Nov 9, 2009

How to send automated coupon followup

Question: "I would like to send an email to a customer 1 week after they signup with my e-commerce site. This email has a coupon to use on the e-commerce site to get a discount. Some users might use this coupon and some won’t. After another week I would like to send a reminder to customers who did not use this coupon."

Yes, you can do this with Autoresponders, Segmentation, and some API tweaking…

Let’s create the Autoresponder campaigns first:

1. Setup your autoresponder rules

Click on the "autoresponders" tab:


Next, if you want the first coupon to go out one week after signup, set the autoresponder up like this:


Notice I’ve created a list in MailChimp for all customers who’ve opted-in to receive email offers from me. The list name is "Good Eat’n Customers."

2. Design the autoresponder

After the autoresponder settings are saved, click the "create email" button:


and MailChimp will walk you through all the normal steps of designing your campaign.

During this step, you might choose one of our built-in coupon templates, like this one:


then customize it to match your brand.

Once that Autoresponder is activated, you can create the next one.

There’s a slight catch though, which I’ll detail in a minute.

3. Create the 2nd autoresponder

So we’ve setup the first autoresponder to go out one week after people subscribe to my list. Now I want another one to go out one week after that, to anybody who didn’t use the coupon in the first one.

I’ll call this one the "coupon followup."

Similar steps, but this time we’ll use segmentation.

First, setup the autoresponder to go out 2 weeks after signup:


4. Send to segment of list who didn’t use first coupon

For this autoresponder, after you click the "create email" button, you’ll select a segment of your list.

Ideally, you’d use the MailChimp API to pass data over to a hidden field in your MailChimp list, such as "used coupon."

Another way I can do it is to send this to people who NEITHER opened or clicked my previous campaign (note the "match all" pulldown at the top):


So this tells MailChimp to send the followup email 2 weeks after someone signed up for the list, but didn’t open or click the first offer.

The catch:Okay, so here’s the catch I mentioned earlier. Since I’m doing all this in one sitting, and since the 1st autoresponder never even got sent yet (it’s a week away), no campaigns are listed here. So technically, I’d need to wait for that first autoresponder to send out to people in order for it to be seen in the options above. Or, as I did in the example screenshot, you can just set it to go out to people who haven’t clicked/opened any campaign (in this case, it means the same thing).

Quick Idea: Add A Survey!

One way to stay in touch with your customers is to send a quick followup survey after they make a purchase on your website. While I wouldn’t want to get a survey after every single little book I buy from (that would get annoying fast), I would and do participate in surveys on big-ticket purchases, like furniture from Crate and Barrel.

If you’ve linked your e-commerce cart to your MailChimp account, you can send an autoresponder to a segment of your list based on their purchase activity.


That autoresponder could be a survey with questions about the item they bought, how the shipping was, etc.

I’ll post more on survey integration with MailChimp shortly!