Email has become one of the most common methods communicating electronically. It is fairly instant and easy to do. Emails do have some limitations as it is not easy to know if your email has reached the intended audience or whether they have acted upon it. It can also be tricky to manage email addresses and communication preferences. The Spam Act 2003 prohibits the sending of unsolicited emails so it is important that organisations manage recipients' communication preferences. Fortunately there are some solutions available to make email management easier and more professional. MailChimp is one of the leaders in this field. They offer a free service that allows up to 2000 subscribers and 12,000 emails a month. Paid plans allow customisations and greater subscriber and email numbers.
To use MailChimp you need to create an account and fill in details about your organisation. This is used in correspondence so is important to supply correct information. Once the account is correctly setup you can then start creating campaigns. Campaigns are like an email message. MailChimp offers a range of preconfigured templates for you to layout your message. Putting some pictures and making the email look interesting helps with subscriber engagement. You can add in fields for names and addresses which allows you to customise the email for each subscriber. MailChimp has a comprehensive help system to guide you with this. Once you have created your campaign you can then test it with a preview. To send your campaign you will need to create a subscriber list. This contains all the email addresses of the people you want to communicate with. You can then send your campaign to the list. At this point you can then track how many subscribers have opened the email and if they clicked any links that were in the email. You can also tell if people have unsubscribed. MailChimp also allows you to create a form for signing up subscribers from a website. The system is fairly easy to use so take a look at http://mailchimp.com/ for more info.