MailChimp 101: Automation

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Recent update: MailChimp marketing automation tools are now available to all users, regardless of whether you’re using a free or paid account!

Ready, set, repeat. 

The MailChimp automation feature lets you set up workflows, or emails that automatically send to specific subscribers when they trigger an event. These can help you stay very engaged with your customers while saving time and money. 

Automation brings together segmenting, scheduling and design features into one tool, letting you market like you've got a whole office doing it. This post is part of our MailChimp series, laying out some of the foundations of using MailChimp with Shopify. 

What is Automation?

With an automation campaign, emails are sent automatically to specific contacts as they meet certain triggers, such as making a purchase, abandoning their cart or spending a certain amount. 

MailChimp has an automation tool that lets you choose the type of automation, write your custom email, and set your trigger criteria. MailChimp does the rest - it figures out who matches the conditions and sends emails right away when they do.

Bonus Read: What Is A Drip Campaign? 

Why Would You Use Automation?

Automation lets you communicate with your subscribers at every instance you would want to, but helps you avoid writing every email manually. For example, if you want to reward customers who have purchased over a certain amount, welcome new ones or say thanks on customer's birthdays, you can set up an automatic flow and focus on your other business development tasks.

When you connect your store, you can also send emails to people who aren't subscribers, such as order notifications and tracking information or abandoned cart messages. These tools work well with Shopify and MailChimp integrated. 

This means that no matter how hectic your business is getting, your customers are always hearing from you when they should. 

Let's walk through it

MailChimp’s intent-based campaign creation process will help you get started by giving you a step-by-step to create an automation for your goals. It will show you what kinds of campaigns may fit your objectives and what kinds of specific goals you can meet. 

What Can I Use Automation For?

MailChimp offers a number of automation types with built-in triggers for common activities, but if our pre-built options does not address your needs, you can always create a custom automation instead.

Send The Right Message at The Right Moment

Automation makes it easy to send the right message to the right people, at the time that is most natural. Your customers should get an order notification email just after they click "purchase". They should get a reminder email if they left something in their cart but didn't buy it within a couple of hours. Automation lets you set these up and go. 

Become a Better Marketer

Automation also makes it easier to target people more specifically based on their actions and consumer behaviour. Because you can set up a bunch of specific automations, you can write highly targeted messaging and differentiate between people who are already engaged and people who aren't.

Connect With Your New Contacts

Automation is a great way to greet new people and let them know more about who you are and what you offer. You can, for example, set up an automation to: Welcome your new subscribers with a single email—or an email series—to help them get to know your company, organization, or products. 

You could also say ‘Happy Birthday’ and offer a special birthday gift that's sent annually on a subscriber's birthday if you have it. You can also set an anniversary date and let them know how grateful you are for their subscription for another year.  

Follow up with customers to increase conversion

After you connect your store to MailChimp, you can set up segmentations that help you target people who are buying and people who aren't buying separately. For example, you could set up automations to: 

Recover abandoned carts. Reach out to customers who put something in their carts but then left before checking out. Send an email (or series of emails) to remind them what they've left behind and grab their attention again. You can even add personalised product recommendations to upsell or show your customers more options. 

• Follow up after purchases. Ask for product feedback, send a quick survey, or request a video testimonial in exchange for an incentive after they buy a specific product. 

Boost Customer Loyalty

Everyone knows that getting your existing customers to trust you, love you, keep coming back and recommend you is the best way to build your business. Retaining existing customers is more cost effective than finding new ones, and MailChimp has a couple of automations to help you out. 

• Say thanks to newbies. Reach out to new customers after they've made their first purchase and send them a discount to come back, or a referral code to send to their friends. 

• Reward your best customers. Set up an automation to send to your big spenders, people who have purchased multiple items, or come back regularly. Give them incentives, earlybird releases of new products or even just a fun and funny thanks, reminding them why they've stuck around. 

Bring Customers Back

Automation can be a powerful tool, especially in re-engaging people who have dropped off. You can try, for example: 

Encourage lapsed customers return to your store with emails written asking them why they haven't come back. Your other emails that are working don't seem to be capturing this audience, so why should your content be the same? Showcase your latest products or offer discounts for those less willing to pay than the rest.

• Improve email engagement. Reach out specifically to people who aren't opening your emails, focusing on headlines that catch their attention. 

How Do I Set Up An Automation?

Use MailChimp’s Automation feature to streamline your recurring communications, and make sure your subscribers receive the right emails at the right time.

Get started using the tool riiiiiight here.

For a detailed explanation on how to add an automation, read more here.

What’s Next?

Pre-built workflows make it easy to send an automated email when customers make their first purchase or abandon their cart. There's heaps of other stuff you can do with MailChimp, too! Check out our whole series about using MailChimp with Shopify, such as lists and segments or Facebook ads. 

For more information on automation or anything MailChimp related, feel free to contact Elkfox today.

Images via MailChimp