One of our favorite email marketing platforms is MailChimp. The drag-and-drop functionality, automation and other easy-to-use features make MailChimp our go-to, both for our clients and our own email newsletters. Using MailChimp is straightforward; lots of our clients have us set up a few on-brand templates and use them to send emails over the coming months. Even though MailChimp is easy to use, it still has lots of benefits that make it one of our favorite tools!
What is MailChimp?
MailChimp is an email marketing tool that makes it really easy to send on-brand emails to different groups of customers. Features like customizable templates, segmented lists, triggered automations and detailed reports can all be used with just a little bit of setup. MailChimp integrates with digital tools you already use, like online shopping carts, Facebook custom audiences and Google Analytics.
MailChimp stores everything, including contact lists and email drafts, making it the only tool you’ll need for email marketing. You can log on from your computer or the MailChimp app to make changes or look at your last email’s performance. It’s also a very affordable, especially for small businesses with a newer contact list and infrequent newsletters.
The Benefits of MailChimp
MailChimp takes care of the majority of small businesses’ email marketing needs, making it a one-stop-shop. We love that! If we had to choose our favorite MailChimp benefits, these would be it:
- It’s easy for us and our clients to design, build and send emails to the right people at the right time.
- We can connect MailChimp to other programs to integrate email marketing into a digital strategy.
- Automated lead management (including email automations, which are super easy to create in MailChimp) can mean revenue growth of more than 10%.
Using MailChimp’s Features
MailChimp’s tools are designed to deliver email success. Start with a goal for your email, whether it be getting customers excited about an upcoming event, sharing your latest blog posts or encouraging website visitors to return to their abandoned shopping carts. Then, design an email that encourages customers to check out your website, visit your store or finish their online shopping using MailChimp’s features.
If you can, tell a story.
People’s email inboxes and social media feeds are filled with advertising. In our technical, digitally-focused world, your customers crave a human connection. Getting your point across with a story is powerful and makes people more likely to engage with your brand.
Email automations are a great place to tell a story. Welcome new subscribers with a short story about the beginnings of your business or a signature product, include emails that feature customer testimonials and talk about why you love what you do.
Whether you choose to use a single email campaign or an automated series of emails (or a combination of both), there are lots of MailChimp features that can help get your story across. Images, videos (which MailChimp embeds using a screenshot from the video) and text boxes are great tools for letting customers know what you’ve been up to.
Segmenting your email lists into different types of customers can help a story resonate with readers. Group recipients by how recently they purchased a product, how they learned about your company, demographics, geographic location or any other characteristic you’ve collected from your subscribers. In segmented campaigns, open rates are close to 15% higher and the number of clicks doubles!
For example, Parkway is based in Buffalo, but our clients are located throughout the country. If we wanted to share an event announcement that only pertained to local contacts, we could create a segment based on zip code and just send to that segment.
Use a call to action.
Using encouraging text like “Sign Up Now,” “Join Today,” or “Find Out How” to direct users where you want them to go. The call to action should stand out and give your audience a simple and short task to complete. MailChimp’s button content block and options for customizing links in your text are good ways to make a CTA stand out in your email.
Point CTAs to dedicated landing pages.
A landing page is where your client will find themselves after clicking on a CTA. Your stand-out call to action should point readers to a specific landing page that relates to the topic of your email, which increases conversion rate over a more general page. When your clients enter your website, they will find the exact product, blog post or event information they were expecting. This creates an enjoyable user experience.
To track email-driven website visits and purchases, integrate your MailChimp account with Google Analytics (make sure you give each email a specific UTM code) and your ecommerce store, whether you use WooCommerce, Shopify, Magento or another provider.
Craft a compelling subject line.
Think of how many emails you’ve deleted before even opening them. Maybe it was the company that sent the email, or maybe the subject line was a little dull. You only have a few words to grab your reader’s attention and tell them why they should answer your email.
MailChimp helps you write a catchy subject line with a Subject line researcher and quick open rate stats for your last few subject lines. You can also add in emojis, which increase open rates for many businesses. The preview text is what appears in inboxes before an email is opened and can also entice busy customers to check out your email.
One of MailChimp’s coolest features is the ability to test subject lines using the A/B Test option when setting up a new campaign. You’ll create two subject lines and MailChimp will send a portion of your emails with one subject line and another chunk with your second subject line. After the given time frame, the remainder of your list will be sent the email with the subject line with the best open rate.