With over 8 million active users sending 14 billion emails per month, MailChimp is now one of the most widely used email marketing platforms available. The user-friendly interface, plethora of customisable template designs and informative reporting system has caught the attention of Sage, who have now partnered with the email marketing giant to integrate their software into Sage CRM.
The benefits are great; automatic synchronisation between your CRM groups and your email marketing lists, easy follow up with customers based on mailshot opens and the ability to create new marketing campaigns at the click of a button within the Sage CRM marketing module. MailChimp allows CRM customers to send emails to up to 2000 subscribers free of charge and so cost efficiency is another huge benefit.
For those of you who are completely new to email marketing, or if you are coming over to MailChimp from another platform because of the new Sage CRM integration, we are going to look at 5 terms you are sure to encounter on the way to sending your first mailshot.
1) Templates Vs Campaigns
Whilst these two terms are widely used across many different e-mail marketing platforms, the application in MailChimp may be slightly different. A template is pre-designed email layout that can be reused across several different campaigns. A campaign is a specific email message that you create and send to your subscribers. For example – you may have a “newsletter” template which forms the basis of your monthly mailshots. You would then have a campaign called “June newsletter”, “July newsletter” and so on. The template is the same but the content would be different. The general rule according to MailChimp is “put reusable content in templates and message-specific content in campaigns”.
2) Inbox Inspection
Completing an Inbox Inspection of your email marketing campaign will help to ensure that your design looks at its best whether arriving in a Hotmail, Gmail, Outlook or other mail client inbox. It will also ensure that the email displays correctly in different mobile device apps. The MailChimp Inbox Inspection tool will review your lists and work out the 10 most used email clients amongst your subscribers. It will then optimise your content specifically for these clients. As well as this, an Inbox Inspection will also help to identify any words in your content which may trigger a spam filter and stop your message getting through to your subscribers.
3) A/B Split Test
An A/B split test is a type of MailChimp campaign that helps you to determine the effectiveness of different elements of your campaign such as the subject line, sender name or time of day.
It works by sending out variations of your email to a small segment of your list. On a list of 100 subscribers you could test two different subject lines on 40% of the list. 20 will get an email with subject line A and 20 with subject line B. MailChimp will then monitor which subject line causes more people to open the email. The remaining 60% of the list will then be sent the email with the winning subject line. The test period is generally about an hour.
4) Open Rate
The open rate is one of your key campaign statistics and it can be found in your reporting dashboard. “Open rate” is not to be confused with “opens”. Open rate is the percentage of total recipients who opened the campaign in the initial instance. “Opens” are the number of times the email has been opened in total including recipients who have gone back to the email several times. There is also something called “forward opens” which tracks the number of times an email was opened by a recipient who used the MailChimp forward to a friend link. You can also view “subscribers with the most opens” which is great because you can then contact them straight away through CRM before their interest goes cold.
-Avoid the phrases “help”, “percent off” and “reminder” in your subject lines as studies show that these negatively affect open rates.
-Avoid sending emails on “mad Monday” – the first day back in the office where everyone is catching up on work that has piled up over the weekend. For most markets a Tuesday or Thursday afternoon is the best time to send. Paid users can use the MailChimp “send time optimisation” tool which will provide you with a report on the best time to send your emails based on the previous reading habits of your specific subscribers.
-Use the MailChimp open rate industry benchmark table to find average open rates for your market and see how your figures compare.
Not in the office? No problem! In its basic form, MailChimp automation will give you an option to “send later” when you have finished creating your campaign. This means you can schedule your email to go out at an optimal time or on a specific day even when you are not there to hit the send button. Larger businesses, particularly those with e-commerce stores, can benefit by automation which triggers welcome emails, follows up on website activity or releases an email series based on a subscribers purchasing history. You simply need to set send conditions and workflows and then let MailChimp do the rest.
The Sage CRM and MailChimp Collaboration is still in its early days but we predict that it will have a positive impact, particularly for small business users working with time and budget restraints.