Module 4: Growing Your Audience
Getting started with MailChimp
MailChimp is a free email marketing service and is based on the three main tasks of targeted email marketing:
- Manage subscriber lists,
- Build email campaigns, and
- Review campaign reports
MailChimp is not the only email marketing solution available. There are a few to choose from and it usual takes trying each to find which one works best for you and your marketing requirements.
Research available options and make use of any free trials to become familiar with each service.
MailChimp has proven to be at the top of its market, particularly if you have less than 5000 subscribers.
Some other notable email marketing services include:
There are a few rules and regulations you should be aware of when getting started with MailChimp and it is worth ensuring you are across them at the early stages.
Once you have decided on an email marketing service, you will need to create at least one Subscriber List. This is a list of subscribers that will opt-in on your website for your offer.
Tip: Keep your subscriber lists specific, don’t mix them.
If you offer a weekly email newsletter opt-in at the end of each blog post, have subscribers for this placed into a ‘Email Newsletters’ subscriber list.
If you provide special offers to clients who subscribe in an account area of your website, make sure these go into their own ‘Client Offers’ (for example) subscriber list.
Keeping your lists separate make sending campaigns easier and don’t confuse your subscribers when they get an automated email from you.
Setting up automated emails can be done based on an event (a new subscriber) or a trigger (a period of time after subscribing).
Automation is your friend and when done properly can save you time and provide a good user experience for your subscribers.
Some examples of where you would use automation to grow, build and connect with your audience are:
- Sending a welcome message to a new subscriber that informs them of what happens next now that they have subscribed and how they can further connect with you or your business.
- Sending a link to a download a day after a new subscriber has confirmed their email address and have become a subscriber.
In these examples, the emails that are sent can be the same in layout and content and only need to be setup and configured once. Once the trigger has been activated, the email will be automatically sent to the user for you. The content delivered is also being delivered at the right time and in the right context for the user. The content is the same for every user and their automated delivery is in almost all cases, expected to be automated.
Automation should particularly be used where the task to be completed can be set based on rules and actions being completed.
Another example here could be sending a completion certificate once a user has completed all the required modules of an online course. The rules around the certificate being sent have been met and do not require a human to validate any part of the process.
Referred to in an earlier module (Lead Magnet), the gift is what you provide free to those that subscribe or join a mailing list. Also referred to as the ‘opt-in’, it is essentially something of value and a way of saying thank you, thank you for providing your personal details to join our mailing list and allowing us to send you content via email.
Gifts can be used as a way of motivating a user to subscribe, particularly if it has a high perceived value by the visitor to your website.
Some examples of opt-in gifts:
- Free eBook
- Report (or study findings)
- Software trial
- Exclusive membership
- Discount offers
- Premium content
This kind of offering is also often referred to as ‘products for prospects’. It’s a nice, risk free, offer for a potential customer that is not yet ready to do business with you but is willing and ready to find out more or experience what you have to offer. Like Apple offering iTunes free to get a taste of using an Apple product.
Module 4 – Tasks and Actions Worksheet (PDF file)