Dear Mister Web Designer...An open message to the web designers who plague my MailChimp life...
An open message to all web designers
(please note, I don’t mean to tarnish all web designers out there with the same brush, I know several web designers who are really good and take much of this post into account… it’s just there are lots of others out there who have don’t… and they always seem to be my clients!)
Dear Mr Web Designer,
firstly, can I please acknowledge your general website whizzery and ability to turn some random scribbles that a 4 year old would not be proud of into a stunning responsive website which practically gets prospective customers to get in touch.
You work patiently with clients with either no idea or too many ideas and develop comprehensive web presences blending in effective copy, flashy designs and still hold true to the core essence of the brand.
Your intricate knowledge of CSS (isn’t that a former part of the Soviet Union) and PHP (Please Help the Poor?) give me a website that not only can I show to my Mum (and she likes), but that hits the target customers straight between the eyes and holds their attention, as if they were hypnotised.
No matter where my website appears, iPhone or iPad, Apple or Samsung, Big Screen or Laptop, it looks stunning… and it’s all thanks to you.
…but we need to talk…
…because on a regular basis you turn my life into a living hell (ok… I exaggerate… but you do cause me a
shit load of hassle).
You see, for all your amazing HTML skills, there’s one area I consistently find you lacking…
You see when it comes to forms, you think about pretty and responsiveness and colours…
…when all I want you to do is understand what happens to the information they collect.
Forms are the lifeblood of email marketing… without them how do we capture new leads, engage with customers, deliver intricately written lead magnets, and… well… sell stuff.
Forms are the interface between the outside world and our lovingly crafted email sequences… which are written and rewritten with the same care, love and attention that you lavish on footers and menus.
…but you seem to forget that, not realising that your “basic” form completely undermines what we’re trying to do.
As an email marketer and MailChimp aficionado… I want to get the right information into MailChimp so I can help myself and my clients send our lovingly crafted emails…
…which means you need to think more about forms… and maybe even have a chat with us before you paste in the standard code on every page that needs a form.
There are so many stunningly effective ways of forms appearing on a website, pop ups, scroll ins, inserts into a blog, and the good old standard form, all focused on getting hold of the “crown jewels”… someone’s email.
…but we don’t just need their email… we need to know which form they filled out, so we can respond accordingly.
We want to have people not just added to one list (yes… one list, we don’t want a new list for each form you create).
…and we also want them added to groups automatically in MailChimp… but have this completely hidden from the user…
…and we don’t want you to use MAILCHIMP FORMS in any way, as they completely undermine what we’re doing.
So when you’re with a client and they say “oh… can you add in some MailChimp integration”, don’t take the easy route and say “yes we can do that… our system is set up to link with MailChimp”…
…understand what they are trying to do, and if need be have a chat with someone who uses MailChimp and forms every day… someone like me.
…and not only will you make your client happy by future proofing their site and capturing that golden nectar that is engaged email addresses, but you’ll make your life easier in the future (and not have me, delving into your website when you’re not looking and trying to get things set up the right way)…
You may even get additional revenue out of it as the client decides they need some landing pages to connect up to Facebook Adverts… and they all need forms on them!
So please, Mr Web Designer…
When you’re considering forms, don’t think of them as just another part of your design template… understand that they are the gateways to the most powerful marketing tool (by ROI) there is – email marketing.
…and give someone who knows a quick call…
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.