MailChimp updated their Terms of Use and Acceptable Use Policies and it’s causing mass confusion. As Your Computer Girl, I’m here to clarify and help you de-stress.

Here’s the scoop: MailChimp will no longer support certain types of businesses. Why? Because those businesses contribute to high bounce rates and spam complaints.

But their new rules are causing some confusion because they appear to be restricting coaches and online entrepreneurs. This is the piece that’s causing the uproar:

the scoop

So how does that affect coaches and online entrepreneurs?

They used some confusing language to describe the types of businesses they don’t support. Specifically, “work from home, make money online” kind of businesses. That’s where the confusion occurred. We work AT home, which sounds like we work FROM home. But it’s different.

yard signThey’re talking about those sleezy, scammy “work from home” signs you see when you’re driving down the street. Those are a scam. They’re not talking about business coaches, or people who help you find and express your purpose in life through an online biz.

The other piece that is worrisome to a lot of us is the Multi-level marketing restriction.

The reason they aren’t allowing those types of businesses is to protect YOU. Those emails get high bounce rates and spam complaints. They want your emails to get opened, and the more legit customers they have on their super techy back end, the more YOUR emails get opened.

But MailChimp is a reasonable business. If you’re talking about your coaching biz that makes money online and you’re supporting clients in their quest to work at home, MailChimp will not suspend your account. That would be unreasonable. If you’re mentioning your favorite essential oils (which happen to be an MLM) in an email about how to reduce stress, they won’t delete all your contacts.

However, if you originally attracted subscribers with the promise of recipes and exercise routines, and you suddenly start trying to recruit people to your MLM, that’s going to throw up a red flag. You can see why… it’s kind of a bait and switch. You and I can see the connection, but MailChimp knows that those kind of emails get flagged as spam, so they’re going to call you on it.

What to do about it

my favorite monkeys (2)I know this is stressful. They’re changing their rules and you’re just not sure if your emails will comply or if your account will be shut down. So here’s what to do… take a deep breath and ask yourself if you’re running a legit business. (I hope the answer is yes.) Ask yourself if it would be unreasonable to shut down your account. (I’m pretty sure the answer is yes.)

Keep writing your newsletter. Keep growing your list.

It’s scary to put yourself out there and it’s too easy to let things like this make you think twice about getting your mission out into the world. Don’t let this MailChimp snafu keep you from growing. You are here for a reason and this little monkey is not going to be the reason you give up on yourself.

Other email service providers

If you still want to change email service providers, I totally get it. I don’t even use MailChimp. lol! I do really like MailChimp for new entrepreneurs because it’s easy to use and it integrates with everything. (Hint: that’s another reason to trust them. Squarespace, WordPress, and PayPal aren’t going to team up with a wackadoo, are they?)

Here are some of my favorite email service providers:

  • Mad Mimi. This is who I used for years. I get to have multiple lists, webforms, and autoresponders (which Mimi calls Drips). Their customer support is top notch! I suggest signing up for a free account just to get their A+ marketing tips.
  • ConvertKit costs a little bit more than Mad Mimi, but it’s kind of like a mini Ontraport with tags and lists. You essentially have one big list and you can segment your list to send emails in a really smart way. It’s the one I use now and I love it. Their emails also tend to go into the Inbox, not the Promotions tab!
  • Aweber. Lots of people like Aweber. I don’t, but I know that the pros have used it to grow their biz before upgrading to something like Infusionsoft or Ontraport.
  • Simplero. This is an email service and membership site in one! People can buy your program, log in, and get the goods all in one spot. And you can create opt-in pages, have multiple lists, and send emails. It’s pricy, but feature-rich.
  • Active Campaign and Get Response. I haven’t used these, but they integrate with Optimize Press, they’re popular in groups that I’m in, and I’ve seen other coaches and entrepreneurs using them.
  • Infusionsoft and Ontraport. These are the biggies and they come with a big investment. They have LOADS of features and a great support team, so I’ve heard. When I’m ready to upgrade, I’ll be moving to Ontraport.

Please don’t let all of these options confuse you. Choose one, sign up for a free trial, and see if you like it. If not, try a different one until you find the one that fits your business.

If you want help getting set up with your new email service provider, let’s book a Strategy Session. I’m here to take the frustration out of technology so you can keep doing what you do best. We can get you set up and running in just one session!

In the meantime, take a deep breath and keep moving forward. You don’t have to do anything today, and you certainly don’t need to stop spreading your mission.

If this post was helpful, share it with your friends!

In the comments…

Does this ease your mind? Are you going to stay with MailChimp or explore some other options?