June 17, 2019

How to Setup an Automated Marketing Campaign with MailChimp

In this week’s Momentum Monday blog, we will walk you through how to set up an automated marketing campaign using MailChimp.

MailChimp Email Marketing

Have you ever used MailChimp for email campaigns for your business?

MailChimp is an email marketing platform that allows you to manage and talk to your customers, clients, and fans.

Businesses of all sizes use MailChimp – on average, the platform sends over a billion emails every day.

Today, we will be walking you through how to create an automated email marketing campaign with MailChimp. The goal for this marketing campaign is to drive people to subscribe to a new email journey that will entice them to buy a product or service.

However, you can also use MailChimp email campaigns to drive repeat customers, create new incentives, and much more.

This is a long one – so let’s dive right in!

Read more below to learn how to import leads into MailChimp, structure your MailChimp email settings, and create and design an automated email campaign.

Determine your campaign goal

Before moving on with anything, you first need to determine what the goal of this marketing campaign is.

For this example, we want to target new leads. What a “lead” is will vary by business and industry. However, for our business, Phone Repair Philly, this will be new customers who are in need of a phone, tablet, laptop, or computer repair.

Our campaign will entice them to purchase the service, reassure them on the prices, and explain the overall operation.

Log into Mailchimp

If you are a first-time MailChimp user, you will need to create a new MailChimp account.

Need more guidance for creating a MailChimp account? MailChimp created a guide for Getting Started with MailChimp.

If you already use MailChimp – fantastic! Access MailChimp at mailchimp.com

For this example, we will also be using Google and Facebook ads to collect the contact information of potential leads. If you also want to collect lead information this way, be sure to have the login information for those platforms handy.

If you do not currently use Google or Facebook for your business, feel free to create those accounts as well or simply skip that step of your marketing campaign.

Go to “Audience”

Returning users who navigate to “Audience” in the top toolbar will find a list of existing email lists. If you are a new user, you will see none.

MailChimp Toolbar

Returning users will already have a MailChimp list you want to use for your campaign, feel free to select it. If you are a new user, you will have to create a brand new audience to market to.

This is where the Facebook and Google ad option comes in.

Currently, Phone Repair Philly is running Facebook and Instagram lead form ads. These ads collect the contact information of any potential client. Lead form ads allow people interested in your business to fill out and submit a form directly on the social media platform. The forms for these ads include automatically populated fields for name, email, and phone number.

So, these dynamic ads focus on getting new, potential customers. We want to use the leads that come from this ad campaign as our new leads for our MailChimp automated email marketing campaign.

If you are doing the same thing, there are a few easy ways to integrate Facebook and MailChimp so that all leads go into MailChimp directly.

At Momentum Digital, we are currently using a platform called Zapier. Zapier is a 3rd party tool that allows you to automate and integrate a lot of different tools and strategies with each other.

In our case, Zapier takes all of the Facebook lead form responses and places them into a Google Sheet. (side note – want to learn more about Zapier? Leave a comment below and we will write an upcoming blog about it!)

Having all new leads populate into a Google Sheet makes it easy to upload the entire list to MailChimp to create a new audience or add to an existing audience list.

Updating Your Mailchimp Lists

To add new leads to an existing MailChimp list, first, find which list you’d like to add to from your current lists.

If you have no lists, you will have to create a new audience.

Once you have selected/created the desired list, there are a few different ways to add a new subscriber to your list.

The first way is by adding them manually. For this option, click on the little person icon with the “+” symbol on the right-hand side (seen below).

MailChimp Email List

This will reveal an “Add Subscriber” menu where you can manually insert all of their information.

Add Subscriber - MailChimp

The second way is by uploading a list of contacts. If you have a file containing your contacts, like we do, you can upload it all at once to MailChimp.

You can do so by navigating to your audience lists, and, instead of clicking on the little person icon with the “+” symbol (seen below), click on the name of the desired list, highlighted in blue.

From here, select “Add Contacts” from the toolbar.

Add Contacts to MailChimp list

A dropdown menu will appear. Select “Import Contacts” to upload your list.

Import Contacts into MailChimp

Once “Import Contacts” is selected, you will be taken to a new page that will ask you how you will be importing the new contacts. This will vary depending on how your business collects its data.

For this example, we have our list of contacts is on our Google Drive, so we are choosing the “Integrated service” option and selecting “Google Drive.”

Importing Contacts in MailChimp

Structure your settings

After you create your list, make sure that the list’s settings are properly structured.

To do this navigate back to your “Audience” tab. Click on the desired list and select “View Contacts” – located on the left-hand side. This time, select the “Settings” option in the top toolbar.

MailChimp Email Settings

After selecting Settings, a drop-down menu will appear. From this menu, select the first option – “Audience name and defaults.”

Audience Name and Defaults Settings

From here, you can change things such as:

Change Audience Name

Here, you can name or rename your list.

Change Form Settings

This allows you to enable a few different options:

  • Double Opt-in – This requires your leads to double confirm that they wish to receive emails from your business.
  • GDPR Fields – This is for any business that needs to be GDPR compliant. This is also another way that your potential audience can confirm that they have opted-in to receive your emails.
  • ReCAPTCHA – This prevents spambots from accessing your forms.

Set the From Name, Email, and Subject Line

In this section, you can select a default name, email address, and email subject line for every email that will be sent to this specific list.

Change Subscription Settings

Once someone has subscribed to your email list, you can choose to:

  • Send a welcome email – this is an email that will send to a new subscriber when they sign up confirming their subscription
  • Let users pick plain text or HTML emails – this option will allow your new subscribers to choose what type of email they prefer to receive.
  • Send unsubscribe confirmations to subscribers – this sends to a subscriber when they unsubscribe from your emails to confirm that the subscription is over

After you have updated your these options, navigate back to settings and select “Audience fields and *|MERGE|* tags.”

In this section, you can add or remove sections to your audience list such as email, first name, last name, address, and more.

Creating the Marketing Campaign

In the case of this example, we will be using Google, our Website, and Social Media.

We have already created our social media campaigns and have set up in a way to track our leads and their contact information.

Looking to learn how to do this? No worries! We have past Momentum Monday blogs on how to Create a Facebook Lead Form Ad and how to Increase Your Google Adwords experience for the next time you run Google Ads!

For tracking, as we mentioned before, we use Zapier. This way, we determine how leads are tracked and how we are notified about a new lead. In our case, our process is…

  1. The lead comes in through the ad’s form
  2. Contact information goes into a Google Sheet
  3. The MailChimp list gets a new contact
  4. Our team receives a text message, informing us of the new lead
  5. We receive an email with the new lead’s contact information
  6. Our team gets a Slack message with the new lead’s information
  7. There is a delay added for a day, then Zapier sends the new lead an email from us inquiring about the promotion from the ad

This is very detailed and can be personalized according to your business (if you are using Zapier, that is). If you are not, there are other ways you can set up this process manually as needed.

Create your email campaign

Let’s move on to actually creating the email campaign.

On MailChimp’s top toolbar, navigate to “Campaigns.”

MailChimp Email Campaign

Once in Campaigns, select the “Create Campaign” button.

Create new campaign in MailChimp

A pop-up will then appear asking which type of campaign you would like to create. For this select “Email” as we are creating an email campaign.


Next, you will be taken to another window with all of MailChimp’s email campaign options – Regular, Automated, Plain Text, or A/B Test.

For our case, we want to create an automated email marketing campaign, so we will be selecting “Automated.”

Automation Email Types

In an automated email campaign, there are different campaign options including “say “happy birthday”,” “share blog updates” and “enable order notifications. “

All of these automated campaigns are potentially great options depending on your individual business and marketing goals. For the sake of this example, we will be selecting “Welcome new subscribers.”

From there, another window will populate with options of how you can welcome new subscribers. For this campaign, we will be selecting “Onboarding Series,” but there is also the option to send a single email or to create an education email series.

Once “Onboarding Series” is selected, MailChimp will ask you to name your email campaign and select the list you would like to send the emails to.

Welcome New Subscribers Email

Select “Begin” to start customizing your email campaign!

Once the campaign is created, select “Edit Settings” – located under the campaign’s name – to edit the details of your workflow.

Onboarding Series - Edit Settings

From here, MailChimp will give you the option to edit everything from the email workflow’s name to personalizing the “To” field of the email.

The settings page also allows you to enable in-depth tracking (for things like Google or E-commerce platforms) depending on you or your client’s business goals.

Design your Campaign

The MailChimp “Welcome new subscribers – Onboarding series” automatically populates an initial welcome email plus 4 additional follow-up emails.

To design an email, simply select the “Design email” button on the right-hand side of the email in the email list.

Design Your MailChimp Email

When designing your campaign, you will be able to:

  • Name your email
  • Insert the email’s subject line
  • Put a preview text for the email
  • Select a “from” name
  • Insert a “from” email address
  • And add a name for your campaign for your tracking platforms

Once inserted, select the blue “Next” button in the bottom right-hand corner to move on to actually designing the email.

For creating your email, you can work off of a populated layout, themes from MailChimp, a saved template, a past campaign, or you can code your own email.

MailChimp Email Options

For our case, we will be building our email off of a saved template we have already created. If you are starting fresh, you can base the email off of a preloaded layout or a theme from MailChimp to save yourself some time.

Once a theme, layout, or past email template is selected, play around with what is already populated on the email. You can also add other things to the email, such as additional text, photos, videos, or social follow buttons, with a simple drag. Select and drag the desired feature from the right-hand side into the email where you want it to be placed.

A photo of all of the email content options can be found below.

MailChimp Email Content Options

Once your email looks how you want it to look, select the blue “Save and continue” button at the bottom of the page.

This will bring you back to the email journey list page. As you will see, Mailchimp will populate the trigger, the sending schedule, any filters, and any additional post-send actions.

With these, you have the option to edit or customize each depending on your audience and your campaign. To edit, simply select the blue “edit” or “add” button next to the option on the list.

Email Automation Triggers

After your initial email is designed and you have the hang of how to navigate editing your MailChimp email, move on to editing and customizing the rest of the emails in your onboarding journey.

Test your Campaign

Once everything looks the way you would like it to and is set up to send properly, send yourself a test to ensure that the emails are delivering how you would like them to.

To test the campaign/email, select the email from the list of your emails for the campaign. Once selected, navigate to the black, top toolbar. On the right-hand side, you will see an option for “Preview and Test.”

Preview and Test Email

From here, a drop-down menu will appear with different options for you to test your email. We will be selecting “Send a test email” to see how the email will appear in our customer’s inbox.

Another pop-up window will appear. Here, enter the email you would like to send a test email to and select “Send Test” to send a test email to that email’s inbox.

MailChimp Send Test Email

MailChimp will let you know that the email is on the way to your inbox.

Once the email arrives, check that all of the links are working and that the email loads quickly. If your email does not display the images automatically, it could mean that you have to compress the images in the email to ensure that they are not too large to send correctly.

Turn on the campaign and marketing

Once your emails are set up and designed properly, you are ready to turn on your campaign.

Select the blue “Next” button in the bottom right-hand corner. Confirm that all of the audience, tracking, and email information is correct one last time before turning on the campaign automation.

Once everything is good to go, hit “Start Sending” in the bottom right-hand corner to turn on your automated email marketing campaign.

This will automatically start running and sending emails to all leads on the list you selected.

Make sure to keep adding emails

Once your campaign is turned on, your job is not over.

It is important to update your list daily by adding new leads to it. It may also be appropriate to edit the content or design of the emails once they are launched.

You can also add new emails to the automated journey you have created to keep in contact with your leads for a longer period of time.

If you follow all of these steps – your automated email campaign will always be updated and correct!

If you’ve made it this far – thank you for reading! We hope that you are ready to start running automated email campaigns using MailChimp.

Have you ever used MailChimp before? Do you have any tips and trick you would like to share? Leave your comments, questions, and suggestions in the comments below!

Until next Monday!


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