So What Exactly is Mailchimp and Why Do You Need It?MailChimp is a software which gives you the ability to create and manage mailing lists, newsletters, automated campaigns and more. It puts you in the driver’s seat and lets you have full control over your email marketing efforts from beginning to end. Mailchimp is simple and easy to use and its software gives you access to an array of email marketing tools all conveniently located in one place. There are several advantages that Mailchimp provides over other competitors in the industry which make it a top choice for businesses looking to get their foot in the door with email marketing.Why Email Marketing?Email marketing is an important tool in today’s marketing efforts. Businesses and companies alike can grow their revenue and expand their reach by targeting a vaster, more global audience which is made possible with email marketing. The potential of internet marketing, when done right, is enormous and can be the making or breaking point for businesses that are looking to grow in an economy that is highly competitive.Being successful with email marketing can be a tricky endeavor and if not done correctly, can actually hurt a business and their reputation. Thankfully, there are tools today which are available and can help a business not only succeed but thrive with their email marketing efforts. This is where software such as Mailchimp comes into play. Mailchimp changes the game and gives you the edge.Ease of Designing & Launching Email CampaignsIt couldn’t be any easier to get started with MailChimp. After creating a list, you are then able to go ahead and initiate your first campaign. You do not need to know any HTML at all or have any coding knowledge to build a beautifully designed enewsletter as Mailchimp does all of this for you! All you need to do is choose from their expansive selection of prebuilt templates and customize the content using their easy-to-use WYSIWYG builder. (If you need something a bit more fancier you can have a custom designed Mailchimp template built exactly the way you want it.) You can send emails right away or schedule them to go out at a later time, whichever works best for you. Automate Email CampaignsMailChimp also gives you the ability to automate email campaigns entirely. This could be a mailing that is sent automatically to a subscriber once they sign up to a list and be a simple thank you or have other meaningful content that only they can get as a result of signing up to your list. Automated campaigns help you personalize your brand’s efforts and enhance the interaction between you and your subscribers which is invaluable. After all, your subscribers are potential customers. Beyond welcoming the customer, automated emails can put purchase data to use, let you follow up on website activity that is derived from a particular campaign, keep your subscribers coming back for more and help keep you in full control. Mailchimp integrates with a variety of other application such as WordPress, Facebook, PayPal and more.Automated emails are perfect for not just welcoming new email subscribers but also providing subscribers a customized mailing whether that be product suggestions related to a purchase, an annual mailing to a subscriber wishing him/her a happy birthday, thanking regular subscribers who are actively engaged and garnering important feedback about your website, etc. All of these triggers are perfect causes for automated emails which can help bring you closer to your subscribers/customers. Mailchimp provides a range of available workflows for you to get started! Inbox Preview & TestingMore important than almost anything else when it comes to a successful email marketing campaign is the ability to test the campaign first before launching it to simulate how it will look once it is received and opened in one’s inbox. This can provide valuable insight and help you avoid any mistakes that could be potentially drastic. Mailchimp provides a valuable inbox preview tool that lets you see how your email will look in over 40 different clients. This testing tool will help ensure that your mailing will look good no matter where it is received. All it takes is an error or a simple mishap to ruin your campaign regardless of how much time you spent in building it. Geotargeting Your CampaignsWhat if you’re looking to target only a select group of your subscribers on a geographical basis? This could be useful when you are looking to run an email promotion for a certain city, state or other geographical area. When you send an email campaign, Mailchimp tracks certain data such as the location of an email subscriber which gives you the ability to segment your mailings moving forward. This is a powerful feature that provides a lot of flexibility to the tentative business owner who is looking to reach out to specific areas of the industry. By being able to target certain geographical areas, you can maximize the potential of your campaign. Email BeamerThis features makes it extremely simple to create a campaign draft and doesn’t even require logging into MailChimp. Just simply write up an email using your personal email account such as Gmail and Yahoo and include your content and subject line, etc. When you’re finished, just send it off to a personalized email address that Mailchimp provides you and the rest will be taken care of. Within moments, you’ll have a draft for a campaign ready for you to review. You can do this at home or on the go, it’s that easy! RSS to EmailThis powerful feature lets you share your RSS feeds in the form of an email. This feature kills two birds with one stone for those that publish frequently and like their content shared in a variety of formats to suit the diversity of their subscriber base. By automating this process, Mailchimp helps cut out the time required to manually set up a campaign. The RSS-to-Email tool can also be deployed as frequently as desired whether that be daily, weekly or monthly. Top Notch AnalyticsOne of the most exciting aspects of an email campaign is seeing how the campaign performed. How many subscribers successfully received your email? How many subscribers opened it? Which links received more clicks and how many? This information is crucial and gives valuable feedback to the campaign manager and can help them see what worked and what didn’t. Reports and detailed analytics can indicate the typical behavioral pattern of a particular subscriber base and inform the campaign manager of certain things to look for and to implement in future mailings. Do your subscribers like picture links as opposed to simple text links? Are the majority of the links that are being clicked towards the top or bottom of the email content? Mailchimp provides top notch analytics that are very detailed an in-depth.Another form of reporting that MailChamp provides is known as A/B testing. This allows for a campaign manager to send out different versions of a mailing at different times and learn which campaign performed better and why. The variance in each campaign can be as simple as a different subject line, a different design/layout of the mailing’s content, the timing of the mailing and when it goes out (does it get a better open rate in the morning versus later on in the afternoon or evening), etc. Learning the behaviors and tendencies of your subscriber base is crucial in any marketing efforts that are successful. Mailchimp sets the standard with its advanced reporting and integrated analytics. Growing Your Lists & Getting More SubscribersYou may already have a well established list of subscribers but are looking to grow your list further or you may have none at all. Either way, Mailchimp helps you grow and establish your lists with dynamic forms that are user-friendly. These forms can be customized to match your branding and can be linked to or embedded on your personal/business website. The ability of using custom fields in your forms allows you to capture relevant information about your subscribers as it pertains to your business or practice, needs, etc. Making these forms is a cinch and sharing/implementing them couldn’t be any easier!eCommerce IntegrationWith both paid and free Mailchimp accounts, campaign managers have the ability of tracking the number and amount of purchases from a particular campaign. This is handy when seeing how well an email marketing campaign performs in terms of generated revenue and sales. With eCommerce360, you can connect your email campaigns directly to your online store via simple API integration.These online stores can be based on a variety of shopping platforms such as Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce and Prestashop. Once everything is set up properly and ready to go, you can then start to see how successful your campaigns truly are in terms of translating into additional revenue for your business. This can help you understand what you’re doing right and what you could do better the next time around. You can even use this eCommerce data to segment your list for your campaigns. Accessing Your Campaigns on the GoOur world is a fast paced environment and the use of mobile devices is more prevalent than ever. Mailchimp accommodates this with its mobile app that gives you the ability to manage lists, add new subscribers, send/finalize campaigns and view analytical reports. MailChimp’s mobile app is available for both Android & iOS and connects you to your campaigns on the fly. No longer will you need to scramble to find your laptop or tablet with Mailchimp as you can take care of business no matter where you are! MailChimp ProThe pro version of Mailchimp provides even more options and functionality to its customers such as campaign automation for different time zones and predicted demographics. Mailings can be even further segmented on stricter criteria providing for a fully optimized campaign. Pro merge fields give customers 50 additional merge fields for more data storage and stop delivery is an added feature for pro customers in the event of a typo or other mishap with your mailing. Pro customers get priority customer service as well as advanced analytics that are top notch. With all of the added benefits that come with being a Mailchimp pro member, the monthly fee is definitely worth it.A Solid Email Marketing SolutionAll of the powerful features and can’t-miss benefits that Mailchimp offers makes it a no-brainer in the email marketing game that is continuing to grow. Start taking advantage of what email marketing has to offer and use it as soon as today to grow your business and expand your outreach. Establishing a subscriber base that is actively engaged is valuable beyond measure and can be the difference in putting you over the top in your marketing efforts. A successful email marketing campaign not only grows your potential but also can improve your reputation.