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Mailchimp. You started using it for your email marketing because it’s simple, but is it still the best choice?

Mailchimp is often a great first step for businesses, but ask yourself:

  • Would you benefit from seeing all the touchpoints with your customers, not just email?
  • Are you using too many tools?
  • How is your marketing connected to your sales?
  • Do you need features Mailchimp can’t provide?
  • Do you have multiple lists which don’t connect?
  • Could you save money by migrating to a different platform?

Migration. It’s an intimidating word, and moving away from something familiar can be difficult. The temptation is to stick with the known quantity because you can make it work, even though it has problems. But migration is not as scary as you think, we promise. Marketing automation is all about efficiency, and viewed through that lens there are plenty of reasons to cut the Mailchimp cord.

We recently helped PLATF9RM, a Brighton-based coworking company, migrate from a combination of Mailchimp and several other tools to Sharpspring. One solution instead of many. We automated private office space booking, a process that was performed manually. This gave PLATF9RM more time to spend with their community and their customers. If you’re thinking of doing something similar, here’s what we recommend:

  1. Get your lists in order. Start by taking stock. How many lists (remember, they are called audiences now) do you have? How many do you need to migrate? Over time lists can multiply quickly. One for a campaign, one for sales leads, one for your newsletter. But don’t worry about what you have, instead focus on what you need. How many lists are required? Would tagging be a better approach? Do you have the same fields on each list? How much crossover is there? The fewer lists you need to migrate the better.
  2. Consider your contacts. Begin by exporting all of your data and merging it into a single spreadsheet. It doesn’t matter what platform you are migrating to, a clean master spreadsheet is always the best starting point to build a new CRM. Having everything in one place lets you identify duplication, as well as think about the status for each contact. Are they subscribed, unsubscribed, or cleaned? When did they subscribe or unsubscribe? Are they customers or marketing contacts? If they have been unsubscribed from one list and not another, how are you going to manage the discrepancy?
  3. Tag, you’re it! Start to use a tagging structure to categorise your information instead of relying on multiple lists. Tags allow you to reuse data. One contact can be tagged with Lead Type, which could be ‘new’ or ‘existing’, so there’s no need to have that contact on two different lists. You’re preventing duplication, and that means time saved to invest in something more important. Who doesn’t want to save time?
  4. Custom fields. Think carefully about what custom fields you already have, which ones are required, and which format you need. It’s best to do this up front, to save time editing data later on. Familiarise yourself the the default fields, then make a list of everything else you need. This will give you the tools you need to customise your new platform.
  5. Data sources. Is your data spread out? With multiple services or software tools it’s easy to end up with data scattered all over the place. Do an inventory of your data sources and decide whether each set needs to be merged or integrated. Make sure you tag each data source before you combine everything into your master list.
  6. Reduce, reduce, reduce. Take stock of how many forms you have. Like lists, it’s easy to let forms multiply over time. Reduce the number as much as you can before migration, removing out of date or unnecessary forms. This is also a good chance to check that your data capture is GDPR compliant.

See? Six things to think about. Migrating from Mailchimp isn’t as scary as you thought.

Still, we know that there’s nothing like a helping hand. If you run a small business we can help you move away from Mailchimp. We’ll talk through your needs and provide a bespoke migration strategy, as well as finding the find the right tool to fit your specific business requirements. It’s that simple. Book a free Discovery call today.