Mailchimp as an email automation tool

How To Use MailChimp in 2022: A Complete Guide

MailChimp…….What is MailChimp? Contrary to what you might think, it’s not a mail delivery service run by smartly dressed chimps. Well, not exactly.😄

MailChimp is a marketing automation tool designed for businesses using emails to reach out to their consumers.

Mailchimp's homepage
Source: Mailchimp

In this article, we will be presenting a step-by-step guide on how to use this tool for your email marketing campaigns.

Before we talk about MailChimp in detail and how to use the platform, you may be wondering why you need MailChimp or any email automation tool for your business. Emails are a big part of our lives as individuals, businesses, and organizations. Think about it critically, how many people do you know without an email address? The answer is not many. 

This is not surprising as a survey by the Radicati Group revealed that more than half of the world’s population used emails in 2019 and it is expected to increase to more than 4.3 billion in 2023. It’s safe to say that a huge chunk of your target market is contained within those statistics. 

Smart businesses and entrepreneurs are integrating email subscriber lists as part of their sales funnel. It helps to communicate their products, services, and offers to their customers.

Introduction To MailChimp – What it is and what it is used for?

Why do you need Mailchimp for your Business Growth?

MailChimp is an all-in-one tool that helps you manage your mailing lists, create customized email templates and automate your email marketing campaigns from start to finish. 

MailChimp is intuitive and easy to use. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know the first thing about sending an email newsletter or if you’re a savvy digital marketer. It’s also perfect for all business sizes; it has a variety of pricing plans suitable to any type of business.

MailChimp is also a great tool for entrepreneurs and small businesses because it is free for up to 2000 subscribers. You can send up to 10,000 emails per month and 2,000 emails daily.

READ MORE: Sendgrid vs MailChimp

How To Use MailChimp

Step 1: Create An Account

Before you can enjoy all MailChimp has to offer, you need to create an account first. You can do this by signing up on the website or through the app on Play Store or Apple store. It directs you to a sign-up form that asks for your email, username, and password.

After filling in these fields, you will receive an email link directing you to activate your MailChimp account. When you have activated your account, you will then be taken through a series of screens asking you to provide more information like your business name, business details, physical mailing address (to comply with legal regulations). If you don’t have a mailing address, you can either use a business domiciliation service or pay to obtain a P.O. box.

MailChimp also gives you the option of connecting your social media accounts and signing up for occasional MailChimp marketing emails. While these are not compulsory, these are useful tips that would come in handy in your email marketing journey.

Once all this is done, you’re all set to begin creating email marketing campaigns for your business.

Step 2: Crafting Your Email Newsletter

To create your first email newsletter, you need to have a subscriber list attached to your MailChimp account. There are three ways to achieve this. 

  • You can import contacts from a .txt or .CSV file
  • You can manually copy and paste from an Excel file
  • The third option is to import your contact list using integrated services

The first and third options are the easiest ways to import your subscriber list to your account. If you don’t have a .csv or .txt file to import contacts from, Mailchimp will do it for you. It has integrations with services like Google Drive, Google Contacts, Salesforce, Eventbrite among others to make the process easier. If your subscribers were previously segmented, they should appear in lists. If not, you can organize your MailChimp contacts into lists.

What are lists?

For MailChimp, a list is where you “store” your subscribers. You can create as many lists as you need. For example, you could create a list of new subscribers to your blog, a list of winners of a giveaway or a list of loyal customers, etc. These lists help you organize your subscribers and target your unique messaging for each of them. 

With this feature, you can send different email newsletters to your new subscribers and your repeat customers. You could send a welcome gift to your new subscribers while you give your repeat customers discounts for being loyal.

For websites that may not have a segmented subscriber list or a lot of subscribers, you’ll have to do it manually. There are lots of ways to boost your number of subscribers including using landing pages and sign-up forms. You can use MailChimp to create pop-up forms and other conversion opportunities on your website or landing page to collect email addresses.

What’s Next?

Step 3: Creating Your MailChimp Campaigns

Now that you’ve imported your subscriber list to your account, you’re ready for the next step: creating a campaign. A campaign can be a single email, a long chain of automated emails, or a mixture of both. To start, begin with a single email.

On your dashboard, simply click on the “Create” button and then select “Email”. You’ll see options to create a regular, automated, plain text email, or to run an A/B test. Select “Regular” and name your campaign. 

Your choice of campaign name is only visible to you and your organization. However, your email subject is visible to your subscribers. Always choose an email subject that will capture their attention and make them engage with your brand. The goal here is to build a relationship with your customers, so it will be a good idea to personalize your subject line and address.

Now we get to the cool part of the process, actually designing your newsletter.

Step 4: Designing Your Newsletter

One advantage of MailChimp is that it allows you to easily create very personalized newsletters. Think about what you want to put in your email and select the most suitable template. Your audience will check your template before they read the content, always pick an awesome template.

To design your newsletter, you can use your template if you have one available or start with one of the attractive MailChimp template options provided. With MailChimp’s drop-and-drag editor tools, you can place your logo, customize your colors, fonts, add links to your social networks and create a design that fits your brand or business. You can also preview how the email would look on mobile devices. 

Once you have selected your template and customized it, you can then add your email copy. In case you are wondering about the content of your email, you can build your email newsletter however you want. In general, there is usually a welcome note, links to the new content you have created, your blog post, your products, tips, etc.

How To Save Templates

After creating your desired template, click “Save as a Template” at the top. This will allow you to use the template again and very easily the next time you want to.

 Once you are satisfied with your newsletter or “Campaign” as MailChimp calls it, click on “Next” at the bottom, check that everything is correct and click on “Send” to send it immediately. If you don’t want to send your newsletter immediately, click on “Schedule”, your email will be sent later.

Congratulations! You have successfully sent your first newsletter.

MailChimp will then present you with some helpful suggestions on what to do next like creating a landing page (for special launches, products, offers, etc.), growing your audience with Facebook, and setting up an automated welcome email. An automated welcome email is a really good feature for welcoming new subscribers and introducing them to your business.

Some More Helpful Tips

There’s one key thing that is extremely important to your email marketing campaign, “Merge Tags”. Learning how to use Merge tags isn’t an option if you’re using Mailchimp.

Merge tags are dynamic tokens you can feature and utilize when it comes to crafting your emails to make them look unique and sound more personalized. For instance, instead of your email reading, “Hello New Subscriber” to a new subscriber; with a merge tag, your email will read, “Hello John”. What these merge tags do is pull data from your audience and your account and incorporate them into your emails.

Let me give you a few examples of some merge tags:

*|FNAME|* is a merge tag that stands for your recipient’s first name. As long as you’re collecting your subscribers’ names from the sign-up forms, if you start your emails with “Hey *|FNAME|*“, all of them will receive a friendly email with their name on it. That’s nice, isn’t it? A personal touch makes all the difference.

Here’s another one: Due to anti-spam regulations, you are required to add an unsubscribe link and a mailing address to the footer of your email. The merge tag for the unsubscribe link looks like this: *|UNSUB|* and the merge tag for your address: *|LIST: ADDRESSLINE|* 

There are plenty of Merge Tags you could take advantage of, many of which will show their full potential when it comes to building automation sequences and segmenting your audience into targeted lists.

Please note that when you use merge tags in your email footer or anywhere else, it’s important for you to preview and test the email to see how it appears before sending it to your subscribers.

New Features

MailChimp has released some new features and integrations that have transformed the platform from an email automation tool to an all-in-one marketing solution perfect for entrepreneurs and organizations. Some of these features are free while some are only accessible to paying users.

Content Optimizer

One of these features is the Content Optimizer that helps you improve your email content and layout by comparing your campaigns to email best practices and offering suggestions to make your email copy, image and design look better and resonate more with your target audience.

Website Builder

how to use to Mailchimp to build your website
Source: Mailchimp

You don’t need any coding experience to design a free website with MailChimp’s website builder. The Website Builder comes with a customizable layout, access to millions of royalty-free images, free reports, and analytics, built-in pop-up forms among other useful tools.

READ MORE: How To Find Your MailChimp API Key (A Quick Guide)

MailChimp Customer Journey

Simply put, a customer journey helps you understand your customers’ behavior when they visit your website, the pages they clicked on and returned to, etc. The data gotten from a customer journey can help you predict your customers’ needs and actions based on past actions they took while on your website. It can also help you come up with ways to improve their experience with you and encourage repeat patronage.

MailChimp Customer Journey is divided into phases, which represents the stages that a consumer usually goes through as they are guided to take a certain action. These stages are generally the same across the board for all customers:  Awareness, Acquisition, Onboarding, Engagement, and Advocacy. You can remove or add more stages depending on your company’s objectives. On the MailChimp Customer Journey homepage, you can create and manage your Customer Journey. You have the option to either create your route from the very beginning or use the Explore tab to select from a range of pre-built alternatives.

Though this might seem like a lot of information with some words like “merge tags”, “automation sequence” leaving you scratching your head, MailChimp is an easy-to-use tool with an intuitive user interface and a lot of useful integrations. For any entrepreneur or organization looking to automate its digital marketing campaigns, MailChimp is a great platform to start with.

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