Learning how to use MailChimp effectively is essential for businesses in the competitive digital marketing landscape. With the potential to generate more leads from email campaigns, companies must learn how to optimize their campaigns using this platform to stay ahead.
MailChimp allows you to create campaigns tailored to your target audience, track the performance of each campaign, and save time by automating processes.
Its powerful features and analytics allow you to easily create more engaging campaigns and increase ROI.
This blog post will provide a blueprint for mastering MailChimp in 2023, from understanding the basics to getting the most out of advanced features.
MailChimp: A High-Level Overview
Understanding how to use MailChimp is about first learning the basics. Usually, for every $1 you spend on an email marketing campaign, you can expect a return on your investment of $36. That's better than other digital marketing tactics.
Before you begin using a free MailChimp account, it's crucial to understand how the platform works and what it can do for you. You should be familiar with signing up for a free account, creating email lists, and setting up automated campaigns.
Additionally, you should understand the types of marketing emails that MailChimp users can send.
MailChimp is an all-inclusive platform that helps you interact with your customers, clients, and stakeholders. Their marketing approach emphasizes healthy contact management, visually appealing campaigns, and data analysis.
Here's what you should know:
- MailChimp is a cloud-based program, so you don't need to download any extra software. Instead, create plain text email campaigns, embed forms on your WordPress site, and send a welcome email to all your new subscribers.
- Need advice about using their tools and features? MailChimp has created comprehensive online resources, including searchable guides and tutorials, that can provide all the needed help.
- If you're a new user, you're eligible for advanced 1:1 assistance through an onboarding specialist. To learn more about this valuable service, look at the About Assisted Onboarding page on MailChimp's website.
- As a comprehensive marketing platform for SMBs, it has evolved to include eCommerce tools, CRM features, website hosting capabilities, and design flexibilities.
- MailChimp can elevate your marketing campaigns with revolutionary Artificial Intelligence capabilities, which can assist you in optimizing strategies.
Pros of Using MailChimp
- Free to Start – With MailChimp, you can kickstart your email campaigns without spending a penny, thanks to their free plan. You get up to 500 email contacts and 1,000 monthly sends a month.
- The Lindy Effect – This effect states that the longer something has been around, the longer it will continue. Therefore, if you utilize MailChimp correctly for your business, you can expect to be in business for years.
- Analytics – MailChimp delivers analytics that gives you an understanding of the performance of your email campaigns. You can get a comprehensive overview of open and click rates, unsubscribed, and other key email metrics.
- Deliverability – MailChimp has one of the highest deliverability ratings of all email marketing providers, so you can be sure your email marketing campaign will end up in the inbox.
- Ease of Use – MailChimp rearchitected the user interface a couple of years ago, and at first, it seemed daunting, but the drop-down menus and clearer direction to building automated emails with the drag-and-drop tools improved the user experience.
Cons of Using MailChimp
- Seems More Generic – MailChimp's software is still aimed at beginners, despite the eCommerce additions and CRM capabilities. MailChimp can build an email list, which is excellent for a beginning business but may not have the niche features that more experienced email marketers need.
- Can Be Overwhelming – Every business should invest in MailChimp, which can be overwhelming since it's an all-encompassing software. There are many features to maximize your email marketing campaign. New business owners aren't usually worried about learning new software just yet.
- It Can Get Expensive – But doesn't every other email marketing service? For example, MailChimp's paid plans start at $13 monthly for 500 contacts, but as your list grows, so do the costs. MailChimp's next cut-off is 1,500 contacts; the paid plan doubles or triples costs.
If you can use MailChimp servers and their features correctly, you're well on your way to establishing a business blueprint, and the cost will be worth it.
MailChimp Key Features
After you sign up, your dashboard will be ready to go. However, before diving into the integrations and exploring everything, take a few minutes to get familiar with this area of your account.
We'll discuss how integrations can help – for now, let's focus on getting comfortable navigating.
As we said, the MailChimp dashboard has everything, but the drop-down menu can initially be overwhelming.
MailChimp simplifies the launch of an email campaign. The workflow may not be ideal for everyone since they have to fill in the campaign name and additional details before designing their email template.
However, it offers many options regarding design flexibility that will allow you to create beautiful emails.
The MailChimp tutorial shows you the best practices when creating a new campaign. It suggests building a standard email template, automation, and a landing page for selling products or a promotion. You can get into the HTML code, but it isn't necessary.
Then, if one of your campaigns has worked well, you can easily replicate that campaign too.
If you're creating an email, you can:
- Pick a builder: the Classic email builder or a newer one that utilizes AI-assisted tools to optimize your content and increase engagement.
- Create your own MailChimp template from scratch using HTML code.
- Use the templates available for you, or check out the Marketplace
- Use the Creative Assistant that utilizes your brand look to generate a custom template
The Creative Assistant helps you create a custom email template using your brand assets. In addition, it allows you to use AI-powered content recommendations to help boost the performance of your campaigns. With it, you can create custom email templates for your needs to save time.
MailChimp's drag-and-drop builder makes it a breeze to customize your templates with text blocks, social sharing buttons, videos, and images. Plus, you can personalize the fonts, indents, colors, and shades – even spell check. Every detail of the MailChimp template is tailored to your brand.
Furthermore, business owners can utilize the commenting section, which allows them to send test emails to others and get their comments in one place. This standout feature is excellent for collaboration and ensures you reach your audience with the best message possible.
With MailChimp, you can create automated emails and workflows based on a person leaving their cart or subscribing to the same page on your email list. The templates include customer acquisition, loyalty programs, drip campaigns, transactional emails, and notifications.
Be aware that some features, like transactional emails and more specific automation features, are limited to paid plans.
Unsure of how to approach marketing automation?
MailChimp provides simple solutions while still delivering all the must-have features. For example, with their customer journey builder, you can manage how your audience experiences your campaigns.
No matter the complexity of your projects, you'll have total control with MailChimp's select form builder. You can start from scratch or use a pre-built journey when creating email journeys in MailChimp.
We recommend starting with a pre-built journey, as you'll get clean, simple conditions for each campaign that can be replicated as needed.
Some of the more specific automation templates include:
- Rewarding loyal customers
- Cart or browse abandonment
- Purchase follow up
You can build a single email or make opt-in forms for a series of automated emails when you craft an automation workflow. Consider creating one to recapture new subscribers who haven't engaged with your brand lately.
To make the process efficient, configure MailChimp to take care of this action regularly.
In MailChimp, you can easily manage your contacts and segment them from your audience dashboard. This allows you to use merge tags to target each customer or with the right message at the right time.
In addition, you can take advantage of the interest groups, industries, and segments to further refine your target audience.
You can apply tags or labels to contacts based on the following:
- Warm Leads
- Existing Customers
- High-value Customers
- and more
Furthermore, you can create your own tags for a niche audience:
- Affiliate Marketers
- Content Creators
- Digital Marketers
By segmenting your list, you can easily personalize each email to the individual, so you don't waste time sending irrelevant content. It also makes it easier for you to track the progress of specific lists and ensure you're not sending out messages to inactive contacts.
Finally, segmentation uses data already collected and is a great way to test your first campaign. Overall segmentation in MailChimp campaigns will combine up to five conditions and is included in all plans.
However, you'll need a Premium account to manage more advanced segments. Pre-built segments are best for setting up your campaign.
In any case, MailChimp uses Behavioral Targeting, which targets contacts based on what they do within an email, such as read it, click on links, or view images.
In addition, MailChimp's AI-based system automatically moves contacts around multiple lists as they continue to meet or change their behavior. This way, you can always bring content relevant to their evolving interests to your own inbox.
Landing pages are nothing new in marketing, but MailChimp helps you design web pages to collect email addresses and optimize conversions. These pages are designed for lead generation forms and include sections to add text, images, or videos to the form fields to capture more leads.
In addition, MailChimp’s pre-built landing page templates are ideal for new businesses looking to promote their offerings quickly. The flexible builder allows you to customize pages to fit your brand identity.
Once published, these pages can be easily shared online via social media accounts or through another campaign. Moreover, the Creative Assistant and Generative AI tool can optimize your workflow for faster design and less hassle.
If you prefer to stretch your creative legs, you can use the drag-and-drop builder to customize.
Businesses thrive when they understand their customers, and having a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can help.
A CRM will provide valuable insight into your customer's preferences, allowing you to refine or redesign services that meet their needs.
By investing in a CRM system, businesses can ensure long-term success.
A CRM is crucial for small business owners; in fact, 64% of them speak about how impactful they are in reaping the rewards. In all seriousness, they aren't just for large companies; smaller companies with only ten employees use CRMs.
The best time to start using a CRM is when you're just starting your company.
A CRM is functional because it has the following:
- A Hub for Customer Data – Typically, you'll store their contact information, purchase history, business name, and customer service interactions in one central location.
- Tools to Help You Expand – Make your marketing budget go further by using your collected data to learn more about your ideal customer.
- The Capability to Test Campaigns – No CRM is complete without the ability to test campaigns. MailChimp's segmentation, data, and behavioral targeting can gain insights.
- A Connection to Critical Marketing Channels – MailChimp connects you with customers via email, SMS, and social media. As a result, your campaigns can reach the right people wherever they are.
A CRM system provides valuable information in campaign reports to help you cultivate meaningful customer relationships. You'll also maximize customer lifetime value and reach your business's goals.
To find the best CRM for your needs, determine how your business operates and sells to your audience.
- Who's going to use the CRM tools?
- How complex does your CRM strategy need to be?
Discover your audience's marketing channels and ensure your tool integrates with them. Finally, figure out if the CRM can scale your business. In other words, can you add functionality where you need it?
MailChimp has all the CRM capabilities small business marketers need to empower them with insights into their audience.
In the past, businesses had to use third-party services to create surveys and collect data. With MailChimp, you can create surveys to gather essential customer data for your products and services.
With the ability to manage customer data from surveys much in the same way as segments and groups, you can get a better understanding of your customers from the insights provided.
In addition, business owners can integrate created surveys into a new blog post or posts, a marketing email, a landing page, or other marketing channels.
Signup Form Building
When beginning your journey with MailChimp, an essential step is constructing a well-maintained mailing list of customers, leads, and business contacts. It's best to establish one list and expand from there.
If the same contact is associated with multiple mailing lists, that contact will be counted as a separate subscriber for your overall subscriber limit since these lists aren't linked.
Like any email marketing software, you can use standard formats when building forms. With MailChimp, your business can create forms using the following services:
- Using the Form Builder
- Creating a contact or pop-up form for your customers
- Embedding forms onto your blog, site, or eCommerce store
- You can even use form integrations
Why Should Businesses Use MailChimp?
As we mentioned, email marketing is the best way to start if you're trying to establish a blueprint for your new and expanding business. It can be a solid beginning and long-term marketing strategy that can bring tangible results.
MailChimp is the ideal marketing platform for businesses at all levels of their journey because of its simplistic yet customizable experience.
You can start simpler with a free plan as you build experience, and as your business evolves, you can add more advanced capabilities.
More specifically, you can enjoy the following:
- MailChimp's Ever-Expanding Knowledge Base – MailChimp's library of support articles is the perfect solution to any questions. If you prefer self-searching, these articles are highly detailed, with plenty of visuals and references to guide you. While 24/7 support is only available for paid plans, free subscribers can find articles seasoned throughout the dashboard.
- Ease of Use – If you're a newcomer, MailChimp offers an ideal platform for getting up and running. With its user-friendly in-app copywriting, step-by-step approach, and checklist-style UI, it's like having your own personal mentor as you learn.
- Suggestions and Tips – As you explore each MailChimp feature, the software consistently offers ways to optimize your campaigns and increase their potency. One example is segmented lists – a valuable strategy for new email marketers lacking marketing knowledge.
We could continue mentioning the reasons to love MailChimp, but we'll save that for another article. We should discuss the pricing factor – one of the few true downsides to using MailChimp.
So, let's go ahead and rip off the band-aid now.
MailChimp's pricing isn't the most cost-effective, especially when you're just starting out with email marketing and can't afford to spend much money on larger email lists.
But, when you look at the features available in their paid plans, such as behavioral segmentation, more contacts and sends, and more list-building, it's worth considering.
Unfortunately, if you want access to some of the more advanced features and more than 500 contacts, and 1,000 monthly emails, you'll have to pay.
We're only discussing the Marketing Plans; MailChimp offers Website or eCommerce plans and add-ons.
- For 500 Contacts – If you're trying to save money, a typical free plan gets you 1,000 emails a month, one account seat, and one audience type. In addition, you'll have access to signup forms, the CRM, the Creative Assistant, Content Studi, and basic email templates.
- For 2,500 Contacts – Now you've expanded your business and can swing the cost of adding more advancements and functionality to your campaigns. If you're in this situation, upgrading to the Essentials or Standard plan is best. Both provide advantages. For example, businesses get 25,000-30,000 sends a month, 3-5 account seats, and other enhanced features.
- For 10,000+ Contacts – As an enterprise, you'll want to use the Premium plan to get the best value for your investment. Starting at $350/month,” gulp,” you'll receive 150,000 emails monthly, unlimited account seats and audiences, multivariate testing, advanced segmentation, phone support, and MailChimp's most sophisticated tools.
As your business evolves and grows, utilizing MailChimp's higher-tier plans is something to look forward to, but there's no need to rush.
Instead, start with the basics and work your way up as you learn to build a larger customer base.
MailChimp Key Integrations
Everyone can access its expansive library of 250+ app integrations regardless of your plan. However, it's clear that not all businesses are the same; each has its own way of operating.
That's why MailChimp syncs up with the apps you already use in your software stack without causing upheaval and chaos.
These integrations help you save time by streamlining data, automating workflows, and eliminating manual tasks, so you can ensure your campaigns are always as effective and profitable.
Take your marketing further with MailChimp no matter your industry:
- eCommerce – QuickBooks, Shopify, Stripe
- Customer Support – Zendesk, EZ Texting, Zoho Desk
- Developer-friendly Tools – CMC, WordPress, MINDBODY
- Converting Leads – Copper CRM, ConvertFlow, Pipedrive
- Survey Data – Jotform, LinkedIn Lead Gen, SurveyMonkey
- Design Tools – Photoshop, Canva, Unsplash
The above is a small sample of what is available. MailChimp's integration library can continue forever, and they're always adding more to their list.
Alternatives to MailChimp
MailChimp has been around since 2001. They know what they're doing and have kept the product updated and in tune with today's changing marketing landscape.
However, they aren't the only email service provider nor the best choice for every business.
ActiveCampaign is a formidable option, having been on the marketing scene since 2003 and consistently producing results that impress even veteran marketers. As a result, it has earned its place as an automation powerhouse.
MailChimp and ActiveCampaign offer email creation, landing page builder, and marketing automation services.
All these functions are streamlined into one simple platform, so you don't have to worry about a complicated process. It's understandable why this small business brand has adopted this approach since they assume their customers are likely entrepreneurs wearing multiple hats.
In the end, here's how ActiveCampaign and MailChimp compare:
- MailChimp is more user-friendly and intuitive yet still lacks some advanced features.
- MailChimp leverages Artificial Intelligence to make its marketing features even more powerful, while ActiveCampaign doesn't.
- ActiveCampaign offers additional features and benefits when choosing a paid plan – no free plans are available.
- ActiveCampaign equips users with comprehensive marketing automation capabilities to streamline and amplify their campaigns.
- Both platforms boast highly sophisticated integrations that deliver remarkable capabilities.
For a small business, AWeber and MailChimp are two of the best email marketing tools. AWeber paints itself as more small business-friendly than other popular email marketing tools and targets simplicity and small business use cases. On the other hand, MailChimp is an all-in-one platform.
In the end, here's how AWeber and MailChimp compare:
- If you want complexity – MailChimp is the go-to choice for businesses aiming to achieve more intricate email workflows and reporting.
- If you crave simplicity – If you've been frustrated and overwhelmed trying to learn a new email marketing system, AWeber is here to make your life easier.
- AWeber has better support options – If you want a more personalized experience, AWeber is the way to go. All plans include 24/7 access to live chat and email support staff—plus phone assistance during regular hours.
- When you want more features – AWeber provides straightforward and user-friendly dashboards. However, MailChimp's better plans contain superior features that can benefit some teams, especially if automation is essential for you.
- More equals more money – Based on the Free, Essentials, and Standard Plans, AWeber beats MailChimp regarding cost. However, MailChimp's higher-tier plans are worth considering if you need more features and automation capabilities.
Omnisend has become a go-to email marketing service for many small businesses, mainly in eCommerce. Omnisend provides small business owners with a great email platform to help them automate their marketing campaigns.
MailChimp is also recognized as a powerful email marketing platform, providing users with many features and an easy-to-use system.
Omnisend combines email, SMS, and other channels into a single platform. Compared to MailChimp, Omnisend offers more eCommerce features, including an integrative shopping cart recovery, a product picker, a Wheel of Fortune prize game, and native discount codes.
In the end, here's how Omnisend and MailChimp compare:
- Customer service – Omnisend is the clear winner. It offers dedicated customer service and tutorials to help you get up and running quickly. MailChimp's customer service is limited in comparison.
- If you need more eCommerce features – Omnisend offers more features tailored to eCommerce companies, such as the shopping cart recovery tool and the product picker.
- MailChimp is an all-in-one platform – MailChimp is an excellent email service provider for businesses needing more advanced features, such as automation and segmentation, CRM, AI-enabled tools, and more.
- Omnisend is cheaper – Omnisend is a great value for money compared to MailChimp, especially if you are a small business.
- Best Email Marketing Software in 2022 (Ranked & Reviewed) – Need an alternative email platform?
- Double Your Success With These 10 Tips on B2B Email Marketing – Get your campaigns popping.
- What is GDPR Email Marketing? (GDPR Made Simple) – Don't forget about GDPR and CCPA.
How to use MailChimp Successfully Wrap-up
No matter which email marketing platform you choose, understanding how to use MailChimp successfully is essential for a successful email campaign. MailChimp works wonders for small businesses and has simple yet expansive features you can use to run your campaigns and grow over time.
In addition, when exploring MailChimp, new business owners can see the carefully crafted help articles, tips, and tricks consistently offered throughout the app. At the end of the day, MailChimp's comprehensive email marketing platform should not be overlooked.
In addition, as one of the only platforms employing AI, MailChimp is a great fit for anyone looking to make their workflows more efficient and learn about email marketing. Compared to others, MailChimp is still a well-rounded choice to start email marketing.