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How to Quit Monkeying Around and Conquer MailChimp in 2017

You’ve Decided to Market with Email – Conquer MailChimp

This quarter, my goal to Conquer Mailchimp plagues me as each day goes by and my list languishes. Is it what I write, what I do or don’t do that’s wrong? Or is everything really working OK, and I’m expecting too much? After nine campaigns my open rate averages 23.3%. My click rate skyrocketed from 1.8% to a high of 8.7 % in my Lockdown campaign, dropping to 7.1% in Besties.

I’m taking heart in the fact it improved. By the way, I’m not an affiliate of Mailchimp, and I’m not selling MailChimp lessons…yet. I’ll wait till I’m actually good at it. hehe

I’ve picked up some random tips and observations I want to share if you don’t mind. In this post, you can learn: where to create your automated signup form for your mailing list,  how not to import email contacts, and how to create groups for targeted email campaigns and improve your open rate.

Conquer MailChimp Automation JOIN MY LIST!

I understood automation to mean the automated notices that go out responding to reader’s requests to join your mailing list. If you click the MailChimp Automation tab, which is new as of May 2nd, you have options for “Abandoned Carts, E-Commerce, and Specific Product Follow-up” just to name a few. I just wanted to get people to sign up for my mailing list. Finding things in MailChimp has been the hardest thing for me to learn! It’s not intuitive.

In this case, to find and automate your signup forms, you click the Lists tab. Obvious to everyone but me, you have to create a list first. That button is to the right side of the screen.

Once I got the hang of it, I created bunches of lists. They don’t hurt anyone. You can erase them if no one is responding to them, but make sure you erase all the places you advertised them, also.

But now, back to creating your automated signup form.

  1. Go to the List Tab
  2.  On the right side click the arrow next to the Stats Button
  3. Select the Signup Forms tab under the General forms tab -shazam!  Did you think of looking for the automation under General forms?On the next screen, you see another drop-down menu for the types of signup forms MailChimp sends out automatically for you. Each one of these can be personalized.
  4. Voilá there is your URL to paste into whatever or wherever you want to collect signups. It could be a Twitter post, a call to action within each post, or a landing page if you want. You can be as creative as you want with this URL.
  5. Play around with the different signup forms. You can add pictures, which I make in Canva. You can even translate it into about 50 languages or so (dropdown menu). This is one of my signup forms.

Conquer Mailchimp Lists As You Build Them

A major mistake I made last week. I imported my 1,600 Gmail contacts BEFORE I organized them. It was an accident. Once I passed my cursor over go, I couldn’t stop the process!

I started individually deleting members and assigning others to groups – a big waste of my time. There was an easy fix!

How to Fix Improper Importing

BEST ADVICE –  organize your email before you import it! However, if you mess up, this is how you Conquer MailChimp! In the list menu scroll down the Manage Contacts page.

Click Import History. (Yes, my friends, TC History Gal – that’s me – thinks history IS important, too.) Then you come to this screen where you get more choices. If you’ve already imported some names, they will show up here. You will have the option to undo. It is not lit up on this screen because I already undid the import. You can see that MailChimp is telling me that the mistake was undone. I had already removed about 100 contact names by hand before I discovered this shortcut.

You can barely see the boxes on the right side that say undo and view. If you have a list that has a history, or an import you don’t want, click undo. Easy peasy.

Create Groups to Conquer MailChimp

MailChimp tells you that you will have better open rates if you segment your lists. First of all, don’t create a segment if you want a group. Your question might be, “What is a segment?”

Ask me later, friends. I don’t use that one yet. 🙂 I’ve got to stick to what I know! 🙂

I wanted to create groups because my friends are from diverse organizations and communities, and they don’t know each other or have MANY IF ANY of the same interests. I was sending all of them blogging stuff when many of them were imported from my email contacts and are not bloggers. My contacts are good friends and didn’t bother to unsubscribe, but they ignored my emails.

With groups, I can send my Kiwanis friends some announcements about Kiwanis and my social studies friends can get important information about social studies. Blogger friends… – well you get the idea by now.

Segments are easy to get to. Groups are harder to find.

If I only want to send to a targeted group of my list I need to put them in a group. Here’s how to do it.

Go to the Manage Contacts tab and click the drop down menu and choose Groups. (That sounds intuitive, I know)

Oh yes, just like adding lists, you have to create groups before you can add people to them.

Manage Contacts drop down menu to Groups

Within each group, if you click the view groups button on the right, you CAN import directly into this group. I haven’t tried this because as I noted before, I made a huge importing mistake earlier.

Adding Names to Groups

Now that you’ve created groups, you will see this screen when you view all your contacts on your list.

Go back to Manage Contacts. Use the Action drop-down menu and choose “Add to Group.” From there follow the arrow until you get to the group you want for that member.

Now you can target email your groups with separate specific emails. I’ll try this and let you know how it goes, but I can almost guarantee that my open rate will skyrocket.

Summary

As with every new program, I encounter problems that the glib promoters of the program do not cover in their emails. I only covered three problems in this post: finding where to create your automated signup form for your mailing list, importing email contacts, and creating groups.

I love the promoters because I would never have tried the programs without them, but I get so frustrated. That’s what keeps me writing to you. So here’s the deal. If you have frustrating problems, please leave me a response in my comment box or email me. I don’t have a smooth podcast for you but I’m a frequent flyer at muddling through programs and seeing how they work. By the way, if you find videos or other helpful answers to these problems, feel free to link them in the comment section.

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