Atlanta, GA (PRWEB)

October 10, 2010

MailChimp, a leading self-service email provider based in Atlanta, Ga., has reached 500,000 customers; increasing the number of paying customers by more than 150% and its profits by 650% over the course of a year. Attributing much of the company’s recent growth after it offered a freemium email marketing plan in September 2009; MailChimp delivers approximately 700 million emails a month from businesses ranging from one-person startups to Fortune 500 companies and is expected to send 1 billion emails in November 2010.

Launching in 2001, for nearly nine years MailChimp profitably charged its customers for its services, but just over a year ago, co-founder and CEO Ben Chestnut announced the “Forever Free” plan, where customers could signup with 500 subscribers and send up to 3,000 emails a month. Not a watered-down, 30-day “free trial” plan, but literally a “forever free” plan, where customers get full access to MailChimp’s powerful email marketing and social features.

“Something that might surprise people is that going freemium didn’t totally skew our user base to teeny-tiny accounts full of ‘extremely small businesses’ with extremely small lists. We’ve actually seen our number of large customers grow. A lot,” says Chestnut.

In April of 2010, 12% of MailChimp’s paying customers had lists greater than 10,000 subscribers. In that same period, the percentage of the company’s total revenue from those larger customers grew from 48% to 65%. While freemium may not work for every business, Chestnut sites having the benefit of “many, many years of making — and learning from — tons of mistakes” and doing “everything totally bass-ackwards” to get to a point where they were in a position to offer the “Forever Free” plan.

“We’re not taking the conventional, ‘build a stripped down product, make it free, then up-charge if people want more features’ approach to freemium. We spent years building up a powerful, affordable, profitable, self-serve product. We invested heavily in our API, which now has more than 70,000 users. We got smarter at deliverability, scalability, and abuse prevention. Then, the cloud made all of the above even cheaper. We took advantage of those savings and made stuff free,” explains Chestnut.

In conjunction with reaching 500,000 customers and the ongoing success of going freemium, MailChimp recently announced it was doubling its Forever Free plan. Users can now store up to 1,000 subscribers and send up to 6,000 emails a month; better yet, there are no expiring trials, hidden charges or sneaky contracts and they don’t even ask for a credit card.

“We’ve worked hard for many years to build a powerful service that actually makes email marketing fun. And, I want the entire world to experience that fun. It was also a way to thank our customers. Many of them were able to switch from paid accounts to free. As we double our freemium plan, even more will do the same,” says Chestnut.

An ideal solution for small businesses and e-retailers, artists, bands, bloggers, non-profits, churches, and anyone just getting started in email marketing, even more people than ever are taking advantage of MailChimp’s powerful email marketing and social features. Prior to the announcement, MailChimp had been averaging around 30,000 new users per month (about 1,000 per day), but since increasing the freemium plan in September, it sees approximately 2,000+ new users a day.

“It’s also kind of a cool idea to think of bajillions of "serious” business newsletters being distributed with little monkeys in their footer.“

About MailChimp

MailChimp supports more than 3 million subscribers worldwide, sending 3 billion emails per month. The MailChimp platform improves the user experience by providing seamless, yet powerful email marketing and publishing features that are easy and affordable enough for a small business to get started, but powerful enough for a large company looking for an enterprise level solution. MailChimp’s platform provides an open API used by more than 250,000 subscribers. MailChimp integrates with many third party applications including Facebook, Twitter, Eventbrite, SurveyGizmo, Salesforce, WordPress, Magento, Joomla, Drupal and Google Analytics. And best of all, prices start at free.