As I work as a MailChimp consultant and trainer I get a good overview of how people use MailChimp. There are a few issues that cause many email marketers problem. Fortunately these issues are simple to avoid if you know what to look for.
Below are the three most common issues that I encounter with users of MailChimp.
Using a single list (as opposed to multiple lists) will absolutely make your email marketing quicker and more effective. Best practice is to have a single MailChimp list and then to use segments to target your email campaigns to relevant audiences.
If you use multiple MailChimp lists then you almost certainly will be fine merging the multiple lists into a single list. Out of the hundreds of organisations and people that I’ve worked with, only a tiny fraction haven’t found a way to use a single list which is then ‘divided’ by segments.
There are many reason that it’s preferable to use a single list in MailChimp with the main reasons being:
- People unsubscribe at the list ‘level’ in MailChimp. If they are in multiple lists and they unsubscribe then it is probable that you’ll keep sending them campaigns (as they’re in a second list). Sending email marketing to a person that has unsubscribed contravenes the Australian Spam Act.
- You pay for the number of email addresses in your account. If people are in multiple lists then you may well be paying more for your MailChimp subscription than you need to.
- A campaign can be sent to a list or a segment (or group). If you need to send a campaign to all subscribers and you have multiple lists you’ll need to send multiple campaigns.
- Your reporting will become fragmented by having multiple lists. Reporting is a the list and campaign levels in MailChimp.
Images in Text Blocks
MailChimp users mentioning that images aren’t aligning as expected is a very common complaint. Every time that I’ve encountered this issue, the MailChimp user has added an image to a text block when designing their campaign.
By simply using image content blocks for images and text content blocks for text alone, the image alignment problem will magically disappear.
Too much text
Friends don’t let friends have lots of text in an email campaign! I recall reading awhile back how, when designing a website, it’s important to halve the text, then halve it again and then halve the text amount again. The same principle usually applies to email campaigns.
There are exceptions to this ‘less is more’ principle regarding text in campaigns; for example a product recall notice may benefit from having significant explanatory text. For the vast majority of campaigns however there shouldn’t be more than a few lines of text.
Keep in mind that your target audience may differ from you in terms of demographics. Create your campaign for your recipients needs, wants and expectations and not your needs and wants. The majority of email recipients want messages that are short and to the point and don’t want to read reams of text. More people than ever are reading email on mobile devices; let’s not frustrate our subscribers by making then scroll through mountains of text!