Mailchimp’s marketing automation tools are now available for free

MailChimp is probably best known for its basic email newsletter services, but it has long offered a number of more advanced marketing tools; for example, one that allows its users to follow up with online shoppers. Starting today, these advanced marketing automation services are available for free to all MailChimp users, including those on the company’s free plan.

With this newly free service, any online business can now easily create an automatic email that goes out a day after somebody abandons a virtual shopping cart, for example, or a day after somebody makes a first purchase. Similarly, they can set up a series of welcome emails or use the service for more transactional messages like receipts, shipping updates or invoices. MailChimp set up a number of pre-configured automations for some of these most popular use cases. The company argues that its users earned an average of $619 more thanks to abandoned cart notifications.

Given that there is obviously some clear value in this service for its users, it’s surprising to see that it is now making it available for free. Chances are, though, that the customers who were using these more advanced features were also those who already had more than the 2,000 subscriber maximum of the free plan. Adding this new capability to its free plan may just get more of those free users to reach that maximum or want to upgrade to the paid plan, which offers a number of other advanced features and analytics.

“Automation empowers our customers to create sophisticated campaigns that help them compete with bigger companies, but we know that not everyone has a large list or the budget to upgrade to a paid account when they first get started,” the company writes in today’s announcement. “Small businesses look to MailChimp to help them build their brand, and we want to give everyone—no matter their account type or list size—the opportunity to use our marketing automation tools to do just that.”