MailChimp is an email marketing automation platform that lets you create and manage newsletters, marketing campaigns, customer lists, templates, and much more. It’s considered one of the best email marketing tools available for bloggers and small business owners because it’s intuitive, has a user-friendly interface, integrates seamlessly with WordPress, and lets users create HTML templates without having to code. While there are paid versions available, the free version is likely all you need for email marketing success.
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Getting Started With MailChimp
If you’re just getting started with MailChimp, you can create a free account here. While setting up your account, it’s a good idea to connect it to your brand’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts so MailChimp can automatically share your content on those platforms, as well.
Once you have an account, choose a template. No matter which one you choose, there’s plenty of flexibility to make it unique to your brand, including selecting a specific theme. You can also create a template yourself, but this is recommended only if you’re highly skilled in HTML.
Once you’ve chosen a template, add a high-resolution logo along with any content or images you want to include. You can then use MailChimp’s interface to make changes to each section, including fonts and formatting. After saving your template, preview and test it to see exactly what it will look like when it’s sent, both on the desktop and a mobile device. Once you’ve named and saved it, you can then use the template as much as you want by replicating it (and you can create as many templates as you wish!).
Within MailChimp’s Content Studio, you can also access files you’ve added to templates, as well as product images and GIFs to make emails more engaging.
Setting Up Your Email Audience
Before you can start sending emails (up to 2,000 subscribers at a time using MailChimp’s free version), you'll need to add a contact list of recipients. You can either import a CSV file or copy and paste the list. Then, you can manage your audience.
Before importing any list, make sure your contacts have something in common as it relates to your brand. It’s a good idea, for example, to make one list of contacts who haven’t made a purchase with your business and another list for those who have. This way, you can tailor your emails individually to each group.
Handily, MailChimp does a great job of helping you build audiences through your website by letting you embed, for example, a sign-up form on your website. When visitors add their email address to the form, MailChimp will automatically add them to your audience list.
It's also possible to build a landing page within MailChimp to automatically collect subscriber emails. This feature includes a customized URL for tracking purposes and lets you drive traffic from places like Facebook and Google if you’re running a pay-per-click campaign.
Reporting and Analysis
MailChimp’s free version also lets you analyze reports on any email’s performance for specific audiences, which are also called segments. With reporting, you can see how each email performed, allowing you to analyze:
- Total number of subscribers
- Open rate (the percentage of recipients opening an email based on how many received it)
- Clickthrough rate (the percentage of recipients clicking a link based on how many received the email)
You can easily view, print, and download reports for additional insights, including orders, total revenue, number of users who unsubscribed, and number of emails that bounced. For more tips on customizing emails for higher engagement, click here.
To bridge the gap between MailChimp’s reporting features and Google Analytics’ more in-depth analysis, use UTM tracking. This is a unique code added to the end of your URL so you can better track conversions and understand your audience. To do this, copy and paste the URL from your campaign into Google Analytics’ Campaign URL Builder to track an email campaign’s behavior, which can also include social media performance if your accounts are linked.
To see how your links perform, click Acquisition within Google Analytics, then click Campaigns, All Campaigns, Source, then Medium. Search for MailChimp as the source to see how many visitors came from the email, the bounce rate, how many pages they looked at, how much time they spent on your site, and whether they converted.
Email Best Practices
As part of your digital marketing efforts, it’s a good idea to follow these best practices when using MailChimp or any email marketing platform:
- Test different templates and themes to determine which are best for your brand
- Create multiple lists so there are different audiences for different types of emails
- Use strong content and high-resolution imagery in each email
- Add links in each email to drive traffic to your website
- Include links to relevant social media accounts
- Make sure each email has a call to action
- Use UTM tracking for in-depth analysis beyond what MailChimp provides
- Conduct A/B testing by sending two versions of the same email but with subtle changes, like different headlines
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Streamlining Email Marketing
MailChimp offers several options when it comes to email templates, themes, reporting, and analysis – all for free. The automated email marketing platform is simple to navigate and lets you customize and save each campaign, use different strategies to grow your audience, and analyze each campaign’s performance. It’s streamlined email marketing at its best. You create the content and choose the audience, then let MailChimp do the rest.
To sum it up, check out the below video on the MailChimp tutorial -
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