8 Email Marketers Share Their Biggest Email Frustrations

Email marketing challenges

Email marketing isn’t always easy and many of our clients come to us because they’re frustrated with the amount of time it takes to make a great email. We wanted to hear what the experts thought too! Below you’ll hear from 8 Mailchimp Partners and email marketers (including myself) on what frustrates us the most.


Email coding is still stuck in the 90s, and I doubt that will change. The biggest frustration is also the thing that excites me the most. I find as a creative person, when you have limited resources, the challenge to create something unique and fresh each time is what drives us to keep innovating and dreaming up new ways to work around these limitations. Obviously, Outlook is a pain, but hey.

-Doug Dennison, CEO & Co-founder, MailNinja


The lack of email standards has always been a huge barrier for email marketers and the teams that prepare the messages. The fact that your email can render differently in hundreds of different email clients means that you are never 100% sure that your email looks and works the way you want it to everywhere. And additionally, the differences in the display of fonts, backgrounds, animated GIFs, etc. means you have to prepare and test for a wide range of scenarios. This also prevents progress in our industry, as certain advancements like AMP have limited client support, so it’s less attractive for brands to pursue using it.

-Adam Holden-Bache, Dir. of Email Marketing, Enventys Partners


Email can be frustrating but the misinformation and lack of understanding of how email marketing actually works is probably our biggest pain point. We spend more time breaking down email marketing strategies, ESPs platforms, training and other general questions more than anything else.

-Sequoia Mulgrave, CEO & Founder, Daily Mode Studio


Well, Outlook of course, but there’s so much that goes into a perfect email that makes it challenging. Testing takes time – checking spelling, links, image loading speed, checking you have all alt text descriptions, testing on different devices (really formatting for mobile is one of the hardest things about email), getting into the Inbox, making sure your plain text version is set, checking recipients. So much! The most frustrating part is that there really is so much that needs to be tested before you hit that big send button.

How to solve this? Have a great process for testing your email, whether that’s a checklist or a program (like Litmus) that does the testing for you.

Emily Ryan, Co-founder & Mailchimp Strategist, Westfield Creative


As I work a lot with email automation, I’m continuously experimenting in Mailchimp with old Automated Workflows and new Customer Journeys Builder. I think I know by heart the limitations of the former, and time after time I’ve learned a lot of hacks to overcome them; as for the Customer Journey Builder, sometimes it drives me crazy because it still lacks some features, and every now and then something doesn’t work properly, which I report to the patient Customer Support folks. I’m aware that advanced features are probably used by a small fraction of users, but nonetheless, I wish to see them prioritized asap.

-Alessandra Farabegoli, Digital Strategist, Co-Founder, Digital Update


I’ve always found the tech to be the easy part of the job. It’s generally predictable and reliable. It either does or it does not (with Outlook, that’s usually a “does not”). When tech does not do what you need, you work around a solution.

The most variable factor in email is the human on either side of the communications. Clients who can’t make up or continuously change their minds, subscribers who are unpredictable, customer service management for campaign responses… those are the least controllable and predictable factors in email, and there is not a single thing I can do to control that.

-MaryAnne Pfeiffer, Digital Marketing Strategist, 108 Degrees Digital Marketing


…it would be really cool if you could reliably track opens…

…it would be good if all the email systems worked the same and you could develop better-looking emails without having to test them in 100 different systems.

…it would be great if Mailchimp could update some of the things at the more advanced end of things

…it would be good if there was a better understanding and explanation of data privacy over borders

…it would be good if Gmail would be a bit more transparent (never gonna happen!) of what’s good/bad and why emails end up in promo/spam

-Robin Adams, Founder, Chimp Answers


1000% Outlook. I don’t understand why Outlook needs to “translate” the email into a Word doc and then render the Word doc in HTML.

The second is Gmail not delivering emails to the inbox and dumping them into the archive never, neverland. So frustrating!

-Amy Hall, Email Marketing Strategist and Certified Mailchimp Partner, amyhall.biz


Want to connect with a Mailchimp Pro Partner? Check out the Mailchimp Experts Directory here.

She Who Mailchimps: 6 Takeaways

She Who Mailchimps Zoom Event

What happens when you get 6 Mailchimp Women Experts (and Mailchimp Partners) in one Zoom room for an hour? You get some awesome email marketing advice and also an hour of fun. I was thrilled to have 5 super-smart email marketing minds join me to answer some of the most asked Mailchimp and email questions we get – including “what’s the best time/day to send an email?” “what’s our favorite Mailchimp hidden egg?” and much more.

We recently asked a few Mailchimp Partners, including some from the live event about their top takeaways were from the session. Here’s a great rundown in case you missed it. Want to watch the replay? You can here.


I loved the relaxed format. The hosts were having an open conversation, which felt very honest and welcoming. There were loads of takeaways points, the honest discussion around the way these Mailchimp partners actually use Mailchimp themselves was enlightening and I made a lot of notes! You can watch the event right here: https://youtu.be/KJpAuJP-WAU

-Doug Dennison, CEO & Co-founder, MailNinja


The talent that was on display at the She Who Mailchimps event was ridiculously good. It was an interactive webinar with a live Q&A where the super-talented panel answered lots of questions about Mailchimp and email marketing in general. With their Mailchimp expertise, they were able to share a lot of great information.

Top takeaways included:

1) Use Mailchimp Partners to help you with any Mailchimp issues

2) Consider using ALL the Mailchimp features including landing pages, postcards, social posts, link-checker, and more.

3) Test, test, and test some more. Conduct subject line testing, content testing, send time optimization, etc. to learn what resonates best with your audience.

-Adam Holden-Bache, Dir. of Email Marketing, Enventys Partners


Holy moly, the brains! I didn’t add it up, but there were probably over 60 years of email marketing experience on that panel. And while for some questions, the answers were similar, everyone had their own spin and just a little different way of looking at things. It was great to get all the email philosophies together in one place and see how they’re similar and so utterly different at the same time. The nuances in the differences were the gold.

-Amy Hall, Email Marketing Strategist and Certified Mailchimp Partner, amyhall.biz


This was the very first time I did a workshop in English, and the days before I was pretty scared about it; but the other ladies were so nice and supportive that I thought oh, what the hell, I can do it! Apart from that, the idea was great and I think the whole formula worked very well: good timing, a balanced distribution of questions, and a bunch of super-expert ladies all willing to share their knowledge. Being part of this network, finding ways to collaborate and learn from each other, is one of the perks of Mailchimp & Co., and I value it immensely.

-Alessandra Farabegoli, Digital Strategist, www.alessandrafarabegoli.it


My office needs much better lighting, and Sequoia Mulgrave has a second career as a broadcaster if she ever opts for it! That said, the talent available in the Mailchimp Experts Directory is something anyone serious about their business or email marketing should tap into. I’m truly impressed with the knowledge of each of these women and would be happy to have them as part of my team, or my own marketing department! If you haven’t watched the recording, reach out to Emily Ryan to get access.

-MaryAnn Pfeiffer, Digital Marketing Strategist, 108 Degrees Digital Marketing


1. There are some very knowledgeable email experts out there… and if you don’t tap into that knowledge, you’re losing out.

2. Being a marketer, this is always at the forefront of my mind, but being clear on your who and how it impacts the best way to approach email marketing was worth reminding – anecdotally there are good times to send and bad times to send an email, but it all depends on the who – the who you are sending to.

-Robin Adams, Founder, Chimp Answers


Want to connect with a Mailchimp Pro Partner? Check out the Mailchimp Experts Directory here.

Mailchimp 2-Minute Video Library

Email marketing video library

Below you’ll find some of my favorite 2-minute Mailchimp video tips. Enjoy!

VIDEO: Our Best Button/CTA Design Secrets

VIDEO: Mailchimp’s email editor lets you resize images right in your Mailchimp account.

VIDEO: Mailchimp’s nice PDF reports (great for sending to clients)

VIDEO: View this email online.

VIDEO: A cool way to use Mailchimp’s “Image + Text” Block

Also, don’t forget to grab my totally FREE PDF – 49 Mailchimp Design Tips (so many of our best-kept secrets in this!).

How often should you send an email? (Advice for B2Bs and B2C’s)

How often should you email?

This is, by far, one of the most-asked questions I hear about email marketing. And below you’ll hear some great advice from 8 Mailchimp Partners/Experts with actual, concrete answers that can really help your email strategy.


Weekly or fortnightly is a good frequency for most businesses. Some e-commerce business send more than that, and some companies we work with send every 2 months, which in my opinion is not as often. Of course, if you factor in sending to smaller segments, you could effectively be sending a few emails every week, just not to your entire audience.

-Doug Dennison, CEO & Co-founder, MailNinja


The companies reaping rewards from email marketing, email frequently. Weekly if you can (although there is no perfect answer for this). Once a month is simply not enough to move the needle. Most of our clients do at least one email per week and many e-commerce clients do 3-7 per week (to different targeted segments). If unsubscribes start increasing, pull back some and if you want to increase sales, consider emailing more. One of the biggest mistakes I see is companies not emailing enough. Many business owners worry they will bother their subscribers, but if you’re sending interesting, relevant content, people will open your emails.

Of course, it always depends on your business and your Audience. For e-commerce, weekly but for say, a lawyer, a lot less…

Emily Ryan, Co-founder & Mailchimp Strategist, Westfield Creative


There is no one-size-fits-all answer to email frequency. It will vary for senders based on many factors including their ability to create engaging content, the types of products and services they are selling, the frequency at which subscribers want to receive emails, and many other factors.

Through my experience I’ve found that recipients don’t mind receiving emails if they offer valuable, relevant content. So as long as you are sending something that subscribers WANT to receive, it seldom creates a negative experience. The problem is that many brands don’t have enough quality content to email at a high frequency.

If you do email frequently, want your metrics for a plateau or drop in positive metrics (opens, clicks, and conversions) along with a rise in negative metrics (non-opens, reduced click ratio, unsubscribes, etc). If you see that happen, dial back your frequency until you see things return to positive results

-Adam Holden-Bache, Dir. of Email Marketing, Enventys Partners


As a general rule, you should send an email whenever you’ve something interesting and useful to say; if you rarely have something relevant to say, you have a problem, and it is not an email marketing issue: you better reconsider what you’re doing and why.

This said, the key to finding the right frequency is the reasonable expectations of your audience: not exceedingly many, but also not so seldom that they forget having subscribed.

Once a month is a minimum, and it’s a risky one because if somebody misses one, they won’t hear from you for too long; a weekly newsletter with a fixed day and hour, instead, soon becomes a habit for the reader and builds expectation and loyalty.

-Alessandra Farabegoli, Digital Strategist, www.alessandrafarabegoli.it


This is a question I get asked a lot and I’ll split out B2B vs B2C below.

Email is great at two things: keeping you top of mind and prompting action. That applies to both B2B and B2C.

However, do I want to hear from my accountant every day? Probably not. Once a month is enough to use the Power of the BCC to create great content I will read. That applies to most B2B service businesses.

B2B businesses selling products, especially consumables, need to up their game and think like retailers. Sending less more often. To do that you need a Marketing Plan.

For B2C I believe the minimum is 3 times a week. That should be possible. For example, Monday send all the deals, Thursday a reminder of your top deals from Monday and Saturday last chance for the deals. This requires a good e-commerce platform, good deals and again a Marketing Plan.

-Glenn Edley, Director & Email Strategist, Spike


For an email program to be effective, your subscribers need to remember who you are and find your information relevant. Whether you have a B2B or B2C audience, the minimum number of campaigns to leverage brand recognition and relevance is once per month. As some of your audience is likely to miss some of those campaigns, anything less will render you irrelevant in just a few months.

From there, the frequency really depends on the relevance of your messaging and the responsiveness of your list. Journalistic emails and e-commerce coupons are sent daily by industry leaders, industry news and special offers can happen weekly… but some industries and lists will not tolerate more than twice per month before the unsubscribe rate starts to climb. At the end of the day, the frequency and cadence depend on what your audience will tolerate. The best way to know this is to TEST your list, and when possible, allow your subscribers to select their preferences for subscriptions, so you reach them as often as they want to hear from you.

-MaryAnne Pfeiffer, Digital Marketing Strategist, 108 Degrees Digital Marketing


Ask not how often you should send an email, rather ask, how often would my email list like to receive one! Like most of marketing, it’s never about you, and always about your customer/prospect and the nature of your relationship. It doesn’t matter if it’s B2B or B2C, every relationship is different, every product is different.

…and remember, not everyone on your list is the same, some want more emails, some less – so test, and give them the option.

-Robin Adams, Founder, Chimp Answers


I think how often you send your emails depends on your industry & business. Some businesses have so much going on in their business and industry that a daily update email works. Some businesses are slow-moving and a quarterly email is enough. My default is a once a month email.

-Amy Hall, Email Marketing Strategist and Certified Mailchimp Partner, amyhall.biz


Want to connect with a Mailchimp Pro Partner? Check out the Mailchimp Experts Directory here.

Is there a way to ethically hack email list growth?

How to grow your email list, ethically

Below you’ll hear some of the best tips and advice from 8 Mailchimp Pro Partners (including myself) on how you can ethically grow your email list. Growing your email list should always be a priority when it comes to your email marketing, but there are creative ways to do it that are still in compliance with Mailchimp Best Practices.


One hack works above all else. Create high-value and relevant content such as a free course or an ebook to drive signups, rather than simply saying ‘signup to my newsletter’, then add multiple captures like popups on your website to do the heavy lifting for you.

-Doug Dennison, CEO & Co-founder, MailNinja


I always recommend aiming for quality over quantity when it comes to growing your email list. Capture data in as many places as possible, provide an appealing reason for someone to subscribe, and follow through on what you promise by delivering relevant content. Anything other than this can lead to less than desirable results from your email audience.

-Adam Holden-Bache, Dir. of Email Marketing, Enventys Partners


There are countless smart and ethical ways to grow your email list that don’t involve purchasing emails. Purchasing emails and then marketing to them is not only illegal but it’s simply a bad idea. As long as people are agreeing to opt-in, the sky’s the limit in terms of ways to gain subscribers.

Here are some ways you maybe haven’t thought of:

1. Contributing to a guest blog is a fantastic way to get people back to your own website and hopefully sign up (like the contributors on this post).

2. Offering a simple lead magnet/opt-in via Instagram (like a one-page PDF checklist) and asking people to click the link in your bio to sign up and get it.

As long as you’re asking for permission and people know they’re opting-in, you can dream up almost anything to get a new subscriber.

Emily Ryan, Co-founder & Mailchimp Strategist, Westfield Creative


For me, hacking means knowing very well from the inside how things work and to use this knowledge to reach your goals; there’s nothing inherently unethical in this, as long as the goals are correct and respectful. List growth happens through focusing on our target’s identity, needs and expectations, forging a message that resonates with them and putting that message in front of them, in the right place, at the right time; this requires a deep knowledge not only of email marketing but of CRO, UX, advertising and the rules of persuasion. Most importantly, I don’t believe in short term goals such as the mere quantity of new subscribers; I’d better work for quality subscribers, who not only enter the list but keep reading and maintain the engagement for a long period of time.

-Alessandra Farabegoli, Digital Strategist, Co-Founder, Digital Update and Freelancecamp Italia


List growth can definitely be hacked, by hard work. Every point of contact with your business is a marketing opportunity and an opportunity to get permission to send emails to someone. The question people should be asking before they go outside of their business is, “Are we using every single point of contact we have to get email addresses?”. They’re generally not.

Some other ways are:

1. Using google to get people to your website and asking them once they get there to sign up.

2. Using co-registration and working with other businesses to access their database.

3. Advertising on podcasts or being featured on a podcast.

There are endless ethical ways to hack list growth. They generally take more planning and work but will gain you a much higher value customer.

-Glenn Edley, Director & Email Strategist, Spike


If executed correctly and with precision, cold email campaigns can be used very effectively to build permission-based email lists. Cold email reaches out to a qualified list of potential customers or subscribers, tactfully introducing them to the brand in a way that is non-offensive. With the right lures and effective targeting, this method can provide a stream of traffic to your website or offer, which can then be converted into a permission-based email list.

-MaryAnne Pfeiffer, Digital Marketing Strategist, 108 Degrees Digital Marketing


Firstly, make sure you are ethical with your email list… please… if you’re not it’ll hurt both you AND everyone else so don’t send marketing emails to people who you shouldn’t. In terms of ethically hacking, well, if you take the fact that hacking implies some sort of shortcut or ‘easy path’, I’m not sure… Ultimately, you need to have a way of getting people onto an email list, and not just anyone, but people who want to engage with your business and brand – anyone can build an email list quickly – but is it actually worthwhile, or would you rather focus on emailing the RIGHT people? (but if you do want a short-cut, make sure it’s as easy as possible for the right people to sign up – I’ve seen too many bad forms and no automation to believe that just doing the basics is a good start for most!)

-Robin Adams, Founder, Chimp Answers


I’m not sure I would call this a hack… running ads on Facebook and LinkedIn for newsletter subscribers. Your list will grow quickly, but in my opinion, your list won’t be as engaged as organic subscribers.

-Amy Hall, Email Marketing Strategist and Certified Mailchimp Partner, amyhall.biz


Want to connect with a Mailchimp Pro Partner? Check out the Mailchimp Experts Directory here.

The 4 Most FAQs We Get About Email and Mailchimp

Email Marketing FAQs

When we decided to focus our agency on Mailchimp email marketing, we started getting a lot of the same questions. Many of these questions we hear several times a week from prospective and new clients. So we’re giving you the deets today.

I’m going to try to answer these for you in the easiest and shortest way possible.

But these are truly four of the most frequently asked we get OFTEN.

1. What’s the best time to send my email?

The answer: There is no perfect send time, except the time you determine after months of testing YOUR audience. Some experts will say Tues-Thurs at 10am is the best and don’t send on Mondays, but there truly isn’t a perfect time and it’s super important to utilize A/B testing to test different send times to see which time performed better.

And with the pandemic, optimal send times have changed a ton. In the past, Saturdays used to not be so great for sending an email, but now I find that everyone is home and relaxing and this can be a great send time. So it’s important to test this over a period of weeks or months to see what works for your people. What works for an audience of realtors is going to be different than an audience of people who buy, say makeup.

2. Do I need to clean my email list?

The answer: Yes and no. “Cleaning your list” refers to removing or archiving any contacts that are no longer opening your emails or engaged. This is extremely important because it affects the deliverability of your emails. The cleaner your email list, the higher your open rates will be, which improves your sender reputation.

The good news is that Mailchimp helps you do this. Mailchimp automatically “cleans” emails that bounce. I still recommending periodically creating a segment of contacts that “have not opened” one of your last 10 or 20 emails – and then ARCHIVING them. OR creating a re-engagement email campaign to reach out to them and asking if they’re still interested in hearing from you. Anyone that does NOT open that email– archive them (don’t unsubscribe).

3. How do I grow my email list?

The answer: There are many ways, my friend. This is a long conversation, but this should always be one of your top priorities. Growing your email list is vital to having success with your email campaigns. So I always tell clients to focus on this before anything.

Here are some quick ways to start growing your email list:

  • Create a simple one-page PDF to use as a “freebie” or “lead magnet” and offer that people in exchange for signing up. You can offer through a popup on your website or creating a page on your site where people sign up. Create an automated email that sends to them, with the download, after they sign up.
  • Host a short webinar on a topic and ask people to sign up for it.
  • Post weekly on your social media channels about joining your list and the fun stuff they will receive if they subscribe (Ex: This Friday I am sending out the latest edition of my fun weekly email, full of the best email marketing tips…make sure you’re on the list!)
  • Talk about your email list in everything you do. If you’re on a podcast or speak on a webinar, remind me to subscribe to your list.
  • Post multiple opt-ins around your website. Your homepage should have several – a popup, a button at the top, and others weaved in.

There are many other ways, but start with these and it will grow quickly.

4. Do I need to use Tags or Groups or Segments? 

The answer: Yes. Using Mailchimp’s “Tags” or “Groups” and also creating “Segments” are some of the most powerful Mailchimp features you can utilize to personalize your email marketing and create campaigns that are sent to the right people at the right time. And I promise you, they’re not as confusing as you may think.

Tags are used to simply tag your contacts internally. Think of it as a little contact note. Tags could be “local contact” or “contest entry” or “attended Feb webinar” or “Subscription-Active” and the list goes on. A tag is is powerful because you can create campaigns JUST for a specific tag of people and then send them an email campaign. Read more on getting started with Tags here.

A segment is something that you can create in Mailchimp or you can use one of Mailchimp’s pre-built segments. Segments use data already in Mailchimp. For example, “did not open the last email campaign” would be a segment you can create. Or “Purchased an item in last month.” Or “Email contains nike.com” or even “Location is United States.” There are endless possibilities for segments you can create and they’re incredibly useful when sending targeted email campaigns. More on segments here.

Lastly, “Groups.” The important thing to note about “Groups” is that the contact can view these. You can set up a Group to ask your customer/contacts something like “Are you interested in:” “Emails only, webinar info, events, don’t want any emails” Those would be 4 responses within 1 group. Groups are useful for gathering contact’s interests. More here on getting started with Groups.

Example of a Group in Mailchimp

So while TAGS are something you do internally to tag a contact, a Group is something you setup so your contacts can choose. And a segment is what you create based on these tags and groups.


These are some quick answers to some of our most asked questions. Hope they were helpful!

12 Creative Ways To Market Your Business

12 Creative Ways To Market Your Business

What is one creative way you plan to market your business in 2021? What do you have planned?

We asked marketing professionals and business owners about what they have in store for the year ahead. 

Here are twelve creative ways to market your business.

  • Instagram Reels
  • Prioritize Video Content
  • Plain Text Emails
  • Optimized Blog Content 
  • Join Online Communities
  • TikTok
  • Exterior Branding
  • Get Personal
  • Hit It Old School
  • Highlight Success Stories
  • Establish Yourself as Experts
  • Live Shopping on Apps

Instagram Reels

Everything is virtual these days and one of the most creative things you can do is capitalize on this. I am a big fan of Instagram’s “Reels” feature which is similar to TikTok. I’ve seen a lot of business owners using Reels to teach their followers something short and fun. You could do a simple “3 Tips for…” and set it to music. It makes for fun content and it gets a lot more exposure than a traditional Instagram post. Make sure to include hashtags in your caption!

Emily Ryan, Westfield Creative

Prioritize Video Content

Video creation is one of the most creative ways to market your business in 2021. Studies show that video content performs better on social media and also increases the average time on page for web users, and it is a powerful tactic that not many people use due to the labor-intensive nature of video production. We are excited to do more in this space come 2021!

Noah Downs, American Pipeline Solutions 

Plain Text Emails

Sending personalized, plain text email messages to existing and prospective customers is a simple, but underutilized marketing tactic. We receive so many emails every day, but if you can insert your business into an inbox in an unobtrusive way, then you are able to deepen customer relationships and be there when customers need you. 

Carey Wilbur, Charter Capital

Optimized Blog Content 

Going into 2021, we plan to create high-quality, optimized content to be featured on our blog.  Our goal is to be the most trusted experts in our industry.  This helps us organically rank on search engines and be the featured page when people are looking for durable device cases. We have gotten really creative with keywords and topics to appeal to potential customers and just rolled out a 3-month content strategy to aid in our marketing efforts. Content will be king in 2021. 

Peter Babichenko, Sahara Case 

Join Online Communities

One creative way you can market your business in 2021 is to join different online communities! I personally attend online webinars and meetups for female entrepreneurs and creatives to build my network and promote my company to potential clients. In addition to the reach these communities provide for my company, they also give me the opportunity to meet other prominent professionals in my vertical who help me get even better at my craft.

Nikitha Lokareddy, Markitors 

TikTok

A tactic we have been utilizing in 2020 and will use well into 2021 is TikTok. With over 800 million monthly active users, Tik Tok is officially the hottest new social media platform. While TikTok is thought to just be for teens, we have found that a lot of our target market is active on TikTok and looking for content geared toward them. We created an account and have been making our own videos and publishing them for the world to see. With no monetary investment, we just use our free time and creativity to spread the word about our brand. 

Stephanie Schull, Kegelbell 

Exterior Branding

We equip all of our vehicles with visually appealing exterior graphics to help capture what it’s like to “Cruise America.” We often hear positive comments from customers and prospective customers about these graphics. With more than 4,500 vehicles on the road, the more our vehicles are in use, the more marketing benefit our company receives. 

Randall Smalley, Cruise America

Get Personal

Not in a creepy way, but in a true authentic way. We are all exhausted from being online 24/7. Can you send a handwritten card just because? Can you organize a pickup/drop off spot for a joint activity or craft project? Can you organize a safe winter wonderland activity? I believe the secret sauce behind effective marketing in 2021 is going beyond the digital screen.

Audrey Hutnick, Smallwave Marketing

Hit It Old School

We’re hitting it old-school with some of our approaches this coming year to activate our wholesale network. Our plan is to resurrect the idea of “scratcher postcards,” but with actually great rewards under those silver flecks. Digital ads are becoming more expensive and are vying for subprime attention, while print advertising is seeing a resurgence in both affordability and the stronger eyes it gets.

Hana Ruzsa Alanis, Graphic Designer & Marketing Specialist

Highlight Success Stories

In 2021 we are aiming for the strategy of storytelling. We’re focusing on telling our clients’ stories. We believe storytelling, be it brand-led or customer-led, connects with audiences. We’re combining the two to show how our brand helps our customers through their success stories. It will take us some time to find the right stories, shape them for our audiences, and tell them in a way that showcases our clients’ hard work and success. Any good story has a setting, a character, character flaws, conflict, resolution, and lesson. Brand storytelling is not an exception. We plan on incorporating all those elements into our stories.

Natalya Bucuy, LiveHelpNow

Establish Yourself As Experts

When we look at 2021, it’s important to understand that we still have uncertain times ahead. Therefore, we need to not only have a Plan B, but we need to work our way a little further down the alphabet. We plan to stay innovative and ready to make a pivot whenever traditional marketing efforts aren’t paying off. So, we have targeted strategies for outreach, guest posting, and providing beneficial quotes for articles on high-traffic sites. By establishing ourselves as experts in our niche, we plan to exude trustworthiness and professionalism.

Sally Rong, Rellery

Live Shopping on Apps

In order to successfully market your business next year, the answer lies in adopting a combination of new social tools vs. tapping into just one. We’re anticipating that the next phase of retail will heavily focus on ‘Live Shopping.’ For example, our partners at Facebook and TikTok are rolling out new features that will make it extremely quick and easy for consumers to make purchases directly from interactive content—without ever leaving their respective app or site. In 2021, brands will be able to sell seamlessly through Instagram’s ‘Checkout’ feature and take advantage of TikTok’s first-ever commerce partnership with Shopify. This provides a great opportunity to work with influencers across platforms and explore new channel capabilities.

Greg Gillman, MuteSix

Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights. Sign up at terkel.io to answer questions and get published. 

What’s the biggest mistake people make in email marketing?

Email marketing mistakes

 

Email marketing can be challenging. From making a simple technical mistake that is then sent to thousands of people (we’re all human), like not testing your email or checking spelling, to not finding out what your subscribers really want to know, mistakes do happen. So we thought it would be helpful to ask the email experts. We surveyed 8 Mailchimp Pro Partners to find out what they see as the biggest mistakes that are made in email marketing. The answers are varied, which shows that so many mistakes can easily be made, so there’s a lot of great to stuff to learn here.

 

Here’s what they had to say about the biggest mistakes in email marketing:

 

“Sending the same message to the same people. It’s bonkers, but people do.”

Doug Dennison, CEO & Co-founder, MailNinja

 


 

“1. Not personalizing emails! Especially when I’m a customer and they know my name. “Dear Sir or madam” or “Dear customer”. Bleh!

2. Loooooooooong emails (without images).”

Nick Beuzekamp, CEO and Founder, Online Marketing Bonaire

 


 

“The biggest mistake most marketers make is telling subscribers what they want them to know and not what the subscriber wants to hear. You have to deliver on what you promised when the subscriber signed up. If your emails are self-serving and not valuable to the subscriber, you’ll quickly lose their attention.”

Adam Q. Holden-Bache, Director of Email Marketing, Enventys Partners

 


 

“Sending emails that are TOO long or too wordy. Simplify, simplify. Emails do not need to be long and full of TONS of content. Days of the long newsletter are over (in my opinion). Sometimes a great image, a short blurb and a button are all that you need for a great email. Try not to overthink it. 
 
Also, many people don’t think to recycle/reuse old content. Bring back an old blog post (and make it into an email). If you had an email do really well a year ago, bring it back. You don’t need to create brand new content with every email.”
 
Emily Ryan, Co-founder & Email Strategist, Westfield Creative

 


 

“Lack of segmentation: you have a huge mailing list and you send to everybody, because “it costs nothing and somebody could be interested”. As I always repeat, you can’t do nothing to raise relevancy of a message for anybody; or it is relevant, or it isn’t. What you can positively do, instead, is to diminish irrelevancy, by choosing not to send a message to people who are the least likely to be interested (e.g. send a discount reminder to people who have already made a purchase using that discount code, or invite people to events they can’t attend because of distance or other constraints).”

Alessandra Farabegoli, Digital Strategist, Co-Founder, Digital Update and Freelancecamp Italia

 


 

“The biggest mistake I see with email marketing is not doing it. The next mistake is businesses just ‘ticking the box’ with their email marketing and not seeing the value in the customers they’re sending too. That sucks to me. Email addresses are like gold. They are literally putting you in the palm of someone’s hand and they need to be treated as such.”

Glenn Edley, Director & Email Strategist, Spike

 


 

“Most businesses and organizations who do not use professional email marketers make the mistake of not sending enough email. There is an ingrained concern about over-messaging by email in most organizations that is a direct result of past attitudes and technologies that no longer play in the space. For those of us who work every day in this business, we understand that the correct strategy and planning means that you can send email every day, sometimes more than once per day, and you will not only see great results from your campaigns, you will build loyalty and engagement with your audience.”

MaryAnn Pfeiffer, Digital Marketing Strategist, 108 Degrees Digital Marketing

 


 

Not having a plan before they start. I’ve spoken to too many people who jump into Mailchimp, get quickly confused or disillusioned and then think the system doesn’t work. If you don’t start with a clear goal you’ll always struggle no matter what it is your trying to do.”

Robin Adams, Founder, Chimp Answers


 

“Not doing it or giving up on it too soon or both together. If you’re not sending regular emails and people don’t know who you are don’t expect them to jump at the chance to purchase from you on that 1 email you sent this year. Email is a dialogue. Email is a relationship. Relationships take time. Email marketing needs consistency and persistence.”

Amy Hall, Email Marketing Strategist and Certified Mailchimp Partner, amyhall.biz

 


 

Want to learn about these Mailchimp experts and Pro Partners? Check them out in the Mailchimp Directory here.

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

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

9 Tips for Awesome Cyber Monday Emails

Mailchimp Email Marketing Cyber Monday DID YOU KNOW that Cyber Monday was the biggest online sales day of the year in 2018? In case ya didn’t know, this is probably the busiest week of the year for us email marketers, so I thought I’d give you a few important Cyber Monday email tips here. And also – I just love this photo.

1. Send your Cyber Monday email when others AREN’T. Don’t follow the crowd. Send the day before or even the day after. Or send it today! I’m sure you’ve already seen quite a few Black Friday emails. You should also use Mailchimp’s “send time optimization” tool to determine the best send time for your particular Audience. ⁣

2. Urgency. Make sure you explain when the deal will end so people feel a sense of urgency to buy that day. ⁣

3. Don’t hesitate to send it late at night. One study I read shows 11pm had a high click rate (I know I shop online late at night…🤔)⁣

4. Keep it short and sweet. Your email should include your deal, a big image of your product, coupon code and a button to buy it. Remove any extra fluff. ⁣

5. Use GIFs or moving images in your email to keep it fun and interesting. ⁣Check out this gorgeous email from Kidly.

6. Keep subject lines short (under 30 characters) and use emojis. Think fun and light. ⁣

7. Make sure you have an Abandoned Cart email setup and ready. ⁣This is a huge opportunity to increase your sales.

8. Use all channels. Consider creating a Facebook Ad or a landing page for your Cyber Monday deal. Promote on social. This will make you way more competitive. ⁣

9. Send your email a second time! Consider sending an “EXTENDED” email after Cyber Monday saying the sale has been extended. ⁣

Happy Online Shopping Season! I’ll be over here getting our client’s emails ready and tested.

(Photo via @fashionsfromhistory on Instagram)