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3 New Features Available For Your Next Mailchimp Marketing Campaign

An email to your clients, consumers and other stakeholders is one of the quickest and most effective ways to send out a key message instantaneously, but when you’ve got hundreds of contacts to get in touch with, it can no doubt be quite an exhausting task.

 

Email marketing platform Mailchimp allows businesses and e-commerce retailers to send marketing emails, automated messages and targeted campaigns in a straight forward way, and their continuous innovation in technology is allowing businesses to grow and gain more ground with their target markets.

 

The latest resources of Mailchimp allow you to communicate to your audiences faster, and here at WK Digital we can help you implement best practice email marketing so that you can run with it and utilise it for your business.

 

We’ve put together a list of the platform’s most recent features to show you not only how easy it is to use, but just how beneficial it can really be.

 

  1. Facebook ad campaigns

Mailchimp has taken a major step from email-only to marketing, now allowing subscribers to create beautiful Facebook ad campaigns. In the same familiar interface, you can produce an effective campaign strategy to match your branding style and target your audience.

 

Not having to spend time navigating through two different sites is one of the stand-out elements within this new feature. Also, because you integrate Mailchimp with Facebook, you’ll be able to track your return on investment, how many new customers you’ve gained, your orders total, the amount of people you’ve reached, and whether or not you should improve your marketing strategy.

 

Often it’s an easy decision for a business to advertise – after all, it makes sense to let the public know you exist. But choosing how and where to advertise can be problematic, especially when you’re a small business and your budget just can’t cater to the larger-fit costs of a broader campaign.

 

Mailchimp’s Facebook Ad Campaigns feature allows you to utilise the most popular social media platform in the world today, and target actual people. Other ad systems use cookie-based advertising to limit showing ads on a particular device or browser, but Facebook works quite the opposite. As most people access their Facebook profiles on varying equipment almost on a daily basis, you’re guaranteed to be seen.

 

  1. Integration to CRM programs

It makes sense for some businesses to integrate their email marketing component with a customer relationship management (CRM) application, which can make your three marketing components – contact lists, content and results – a lot faster and easier.
Mailchimp provides a connection to other websites and services, which you can plug in to your account, and they are so easy to use because there’s no need to learn about programming or coding.

 

The newest integrations, of which there are more than a dozen in Mailchimp, allow you to add subscribers, sync data, import content and see how successful your campaigns are. As an example, some of the integrated systems include Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Shopify and PayPal.

 

It’s a brilliant way to learn what your customers are purchasing and then progress to creating more email campaigns customised to their interests!

 

  1. Stylish and customised email templates

You can truly design an appealing email campaign with a large variety of Mailchimp’s templates. There’s a choice of three ways to go about it – working with a basic layout, a pre-built theme or a template based on the message you want to communicate.

 

One of the best things about this particular feature is that for e-commerce retailers, you can actually showcase and sell products this way. You’re not limited to what you want to put across, and it can be anything from presenting special discount offers to offering vouchers and special packages to loyalty consumers.

 

These features, plus more within the platform, is why you use Mailchimp as a primary email marketing service, but here at WK Digital, we can help you apply all of that and guide you. If it helps your business grow, then we are at the forefront of making that happen.

The best CRM for your small business

As more small businesses embrace the Internet and move, it is becoming essential to have the right Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software so you can keep track of customers. Having the right CRM also makes it easier for you to interact with your customers, providing help where needed and give them a good experience as they shop with you.

The CRM you choose, and how right it is for your business, depends to a large extent on the kind of business model you have. While there are many great CRMs to choose from, they don’t all have the same features. For instance, lawyers may need a document and file sharing feature and that would not be important for a retailer who would benefit more from a Live Chat feature.

Another consideration, especially for small businesses, would be budget. The cost of many CRMs is worked out by how many employees will be using them as well as what features they have. You may be surprised to find one – Zoho – is free and is packed with some handy features.

Zoho

The biggest advantage of Zoho is that up to 10 employees can use it for free making it ideal for small start-ups with a tight budget. Crucially, it also has a free mobile version. It is easy to use even for those with no previous experience and if you get stuck there is a help button and live chat.

Features include: client interaction tracking, files sharing (not real-time), web forms, purchasing reports and Google docs integration.

Like all freemium products many of the best features – like creating and sending invoices, data backups, multiple currencies, lead capture from social media, marketing campaigns, integration with Google AdWords, customer support, inventory management, analytics and greater security – are saved for paid versions. You can purchase software that will integrate seamlessly with Zoho to perform these tasks though.

SugarCRM

This is a trustworthy CRMs used by many businesses worldwide. A cloud-based service, its better features include: – sales force automation and forecasting, real-time sharing, email integration, mobile app, large storage plans, up to 24/7 support and support for MySQL, Oracle and SQL Server. The user interface, while uncluttered and easy to use, is considered a little too simple and overly-focused on commerce.

Workbooks.com

In spite of the downside of a 25 users limit, this CRM is has a powerful suite of sales and marketing tools that can support sales teams around the world. Features include real-time sharing and easy configuration and customisation. Some users recommend taking a staged approach to integration to avoid headache.

Maximizer

A popular CRM for over 20 years, Maximizer can automatically generate email campaign based on company input. The design, similar to several Microsoft Office applications, makes it very easy to use. With many features, it is available in the cloud or on the premises. Reviews suggest the cloud version is improving but still has many bugs.

MailChimp

Whilst not technically a CRM – and in fact MailChimp is mostly used as an integrated add-on to manage email marketing campaigns – many small businesses are using it as a form of Customer Relationship Management tool. If all you need is a simple way to bulk contact your customers and create email campaigns then MailChimp could be for you but be aware that you won’t be able to benefit from all the clever analytics, lead tracking and reports you get with a true CRM system.

Apptivo

Another affordable CRM, Apptivo offers customisable solutions and has 24-hour support. Considered one of the most flexible and affordable solutions it has many features for just $10 per month per user. This makes it ideal for small businesses or sole traders.

Batchbook

Its cheap cost makes it ideal for the tiny business or entrepreneur that only needs to monitor social media and streamline customer communications. It’s good at what little it does, but if you want automated features to take care of invoices or anything else, you won’t get it from this CRM without third party add-ons.

Salesforce

They say you get what you pay for and Salesforce CRM comes with a price worthy of its consideration as one of the best, if not the best, CRMs on the market. Salesforce is not only intuitive, uncluttered and easy to use; it also has a great many features that will help you reach your business goals quickly and efficiently. As a cloud-based system, Salesforce keeps your information from accidental deletion and boasts robust security to fend off unauthorised access.

Contact information from Outlook or Excel can be imported into this CRM and you can also dial clients, send out automatic mass or single emails or send only to specific groups. It also boasts one of the largest third-party marketplaces for add-ons and apps with seamless integration – and it has its own social networking platform.

One downside is that when it is necessary to add a new contact, a new company account with a designated account number must first be created. Then the new customer can be added to it. Some people find this extra step a little frustrating, especially when they are in a hurry. However, managers will find this software invaluable for keeping a check on customer/employee interaction to make sure that the customer gets what they need, as well as for many other jobs. Performance evaluations can easily be carried out by managers.

Having the right CRM for your business will ensure that things run much more smoothly and efficiently but don’t get wooed by functions you won’t use. Select a CRM based on what you need right now. It might cost you a little more in the long-run should you need to migrate to a different platform but it’s better than getting stuck with something you feel obligated to use because you paid a lot of money for features you never needed.

You’ve Got (to e-) Mail

When starting a small business or even when you start opening up to new marketing tactics as a business owner of old, you can be sure to hear a lot about the importance social media, SEO optimisation and the likes of Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising.  While each of these marketing strategies can hold their own, nothing will do as well as marketing to people who have: a) already purchased your product or b) signed up to your email database. Why? Because these people are opting to hear from you. They are choosing in a world full of advertising to hear more from your business. Now that’s special. How you talk to the people who want to hear from you is a whole different ball game and to do it well, you need an email marketing platform that you can rely on.

Email Marketing is relatively low cost in comparison to other marketing strategies, it is also simple to set up and most services make it easy to measure and tweak your email campaigns in order for you to see the best results. But how on earth do you choose which platform to choose?

We have done a quick comparison below of the three main platforms used in Australia covering three important areas:

  1. a) Ease of Use
  2. b) Campaign Analytics &
  3. c) API Friendliness (which basically means which other digital platforms the software can sync to).

We will rate each area out of 5 stars and then it’s up to you to choose which one suits your needs more.

Mailchimp

Mailchimp is up there with the most popular Email Marketing software in the world. The main reason for Mailchimp’s worldwide popularity is simply because of its – simplicity. The interface is clean, has lots of walkthrough tours and provides heaps of ready to go email templates – which is great news for the non-technical folk.

For all you ‘show me the statistics’ people out there, as far as who’s opened it, who’s clicked it, who’s forwarded it, who’s ignored it and which subject line did better- Mailchimp can tell you a lot. What’s even better? Is that you don’t need a marketing degree to interpret the statistics available to you. Which means you can actually work towards improving the results by tweaking your email strategies.

Due to the wide reach of Mailchimp the list of app integration is phenomenal. I dare you to try and find an app that does not sync with Mailchimp. Even if you find one, it won’t be long until they’ve included it.

So as far as our little rating system goes this is how Mailchimp has scored:

Ease of Use: 4 Stars

Campaign Statistics: 4 Stars

API Friendliness: 5 Stars

 

Vision 6

Next up, Vision 6. This one is a little smaller in terms of reach in comparison to Mailchimp and Active Campaign, but that’s because it’s an Australian company. But never fear, this Brisbane based e-messaging platform can stand on its own two feet in the international email marketing game.

What makes Vision 6 alluring for Australian businesses, is that their servers are all hosted right here in Brisbane. For businesses that hold sensitive data this is a big plus and certainly make for a lot less risk. Being based in Australia has other perks too, the same time zone (most of the year), support that is easy to understand as well as if required potential face to face training and sales help.

As far as Ease of Use is concerned, Vision 6 have a done a lot in the past couple of years to come to the party. They have created more email templates, have greater support options available and have video training tutorials at the ready.

And what about Campaign Analytics? Well, the features here for Vision 6 don’t leap out with anything too original, but that’s not too much of a worry as it does provide you with what you need to call some e-marketing shots. As with Mail Chimp, the opens, clicks, bounce rates and click maps are all here.

Vision 6 were clever enough to partner with Zapier which basically means the platform can integrate with almost every web app. It’s easy to move data between them and automate the stuff you don’t want to do or don’t have time to do.

So here’s the verdict for Vision 6:

Ease of Use: 3 Stars

Campaign Statistics: 4 Stars

API Friendliness: 5 Stars

 

Active Campaign

Last but certainly not least, say hello to Active Campaign. Although Active Campaign is certainly an email platform, it offers its difference by realising the importance of knowing as much as you can about your customers. Active Campaign uniquely combines its email marketing software with that of an integrated CRM that can track what your customers get up to on your website and when. Thus helping you identify which emails to send and when.

While these bonus features of Active Campaign are super awesome, if we are to compare apples with apples, in this article we will continue with our focus of ease of use, campaign metrics and API integration.

Active Campaign also has a wide range of templates to use and offers certain fail safes to help you from losing work that was unintentional (helpful for beginners). Although Active Campaign is relatively straight forward, it could do with a bit of TLC in the intuitive design department as seemingly natural shortcuts and user experience features somewhat lack.

Campaign Measurement is where Active Campaign shines. Lots of clear tools that demonstrate where your customers have opened, clicked and bounced but also with the added transparency that tracks where your customers go on your website! Pretty cool huh?

As with both Mailchimp and Vision 6, API integration has never been easier with Zapier. You won’t even need a developer to hook up the apps you need. So it’s a 3 way tie as far as API friendliness is concerned.

So let’s get out the measuring tape and see how Active Campaign shaped up:

Ease of Use: 3 Stars

Campaign Statistics: 5 Stars

API Friendliness: 5 Stars

 

So, as the results get tallied you can see that it’s a relatively close game! Mailchimp and Active Campaign tied and Vision 6 was only one point behind. But what really matters when choosing which platform to go with is what your business needs most.

Mailchimp: 13 points

Active Campaign: 13 points

Vision 6: 12 points

 

Most importantly, you need to comfortable and understand the software you choose to implement- especially if you’re the one who has to do the set-up and the emailing. Like we said, the three platforms we have compared each have their merits, and you will not be disappointed with any of them no matter which one you choose. Worse-case scenario, if you don’t like the one you end up going with- change. Simple as that.

Now go forth and start email marketing, we know you won’t look back.

 

3 Reasons for Monkey Marketing

If you are struggling with how to reach out to your current and future customers we recommend sitting down with our monkey friend Mailchimp.

What can a monkey possibly offer you? Heaps as it turns out. If you follow us on social media you know we love technology, our own and others, and in this case we strongly recommend using Mailchimp to manage your email marketing campaigns.

There are so many reasons to choose Mailchimp, but here are the top three:

1. Its Easy & Free – Once you signup you realise that Mailchimp helps take you each step of the way, creating a list of people to send to, designing a newsletter, recommending the best Subject Line to get people’s attention – its all there and if you have a list of under 2000 subscribers then you can send newsletters regularly for $0.

2. Tracking & Feedback – Are you still investing in marketing that can’t tell you whether it was worth the money? Mailchimp tells you everything about exactly who opened the email, who clicked on a link (and which one). It allows for automatic unsubscribe so you keep everyone happy and if the email did not reach certain users the monkey tells you why. It gives you the tools to see for yourself if its worth it (and it is because its easy and its free 🙂

3. It Talks to So Many Other Software Programs – In other words, it integrates to the tools you already use in house so that programs like your CRM shows you marketing responses on a client by client basis, your Google Website Analytics is linked to your email marketing and most importantly your website sign ups can sync directly to your Mailchimp account. You always have the latest customer list when you are ready to send out that next awesome newsletter.

These days customers are researching you as much as you research them. Build trust by sharing your successes and knowledge with them through tools like Mailchimp so when it comes to choosing your company you already have it in the bag! All of our websites have the option to integrate to Mailchimp and other great tools – check out our Integration Services.