What is the best way to refine an existing MailChimp List?
We are currently looking to refine our mailing list. We want to get subscribers into more detailed categories. Is there a way to do this in a very unobtrusive way? Maybe a simple ask email through MailChimp?
Organize it by industry or by a marketing funnel (leads, supporters, customers, etc)
You CAN create segments in MailChimp so you can send more specific e-mails based on the audience you want to target.
In addition to a simple ask (and possibly incentivized) request e-mail to select their preferred categories, also put a request out via social media. Not only is it another way to send out this request "to better serve" your customers, but it's another way to potentially capture NEW subscribers who, until now, only followed you on social media.
I believe you have to first define the terms "refine" and "detailed categories" along with defining what the goal or purpose of the list segmentation.
Is the segmentation to make it easier to create content to send to your subscribers or do you want your subscribers to self-select the types (e.g., new product/service announcements, discounts/sales promotion, etc.) of email, the types of 'articles' they want to receive or how often (e.g., daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly) they want to receive an email? In either case, I agree with the others you should create specific subject matter, email type and/or frequency categories then craft an email explaining what you are doing, how it will impact them in a positive manner and ask them to go to their subscriber management panel and choose their options. As Jennifer stated an incentive maybe in order.
Beyond the above you can and should segment your list into a host of categories based on customer/non-customer, location, what they've purchased in the past, how frequent they purchase, industry, sex, birthday, and age among other psychographic, demographic, geographic and behavioral characteristics. The latter can be done behind the scenes without subscriber permission.
Mailchimp is a great communication tool but needs a lot of manual labor. Depending on the size of your business, subscriber base and your business' goals you may want to step up to a marketing automation platform/service, which will allow you to do significantly more than can be done with MailChimp.
Set your goals first. Then develop a strategy(ies). Select appropriate tactics and tools. Test. Refine. Launch to rest of list.
Almost forgot. Analyze the email subject matter you've already set out and see who has read specific articles or clicked on specific links then segment those people by their actions. That can help you create some of the potential categories to create.
I recommend this: offer some kind of Free content to your list. What ever your offer, make it related to some product/service that you offer.
1. 10 Ways to......
2. 7 Tips to solving a specific problem you think your list may want to get solved.
3. Everything you wanted to know about.............
Content could be in the form of video, audio, e-book.. A give-away content may also work.
Send them to a landing page to get your special offer.
Do this 1-3 times and it will help you identify what your list is interested in and help you segment your list.
If I knew what business you were in I could be more specific.
To your success,
"the Marketing Coach"
In MailChimp, under “Lists,” you will see a menu item for Manage Subscribers. From here, I create market segments that I assign to each subscriber. In our own list, for example, I created the following groups: Education, Nonprofit, Small Business, Medical, Vendors, Friends & Family,and Web Contact. By assigning a particular group or groups to each subscriber, you can create perfectly targeted content.
There are two additional bonuses in creating groups versus creating separate lists:
1. Easier list management as subscribers can be members of more than one group and you avoid having to update the same subscriber who may appear in more than one list.
2. It helps you stay under the 2,000 subscriber limit for the free account. (When you add the same subscriber to two lists, they are counted as two subscribers.)
More on how to do this with screen shots is available at http://kb.mailchimp.com/article/what-is-a-group-and-why-would-i-want-to-set-one-up.
I suggest you first list "segments" based on your target prospect interests. Then, if you are using WordPress for your site, you can start categories by topic interest and since in WordPress each category has its own RSS feed, use the category feed to create regular newsletters in MailChimp.
Great question Shane!
I think your instincts are correct - just ask your audience to tell you :-)
However, given typical open and click rates, you'll end up with few responses and then where do you go...
There are other email solutions that have better database capabilities out there. SalesNexus.com would be one :-)
I trust this has not already been answered, but...
Mail Chimp makes it very easy to create targeted, customized lists. For example, one of my clients is a Salsa instructor. Using Mail Chimp, I have created customized lists based on gender, birthday, level of dance experience, type of instruction, group lessons and private instruction. These lists are based on a questionnaire that I send out to each person who joins the mailing list. In this way, I am able to target my mailings, so - for example, a guy is not receiving email notifications for women's styling classes... or experienced level dancers are not receiving invitations for beginning instruction.
Taking the time to do this will ensure that your email recipients are always receiving messages that will be of greater interest to them.
We like the idea of asking subscribers to update their own information, if you're looking to add detail. You'll risk getting some to unsubscribe, but that's always the chance. Take the right tone and you'll mitigate loss. Offer an incentive if you can! We also like to remind people how frequently we email subscribers so they know they won't be spammed.
Good luck. We love MailChimp!
I'd say that this one depends on the rates at which your current subscribers interact with content in e-mail. A simple ask e-mail could always work, perhaps with a google or surveymonkey form so that subscribers can pick their own categories.
I agree with Jennifer. The key to keeping loyalty in subscribers is expressing gratitude and acknowledging that they'll be going out of their way to help you reformat your business. It's essential that you communicate interest in maximizing their user experience.
Try sending an email to your current subscribers explaining that you'd like to cater their newsletter to their interests and simply ask them to select their own categories. Your readers will likely appreciate that you're catering information specifically to them.
I would open the email by thanking them for following your business/being a subscriber.
You can also offer a giveaway as an incentive if you feel they might need a nudge - ie. each person to refine their areas of interest is entered into the giveaway.