Email marketing is tried and tested and remains a very effective way to stay connected with customers and reach new ones. Research shows that 99% of consumers check their email every day, and 80% of business professionals believe email marketing increases customer retention. Mailchimp is a leading all-in-one marketing platform that helps businesses manage and communicate with their clients, customers, and other interested parties. Many businesses arrange their email marketing campaigns on Mailchimp.
If you’re a start-up business, or a more established brand wanting to expand, a well-designed email template is one of the most useful and cost-effective tools available to connect with your customers. However, research conducted by Mailchimp points to a problem. Only 27% of marketing emails are opened by the recipient. Billions of business emails are sent and received worldwide every day. With so many emails vying for attention, a high-quality email design should focus on capturing the attention of the recipient right away, or risk being among the 73% that go unopened.
With this in mind, below we outline our advice on how to set up an email marketing campaign on Mailchimp and design email templates that will help get your message across to a wider audience.
#1 - Create Account
Create a Mailchimp account and go through the completion set-up. Be sure to fill out your profile section thoroughly. (This will help when creating a footer in your email.)
Mailchimp is free to use with 2 free template and several themes (up to 2000 subscribers). You may wish to upgrade for more advanced tools. See Mailchimp’s pricing packages here.
#2 - AddYour Audience
Add your contacts to your audience. You can arrange your contacts in different ways, create segments and customise audience lists, and conduct email and subscriber analytics. See more about how to add an audience.
#3 - Choose Layout
Select a template that has the layout or theme you’d like to use. You can customise the template so that it aligns more to your brand. The layout should use text hierarchy to guide the reader through the email, highlight the most important information, and should conclude with a call to action. Focus the message and keep the design simple.
#4 - What is the Message?
Start with a strong message and title outlining what you want the recipient to know. If the email is designed to drive traffic to your website, you may want to consider creating a landing page. (You can also create a landing page on Mailchimp.)
#5 - Images
Choose striking images relevant to the theme of your message. If the image is a large file, it may not load for your recipient. You can resize your image in Mailchimp, it will even prompt you to do so if your file is large and will suggest a more appropriate size.
#6 - Branding
Keep your design on-brand. Using Mailchimp’s drag and drop builder, you can add content blocks, text blocks and images blocks and customise them to your needs. You can use the styling window to change fonts, colours and backgrounds so they are in harmony with your existing branding. Don’t forget to include your logo in the header!
#7 - Social Media and Footer
Your footer automatically displays your business credentials, with the option to unsubscribe. However, you will need to complete your details in your Mailchimp profile first. Connect your social media links. You can add social media buttons to your email template.
#8 - Test Email
Once you feel happy with your design and content, it is important to send a test email to yourself to see how it looks in your inbox. Review and make adjustments if needed. Double check your buttons are working and are linked to the correct URLs. Go back to your draft and make any necessary changes. Keep sending test emails until you’re confident the template is complete.
#9 - Mobile Responsive
Make sure your email is mobile responsive. Most people check their emails via their smartphones. Your email should look just as good when viewed on a mobile phone, so you will likely need to make adjustments to the ‘mobile styling’ in the styling window.
#10 - Create Campaign
You are now ready to start an email campaign using your template. Select ‘Campaign’ in the main menu, then ‘create campaign’. Once you have selected a title for your campaign you can begin to design it using your template. Don’t forget to send a test email to yourself first.
Once you are finished, it is now ready to send to your audience.
The vast majority of marketers would agree that professionally designed email marketing materials would be a valuable resource for any organisation. In fact, 59% say email is their biggest source of return on investment. Following these simple tips will allow you to create your own email marketing campaigns and template designs that will help you connect better with your audience.