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!

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