Whenever I work with a company that’s not using MailChimp to deliver its email campaigns, I want to die a little inside. Every “email marketing solution” I’ve encountered in the wild is a goddamned monstrosity and I often wonder how the businesses behind these behemoths manage to bamboozle their clients into using their terrible software. I don’t feel that way about MailChimp, however: it’s the one and only email service that’s actually a pleasure to use.
I’ve seen a lot of different CRMs in my day (Zoho, Act On, Constant Contact, and iContact, to name a few) and they’re all really expensive and they all suck. Their interfaces look like they were engineered by alien UX designers who are still learning about human anatomy, they use implementations of TinyMCE from the 1800s, and their tokening system for mail merge values is either nonexistent or needlessly complicated. Creating HTML emails in these systems is often a Sisyphean affair: web editors wrangle hopelessly with pre-generated templates that invariably require custom markup to alter. I see the same campaign cloned over and over again until its mutant descendants are messes of broken tables.