Mailchimp and email marketing, does it really work? A step by step guide for the best open rate

Thursday, March 5, 2020
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Every business is looking for that edge.

Within marketing, every year or two there is a new channel, technology, or technique that people claim will revolutionise your business and grow your bottom line.

How can you bring in more customers for a lower acquisition? How can you reach out to a wider audience while also tailoring your messaging to specific users? Every marketing specialist will give you their own take on this.

This article will look at email marketing as a technique and evaluate, does it really work? For those who are short on time -  yes it does work - as long as you do it properly and have the right tools. One of these tools is Mailchimp, which we’ll analyse while also providing a step by step guide to optimise your open rates.

What is email marketing?

As you might have deduced from the name, this channel is about sending emails to customers with the aim of improving sales. You use your emails as an opportunity to promote your business, build relationships with customers, update people with information on your brand, and offer incentives for customer loyalty and return business.

How effective is it as a marketing channel?

If you had a choice between having a new subscription to your email list, or another like on your business page, what would you take? Most marketers would take the new subscriber to their email list, because it provides a more direct and personal connection with the person who will be receiving your messaging.

If a marketer believes that email marketing is old news, they either haven’t been doing it right, or haven’t been paying attention to the case studies of their peers who have been. Consider how many people use email, it is most of the people on the internet. If you have a social media profile, either facebook, twitter, instagram, youtube or anything else, you have to have an email to sign up. This is a huge amount of people.

Track and analyse all metrics

One of the great pluses of  email marketing is that so many metrics can be analysed. ROI is completely trackable and attributable. Who is opening your emails? What emails get the most opens? What happens to users once they enter your website through an email? To get these valuable insights, you need to incorporate email marketing software into your processes. One of the biggest in the industry is mailchimp.

What is Mailchimp?

Founded 19 years ago, back in 2001, Mailchimp is an extremely user friendly, market leading, email marketing platform. It is completely cloud-based and can either be used online or installed onto a computer. The platform helps you talk to potential clients and manage your interactions with people who are in contact with your brand.

Email Builder

The platform helps you create professional, branded emails to increase audience engagement. The inbuild designer works on a drag and drop system for you to style emails exactly how you want your audience to see them.

Automate Outreach

Email sequences can be planned and automated to reach out to customers at specific time intervals. You can either create your own or use the mailchimp templates.

Insightful Analytics

Monitor and respond to the successes and failures in your campaigns. This helps you learn and optimise your campaigns for the next emails you send out.


New Businesses




Everything in the free plan, plus:
Everything in free and essentials plans plus:
All previous plans, plus:
3 audiences, 50,000 contacts
5 audiences, 100,000 contacts
Unlimited audiences
Audience dashboard
All prebuilt templates
Advanced audience insights
Advanced segmentation
Removing Mailchimp footer
Retargeting ads
Multivariate testing
Behavioral targeting
A/B testing
Custom template designs
Unlimited seats and role-based access
Purchase behavior
24/7 email and chat support
Event-based automation series
Phone support
Marketing engagement
Multi-step custom workflow
Basic templates
Delivery by timezone
Websites (beta)
Testing for social posts
Landing pages
Facebook and Instagram ads
Social posting
Pop-up forms
Marketing calendar
Single-step automations (welcome email, order notifications, abandoned cart, and more)
Basic reports and recommendations
30 days of email support

Step by Step Guide to Improving Your Open Rate

Even with the best tools in the industry, if you don’t have the right approach or strategy, your campaigns are not going to bring the results that you’d like them to. If you want to improve your open rate, follow the steps below:

  1. Keep your email list updated

Do the people you’re emailing still want to receive your emails? Sometimes people change accounts or their minds about your products. Periodically, remove inactive subscribers from your list. But before you take them off your recipient list, try to entice them back with a win back email.

  1. Segment your list

Make sure the email is relevant to the people you are sending it to. One of the most relevant ways of doing this is through segmentation. You can add tags to subscribers around their purchase and site use behaviour. With this information, you can tailor emails to different sections of your clientele. Another way to segment is by location.

  1. Don’t end up in the spam folder

Spam filters have got a lot better at filtering out the emails people don’t want to see. If your email ends up in this folder, people won’t be opening it. To avoid the spam folder, try these tactics:

  • Ensure recipients have signed up for email communication with you
  • Keep code clean
  • Ask subscribers to whitelist your emails
  • Don’t go too hard on salesy terms, they will trigger spam alerts
  • Make sure you have an unsubscribe button.
  1. Get your timing right

When you send your emails can really impact your open rate. For different businesses and customers, this time varies. To work out what works best for you, conduct A/B tests to understand what times have the best performance.

In 2020 email marketing remains one of the most effective direct marketing channels at a business’s disposal. Despite this, a marketer has to be careful to not rely solely on the tools and create campaigns based on critical analysis of data and an understanding of their target audience.