The Easy Email Marketing Guide for Busy SMEs, Part 2

Oct 29, 2018

Creating your first email campaign in MailChimp

In the previous lesson, The Easy Email Marketing Guide For Busy SME’s, we introduced you to the most effective way to stay in contact with your existing customers and warm up your prospective customers, as well as reach out to new leads. When we have a great strategy, email marketing is also one of the most affordable ways to boost your brand awareness, build an online community, and see your sales skyrocket.

Part 1 of The Easy Email Marketing Guide covered all the ins and outs of capturing leads, from getting to know your audience, defining your campaign goals and brainstorming lead magnet ideas, to creating landing pages and your own downloadable branded content.

This is part 2… an in-depth, step-by-step guide to creating your first email campaign using one of our favourite marketing tools - MailChimp!Following on from the lesson into email marketing, part 2 guides you through using MailChimp to create the package your audience wants to receive.

1. Firstly, set up your MailChimp account and create your MailChimp list

2. Click ‘create campaign’ and give your campaign a name.

Email Marketing

3. Add recipients

Select the list of subscribers you want to send your email to. You then have the option to send the campaign to all subscribers on that list, or to a segment of your list. There will be pre-built segments to choose from, depending on the type of subscribers you have on your list. If you have collected names from your leads, then you have the option to personalise the ‘to’ field on your email campaign. We recommend selecting the *FNAME* merge tag. This will let your email greet each recipient with their first name, instead of their email address.

Email Marketing Guide

4. Personalise the ‘from’ section

In the ‘from’ section, decide whether you’d like to use your business name or your own name (this depends on the nature of your business). You must also add the email address you’d like recipients to respond to if they have any questions or comments.

5. Write your email subject line

This is possibly the most important step in creating your email campaign. Tell your subscribers exactly what they’re going to get once they open the email.

It's all about making sure the quality content inside will actually be seen.

The kinds of subject lines that REALLY work…

Spending some time coming up with a great email subject line is like tying a beautiful bow around a thoughtfully gift-wrapped package. They are going to want to see what's inside!

  • Ask a question, eg. “Is it time to break your coffee addiction? Here’s how!”
  • How to’s, eg. “How to double your income in the next 6 months.”
  • Lists, eg. “10 easy ways to declutter your life.”
  • Make a promise, eg. “You’ll have long, strong, beautiful hair with these pro tips.”
  • Highlight a benefit, eg. “Learn how to grow your Instagram with this 10-min video!”
  • Appeal to their emotions and curiosity, eg. “Why I gave up thousands of blog readers and started over.”
  • Hit a pain point, eg. “The reason no one comments on your blog posts.”


When you ask a question in your email subject that makes people say “yes!”…. it gets them invested right away. This also removes the wrong people (ie. those who don’t say ‘yes’ are not your ideal customer) from your marketing funnel. You can even add an appropriate emoji to get people’s attention - but don’t go overboard!

Email Marketing Guide

6. Write the preview text.

Think of this as a subheading, or your opportunity to reiterate the benefits of opening the email - so it’s also really important to nail this step!

Email Marketing Guide

7. Design your email content. (The fun part)

Click ‘design email’ and choose your layout. MailChimp has a selection of great layouts to suit a variety of different campaigns. You’ll find the templates super user-friendly, with everything broken down into drag-and-drop content blocks. You can remove and add content blocks as you require. MailChimp's drag-and-drop email designer makes it easy to switch up content and layouts to create an email that brings your brand to life.

Most of the templates include content blocks for images. Don’t have any images yet? Did you know you can download free high-resolution stock images with Shopify Burst? It’s a good idea to add your logo to stock images to give them a little authenticity. However, if you want the real deal in authentic images, get in touch to find out how Blue Clay can help with all your photography needs.

Whichever path you choose, just make sure your images are of high quality and are relevant to your campaign. Random pictures will just confuse your audience and drastically limit your conversion rate.

Another great feature of MailChimp, is that you can edit, crop and resize your images within the platform - such a time saver! You can also add links to your images, as many people view emails on their mobile device, where clicking an image can be super helpful.


8. Edit your email text.

We highly recommend writing out and proof reading your email copy in a separate document first, so that you can simply copy and paste the finished product into MailChimp.

Need some guidance with your copywriting? We have a helpful 2-part copywriting series in our training blog. Here’s part one and part two, which will provide you with all the basic knowledge you need to write great emails, blog articles, social media posts and web copy. Remember -  it’s not only important to nail your email subject, but writing a captivating headline inside your email is crucial as well.

Email Marketing

Deliver on what your email subject promised!

For example, if you tempted your leads into opening your email with a discount code - give it to them and display it clearly in your email text.

9. Create a Call To Action…. (Or not?)

Select a button from the content editor. Create buttons with links to where you want your readers to go - but use ‘advanced settings’ to ensure the link opens in a new tab so your readers can easily come back to reading your email. Making it easy for your leads to click your call to action button is an essential part of a successful email campaign.

However, if you’re creating a drip campaign, then some of your emails (particularly the earlier ones) will not necessarily require a call to action, as they are simply providing quality content and warming up your leads. This is actually a really powerful strategy, as new leads are likely to be put off if they are sold to straight away.

People do business with those they know, like and trust - so focus the majority of your drip campaign on providing knowledge, solutions and entertainment, as well as developing trust.

10. Link to your social media accounts and website.

In addition to linking your website, MailChimp templates also include social media icons for your to add your social media links - so take the opportunity in each email to encourage people to follow and subscribe to your social media channels.

You're nearly ready to deliver! But these last 2 steps are very important...

11. Meet your legal obligations. (The boring, but necessary part)

Make sure your contact information is up-to-date and accurate in your MailChimp settings. This is required for your email’s footer content, which ensures you’re meeting your legal obligations as an email marketer.

12. Finally - preview and test your email.

Send a test email to yourself to make sure all your links work and that your email displays exactly as you want it to. This is also a good opportunity to imagine you are one of your prospective customers receiving this email. Look at your email subject line in your inbox. Does it stand out amongst all the other emails? Are you enticed to open the email and find out more? Once your leads have opened the email, do you think they’ll be glad they did? After this, you’re ready to send or schedule your email!

Email Marketing Guide

Are you delivering the personalised package your audience REALLY wants?

We understand how difficult it can be to find the time and reliable resources to make your marketing journey a success, so we hope this email marketing guide makes things easier!If you’d like to learn more about email marketing, as well as how Blue Clay can help you out - get in touch today for an obligation-free chat!

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