Email marketing and list management company MailChimp has had a busy couple of days.
On Wednesday, MailChimp announced that its services have been integrated with Donor Tools, an online donor management suite. The Donor Tools package is used by nonprofit entities like charities, churches and various other organizations "to manage the logistical gymnastics of running a not-for-profit enterprise."
This integration will feature a two-way sync between the two services so that users can efficiently keep current records in both databases, segment lists using Donor Tools tagging and take more control over donor-focused emails.
MailChimp will now be available with any Donor Tools account.
The company will also be integrating its service with Web publishing platform ExpressionEngine to launch a new product called ChimpanzEE. The pairing will make it easy for users to integrate email marketing right into their ExpressionEngine-powered websites. It will provide a variety of new tools and features, such as member subscription and the ability to create and send campaigns, and it can all be done without ever having to leave one's site.
ExpressionEngine's tagging system will be the heart of ChimpanzEE; by simply including one EE tag, a user can create sign-up forms that are associated with any of his or her MailChimp lists, incorporate all of his or her merge fields and completely customize the design via CSS.
ChimpanzEE also helps keep track fo list health. Users will get a full analytic look at their lists through built-in reports, including the total subscribers, unsubscribes, new sign-ups, activity levels and engagement.
Other features include basic list management (like adding and removing subscribers) and custom email templates.
Finally, MailChimp unveiled the OnStage application, "a collaborative email campaign editing solution." By providing a single location for MailChimp subscribers to display their email campaigns before sending them out, OnStage streamlines the feedback process to allow "for quicker and closer collaboration between colleagues."
This new feature aims to do away with the unpleasant review process associated with email marketing campaigns, and it will do so (in theory) by letting the email creators present an initial draft to all of their bosses and colleagues at once. Afterwards, all involved can discuss the content of the email in the "Peanut Gallery" and provide real-time critiques and changes; the participants can even make annotated changes, so that the creator can see exactly what to change and how they want it done.
The end result will be a "to-do list," which will go back to the creator, who will make the changes on the list. This process can be repeated as many times as necessary.
OnStage is a free service for all MailChimp users.