7 Things I Loved This Week (Jan 10)

7 Things I Loved This Week

I heard this yesterday on a podcast with Laura Belgray — Don’t wait to be inspired to write your next email (or to write anything). Just start writing and then you’ll be inspired in the process, much like now, when I had not a single idea for this email until I sat down and sifted through the last few weeks of links I’ve collected. If you want to send out more emails then just sit down and start. Cool?

7 Other Things I Loved Recently:

1. I wasted 13 mins of my life watching these 10 Instagram Stories hacks last week, but they’re all really good. 

2. This free cliche finder tool (for your writing)…is so cliche.

3. What if your CTAs (Call to Action) buttons were this instead of “contact us.”

4. I share this article on email subject line spam trigger words with my clients often.

5. I discovered the absolute most perfect WFH sweatshirt

6. If you haven’t seen Mailchimp’s 2020 Annual Report, it’s amazing.

7. I got together with 8 other Mailchimp Partners on this blog about what tools we couldn’t live without. For me, it’s Slack. (And remember when Slack went down last week?!)

In other news, I bought the domain name emilyryanemails.com this week, Stay tuned for some cool stuff there soon, including my new Mailchimp course, with everything you could possibly need to start sending great emails. 

Have a great week ahead and if I ever inspire you to write an email, purchase something or read one of these articles above, I’d love to know. Just hit reply and lemme know anytime. 

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

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

Why You Must Backup your Mailchimp Lists – Now.

Emily Ryan

Quick tip for you if you use any online service provider.

As you probably noticed this week, Instagram and Facebook both went down for nearly a full 24 hours. With this comes a very important reminder…

You MUST back up all of your Mailchimp contact lists (or whatever email platform you use).

I want you to make sure you have downloaded a .csv file of your EVERY list you have in Mailchimp. If your email program were to ever go down, you just don’t want to risk losing that data. These are YOUR subscribers.

In Mailchimp, you simply go to your List and then Export (and download). Just keep these .csv files somewhere safe. More instructions here.

This also goes for other services. Anywhere you can, you want to be exporting any important data. This means taking a monthly backup of your WordPress website, downloading your accounting files from your invoice program, etc. Everything should periodically be backed up.

Set a calendar reminder each month to BACK IT UP. In fact, our favorite WordPress back up plugin is called WPBackItUp. Highly recommend.

That’s it. Back it up. We now have witnessed that online apps can go down!

Contact us if you ever need quick help doing this.