Marketers new to online and digital strategies are likely getting involved with social media by engaging communities and publishing content. If you’re generating a blog, white papers, videos or other material of value to your audience, integrating email marketing into your distribution plan can have great benefits to your organization.
MailChimp is a preferred email marketing platform that offers a variety of services. One reason I like using MailChimp is for their “Forever Free” pricing tier for small businesses, in addition to the simple, intuitive nature of their user interface.
Below are my top five beginner’s tips to using MailChimp for social publishing:
1. Use Lists Wisely
You might be tempted to buy a list from a provider like Hoovers, but I would urge you to grow your audience organically to avoid being viewed as abusive and getting blacklisted (if too many recipients mark your email as spam, you can have your account blocked). Start with direct contacts, and then add a form on your website/blog that automatically populates your lists. As you grow, make sure to maintain different lists, segments and groups to keep your contacts sorted properly so you can send certain messages to the right audience.
2. Create a Compelling Subject Line
If we’ve learned anything from BuzzFeed over the past couple of years, it’s that having a compelling headline or subject line can significantly impact the data that you’re trying to collect. This includes increasing your open and click-through rates while reducing your unsubscribes. A compelling subject line can be funny, emotional, shocking, include a giveaway, provide valuable information or give an insightful statistic. It should include words that are specific to the content while inviting some sort of call-to-action.
3. Use a MailChimp Template
Don’t reinvent the wheel! One of the positives about using MailChimp is that they provide a wide variety of themes that you can customize using their drag-and-drop interface. Rather than designing and coding a layout from scratch, leverage the genius that they’ve already harnessed. You can filter their template themes based on the type of content that your sending: eCommerce, events, newsletters and more. You can also filter based on holiday or seasonal themes like St. Patrick’s Day, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, etc. Once you’ve selected the right theme for your campaign, use the intuitive user interface to edit text, insert your images, add call-to-action buttons and more.
4. Include Social Share and Social Follow Buttons
Since we’re using email to help spread our social media marketing content, we want to make it simple for our audience to find us online and to share our content with their networks. Within the MailChimp template editor are two very important blocks; Social Share and Social Follow. Adding these strategically to your message will allow recipients to easily share your message and follow your social profiles. Built in, it includes Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google +, Instagram and more. If the information is seen as valuable and shareable to your audience, this will allow them to spread the word with the click of a button.
5. Test Test Test
Once you’ve finished your email marketing campaign design using the MailChimp editor, you’ll be tempted to send it out right away. However, I recommend that you first conduct a series of tests before you do that. MailChimp allows you to send test emails to yourself in order to check for grammar, presentation, and so on. I suggest that you check on both a desktop and smartphone to make sure it looks and flows properly. Even corporate organizations can have a 40% or more mobile device usage on their campaigns. During the testing process, I always double-check for spelling errors and to make sure that all of your links work correctly. Sometimes, if you put a placeholder URL into a social profile, it will automatically populate with that link and you'll have to change it. Again, we want to make it as easy as possible for our audience to follow us on social profiles and share our content to their networks.
With these 5 beginner's tips for using MailChimp as a social publishing resource, you're ready to start sending thoughtful, compelling messages to your audience with the added value of benefiting your social media marketing campaign. For more information, contact me or wait for my next article to be posted.