Mastering Mail Chimp

With the explosion of email marketing in the current world, it is great to see people embrace email marketing’s ROI and the powerful marketing tool it has become to business owners. E-marketing (or email marketing), is the marketing of products or services via email. Specifically the term is usually used to refer to sending emails with the purpose of enhancing the relationship with those on your database by providing them with relevant content, and a better understanding of your area of expertise and key business offerings.

There is some recent research that demonstrates the power of email marketing. One interesting stat – there were 3.146 billion email accounts worldwide at the end of 2011 (Radicati Group) and 85% of worldwide internet users access email.email-mktg

Companies and individuals considering doing e-marketing must make sure that their activities do not violate spam laws which is why you need to fully understand the parameters in which you can work with. That is why I highly recommend you use a service like Mail Chimp or Constant Contact that is specifically designed to be compliant. Mail Chimp is a free service at entry level and therefore highly sought after by small business and large corporations.

Did you realise that more than 70% of people who leave your website will probably never come back unless they buy something from you, or successfully subscribe to your email list.

Email is private, personal, and by far the most direct form of communication on the internet. Most people check their inbox more than their social media streams. An email will stay in the inbox unless a user takes action on it. On social media, your message will get buried into user’s timeline. Most people can read an email on their mobile devices and is less intrusive than a text message.

With Mail Chimp, It is the most affordable for beginners because it is free as long as you send less than 12,000 emails per month or have less than 2,000 subscribers. This means you can get started right away without paying anything to subscribe.

Getting started:  Log onto Mail Chimp website and fill in the account details as follows:mailchimp-create-list

You will then receive an email to verify your account. Once you have done this, you can start with the a list of recipients.

On your MailChimp dashboard, click on ‘Create A List’ button.

You will be asked to provide information like the name for your email list, an email address where users can reply to, a reminder for people how they got on your list i.e. you have made contact with my business and wanted to stay informed or we met at a trade show etc. Fill the form and click on the Save button.

Now you have successfully created your first email list. Import names from a .csv file (spreadsheet) and systemically go through each field to save as required.

Let’s start your first email – known as a campaign.  First you need to provide a name for your campaign. Click on the Next button to continue. Be careful to see the difference between the name of your campaign and the subject line – one is visible to others and the other one is not.mailchimp-email-templates

Then you may want to customise your own template or use a pre-designed one in Mail Chimp. MailChimp comes with many different options for that. Choose the one that best suits you by clicking on the select button next to it.  If you are unsure, then I recommend you start easy with the first one, 1 column only. MailChimp will allow you to fine-tune your email design. You can add your logo, a header image, change the text to your business branding etc. Think about setting your social media links, website link and even an ‘email me’ link. Make sure the sender’s name is recognised by the recipient or they will tend not to open it.

Once you have written your email campaign, then go to ‘preview and test’ and send yourself a test email.  I recommend that you send it to two different email addresses as it will look different on most domains i.e. Gmail or Hotmail compared to a business domain email address.

It is probably the most important step in designing your campaign because once you have sent your email, the word is out there and you can’t rescind it.

An email doesn’t have to be too lengthy, but to have value it needs to be relevant and include either links to your website or a call to action button.arrow1-right-red

You can also schedule your email campaign to send out at the optimum time when you recipients are most likely to be interested in reading it. If you are a leisure time business then sending an email on a Friday night or Sunday night may make sense whereas a business advisor would want their email sent out first thing on a working day.

If you find the whole Mail Chimp and E-marketing daunting task or having problems, then ask me about training or managing your marketing for you.