Email marketing is a powerful tool for selling products online. Whether you're a brick and mortar looking to supplement your business online, an online-only enterprise, daily deals site, or retail giant, MailChimp can help you scale your online business.
So, how can MailChimp help? Using MailChimp’s reports and e-commerce integrations, you can see which customers engage with your emails, who is purchasing most frequently and send your “Golden Monkeys” a special thank you offer. You can also integrate Google Analytics data right into your MailChimp account. Have a variety of physical locations? Use list segmentation to send location-based messaging. You can also set up autoresponders to send specific content to customers based on clicks or special days like anniversaries.
In this guide we'll go over all of the above and cover some integrations that instantly connect your MailChimp account to apps and services like PayPal, Magento, Amazon, and Google Analytics. You can also take advantage of our API and create your own integration.
Create Your Mailing List
Before you start sending campaigns, you’ll first need to set up your MailChimp lists. If you’ve been collecting email address, on your website or at conferences you can simply click on the Lists tab in your MailChimp dashboard, click Create List, and walk through the importing process.
For information on setting up your list and sign up forms from scratch, try our Getting Started With MailChimp guide.
Forms and Response Emails
Once you have lists set up and imported, you can customize your signup and confirmation forms and response emails. Each of your MailChimp lists will have these, giving you the opportunity to create targeted content for each of your lists. For instance, if you have a list for wholesale customers, you may want to create a different opt-in experience than for your retail customers. You may also want to collect different information from these different types of customers when they sign up to receive your newsletters.
The information you collect from your forms can later be used to segment your last for targeted messaging. If you’re importing your list from another location, this is a good opportunity to think about the new information you’d like to collect.
Building Your List
After you’ve finished customizing your forms, you can begin adding more subscribers to your lists. You can embed your new sign up form on your website, share it on Twitter, add it to your Facebook page, or add a link to the form in your email signature. You can also generate a QR code that you can use in printed material.
Gather signups from your iPad
Even if you put your digital signup form on all your websites and blogs, it's a good idea to collect email addresses at trade shows, your brick-and-mortar store if you have one, and any public events your brand may be present at. Chimpadeedoo, our iPad app that collects signups and automatically imports them into your account when you're back online.
Chimpadeedoo is available for free on the iTunes app store.
Each list in MailChimp is completely separate from the others. This means that bounces, unsubscribes, and abuse complaints are tracked on a per-list basis rather than globally across all lists. We’ve pulled together a list of best practices to help keep each of your lists in good shape in our Knowledge Base.
Segmenting your List
You probably have a lot of different customers on your list, who might all be interested in different kinds of content and products. You might have wholesale customers, VIPs, or subscribers in different locations around the world. MailChimp’s powerful segmentation tools allow you to use the information you have about your subscribers to create and send targeted campaigns. Segments help you be a little more human. We're big believers in reducing irrelevance, and segmenting is one quick, powerful way of doing precisely that.
You can use segmentation tools to send campaigns based on your subscribers' interests, location, or activity with your other campaigns. As an online seller, you may want to segment based on purchase activity. After a customer purchases something, you can follow up a week later to make sure everything is working correctly, offer tips for their new product, or remind them to review their transaction. And now that you know something they're willing to pay money for, you also have a better idea of what emails they'll appreciate in the future.
MailChimp customer Dropcam employed clever segmentation to generate some impressive conversions. Not everyone is willing to drop three digits on a gadget, no questions asked. That's what Dropcam Marketing Manager David Corea quickly learned while trying to get the word out about his company's little cameras. By combining segmentation and autoresponders, he saw an impressive payoff.
Create Your Newsletter
Now that you've got your lists set up, you can start creating your MailChimp campaigns. You can upload your own custom templates, build a new one from scratch, or take advantage of our predesigned options.
If you need help choosing a template, our Email Template Reference will walk you through the process. If you're looking for design tips, our MailChimp for Designers guide is the way to go. Maybe those guides take care of your needs. If not, MailChimp's Getting Started guide is the best place to start.
If you want to put together your own template, you've got a couple of options. Our Drag & Drop Editor, which Jason expertly explains on the MailChimp blog, lets you start with a basic layout and then drag and drop content blocks into your campaign. From there, you can customize until your heart's content.
For more of a simple, fixed layout, choose Basic in the Design step of the campaign builder.
Select a layout, then use MailChimp's template designer to design a header image and the colors of your template. After you choose a template, click Design Header, then upload your own header image or use one from our gallery.
Code Your Own Template
If you’re an email wiz or working with a developer, you can create your own custom template and upload it to your MailChimp account. If you choose to go this route, take a few minutes to review our Email Template Reference.
If you need to quickly add your message and go, take a look at our predesigned templates in the template gallery. They're customizable, but they give you a head start in the design area. You can narrow them by category so it's a good fit. Here are a few predesigned e-ecommerce templates:
If you’re using MailChimp to support products that you’re selling through Etsy, eBay, Amazon, or iTunes, check out MailChimp’s autoconnect templates. When you use an autoconnect template, all you have to do is connect MailChimp to your account, and we’ll pull in your graphics and design a template for you automatically. You can find these templates in the predesigned template gallery.
For a lot of email marketers, the best part of sending email newsletters is looking at the stats after a campaign goes out. How many people opened your email? How many clicked? What did they click? What didn’t they click? Did they like the content? For online sellers, it's even more exciting to see if your campaigns result in sales of your featured products.
Once you've sent a campaign, sit back, relax, and wait for your stats to come in. MailChimp offers insightful tracking and reporting. And with MailChimp's Google Analytics and eCommerce360 integrations installed, you'll easily see how much revenue your campaign is creating and exactly which products your subscribers are buying. Review this information for every campaign you send—it’s full of clues and feedback that will help make your more successful than the last.
MailChimp’s standard reports use informative, easy-to-read graphs, tables, and maps to show you things like opens, clicks, bounces, and unsubscribes. To access your reports, go to the Reports tab from your MailChimp dashboard and click on the name of the campaign to view its report.
We even offer maps that allow you to see where in the world the people opening your emails are located.
eCommerce360 and ROI tracking
With MailChimp's Google Analytics and eCommerce360 integrations, all the traffic that's sent—and the money made—by your campaigns is conveniently rounded up, so you can see what's working. Find out who your best customers are and which of your products they're buying.
Using Google Analytics is easy, but by installing Analytics360, you can view all your campaign stats within MailChimp.
Setting up Analytics360
In your MailChimp account, click Account, then Integrations, then Google. Click Authorize Connection, and grant MailChimp access to connect with Google.
Once your account is set up, you'll need to check the box to enable Google Analytics tracking in the Setup step of the campaign builder each time you being a new campaign. After the campaign is sent, you can view the stats on the Site Analytics360 tab of your Reports page.
Viewing your results
Once you've set up Analytics360, you'll be able to see reports for individual campaigns, site traffic, revenue, completed goals, campaign ROI, conversion rates, and much more right from your Reports dashboard.
With Analytics360 you'll also be able to use MailChimp's Revenue Chart to compare campaigns to see which ones performed best in terms of revenue. Maybe a particular subject line enticed buyers, or perhaps time of sending affects your reader click-throughs.
With MailChimp's eCommerce360 feature, you can keep track of exactly what your subscribers are buying. Using that information, you can segment your list to send targeted emails based on your subscriber's purchasing behavior. Your top customers might deserve a thank you for being loyal to your brand, or those subscribers that haven't shopped in a while might need a little push to get them headed in the right direction.
Setting up eCommerce360
In order to use eCommerce360 you'll first need to install a shopping cart plugin on your website. You can find a full list of available plugins in our Knowledge Base.
Once you have the plugin installed, you can set up eCommerce tracking on your campaigns. Each time you begin a new campaign, simply check Add Ecommerce360 Tracking To All URLs in the Setup step of the campaign builder as you're creating your newsletter.
View your results
Now that you've got eCommerce360 set up on your account, there are a couple different ways you can view the stats. For campaign information, navigate to the Ecommerce tab at the top of your campaign Reports page. You can also look at subscriber profiles and see what products your customers buy, and from which campaigns they purchased. Segment by your most-engaged customers, learn where their interests lie, and delight them with special offers, videos, or coupons. By carefully segmenting, you can also avoid annoying readers who may not want specific emails.
MailChimp integrates with hundreds of popular web services and platforms, making it convenient for you to sync data, import content, and analyze how your newsletters are affecting your business. There are a number of integrations that are helpful for online sellers. Here are a few of the most popular.
While accepting payments via PayPal, you can automatically add customers to your MailChimp list instantly. This is especially useful if you sell products on Etsy, eBay, or your own store.
If you sell your products in a Shopify store, Chimpified lets you easily connect that store to your MailChimp account. Once your customers are migrated, you can take advantage of our eCommerce360 tracking data and quickly put together newsletters to promote your products.
Magento is a flexible, feature-rich e-commerce platform. If you use Magento or MagentoGo for your online seller needs, these integrations make it simple to sync customers and add signup pages.
Short Stack/Media Feedia
These integrations connect your online business with Facebook. Add custom tabs, distribute special deals, and collect opt-in emails, all from the comfort of your Facebook page.
With Craftmonkey, you can pull in shop items, then drag and drop them depending on how you’d like to feature them in your newsletter. Once you’ve completed your campaign, you can send it out to your MailChimp list from inside the application. Craftmonkey makes creating a professional-looking newsletter that showcases your handmade wares as simple as possible.
Explore our Integration Directory to see many more tools for online sellers.
Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter provide excellent opportunities to promote your online store and connect with your audience. And as it turns out, social media and email complement each other nicely. MailChimp is integrated with Facebook and Twitter, making it super easy for you to meet your fans where they like to hang out online. You can watch your campaigns make their way around the Twittersphere using MailChimp’s social stats, or use our social integration Attentive.ly to segment your list based on your subscribers social media interests. To dig into our social features further, read our MailChimp Social guide.
Auto-Post to Facebook and Twitter
If you’ve already connected the Facebook integration by adding your signup form to your business page, you can to choose to have your campaign auto-post to Facebook during the campaign-creation process. You can also connect the Twitter integration at this point, to have us auto-tweet your campaigns every time one goes out.
Set it up by checking Auto-Tweet Campaign As and/or checking Auto-Post to Facebook.
We’ll create a shortened version of your campaign archive link called an EepUrl. Plus we’ll measure retweets, shares, and clicks on these posts. Auto-posting to Facebook and Twitter is one of the easiest ways to share your newsletter content and new store items with all your fans and followers.
Add a Facebook Like button to your campaigns
Our Facebook Like merge tag allows your readers to like your campaign and share it with all their Facebook friends. Place this merge tag anywhere in your campaign, just like regular text:
And it’ll turn into a handy little image that says “Like.”
When a subscriber clicks the Like button, they’ll go to your campaign archive page. A window will pop up, showing the friends in their network that also liked the campaign. They’ll confirm that they do, indeed, like your newsletter, and we’ll give them the option to add a comment to the like.
Then they’ll click Post to Facebook, and the like will appear in your subscriber’s Facebook feed for all their friends to marvel at.
Social share button
If you want to tweet your campaign after it’s been sent or promote it on a social network other than Twitter, use the Social Share button that appears beside your sent campaign in the Campaigns dashboard.
When you click Social Share, you’ll have the option to share your campaign on Twitter, Facebook, and Delicious.
To dig into our social features further, check out our MailChimp Social guide.
To find out how many people like your campaigns, click Reports in your MailChimp dashboard. Select a campaign and click Social Stats.
The like stats are located under Facebook Activity and organized by subscriber. You can see how many times each subscriber liked your campaign, and how many other likes they generated. For example, if Herman liked your campaign once, and five of his friends saw your campaign in his feed and liked it too, then you’ll see one Like for Herman, and five Friends Who Liked by his name.
We also keep track of all comments on your campaigns via our Facebook Comments integration.
MailChimp lets you watch your campaigns get tweeted. Twitter stats are located in the same place as Facebook stats.
Under Twitter Activity, you’ll see how many times your campaign has been tweeted and retweeted, who did the tweeting, and a timeline of all tweets.
Only tweets that include our EepURL link for your campaign are included in this report, so you might have even more tweeting going on than you think if people are writing their own tweets and linking to your campaign.
Attentive.ly is a social dashboard that gives customers an overview of their audience’s content and activity across channels like Twitter and Facebook. You can use Attentive.ly and MailChimp together to find segments within your list that are interested in key topics or ideas that are also important to you. Then you can sync those segments back to MailChimp to create micro-targeted campaigns with content that’s especially relevant to that audience.
Using this integration allows you to connect your online business with Facebook. Add custom tabs, distribute special deals, and collect opt-in emails, all from the comfort of your Facebook page.
From designer temporary tattoos to technology books, vintage clothing to stylish kitchenware, MailChimp's e-commerce users sell all sorts of interesting stuff. Take a look at our inspiration board and the examples below.
Tattly is a Brooklyn-based purveyor of "designy temporary tattoos."
Summerill & Bishop
Summerill & Bishop is a London-based kitchen shop.
Rusty Zipper is an Oregon-based vintage clothing store.
A Book Apart
A Book Apart is a Brooklyn-based publishing house.
Joyus is a San Francisco-based video sales platform.
Need a little more inspiration? Use Wavelength to find more publishers your readers are interested in.
Tips and Tricks
You're all set up with eCommerce360 and Analytics360. Now what? Try some of these:
Once you have segments, you can set up if-this-send-that rules for autoresponders. Autoresponders are triggered by events, like when a subscriber signs up for your list, opens an email, or when they update their information. With MailChimp's eCommerce360 integration installed, you can also set up autoresponders based on purchasing behavior. If a customer hits a certain revenue level, that indicates they're a super fan, maybe they should be rewarded with a refer-a-friend discount. Send follow-up care instructions for products that need maintenance over time. First-time buyers could receive a special thank-you note or a coupon.
Top five customers
The Top Fives list in your MailChimp dashboard shows you who your best customers are, sorted by revenue. Maybe you should reward them for their loyalty, make sure they know you appreciate it. Or maybe certain items are their favorites and you should let these customers know about new releases first.
By connecting your list to Wavelength, you can see what other publishers your readers are interested in. Get a well-rounded look at your audience's habits, pick up design and e-commerce tips from like-minded publishers, find new outlets for advertising, and more.
Education and support
Email marketing offers a tons of opportunities for you to connect with your customers and generate revenue for your business. MailChimp also has a lot of features that help you do just that. Visit our blog for customer stories and new feature announcements. Take a look our Knowledge Base for demo videos and how-to answers. You can also explore more guides like this and the latest research reports from our UX team.
If you need one-on-one attention with your MailChimp account, you can live chat or email with our friendly in-house support team, or ask questions via Twitter.