With the launch of , newsletter workflow just got as easy as Instagram. MailChimp users can now just open the (iPhone-only) app, take a picture—or snag one from Instagram or the Photos library—type a few sentences, and send. What would normally take 10 minutes using a desktop takes under two minutes with MailChimp Snap.
Before today, MailChimp didn't have an app for sending newsletters. "People are on their phones all day," MailChimp marketing director Mark DiCristina told Fast Company. "How do we create less friction for them to do the kind of marketing that is going to feel natural to them that is going to help their business?" Snap is MailChimp's attempt to answer that question.
Offering three easy-to-use templates and Instagram integration, it takes only a few taps to send a newsletter specifically showcasing a single item or deal. After selecting a photo, a "campaign" screen asks for a link (where readers can purchase the product), a title, and a message. Next, senders choose between the three possible looks. After selecting a template, existing mailing lists hooked up to a user's MailChimp account pop up. Choose a group, hit send, and the email shows up in subscribers' inboxes just like a campaign that took five times as long on a computer.
The ideal use case is for retailers who want to highlight a single photogenic product, like a new shipment of a popular shirt or a flash sale on a must-have piece of jewelry. It's also handy for running something like a promotion of the day.
"It's a nice complement to something like Instagram, which a lot of our customers are already using," DiCristina added. On Instagram, retailers can advertise items in a beautiful, scrollable way, but it's not a purchasing venue. MC Snap takes the appeal of Instagram—quick and visual—and turns it into a marketable newsletter platform. Each of the templates feature a large, clickable picture with space for text below.
What Snap offers in convenience, it lacks in customization. "It's a lot more limiting in terms of that experience," admitted DiCristina. Again, there are only three templates, compared to the many options available to desktop users. And, while it hooks up to any existing email groups, the app doesn't allow MailChimp users to create new email lists. There are also no analytics built into the app, although MailChimp has plenty of apps to track clicks and engagement. Snap is more of a companion than a replacement.
Still, if DiCristina could figure out a way, he would only use Snap. "The experience is beautiful," he said. "You drop your photo in, you write a subject line, you write the blurb. It's super simple."