Email marketing may sound like old-school technology, but it still packs a punch. Unlike social media feeds where a post or message can easily go unnoticed, emails will be seen. Even if the recipient decides not to open your mail, they will see the headline and sender details. It also helps that emails are directed to people who have already shown an interest in what you have to offer.
To manage ad campaigns, email broadcasts, targeted messages, and newsletters, you need a marketing automation system. For sites running on WordPress, I recommend MailChimp, and I’ll give you seven reasons why.
1. User Interface
MailChimp has a simple, good-looking, intuitive interface. Although the platform has a knowledge base to guide you through each process, you can go straight into the basic setup without having to refer to it.
2. Manage subscribers
Importing subscribers from another platform using CSV or a tab-delimited text file is simple. You can segment subscribers into different lists, depending on the trigger that led them to subscribe in the first place. That way, not everyone gets the same email. For instance, people who opt to download your free ebook on healthy eating can get emails about a new recipe book; people who buy your activity tracker can get emails specifically about exercise and smart devices.
3. Auto Responders
MailChimp lets you create an email sequence to automatically send out a message according to an individual subscriber’s activity or the last email that they received. People who purchased an ebook on photography can get emails every other Monday with photography tips. If you have an online course delivered via email, the sequence can be set up such that a subscriber will get an email for module #4, two days after they open the email for module #3.
4. Great Designs
Choose from several templates to create campaigns and newsletters, without having to think too hard about designing. Best of all, you can customize your landing page so everything looks professional. MailChimp also allows you to customize sign-up forms confirmations to include your logo, with colors and fonts that reflect your brand.
5. Statistics & Analytics
With MailChimp, you will always know how many subscribers you have on each of your mail lists and segments. When you send email campaigns, the system shows how many subscribers are opening your mail and how many are clicking the links in it. These statistics are known as open rates and click rates. If your campaign includes an item for sale, you can track how many emails convert to a purchase. Pretty useful information.
MailChimp has an A/B split testing feature that can help you identify what resonates with your audience. This lets you send almost identical emails with one variable, e.g., the date of mailing or the email title. Statistics will show you which variation fared better.
The most critical integration is probably with content management systems. Use the API key in your MailChimp account to link it to your website or other compatible systems you might be using.
For each subscription list and campaign, there’s an HTML code you can copy onto your site to create opt-in buttons for visitors. Here’s what the result looks like on your site:
- Facebook: Do you have an active Facebook page? No need to worry about running separate campaigns because MailChimp integrates with Facebook. Then the stats will show how many people reached your products via email and how many via Facebook.
- Plugins: There are free and paid WordPress plugin
s that allow you to customize MailChimp forms to your heart’s content.
- Landing pages: If you’re serious about optimizing sales campaigns, chances are you are subscribed to a versatile landing-page tool such as Leadpages. You’ll be happy to know that it’s possible to connect your new leads to MailChimp and add them to your email lists.
- And more: MailChimp integrates with Twitter, e-commerce services, Salesforce, SurveyMonkey, and other web applications. Check out the directory of integrations.
MailChimp is free for up to 2,000 subscribers and to send 12,000 emails per month. Not bad if you are just starting out or if you don’t have a long list of subscribers. As you scale up, you can get unlimited emails starting from $20 per month for up to 1,500 subscribers. Plus, there are pay-as-you-go options if monthly payments won’t work for you.
Did I say that MailChimp has been around since 2001, and today sends more than a billion emails a day? For email marketing and mail automation, there are other alternatives with similar features, but these are seven reasons I identified why you might want to consider MailChimp. You could sign up for a free plan and see if it works for you.