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The Long Forgotten Mailchimp Is Trying To Suck Up Facebook Now
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While MailChimp has made its name as an email marketing tool, the Atlanta company is branching out into other areas of digital advertising, starting with a feature launched on Thursday that lets customers buy and manage Facebook ads through the platform.
That means that MailChimp’s 15 million users—many of them small e-commerce businesses using the service to communicate with their own customers—will also be able to reach audiences through Facebook without having to separately log in to the social networking site to manage and track ad campaigns.
"If you use Facebook’s web interface, it’s actually kind of difficult," says MailChimp CEO Ben Chestnut. "We take away a lot of the steps, a lot of the minutiae, that Facebook has in its interface."
In the future, the company plans to add integrations with other ad systems, likely including other social networks and search engines, Chestnut says. The move is part of a broader push by MailChimp to provide easy-to-use marketing tools particularly aimed at small online businesses.
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MailChimp's Facebook ad-buying interface
Last year, MailChimp began to enable e-commerce clients to add data-driven product recommendations to their marketing emails, which Chestnut says boosts participating customer revenue by an average of 31%. The company offers other commerce-focused features like automated reminder emails when users depart shopping sites with items left in their carts.
MailChimp has even done some early testing of postal mail integration, contemplating features like physical postcards with discount codes linked to email campaigns, he says.
"One day down the road you might see people using MailChimp to build direct-mail campaigns," Chestnut says.

MailChimp worked with Facebook in order to develop the feature, which will let users target ad campaigns based on their existing MailChimp email lists or to audiences developed within the Facebook platform. It will also allow businesses to use Facebook’s "lookalike" audience feature to reach Facebook users similar to their existing customer base.

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