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MAY 27, 2010

It's the monkey, I guess

Despite the fact that I'm a pretty rational person—I read Consumer Reports before buying a vacuum cleaner, check Snopes.com before forwarding an email warning, always wear a seat belt—I'm using two online services that have monkeys as part of their name, and monkey mascots.

Monkey logoA couple of days ago I described how SurveyMonkey.com was helpful in doing my sabbatical research. I'm very happy with it.

MailChimp logoYesterday I needed to send out a batch of emails—more research—so signed up with MailChimp.com. I knew of a competitor called ConstantContact.com, but that sounded so...boring.

I'm happy to say that after reading about both services, MailChimp's free plan sounds way better than ConstantContact's least-expensive $15/month plan.

After setting up a contact list and creating my first email campaign in about an hour, MailChimp seems very user-friendly. The reports provided are detailed and useful, giving not only my own statistics but offering comparisons with the average in my industry. For example, I know that 50% of the emails I sent were opened, much better than the "Arts and Artists" average of 18%.

Part of the allure of all this monkey love is how the light-hearted names and logos make tasks that could seem intimidating more approachable. More importantly, in both cases the websites are easy to use, the services well thought out, the customer service good and the prices fair.

So if this is monkey business, I'm all for it.

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