16 MailChimp subscriber, campaigns and report questions

During my MailChimp training open workshops in London & in-house training sessions, questions arise about every aspect of email marketing. Here are 16 of them:

1. Is your subscriber base growing continually?
2. How many methods do you use to increase the size of your list?
3. Are you happy with your campaign templates?
4. When was the last time that your templates were updated?
5. How often do you send campaigns? Almost certainly, the answer is ‘not enough’.
6. Do you always look at the mobile phone campaign preview?
7. What are the key metrics that you look at within reports?
8. How many abuse reports are you receiving?
9. What is the average open rate for your list?
10. What is the split between desktop and mobile?
11. What is your click through rate?
12. What are your most popular landing pages?
13. Why are they so popular?
14. Who are your most engaged subscribers?
15. Are you using videos within your campaigns?
16. Can you link sales to campaigns?

The key metrics should be heading in the right direction, although they do tend to move up and down as subscribers come and go and campaign content changes.

Nigel offers MailChimp training open workshops in London + in-house training.


MailChimp Pro review

At the time of writing, there are three payment levels within MailChimp:

1. Free forever (for up to 2,000 subscribers).
2. For lists over 2,000 (or if you wish to avail yourself of the standard paid for features) then payment starts at US$10 dollars per month. See: https://mailchimp.com/pricing
3. MailChimp Pro includes multi-variant testing and comparative reports that deliver detailed insights into subscriber habits and product preferences. Advanced subscriber segmentation allows you to target the right people for your MailChimp campaigns. The current cost of MailChimp Pro is US$199 + monthly plan charge.

Advanced segmentation

MailChimp Pro enables more targeted sending. ‘Advanced Segmentation’ enables you to segment with more conditions and apply combinatorial logic with nested conditions. You can create segments that combine both ‘Any’ and ‘All’ logic in one segment. With MailChimp’s standard Segmentation facility, you are limited to 5 conditions. This restriction is lifted for Pro account holders.

It does take a little while to get your head around the functionality of MailChimp Segmentation. If you have been using MailChimp for a while, it would be helpful if you are already using Segmentation. Within MailChimp Pro, there are more options available and I recommend that you take some time to learn how to use it.

Multivariant testing

You can test different Subject lines, From names, and Contents within MailChimp Pro using up to eight Campaigns. At the time of writing, MailChimp is the only email marketing platform that offers this functionality.

MailChimp Pro Comparative Reports

Comparative reports enable you to tailor the way you that you interact with your data. Insights are provided with regards to subscriber behaviour. You can compare a set of MailChimp campaign results in order to evaluate performance over time. Having sent a campaign, you can create advanced segments within your reports. Recurring reports can be sent to colleagues via email automatically. See: https://mailchimp.com/features/comparative-reports

You can take campaigns, group them together and look at aggregate statistics. You can then monitor the performance of these campaigns over time and see how your chosen campaigns perform against a baseline.

Choose campaigns for comparison purposes using filters such as folder, keyword, timeframe or days sent. You can then view the performance of each campaign over time. Alternatively, you can select MailChimp campaigns that fit your criteria in order to compare against each other/all within a single screen.


In general terms, MailChimp Pro is for enterprises with larger lists who take their email marketing seriously. It allows you to select subscribers on a more granular level and communicate with them via MailChimp campaigns or Facebook advertisements.

If you need help, I offer MailChimp training services.

Glossary of MailChimp / emailing marketing terminology

Here is a glossary of MailChimp (MC) / emailing marketing terminology.

* Automation: A single email, or a series of emails sent to a subscriber based on a trigger or a date.
Automation Email: A single campaign that is part of a specific automation workflow. MC refers to emails as ‘Campaigns’, as they are sent to a list of subscribers. Within Automation, they are called ‘emails’, as they go to a targeted subscriber.
API: Application Programming Interface. An API allows one application (such as MC) to communicate (or ‘talk’) to another application, such as Magento.
* Aviary: MC’s image editing facility.
Bounces: A bounce is where an email is rejected by the email server. A hard bounce indicates an email address is no longer in use (i.e. a member of staff has left the company or someone has changed their email provider). A soft bounce indicates.
Campaign: An email newsletter, e-shot or announcement.
Cleaned: The cleaned portion of your list, which won’t be sent campaigns. Subscriber’s email address arrive in ‘cleaned’ when their email address hard bounces.
CMS: Content Management System, i.e. WordPress, Drupal, Joomla.
Conversion: Within Google Analytics, a conversion (or ‘goal conversion) is the completion of an activity on your website. i.e. a customer subscribes to your email newsletter (a Goal conversion) or they make a purchase (AKA transaction, e-commerce conversion). See also ‘Goal’
CRM: Customer Relationship Management system.
CSV: Comma Separated Values. A .csv file can be used to import contacts into MC.
Deduping: The process of removing duplicate email addresses from a list. MC scans your file when you import a list and removes any duplicate email addresses. Furthermore, when you add new subscribers to an existing list, MC scans for duplicates, bounces and unsubscribes that are already stored in the list you’re importing to and dedupes them.
Delay: The period of time between two emails within an Automation workflow. A relative delay depends on the email before it, whilst absolute delays are based on the trigger-date.
Double opt-in: New subscribers immediately receive an email from you. They are invited to click on a link, in order to confirm that they really want to receive your emails. This process ensures that subscribers are using their own email addresses in your opt-in box.
EepURL: MC’s URL shortening service. (Like Bitly.com)
Engaged: An engaged subscriber (in MC terminology) opens your emails and clicks on links. Marketing tip: create Segments for engaged subscribers and send them special offers.
ESP: An Email Service Provider (i.e. MailChimp).
Event: see Trigger or Event
Goal: A Google Analytics term for a pre-determined outcome which you wish to achieve. You can set a monetary value for each Goal (which means that you can see the value of your conversions).
High volume: MC defines a high volume sender as an enterprise which sends more than four million emails a month.
HTML: Hyper Text Mark-up Language. This is the computer language used to create (most) websites. It is read by a website browser, in order to create a web page for you to look at.
Member-rating: Member-activity ratings provide a visual means to determine subscriber engagement levels. They take into subscriber account open rates, click activity, past bounces or unsubscribes. The ratings are recalculated after each campaign is sent.
Omnivore: MC’s automated abuse-prevention system. It processes information from billions of emails and doesn’t like high bounce rates and unsubscribes. See: http://mailchimp.com/omnivore
Opt-in: When a new subscriber chooses to join your list.
Opt-out / unsubscribe: An easy way for people to leave your list. Within MC an Unsubscribe link is added to every campaign automatically.
Queue: A batch of subscribers who have met an Automation’s workflow’s criteria. They are waiting to receive the next email in a workflow.
RSS: Really Simple Syndication. RSS enables people to follow your blog.
Theme: Pre-designed ‘look and feel (or ‘skin’) for your newsletter.
Transactional email: An email which is triggered by an event, i.e. account balance updates, cart abandonment, email address confirmations, password resets, purchase receipts, support requests, thank you notes. Also known as: action based emails, automatic emails, autoresponders, real-time emails, triggered emails. Important because they can be highly effective.
Trigger or Event: The catalyst that starts an Automation workflow, i.e. joining your list.
Unsubscribe: See Opt-out.
URL: Web page address (it stands for Uniform Resource Locator)
Workflow: A schedule for sending out a series of emails, combined with the email’s content and the configuration details.

You may also like: MailChimp marketing automation

How to get more MailChimp subscribers and promote your newsletter

Nigel Temple offers MailChimp training courses including inhouse training.

Subscribe to Nigel Temple’s Compass Points newsletter. (Includes MailChimp tips and ideas).

Written by marketing consultant, trainer, speaker and author Nigel Temple.
3,000+ clients over a 30 year period.

Nigel is available for hire as a marketing consultantmarketing trainer or marketing speaker.
Join the marketing conversation within The Marketing Compass community.
Talk to Nigel 1-2-1 in a meeting or via Skype about your marketing: www.navigatorplus.co.uk

MailChimp groups and signup forms

One way of thinking about Groups in MailChimp is that they are associated with sign-up forms. Each MailChimp list has its own sign-up form. Here is an example: http://eepurl.com/UQFhr

Having created a new list, you can immediately edit the sign up form.

Think carefully about the information that you are going to ask for, with your form. Sometimes, I have found that enterprises ask for too many details.

Within your form, you will of course require an email address from each new subscriber. This is the only field that you must request. On balance, you will get more subscribers if you ask for less information from them, when they subscribe.

When you create Groups, the Group information will appear automatically within the associated sign up form. For example, if you have a Group category called ‘Location’ and you add two place names (say ‘London’ and ‘Berkshire’) they would appear like this at the bottom of your sign up form:

[  ] London
[  ] Berkshire

However, Group fields don’t all have to appear within the sign-up form. You can hide them if you wish. Why would you do this? Well, you may wish to use Group fields in order to categorise each subscriber as a ‘prospect’, ‘customer’ or ‘advocate’ – in which case this is internal ‘for your eyes only’ information, isn’t it? You would not want this information appearing on a public sign up form.

Once subscribers tell you more about themselves, it is easier to send them relevant information via MailChimp campaigns (emails).

Whenever I discuss MailChimp Groups and Segments with a client or with training delegates, I have found that we have to think quite deeply about their business and what they are trying to achieve with their data and email marketing communications.

You may also like:
MailChimp marketing automation

How to get more MailChimp subscribers and promote your newsletter

Nigel Temple offers MailChimp training courses including inhouse training.

Subscribe to Nigel Temple’s Compass Points newsletter. (Includes MailChimp tips and ideas).

Written by marketing consultant, trainer, speaker and author Nigel Temple.
3,000+ clients over a 30 year period.

Nigel is available for hire as a marketing consultantmarketing trainer or marketing speaker.
Join the marketing conversation within The Marketing Compass community.
Talk to Nigel 1-2-1 in a meeting or via Skype about your marketing: www.navigatorplus.co.uk

Email marketing – how often should you send emails?

As a MailChimp trainer I have found that the subject of email frequency often comes up, during training workshops and consultancy work. I am usually surprised by the infrequency of emails. In other words, most enterprises are not sending enough emails. This is usually because they don’t want to upset their customers.

“Don’t worry about that,” I say to them. “The majority of the people that you are emailing won’t even open your emails.”

For example, if you have a big list and are operating in a competitive marketplace, open rates can be as low as 5.2%. (The figure was provided by a client who has an extremely large list; it means that 94.8% of recipients are not opening their email campaigns).

For a small business with a few hundred or a few thousand subscribers, an open rate of about 20% is normal.  Therefore, only 1 person in 5 is opening their email campaigns.

On this basis, you may like to consider increasing the frequency of emails. For example, once a quarter could become once a month – for a newsletter. Or once a month could become fortnightly. Bear in mind that many successful businesses send out emails to their customers every single day.

Different types of messages should be sent to different market segments. My newsletter is sent via MailChimp – you can join my list by clicking here and I use Groups and Segments within MailChimp to divide up the list.

I addition to a newsletter, you may be sending other forms of messages i.e. special offers, event invitations, service updates, seasonal information – or special information just for paying customers.

Email marketing remains an effective way of increasing brand awareness, acquiring new customers and keeping them.

My advice is to send more often. At the same time, you should increase the value of your email content. But that is a story for another time, isn’t it?

Learn about my copywriting training for email marketing services.

Learn about my MailChimp training services.

HubSpot CRM review

hubspotHubspot CRM https://www.hubspot.com/products/crm is a free to use Customer Relationship Management solution. It is cloud based, so that you can access it from a website browser or a mobile phone.

Hubspot CRM enables you to store all of your contacts in one place and easily access this information. See: https://www.hubspot.com/pricing/crm

Customer interactions are tracked automatically. Sales deals are displayed within a dashboard. You can sort by name, owner, amount or stage and use customisable filters.

All of which means that you will be in control of your sales pipeline and won’t have to worry about losing sales prospects.

In addition to the CRM there is HubSpot Sales: https://www.hubspot.com/pricing/sales

HubSpot Sales free account

The package includes:
* The HubSpot CRM system
* Email scheduling – if you use HubSpot Sales with Google Apps
* Email open notifications
* Unlimited real-time email open notifications
* Email tracking history of up to 200 notifications per month in your Activity Stream
* Create up to five email Templates
* Upload up to five Documents
* 15 minutes of Calling
* The account stays free forever (unless you upgrade)

Therefore, you can have an easy to use CRM + HubSpot Sales free account and not spend any money.

HubSpot Sales Professional

The package includes:
* HubSpot CRM
* Email scheduling – if you use HubSpot Sales with Google Apps
* Email open & click notifications
* Unlimited real-time notifications and email tracking history
* Prospects: access to the companies visiting your website
* Email Templates: 1,000 per user per month
* Calling: 2,000+ minutes of voice over IP calling from your phone or browser
* Document tracking: 1,000 per user per month
* Sequences: 1,000 per user per month
* Meetings: your recipients can access your calendar to book time with you

As part of the family, there is also HubSpot Marketing https://www.hubspot.com/pricing/marketing

Sidekick by HubSpot enables you to see who has opened your emails. The information includes the date and time of open and how many times the email was opened. It works well with Gmail and other popular email clients. Sidekick is a free Google Chrome extension. Having installed it and sent an email, a popup appears within Chrome to tell you that the email has been opened.

How to get more MailChimp subscribers and promote your newsletter

MailChimp trainingAs a MailChimp trainer I am often asked how to get more people to subscribe to a list.  Here are 17 ways to do this:

1. Embed a subscription form on your homepage and, ideally, every page of your website.

2. Include the ‘subscribe URL’ within the email signatures of everyone who works for your company. (Every MailChimp list has its own signup form URL).

3. Create a newsletter signup page and promote the benefits of joining your list.

4. Display testimonials from happy readers.

5. Promote your newsletter via social media platforms (using the subscribe form URL).

6. Point your Twitter Followers at your newsletter page within your website (or signup form).

7. Run a competition for new subscribers (NB legislation covers this area).

8. Ask every purchaser (of everything that you sell) if they would like to receive your newsletter.

9. Promote your newsletter on the back of business cards.

10. Include information about your newsletter on all other printed matter, i.e. advertisements, direct mailshots, compliment slips, flyers, invoices, postcards etc.

11. Include a sample of your newsletter within your website, so that potential subscribers can see how well written, interesting and helpful it is.

12. Ask your subscribers to forward your newsletter.

13. At the end of business telephone conversations, ask people to subscribe.

14. At meetings and presentations, ask people to subscribe.

15. Once a quarter, produce a printed version of your newsletter and mail it out / hand it out.

16. Create such interesting, creative and helpful newsletters that subscribers recommend you to their friends.

17. Include a plug for your newsletter at the end of your blog posts….

Subscribe to Nigel Temple’s Compass Points newsletter. (Includes MailChimp tips and ideas!)

Written by marketing consultant, trainer, speaker and author Nigel Temple.
3,000+ clients over a 30 year period.
Nigel is available for hire as a marketing consultantmarketing trainer or marketing speaker.
Join the marketing conversation within The Marketing Compass community.
Talk to Nigel 1-2-1 in a meeting or via Skype about your marketing: www.navigatorplus.co.uk

MailChimp marketing automation

MailChimp logo1Marketing automation enables you to to send emails to customers, which are triggered by their behaviour. I know of a company that specialises in this area and they routinely quadruple the profitability of their clients.

Customers go on a journey. They move from awareness to brand recognition, followed by trial purchase and then repeat purchase. Marketing automation can help customers to understand your brand, what is different about it and why they should buy from you – as they are receiving information which is appropriate to the stage that they have reached on their buying journey.

Not long ago, marketing automation was expensive. For a few dollars per month, you can now tap into a sophisticated solution and reap the benefits.

‘Automation’ is a menu item within MailChimp, the popular cloud based ESP (Email Service Provider). Please note that Automation is a paid feature. Imagine having a marketing system which reacts automatically to customer actions. This is possible via MailChimp Automation as it combines the segmenting and scheduling tools. If this functionality is used intelligently and with discretion, it can attract customers, build your brand and generate sales. If it is overused, you may annoy customers and lose business.

Within MailChimp, you can create workflows and triggers which enable you to send a single email (“Welcome to our newsletter list”) or a series of emails (“Here is the first part of the course that you requested.”)

An event could be, for example, a new subscription to your list. Or it could be a click within one of your campaigns. MailChimp has included a number of workflows within the Automation section, in order to get you started. Alternatively, you can create your own customised workflows, if you wish.

Automation enables you to create a sequence of campaigns which can be sent over a period of time, i.e. daily or once a week for X weeks. They can be designed and tested within the MailChimp email designer and tracked via Reports.

MailChimp Automation enables you to engage with subscribers in helpful and creative ways. Automation can deliver personalised communication, based on what subscribers choose to do.

Nigel Temple offers MailChimp training courses including inhouse training.

Written by marketing consultant, trainer, speaker and author Nigel Temple.
3,000+ clients over a 30 year period.
Join the marketing conversation within The Marketing Compass community.
Attend a marketing strategy meeting for free: click here.
Talk to Nigel 1-2-1 about your marketing for £97 +VAT: www.navigatorplus.co.uk

MailChimp training

MailChimp trainingI offer MailChimp training open courses and in-house MailChimp training. I have used a range of other email marketing services – so why did I go with this one? I like the fact that you can have 2,000 subscribers without charge. At the time of writing, over 9 million people use this email marketing solution – which means that it is dependable. It also means that most popular software applications integrate with MailChimp, including Twitter, Facebook and a range of CRM systems. Here is the MailChimp integrations directory.

I am sometimes asked whether anybody opens newsletters or e-shots any more? Within our own business, email marketing accounts for 21% of our business. Members of The Marketing Compass have reported much higher figures.

MailChimp is cloud based and you can access and use it via an office network, standalone PCs, laptops, tablets or smartphones.

During a training workshop, we talk about:
* How to use MailChimp with confidence (it is a big system, isn’t it?)
* Building a substantial opt-in email list using sign-up forms and marketing psychology
* Working with Lists, Groups and Segments
* Creating and design effective MailChimp campaigns
* How to drive more traffic to your website
* How to generate more business via MailChimp
* Little known MailChimp tips and tricks
* How to improve your email marketing results
* The MailChimp marketing automation system
* How to deliver more customer engagement and make more sales

“The MailChimp training from Nigel Temple was very constructive, useful and informative. I learnt a great deal!” ~ Forbes Low, Forbes Design

“Many thanks for coming in and talking to the team. It was a very useful session.” ~ Ben Rafferty, Semafone

MailChimp has over 500 staff. I wonder what they all do?

If you have any questions or would like a quote for in-house MailChimp training, either email joanna@nigeltemple.com or call Joanna on +44 (0)1628 773128.


MailChimp review

MailChimp logo1MailChimp is a cloud based ESP (Email Service Provider) for the production of e-newsletters, e-shots or other email based messages. You can login and use it via a web browser on a computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone. Over seven million people currently use MailChimp for their email marketing campaigns – including novices, small businesses and sophisticated marketing departments within famous name brands. You can use MailChimp to create, send and track messages to a handful of contacts or to millions of subscribers. You can choose from a selection of newsletter designs, create your email online and share it on the social networks. In addition, you can manage subscribers and track results.

Less than 2000 subscribers? Use it for free.
If you have less than 2000 subscribers (and you send them less than 12,000 emails a months), you can use MailChimp for free.

Incidentally, if you find it all a bit overwhelming, or if you’re too busy to spend time figuring it all out, I offer MailChimp training courses

MailChimp reports
The reports are endlessly fascinating. The information starts populating shortly after you send a Campaign. You can see Open rates; Click throughs (“who clicked on what?”); Delivery rates (including graphs); Bounces; List growth; Geographic location; Email click-map overlay (heat map); Subscriber activity reports; Revenue reports (via ecommerce integration); Unsubscribes; Industry comparison; and VIP reports – amongst other things.

Building your list
MailChimp offers a range of signup forms, which include versions for Facebook and WordPress. Numerous signup form features are available, including a ‘subscribe form URL’ which you can use within your email signature, an email to customers and contacts inviting them to subscribe, within the social networks; or as a link within your website (‘join our list here’).

Creating Campaigns
Personally, I prefer to create my own Campaigns and design them within MailChimp. You can see how the Campaign is developing as you work on it and you can Preview it at any time (and of course send yourself / colleagues those all important test emails). Alternatively, you can use one of the pre-designed Campaign templates or import your own html code, if you have a bespoke design.

Social media 
You can auto Tweet your Campaigns or auto post them to Facebook. In addition, you can embed social Follow and Share buttons within your Campaigns.

Sending relevant information / dividing your list
As your list grows, you will find that one size does not fit everyone. The answer is to divide your list up. The Groups feature enables you to categorise subscribers by interests and preferences, so that you can send them the right messages. In addition, the ‘Segments’ feature can refine the process. For example, you can use Segments to send your most engaged subscribers relevant news or special offers.

Learning about MailChimp
There are thousands of training videos available, which really help when you are learning how to use it (there are a lot of features). To find these, click on the looking glass icon in the upper right hand corner of MailChimp pages (and then search).

I hope that you have found this MailChimp review to be useful. I offer in-house and open MailChimp courses via: www.mailchimptraining.co.uk