Many of my clients often ask how they would go about sending out email newsletters to their own customer list. One online service that I’ve been using as have several of my clients is www.mailchimp.com. It’s easy to use, offers a pay-as-you-go payment plan, brilliant for small businesses. It has stacks of excellent features to help you maintain and build your contact lists, create nice looking and effective email newsletters, and has a fully comprehensive campaign tracking and reports facility. Plus is a brilliant way of driving traffic to your website!
Using email marketing, that is keeping in contact with your customers via email, is a great way to open communication channels and keep your business in the forefront of your customers’ minds. If done well, it’s a really effective means to increase your brand/business exposure to those new and existing customers that might need your services now and in the future.
Email newsletters are perfect for promoting your products and services in a timely and appropriate fashion, letting customers know about any new offers/promotions/developments within your business, sharing customer feedback and testimonials, and just generally keeping your name out there.
Mailchimp is an excellent tool to help with your email marketing efforts. It’s main benefits are:
- the creation of professional looking emails that work with all the different types of email clients such as Outlook, gmail, hotmail, AOL and so forth, as often these will visually render the same email differently, some will remove images, some will only show text, others are very strict about what constitutes spam. Mailchimp allows you to create emails using their own tried and tested email templates, or with a little knowledge you’re able to customise these to create something truly unique.
- awesome list management capabilities. Mailchimp allows you to manage as many contact lists as you need, letting you create lists on the fly, uploading existing customers lists or even putting special code onto your website so any new ‘newsletter’ join-ups are added automatically to the relevant Mailchimp list (that is providing you abide by the current opt-in contact list regulations that stipulate all contacts on a list have knowingly agreed to opt-in to receiving your email newsletters – Data Protection Act 1998). Mailchimp list management also allows for such things as automatic and recorded unsubscribes and list segmentation.
- A fully comprehensive report and tracking centre. Each campaign sent has it’s own set of reports to tell you how many and who opened your email, how many bounced, how many regarded your email as spam, when and where emails were opened, how many were forwarded using easy to read graphics with the ability to download as an Excel spreadsheet. And all against industry benchmarks. One tool that many of my clients have found very useful is the A/B split testing that helps determine the best practice for their email campaigns. It also allows for Google Analytics integration to better track website clicks.
- Many more features including data security and privacy, maximum deliverability and plenty of useful help and support.
The best bit for small businesses is that it is free to use for up to lists of 500. After that you simply go onto using one of their pay-monthly programmes or the pay-as-you-go plan where you purchase credits as and when you need them.
You can read more about www.mailchimp.com at their website. Providing that you aren’t spamming customers with irrelevant and too frequent material and that your email content sends suitable and well-timed messages to customers who have opted-in to receive them, using an online service such as Mailchimp is a truly hassle-free way to start connecting with your customers and is superbly cost-effective.
You can find out more about email marketing here: