How to use Mailchimp for email marketing

Is Mailchimp easy to use? Most of our clients think so. While many of our clients have us manage all their email marketing, others just have us help them with the initial setup, and then they take care of the ongoing work themselves.

If you’re a DIYer, how do you actually use Mailchimp for email marketing? The key is to send out helpful information to your audience consistently and be sure they know the problems you solve.

Here are the steps to do that in Mailchimp.

Set up your account

Not surprisingly, the first thing you should do is set up your account. With Mailchimp, that starts with creating an account. Don’t worry, it’s free initially! It can be free forever, but you may eventually want to upgrade to a paid account.

Once you’ve created your account, it’s time to make your first audience. That’s Mailchimp’s term for your email list, although you can technically use it for more than just an email list. Decide what information you want to store for each subscriber, then use that information to create your Mailchimp-hosted signup forms.

At this point, you want to be sure you have a mailing address you can add to your Mailchimp account, as they require that. You can also decide if you’re going to make use of tags.

Next, create an email template that you’ll use regularly. This is where you can determine what types of emails you’ll send out most often, then set up re-usable templates you can utilize as a starting point each time you send out that type of email.

Set up your first campaign

After your account is all set up, it’s time to set up your first campaign. Each email you send out is referred to as a campaign by Mailchimp.

If you’re feeling ambitious, start with creating a drip campaign of automated emails that go out over the first 6-12 months a subscriber is signed up. At the minimum, be sure to create a single welcome email that lets them know what your emails will be about.

Next, add what I like to call “pity subscribers.” That will be the initial batch of people in your audience. It may include family, friends, and coworkers. It’s people who want to support your effort but aren’t necessarily part of your target audience long-term.

Then pick the type of email you want to send out, start with the appropriate template you created, and make your first email campaign!

Of course, the key is to send out emails consistently, not just do a one-and-done. For most small businesses, I recommend monthly, twice a month, or weekly. The more often your target audience thinks about the services or products you provide or the problems you solve, the more often you should send your email campaigns.

Build your audience

Assuming you’re continuing to send out emails consistently, now is the time to start building your audience. Here are some tips for increasing your audience on an ongoing basis:

  • Add a signup form to your website
  • Add a lead magnet to your website
  • Email potentially subscribers directly
  • Ask clients, customers, and potential clients and customers if they’d like to receive helpful information
  • Run giveaways

Of course, those are just a few ways to build your audience. Be sure to continue to explore options, and you’ll find more and more success!

Sound overwhelming? We love helping clients marketing with Mailchimp. Whether you need help getting started or want someone to manage it all for you on an ongoing basis, we would be happy to talk!

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