How MailChimp Gets It Right By Doing Everything Wrong

By rights, I really ought to hate mailing list service MailChimp.

Their corporate tone is jokey (their mascot is a talking chimp who has something silly to say every time you log in), they admit it when they make mistakes, they put a ‘loading’ page in front of the site after the latest upgrade which slows things down for a minute and stops me getting to my mailing list.

Today, when I logged in, Mailchimp paused the “loading” page and played a really, really silly animation WITH AUDIO.

Normally any one of these things would drive me, their customer, away from any site.

But Mailchimp makes me laugh.

I’ve signed up for their service not only because I like their service (free! Until you get big and start putting a drain on their server. Then they, quite reasonably, ask you to pick a payment plan). I also picked their service because I like their tone. So now I kind of expect a big silly something to leap out of their site at me from time to time. They are consistently silly.

Have Your Customers Bought In?

This is a crucial point.

I agreed to let Mailchimp be my mailing list provider AND continue to be silly. I agreed to put up with (even enjoy) their hijinks, because I liked their service and I liked them.

The first time a customer looks at your site, are you bombarding them with annoyances they didn’t sign up for?

Is your tone consistent?

Does your tone reflect you, even if it does break traditional business rules?

Will you attract the kind of people you want to work with, based on your marketing message?