If you haven't heard of marketing automation, you probably don't actively market your business.
Marketing automation typically consists of software and technologies that allow marketers to automate repetitive tasks through a variety of channels such as social media, websites, and email.
Many marketers opt to use MailChimp for their marketing efforts, and rightfully so! MailChimp offers great tools including list and audience management, social media integration, data driven insights, and marketing automation. The last of which will be the tool we're focusing on today.
Click to watch a demonstration of the email creation process.
How Email Marketing Automation With MailChimp Works
Before we delve into creating your marketing automation, let's chat about how to navigate to it.
When you log into your account, you'll most likely see a screen that looks similar to this:
Next, you're going to want to navigate into the tab in the top left corner that is marked "Campaigns."
Once within that tab, you'll be able to see all of the campaigns you've sent in the past, or are working on currently. Additionally, you'll have an option about campaign types in the side bar. From that bar, you're going to want to navigate into automation:
Awesome! Now you're in the tab you need to be. Follow the steps below to build your campaign!
1 - Decide Which Type of Automation is Best For You
After clicking "Create an Automation", you should be seeing a screen that looks like this:
(If this isn't your first campaign, you may have few more windows to click through. Look for "Create Campaign", then choose "Email", and "Automated")
The tabs at the top allow you to toggle between automation campaign options that might suit what you're looking for. For example, if you're an E-Commerce business, it might be a good idea to sort by only E-Commerce options for efficiency.
The great thing about MailChimp, is if you select a campaign that you do not have the data for, they won't let you move forward and create the campaign. For example, if you don't have birthdays logged in your database, MailChimp will let you know, and you won't waste time making a 'happy birthday' email.
Once you have the automation option selected, hit "Begin" and continue with the steps below.
2 - Select A List To Target, Set Send Details
Next, you'll be taken to a screen where you are prompted to fill out the following details:
In addition to selecting the list, in the "Sends To" section, you can select what the automated enrollment criteria are. When you click to edit in that section, you'll be prompted with several options that may best fit your campaign. Your screen may look like this (depending on the type of automation selected during step 1):
As for the "From" section, it's best practice to send from a sales rep on your team (when possible), rather than an info@ or sales@ account. This helps to improve engagement and credibility with your audience, and make this automated email feel more personal.
In the "Subject Line" section, choose what best fits your email! I know, I know. That's not super helpful. Here are some best practices we recommend you stick to:
- Stick somewhere around 4-5 words in your subject line when possible.
- If it fits with your audience, try throwing in a fun emoji.
- Ask a question (or answer one!) to help with open rates.
As for the "Content" section, we've got lots of notes for you...
3 - Edit the Content
Once you hit the button to begin editing the content, marked "Edit Design", you'll be taken to this screen:
It might look confusing to start, but it's actually a very simple WYSIWYG editor. Simply drag the types of content boxes you see on the right side of the screen to the left side of the screen.
To edit your email header and footer and other integral details, toggle over to the "Style" option on the right hand side of the screen, and fill your company details and designs into the format shown:
(Psst -- Stuck on what to put in your email? Test out some of our trade show email templates here!)
When your finished, you should start to see your full email on the left side of your screen, feel free to play around with the tools available:
After that, you're ready to hit "Save & Continue" in the bottom right corner of your screen!
Then, you'll be transported back to the screen from the beginning of step 2. Click the "Start Sending" button in the top right corner of your screen, and viola! You're on your way to awesome automation!
Email Is Just One Piece of the Marketing Puzzle
Once your email marketing automation is set up, how else are you nurturing your leads throughout their journey? Do you have coordinated social media campaigns? How about content to capture leads curious about learning more from your business about their industry? How are you managing your contacts?
All of these elements working together is crucial for a successful marketing strategy in 2020 and beyond. We recommend exploring HubSpot Marketing Free for an all-in-one tool that can support your business' goals (including savvy email marketing automation tools).
Let's work together to brainstorm a cohesive marketing strategy, and find the tools that support it. Just utilize the button below to get in touch with Josh today:
Editor's Note: This blog post was originally published on October 31, 2014 and was updated on April 17, 2020 to reflect updates in the tools and ideas explored.