So, Mailchimp is to be acquired by Intuit. It’s now official.
BUT, what does that mean for you?
Here, I predict where Intuit will take Mailchimp, and what impact that will have on you, the customer.
Less free stuff
Taking a quick look at Intuit’s primary offering QuickBooks, you’ll see that they offer a free trial, but not a free plan. Freemium was the single key growth strategy for Mailchimp when it was launched back in September 2009. When they launched their ‘free forever’ plan, they skyrocketed way ahead of their competitors. Free has worked as a growth hack for many brands; Friends Reunited only charged £7.50 per year, but along came Facebook. You may also remember Google giving away lots of free storage for Gmail and dominating the personal email market share?
My prediction is that Intuit will continue to offer a freemium plan for Mailchimp, but will reign in the freebies, and encourage you to upgrade at various points in your in-app experience to unlock key features, such as segmentation and automations (now customer journeys).
We mentioned QuickBooks, which has got to play a huge part of the reason behind this acquisition. The key market for QuickBooks is small business, the same as Mailchimp’s, so Intuit will likely be keen to cross-sell and up-sell between the two products.
I also predict that they will bundle in a super-basic free version of QuickBooks alongside it, so you sign up for both at the same time, using Mailchimp’s free forever plan as a lead magnet for QuickBooks.
Refocus on email
Back in 2019, Mailchimp transformed from an email marketing platform into an all-in-one marketing platform, although for most people, Mailchimp is still email.
Intuit will likely take one of two approaches here:
They will continue down this path, enhance the non-email products, perhaps integrating QuickBooks
They will retire some of the newer and less popular products (Stores anyone?) and focus back on the thing that Mailchimp is known for… EMAIL
Since the nuclear fallout between Mailchimp and Shopify, platforms such as Klaviyo have been gaining ground, especially in the e-commerce email marketing space, so Intuit will probably be fairly aggressive in wanting to reinforce Mailchimp as THE email marketing solution for small business.
Will Intuit merge QuickBooks and Mailchimp teams, or keep the companies independent?
Time will tell, but change is inevitable.
Mailchimp also has signed a deal for a massive office complex, moving them from Ponce City Market. With covid affecting everything, and Mailchimp responding with a more flexible approach to working, then it’s easy to see that Intuit may decide to pull out (if they can).
There have been some partners who haven’t greeted the acquisition news in a positive manner. I’m not one of them. I see the move as a positive one. Intuit will want to recoup some of the $4.5bn they borrowed to buy out Mailchimp, and what better way than to tap into the very people who support their customers on a day to day basis.
Back in 2020 (before the world ended) I thought a great acquisition for Mailchimp would be Fiverr or Etsy. A marketplace for small businesses creating and selling stuff.
Post-acquisition? I think a payment processor makes more sense for Intuit, something like Square or SumUp. I would suggest Stripe, but maybe $95bn is a stretch too far for Intuit.