Mailman does not intend to compete with services like Mailchimp. FWIW, my tai chi teacher uses Mailchimp (I’ve helped him with it) and it’s a great service. But Mailman is *software* primarily, not a service, and one primarily geared toward open discussions and collaborations. It provides good one-way (i.e. announce) type lists, but it’s not designed for tracking response rates on high volume commercial-like emails, and has no composition or marketing tools built in.
As a software library and system, it *could* provide a good framework for building such a thing, although I suspect there’s a lot of work that would need to be done. Mailman 3 would provide a much better basis for that work than Mailman 2 due to its modularity. But that was never Mailman’s main purpose in life. It was born of connecting a (now famous) band to its fans, and quickly reached maturity as an open discussion forum, and that I believe is where it’s main strength lies. To the extent that other use cases make Mailman a better platform, we’re certainly open to ideas and suggestions. E.g. improving the pluggability is a major goal (of mine) for the GSoC encryption project, even if encrypted mailing lists don’t become an official feature. I’d love to have a robust add-ons ecosystem where such things can be supported by community members.