Design Your E-mail
Creating your first e-mail is easy, even if you don’t have a great sense of design or the skills.
Step 1) To get started, open your MailChimp account, click “Campaigns,” and create the campaign.
Step 2) Choose “Regular Campaign” or “Plain Text Campaign.” Ignore the other options for now.
Should you send a plain text campaign or a regular campaign? What’s the difference? A plain text campaign is just plain, standard words. It looks like any regular e-mail you would fire off or receive. A regular campaign is an HTML image-based e-mail.
For your first e-mail, I would consider sending a plain text campaign. They are simple and easy to put together, and it will help ensure that the process doesn’t overwhelm you.
Step 3) Select the list you’re going to send to.
Step 4) Name your campaign, and choose a subject line.
Step 5) Pick a template. MailChimp comes with twenty-three predefined templates to choose from: single column, double column, etc.
Step 6) Enter your content and images, if you have any. It’s all drag and drop; you can paste in whatever you like.
Step 7) Review your message. Send yourself a test e-mail, and review what it looks like on a couple of different platforms.
Review it in a browser on your desktop, and review it on your phone. Make sure that it looks good in either format. Test to be sure all the links and images you entered click to the right location. Have a friend or coworker look it over; another set of eyes can be helpful. And don’t forget to check all the spelling and grammar.
Any e-mail program you use will have a built-in spell-checker, but the spell-checker usually doesn’t do so hot with grammar. Give it a careful review. I always try to run everything I write through a free software program called Grammarly. Give it a try: grammarly.com.
Step 8) Schedule or send. At this point, you have designed, tested, and reviewed the e-mail. You can schedule it to send automatically at some set time in the future, or you can hit “Send” and ship it off right away. I would recommend scheduling it.
If you care to take this even further, give thought to the ideal send time. With the “Schedule” feature, you can have it go out anytime you want. So, when is the best time of day? It’s hard to say for sure, but you can conduct experiments to find out.
My preference is Sunday around 5:30 p.m. The theory is that customers are home, mentally getting ready for and planning their week and preparing to-do lists. I also like Mondays between 6:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m.; the same theory applies. Test and experiment for yourself. MailChimp has all the features you need to conduct experiments, with no extra cost to you.