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Mailchimp SMS for Small Businesses: The Ultimate Guide

SMS is a valuable tool for reaching your contacts with the right message at the right moment. In 2023, Mailchimp launched its SMS Tool, allowing users to integrate SMS messages into their existing email strategy. After 1 year with the tool, we’ve helped clients navigate the entire process– From getting messaging set up to sending SMS and analyzing the results. Here is our ultimate guide to Mailchimp SMS, with expert-backed tips to optimize your strategy.

What is SMS? 

SMS stands for short message service. In layman’s terms, that’s a text message. With Mailchimp SMS, you can send messages directly to your subscribers’ smartphones. When you add an image to your SMS, it becomes an MMS. MMS stands for multimedia message service. AKA: Text messages with pictures. 

Getting Started: Mailchimp’s SMS Application

Before you can send SMS or MMS with Mailchimp, you’ll need to fill out an application. This helps Mailchimp ensure you are a legitimate business following all relevant regulations, so they can protect all their users.

The application features a few key steps:

  1. SMS Goals: Choose from a list of approved uses for SMS, including order notifications, promotional campaigns, and more. Be sure to check your intended use against the list of “Unapproved ways of using SMS.” Unapproved use may result in account suspension.
  2. SMS Experience: Select your level of SMS experience or hit “Skip” to receive default how-to pop-ups from Mailchimp.
  3. Business Information: Fill out key business details including website, address, and Tax ID.
  4. Phone Number: Create a new phone number or send using an established number for your business.
  5. Sender Information: Choose your SMS audience (We recommend a single-audience strategy.) and fill in some additional information about your business.
  6. Terms & Conditions: Mailchimp requires terms & conditions and a privacy policy for SMS users. You can use Mailchimp’s template language, or link to existing pages on your website. Check out Mailchimp’s guide to creating a privacy policy.
  7. Credit Subscription: Choose how many credits you’d like to buy per month once your application is approved.

Mailchimp takes up to 5 business days to review your application, during which time you will see a “processing” status. Once your SMS application is approved, you’ll get an email from Mailchimp & be ready to send immediately!

How Mailchimp’s SMS Credits Work

Mailchimp SMS is available to users on the Essentials plan or above. Once a user completes their SMS application, they can choose to purchase anywhere from 1,000 to 450,000 credits per month. Users spend credits every time they send a message.

How do you know how many SMS credits you’ll need? It may take a little math. Mailchimp SMS messages consume 1 credit per 153 characters, or 1 credit per 63 characters if you use emojis. MMS messages consume 3 credits per 1,600 characters. 

Once you know how many credits your message is likely to use, you can multiply that # by the number of subscribers you’ll be reaching.

So, if you send 3 messages per month to 1000 recipients, and each message is under 153 characters long with no emojis, you’ll need 3000 credits per month.

Small businesses on a shoestring budget may want to start with 1000 credits and purchase more as needed.

Sending SMS & MMS Campaigns

Just like with email, Mailchimp users can schedule SMS messages in advance to moderate their send frequency. The SMS builder is a fairly simple interface, with a text box where users can type in their message, and an option to add an image. Images in MMS campaigns should be no wider than 640px and no taller than 1138px. If you’ve optimized image sizes for email before, you’re already on the right track!

Using SMS in Mailchimp Journeys

SMS messages can also be sent automatically using Mailchimp’s customer journeys. Just add a “Send SMS” journey point and customize the message to your preference! 

Here are some journeys small business owners can use to increase revenue with SMS:

  • Welcome new subscribers as they sign up (This can help decrease unsubscribes down the line!)
  • Send order notifications
  • Trigger reminders when a subscriber registers for an event
  • Send abandoned cart texts to accompany your emails
  • Use date-based automations to beat the competition during holiday rushes (Hello, Black Friday)

How Do I Know if an SMS Campaign is Successful?

Mailchimp offers a range of reports to analyze your SMS campaigns’ performance. For a general benchmark on engagement, click rates and open rates are a great place to start. According to Forbes, SMS open rates can be as high as 98%. However, your first few SMS messages are unlikely to reach such a high open rate and open rates don’t necessarily equate to high click-throughs.

SMS success is best measured in the context of your larger business goals. For example, if you’d like to increase revenue by 25% this quarter, see what percentage of your sales come from SMS. It can also be valuable to evaluate your first quarter using SMS against the same quarter the previous year.

If you’re not seeing the growth you’re hoping to achieve, don’t worry! It can take time to perfect your strategy and reach the right people with the right messages at the right times.

What Not to Do: SMS Practices to Avoid

As you develop your SMS strategy, be sure to avoid the most common pitfalls for new users!

  1. Never cold-SMS: All SMS subscribers MUST be actively opted in
  2. Don’t Send Too Frequently: Keep your messages to 1 per week at absolute maximum
  3. Message with a Purpose: Don’t send SMS just for the heck of it– Always share something valuable for your subscribers
  4. Keep it Personal: Use merge tags to personalize your messages
  5. Don’t Forget Your Numbers: Monitor campaign analytics to ensure your messages are bringing the intended results

When in doubt, put yourself in your subscribers’ shoes! If a message would annoy or upset you, it’s likely to do the same for your customers.

Optimize Your SMS Strategy with Pure Firefly

Pure Firefly was founded to provide high-quality, cost-effective marketing solutions for entrepreneurs, nonprofits & small businesses. As an agency with a combined 10+ years of experience, we’re committed to staying ahead of the curve in digital marketing. To get started with SMS, try booking a training call with one of our experts. Or bring us on a retainer for help with all your Mailchimp needs! We offer a wide range of services to fill your marketing needs.

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How to Integrate Mailchimp with Any Platform in 2023

In the world of email marketing, Mailchimp is well-known for its user-friendly interface. Despite the platform’s overall ease of use, some users still wonder how to integrate Mailchimp with another platform. If you’d like contacts from another website to flow automatically into Mailchimp, integrations should be your first consideration. This guide will cover all of the integration options Mailchimp offers, so you can make an informed decision about the best solution for your needs.

Mailchimp-Native Integrations

Mailchimp offers over 300 native integrations through its Integrations Directory. These are pre-built connections with popular platforms like WordPress, Shopify, and Salesforce. Because these integrations are already built by Mailchimp, they’re some of the simplest to use! Just log into Mailchimp, navigate to “Integrations” on the left side menu, and choose the platform you’d like to connect.

Mailchimp-native integrations are quick to set up and easy to use. Many of these integrations can automatically tag subscribers or record the revenue generated by email campaigns. Plus, several of Mailchimp’s native integrations open up additional possibilities for automated campaigns. After you turn on a new integration, take a look at Mailchimp’s pre-built journeys to see if any new options have become available. 

For less tech-savvy users, Mailchimp Native integrations are typically the best option. Plus, you can always work with a Pro Partner to walk you through the process.

Basic Mailchimp Integration via API Key

For more advanced users, integrating Mailchimp using an API key is a powerful option. This method provides granular control over your data and allows you to automate tasks like adding and updating subscribers. You can even segment your audience based on specific behaviors or data points from your platform.

Pro Tip: Pure Firefly email marketing offers both basic and custom API integrations, ensuring your Mailchimp setup aligns perfectly with your business goals.

How to Integrate Mailchimp Using Zapier

Sometimes, Mailchimp’s native options aren’t giving you what you need. A third-party integration platform may be necessary to bridge the gap between Mailchimp and another app. Zapier is one of the best of these third-party platforms. Using Zapier, you can automate the flow of contacts from Mailchimp to your other online platforms and vice-versa. For instance, when a new customer joins your online store, Zapier can automatically create a matching contact in Mailchimp.

Zapier is a no-code option for integration, so it’s great for people with limited technical skills. If you need a helping hand, consider a training call with an email specialist.

Using Webhooks to Trigger Real-Time Actions in Mailchimp

At the more advanced end of the technical spectrum, webhooks allow Mailchimp to post automatic updates onto your other online platforms, or vice versa. In the simplest terms, webhooks send a kind of digital signal between platforms. Whenever a specific event occurs on your platform, like a user signing up, a webhook sends out a signal to trigger the corresponding action in Mailchimp, such as adding the user to your audience.

For more info on Webhooks, consider watching Mailchimp’s free Webhooks webinar hosted by Kristy McCarley in 2023. Webhooks can be challenging for users not familiar with HTTP programming, so consider working with an email expert to get everything set up correctly.

Custom API Development: Tailoring Integration to Your Needs

In some cases, you might have unique requirements that go beyond Mailchimp’s typical integration capabilities. That’s where custom API development comes into play. With a custom API, you can build a solution tailored precisely to your needs, ensuring a seamless flow of data between your platform and Mailchimp.

Custom API development requires a high level of technical expertise and can be a lengthy process. This makes them a better fit for organizations with large budgets and highly specific integration needs. If you’re curious about what possibilities API development could open up for you, contact us for more information

Work with Pure Firefly for a World of Integration Possibilities

Integrating Mailchimp with your platform of choice makes audience management seamless. Whether you choose a native integration, API key, Zapier, webhooks, or custom development, Pure Firefly can help you identify the integration strategy that aligns with your business goals. If you’re interested in working together on an integration project, contact us to book a free intro call.

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100 High-Converting Email Subject Lines for Nonprofits

A great subject line is the key to capturing your audience’s attention and inspiring them to engage with your emails. Whether you’re sending monthly newsletters, welcome emails, or automated campaigns, a well-crafted email subject line can make a huge impact on your nonprofit. In this guide, we’ve curated 100 high-converting subject lines designed specifically for nonprofits. From creating urgency to tugging at heartstrings, we’ve got you covered.

Need more help? Try a one-on-one call with one of our email experts.

 

Make Monthly Newsletters Pop

Monthly newsletters are one of the most popular forms of email. While many marketers are turning toward automations in recent years, monthly newsletters remain a common practice for a reason. These emails provide a space for any information you need to share, making them highly flexible. Plus, the infrequent sending schedule makes it highly unlikely that subscribers will be overwhelmed by a monthly newsletter. Here are 13 subject lines for your next monthly nonprofit newsletter:

  1. Your [MONTH] Newsletter is Here!
  2. What We’ve Achieved Lately
  3. Be the First to Know
  4. Our Monthly Roundup
  5. What We Did Together in [MONTH]
  6. Your [MONTH] Dose of Good News
  7. Lets Connect: Impact, Updates, Events
  8. Your [MONTH] Newsletter is Waiting
  9. Writing New Chapters
  10. [MONTH] Tales of Collaboration
  11. [MONTH] Update: Government Engagements
  12. Monthly [ORGANIZATION] Insider
  13. Notes from the Frontlines

 

Write a Warm Welcome Email

Welcome emails are one of the most important steps in a new subscriber’s relationship with your organization. Set up welcome email automation to start your marketing off on the right foot and show new subscribers what they’ll be receiving. Here are 14 email subjects for nonprofits to help your welcome email attract a stellar open rate:

  1. Welcome Home: Where Hope Lives
  2. Your Journey Starts Here
  3. Welcome to [ORGANIZATION]
  4. Let’s Change the World Together
  5. You’re Signed Up
  6. Welcome to the Movement
  7. You’re a Part of the Change
  8. You’ve Taken the First Step
  9. You’re Here – What’s Next?
  10. Make an Impact Just by Joining
  11. Your Support Means the World
  12. Let’s Work Together
  13. Together, We’ll Create a Brighter Future
  14. Join Us, Change Lives

 

Share a Heartwarming Story

Showing the impact of your organization is a great way to keep people on board with your cause. Any nonprofit organization should make human stories a part of its email marketing strategy, either in its welcome series or through a scheduled email campaign. Here are 15 subject lines that tug on subscriber’s heartstrings:

  1. A Story of Resilience
  2. One Life Transformed
  3. Lighting up Lives
  4. The Power of Community Support
  5. Change We Make Together
  6. How My Life was Changed
  7. Why I Work with [ORGANIZATION]
  8. Barriers Broken, Lives Restored
  9. The Ripple Effect
  10. Life in a Turning Tide
  11. A Lesson on Hope
  12. [NAME] Shares their Story
  13. A Study in Support
  14. Follow [NAME]’s Journey
  15. Why We do the Work

Event Invites are Everything

Many nonprofit supporters look forward to the next time they can engage with the causes they care about in person. To boost attendance at your next event, consider running a multiple-email campaign to generate excitement. Pure Firefly has helped several nonprofits boost event attendance and donations with email marketing. Here are 15 email subjects to help you do the same:

 

  1. Join Us for a Night of Impact
  2. Save the Date
  3. You’re Invited, [NAME]
  4. Will We See You Tonight?
  5. Mark Your Calendars: [EVENT] Tonight!
  6. Seats Are Filling Up
  7. Last Chance to Register
  8. Only 5 Tickets Left
  9. Space is Limited
  10. Make an Impact In Person
  11. Let’s Make Miracles Happen
  12. Music, Laughter, and Heartfelt Stories
  13. Celebrate The Art of Giving
  14. A Night to Remember
  15. Bid, Win, Change Lives

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

Donations are the backbone of many nonprofits’ funding, and soliciting them is a key element of a successful nonprofit email marketing strategy. To boost opens on your next call for donations, try using segmentation and one of these 14 subject lines:

 

  1. Be a Champion for Change
  2. Join Our Movement: Stronger Together
  3. Stand Up for What Matters
  4. Fuel Our Mission
  5. Together We Thrive
  6. Make an Impact Today
  7. Why I Give
  8. Make Your Voice Heard
  9. Rally for Change: We Need You
  10.  Let’s Build a Better Future
  11. Amplify Your Impact
  12. Ignite Hope Around the World
  13. Give Back, Gain Joy
  14. Help Us Fight Hunger

Celebrate Your Successes

If you’re asking subscribers for support, don’t forget to show them what their support helps you accomplish. Sharing success stories can boost morale across your entire subscriber base, and shows that donations aren’t going to waste. Celebrate your achievements with these 14 engaging subject lines:

  1. See Hope in Action
  2. Making Dreams Possible
  3. Impact Achieved: Thank You
  4. Hearts Full, Mission Accomplished
  5. Our Hearts Are Full
  6. We Exceeded Expectations
  7. We Did It!
  8. Raising Over $1000 for Change
  9. Bidding Wars: Remember Auction Night?
  10. Looking Back on Cinematic Magic
  11. School Built, Dreams Flourish
  12. We Made an Impact Together
  13. This is the Power of Unity
  14. You Made It Happen

Don’t Forget to Say Thank You

Transactional emails are an often-overlooked part of nonprofit email marketing. When subscribers donate to your organization or attend an event, sending an immediate thank you message shows that you care. Many email platforms provide tools for setting up automated thank you’s, making this achievable for even the smallest nonprofit teams. Here are 15 email subject lines for an impactful nonprofit thank you:

  1. Thank You, [NAME]
  2. You Just Made a Difference
  3. Who Your Donation Helps
  4. Your Support Matters
  5. Endless Thanks
  6. Your Donation Helps Us Change the World
  7. You’re a Philanthropic Hero
  8. We’re Grateful for Your Generosity
  9. Our Gratitude Soars
  10. Heartfelt Thanks
  11. You Make Miracles Happen
  12. Thanks for Changing Lives
  13. You’re Supporting Progress for All
  14. You Are Amazing
  15. High-Five for Impact

Reach New Heights with Pure Firefly

There’s more to successful email marketing than a good subject line. To unlock email marketing that converts, consider working with an email expert like the ones at Pure Firefly. Our team is Mailchimp and Klaviyo certified, with over 10 years of experience in design & IT. Contact us anytime for a free consultation.

Plus, Mailchimp users can book a one-on-one call with an email specialist as little as 24 hours in advance.

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5 Essential Tips for an Effective Welcome Series in 2023

First impressions last a lifetime. In email marketing, a welcome series is your chance to make a good one! This automated series is an important tool for building relationships with your audience and turning subscribers into loyal customers or supporters. Here are 5 tips for creating an effective welcome series:

1. Make a Great First Impression

Your welcome series is the first impression that your subscribers will have of your brand, so it’s important to make it a good one. Use a clear and engaging subject line to entice your subscribers to open the email. Then, use a well-designed template that’s easy to read and clearly reflects your brand. Don’t forget to include a clear call-to-action (CTA) that encourages subscribers to engage.

2. Let the Data Guide You

When creating your welcome series, let the data guide you. Use information about your subscribers to create personalized content that speaks to their needs and interests. If you’ve sent emails before, use previous campaign analytics to inform your decisions about what to include in your welcome journey. Pure Firefly’s email marketing experts can help you analyze your data to create targeted content that resonates with your audience.

3. Get the Timing Right

Timing is everything when it comes to your welcome series. It’s essential to send frequently enough to stay top-of-mind without overwhelming your subscribers. Optimal timing may vary depending on your industry and audience, but many marketers find success with a 1-2-3 strategy. 

In this strategy, the first welcome email is sent immediately, the second email is sent one day later, the following two days later, and all the remaining emails are sent three days apart. Contact Pure Firefly to learn how this strategy might work for your own welcome series.

4. Save Sales for the End

Welcome series can be incredibly helpful in generating sales. One study by Experian found that welcome emails generate 3 times higher revenue and transactions than regular promotional emails. However, don’t make the mistake of trying to sell too soon in your welcome series. Your subscribers are just getting to know your brand, so focus on building a relationship before making a sales pitch. 

If you offer a free giveaway or discount in your signup form, provide that immediately, and then turn your attention to more educational content about your organization. Help subscribers trust and appreciate your brand before nudging them towards a sale.

5. Tell Your Story

Your welcome series is an opportunity to tell your brand’s story and share your values with your subscribers. Incorporating storytelling in a welcome automation can help tie all the emails together. Stories to focus on may include:

  • How & why your business was founded
  • Someone your organization has helped
  • Your founder’s bio 
  • A story about the city/town/locality where you’re based
  • A major event you’ve hosted

Adding a personal touch to your welcome series can set you apart from your competitors and build trust with new subscribers. If you’re not sure how to incorporate storytelling into your welcome journey, consider working with an email marketing agency like Pure Firefly.

 

When in Doubt, Work with Pure Firefly

Storytelling, strategic timing, and data-backed design can all improve your welcome series. However, many brands don’t have the time or expertise to invest in an exceptional welcome series. If you need some support creating a welcome automation that works, reach out to Pure Firefly. We’re Mailchimp experts with years of experience in IT & design. Welcome automations are one of our most popular services. Contact us for a free quote or consultation!

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3 Email Automations for Agile Marketing

In a time where inboxes are more crowded than ever, email automation can help you break through the noise. Automated emails engage subscribers at key points in their relationship with your brand, business, or nonprofit organization. By responding to subscriber behavior with email automations, you can create a robust & effective email marketing strategy.

Build a Welcome Email Automation

You’ve likely seen it 100 times. You’re browsing your favorite online store, and a pop-up offers 10% off when you subscribe to their emails. How would you feel if that pop-up wasn’t followed by the 10% off it promised? Email automation helps businesses deliver on their promises, building trust with new subscribers.

A welcome email is one of the simplest forms of email automation and one of our most-requested services. When a subscriber signs up, a welcome email should greet them. This email encourages new subscribers to engage, often with a promotional offer. However, welcome emails aren’t just for online sellers.

Welcome automations can help all kinds of organizations nurture positive relationships with their subscribers. An effective welcome series describes the emails a subscriber will receive, then dives beneath the surface. Woo subscribers with your company’s heartwarming origin story, or demonstrate your nonprofit’s impact with news from the communities you serve. The choice is yours, and advice from an email marketing expert can help you build the most effective strategy.

Use Automations to Reward Loyalty

Experienced business owners and nonprofit leaders know that loyalty is key. Use email automations to nourish your most loyal audience members – whether they’re avid online shoppers or monthly donors passionate about your cause.

To set up email automation rewarding customer (or donor) loyalty, consider which actions you’d like to encourage. Your email automation may be triggered when…

  • A customer completes their 100th purchase
  • Someone donates a cumulative amount over $1000
  • A subscriber opens every email you’ve sent in the past 3 months

If you’re using Mailchimp’s customer journeys builder to create your automation, some triggers will require an integration with an online store. You may also be able to create a workaround using tags. Consider consulting a Mailchimp Pro Partner to learn more.

Create Abandoned Cart Automations

Well-timed email automations help customers cross the finish line, so you can deliver on every sale. Set up an abandoned cart automation to reach subscribers when they put a product in their cart but don’t buy it. Abandoned cart emails boost sales, and keep your brand at the top of your subscribers’ minds.

If you’d like to use Mailchimp to create an abandoned cart automation, you’ll need to use an integration. Browse Mailchimp’s integrations to ensure your selling platform is compatible. Especially tech-savvy email marketers may also use Webhooks to set up a custom connection.

Pure Firefly Uses Email Automation Every Day

Whenever we take on a new client, email automation is a major talking point. We tailor every automation to our client’s goals and incorporate several rounds of review to ensure all automated emails are up to their brand standards. Contact us to make setting up your welcome journey or abandoned cart automation simple.

Looking for more of a quick Q&A? We offer one-on-one calls too.

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