Mailchimp - Operating a Marketing Platform For Small Businesses

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Mailchimp is an all-in-one Marketing Platform for small business. The company empowers millions of customers around the world to start and grow their businesses with our smart marketing technology, award-winning support, and inspiring content.

Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Atlanta with additional offices in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Vancouver, Mailchimp is 100% founder-owned and highly profitable.

Mailchimp - Company Highlights

Startup Name Mailchimp
Parent Company The Rocket Science Group LLC.
Headquarters Ponce City Market, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S
Industry Software , Email Marketing
Founded 2001
Founders Ben Chestnut(CEO), Mark Armstrong, Dan Kurzius
Total Valuation $700 million (As of 2019)
Area Served Worldwide
Website www.mailchimp.com

Mailchimp - About and How it Works?
Mailchimp - Recent News
Mailchimp - Logo and its Meaning
Mailchimp - Founder and History
Mailchimp - Mission
Mailchimp - Business Model
Mailchimp - Revenue and Growth
Mailchimp - Acquisitions
Mailchimp - Competitors
Mailchimp - Challenges Faced
Mailchimp - Future Plans
Mailchimp - FAQs

Mailchimp - About and How it Works?

Mailchimp is an American marketing automation platform and email marketing service provider. It is the trading name of its operator, Rocket Science Group, an American company founded in 2001 by Ben Chestnut and Mark Armstrong, with Dan Kurzius joining at a later date.

MailChimp (also known as The Rocket Science Group) is a company that operates a marketing platform for small businesses that allows users to send marketing emails and messages, create campaigns, and share reports and analytics. The company also develops a related mobile application.

Mailchimp - Recent News

As of September 2020, Mailchimp launched new AI tools as it continues its transformation to marketing platform.

With this new set of products and services, Mailchimp is now aiming to give small businesses access to the same capabilities the larger e-commerce players have long had, but without the complexity.

To build tools based on machine learning, one needs data — and that’s something Mailchimp already had.

“We’ve been doing marketing for decades,” Mailchimp CPO Foreman said. “And we have millions of small businesses on the platform. And so not only do we build all these tools ourselves, which allows us to integrate them from a visual design perspective — they’re not necessarily acquisitions — but we have this common data set from years and years of doing marketing across millions of businesses, billions of customers we’re talking to, and so we thought, how can we use intelligence — artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc. — to also sand down how all of these tools connect.”

Mailchimp - Logo and its Meaning

The company has evolved from “MailChimp” to “Mailchimp” with a lowercase c. Their name began as a playful metaphor: a chimp who delivers your mail.

Mailchimp's Company Logo
Mailchimp's Company Logo

Mailchimp - Founder and History

About 20 years ago, Ben Chestnut and Dan Kurzius started a web design agency called the Rocket Science Group. Their focus was on big, corporate clients, but on the side, they created a delightful email marketing service for small businesses.

Co-Founder and CEO of Mailchimp - Ben Chestnut
Co-Founder and CEO of Mailchimp - Ben Chestnut

Mailchimp was designed as an alternative to the oversized, expensive email software of the early 2000s. It gave small business owners who lacked the high-end tools and resources of their larger competitors access to technology that empowered them and helped them grow.

Ben and Dan loved serving these users, because understanding small businesses is in their DNA: Ben grew up helping his mom around her hair salon that she ran from their family kitchen, and Dan’s parents ran a bakery. With Mailchimp, they found that working for small businesses gave them the freedom to be more creative and adapt quickly to their needs.

So, in 2007, Ben and Dan decided to shutter the web design agency and focus exclusively on Mailchimp.

While the new company started as an email marketing tool, our customers repeatedly asked us to spread the Mailchimp magic to other channels. They taught us that Mailchimp’s brand promise is to help small businesses “look pro and grow,” no matter the channel.


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Mailchimp - Mission

Mailchimp's mission statement says, "We collaborate with creative people to make fun, unique products for good causes."

Mailchimp - Business Model

Mailchimp has a mass market business model, with no significant differentiation between customer segments. The company targets its offering at firms of all industries and sizes seeking e-mail marketing services. That said, a significant portion of its customer base consists of small businesses. Mailchimp’s business model entails maintaining a robust cloud platform for its clients. The platform includes its website and suite of mobile apps.

Mailchimp - Revenue and Growth

In 2017, the company was gaining 14,000 new customers every day. The company has remained owned by its co-founders and has not accepted venture capital funds. In 2016, Mailchimp was ranked No. 7 on the Forbes Cloud 100 list. Later in 2019, the company announced its annual revenue would reach $700 million.

Today, the company grosses revenue in excess of $400 million annually and employs more than 700 people. Mailchimp has also grown from 85,000 to more than 12 million customers, and shows no sign of stopping.

In February 2019, Mailchimp acquired LemonStand, a smaller competitor. Later in 2019, the company announced its annual revenue would reach $700 million. Mailchimp later announced their plans to shift from mail distribution into offering "a full marketing platform aimed at smaller organizations." To this end, Mailchimp acquired the London-based media and magazine company, Courier, in March 2020, with the stated goal of international growth. The magazine has a readership of 100,000 readers in more than 26 countries.


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Mailchimp - Acquisitions

Mailchimp has acquired 5 organizations. Their most recent acquisition was Reaction Commerce on Apr 22, 2020. They acquired Reaction Commerce for $16.1M.

Acquiree Name Date Amount About Acquiree
Reaction Commerce Apr 22, 2020 $16.1M Reaction Commerce is an open and real-time commerce platform for modern retailers.
Courier Mar 3, 2020 - Courier is a stories of modern business reporting from London and around the world on startup culture. Published six times a year in print.
LemonStand Mar 27, 2019 - LemonStand eCommerce provides a flexible platform for growing eCommerce businesses
Sawa Feb 8, 2019 - Sawa. is a virtual graphic designer. It designs commonly-needed communication materials instantly, beautifully, and on brand.
TinyLetter Aug 31, 2011 - TinyLetter enables users to start their own mailing list and email newsletters.

Mailchimp - Competitors

Constant Contact, Sendinblue, Lead Forensics, MailerLite, and Twilio SendGrid Marketing Campaigns are the most popular alternatives and competitors to Mailchimp.

Mailchimp - Challenges Faced

One key challenge that it faced along the way was the danger of being overshadowed by bigger, more powerful companies. Remember that Mailchimp chose the road less traveled and did not have much in terms of capital. Big companies such as Constant Contact often threatened to extinguish the existence of the company, but it strived to remain in the market and still grow.

The company’s secret weapon against such big companies was its deep understanding of how small businesses operate. It was only through this knowledge that Mailchimp was able to ward off giant companies and establish itself as a favorite for small companies.

The second most threatening challenge the company faced was the fear that emails would eventually become extinct. Given that the existence of the company was built around the existence and continued use of emails, this was indeed a serious issue.


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Mailchimp - Future Plans

Mailchimp, a bootstrapped startup out of Atlanta, Ga., is known best as a popular tool for organizations to manage their customer-facing email activities —the CEO of the company told that it has now grown to around 11 million active customers with a total audience of 4 billion (yes, 4 billion), and $700 million in revenue in 2019.

To help hit that number, Mailchimp is taking the wraps off a significant update aimed at catapulting it into the next level of business services. Mailchimp has started to offer a full marketing platform aimed at smaller organizations.

Going beyond the email services that it has been offering for 20 years — which alone has led to multiple acquisition offers as its valuation has crept up reportedly into the billions — the new platform will feature a number of new products within it.

They include technology to record and track customer leads; the ability to purchase domains and build sites, ad retargeting on Facebook and Instagram, social media management. It will also offer business intelligence that leverages a new move into the artificial intelligence to provide recommendations to users on how and when to market to whom.

The latter of these will be particularly interesting considering the data that it has collected and will collect on 4 billion individuals and their responses to emails and other services that Mailchimp now offers.

Mailchimp - FAQs

What does Mailchimp do?

Mailchimp is an American marketing automation platform and email marketing service provider.

Who founded Mailchimp?

Ben Chestnut(CEO), Mark Armstrong and Dan Kurzius founded Mailchimp.

How does Mailchimp make money?

Mailchimp’s business model entails maintaining a robust cloud platform for its clients. The platform includes its website and suite of mobile apps.

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