Developing a thriving business is all about cultivating an understanding of what our target audience want, then connecting the dots between those specific wants, and what our business provides.
In allowing businesses to customise their own sign-up forms, Mailchimp create a fantastic opportunity to gather information on potential customers, allowing us to strategically target our publicity and advertising, in order to steer the course of our business based on the insights we gather.
When somebody finds their way to your sign-up form, via your website, a landing page, Facebook or elsewhere, they are already showing an interest in your offering, which is certainly a great start! Where you may previously have only asked for a name and an email address at this point, Mailchimp facilitates the potential to go a little further. Let’s explore the benefits of this!
What do you want to know?
Take a moment to consider what you’d like to ask a potential customer if they were standing right in front of you. These things always seem more intuitive in person, we ask these sorts of questions every day. With the right perspective you’ll be able to identify valuable information for this specific online interaction too.
If you ran an utterly brilliant web design and digital marketing company, you might want to ask your soon-to-be subscriber if they are a new start-up, or if their business is already in full swing, or perhaps you might want to know if their business is an eCommerce site or not.
If you run an online fashion shop, you might want to identify if your new subscriber is interested in men’s fashion, women’s fashion, and/or children’s fashion, so you know which categories of your shop will be most relevant to them. If you run an interior design company, you could ask whether they prefer a contemporary or classical aesthetic. I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this!
How to apply your question
Navigate to your Mailchimp Audience page. Your audience is your list of Mailchimp contacts who should have given consent to subscribe to your email campaigns. On the Audience page, navigate over to the right side and click on the drop-down menu titled Manage Audience. Click on Signup Forms and then select the Form Builder option, at the top of the list.
From here you can build and customise your sign up form, and keep in mind that wherever the form is embedded, changes you make on this page of Mailchimp will automatically appear in those places too.
By default, your form builder will have fields such as “Email Address”, “First Name”, “Last Name” and any other fields you may have added already. On the right side of the form builder you will see a list of the types of fields that you can make use of. We love the Check Boxes field for collecting extra information about subscribers, as selecting a check box is quick and easy for users, and gives you just the information you were looking for.
If you select Check Boxes, you will see the Field Settings appear on the right side of the page. You can pose your question in the Field Label box – for example “What types of fashion are you most interested in?” Then you can add the options you want subscribers to be able to pick from below that. In this example, the first option would be “Women’s Fashion”, the second “Men’s Fashion”, and the third “Children’s Fashion”, but for your own sign up form the question and options are totally up to you! You can preview your creation on the left side of the page, and save your changes when you’re ready.
Creating a sense of value for your subscribers
Don’t get too carried away on your sign up form – if the process of subscribing to your newsletter feels like taking a school quiz, potential customers might not make it to the end! However, one or two thoughtful and pertinent questions can not only provide really handy information for you and your business, but also make the subscriber feel valued and seen. If they can provide that information in a couple of speedy clicks, there is great benefit in adding a question or two to your sign up form – for everyone involved.
Using what you’ve gathered
The information you have gathered might serve simply as a note for you when it comes to further interaction with that individual, but you can also use it to sort your Mailchimp Audience into segments.
Using our handy fashion example, this will enable you to target email campaigns featuring the latest in Men’s Fashion, such as a new range of men’s winter coats, or the latest in men’s swimwear, to subscribers who have specifically shown an interest in those kinds of products.
By ensuring that what we send into people’s inboxes is most relevant to them, we can greatly increase the probability that they will open our campaigns, and click through, entering into the realm of becoming a customer, new or repeat!
The more relevant our content is, the more likely we will maximise engagement, and retain our subscribers in the long run.