per month — 5,000 email addresses
$42 per month allows you to host and send e-newsletters to 10,000 email addresses
$59 per month — 15,000 email addresses
$89 per month — 25,000 email addresses
$139 per month — 35,000 email addresses
$199 per month allows you to host and send e-newsletters to 50,000 contacts
$279 per month — 75,000 email addresses
$369 per month — 100,000 email addresses
$549 per month — 150,000 email addresses
$749 per month — 250,000 email addresses
$1,049 per month – 350,000 email addresses.
$1,499 per month – 500,000 email addresses
All the above plans allow you to send an unlimited number of emails. The key difference between the four tiers (other than the facilitation of different mailing list sizes) is to do with speed: the more expensive the plan, the faster Mad Mimi’s emails will send your emails out.
As mentioned earlier, the prices compare very favourably with those of competing products. For example, with Mad Mimi, paying $89 a month entitles you to email a database comprising 25,000 leads.
To put this in context, Getresponse charges a monthly fee of at least $145 for mailing a database this size, and Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor both charge around $200.
Similarly, Mad Mimi is also much cheaper than its competitors when it comes to emailing smaller databases: using a list containing 2,000 records costs $16 per month with Mad Mimi, compared to $25 via Getresponse or $30 with Mailchimp.
Unlike many competing products, however, there isn’t a free trial available for Mad Mimi. Key competitors Mailchimp, Getresponse and Aweber all offer free trials (with Mailchimp’s being particularly generous — you can use it indefinitely with a list of up to 2000 subscribers).
So why is Mad Mimi so much cheaper than the competition? The simple answer is that it doesn’t come with nearly as many features.
But let’s look at what it does offer.
Interface / ease-of-use
Mad Mimi’s interface is simple to use, if rather brightly coloured!
Key features are easy to find (thanks to large text links and big buttons) and users new to the world of e-marketing will find sending e-newsletters and creating autoresponder campaigns with Mad Mimi pretty straightforward.
When evaluating Mad Mimi, the only thing I found difficult to do was send a test email: there’s no obvious ‘test’ button anywhere to be seen when you are designing your email. Rather, you need to click a ‘preview’ button to see a full screen version of your email, and then locate a ‘test’ button at the bottom of that screen.
Additionally, there’s no way to preview what your email will look like on different devices — you’ll need to actually send a test email and open it on a desktop, phone, etc. to see how it works for your chosen device.
Other than that, everything’s pretty straightforward; the learning curve is minimal.
Unlike many similar products, Mad Mimi does not provide users with an extensive range of templates to choose from.
Instead, you are given one theme (albeit with a few layouts geared towards specific applications — product promotion, quick updates, newsletters etc.), and a range of colour schemes to choose from.
Essentially, you add your own branding through uploading a header image, using a drag and drop builder to add your content and selecting suitable fonts to display it in. More adventurous users can use HTML to design more bespoke templates.
This approach is very basic, but it does mean that putting together e-newsletters is simple, and you can definitely create very professional results with it. The newsletters sent with Mad Mimi are responsive too, meaning they’ll automatically adjust their layout to suit the device they’re being accessed on (mobile, tablet etc.).
Personally, however, I’d prefer to be able to choose from a variety of pre-designed templates and tweak them as desired.
Autoresponders are e-newsletters that are sent to your subscribers at intervals determined by you – you can set them up so that immediately after somebody signs up to your list, they receive a welcome message from your business; a few days later they could receive a discount code for some of your products; two weeks later they could receive an encouragement to follow you on Twitter…and so on. Autoresponders tend to be a key part of email marketing platforms.
With Mad Mimi, the autoresponder functionality is easy to use: setting up ‘drip’ campaigns is very easy.
However, you are limited to sending emails based on time intervals and event dates (birthdays, anniversaries etc.) — and nothing more sophisticated.
Other products, particularly Getresponse and Mailchimp, provide much more functionality in this area and allow you to send autoresponders that can be triggered by specific user actions or information, for example:
opens and clicks
changes in contact preferences
completion of a particular form
visits to particular pages on your website.
This sort of functionality tends to be referred to these days as ‘marketing automation’, and it allows you to create very sophisticated subscriber journeys and sales funnels.
If you need anything like this from an email marketing tool, you will be disappointed by Mad Mimi and are best off looking at an alternative (some suggestions below).
Key alternatives to Mad Mimi with better autoresponder features
Getresponse is probably the most feature-packed email marketing solution that we’ve tested when it comes to autoresponders — and the closest in price to Mad Mimi. Its marketing automation features are extremely strong and you can use it to create very sophisticated subscriber journeys. Find out more about Getresponse here.
Mailchimp is another good option for creating autoresponders — like Getresponse it allows you to create very bespoke subscriber journeys. However, it is more expensive and you get charged for every contact in your account — whether they’ve subscribed or not. Find out more about Mailchimp here.
Campaign Monitor has a superb interface and excellent marketing automation features — it’s probably one of the easiest tools to create autoresponders with. However, it is one of the most expensive tools of its kind. Find out more about Campaign Monitor here.
Mad Mimi offers a clean, simple analytics interface that makes understanding the basics of what’s happened with a mailout easy.
You get access to all the absolutely essential stuff — open, clickthrough and unsubscribe rates etc. — and the Google Analytics integration is good too (Mad Mimi will rewrite the URLs in your emails so that any traffic from specific Mad Mimi mailouts is easily trackable in your Google Analytics reports).
However, you won’t get anything like the sort of reporting functionality that’s offered by other leading email marketing products.
For example, if you want to find out information about the devices your e-newsletters are being opened on, the ROI of emails or geographical data, you will be disappointed.
As with much else about the product, Mad Mimi provides on a very stripped-down, basic approach to reporting.
A significant omission in Mad Mimi’s feature set is the lack of split testing.
Split or A/B testing allows you to create different versions of your e-newsletters which you can test against each other — to a sample of your subscribers — to find out which subject headers or content generates the most opens or clickthroughs.
You can then send a newsletter containing the ‘winning’ subject header / content to the remaining subscribers (this is usually done automatically by your email marketing tool at the end of a split test).
The result of split testing is usually more engagement with your newsletters — and more sales. So it’s a big shame that this functionality is not available in Mad Mimi.
(To be fair, you could split your mailing list into two ‘pots’ and run manual split tests using Mad Mimi — a ‘compare’ feature is available to help on this front — but this is a rather cumbersome way to go about A/B testing).
If you’re hoping to segment your data based on fields in Mad Mimi…well, you’re out of luck.
Although you can create multiple lists, and manually add email addresses to them (and you can do this in bulk, based on manual searches for keywords etc.), you’re not going to be able to define ‘always-on’ filters that automatically segment your data into different batches.
So, if you want to segment your mailing list in any way, you’d be better off avoiding Mad Mimi and looking at an alternative email marketing tool — when it comes to data segmentation, my favourites are Getresponse or Campaign Monitor (Mailchimp’s segmentation functionality isn’t great unless you’re on their $299+ per month premium plan).
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Mad Mimi provides quite a few useful integrations — you can connect the product to a decent range of third party apps in a variety of ways. In total, around 70 integrations are available.
Key Mad Mimi integrations includes apps such as:
Three types of support are available from Mad Mimi:
a set of searchable online resources
- live chat (9am to 6pm EST)
If you want phone support, this can be arranged, but you’ll have to email Mad Mimi first to request it.
In terms of how Mad Mimi’s support shapes up against that provided by its competitors, the offering is reasonably good; other companies offer more accessible phone support (notably Aweber) or multilingual support (notably Getresponse), but the provision here will be fine for most users.
Mad Mimi review conclusions
There are two strong aspects to Mad Mimi. First: it’s very cheap. Second, it’s easy to use. These two factors may be enough to convince users to purchase a Mad Mimi plan, and if you’re on a budget, it’s hard to think of any mainstream e-marketing tools that will allow you to send so many e-newsletters, so cheaply.
Mad Mimi has its flaws (and a lot of missing features!), but it will nonetheless tick quite a lot of e-marketing boxes, particularly for the owners of very large databases. If all you ever want to do is send simple newsletters to a lot of people in one go, it’s hard to argue with Mad Mimi.
However, many users will find that there are some noticeable omissions when it come to the functionality available in Mad Mimi, particularly when it comes to autoresponders, marketing automation, reporting and split testing.
If you are serious about growing your business, my view is that you definitely need these sorts of features in your e-marketing toolkit.
Finally, a few templates wouldn’t go amiss: when you consider that competing products like Aweber, Getresponse and Mailchimp offer hundreds of them, it makes the offering from Mad Mimi look rather scrawny.
The pros of using Mad Mimi
As mentioned frequently above, the price. It’s possibly the cheapest email marketing tool out there.
Because the emphasis of Mad Mimi is deliberately on ‘simplicity’, it’s very easy to use, and shouldn’t put off newcomers to email marketing.
It integrates with a good range of third party apps.
The cons of using Mad Mimi
The autoresponder functionality is very limited — you can create autoresponders (‘drips’) based on when people sign up to your mailing list, but that’s more or less it. Other systems, such as Getresponse or Mailchimp, allow you to create autoresponders based on a much larger range of variables — opens, clickthroughs, purchases and more.
There is only, in effect, one email template available.
Analytics are very basic.
You can’t really do A/B testing with Mad Mimi.
There’s no free trial.
Our overall rating: 2.5/5
Key alternatives to Mad Mimi
If you’re seriously considering Mad Mimi as an e-marketing solution, it’s likely you are on a budget. As such — and as you may have picked up on earlier in this Mad Mimi review — you might want to think about Getresponse.
Although Getresponse isn’t as cheap as Mad Mimi, it is still one of the more reasonably-priced tools of its kind available, and comes with a truckload of extra functionality that you won’t find in Mad Mimi — for example responsive emails, advanced autoresponder / marketing automation options, webinars and split testing (and it’s recently expanded its feature set to include webinars, autofunnels and a very basic CRM). You can sign up for a free Getresponse account here.
Similiarly, Mailchimp offers a lot of email marketing functionality that you won’t find in Mad Mimi and provides a generous free plan (for users with lists up to 2,000 subscribers in size).
However, after a major overhaul of its pricing structure, the paid version of Mailchimp has become very expensive by comparison to its competitors (and the company sneakily charges you to host unsubscribed contacts too, which again makes life more expensive).
Finally, I’d also suggest taking a look at Aweber — this is a solid and reasonably priced email marketing tool; it’s not as feature-packed as Getrepsonse or Mailchimp, but it nonetheless provides significantly more functionality than Mad Mimi.
Over to you…
If you have any questions about our Mad Mimi review, or email marketing in general, do let us know by adding a comment below. We do our best to reply to all of them!
Related resource: how to create an e-newsletter
If you are interested in creating e-newsletters and e-marketing campaigns in general, you may enjoy our article on how to create a newsletter.