Next month I will be heading back to beautiful Mallacoota in far East Gippsland to deliver a workshop on Mailchimp. I am really looking forward to showing how easy it is to use Mailchimp, and it got me to thinking about why Mailchimp is perfect for beginners.
If you’ve not heard of Mailchimp before, it is a fantastic and easy-to-use online platform to communicate with your customers. Instead of trying to bulk-send emails from your email program (which is not set up to work this way), you can create lists of your customers/clients/contacts in Mailchimp and send emails that will look good on whatever device the end user is viewing them on. This means the text will be displayed properly – not cut off, not too tiny to read – which means an easier reading experience for the end user.
As modern businesses understand, it is the user experience (or UX), that is central to attracting new customers and keep existing ones coming back for more. You can read more about UX fundamentals in this blog post.
Back to Mailchimp. The great things for small businesses, or small businesses starting up, is that you can use Mailchimp for free until you have more than 2000 contacts on your list. And all you need to start is a name and email address. A lot of businesses collect this information from customers, but then file that info away and don’t do anything more with it. That’s where a tool like Mailchimp can help boost your business.
The team at Mailchimp have also made it easy for you to get started with a series of ready made templates. Here is the starter screen:
You can use any of these as the basis for your own template, and after putting in your logo and social media links, can save it as your own, ready to use whenever you want. You don’t have to come up with the design from scratch, which is perfect if you’re not a graphic designer. How easy is that?
What I think Mailchimp has done extremely well (apart form their catchy advertising), is the user interface. It is very easy to follow the steps to get your first email campaign out there. If you’re not sure what type of email you want to send, you can also be guided by Mailchimp, as there are also templates for 5 different types of campaigns (see below).
Clicking on any of these will provide further options, and for beginners, the easiest to set up is an automation sequence welcoming new customers or clients under the “Connect with your contacts” section. An automation sequence is a series of emails sent at certain times (3 days after first email, 5 days after second email etc) or after particular actions known as “triggers” that the end user completes, such as clicking on a particular link in the email. Sometimes it can be overwhelming to send a whole lot of information about your business at once, so using an automation sequence is one way it can be broken down into more manageable chunks.
After becoming familiar with Mailchimp and how it works, there are many more features worth exploring. You can create specific emails for specific groups of your customers, known within Mailchimp as segments. You can also create Facebook ads right within Mailchimp, and as at 2nd October 2017, Google re-targeting campaigns aimed at those who have visited your website. I think I just may have some more blog posts to write!
Head on over to mailchimp.com now and sign up for a free account to have a look around. You’ll see why Mailchimp is perfect for beginners.