Using MailChimp to Promote Your Business
It’s been a while since we've written an article about the power of the email newsletter campaign, so if you would like to refresh your memory, here are some more articles on how to pitch your email newsletter for your target audience. 10 things your clients want from an email newsletter and How email campaigns can work for your business
So now it's 2015, is the newsletter campaign still alive and kicking?
We’d say a resounding yes, and here’s why:
- Email marketing remains a powerful tool for promoting your products and services online
- Email marketing can be fully integrated with your social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook, driving extra traffic to your website
- If you have a blog, the email newsletter is still a primary way of getting clients and potential clients to click through to your website: and once they have found useful information, they’re more likely to do a return visit and recommend you to their friends, colleagues, families and associates
- Email marketing campaigns allow you to view who has opened your communications: this gives you a much clearer picture than printed flyers or leaflets: and you can use the results of analytics to adapt and develop your strategy for next time. You can gauge what works and what doesn't work so well and constantly improve your campaigns to target the audience you wish to engage
- Using analytics to gauge which of your customers is purchasing more products and services, you can use the MailChimp VIP application to send a special thank you offer to specific segments of your mailing list, targeting particular members of your online audience
- MailChimp is versatile and allows you to do so many things: including segmenting your mailing list if your company operates in various locations, and automating person-centred messages to be sent on special occasions such as customers’ birthdays or anniversaries. The latter application means that your target audience will feel that you care about them and their needs, and see them as individuals
- MailChimp works on a wide range of browsers, so you can reach a wider audience, including those who only access the internet using mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets
- You don’t need a lot of web development knowledge (if any) to use MailChimp: thus reducing your costs and overheads: MailChimp offers a wide range of user-friendly templates already done for you, which you can customise to your heart’s desire (and according to your proficiency/ timescale)
- If you do have coding knowledge and want to design your own template, MailChimp allows you to do this, and you can save it into your account as a template that you can come back to time and time again, giving your email newsletters a truly unique style and feel
- MailChimp makes it easy to link up to your social media networks: so your customers can keep in touch with you via a variety of channels
So how can you make sure your MailChimp campaign is the best it can possibly be, and engage as many clients as possible?
- Offer a wide range of content: if you have a blog, feature your best, most recent posts. This not only serves to give your subscribers genuine help, but it also showcases your company’s status as experts in your field. Include company and client news: introduce new members of staff, new premises, or you could even focus on wider industry news. You can also use your MailChimp newsletter campaign to showcase a new, or best-selling product or service (eg. ‘Product of the month’). You can also use your campaigns to promote free competitions, coupons and discounts: highlight their exclusivity to make your subscribers feel special, and as though they’re in on something not everyone is party to...
- Send out campaigns consistently: this doesn’t mean you have to commit to sending out a campaign every week. Once a month will do, especially if your budget or time available only allows for it. Make it clear when people subscribe how many newsletters they will receive per month/year, so they know what to expect. And it is wise to stick to this: people are more likely to click that ‘Unsubscribe’ button if they find themselves bombarded with newsletters every verse end. If you do plan to up the number of campaigns, it is a good idea to send your subscribers a courtesy email and ask them how many they would like to receive. And with MailChimp, it’s easy to segment your mailing list: you can send some subscribers ‘One per month’ and others ‘One per week’ depending on their individual requirements
- Abide by subscriber protocol: MailChimp are adamant (and rightly so) that all people entered on your lists have given permission to be sent your campaigns. And it is essential that you offer them the choice to ‘Unsubscribe’ at any time. If they do unsubscribe, you must abide by their decision
- Sending out a preview email campaign before you send it out is a good idea: get a copywriter to check your spelling, check your links to your blog work properly, and it’s also a good idea to check how your images / links / social media buttons display on different browsers and a variety of devices
- Give useful advice: your subscribers need a reason to keep reading. Giving them useful information, such as helpful blog posts, is a great way of keeping your subscribers engaged
- Address them by name: in MailChimp, you have the option to address each person by name. This is a great idea: not only to prevent your campaigns being filtered out by spam alerts, but also to make your subscribers feel you’re addressing them personally
- Use Calls to Action: your readers like to have some indication of what action you would like them to take at the end of every newsletter: whether it’s clicking on a link to read your latest blog posts, apply for a current competition, or sign up to a free webinar or workshop. So use clear, brightly coloured calls to action that display well on a variety of browsers (including mobiles)
- MailChimp is still a great way of connecting to your target audience in an individualised way, allowing you to communicate your latest news, blog posts and social media activity to a large list of subscribers all at once.
- And the best thing? It’s all free! With the templates on offer, once you have learnt your way round MailChimp’s site, preparing a monthly or even weekly campaign is something any business, big or small, can do with a little time and effort.