Welcome to lesson 8 of our ‘Marketing your Quicket event’ course. At the end of this 8-part course you’ll have all the tools you need to market your event effectively, ensuring you have as many ticket sales as possible.
After the last lesson, you know what content lies ahead of you to create from your plan, and your first email campaign is all prepped and ready in Mailchimp.
This lesson will help you test this mailer, schedule it, and help you understand the stats once your mailer has sent.
Tip: If you already have any of these platforms set up for your event brand, great! The rest of this lesson has information that is just as relevant to you, so we’d still recommend working through it.
Testing your mailer
Throughout creating your email marketing campaigns - whether it’s putting the content together, checking your audience, testing or scheduling your mailer - it’s important that you take things slowly.
There are many parts to a mailer which means an increased possibility of missing a step, but the benefits of email marketing far outweigh the effort. Taking care to ensure you do each bit properly will help make sure that your hard work pays off and is received as intended.
Work patiently and thoroughly to avoid being the type of mailer that is incredibly off-putting to potential ticket buyers - one with a marketing agenda that is poorly designed, badly coded, has no care taken to connect properly with an audience - and on top of that wasn’t even asked for.
Testing your mailer is no exception here. It may look great to you on your own screen and you may think that what you’ve written is the bees knees, but have you tested it on different email clients and devices? Checked that nothing looks odd or off? Or worse, displaying in a way that looks broken? Checked how it tests through a spam filter?
Follow these next steps to know that you’ve tested your mailer properly and looked out for the varied list of people that make up your audience.
Using a free spelling and grammar checking app like Grammarly is very useful for picking up obvious errors. Install the free plugin (available for Firefox, Google Chrome and Internet Explorer) to have all your writing visibly spelling- and grammar-checked right in all the sites you use across the web.
Even if you’re using software like Grammarly, still double and triple check your content and read it all out loud to check for typos or grammatical errors.
Lastly, getting a second person who’s language-savvy to check it is the best last point of proofing as sometimes the checking software doesn’t always pick everything up, or you may have been staring at your content for too long and may miss something.
First send your mail to a spam tester such as this one. It’s as simple as sending a test send from Mailchimp to the provided email address. This will help you check whether all your considerations are working, or if you need to make further changes by, for example, replacing some spam trigger words with safer ones. You’ll receive a report on how your email ranked when put through a spam filter.
We mentioned previously that you can set up different free email accounts to use to test your emails. If you haven’t yet, head to all the major email clients we mention below and create free email accounts on each of them.
Once you start mailing your audience later on, your reports will include stats about which email clients your audience is on. If you’re missing any test email accounts that are in high use for your specific audience after looking at your reports, you can create test accounts for those too.
You only need to create one email account for each of these, but when conducting your testing, you’ll check your mails sent to these email addresses on different platforms, devices and software - we’ll cover this in a bit.
There are numerous other email clients in addition to the above which have a smaller percentage of people using them, such as Thunderbird. In your testing, these others can be ignored unless: you know your audience has a higher use of these email clients, your campaign reports show enough people from your audience using these to warrant you testing them, or you receive feedback from your sends that something doesn’t look great.
As you create these email addresses, be sure to store their login details somewhere for easy access for future mailer sends. We recommend a spreadsheet for this - you can use our testing template that we share later in this lesson.
Upload these emails to your audience on Mailchimp and give them a label or a group titled something like ‘Test List’. This will help you easily send just to your test email addresses while excluding all the rest of the contacts on your audience.
If you’ve used any merge tags in your mailer and want to check those with these test email sends, be sure to add the required data for each test contact when you upload them to your audience as well.
If you need a refresher on how to upload contacts on Mailchimp, jump back to section 5 of the lesson 6. When you upload them, select or create a tag called ‘Test’ or something similar.
Once you’re ready, select the Send a Test Email option on the Preview and Test drop-down menu near the end of the design process on Mailchimp. After your content has been added and you think you're almost ready to send, select the ‘Send a Test Email’ option to send a test to your own email address.
From the test email you receive, check everything: click on all the links and make sure they go to the correct place, check that images are displaying properly, read everything a few times to triple check any spelling or grammar errors.
Perhaps you’re lucky enough to have access to a few different devices but if not, you’re bound to have friends that span that list that you need to cover. Either way, taking the time to set up a thorough testing flow will be so beneficial down the line.
Enlist some people you know and trust as your testers. You can either borrow their devices to check your mail on, or add their email addresses to your test group on Mailchimp.
If you’re not able to personally check the received mail on their device, ask them to:
- Take thorough screenshots of the mail from before opening, and start to finish once opened, and send them to you.
- Ask them to click all the links in the email, even those in the footer, and let you know if anything behaves in a way that they didn’t expect.
It’s best to test each of the email clients mentioned above across a broad range of platforms (Windows, Mac OS, Android, Apple iOS), devices (desktop/laptop computer, tablets, mobile) and softwares (various browsers and apps).
As you test, it will help you if you keep track of what you’ve tested and where, what the outcomes, changes needed and changes made are. We’ve made a handy template as an example for you to use and edit as you need for your own testing. Copy the tab in the spreadsheet each time you do a test.
Once you’re confident that your mailer looks good and displays well across the most-used platforms, devices and software used, you can move along to some final checks and schedule your mailer to send when you want it to.
Is your audience ready to send to?
Ask yourself the following questions before you move on to scheduling your mailer:
- Do I have permission to contact everyone in my mailing list?
If not, click here to go back to lesson 6 where we walk you through getting the right permissions for your various contacts, depending on where they’re from.
Remember that asking permission is simply sending an email to your contacts that you do not have digital permission for outside of Mailchimp, with a link to your Mailchimp sign-up form. This will remind them how they signed up and offer them a chance to opt in.
- Did the people on your mailing list sign up for content sent from you, or from someone else?
If from someone else, rather don’t email these people. Remove these specific contacts from your audience, and collaborate with those that own the permissions to contact them so that they can send mailers to them about your event as a recommendation.
If collaboration isn’t possible, build your audience from other sources such as: your events on Quicket going forward, allowing people to sign up for emails from you on your website, etc.
Click here to go back to lesson 5 for more context about this.
- Does my audience have any duplicates in it?
If you’ve uploaded your contacts to Mailchimp, it automatically checks and merges duplicates for you. You can of course remove duplicates before uploading, but Mailchimp makes this incredibly easy for you.
- If using merge tags, do you have all the needed data in your audience?
If any of your contacts on your audience are missing details and you’ve got merge tags pulling this info into your email, rather reword your email to exclude the merge tags, or check whether you have access to this info from past mails, etc. so that you can update your audience.
It’s far better to have a polished email that’s not personalised, than one where it opens with “Hi there $FirstName”.
Send your email campaign
You’ll have to upgrade to a paid plan to be able to schedule email campaigns, but you can still send your campaigns at the time you want them to send.
To do this:
- Log in a short bit before you want your email to send.
- Go to ‘Campaigns’ in your Mailchimp account. Scroll down and click ‘Edit’ next to your campaign that you’re wanting to schedule.
Note: You can send a test email straight from here. If you want to make any more edits, you can do so. Just select the relevant button as we did in the previous lesson.
- In the top right. You’ll see the option to either Schedule or Send. If you’re on the free plan, select ‘Send’ and then ‘Send Now’. Ta-da! You’re first email campaign is sent!
If you have access to scheduling, select ‘Schedule’ and fill in the date and time you want your campaign to send. Also check the time zone. If your list is very large, it’s advised that you use the deliver in batch setting to increase your delivery rate. When ready, click ‘Schedule campaign’. If you want to make more edits (which at this point, you shouldn’t need to), you can come back and unschedule your campaign at any time before it’s due to send to edit it. You’ll just need to schedule it once more when you’re done.
Checking your reports
After your mail has sent, we’re sure you’ll want to know how it went - how many people did it successfully deliver to? Which of those people opened it? Did anyone click to buy tickets yet?
It might take a little while for some useful data to show, since everyone you sent to is not likely to open the email immediately. Check your reports the day after, and check in periodically to check if there are changes in the open rates, etc.
- In your Mailchimp account, click on ‘Reports’.
- Scroll down to see your campaign you want to take a look at. You’ll see the main stats available here:
- Subscribers: how many people you sent to
- Opens: What percentage of the people you sent to have opened the mailer.
- Clicks: What percentage of the people that have opened the mailer have clicked on a link in the mailer.
You can also download all your reports through ‘Download All Reports’. To download a specific campaign’s report, select the arrow next to ‘View Report’ and select ‘Download’. You’re also able to see how your email looked by selecting ‘View Email’.
- You’re also able to access a more detailed report by clicking on ‘View Report’. Here you can see where your opens are coming from, which links are being clicked the most, and if you click on Analytics360, which email domains your opens are coming from. All this data you can use to inform what you do: how you structure your emails, which email clients you need to include in your testing, etc.
A note about deliverability
As you start looking at and understanding your campaign reports, you’ll need to understand email deliverability.
In a nutshell, you want your delivery rate to be as high as possible to keep the integrity and quality of your audience. Refer to Mailchimp’s deliverability guide here to explain any and all terms you’ll find in your reports, what they mean, and what to do about them.
Firstly, Mailchimp has a vast base of resources covering every part of the platform and more. It’s super helpful and covers a 101 of Mailchimp, marketing tips, and guides and tutorials. You can find it here.
We’ve selected a few of Mailchimp articles that we find really handy. These will touch on some of what we’ve covered in this course so far, but with a broader context. Check these out to learn some cool tricks of the trade when it comes to using Mailchimp to promote your events.
- Mailchimp Fundamentals
- Getting started with lists (audiences)
- Getting started with segments (different to groups)
- Getting started with campaigns
- Creating email templates
- Getting started with merge tags (personalisation and tagging in data)
- All the Merge Tags Cheat Sheet
- What is Automation and how could it help my events and marketing?
- Email marketing and Gmail
Also be sure to check out:
Reading all of these should get you off to a really strong start.
That’s it for Mailchimp!
Huzzah! The next lesson highlights the nifty tools that Quicket has built based on requests from event organisers such as yourself, and then lastly we cover paid ads.
Ready for the next lesson of our Quicket Event Marketing Course? Click here.
Nina is the Marketing Manager for Quicket and is passionate about growing a community of event organisers into one that is empowered to create incredible experiences. An event organiser herself, she’s also worked across brand marketing, social media, and in the non-profit world. She’s a burner (AfrikaBurn) at heart, an avid baker, loves a good hug, and cooking dinner for friends over a glass of good wine.