Welcome to lesson 5 of our ‘Marketing your Quicket event’ course. At the end of this 10-part course you’ll have all the tools you need to market your event effectively, ensuring you have as many ticket sales as possible.
You’d be missing a crucial step in sustainably engaging with your event’s audience if you’re giving Mailchimp and email marketing a skip.
This lesson will walk you through setting up your free Mailchimp account.
Tip: If you already have a Mailchimp account set up or have done some email marketing, that’s great! The rest of this lesson has information that is just as relevant to you, so we’d still recommend working through it.
Why do you need Mailchimp? And what is it?
Building a database of people who are actively interested in your event who you can sustainably communicate with sounds like a dream, right? It’s possibly the biggest benefit of using Mailchimp for your events.
In a nutshell, we’re going to help you connect your Quicket events with your Mailchimp account, allowing you to retain contact with anyone who has ever booked tickets to your events. You'll be able to let any of your previous event guests know about your new event, or contact only the people from a specific event so that you can, for example, send them updates on the event or get feedback after the event.
If that’s not enough reason for you, here are several more:
- Until you have a much larger list of 2,000 subscribers or more, it’s completely free forever! The majority of events won’t have a database larger than that, so it works for the majority of event organisers.
- Any custom questions that you ask your ticket buyers on Quicket can be linked to your Mailchimp database. You’ll have a database of info, such as dietary requirements, or knowing who’s interested in hearing about future events, etc.
- You can use this info to segment your email sends and tailor your communication so that you send only relevant emails to relevant people. (i.e. no need to email your whole database of 500 people about an update to your event that only 40 of them have booked tickets for).
- If you’ve been collecting info from ticket buyers manually so far, for example by asking them to fill in paper forms at the event, you’ll no longer need to do this - a plus for both you and your ticket buyers. This means less admin for you amongst event-day madness, and less hassle for ticket buyers.
- It also helps with accuracy of contact data that you have, as you’re not re-typing email addresses where you might make a mistake, and the info comes from the ticket buyers themselves.
- Mailchimp makes it super easy to create beautiful and professional-looking emails that match the look and feel of your event brand, which as we’ve discussed, is important for making your event memorable to your audience.
- If you already have a list of people that you mail, you don’t need to start from scratch. You can upload these to Mailchimp to start your list.
- Best of all - it’s much easier to set up than you may think!
What is Mailchimp and how does it work?
Mailchimp is a marketing platform that primarily “helps you manage and talk to your clients, customers, and other interested parties” via email, although it does have some other nifty integrations as well. It helps you do this by making it easy for you to design beautiful email campaigns, helping you adhere to the legal side of emailing a list of people, and understanding what works and what doesn’t through reports.
In a nutshell:
- You can create one master list to hold the data for all of your contacts, and segment that list in a useful way, so that you can contact different groups of people with information relevant to them.
- You can create beautiful emails that are far more effective than just text-based emails and send them, or schedule them to send at a specific time.
- Lastly, you can look at what happened in those sends, how many of them were delivered, opened, and clicked through.
Before we get you set up on Mailchimp, there are some fundamental rules of email marketing you should know to make sure your mails don’t end up in spam.
What you need to know before you set up and start email marketing
We know you’re itching to get your contacts synced with Mailchimp so you can start marketing your event to people, BUT - and this is a very big but - the world of email marketing is one where caution pays off. Aside from needing to ensure you’re not breaking any laws regarding spam, you need to honour peoples’ right to choose what they are contacted about.
Email marketing is an incredibly useful and beneficial medium, which is all the more reason to implement it properly. Taking things slow will only do you good: which of the following would you rather have?
- A mass list where the majority of people are not necessarily interested in your events and may feel like they're being spammed, resulting in those people marking the emails you've spent time and energy on as "spam", meaning that more of your emails end up in spam boxes and never seen by your intended audience?
- A slightly smaller list of people that are deeply engaged with your event and your content, are actually interested in attending your events, excited about what you have to say, and are very likely to book tickets to your event?
There are some fundamental rules you should stick to in order to run your email marketing not only the correct legal way, but with the desired results you’re working towards. It is not going to do you much good if, for example, you send the wrong category of emails or express the content in an offensive manner, or worse, send out emails to people who haven’t permitted you to do so.
In the next lesson we’ll walk you through how to use any contacts you have and get the proper permission you need to contact them, as well as how to get this automatically going forward for any events you run going forward.
First, take note of the set of rules below. If you follow these, we’re sure you will run fruitful email marketing campaigns and get the best results possible from them.
7 Golden Rules for fruitful email marketing
✨ It’s so important, we’re mentioning it again. A lot of people will give permission to learn more about products that might benefit them, so it’s not nearly as tough a job as you might think. Similarly, never assume that people actually want to hear from you. Sending out personal emails is different to blasting out marketing materials. If you’re sending to a list of people in the industry who you’re familiar with, the first is fine. The latter, on the other hand, has to be done only with prior permission and needs to be relevant to the recipient - if people find their inbox cluttered with your emails, they are more than likely going to mark it as spam. This will then ring bells at the ISPs end of things, which is bad news for you.
Acquiring permission is not something that you should consider whether to do or not: if you do not have permission, then rather do not send out emails because even one spam complaint will destroy everything you have built. With Quicket’s ‘Collect Info’ permission question and Mailchimp, as we showed you in the previous lesson, this is very easy.
✨ Promotions, newsletters, and pamphlets detailing offers would be considered promotional and marketing emails. To avoid being legally labeled a spammer, you should always only send these to people who have given you permission to do so.
Transactional emails differ to promotional and marketing emails. For example, when you’re running an e-commerce store and make sales, your customers will expect emails detailing their purchases, shipping notifications, etc. These should not be received through a list manager such as us, but rather should be sent directly from your server.
✨ It’s important that you take great care and work patiently with your content for your marketing campaigns. Nothing is more off-putting for a customer than to see a poorly designed, improperly coded marketing agenda in their inbox, especially if they haven’t asked for it. Before you launch a campaign, make sure that your audience list is up to date and that your marketing material is designed properly.
✨ It’s often reported that senders are marked as spammers because enough care wasn’t taken to check whether the recipients of the emails know who the emails are being sent from.
Ideally, an entire list should first be double checked for any duplicates and it should be ensured that the list is compiled from a reliable source. Next, the best thing to do is to send a reminder email about your company or event (we’ll show you how to do this in the next lesson). Only then should you focus on sending actual marketing material.
This is important because the chances are high that many people would have forgotten that they have signed up for a list (if they did). This will inevitably lead to your emails being marked as spam.
If you’re purchasing a mailing list - think twice about doing so. It’s best not to buy data since you haven’t collected permission to contact these people yourself. If you were to buy data, any mailers sent to the data on this list should come from the domain where these people signed up for emails, so it’s a bit of a waste for you to spend on getting these contacts.
For example, if you were to buy or use a list from another event organiser’s event, emailing these people yourself will not do you any good - the recipients didn’t sign up directly for your marketing material, rather they signed up for third party promotional material from the seller. In this instance, collaborating with the other organiser where they send info about your event to their list from their domain will be far better received.
✨ When using email marketing, think of it as a platform to build a healthy relationship with potential customers. It’s far better to explain your product and await feedback rather than send a large number of emails in what is called a “blast”. The difference is that when customers permit you to send emails, they expect proper communication - not randomly designed and boisterous posters in their inbox.
The spam filter is one of the key factors of email marketing. Spam filters easily figure out which marketing campaigns are desperate to promote themselves and as a result, removes any emails with words in bright fonts and large letters from recipients’ inboxes. It’s best to avoid using a lot of exclamation marks and any wording that shows you are desperate to sell (SALE, GET IT NOW etc).
Another common error is to use a personal email for receiving replies. Not only does this appear very unprofessional, it reduces your customers’ confidence in your product. You should be using your website’s email addresses. If you do not have a website, it’s best to set one up as a top priority before you start thinking about email marketing. Chat to your web developer if you’re unsure about this.
✨ Your customers will be using a variety of email clients (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc.) and the appearance of your email material will undoubtedly vary with each service. We recommend creating several free email accounts across various email clients and platforms (Windows, MacOS, Android, IOS, etc.) and before sending your content, send it to these email addresses to check how your marketing material looks. We’ll cover this some more in lesson 8.
Following these simple rules will help you ensure that your email marketing campaigns are effective, and will help you build a healthy relationship with your customers.
In the next section you’ll create your Mailchimp account, then in the next lesson, follow our set up guide to ensure you have as many people as possible that you can email with the proper permissions.
Setting up your Mailchimp account
Let’s get you set up on Mailchimp.
Regardless of how many different projects you run or use Mailchimp for, you’ll only ever need your initial set of details to log in with. You can have multiple Mailchimp accounts - one for each of your event brands - that you can access all from your own personal login details. You can also give access to different people to specific brands where they log in with their own personal login details.
Since Mailchimp’s free option limits you to one audience per account, if you run multiple unrelated events, we recommend creating an account for each of your event brands. Pick one to start with for this course.
We’ve broken down the sign up steps in detail to give you more information about each aspect, so it may look like many steps below - but we assure you, it’s very quick to set up!
- First, click here to go to Mailchimp’s signup page.
- Fill in the requested details - all you’ll need is your email address, a username for yourself, and a password - then click “Get Started”.
- You’ll receive a confirmation email to activate your account. Click “Activate Account” from your email and you’ll be taken to a link to confirm you’re human. Click “I’m not a Robot” so that Mailchimp can do the checks it needs to.
- Once confirmed, you’ll need to select the relevant Mailchimp plan. There’s no need to select the ‘Premium’, ‘Standard’ or ‘Essentials’ options if you’re just starting out, so select the ‘Free’ option and click ‘Complete’.
- Next Mailchimp will ask for some more information about you and your business, i.e. your event brand. This information is important as it’s needed to ensure your emails follow international anti-spam laws. You’ll need:
- Your first name.
- Your last name.
- Name of your business / event / event brand.
- Whether it has a website or not and what the URL is if yes
- Your business address, or if you don’t have one, you can use your home address. Note that this address gets included in the footer of your emails so if you if you don’t want your home address being sent out to your ticket buyers, you can also consider one of these other options.
- Whether you have an existing list of people that you email already that you’ll want to upload to Mailchimp (regardless of the platform that you use), and how many people are already on this list.
- Mailchimp will give you the option to connect Facebook and Twitter, but don’t worry about this yet - just click ‘Continue.’
- On the last step, you’ll be given the option to get recommendations from Mailchimp for where to start. If you have a little bit of time - go for it! Else just click ‘Not right now.’
- Select which comms you would like from Mailchimp and click ‘Let’s Go!’ which will take you to your newly-created Mailchimp account.
You’ll see that by creating your account, you’re already 25% of the way to sending your first email campaign from Mailchimp! We’ll help you with the rest and how to link it to Quicket, too.
Now that you’ve got an account, you can do all sorts of things! You’ll see Mailchimp prompts you to start creating your first email and add your contacts. Before you do any of this (ignore Mailchimp’s prompts), we need to follow a few specific steps which we’ll go through in the next lesson.
Next, let’s get permissions and set up your audience
Great! So now you have the most important rules about email marketing front of mind, and your Mailchimp account is set up. Now we can work on getting the right permissions for any existing contacts you have, getting these contacts onto Mailchimp so you can contact them, and making sure permission is automatically obtained going forward (yay for less admin!)
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.