I’ve enjoyed inviting you to travel along with me for the end-of-the-year ride. I hope it’s been smooth, not bumpy, as I help you through MailChimp in particular. Today, we’ll put together your MailChimp reminder to follow up your end-of-year ask. I’ve tried to keep this post to the basics (because this post is long enough). You should also be able to use portions of this post at any time.
Sending A MailChimp Reminder Email
Determining Your Recipients
Making a Tag to Exclude Those Who’ve Responded
Before sending your reminder email, you want to exclude the friends who’ve already responded to your end-of-year ask (EOYA). We’ll tag them in MailChimp with “1812 EOY.”
Go to your MailChimp list and start checking the boxes of each person who has given to your EOYA. When you start checking, the teal bar appears. When you’re done checking names, click on “Add or Remove Tags.” Create your “1812 EOY” tag. When you “enter” all these ministry partners will have a tag which you’ll use so they do NOT receive your reminder email. The next screenshot shows how these tags look.
I’m working on our MailChimp letter now. I’ll be back in MailChimp on December 27th before sending the reminder email the next day. You’ll do this, as well, to update any names that have responded to your ask between now and then.
An aside: Leave fund appeal tags in MailChimp for future use. For instance, in a year, you could use the tag to thank someone for responding in 2018 and then ask them to consider an end-of-year gift in 2019. I’m also recommending your fund appeal tags are all in this form: “YYMM description” to make them sortable by date when you export your list to a CSV file.
Making a Group for Those You Asked
If you sent a fund appeal to everyone in your MailChimp list, you can skip this section. (You’ll only need the tag when you create your segment). Most of us will need to filter out other people through groups.
Read in last week’s post about how to create groups through your signup form and then add people to the group. If you’d rather, mass add a group to your MailChimp list by importing from a spreadsheet.
Name your group “Appeal Check,” “Fund Status,” or something similar. I recommend the group you create should be in a drop-down format to keep the values unique. With tagging, you could accidentally put an “ask” and a “don’t ask” value for the same person’s record. This would cause a problem, so don’t use MailChimp tags for this situation. You either asked someone or you didn’t. The better choice is a drop-down group because your MailChimp subscriber will ONLY have one or the other value.
In your group, choose between two values: “ask” or leave the field blank as the second value. If you prefer, use “ask” and “don’t ask”. If you sort on your group, it will look like this. You see eleven people I asked who did not respond to the EOYA (no 1812 EOY tag). These are the people who will receive my reminder letter.
An aside: If you import MPDX tags, they become groups in MailChimp. A MailChimp group becomes a Merge Tag that you may (or may not) use for merging information into your email letters. Tags. Merge tags. Groups… If this is confusing, refresh your MailChimp knowledge with last week’s post, Inside MailChimp.
Create a Segment for Your Reminder Campaign
Create a segment for who will receive your reminder email:
- Go to your list.
- Click the tab for “New Segment.”
- Choose “all” for AND because both conditions must be met. (“Any” would make an OR condition.)
- Find your group under Groups or Merge fields.
- Your group value is “ask” for your first condition. (You would send a MailChimp email to everyone you asked at this point.)
- Click “Add” for a second condition.
- Choose “Tags” and on the drop-down on the far right choose “1812 EOY.”
- In the middle drop-down, you’ll select “contact is not tagged.” (Now your email will go to everyone you asked AND who hasn’t yet responded.)
- Click “Preview Segment.”
- Scroll through the names to see if the list looks right to you.
- I found a name I forgot to mark with the tag. I added the 1812 EOY tag to his name right then and he dropped out of the mailing.
- Click the “Create” button in the upper right corner.
- Choose “Email.”
In the Create an email window, name your campaign. Mine is “1812 EOY reminder for Dec 28.”
Click the “Begin” button.
(As you create your email, stop whenever you need to and your campaign is saved as a draft.)
The Content of This Reminder Email
Make this email brief. Most people are opening your email during office hours and won’t be taking time to read much.
Put a giving button at the top as well. They want to click and give.
Your Giving Button
When you’re in the design mode of your MailChimp email:
- Find the button element and drag it to the top of your email. You’ll be in the content tab in the editor on the right.
- Change the default, “Buy Now.” For example, I typed in “Give to Mike and Sus’ Ministry.”
- Put the URL for your give.cru.org site in the Web address.
- Make any changes (such as color under “Style”) to the button.
- “Save & Close.”
Best Times to Send Your Reminder Email
Studies show that much of the online giving in December occurs during office hours. Although December 31st is a workday, it’s likely many people are taking that day off. So, December 28th is the “last day” for people who are giving online for 2018. Experts recommend this date for you to send your reminder email.
The best times for sending emails are morning and early afternoon:
- For the most opens: 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.
- For the most click-throughs: 8 a.m., 9 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
I recommend you choose either 9 a.m. or 3 p.m. for your scheduled reminder email. (Click-throughs, by the way, are the actions of following a link to another website. In this case, to your give.cru.org page.)
Schedule this email if you’re tied up and it’s the only way you’ll be able to send it. I recommend you keep the email as a draft so you come back to check your names before sending. After checking on the 27th, go ahead and schedule for December 28th.
How are you doing with your end-of-year tasks? Most of you have sent your ask letters and/or emails by now. Some of you wrote me that you’ve updated your give.cru.org site. Way to go! I determined a week ago to write a minimum of two thank you notes daily so I keep up. So far I have two dozen to write on any one day.
You’ll be doing some of the following (Prompts, by the way, are gentle reminders for your friends):
- A Christmas prompt (we send Christmas cards).
- Check this post, A Timely End-of-Year Post for You, to see if you need to take care of some other things, like stocking up on stamps.
- Tag more names in MailChimp on December 27th.
- Send your email reminder on December 28th.
- Optional New Year’s greeting on December 30th (I send a family photo through MailChimp).
An aside: Consider using MailChimp’s postcards for about a $1 each for your prompts. (I haven’t tried this service yet). More than 30 of the people we asked aren’t on MailChimp. I might try a text prompt this year. Please email me if you’ve done this.
I hope I’ve written this post thoroughly enough so you’ll be able to get your MailChimp reminder email ready and scheduled. This reminder email always brings in a few more donations for us.
I’ve enjoyed going through the end of the year with you and will travel through the start of the year with you in January. Meanwhile, our son and his little family are arriving tomorrow. I’ll be reading Winnie-the-Pooh instead of emails for most of the next two weeks.
- I created an e4e Google Calendar for all the dates mentioned in this series to help you remember dates in your own calendar.
- This post is part of a series which started with Walking through an End-of-Year Ask with Sus. I covered some tasks you might want to do that relate to your ask, some sources for content, and more.
- I also posted more end-of-year tasks in A Timely End-of-Year Post for You.
- Inside MailChimp helps you understand how MailChimp works.
- You’re welcome to watch my MailChimp workshop (held 11/16/18). Follow along with my PowerPoint. My apologies for the lighting and sound. (I can only get better at this.) The shorter video is the beginning of the talk. We had to start back up with the second video. Watch these on Workplace. The slides are here: http://bit.ly/MC2018EOYslides.
- I’m trying emojis for my subject line for the first time. I’m using: 🕐 It’s not too late to give for 2018 🕣
- Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash