#Email Marketing

7 Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Using Mailchimp

January 19, 2021

Mailchimp is currently the largest email automation platform and marketing service. Hundreds and thousands of small and large businesses use it to promote their operations, run their sales funnel, and effectively interact with the existing client base.

But it is worth mentioning that not every enterprise succeeds in making the most of Mailchimp’s features and services. The poor deployment of Mailchimp and not exploiting its features rightly and fully often make enterprises skeptical of the entire domain of email marketing and automation.

If you are about to use Mailchimp as the default email automation platform for your business and don’t want to face any such disappointment, continue reading this blog post.

Here, we will discuss seven pitfalls to avoid when you start using Mailchimp to fulfill all sorts of email requirements of your business.

1. Not Personalizing Your Welcome Email

Welcome email provides a great opportunity for businesses to turn recipients into prospects. You need to understand that bombarding your subscribers with campaigns and offers without making grounds through a welcome email will keep your promotional results underwhelming. At the welcome email stage, recipients are at their most positive or at least don’t have any negative or bad perception of the business. Therefore, they are more likely to respond if asked the right questions and prompted the right way.

Unfortunately, many enterprises fail to capitalize on this opportunity for establishing a healthy correspondence with their prospective customers. They either ignore the welcome email altogether or leave it to Mailchimp’s default confirmation messages to take care of it. Even though Mailchimp’s confirmation/welcome email features all the important information you need to reach out to new subscribers, it lacks the personalization and personality that hits the spot.

You need to dedicate some of your time to devising personalized welcome emails. Yes, you will need more than one welcome email because your subscriber list will branch out into different groups. Scribble down separate personalized emails for all those groups. Then, set Mailchimp’s email automation trigger so that any subscriber joining your list can get that personalized welcome email written for their pertaining group.

You will receive more replies to personalized welcome emails in comparison to the aggregate response to Mailchimp’s default confirmation email.

2. Mixing Marketing Emails with Transactional Emails

You need to understand that every email sent to customers is not meant for promotion. If you run a business where you sell products and services on the web, you will have to send out receipts, invoices, shipping and delivery notifications, and all other similar bits of information via email. All such pieces of correspondence are called transactional emails.

A transactional email’s main purpose is to provide the relevant information to a customer about the transaction they have just carried out with the business. However, many companies consider it an opportunity to promote their business once again among the consumers who have already bought from them. It is very tricky to devise a transactional email that also contains a strong marketing punch. Most people fail to strike a perfect balance between the two. As a result, their transactional email looks and reads like another spammy message where customers struggle to pin down the information for which they have received that email in the first place.

While creating different transactional email templates, make sure that their subject line and intro offer exactly what consumers expect to find out in the email. For instance, if it is a receipt, clearly state this in the subject, and then there should be a chart/breakdown of the individual purchase costs and the total sum at the beginning of the email. Once you are done adding the transactional information, you can think about adding some promotional dash to the email.

Mailchimp offers an effective way to give a marketing twist to your transactional emails without turning them into spam. When using Mailchimp for transaction emails, you can add a product recommendation block in the end that will make personalized suggestions to every consumer based on their past shopping activity with your business. This is a great way to boost sales without shoving your promotional content down the consumers’ throat.

3. Focusing on Template Customization Rather than Campaign Customization

At the onset, it looks like a great idea to customize templates for your email marketing requirements and then just leave all of it on autopilot. This can work on a couple of occasions. However, if you roll out a new marketing campaign every other day, customizing templates might not be a good idea. Instead, you should focus on campaign-based customization.

Suppose you extensively customize a template for a certain event-specific campaign. For the next campaign, using the same template is less likely to create an impact and deliver the result that you expect from a customized effort. A better way is to keep your templates as generalized as possible and then modify them accordingly in the “create campaign” option. This way, you can customize all of your campaigns in their given contexts without changing the outline and features of the original template.

If you think you have to send an almost identical campaign again, you can use the “duplicate previous campaign” feature of Mailchimp to use the same layout and format for your next similar campaign. Campaign customization instead of template customization will streamline your work and provide you more flexibility when you handle one marketing campaign after another and cater to different segments of markets in a different way.

4. Not Linking Your Website to Mailchimp through Signup Forms

If you have invested in your website’s SEO but haven’t linked it up with your Mailchimp account, you are neither leveraging your web presence nor benefiting from the email automation platform. Mailchimp offers you to add its linked signup form to your website just by copy-pasting a code.

If you think the Mailchimp-provided signup form’s layout is not good enough, you can use WP plugins to create stunning opt-in/signup forms that can be synched with Mailchimp and offer a better click-through rate. The contact forms and “request a quote” button on your website should also provide visitors an option to become a part of your subscriber list.

If your website boasts good traffic with a low bounce rate, you will manage to add several “organic and inbound” subscribers to your list by adding a Mailchimp-linked signup form to the site.

5. Not Getting the Text and Image Ratios Right

Your marketing emails primarily contain images and text content. We all know that and also acknowledge the importance of their simultaneous presence in an email. However, issues arise with the amount of text and images that should be used in a promotional email. There is no one right answer to the question: “what’s the best image/text ratio for a marketing email?” One ratio that has helped a business registering a good response rate might backfire for the other enterprise.

However, there are some general things you need to consider when you are creating your marketing campaign on Mailchimp and putting together the email’s body.

  • Keep its text as light as possible. By light, we mean it should have easy language, short sentences, and a precise message. Avoid using jargon and long figures and stats in the email. No one is interested in reading long stories in emails, especially when accessing and opening those emails on their cell phones.
  • Many people turn off the autoloading of visual content in emails on their cell phones. If your core market comprises Generation Z onwards, you will have more smartphone users. You don’t need to stress over the use of pictures in your email. If a picture is not necessary to your core marketing message, you can drop it. The absence of a picture won’t make any difference to the response you will get.

6.  Using More than a Single List and Having Duplicate Entries

Businesses moving from other email automation platforms to Mailchimp mostly commit this mistake. Many enterprises have been using multiple subscriber lists to segment their target market, and when they shift to Mailchimp, they bring the same protocols/approach there.

For instance, an enterprise may create individual lists of new subscribers, leads, existing customers, premium customers, event attendees, discount winners, etc. These lists also have an overlapping where a single contact is repeated in more than one of them.

Using multiple lists with duplicate entries on Mailchimp is an out-and-out poor practice for various reasons.

Your Mailchimp Bill Will Go Up

Mailchimp charges you for the number of entries in the list. If you are using multiple lists with duplicate content, you will have to pay for each of those duplicated entries as well. Mailchimp allows you to create a single list and then make groups within it. By using this feature, you can avoid duplication and keep your bill in check.

You Might Spam an Unsubscribed Entry

Suppose one of your duplicate contacts cancels their subscription from one of the lists. However, your email automation setup will continue sending them promotional emails through other lists. These emails will count as spam and make you accountable in line with relevant laws. You may have to manually remove those unsubscribed duplicate contents from all the lists, which is unnecessary overwork when Mailchimp already allows you to make groups within a single list.

A Subscriber Might Get the Same Campaign Over and Over Again

If you are sending the same campaign to all your lists, your duplicate contacts will receive the same email more than once. A subscriber receiving the same email over and over again can snap and take the extreme step of pressing the unsubscribe button.

A Lot of Needless Work

Making sure that unsubscribed contacts don’t receive email from any list and the duplicate contents don’t get bombarded by similar campaigns is a recipe for wasting time.

To sum it up, avoid exporting and creating multiple lists on Mailchimp. It is not worth it when you can easily run your email marketing operations from Mailchimp’s single email list with multiple subgroups.

7. Not Considering the Barrier of Spam Filters

Many people use spam filters to keep promotional emails at bay. A lot of times, a recipient can’t receive an email even if they have subscribed for it because the email gets stuck in the net of a spam filter. Although Mailchimp actively ensures that the emails sent through its platform get past the check of those filters, your email can still end up in the recipients’ spam folder. Here, we will outline a couple of things that you need to consider for avoiding spam filters, even if you are banking on the expertise of Mailchimp.

Don’t Use Emails with Poor and Faulty Coding

Spam filters can instantly pick up an email featuring sloppy HTML coding. If you are not working with an HTML expert, avoid fiddling with the code and use Mailchimp’s properly-coded readymade templates.

Maintain the Image-Text Balance

As mentioned earlier, the image-text balance in your email is important. It is also important because an out-of-balance email can be flagged as spam. For instance, a long text-based email or an image-only message might land in the spam folder.

Run A/B Testing

Carrying out A/B and multivariate tests is an effective way to determine what minor changes in the content of your email can alter its delivery and engagement. An A/B tested email campaign is less likely to get stuck in spam filters.


We hope that the above discussion helps you use Mailchimp while making the most of its features and getting around all its pitfalls. If you have noticed, Mailchimp also offers an alternative/solution for the most pitfalls and mistakes we have covered in this post. It is also pretty evident from the discussion above that enterprises migrating from other marketing platforms to Mailchimp should drop some conventional email marketing protocols when using this state-of-the-art email automation platform.

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