Since 2001, MailChimp has been helping people of all experience levels—from email marketing rookies to seasoned veterans—create, send, and track email newsletters. In this guide, we’ll outline some of the most common mistakes that new email marketers make, and give you tips on how to avoid making those same mistakes as you’re getting started.
Mistake: Not having permission
There are two very important things to keep in mind:
- Make sure you have received permission from all of your recipients before you send your first email. Permission ensures that your recipients want to receive email marketing content from you. Before investing your time and money in an email marketing program, start getting permission from your customers. It’s easier than you may think, and some of the benefits might surprise you. Not only will it result in fewer spam complaints and decreased legal liability, but you’ll also experience improved deliverability and increased open and click rates.
- All recipients should understand what they’re signing up for and why they’re receiving email from you. Your signup form should be very clear about your intent. It should also properly manage the expectations of your subscribers. Be sure to explain not only that your subscribers will be receiving email from you, but also what type of emails they will be receiving. Your permission reminder, which you’ll create as you set up a new list in MailChimp, should remind your subscribers where they originally opted-in and why they are receiving the email.
Mistake: Purchasing email lists
By now, everyone should know better than to buy a "totally legitimate list of 30 million opt-in emails" from a sketchy piece of spam they found in their inbox. That’s pretty obvious, but there are still some vendors out there selling "opt-in" lists the old-fashioned way. They collect email addresses and ask members if they’d like to "receive special offers from third parties." Then, they sell those email addresses to other senders. It’s not technically illegal, but many ESPs—MailChimp included—prohibit sending to purchased lists.
MailChimp is a strict permission-based newsletter delivery service. This means we do not provide, sell, share, or rent lists to users, nor do we allow purchased, publicly available, third party, or rented lists in our system. No exceptions!
Mistake: Assuming people want to hear from you
Did everyone on your list specifically give you permission to email them? If not, and you’ve added them to your list because you assume they want to hear from you, then you are sending spam. This is true even if you “spent lots of time assembling that list of prospects, ” “spent lots of money for this opt-in list, ” or the list is made up of “people in your industry who have certainly heard of you.” MailChimp is a tool for sending email newsletters and permission marketing. It’s not for “sales” or “prospecting” to people who have never heard of you. If you want to send email to prospects, you should use your own server, not a hosted solution like MailChimp.