Better emailing with Mandrill

By 2nd September 2014 August 11th, 2017 Technology & Business Intelligence
Mandrill

Chances are your website is sending the occasional email to your members/users or customers. Things like invoices, welcome messages and confirmation emails.

You probably have analytics set up on your site and love tracking the visits, clicks and time spent on pages. And when the boss asks, “How many people have viewed our ice-bucket challenge video? ”, you can quickly respond with some neat stats about how it’s trending in Brazil with 10000 views.

Well why not have some analytics associated with your emails? Mandrill from the guys at Mailchimp offer just this and much more. Let’s, at a low level, go through some of the benefits Mandrill can offer you.

But before we dig in let’s address the elephant in the room, the price. Well, you’ll be pleased to know it’s free for up to 12k emails per month. Pretty good deal right? After that the pricing is still reasonable.

Price# Emails
Free12k emails per month
$0.20/thousandnext 1 million per month
$0.15/thousandnext 5 million per month
$0.10/thousandremaining emails

source: https://mandrill.com/pricing/

With that out of the way let’s look at all the “email goodness” you’ll get when you install Mandrill.

Reports

As you log in to your Mandrill Dashboard you’ll see a quick overview of your emails sends. Stuff like the average opens and click rate, bounces and sending volume.

Mandrill lets you quickly see where your emails are being sent to with a nice geographic map of the world, highlighting the countries with the most activity.

mandrill-reports

Not only where they are going but what email clients and operating systems are popular with your audience. This is especially helpful when creating email templates. This is a bugbear for a lot of developers as email clients are somewhat fickle when it comes to rendering emails. What looks great in Gmail might not work in Outlook. These stats can help decide which email client to favour.

There are a bunch of other statistics you can look at but the only other major one I want to mention is the URL tracking. This means you can view the clicks on a URL that was within an email. Also the unique and total clicks.

Branding/Templates

Mandrill handles the email templates which decide how your emails will look. Much of the pain and heartache that is normally associated with this has been taken care of because the team at MailChimp have made sure all the CSS is beaten into submission.

The great thing is that you can apply different email templates to different emails based on the actions that said email is derived from. So, if a user completes a registration form the welcome email can display differently to say that of the forgotten password email. Really great stuff.

To get inspired and kick start your templating I’d recommend checking out some great resources from MailChimp.

Speed and reliability

Mandrill is fast! They have servers all over the world so sending emails through their servers is a no brainer.

It’s not a good look when someone signs up for membership on your site and they have to wait a few minutes before they receive the activation email. Even worse… the email is deemed spam and placed in the junk folder. Which brings us onto the next point of email goodness.

Minimise the threat of ending up in the junk box

Luckily Mandrill have a spam test tools to help you minimise the possibility that your emails might end up in the junk box. This does however cost $1.00 per test but well worth it.

A report is available to you after running the test which can be invaluable when creating content for your next email content.

Resending

mandrill-resend

Unfortunately some emails do bounce or fall into the deep, dark realms of the internet. Not to worry, if this has happened you can easily resend the email to your user with just a click of the button. Although a simple feature this can be a life saver when you have a customer that is in desperate need of an email.

Conclusion

Setting up Mandrill on your website can save you a lot of trouble and give you some much needed insight into the emails being sent from and to your website. The data you get from the reports Mandrill generates can be extremely valuable and you can rest easy that your emails are going to reach your customers, clients or members.

If you would like more information or would like us to set Mandrill up on your site please drop us a line, either over phone or email.