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Email automation allows you to send personalized and targeted messages to your audience based on specific events or scheduled workflows. For example, every time someone buys a product from your site, you can automatically send a purchase confirmation or automatically send a series of emails sharing your most popular blog posts. The more information you have about your audience, the more personalized your automated emails will be. For example, if you know your subscriber’s birthday, you can use that as a trigger and automatically send birthday wishes on their big day.
How To Send An Email Campaign In Mailchimp
As you can imagine, these types of emails save a lot of time and reduce user errors that are often attached to manual messages.
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One of the most popular email marketing platforms is Mailchimp. Here, we’ll walk you through how to use Mailchimp for email automation, from setting it up to interpreting your data after a campaign ends.
Mailchimp offers several pre-built templates to get you started. Follow these steps to use a template in your automated campaign.
Select Campaigns from the top navigation. Then click on create campaign in the upper right corner of the screen.
Click on “Email” which is the first option in the list on the left panel, then click on the “Automated” tab.
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Now, in the second level window, you will select the trigger category that best suits your purpose.
You may want to send your emails based on the actions taken by the subscriber. If so, you can select Subscriber Activity and choose from the following options:
If the campaign you are interested in revolves around e-commerce, select E-commerce and choose from the available options:
With Mailchimp’s date-based workflow, you can thank your customers by sending them a note on a specific anniversary or birthday. Here are your options:
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If one of Mailchimp’s prebuilt campaigns doesn’t fit your needs, which is likely to happen if you send multiple emails, you’ll need to design your own from scratch. You start by following the same steps as above to use a pre-made template.
This is where change happens. Instead of choosing a pre-made template, select Custom from the gray box on the right side of the screen.
Each isolated email in an automated campaign has its own individual trigger. The first trigger will start the campaign, and each corresponding trigger will trigger the next email in the series.
Mailchimp also provides default triggers for custom workflows. To edit a trigger, click Edit next to the trigger description.
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Select the trigger you want to use to start your campaign (ie, what should happen when Mailchimp sends the first email in your workflow?). Your triggers can be based on a number of factors, including e-commerce activity (e.g. a subscriber makes a purchase), campaigns (e.g. someone opens an email you previously sent) and list management (e.g. someone joins your list).
Automated workflows can include individual emails or a series of emails. The next step is to add all the emails you want to your campaign and set a trigger for each one. (Skip this step if you want to send an automatic email.)
Select Edit to set the second email trigger and repeat the action from the first trigger. Each subsequent email in the workflow is based on the previous email or the subscriber’s relationship with the previous email. For example, you can trigger a second email to be sent one day after the previous email is sent, or you can trigger the previous email to be sent one day after the previous email is opened.
Before getting into programming, it’s important to understand the difference between a scheduler and a trigger. A trigger is what triggers the automated email (and all other emails in the workflow) in the first place. Schedules, on the other hand, limit email sending to a specific day or time of day. For example, if you set your schedule to exclude weekends, an email intended to be sent on Saturday will not be sent to the subscriber until Monday.
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To set your schedule, select Edit next to Schedule on the first email in the workflow. Then select which days of the week you want the first email to be sent, and what time you want it to be sent.
Click “Schedule Save” in the upper right corner and repeat the process for the rest of the email in the workflow.
You’ll rarely want to run an automated campaign on your entire list. Why? That’s because your customers likely receive hundreds of different emails in their inbox on any given day. They’ll only open (let alone click) what’s relevant, not your entire list.
Your segments can be as specific or general as you like, but it’s important to keep them updated.
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Click Edit next to Filter by segment or tag to select your segment. Then check the box next to Select a segment or tag. To filter by tag, check if the Contact is a member of a segment or a tag, then select a tag from the drop-down menu.
To filter by new segment, make sure that the subscribers meet the following conditions, and then select these conditions. For example, if you want to filter customers located in California, you can select State is CA.
There’s one last thing you need to plan for in your workflow: post-shipment actions. Here you can choose whether sending previous emails will change the subscriber layout on your list. You can fill in the fields, add tags, or remove them from the list altogether.
When will you use it? It depends on the type of automated series. For example, if you sent an autoresponder thanking your customers for coming to a free book signing, you might want to keep that information on your list. To do this, you can add tags to all event participants.
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To select a post-send action, select Edit next to a post-send action and select the desired action from the drop-down list.
Now it’s time for the fun part: designing your email. How you choose to design your email depends on you, your brand, and how you want to connect with your audience. If your followers would respond better to a plain text-based email, go for it. If they like your product images, colors, or features, they can include them using Mailchimp’s easy drag-and-drop email builder.
To design each email in your workflow, click Design Email to the right of that email.
Give your email a name, subject, and text preview (the text that appears before someone opens it) and decide who the email is from.
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Click on the design, then use Mailchimp’s drag and drop to change elements, change colors, and add text. When done, Save and continue.
Unlike one-off emails, automated campaigns can last for a long time, even throughout the life of your business. But that doesn’t mean you just set it and forget it. You need to see what works and what doesn’t to refine your workflow.
To go to the campaign report, select Reports from the top navigation. Next, select the campaigns you want to automate and analyze.
Mailchimp notes your list averages and industry averages to give you a frame of reference.
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There are several things you can try to improve these stats. If you have a low open rate, add a new subject line to increase interest. If your click-through rate is low, your email may be too long or cluttered, which is preventing people from visiting your website, or your call-to-action (CTA) may not be strong enough. Or maybe the topic just doesn’t interest them, in which case you need to rethink how you segment your list.
Mailchimp offers many native integrations, but with Mailchimp integrations you can connect with over 1,000 other applications to extend Mailchimp’s email automation capabilities. Here are some of the most useful workflows for adding subscribers to your list, but you can create your own to suit your needs.
By building automated campaigns from scratch, you’ll save time and delight your customers with personalized, timely messages.
Cara McCartney Cara McCartney is an author and automation consultant who helps entrepreneurs
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