How to Set Up Mailchimp for Your Blog

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posted on: September 1, 2017

When I initially began the audit way back in July, I wrapped my email newsletter into part of my blog content. As my brand and this year has evolved, I’ve realized that it needs its distinct section. Email marketing has several facets. Since the audit’s aim is to address my current situation, I focused on that first then prioritized how I wanted to evolve this component, since it is still very fresh in my business.

Coffee Chats

Each week, I send out a personal note about what’s going on with my brand, works in progress, and different challenges. It’s informal and intimate. The blog does not include a lot of personal insights, and the newsletter is where I try to share those details. I also include some valuable links and resources. Occasionally, these emails tend to be a little bit more marketing-heavy than the initial goal.

Since I try to make these notes personal, they are not as cohesive as I would like. I’ve debated how I approach this challenge. My solution is to try to itemize or group two to five big ideas for the week, and this fits conveniently with the end of the year, as I’m sharing details about what I’m planning for 2016 with subscribers.

At the bottom of the Smarter Saturday newsletters (and RSS Campaigns), I’ve included specific information about product launches, booking services, and the premade blog shop. I could probably jazz these up a bit, but I like to keep the emails straightforward.

RSS-Campaigns

When people subscribe, they can opt-in to receiving post daily updates, weekly round-ups, or both. These posts populate automatically. These emails are completely optional for subscribers. I offer it because I recognize that some readers might prefer to read the blog via email. I use to have the daily posts include just the image and the excerpt, but I’ve decided to go full content version for daily emails and abbreviated post views for weekly. I figured if someone is reading a daily post via email, they want to read the full thing and not have to click thru. To be honest, the click-thru via email don’t matter as much as the reader having a positive experience.

Technical

For me, this portion of the audit focused mainly on the content, as I viewed it as a weakness compared to the functional parts. However, these components include the following:

  • Sign-Up Forms: Double-checked the sign-up forms to make sure that they worked.
  • Newsletter Templates: Since I updated my branding, I also updated my sign-up form and email templates to reflect the updated look and feel.
  • List Management: I use to have two different lists, which is a poor practice. Instead, I merged them together.

Next Steps

In regards to my email newsletter and marketing, I have a few things on my radar (implemented in 2016).

  • Sign-Up Engagement Automation: I’m hoping to have this setup by the end of the year. My biggest hang-up is the time to craft and figure out the timing for those emails. I want to make sure that they are both promotional and engaging.
  • Monthly Promotional Emails: For about two-thirds of this year, I’ve gathered and tracked emails pretty well. Not all these emails automatically translate into customers and clients, and therefore, I want to make sure I follow-up. These will feature certain products are featured in the blog shop as well as promotional deals.
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