Sometimes I think back to those moments whenever I first started blogging and thought that it was all about pouring my thoughts and feelings about very specific subjects through my posts and pressing “publish” whenever I was finished. Psh! How naive I once was! Blogging is about so much more than just writing, even though that is the foundation that you need. As a blogger, you need to learn so much (social media, pitching to brands, networking basics, etc), and sometimes it requires stepping outside of your comfort zone. (Or taking some awesome classes with INTRO NYC – hint, hint!)
For me, that was email marketing. Until recently, this was a foreign subject to me and the thought of learning how to build email lists, set up RSS emails,and sending newsletters out to my community was daunting, to say the least. But I adapted and have learned to love Mailchimp (the service that I use for email marketing), and I want you to understand and love it, too! Here are some basics that every blogger should know.
First things first – it’s free!
Mailchimp has what is called a “Forever Free” plan, which costs you literally nothing, until you have 2,000 emails on your lists (combined) or until 12,000 emails are sent. This is a pretty awesome deal, especially since you can’t really get much for free these days. If you do have more than 2,000 contacts on your email subscriber list, I can tell you from experience that it’s worth every penny to upgrade and start paying a monthly subscription.
Use the “recently sent” tab in your campaigns.
If I had to craft an entirely new email each and every time I logged in to create a campaign, I wouldn’t have time for much else in my life! Whenever you log into Mailchimp and start to set up your campaign, click on the “campaigns” tab whenever you are designing your template and drop down to the “recently sent” category. This will immediately give you access to everything that has been sent in the past – giving you he ability to click on a sent campaign that you loved and plug in the new information. Easy!
Read your reports.
Knowing which campaigns were the most effective relies heavily on reading your reports. Don’t ever send a campaign and just immediately look at your blog pageviews to see how much of an impact it had. Click on your reports! (Mailchimp will also send you an email whenever your campaign has been sent prompting you to click on and read your report -do it!) Here are the key questions to ask yourself when viewing your reports:
- Did anyone unsubscribe? If so, try to figure out why that may have been.
- Are people clicking? Where are they clicking?
- What is your 24 hour performance telling you? Is it letting you know that the time you send your campaign is or isn’t reaching your audience?
It pays to automate.
Now this is a feature that you do need to pay for, but it’s worth it a million times over! Automating through Mailchimp gives you the option to set up very specific emails that are automatically sent to specific email lists as soon as you get a new subscriber or import new subscribers. You only have to do it one time and then – boom – its a continuous cycle of pageviews or whatever your call to action is for your new subscribers, without having to put in much effort. This feature is priceless to me.
Make good use of different lists.
You can have endless lists with Mailchimp, so use them to your advantage. If you have different categories on your blog, your readers might be interested in reading different things, so you can separate your lists by category so that your readers are getting the content they want. This will help you to better personalize your campaigns, increase engagement, and avoid unsubscribes!
Author: Allison Cooper
Allison is the Co-Founder and CEO of INTRO NYC and Founder & CEO of Project Motherhood (www.projectmotherhoodnyc.com), an online resource helping moms love their post-pregnancy body and always rock their #MamaStyle! She loves educating new bloggers and connecting them with brands to help their business grow!