How to Set Up Email Automation with MailChimp

By Princess Jones

Email newsletters are a valuable tool in business marketing. If your email list is your best link to your target audience, automation is the tool that makes it easier to connect with them. It allows you to define triggers within your newsletter system. When a user trips one of those triggers, an email will go out to that user with information that you specified.

Let’s say that everyone that signs up for your restaurant’s email list received a coupon for a free dessert on their next visit. Without automation, you’d have to check your signups daily and send out individual or group emails with the coupons. Presumably, you’re actually busy running your restaurant and every task you can take off your daily to-do list is a win. That’s where automation comes into the picture. Instead of doing this manually, you can create a special email with a coupon to be sent out each time you receive a signup.

If you want a user to renew their subscription to your catering service, you could trigger an automated transactional email near the anniversary of their original payment. For every customer that buys your cookbook from your website, you could send a follow-up email weeks later that reminds them to leave a review. These are all things that take time and manpower to research, filter, and execute. Automation can take care of that for you.

How to Do It

Start by logging into MailChimp and click “Automation” at the top of the screen. (Keep in mind that automated emails are a part of the paid package. You can’t have a free for life account and use automation.) Click “Create Automation Workflow” on the next page. This will be the grouping of emails. On the next page, select the list you want this to work with.

Now, you’ll see some email options. You have the choice from putting together a simple welcome email, starting a welcome series, or even integrating your shopping cart with triggers based on sales.

On the next page, name your workflow with an internal title. You’ll also imput some minor setup information, like the subject line, the reply-to name, etc. Click “Next” when you’re done. Now you’ll choose a trigger. A trigger is just an event that prompts the email. One example would be when a subscriber signs up for your list. Another example might be on the subscriber’s birthday if you’ve made it a field on your signup form. Choose one and click “Next.”

Automation with Mailchimp

On the next page, you’ll start to design your email. Click “Add Email.” The default send date is one day after the trigger occurs but you can change that by clicking “Change delay.” Click “Design email” when you’re ready to start the design process. Note that this process is exactly like putting together an email campaign usually is done in MailChimp.

Automation with Mailchimp

When you’re done with that, you’ll get to the scheduling page, which is where you decide when these emails are sent. You can select days and times. You can also limit by segments in your group. When you’re done with that, you click “Save and continue.”

This email within this particular workflow has been completed. Now you can go back and add more, depending on your overall plan for your MailChimp automation.

How do you use automation in MailChimp?

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Princess Jones
Princess Jones is the evil genius behind P.S. Jones Copy & Design, where she helps food and drink businesses speak the language of their audiences. For more talk about copywriting, design, and the tools to pull them off, follow her on Twitter @imprincessjones.

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