MailChimp 101 – Ready to start sending emails?
Sometimes large lead-generation systems and CRM programs can be confusing – packed with features you may never want to know about or need to use. The good news, is that there is an easy way to create automated dip campaigns to send emails to your clients. It’s low cost, and provides great customer service. It’s called MailChimp.
MailChimp is an email service provider (ESP) for small to midsize businesses or professionals with a range of communication needs. The program offers a user-friendly interface with capabilities that personalize the experience for both the sender and recipient.
MailChimp provides numerous campaign options and templates to customize for your specific needs. In real estate world, this is especially helpful for you to re-create or re-invent messages going to different client groups. No HTML or CSS coding is necessary to use MailChimp – they’ve got an easy drag and drop structure in place. The process takes practice for email newbies, but is simple overall. We’ve broken it down for you. Let’s get down to business.
Locate and navigate to “Campaigns” in the top menu. Click “Create Campaign” to get started. Select the type of campaign you would like to build. In this case, we’ll start with the most simple, effective and commonly used option: choose “Regular Campaign.” Name your campaign something clear and concise – often creating a naming convention for all future campaigns is the best option. For Example: Topic, Date or Marketing Email, 8/1/17.
Choose your list. This is pretty simple – just select which of your lists you would like to send to from the drop-down menu. Need help importing your lists first? Check out this knowledgebase to help you decide what kind of list you need or want. You can also segment your lists based on any variety of data fields that you import. For instance, you could segment based on client-type, neighborhood, email-status, etc.
Complete your mailing settings. This includes all of the basics: mailing name, subject line, preview line, from name, from email address and tracking. The screenshot below shows the generic options. For most sends, this is all of the information you will need. Make sure the from address is a working email that can be replied to, in the event a client reaches out after receiving an email. Make sure you always track the opens and clicks – this will help you learn about your lists and user engagement!
Now, make it your own! This is where you get to have a little fun. There are a lot of options for what type of template to start with. You may choose from basic templates, themes, featured templates, saved templates (from previous sends), set campaigns, or code your own.
The featured templates can help you as you are just starting out. Those give a design that is based on a specific function or purpose.
Once you have your bearings within MailChimp, you can create a saved template with standardized assets such as your logo, header, and footer. For all future sends or repetitive sends, you can select that saved template rather than starting from scratch each time.
For now, we will select a simple 1:2:1 Column Banded template.
Design based on your personal brand! This is your chance to do some trial and error with the drag and drop functionality. Pull different content blocks (text, images, buttons, social media integrations, etc.) from the right side and insert images and copy to make the email your own. The template you start with is just a jumping off point; customize it to your needs as you move forward. The important thing to remember is that you are bound to the basic template you chose in the last step. If you want to change that set up, you will have to go back and switch templates.
The right panel also offers you styling options per content block. Anytime a content block (image, text, column, etc.) is selected on the left, it’s settings will appear on the right. That’s where you can style based on color, size, linking and more.
Here’s a simple before and after:
You’re almost there! Let’s quickly pause and review what we’ve accomplished. You chose the send list, completed the mailing settings, selected and styled the template. Now you can finally press the “send” button to send now, or you can schedule the mailing for a future send time!
Take it a step further!
There’s a lot you can learn about your audience and client-base from sending emails. It definitely adds value to your brand, and can provide opportunities to build new relationships. Since it’s totally customizable, you can create one-of-a-kind messaging to reach your clients quickly. The more custom content you include in your emails, the more success you will see from those emails. Steer away from over-sending and under-sending; finding the perfect balance is key to building those relationships and adding credibility to your business. As your list grows, you will be required to pay more – this is purely numeric and based on contacts. You can also pay for premium accounts that offer really great features such as automation. There are also options to integrate your Facebook Business Page with MailChimp to add even more value.
If you think you’re ready to dive in even further, reach out! Contact our Director of Media Marketing, Leslie, at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a time to chat.