Marketing Automation with MailChimp

January 9, 2013 Marketing

Your website is a tool.  When properly designed and developed it not only informs your customers about your products and services but, gives you and them a platform to interact with them.  One way to keep them coming back for repeat business is to constantly offer fresh content.  This creates a relationship in which trust is established and eventually an exchange of services occurs.  While there are many, many ways to do this, we’ll explore how to use MailChimp to enhance your marketing automation efforts and save you time.

In addition to providing information about your products and services, your website should ALSO be an insight into your particular industry.  This let’s your customers know that you are not only passionate about what you do but, have foresight and are willing to go the extra mile to make them happy.  So once your brand new content is created, now we have to promote it?

Marketing Automation Assumptions…

So we’ll go out on a limb here.  As this is a guide for people that are a bit technically savvy, we’ll make some assumptions:

  1. You are continuously creating fresh content – If you’re not, then the door is right here.
  2. You already have a MailChimp account and are familiar with its basicsMailChimp offers plenty of resources on how to use its platform.  No need to rehash them.
  3. Your website has a valid RSS feed – This should be a standard piece of functionality if you are using a website that is powered by a CMS.  If you’re not, then go get one!

Great!  Now that we understand each other, let’s get down to business

Step 1 – Create New RSS-Driven Campaign

After you’ve logged into MailChimp, from the dashboard create a new RSS-Driven campaign.  It looks something like this:Create new RSS-driven campaign

Step 2 – Setup the Campaign’s Feed and Send Timing

This step configures how the marketing automation campaign will ultimate work.  Specify the feed’s URL and send frequency and then move on.

NOTE: If you have some trouble getting past this step, you might have an invalid RSS feed, or your site is blocking HEAD requests.  Talk to you webmaster to see how you can resolve it.


Step 3 – Select Which List to Use

Straight forward and simple.  If you do not know how to create a list, check out MailChimp’s video.  Otherwise, see the picture below


Step 4 – Setup Campaign Info

In this step we name our campaign, setup default email addresses and can connect it to Twitter and Facebook.

NOTE: Do the right thing and take advantage of connecting the campaign to the offered social networks to further automate your marketing efforts.

Campaign Info

Step 5 – Select Your Template Option

There are many options here but for the sake of this example we’re going to select Basic.

Template Option

After you’ve selected Basic, select a sample starter layout.

Starter Layout

After you select your layout, you’ll be taken to an editor screen that looks like the one below.

MailChimp Editor

Step 6 – “Design” your Plain-Text Emails

Not many people still use plain text emails.  Many send out plain text emails but can still receive HTML ones.  For the sake of the few we can still create text based emails.  See below:

Plain Text

Step 7 – Confirm and Launch

After you’ve confirmed all your settings, its time to pull the trigger:

Confirm and Deploy Marketing Automation

Conclusion & After Thoughts

So there it is, a crash course on how to use MailChimp to enhance your marketing automation.  With how simple this is to setup, I can’t see a reason why any business owner wouldn’t take advantage of it.  Now all we have to do is focus on creating content and let technology do the rest.  Seems like a win for everyone!

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