Understanding the new MailChimp interface

I'm posting my analysis of the new MailChimp interface on the Wintergreen Sporting Club website for everyone. It's as good as home for any of this since the WSC does a very good job with MailChimp, with several club leaders accessing the system to communicate to the various groups. (And I don't risk showing any private info here.) The examples here apply to most every group or enterprise I have worked with on setting up a MailChimp.

I've created a very rough six-minute video to show the new user interface in action. You might see all you need below, however. Questions? Email me at charles@addcontext.net.

-Charles Batchelor, Addcontext


Do we have to do this? Aren't there some instructions from MailChimp?

Yes, this change is coming. We cannot keep what we have. My information from MailChimp is that while no date has been set for the switch-over, my support person's manager said it would be in "early 2018." 

The same support person could not find anything in their blogs to share with me. All we are seeing in a way of introduction is this blue box when you create a new campaign: 


Is it better, or is it just different?

It's better. For those who have working on the current platform for years where it has gotten automatic, it's going to be awkward and annoying at first because it's going to interrupt their thinking. What you're reading here is an attempt to help those folks. But, after putting together three emails, everyone should like it. Those new to MailChimp or use it casually will find it more user-friendly. And those of us who have to teach MailChimp to others, this layout is easier to explain to newbies.

The big improvement I have found is that the flow is geared more to the creative process in several little ways. It's easier to adjust your subject line before sending, for example. (And we all should be more thoughtful about our subject lines.) Facebook and Twitter posts from MailChimp are much easier to do with this new user interface.


Has the creation of the actual email text and layout changed?

Good news. The designer has not changed at all. How you get to where to put together the images, headlines and text has changed, but the designer itself has not changed.

Nor has the template selection page changed. As you go through the steps, you'll be taken to the same template section as you have always seen.

Replicating an email to edit and send has not changed either. And, this new format make editing the subject line and changing who sees the email on replicated emails easier and faster.


What is the most not-obvious change?

It's a little unsettling when you go back to work on an unfinished campaign and MailChimp no longer brings you back to where you left off working in the designer. Instead, you always come back to this new page where MailChimp now has all of the vital "non-design" steps for us in one place:

Want more? Here's my video attempt at explaining all of this: