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Mailchimp Customer Journeys

A new way to create automations in Mailchimp

Mailchimp Customer Journeys  | Chimp Answers

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Nowadays, if you want to succeed at email marketing, you really need to be thinking about automation.

If you’re sending the same email again and again to people in your audience, then that email needs to be automated – why would “you” send it when you can get Mailchimp to automatically send it on your behalf?

It could be an email you send to everyone who joins your audience (a welcome email).

An email that you send on someone’s birthday.

An email to deliver a guide you created that someone has requested.

An email with information about an event you are running.

…or even an email to someone who’s purchased something from your e-commerce store, or “almost” purchased and left it in their basket.

There are multitudes of ways you can automate email campaigns, which will save you huge amounts of time and money. They also ensure that you react quickly, something that matters more and more in our “want it now” driven society.

It’s hard to argue that if you’re not automating emails, you’re not going to succeed.


Mailchimp & Automations – a (very) brief history

Mailchimp has always been very robust as an email marketing tool… but sometimes it can lag a little behind some of the smaller, more agile tools when it comes to things like automation.

Back when I started with Mailchimp, you could only have single step automations – and if you wanted to have a series of emails going out automatically you needed to set them up individually (which is now the norm with the free Mailchimp account).

…and then they eventually brought out a more advanced automation tool which allowed you to ‘daisy chain’ automations, setting up the first and then having others be sent out at specific time frames after the previous one.

Now… looking to tap into the increasing demand for more advanced automation tools, Mailchimp are stepping up their automation game again.


Mailchimp Customer Journeys

On July 28th, 2020, Mailchimp started the roll out of a very important update to their email automations, one that many advanced Mailchimp users (like me) have been waiting for.

Automations have always been a key part of how I build email marketing systems for my clients and although I love Mailchimp dearly, the automation tool can be a little “clunky”, even when you get to know it intimately.

Also, Mailchimp have slightly fallen behind some of the other email tools out there in terms of the flexibility of their automations.

…but with Customer Journeys, Mailchimp (and me!) are hoping that this gets them back into the game when it comes to automated emails.


What’s in a name?

The first thing to know is that automations within Mailchimp are now called “Customer Journeys” (names matter, and they spent time making sure they got the right one).

…and when you start to “play around” with Customer Journeys the name is apt as Mailchimp have developed a visual builder so you can now “see” the automation laid out.

Gone is the old interface where you had each email as a specific point in the flow and added filters and post send actions. (OK, it’s not fully gone – you still have access to it, it’s just hidden and called “classic automations”).

The new Customer Journey tool’s visual representation will make it much easier to “see” your automations and map out who get’s what.


Breaking things down

The other big change is that whereas everything in the “classic automations” was focused on each email, Customer Journeys breaks things down – giving you lots of flexibility to add/remove tags and even add “if/then” conditions.

Now, when someone joins a customer journey, they can “wait” until a condition is met before moving on to the next step.

Also, you can have more than one post send action, meaning you can both add and remove multiple tags before they progress to the next stage, which is great for mapping out where people are in their relationship with you.


Getting down and dirty

Customer Journeys are technically still in ‘beta’ which means that Mailchimp are testing them out, and tweaking the implementation.

In the first few weeks, I’ve already seen a few changes (for the better) and hope that further developments will come online soon.

So I’ll be doing a “diary” of sorts in the coming weeks to keep you updated about what you can and can’t do with the new Customer Journeys… so keep an eye out for them.

Robin Adams

Robin Adams

Robin Adams is a business owner who is passionate about helping businesses build effective marketing systems that work and don't waste money. Having a lifetime of Marketing experience (he's got a degree in Marketing before there were degrees in Marketing!) and having worked for big and small businesses and both client and agency side, he understands not only the theory, but the systems that are required to underpin everything.
51% marketer and 49% Chimp, Robin is the main man behind chimpanswers.com and the Mailchimp Answers Facebook Group - the world's biggest Mailchimp User Group. Connect with him on Linkedin.

Struggling to understand who your customer actually is?...and what motivates them?

Use this FREE Customer Avatar Worksheet to develop your marketing activities with a specific person in mind and ensure you know what to say and where to say it.

Download it now!

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