You’re using MailChimp all wrong

You’ll become unstoppable ONLY WHEN you capture enough data to understand what your customers care about most. Learn how to step up your #Mailchimp game.

Mailchimp may be pushing out new features at a rate that is impossible to keep pace with; however, before the flurry of updates, many had only begun to scratch the surface of the email platform’s capabilities.

With a customer base that ranges from recreational recipe sharers to enterprise agencies, Mailchimp faces the difficult task of ensuring its features are accessible and uncomplicated for new businesses while capable of meeting the requirements of a marketing guru.

There’s just one problem; if you cast a net wide enough, you’re sure to hit a snag. Business owners that lack deep marketing experience have misidentified the vast majority of options as professional tools and narrowed their usage to the bare essentials: list management and campaign creation.

If you’re a Mailchimp customer, here are five steps you should take to elevate your email marketing initiatives.

Email Authentication (0:55)

There is a multitude of factors that impact inbox delivery. Few are critical as sender authentication. Have you ever questioned how your email provider identifies illegitimate PayPal emails and protects you from a phishing attempt? That is sender authentication at work.

This process signals to email providers that you have given Mailchimp permission to send on your behalf.

Hidden Form Fields (2:55)

Hidden fields are not visible to subscribers during sign up, allowing you to include valuable information in form submissions without additional input from the visitor. Popular use cases include passing opt-in/coupon offer data, lead source, and essential elements for conversion rate optimization. The topic deserves a dedicated post to cover the possibilities responsibly; however, if you find yourself creating a separate list for each offer or customer persona, the solution to streamlining your list building lies in hidden fields.

Subscriber Suppression (6:53)

Quality over quantity is a phrase that’s all too familiar. While commonly used in matters of personal choice, in this instance, the decision can determine whether your email receives inbox or spam placement.

Email providers are engaged in an ongoing war against spam. Assuming the role of gatekeepers, the providers protect their users from receiving unwanted or unsolicited emails. How, though? In addition to verifying sender authentication to block spoofed emails, providers evaluate the following to determine your reputation.

  • Are their users opening your emails?
  • Are you sending emails to non-existent inboxes?
  • Are your emails generating a large number of complaints?
  • Are you sending emails to disengaged users?

The best list-management strategy considers each of these factors, signaling to the email provider your immediate priority of sending content solely to subscribers whose actions indicate an interest in hearing from you.

Automation/Workflow Unenrollment (11:37)

Nurturing a subscriber in hopes a key action takes place is the purpose of any automation workflow. If the workflow’s objective is to lead to a purchase, ideally, you wouldn’t continue asking for the sale after the action has occurred. In the worst-case scenario, a customer with a recent purchase receives a discount code after paying the full price.

Oops, my bad.

A well-planned workflow is a helpful resource that can automate repetitive processes, but let’s be clear, no workflow is better than one assembled in haste. During your planning stages, identify all the objectives, actions, and events that can lead to the workflow becoming counterproductive.

Integrations Directory (14:00)

To say Mailchimp’s integration directory is underutilized would be grossly understated. The platform natively integrates with hundreds of apps (thousands thanks to Zapier), making easy work of the synchronization of data from your favorite solutions. Integrate your payment processor or shopping solution to segment your high-value customers, your CRM to target leads at a particular sales stage, or a survey tool to increase the customer experience. The integrations directory can be a rabbit-hole. Determine the data that is relevant to your goals and stick to integrating the apps that are capturing the information.

Following these five steps, combined with responsible lead acquisition, is sure to improve your email initiatives. If you’re facing challenges with any of the steps, you’re encouraged to schedule a call for immediate troubleshooting or advice.

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