MailChimp, one of the Internet’s leading email marketing services, had some big news yesterday.

They revealed that all their automated email marketing features–previously reserved for paying clients—would now be available for free for everyone, regardless of the type of account they have. The automated features include advanced personalized ad campaigns and mail which is triggered by a specific action taken by users on their website.

These ‘triggers’ can generate responses based on your preferences. For example, someone who signs up to your mailing list will immediately receive a Welcome email, someone who cuts their checkout short would receive an ‘abandoned cart’ follow-up email (or series of emails), and long-time subscribers could get special discounts, promotions, or even and annual ‘Happy Birthday’ emails. The list literally goes on.

These new services will allow any online business to easily set up automated emails that go out to specific groups of subscribers, which according to MailChimp is part of the reason behind its move. The statement issued by MailChimp explains:

“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. 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.”

Another reason for the sudden change of heart could be that the users who found the automated mailing system beneficial were already past the maximum 2,000 subscriber limit of the free plan, and that opening up the features to everyone will push more people beyond 2,000 subscribers. If this is the case, then it may very well incentivize more users to upgrade to their even more advanced paid plan. But regardless of motives, this is a good opportunity for users to take their business to the next level.

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