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Email Marketing
Email Marketing

MailChimp Basic Setup

Mailchimp is an all-in-one Marketing Platform for small business. It is used by millions of customers around the world to start and grow their businesses with state-of-the-art marketing technology, award-winning support, and inspiring content.  There are dozens of email marketing platforms and services available.  At IACFB, we find MailChimp to be one of the top performers but it is also FREE for up to 2,000 contacts which will be adequate for your use as a broker for some time.

It’s important to understand, MailChimp will be used ONLY for mass email campaigns.  For example, if you author a great post on your blog that is pertinent to large groups of business owners and want to “shout out” a link to that post, that is where you will use MailChimp.  The vast majority of your marketing contact will be done through your CRM (Pipedrive). 

Two Audiences

Though MailChimp recommends just one list (audience), we recommend two.  One for prospective clients and one for referral sources.

Opt-In Only

Do not, under any circumstances, purchase an email list and import it to MailChimp.  All members of your list must be opt-in.  You can manually add prospects if they give you verbal permission, but SPAM laws are strict and purchasing and emailing to a list that hasn’t opting in will get you banned from the platform.

Best Practices

Basic Setup of Your Lists

Your marketing with email will generate the best results when you take the time to build and maintain a healthy mailing list.  MailChimp calls your list an “audience”. Mailchimp has built-in tools to help you build your audience along the way. There are also certain requirements all Mailchimp users must follow, and some recommended “best practices” that can help keep your audience in good shape.  When building your audience…

Don’t Use Third Party Lists

Third-party lists of email addresses are prohibited under MailChimp’s Terms of Use. This includes purchased or rented lists, and lists scraped from third-party sources including public websites. Your audience should be collected entirely by you.

Get Permission to Add a Contact

You can store different contact types in your Mailchimp audience, including contacts who haven’t signed up to receive email marketing content. You’re required to respect the permission levels for contacts on your audience. Take a look at this article on contact types to help you determine which marketing materials to distribute to different contacts.

Use Two Primary Audiences

MailChimp recommends that if you can,  it’s best to have one audience that you organize with tags, groups, or segments, rather than maintain multiple audiences in your account. Mailchimp treats all the audiences in your account separately, and billing is based on the total number of contacts across all your audiences (with the exception of archived and cleaned contacts). If you have duplicate contacts across audiences, having one audience could save you money.

We, however, recommend you have two distinct audiences:  One for prospects (business owners) and another for sources of referral such as bankers, accountants, etc.   The relationship building process for these two groups is so different, it’s likely you will be better organized with two distinct audiences.

Segments, Groups, and Tags

Here are some key things you should know about segments, groups, and  tags.

  • Tags, groups, and segments are the main audience management tools you’ll find in Mailchimp.  Segments, for our purposes, can typically be services, manufacturers, distributors, construction, government, etc.  
  • Segments in Mailchimp are a way of filtering subscribers according to the information you already know about them. for example, their industry.

    On the other hand, groups in Mailchimp refer to a collection of contacts organized by their interests. Groups are subdivided into “Group Categories” and “Group Names”.

  • In the relationship building process, you gather information each time you speak with a prospect.  Let’s say a prospect lets it be known he enjoys NFL Football and his favorite team is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  A Group Category could be “Football” and a Group Name would be Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  As you develop your lists of prospects, you will find dozens, if not hundreds, of Buccaneers supporters.  If you find a great article on the Buccaneers, create an email just for that group and drop them an email with a link to the article.  This is how you build relationships. 

    Assigning groups to your contacts can help you identify quickly which part of your list you want to target in a specific campaign or newsletter.

Organize contacts however you need to with tags

Tags are customizable labels you create for your contacts based on what’s important for you to know. While Mailchimp comes with lots of built-in ways to search within your audience data, tags let you add insights unique to your needs—then use them to create segments.

Tags are a great way to keep track of marketing campaign results.  They can help you keep track of small details.  For example, if you met 30 or 40 prospective clients at an export trade show, you would want to “tag” them with the name of that show.  That way, if you have relevant information about the show results, you can pull a list of business owners ONLY from that show and send them an email.

Best thing about “tags” is that they’re completely flexible: easily stay organized when you tag multiple contacts on import, or even add tags automatically based on the specific landing page they signed up on.