Four Ways MailChimp’s New SMS App Can Work In Your Business

MailChimp, the email marketing tool that allows you to design, send and share newsletters, has launched a complementary app called Gather. It’s an easy SMS alert system for events.

Here’s how it works: You’re running an event and your attendees are given the option to get SMS alerts when they RSVP. Come event day, your keynote speaker is stuck in traffic and things are going to be delayed. Email’s not going to work for an urgent message to your attendees, so this is where Gather comes in. Sending a text to hundreds of attendees is just as easy as sending a text to a friend.

MailChimp says a key aspect of Gather is their commitment to privacy, permission and abuse prevention. When an attendee opts-in for SMS updating, they can rest assured that their phone number will be automatically deleted from the system when the event is over. And when you, the organizer, send a message to all those folks, they don’t see your private cell number. You get a separate number that’s used only by Gather.

The pricing is simple — you pre-pay for bundles of texts. For 500 messages, it’s $18.99. For 2000, it’s $48.99. The app’s available for iOS and Android devices.

If you haven’t thought of a use for Gather yet, MailChimp’s blog has a list of ideas:

  • Meetup Organizers – Are you running a meetup group? Keep your members engaged with periodic text messages about speakers and venues, or poll them for the next topic leading up to the meetup date.
  • Sports Teams – Coaches can ask parents to join a team-specific Gather group to communicate about rain delays, schedule changes, or snack reminders.
  • Schools and Parents – Teachers can use Gather to keep in touch with parents throughout the school year. It’s also perfect for a class parent who’s organizing an event.
  • Real Estate Agents – Realtors can use Gather to notify colleagues or clients about upcoming homes for sale, price changes, or new listings.

Here’s more on how text messaging can help your business from our archives.

MailChimp also announced some new features for their namesake tool. Their new drag and drop editor has some notable improvements. For instance, your newsletter’s footer can now be moved around anywhere, and your previous newsletters are saved to be used as templates for future email campaigns. This functionality is so basic, it’s hard to believe it wasn’t there before.

Has MailChimp helped your business? Have you given Gather a shot yet? Let us know in the comments below!


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Vincenzo Ravina is a writer, journalist and giraffe enthusiast from Halifax, Nova Scotia. You can learn more at his website,, or follow him on Twitter at @RavinaSBT.

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