What tool/app/software could you not live without? 8 Mailchimp partners share their top tips.

Top online tools from Mailchimp partners

Here, 8 Mailchimp partners and email marketing experts share their top tips on what online tools they rely on each day. So much great advice here!


Slack. We’ve been using Slack since January 2016, but during COVID where the team is no longer in one central location, Slack is the backbone of our comms, both with the internal team and our external workforce. I can’t imagine how we’d manage without it.
Doug Dennison, CEO & Co-founder, MailNinja


I’m a fan of to-do-lists, so Todoist.com is my everyday tool. For every area of my life (not only work) I’ve defined separate projects, and every time I decide to do something I put it in my list, with a due date and a priority level.

I have a lot of recurring tasks: newsletters (each one with its checklist of things to do), recurring payments, various kinds of errands; this helps me to free my mind and be sure that I won’t forget anything.

At the end of the day I check what’s on my list for tomorrow, I may reschedule something if the list is too long, and I prepare for the day to come.
Alessandra Farabegoli, Digital Strategist, Co-Founder, Digital Update and Freelancecamp Italia


Is Adobe an answer? If I have to choose… Photoshop… no, Illustrator… Dreamweaver… 
Indesign! I cannot live without Indesign. I use it for all designs, templates and forms.
Nick Beuzekamp, CEO and Founder, Online Marketing Bonaire


Google Suite. Toon Blast comes a close second.
Glenn Edley, Director & Email Strategist, Spike


For overall productivity, Google Workspace (https://workspace.google.com/) is our most important tool for both email marketing and general campaign creation. The ability to work concurrently with other team members on live documents, as well as share information transparently with clients is absolutely essential to providing top quality work in a timely and efficient manner. Clients who are not familiar with live document use find the access, technology and process capability amazing, and we’ve converted many to utilizing online document creation tools for their own departments and companies.
MaryAnn Pfeiffer, Digital Marketing Strategist, 108 Degrees Digital Marketing


Timeular – Time tracking dice. https://timeular.com/ It makes tracking my work time fun. I’ve gotten more productive since I started using it. 

My bonus tool is Qbserve, an automatic time tracking tool for Macs.

I can categorize the websites and apps I use and know at a glance if my day was productive. It’s made me more mindful of my time.
Amy Hall, Email Marketing Strategist and Certified Mailchimp Partner, amyhall.biz


I’m a big fan of OptinMonster and use it to create dynamic forms to capture new subscribers. I’m also constantly moving data so I rely on Zapier to automate workflows. My favorite new tool is OneSignal, which provides web browser push notifications. Push notifications have been a great complement to email messaging.
Adam Q. Holden-Bache, Director of Email Marketing, Enventys Partners


Slack. This powerful messaging tool has been an absolute game-changer for our business. Our small team uses it to communicate all day, every day. We’d have a million more emails to sift through without it. It’s great to be able to shoot a quick question or note to someone as you’re working on a project. Couldn’t live without it.
Emily Ryan, Co-Founder and Email Strategist, Westfield Creative


For more on Mailchimp Partners or to contact one of these experts, see Mailchimp’s Experts Directory here

Mailchimp experts

6 Ways To Maximize Mailchimp To Get Results

6 Mailchimp customers

With so many features, how can you get the most from Mailchimp’s platform and tools? 

To answer this question, we asked six Mailchimp customers and experts for their best tips. Here’s what they had to say about maximizing Mailchimp to get results.

Take Advantage of the Campaign Analytics

Tapping into the analytics from a campaign on Mailchimp will better equip you for the next one and the many more after that. Using their analytics will help you have a solid idea of the success, including how many people it reached, how many opened it and how many people engaged with whatever you sent. By using these numbers, businesses can continue to improve their email campaigns and gain more and more engagement. 

Daniel Cheetham, Y Scouts

Research Mailchimp Packages

Research all their offers and choose the tools that are best suited for your needs and business. While it may be tempting to use all sorts of services, if you do not understand them or how to use them, they will be of no use to you and you will blow your budget.

Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional

Chat with Mailchimp’s Customer Service 

If at any point in your Mailchimp journey you get stuck and need help to see results, don’t be afraid to reach out to their Customer Service staff. These are people that work day in and day out with Mailchimp, knowing it much better than the average user. Go to them for anything and you are guaranteed to get your answer as well as better your Mailchimp skills during the process. A win-win! 

Kayla Centeno, Markitors

Set It and Forget It

In the spirit of efficiency, one of my favorite features of Mailchimp is the ability to automate your campaign. For example, you can set up triggers for when the initial intro email to your new customer should be sent or an email to be sent to a customer based on their website activity. Mailchimp’s “set it and forget it” approach truly provides you with the necessary tools and platform to provide timely and relevant information to your customers with ease.

Jennifer Leicht, Marketing and Small Business Consultant

Utilize Tags to Send Relevant Emails

My best Mailchimp tip to get the most from their platform is to use tags to send more relevant emails. For example, create a tag for email subscribers who have not opened your last 10 emails. Such subscribers are in danger of disengaging! You should talk to those disengaged subscribers differently. For example, offer a “welcome back” coupon exclusively for them. You can start the email with something like this “we noticed you haven’t opened our emails so we created a special offer just for you!”

Bruce Harpham, Technology Marketing Consultant

Back to Back Email Campaigns

On top of manual, one-off email campaigns, Mailchimp has the ability to set up back-to-back email campaigns—many paid users don’t make use of this feature. For instance, for new customers, you can set up weekly onboarding emails for the first month, to educate and inform this pool of users on your product/service. You can also set up a rule to only send out follow-up emails if a user had not previously opened the last campaign. This one—you don’t over email customers who are already actively using your service and may not enjoy the over-supplement of email-based content.

Hung Nguyen, Smallpdf

Where do you go to find inspiration for your email marketing campaigns?

Mailchimp experts

Here, 8 Mailchimp partners and email marketing experts share their top tips on where to look for email design inspiration. From other websites to social media accounts, there are so many places you can look to inspire your next campaign.

Really Good Emails, obviously. Also sites like Mailcharts where you can monitor your competitor’s email campaigns to develop your own strategy is super useful.

Doug Dennison

CEO & Co-founder


I read a lot, not necessarily things linked to the topics I have to write in my emails. Inspiration and creativity come by opening your vision, not navel-gazing. Literature, movies, a good tv series, the occasional chat with a stranger: you have to collect a lot in the divergent phase of your thinking before converging to the best solution.

Alessandra Farabegoli

Digital Strategist, Co-Founder

Digital Update and Freelancecamp Italia

No particular websites. It depends on the message and topics. They are my search results and I always try to approach the topic from a different perspective. By browsing shutterstock or Adobe Stock I get my visual inspirations.

Nick Beuzekamp

CEO and Founder

Online Marketing Bonaire

I look for businesses I think are at the top of their game and sign up to their emails. I look at emails we’re sending for other clients. The Mailchimp gallery. Unsplash for images. Reading articles, books, in client meetings and the intersections of ideas to see whether there’s something useful there.

Glenn Edley

Director & Email Strategist


In addition to sites like Really Good Emails, I attend webinars from leaders like Mailchimp, Litmus and Hubspot regularly, where I find inspiration from the speakers and their company emails. Often, I’ll subscribe to the emails for any organizations featured in a webinar presentation, and save the best of them in my own email folder for email ideas.

MaryAnn Pfeiffer

Digital Marketing Strategist

108 Degrees Digital Marketing

I sign up for a lot of newsletters, so I go to my inbox! Every time I hear a newsletter suggested by someone I go sign up for it! I have a “special” inbox just for my newsletters.

Amy Hall

Email Marketing Strategist and Certified Mailchimp Partner and Consultant

Amy Hall

One of the best things you can do is to simply look at your current, personal email inbox. What lands in spam? What emails do you stop to read? What subject lines jump out? I look right at my own Inbox often for inspiration. I also love Really Good Emails, Litmus, Buffer and following a lot of #emailgeeks on Twitter.

Emily Ryan

Co-Founder and Email Strategist

Westfield Creative

Multiple places, but usually my best ideas come from my inbox. If something catches my attention I will try to test that tactic in my campaigns. I also frequently find inspiration from industry blogs, the email community, and Really Good Emails is a great resource to see the latest email trends.

Adam Q. Holden-Bache

Director of Email Marketing

Enventys Partners

Lastly, if you’re interested in learning more from Mailchimp Experts, click here to check out the Mailchimp Experts Directory.

8 Black Friday Email Tips For Mailchimp Users

Black Friday Mailchimp

When you think of Black Friday, chances are you picture long lines, crowds and stores packed with people. This year, with many social distancing guidelines in place, Black Friday will most likely look a lot different! In order to engage with customers safely, many retailers will extend their sales on eCommerce platforms. But how can you inform your customers of this major change? We are glad you asked!

Email marketing is the most direct form of digital communication with your customers. For this reason, we recommend planning a full-scale campaign to capitalize on your Black Friday sale! We sat down with eight MailChimp experts and asked them for their best email tips to help you get started.

Save Emails for Black Friday 

Though it feels simple and maybe counter productive, don’t send Black Friday emails out until it is actually Black Friday. Leading up to the big day, you can create some buzz and excitement around the type of deals you will be dropping, but keep Thanksgiving a day of thanks. Schedule the emails to start being sent out at 5am the next day, but let Thanksgiving be a day without bombarding your customers with emails. Open rates are low on Holidays anyway. Be ready to drop your email campaign when it really matters! 

Kayla Centeno, Markitors 

Use Geographical Data

When trying to capitalize on Black Friday deals, use the geographical data that mailchimp provides. Mailchimp allows you to see the geographical area of your subscribers and then send emails to a certain group of people in a certain area. For users looking to capitalize on Black Friday, this is a great way to send subscribers deals for places that are near them. 

Daniel Cheetham, Y Scouts

Make Your Subject Lines Stand Out

Make your subject lines stand out. Customers will be getting hundreds of emails about Black Friday from all kinds of companies besides yours, so you need to be able to capture their attention before they send your email to the trash. Avoid using generic and overused subjects like “Black Friday Deals.” Is there a phrase you use that is specific to your business? Use that to stand out!

Vanessa Molica, The Lash Professional

Track Purchase Data From Previous Campaigns

Users looking to capitalize using Mailchimp during Black Friday should use the feature that allows them to track purchases based on emails sent out. Using this feature and data from previous campaigns can better help you structure a campaign that will also get customers to purchase directly from the email you sent out. Knowing what has worked and failed in the past will assist you in creating an effective campaign on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. 

Peter Babichenko, Sahara Case 

Get Ready Early

Black Friday comes sooner than you may think and you wake up with no resources ready to be sent. Get ready with your copy, visual, value proposition, and schedule campaigns upfront. Plus, make sure you test it out – subject lines, emails and your value propositions- through small batches of ads.

Jakub Kliszczak, Channels

Follow Up Campaigns

Mailchimp makes it easy to follow up on an email campaign to those who did not open an email. For Black Friday, I recommend sending at least three emails: pre-Black Friday, on the day, and one for Cyber Monday—depending on the needs of your business. By segmenting and following up with those who did not open previous campaigns or have made a purchase, you can maximize the most engagement and revenue generation from these emails, without disrupting users who had already made a purchase.

Hung Nguyen, Smallpdf

Deep Clean Your Mailing List

Whether it’s Mailchimp, or another CRM like HubSpot, Constant Contact, Salesforce, etc. the biggest issue I see is businesses that struggle with sending specific information to customer categories. Who are your personas? What product is best, per persona? Where are they in your buying cycle? If it’s an existing customer, what items could complement their last purchase? When you have clean data combined with clear solutions, you can share email communications that connect to their challenges, create credibility so you creatively stand out and inspire prospects to accomplish their goals.

Mark Jamnik, Enjoy Life Daily

Keep it Simple

Consumers get hundreds of emails in the build up to Black Friday so it’s important to make things easy for them. You can do this by focusing on a sitewide offer, a specific product category, or a small handful of items.

Liam Quinn, Reach Interactive

8 Easy Instagram Stories Hacks

Yellow, White and Black Quotation Social Media Graphic

I spend way too much time creating content on Instagram Stories, but I love it. It’s creative, fun and addicting. So today I am servin’ you up some good ole’ tips to make your Stories way more exciting and keep your followers comin’ right on back! Enjoy.


NOTE: These are EASY tips for your Stories. Just to add a little more “flair,” if you will…

8 Easy Instagram Stories Hacks

  1. Add/draw lines. Add a border around your photo with the highlighter tool. Or add a line on top and bottom of your photo. Or even draw a line across the corners (like pieces of tape).
  2. Make it extra cool. Have a photo of a cup of coffee or a cocktail you want to use but make it more fun? Add a GIF of a diver jumping into your drink. Or a shark GIF swimming in your Quarantini. Or add a GIF of Michael Jordan flying over some buildings.
  3. Add music by genre. When you want to add music and not sure what kind, just search by genre. You can search for words like “french cafe jazz” or “bossa nova” and some fun stuff will come up for you to choose from (under the Music sticker). Just adding a little background music to a video makes it so much better.
  4. Use the Explore tab religiously. And then repost to your Stories. This is where I source a lot of content. You can find so much fun stuff to post. And the more you look at things, the more Instagram will start to show you what you want to see. (i.e, my Explore feed is now coffee images, ballet, beautiful homes and Brad Pitt…)
  5. When you go to add a GIF, try searching for some of the following words (exactly) by custom GIF creators:  Haylsworld (love her GIFs), Mailchimp, Darcy (super cute), “laptop” or even search a letter or search “line.”
  6. Start a story and add a solid background (click pen tool, pick a color and hold a finger down on the screen for a second), then add a fun GIF and then just draw a line on both sides of the GIF. Easy peasy. (See image below.)
  7. If I could tell you one thing, it would be to simply take that extra second to add more layers to your Story. Add music. Add a GIF. Add a custom background color. Add an emoji or a border. Whatever. Adding another element to your image will make it more fun. So many times, I see people just report quickly, but what if you took an extra second to add a GIF or draw a border in your brand color?
  8. Finally, click on these 18 Instagram Stories Hacks from Later Media for more fun ideas.

Try one of two of these today and I promise you your Stories will be so much more fun for your followers!

Instagram Stories

9 Mailchimp Best Practices For Small Businesses

Small businesses often have a limited number of resources available to them compared to large corporations. With smaller marketing budgets, small businesses must learn how to utilize every tool available to them. Mailchimp is one of the tools that small businesses can take advantage of to help boost their email marketing strategies. 

But what are all the benefits of Mailchimp? 9 experts have shared their best practices when it comes to using Mailchimp for their businesses. 

Use One Master Audience

I’ve completed a lot of audits for Mailchimp users. The number one best practice I’d recommend is to have only one master list, or audience, in a Mailchimp account. Most accounts I see may have 2, 5, or even 25 audiences! Instead, form one audience and use tags and segments to organize and target your contacts.

Brett Farmiloe, Small Business SEO

Be Aware of Other Mailchimp Services

Small businesses should know about the variety of services Mailchimp offers besides automated messaging. Mailchimp offers website hosting services that could elevate a business’s online presence. Having a solid and visible presence on several online platforms increases your chances of converting impressions into sales – as long as you utilize them.

Carey Wilbur, Charter Capital

Include Your Business Owner’s Name

I always recommend putting your business owner’s name in the “sent from” field. For example: Anna from Caldwell Media Arts, is likely to have a higher open rate than Caldwell Media Arts on its own. This is a strategy that works well for many small businesses who already rely on that personal touch from their founder(s) as part of their brand capital.

Anna Caldwell, Caldwell Media Arts

Give Your Emails Purpose 

Make the most of automated emails. When inboxes become flooded, emails with no value are the first in the trash. Make your messages valuable by utilizing welcome emails for new subscribers that describe what you offer, birthday discounts for those who provide their birthday information and new product or service notifications. Don’t just send an email to send an email. Make sure each message you send has a distinct purpose with a clear call to action rather than several messages saying the same thing over and over again.

Denise Gredler, BestCompaniesAZ

Subscribe to Newsletters

Subscribe to newsletters or updates from brands that you respect and admire. When you get them, set up a filter or file them in a folder for later so when it’s time to create your own content, you’re not reinventing the wheel or starting from scratch. This is also a really great way to get new ideas from industry experts. If you’re a small business, follow your competitors with big money who have an entire department crafting their emails. Austin Kleon wrote a great book on this theory called “Steal Like an Artist” – the secret is to do good work and make it your own. Even the greatest artists had inspiration in one form or another.

Sydney Miller, Tech Talent South

Utilize Templates 

Small businesses looking to shave some time off of emailing should utilize Mailchimp’s existing templates. Sometimes professionals will advise against it because there are some customization restrictions, but when you are first starting out, it is a lifesaver! The website features over 100 choices for emails and newsletters and it helps save the time and effort it would take to create/ code your own templates. 

Megan Chiamos, 365 Cannabis

Separate Audiences into Groups

If you have large email lists, segregate your audience in groups that make sense for your business. Not every subscriber will be interested in every piece of content you share. By tailoring campaigns by subject matter, geographic location and other preferences, you’ll reduce the amount of people that unsubscribe and increase open and click rates. It takes more time, but each campaign you send will have much higher engagement rates.

Colton De Vos, Resolute TS

Prune Your Email List 

One Mailchimp best practice that small businesses should know about is regularly pruning your email lists. If people don’t engage with or even open your emails, there’s no reason for them to be there. Not only are you paying for them to stay on your list, but their inactivity could negatively impact your deliverability with people who want to receive your emails. My rule of thumb is to automatically delete anyone who hasn’t opened my last twenty emails.

James Pollard, The Advisor Coach LLC

Tag All Your Contacts 

Tag your contacts! All of them. Find categories of content you like sharing, and then bucket those out among your tags. No one needs to receive all of your content, and breaking it up this way ensures you get the right message to the right folks. Contacts can have multiple tags too – embrace tagging!

Hana Ruzsa Alanis, Graphic Designer & Marketing Specialist

The 2 Merge Tags You Need In Your Emails

Using merge tags in your emails is one of the best ways you can personalize your campaigns. Have you ever seen an email that says “Hey Emily…did you know…” – well, that’s a simple first name merge tag (*|FNAME|* to be exact).


Below, I am sharing two other specific codes that you should be using in all your emails so that your merge tags appear properly.


Bookmark this page so you can always have.


The “IF NO FIRST NAME” Merge Tag


The first is what I call the IF No First Name Merge Tag. Many times, you will have people sign up for your list and they may not leave their first name. So then when you go to use the normal FNAME merge tag, it won’t be able to populate their name (because they left it blank) and it will look really strange. Nothing worse than seeing “Hello     ,” at the top of your email. No bueno.


So, you need to use this below:


*|IF:FNAME|*Hi *|TITLE:FNAME|*,*|ELSE:|*Hello,*|END:IF|*


This tells Mailchimp– IF there is a FIRST NAME, then populate, but IF NOT, then just write “Hello,”. I use that at the top of all my emails. Just copy and paste that exact coding and you’re good to go!


The HIDE MY First Name Tags In My Link Merge Tag

This next coding or merge tag is great when you are using your Archive Link or Campaign URL and you don’t want the First Name Merge Tag to appear for everyone viewing your link.


All you need to do is add a little code before and after your First Name tag when you’re initially designing your email. It will look like this. This will tell Mailchimp that IF it’s an Archive page, do NOT display the FNAME content.




These are my two favorite codes to use in regards to FNAME merge tags, and I always need to access these, so feel free to bookmark this. Using “dynamic content” in your emails helps to personalize your content and make it more relevant to the subscriber. Here is an awesome cheat sheet from Mailchimp on the MANY merge tags you can use in your campaigns.


Happy Personalizing!

Do you need email validation if you use Mailchimp?

We’re thrilled to share a special interview that we did with the COO of ZeroBounce, a company that specializes in email deliverability (i.e., making sure your emails actually reach the Inbox…kind of important, right?).


We came across their new Inbox Placement Tester tool recently and loved it so much that I had to reach out.


So, meet Brian Minick, the COO. I asked Brian some questions, including their integration with Mailchimp. Enjoy!

Brian Minick ZeroBounce COO of ZeroBounce, Brian Minick

So, what exactly is ZeroBounce and do I need this if I use Mailchimp? 

ZeroBounce is a go-to platform for anyone who sends emails and wants to make sure they reach the inbox. Whether you’re a freelancer, a small business owner, or a marketer working for a corporation – you want to connect with real people, and that’s what we help you with. 

What started as an email validation service has evolved into a platform with multiple features: list cleaning, A.I. email scoring, and deliverability testing. 

Do you need it if you use MailChimp? Yes! Validating your list will help achieve better deliverability and therefore should help increase your chance to inbox. Mailchimp also will block your list upload and throw an Omnivore error which we help solve.

What’s more, ZeroBounce integrates directly with MailChimp, so it’s easier to import your list, clean it, and export it back onto MailChimp.

Do you have to have a big “list” to use this? 

No, it’s a percentages game. Whether your list is big or small, the percentage of bounces is the game that is played. We have customers that email only a hundred or so contacts and are finding value in our services. Alternatively, our large enterprise clients – who send millions of emails – include us into their workflows right before they send.

Why is email deliverability so important? 

It’s difficult to tell people that a lesser quantity, but a higher quality list is better. They often think that if you have a million contacts, you have a better chance of getting conversions sending to all of them. This is simply untrue. 

If we take your list and remove 30% of the bad contacts, it leaves with you 700k. Sending to those 700k but increasing your chance to get it into the inbox means this: 700k in inbox, vs 1m in spam. See the difference? Which has a better chance of converting?

Tell me more about your company. Are your employees remote? 

Right now, everyone is remote. In normal circumstances, we have three offices and most of our team reports to them. We have a few off-site employees as well. 

Where are you based? 

Our headquarters is in Boca Raton FL. We also have a satellite office in Santa Barbara, and an office in Bucharest, Romania to handle our around-the-clock service. 

How many people work at ZeroBounce?

About 30 in total.

How did you start your company? 

It started out of a need. We were looking for email validators to help with our own marketing campaigns at our sister company. Finding a company that guaranteed accurate results and took data privacy seriously proved impossible. Our CEO saw an opportunity and decided to build the service. 

Six years later, here we are, and very strong! We were built on the foundation above: security, privacy, and quality. Our customer feedback shows that we’re hitting the mark on all three.

What started as an email validation service has evolved into a platform with multiple features: list cleaning, A.I. email scoring, and deliverability testing.

What advice would you give to someone who is new to email marketing? 

1) Start with a clean list, use double opt-in to confirm people who are on your list actually wanted to be there. 

2) Don’t be shy to use free services to help get you started. Many companies offer them (including us) for little companies and start-ups. You have to start somewhere. We want you to be successful. 

3) Measure performance, which comes in the form of inbox/spam. Try out our free inbox placement tester, which will give insight in how your campaign might perform out in the marketplace. Remember, emails that go to spam are simply a waste of your energy and resources. You need to be in people’s inboxes. 

4) You will do something wrong, it’s natural. Keep track of what’s working and not, and stay flexible so you can adjust your moves.


Thank you so much, Brian!

More here:

ZeroBounce’s Email Server Tester