O.k. so if you want to create a customer base, at one point or another, you are going to have to create a mailing list. We will discuss tips on how to do this in the near future but for now lets say you have one ready.
We will now use MailChimp to describe how to create a email marketing campaign and actually start to communicate with your list.
Creating the List
After logging in, press “Lists” from the top menu.
And then fill in the form with the list’s information to set up your list. Give it a name, enter a name from who you want the emails to be and a email people will reply to. You can set a default subject, but you are likely to change your mind along the way many times. Also chose a reminder for people, explaining why they are receiving this newsletter. (ex. You are receiving this email because you signed up for my E-book “5 Essential Tools For Small Business Online Start-Ups ” at apostolvirtualassistance.com)
Then enter your companies details. This is important because in order your mail not to be considered spam your real details must appear on the email or newsletter. Last select if you want to be notified when people subscribe or unsubscribe to your newsletters and the format you will be sending your emails in.
Now you will be re-directed to the page where all your lists are.
To add people to your list, you can either import one from a different location or you can add people manually.
Because sending email messages to people without first having permission to do so is considered spam (CAN-SPAM Act of 2003), MailChimp only allows you to import lists of or add people who sign up at your website. Signing up at a website, automatically, means that you give your permission to be contacted.
Importing a list
If you wish to import a list you have already created, click the “import” link below the list you have just created.
This will give you the option to import lists from your computer or from a another service online. From your computer you can upload a file with your contacts, copy-paste from an excel spreadsheet, or upload a list from constant contact. Alternatively, you can import your contacts from the services that are listed in the image above.
Adding people manually
If you wish to add contacts manually, click the “add people” link below your list.
Enter the email, first and last name of the persons you want to add, and check to confirm that you have permission to contact them. As we said if you don’t have permission, you can be reported as spam. Then click subscribe.
You can now add all sorts of details to the subscribers’ profiles if you like, or just move on to create your campaign.
Creating the Campaign
To create a campaign click the “Campaigns” tab from the top menu and then click on the big red button that says “Create Campaign”. Select from the drop down menu what type of campaign you you want to create. Your choices are:
- Regular ol’ Campaign.
- Plain Text Campaign
- A/B Split Campaign. This allows you to test your campaign by dividing your subscribers into two sample groups. You can then experiment by changing things here and there and testing which works best for you and your mailing list.
- RSS- driven Campaign. This allows you to automatically send your subscribers a newsletter, whenever you update your blog (or any RSS feed)
For the beginning, you should probably just go with a regular campaign and explore your options as you get more experienced.
After selecting “regular ol’ campaign”, you are taken to a page where you select the list you want the campaign sent to. Chose to send it to the whole list.
Now enter the name you want assigned to the campaign and the message subject. For the subject try to be creative and interesting, as it is the most important factor, for people, in deciding if they are going to open your email or not. Select tracking options, so that you can note how well your campaign went and estimate what works for you and what doesn’t. Don’t worry about the advanced details for now and move on to “next” .
The next step is to chose your emails layout. You can go with something basic, pre-designed or create something yourself. MailChimp has a great selection with pre-designed themes to go with, which you can alter as you like. Whatever you chose, add the images you want, your company’s logo and the information you want to share with your subscribers. At the bottom you will have your default company’s information and a unsubscribe option.
Some advice on writing newsletters
- Don’t forget to add your Twitter and Facebook info, so people can connect and build a better relationship with you. This will help them trust you and make them more likely to buy whatever it is you are offering.
- Include in a reminder of past posts or offers, for new subscribers who weren’t informed or people who didn’t check previous emails.
- Your subject and your “short teaser” should entice your readers by hinting at the most interesting information in your newsletter.
- Include Calls to Action; telling your subscribers to click on a link or contact you will get you better results than leaving it vague.
When your done, go to “next” and check that the plain-text version is correct and all the information you want is included. Then continue to your next and last page.
Check that all the information is correct and test it to see if it appears as you wish. If you have a free account, consider creating a test campaign first and sending it to yourself, so you can test it this way. Once you have made sure that everything is perfect, proceed to send your email. If you like you can schedule it for a time when you know more people will open it.
Here is a good article, I found online, that might give you some insight on what the best time to send an email campaign might be.
And that’s it!! If you have any questions please feel free to contact me or leave them in the comments.