I started using Mailchimp in 2008 at my job. From there I've become more of an ambassador for the product recommending setting up the free version for multiple small businesses and organizations. From there, I've helped them grow their email list the right way. I don't buy lists...I only give best practices in order to connect you with your customers and potential customers.
After setting up lists, I've used surveys to gain more customer information to help you send out emails that are better targeted and specific for the products you are selling. These can be all kinds of criteria that you choose.
I've set up automated emails as simple as birthday cards to as complicated as being triggered by certain actions on your website.
Let me know how I can help to either run your email marketing or in teaching you and your staff better practices on list growth, management, and email automations.