As an Email Service Provider (among other things) we spend a lot of time teaching our clients how to best leverage email as a communication channel that can deliver relevant content to an information hungry audience. We also employ an assortment of email technology ranging from enterprise level to web based platforms that allow us to do some pretty neat things. For our customers that like to get “hands on” we almost always recommend MailChimp because it’s easy to use and has a powerful feature set, some of which I want to share with you here.
A/B Split Testing – Do you ever have trouble picking a subject line or figuring out what day/time is best to send to your particular audience? A/B Split Testing a very powerful feature built right into MailChimp that provides a super easy way to test those variables. Simply decide what type of test you’d like to run and determine the size of your sample groups. MailChimp will take care of the rest and let you know which test sample won—and then sends the winning campaign to the remainder of your list. People who A/B test their email campaigns get 11% better open rates and 17% more clicks.
Auto-responders – Triggered emails are a great tool for sending automatic emails based on some event (or as the name implies – a trigger) like a welcome email after someone joins your list or a special discount coupon delivered on a birthday, for example. That’s all well and good…but if you think outside of the box a bit you can really do some amazing things with this technology like drip marketing campaigns. A great example of this very concept is this 5 part educational email drip campaign from The Republic of Tea. Here are a few more practical ideas for using auto-responders.
Chimpadeedoo – This is one of my personal favorites and is a great tool for folks who are out of the office a lot or frequently at places where there’s no WiFi. If your company attends tradeshows regularly then this feature is for you! Chimpadeedoo for iPad (and Chimpadeedee for PC) is a MailChimp app lets you collect email subscribers with out an internet connection and sync them with your MailChimp account later. Schecter Guitars recently used this app to rock the Uproar Festival Tour.
Wavelength – Wavelength is a new service that’s still being incubated, but looks to have great potential to anyone looking to grow their email list. Since buying email lists outright is a big no-no, this new service isn’t intended to sniff out new lists to send your email promotions to. Rather, it scans a massive amount of accumulated email data on the MailChimp platform and shows screenshots of other email campaigns that some of your subscribers read. The idea is to help you build relationships with like minded publishers that could lead to mutual benefits, like linking to each other for growing your lists organically.
I’ve only scratched the surface of MailChimp’s features, and I’d encourage you to check the rest out for yourself here. Are you a MailChimp user? What sort of “outside the box” ideas have you come up with? Let’s share ideas in the comments section below, on Facebook or Twitter!