It’s been a busy year at MailChimp, and we’ve covered a lot of ground on the blog over the past 12 months, too. But throughout all the new features and blog posts, there have been a few common themes that tie everything together: growing your audience, increasing engagement, boosting revenue, and, of course, connecting your store.
Today, we’re recapping a number of the features, tips, and best practices that we discussed here on the blog in 2016. Think of this as a sampler tray, full of bite-sized, hors d’oeuvre versions of our original posts. Mmm, hors d’oeuvres. And don’t worry—if you decide you’d to dig a little deeper and read more about any given topic, we’ve added the link so you can go back and quickly reference the full version.
Create an email marketing plan
No matter the kind of products you sell, it takes a lot of preparation to ensure that your marketing efforts run smoothly. Earlier this year, I wrote about the benefits of developing an email marketing plan, consisting of 3 core components: identifying your audience, developing a communication strategy, and determining your message. Not all of your subscribers will be interested in the same content, and it’s up to you to identify what the differences might be and where their preferences lie. Give your email marketing plan careful consideration, and take all the time you need to develop it fully. And if you find that something isn’t working, don’t be afraid to try something new!
Personalize your email
A wise man once said that “sending impersonal, irrelevant messages is a surefire way to encourage your subscribers to tune out.” Luckily, MailChimp’s personalization tools make it easy to create a unique experience for each subscriber on your mailing list, which’ll make your emails feel more human every time. Add merge tags to your campaign to include the recipient’s name in their email, pull in a unique URL or coupon code, or even display dynamic content using IF, ELSE, and ELSEIF logic. Then, use segmentation to increase the relevance of your campaigns and target customers by their signup date, engagement, purchase history, and more. And, of course, be sure to connect your store to MailChimp to take advantage of product recommendations, a feature we introduced earlier this year that uses data from prior purchases to suggest similar products your customers will love.
Send abandoned cart emails
You may have heard that we’re pretty excited about abandoned cart messaging. And for good reason—abandoned cart emails help businesses follow up with customers who navigate away from shopping carts, remind them what they’ve left behind, and give them a reason to come back and finish the transaction.
Earlier this year, we introduced our own abandoned cart functionality for Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce connected stores, making it even easier to reconnect with customers and recapture sales. Folks have already started reaping the benefits, with the typical MailChimp user experiencing a 2% increase in total store orders just by sending abandoned cart emails.
Incentivizing your email campaign can be a great way to build brand loyalty and generate revenue. As you’re planning your email marketing for the final weeks of 2016 and into the new year, consider adding a few perks to surprise and delight your subscribers. And, since our new pre-built segments allow you to target each of the following segments in just one click, it’s easier than ever to get started. Welcome new customers to your list with an automation workflow (perhaps with a special offer or free download) that sends based on information subscribers provide at signup. Re-engage customers by sending a limited-time discount to a segment of people who haven’t made a purchase in a while. Or, show your appreciation to loyal customers by thanking them for their patronage and offering a discount they can use on their next purchase.
Measure your performance
Your MailChimp account generates a lot of data that can provide you with valuable insight and help you learn more about your subscribers. After each campaign you send, pay close attention to your open and click rates. Over time, you’ll start to notice trends in the data, and you’ll quickly discover which content is—and isn’t—driving engagement. Other sections of your reports are worth exploring too, like the E-commerce tab, where you’ll find everything you need to know about the products you’ve sold and the money you’ve made, and the Social tab, which can tell you how well your campaign is performing on Facebook.
Build on your success
Along with the impending arrival of a brand new year comes a new opportunity to reflect on the past and look toward the future. As an email marketer, it’s also a great time to focus on growing your audience, strengthening your relationship with your customers, and trying something new. MailChimp has a ton of features available to help along the way, whether you’re looking for alternative signup form options and integrations that will sync your existing customer database with MailChimp; testing tools that will help you discover how changes to your email design, content, or sending time will resonate with your customers. Dive headfirst into data analysis to discover the hidden trends and patterns that can help you take your business to the next level.