And for more than two billion users worldwide—many of whom are small and medium-sized business email marketers like you—this news likely means that the next few months will require a wait-and-see approach to find out what exactly changes moving forward.
While Intuit’s Mailchimp acquisition is expected to benefit small-business email marketers who use their data across the provider’s fully integrated platform and services offering, it’s a much different story for marketers who take advantage of Mailchimp’s free and low-cost services and tools.
Things like bulk email sending, basic personalization, automated customer journeys, and third-party ecommerce app/platform integrations could be taken completely off the table in the coming weeks—leaving any brand without a dedicated email partner scrambling for a new solution. Or, at the very least, costing your company even more than what you already pay for this assistance.
Whether you’re a part of the conversation or not, the truth is that most email marketing circles are already kicking off discussion about migrating to a new Email Service Provider (ESP). But, just to be clear, ESP migration is a drastic step that needs to be carefully considered.
It can take a year or more to simply find the right solution—and that doesn’t even include other necessary steps like migrating data, building new automation flows, and training your team on how to use any new ESP features you’ve added.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can engage with more customers. earn more conversions, and grow your email revenue without investing in heavy development or switching to a new ESP—no matter what happens with Mailchimp (or your email sender of choice).
Here are three good places to start:
1. Start learning about your new subscribers and customers right away
Everything starts with data—personalization, segmentation, dynamic content—you name it. So, why wait? Begin the process of collecting it as soon as your newcomers opt into email with a quick, interactive survey or poll built into your welcome experience.
These are more fun and rewarding than asking your new customers to fill out a long preference list, and it helps you zero in on the first-party data feedback you need to build out audience segmentation rules or customer personas that drive the future success of your email campaigns.
Ask customers to pick a favorite product, answer a one-question poll, or pick which persona they identify with—and then use their response to personalize your next send accordingly. Who knew engagement could be so easy?
2. Personalize beyond the subject line
The data you collect along each customer’s journey can be used to make every email look as if you created it just for them. First names are fine, but they’re just your opening bid in the high-stakes business of personalized email. Instead of “Hi ‘first-name,’ personalize a product graphic or branded image with your customer’s name, sit back, and wait for the sales to roll in.
Other unexpected, data-driven personal email touches you can use include adding a localized map with your nearest store’s location, address, business hours, store manager’s name, peak shopping hours, current inventory, and more. Being able to integrate your email, ecommerce, and CRM systems with automation means this magic happens without having to wave a wand every time.
3. Keep customers in the loop with every email
All signs point to potential supply chain problems for the 2021 holiday season thanks to lingering effects from the pandemic and other worldwide economic disruptions.
But even if your inventory is present and accounted for, things change quickly in the busiest shopping season of the year. Can your email program keep up? Or do you have to manually push the pause button and update content by hand before clicking ‘Send?’
Keeping your customers informed means they’re less likely to be disappointed if they click through on an enticing offer, only to discover they’re too late or the items they want are sold out already.
Using dynamic personalization, you can anticipate unexpected changes or roll out planned updates automatically. Replace expired promotions with new ones or a default offer, or swap out promotions on items that sell out.
The right ESP can help you achieve great things, but it’s not the only key to success. Instead, look at tools that help you stay focused on anticipating and meeting your customers’ needs right now and for the months to come.
Develop an email program centered on relevant messaging that does more than sell. Because that is how you can cement the relationships that keep your brand top-of-mind all year long.
If you’re looking to take your email marketing strategy to the next level for Q4 and beyond, download your copy of A Smart Marketer’s Guide to 2021 Holiday Success to learn about many more fun, interactive experiences just waiting to help you elevate your brand.