ClickDimensions vs. Mailchimp: which one's for you?
September 17, 2016
The Superfluid team frequently get asked by our clients which is the better tool for marketing teams – Mailchimp or ClickDimensions?
Although both have plenty of areas of overlap, they are different applications designed to address different needs.
In this article I’ll introduce you to both applications, sharing my perspective with you about where they each are strong and where they are both equal.
ClickDimensions is best described as a very mature marketing automation platform, with most of the bells and whistles you would expect from an enterprise grade product, without the price tag.
As a tightly integrated application aligned to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, ClickDimensions is often chosen by businesses who use Microsoft CRM as it is really easy for them to adopt. The user interfaces are so similar that most end users never notice when they are using Microsoft’s native product, or when they are using ClickDimensions.
It’s worth noting that given ClickDimensions has a dependency on Dynamics CRM and shares the same CRM database, you actually cannot buy it without already having Microsoft’s product first.
Mailchimp is by far the world’s most popular platform for sending out marketing emails. It is simple to get started with and has a great designer that enables non-technical users to still make stunning templates and emails.
With Mailchimp’s integrations to many popular applications such as Shopify and WordPress it is also worth noting that Mailchimp definitely cannot be called ‘simple’ in terms of what it offers.
Mailchimp also offers exceptional value to businesses who don’t send out large volumes of emails and are happy with the features that it comes with.
WHAT CLICKDIMENSIONS AND MAILCHIMP BOTH DO WELL
It’s worth noting that both ClickDimensions and Mailchimp are great products, and we will happily help our clients get the most out of both of them.
If you are evaluating either one of these, here are where we see both applications do a great job.
Both ClickDimensions and Mailchimp enable you to use:
- Custom domains – both allow you to mask emails so they look like they came from your own company’s domain.
- Subscription management – both allow your visitors to manage their subscription preferences on a web page that you can brand your own.
- Unsubscribes – both meet regulatory requirements around including unsubscribe links in email contents.
- Click Heat Maps – both allow you to see ‘heat maps’ of where users have clicked in emails you have sent through.
- Variables – both allow you to place variables inside emails to personalise the content (such as addressing the recipient by their first name). It’s worth noting ClickDimensions allows you to reference pretty much any field saved against your user in CRM, which can be handy too.
- Autoresponders/Drip Campaigns – both allow you to create auto-responders so that as recipients are added into a list they will receive a pre-set list of emails over time.
- Good support – our ClickDimensions and Mailchimp customers are happy with the levels of support they receive from both companies.
- Reporting – both provide detailed insights into key indicators such as open rates, unsubscribes etc.
- API and Integrations – Mailchimp has a well documented API to enable you to integrate other applications. Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s also has an extremely powerful and well documented API which customers of ClickDimensions can leverage.
- Split A/B Testing – both applications enable marketing teams to split-test emails to determine which are getting better open rates, before sending out the remainder that are queued for recipients.
WHERE CLICKDIMENSIONS BEATS MAILCHIMP
Being a fully fledged marketing automation platform, ClickDimensions is perfect for marketers who have big plans without huge budgets.
Being integrated with Dynamics CRM, much of the benefit ClickDimensions brings is that it enables marketers to gain a true insight into the ROI of their efforts (from lead creation to sale), while empowering people across the organisation to leverage the marketing platform as well.
Versus Mailchimp, ClickDimensions wins with:
- Lead scoring and Segmentation – every interaction a visitor has with your digital assets can be tracked through ClickDimensions, enabling you to perform detailed segmentation of your customers and prospects. This enables marketing teams to more effectively target and nurture prospects through a buying journey, only handing leads off to sales teams when the prospect is ready for a 1:1 conversation. The statistics are also particularly helpful to sales teams who are often keen to understand more about the engagement levels of their customers.
- Quick send templates – from within Dynamics CRM, salespeople and customer service people can send fully branded emails customised to their audience in just a few clicks. Promoting events is just one example where this works particularly well.
- Automated marketing lists – email and nurture campaigns can be built dynamically based on data inside your CRM. For example, customers who haven’t called your customer care team in 90 days could automatically be added to an email nurture campaign to encourage them to re-engage.
- Deep personalisation – given ClickDimensions lives inside your CRM, emails can appear to be sent from the contacts your audience best knows, for example their account managers. This helps drive improved email open and click-through rates which in turn improve the ROI from marketing efforts.
- File attachments – ClickDimensions enables you to attach files to an email, and track when they are opened. This insight is very powerful, as it enables you to perform appropriate followups with your audience depending on whether they open the file or not.
- Campaign builder – ClickDimensions enables you to build much richer marketing campaigns, far beyond just email auto-responders. You can weave in activity from web site visits, your CRM (meetings, products purchased etc), gated content as well as of course statistics from your email.
- Closed loop marketing – being embedded inside CRM, you can track the success of your marketing campaigns all the way from initiation to when the deal is closed, enabling marketers to have a much clearer understanding of the ROI of their initiatives, and which ones to double-down on.
- Landing pages – Landing pages are very helpful ways to present a message with a specific call to action by avoiding visitor distraction, and thus they are frequently used in paid advertising campaigns. ClickDimensions’s landing page drag and drop interface enables marketers to quickly create landing pages and call to actions without needing to call their IT team.
- Gated content – you can ‘gate’ content behind web forms that enable you to capture people’s details before giving them access to key assets you may have on offer, for example a white paper. ClickDimensions has a drag and drop form builder that enables you to quickly build the questions you wish to ask your visitors.
- Surveys – in addition to web forms, you can create surveys from within ClickDimensions. This enables you to capture feedback from your web site visitors and customers, saving the results against the record in CRM. Having this sort of information linked to your customer database is particularly helpful when it comes to segmentation.
- SMS integration – Upwards of 98% of SMS’s received are opened, versus a much lower percentage of emails. Being able to embed SMS into marketing campaigns using ClickDimensions is extremely powerful when it comes to getting cut-through with your audience. You can creatively use SMS for everything from event reminders to sending through discount codes.
- Analytics – leveraging the power of Dynamics CRM and PowerBI is a huge plus for ClickDimensions. As ClickDimensions saves every data point inside the Dynamics CRM database, literally everything from web site traffic to email opens can be reported on, and cross-referenced with other data within your organisation to determine trends.
WHERE MAILCHIMP BEATS CLICKDIMENSIONS
There’s a reason why Mailchimp is the world’s most popular email application. It’s cost effective, offers reasonable functionality and is super easy to use.
When compared with ClickDimensions here are the areas where I feel Mailchimp has the edge:
- Simplicity – if all you need is list management, some auto-responder functionality and an easy-to-use email designer then Mailchimp is perfect. It’s focus on core email marketing functions makes it a great fit for that requirement.
- No reliance on a CRM – as Mailchimp is a stand-alone application, you don’t need to purchase a CRM to run it.
- Quality templates – although ClickDimensions also offer email templates, the ones that come out of the box with Mailchimp are definitely more attractive.
- Content – Mailchimp has a great blog which containing many useful tips and tricks to get the most out of the product.
- Integrations to popular apps – Mailchimp offers many integrations to popular applications such as WordPress and Shopify. Often you won’t even need a web developer to get them going.
- Mobile app – Mailchimp has some great mobile apps specifically designed for running your marketing campaigns. They also have a purpose-built app for signing up new subscribers at trade shows.
- Delivery by time zone – with Mailchimp you can send emails out based on the timezone of your recipients. Although most public statistics don’t indicate there is a significant difference in open-rates based on the time emails are sent, it may be helpful for some organisations to have access to this feature.
As with all technology conversations, it’s best to take a step back and look and what you are trying to do rather than dive in and do a feature/function shoot-out. But given I’m assessing these applications at face value, I’ll push along with my summary.
Both ClickDimensions and Mailchimp are very good applications, and both have very happy customers.
Being embedded inside Dynamics CRM, ClickDimensions enables marketers to implement extremely advanced campaigns when you consider the rich data insights and deeper targeting of marketing activities you will be able to leverage.
If you are certain you have no need for a CRM or would see no benefit in leveraging some of the more advanced capabilities ClickDimensions offers, Mailchimp is most likely the way to go. It’s simple to use, surprisingly powerful and cost-effective.
Get in contact with Superfluid today to discuss your needs.