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Don't get lost in the 'How' - Conclusions

Why planning is so important when you start stepping up your MailChimp game

by | Aug 20, 2018

This is the last of a 5 part series on MailChimp planning. You can read the first post here, and then about sending, storage and capture.
Alternatively, you can get a download of all 5 posts as a easily readable pdf by clicking Here.

The Cheshire Cat had it right…

The purpose of these series of posts was to give you an insight into the process I go through with my clients when we’re starting to stretch their usage of MailChimp beyond the basic steps.

The fact is that in pretty much every situation, people who come for my advice on MailChimp have got buried in the “How”… when they need to take a step back and see the bigger picture.

My Coach recently pointed me in the direction of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland”… and a particular interchange between Alice and the Cheshire Cat:

One day, Alice came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire Cat in a tree…

“Which road do I take?” She asked.

“Where do you want to go?” Was his response.

“I don’t know” Alice answered.

“Then” said the cat… “It doesn’t matter”

In other words. Take a step back and have a clear idea of what you are actually trying to achieve… and then (and only then) should you start looking at how you can achieve it.

…and remember when you are doing it, MailChimp is only part of the picture.


The Bigger Picture

In my view, and as I’ve covered in these five articles, there are really just 3 things to focus on when you are planning your email marketing (whether it’s in MailChimp or any system for that matter).

  1. What emails do you want to send?
  2. What information do you need to have to send them?
  3. How are you going to get that information?

However, you must remember that email marketing is only a small part of the entire marketing process.

You need to consider the before and after… as to capture emails, you undoubtedly will need traffic going to that specific page where the form is… and when you send emails, chances are there are actions you want people to take after they’ve read the email.

Knowing what the bigger picture is for your business and how your “system” works is really important, and you shouldn’t just be focusing on the email elements of this.

I always say that successful marketing is about two things:

  1. Having a process that works all the way through from awareness to advocacy
  2. Finding ways to improve it.

Many people tend to work on step 2 before they’ve got step 1 sorted, and all that happens is that people fall into a gap and all the time and effort is wasted.

So make sure you understand the bigger picture and where your email fits in.


Wrapping Up

I hope you have found this series of posts useful and it’s given you a chance to step back and look at how you want to plan and develop your email marketing.

If you want to succeed then follow this plan

  • List all the emails you would like to send
    • What they say
    • Who they go to
    • Why they get sent
  • Identify the information that you need to be able to do this
    • Don’t collect information you don’t need
    • Know what information is about the individual
    • …but also what information is about the route they are taking to engage with you
    • Have a clear understanding of how that information is best stored in MailChimp to allow it to be used effectively
  • Know where the information is coming from
    • If it’s from another system, make the process of moving the data that MailChimp needs as smooth as possible.
    • If it’s from forms, make sure those forms are working and integrate with MailChimp giving the right information you need.

When you have a clear plan based on these 3 things, then you can start worrying about the How… but unlike Alice speaking to the Cheshire Cat… you will have a very clear destination, and thus know exactly what you need to do.

This is the last of a 5 part series on MailChimp planning. You can read the first post here, and then about sending, storage and capture.
Alternatively, you can get a download of all 5 posts as a easily readable pdf by clicking Here.
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 degree's 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% geek, 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.

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