Subject line data, lots of popsicles, new integrations, and one monkey butt.

Finding value in helping out: Cards Against Humanity, DoSomething.‌org, and billboards

Cards Against Humanity
Do Something
Some people use email to sell things. Others just want to delight their loyal customers. Email can be fun, after all, and for some people, it's not always about directly affecting the bottom line. Sometimes, it's just about Beyoncé.

But some mission-driven organizations have to be good at email—their budgets depend on it. MailChimp has hundreds of thousands of nonprofit customers (We give them discounts!), plus a bunch of B Corps and principled for-profit companies as well.

In this issue of MonkeyWrench, we highlight how a few of them use email to make a difference. We talk to Max Temkin from Cards Against Humanity, and Marah Lidey from We explain how MailChimp's billboards encourage creativity and community. We also touch on the types of subjects lines, templates, and big data research you can use to help make a difference in your emails.

Cards Against Humanity's humorous heart

Cards Against Humanity
Max Temkin believes that "sending an email is one of the worst things you can do to a person," which is why his company, Cards Against Humanity, rarely does it. They've sent 15 in 3 years, regularly get open rates in the 60-75% range, and every one of those emails has been hilarious and purposeful. Temkin explained CAH's values to us, which include donating the proceeds from their annual holiday promotion.
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MailChimp for Nonprofits

MailChimp for Nonprofits
More than 200,000 nonprofits use MailChimp to communicate with their donors, members, fans, and boards. We give them a 15% discount because we know how hard it can be to work with the limited budgets that often come with mission-driven work. But we also integrate with useful apps, write case studies about nonprofits who excel at email, and provide plenty of resources in hopes of making nonprofit work a little easier.
Visit MailChimp For Nonprofits

DoSomething‌.org's charitable collaboration

Do Something sends a lot of email to a lot of young people. We talked with Digital Engagement Manager Marah Lidey about how they write 20 subject lines for every email (!!!), and how creating an internal email style guide improved their brand.
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Speaking of collaboration...

DoSomething isn't the only nonprofit that's juggling a lot of moving parts and team members within MailChimp. The Atlanta Film Festival uses MailChimp's comments to facilitate their active email presence. The Walker Art Center, meanwhile, sends a draft to more than 30 employees before it goes to their 50,000 readers. But that's only the beginning. See how MailChimp's collaboration features can work for your organization.

Nonprofit MailChimp integrations

We recently pledged an additional $1 million to our integration fund to encourage developers to build on our transactional email service, Mandrill.

The fund has already paid out close to $3 million since November 2010. That money resulted in more than 1,000 applications, which led to tons of useful services that now connect with MailChimp.

More than a few of those are nonprofit-centric, too. There's, Coffee Cup, Wishery, CivicCRM, and many more in the nonprofits collection of the MailChimp integration directory.

Excellence, personality, community, monkey butt

Monkey Butt
"Why would an email company sponsor a book festival?" It's a fair question, and the answer involves more monkey butt than you might suspect.
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Writing about writing better subject lines

We write about subject lines a lot. A lot a lot. Sometimes, we even fret about our own subject lines. We're a little fixated because our customers care about them. We recently developed a subject line researcher, which allows you to test different words and phrases against our data, which includes subject lines from 10 billion emails every month. It's not perfect, but we hope it'll inspire you to think about your subject lines differently.

Meaningful service through creative change

A couple years ago, we started putting up billboards here and there. They weren't pushy, sales-y advertisements. They were more just fun, (sometimes literally) winking reminders to our customers that we like making them happy.

We've got plans for more, but in the meantime, we've put a lot of energy into making one particularly special billboard in our hometown. On our DesignLab blog, Lain explains how creativity, change, and meaning have come together at Atlanta's Krog Street tunnel.
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ICYMI: MailChimp's Annual Report

Annual Report
In 2013, we gave away more than 6,000 popsicles.

We also sent tons of emails, drank too much coffee, and managed to lose every single softball game we played. It was a great year, and we couldn't have done it without you.
Read The Annual Report
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