How to use Mailchimp marketing automation in your startup or business

When you hear about marketing automation you may imagine complex systems that only large companies with marketing gurus can use. However, while there are very advanced solutions, there are other ways in which a startup or SME can start using marketing automation in a simple way without investing too much. This tool can become a powerful resource for small teams and growing businesses.

¿What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation is the process in which specialized software is used to execute marketing tasks such as sending email, posting on social networks, etc. based on user actions on your website, email campaigns, social networks etc. The marketing automation software may be part of an Inbound Marketing strategy and increases the capacity of marketing teams to perform tasks that would be too hard to do manually on a large scale; for example, when a new user or subscriber signs up your blog you send a welcome email, but when dozens, hundreds or thousands sign up per week sending this customized email is impossible manually, problems like these are the ones that help solve marketing automation.

Simple ways to apply Marketing Automation

I always wanted to use marketing automation in the content strategy of Toky but as a B2B startup, we can't try expensive or complex platforms. Mailchimp recently released marketing automation features for its free plan and I decided to try with some options and think about possible uses for a B2B startup and for small businesses. I want to share some ideas on how you can start applying.

The Mailchimp free plan allows up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 monthly submissions.

How to start a marketing automation campaign with Mailchimp?

Before starting with the ideas, I think it's important to explain how you can create a marketing automation campaign from the Mailchimp screen:

Mailchimp marketing automation

To create an automated campaign follow these steps:

  1. In the main panel, click Create campaign
  2. Click on Create an email
  3. Click on *Automated" to see the list of automations.
  4. If you want to do some custom campaign click Custom
  5. Give your campaign a name, select the list of subscribers you want to use and click on Begin
  6. You choose the Trigger for sending the email. This action can be for example 2 days after the user signs up to the list, or when he clicks on the link of some campaign; it all depends on what you need.
  7. Choose when to run the task in the schedule option. I recommend selecting only weekdays for business campaigns.
  8. If you wish, you can choose the segment from the list that you want the email to reach, in the segment option. By default, it takes the whole list.
  9. Choose whether to perform an action after the email is sent in the Action option. These actions can be modifying fields of the subscriber data, remove him from the list etc.
  10. Click on Design email to design the email you want to send. The email editor is similar to the regular Mailchimp campaigns.
  11. If you wish you can add other emails by clicking Add email. With this, you can create a series of conditioned emails with the sending of the previous one.

Now that you know how to create an automation campaign using Mailchimp, let's see some ideas that you can start applying in your newsletters, landing pages or your online digital

Idea 1: Welcome new users or subscribers

You can use Mailchimp as an automatic response system that besides to the classic confirmation emails, it will send a personalized email to the new user or subscriber some days after he signs up. You can thank him for his registration and give him important information to improve the onboarding experience.

You can use the Signup trigger and select the number of days after which the first email is sent.

Idea 2: Educate new users or subscribers

You can use the Mailchimp form on your website or blog to get subscribers and send them a series of emails. The first one can be the welcome message and the following ones can teach the subscriber about the features of your product or service, invite them to read the best posts you have on your blog, explain them general topics like payment methods or maybe next steps to be expert users.

You can use the Signup trigger and select the number of days after which the first email is sent.

Idea 3: Turn a subscribers into customers

You can send a normal Mailchimp campaign with your last blog post and some promotional links and have those who click on certain promotional links receive a special email. You can send them coupons, an invitation to a demo or just some content that helps them understand more about what they showed interest in the campaign.

For this you can use the trigger Specific link in campaign clicked, select the campaign and the link that the subscriber must click to get the email.

Idea 4: Send a birthday greeting

It is very important that your customer or subscriber feels close to your brand and for this, Birthday message can be a great way to improve the relationship with your customers, also, depending on your product or service you can send a special promotion and maybe close a sale

You can use the Say 'happy birthday' option and you must have a field with the birthday of the subscribers on your list.

Here are some ideas on how you can apply marketing automation with the free Mailchimp account. I invite you to try it by yourself and look for better sales of your startup. You can also apply rules for eCommerce and many others but I think with these simple ideas may be enough to start applying this marketing automation tool.

Some marketing automation results from Mailchimp

Personally I have experimented with our weekly Toky newsletters using the idea #3 and I can share from the automated campaigns sent, that we had an opening rate higher than 80% and a click rate of more than 25% which although they are not always new customers, increases the likelihood of converting that subscriber into lead and also giving him details of our product that we know he is interested in.

If you use this feature of Mailchimp I invite you to leave how you do it in the comments.

If besides marketing automation you also want to improve communication with your customers, I invite you to try Toky virtual phone system free for 14 days

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