How to actually reach your community through email
We invited Jamal Miller, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Mailchimp, to show us how to maximize the audience you have (no matter the size) with the Mailchimp x Patreon integration, and creator Nick The Manager Jorgensen to share his experience and tips.
No one can deny the value of a loyal, engaged social media following, but don’t forget about the tried and true tool you have right at your fingertips: your email mailing list. It’s a direct line to your community that you can use to keep people updated on what you’re doing and how they can get involved.
Here, we’ll explore our Mailchimp integration’s main features, best practices on how you can use it, and how it fuels the virtuous marketing cycle — a framework for organizing your marketing strategy in a sustainable way.
What is Mailchimp?
Mailchimp is an all-in-one marketing platform that helps you create beautifully designed, targeted campaigns that reach your customers where they are. Its AI-powered insights and recommendations can help you automate your outreach, optimize your messaging, and grow your business. With Mailchimp, you get the tools you need to reach more customers and take your business to the next level.
Nick The Manager Jorgensen discovered Mailchimp once he’d established his four main audiences: fans of the artists he manages, anyone who had come on tour with his artists, anyone who had attended his Twitch streams and sent songs, and finally, people who had bought any of his books or classes.
“At first, I was using Gmail, which is one of the most common tools when you’re starting out,” he says. “But soon I ran into limitations where I couldn’t send emails to all addresses.” After plenty of bounceback emails, he discovered Mailchimp and to this day he uses the free version for all his needs. His favorite feature? “Being able to see opens and clicks — it was just one big black box before,” he says. “And that you can resend your email to the people who didn’t open it.”
How does the Mailchimp x Patreon integration work?
Mailchimp x Patreon enables you to sync your patrons with your Mailchimp audience. You can transfer the information you’ve collected from Patreon members of various levels to your Mailchimp audience where you can communicate with them further. It can facilitate the creation of personalized messages and increase content relevancy based on who your community is and what they like.
Check out how to connect your Mailchimp and Patreon accounts here.
- Eliminates the need to manually export and import audience data.
- Automates the process of finding and rewarding your community through tagging (e.g. podcast listener).
- Nurtures fans to become paying members, which is key if you want to create a sustainable output.
How can you make the most of your email strategy?
Understanding the virtuous marketing cycle can help you maximize the possibilities of the integration. A virtuous cycle is one where a good event feeds on itself to improve business further. There are four key elements to the positive feedback loop in this context: collect, organize, understand, and act. A virtuous cycle can be small and operate over days or it can drive your strategy for years, making it a sustainable way to build your business. Here, Jamal digs into how the integration meshes with the virtuous marketing cycle.
Whenever you’re sharing something new with the world — like releasing a new podcast episode or launching a new line of merch — it’s a good time to collect email addresses and get the consent you need to begin marketing to new members.
Want to find new ways to collect data? Take an inventory of all the places you’re interacting with folks on a regular basis and see if there’s a way to add a sign-up form or integration to collect through that. The Patreon x MailChimp integration enables you to easily collect data from Patreon and bring that automatically into Mailchimp. That way you will have all your audience data in one place, and can use it in ready-made segments.
There are lots of other ways you can collect data and bring that into Mailchimp: create pop-up forms on your website, or connect it with any other platform where you’re engaging with your audience. Mailchimp even has a Twitch integration to bring audience data from Twitch into Mailchimp.
ORGANIZE (AKA SEGMENTATION)
Segmentation is the process of dividing and organizing an audience into meaningful and manageable groups (or segments) so that you can tailor your offering and communications to the preferences of each group. It definitely pays off: on average, segmented email marketing campaigns result in 23% higher open rates and 49% higher click-through rates than unsegmented campaigns.
The Mailchimp x Patreon integration enables you to do this through tags. These are flexible labels to be applied to any contact and are useful for segmenting your audience. For example, a podcast listener, live show attendee, or someone who’s bought your artwork. A single contact can have multiple tags and it means you can segment patrons and send personalized messages so they know exactly what’s going on.
Best practice is to ensure you’re collecting information used to assign tags up front, so that as people are coming in, they’re ready to be segmented. You can also update tags individually with contacts in your audience or on a list by selecting all contacts in the list and adding a segment.
Understanding your audience isn’t just a fascinating process, it can help you plan your next steps and resonate better with your audience as it grows. Nick uses the Mailchimp integration with Twitch and Patreon to see which source he’s getting most contacts from and what’s driving the most growth. Seeing that most of your audience subscribes to your podcast might prompt you to double down on that and leverage it to grow your audience even more.
ACT (AKA AUTOMATION)
Mailchimp x Patreon offers a ton of tools that enable you to use audience insights to send out campaigns. One of the most powerful is automation, which streamlines your efforts and makes them more effective. It enables you to have multiple work streams even as you grow and your contact base swells.
With automation, you can talk to more members of your audience at scale with super relevant messaging. For example, whenever you add a new contact that comes from your podcast, you can send an automated email to thank them for joining and sharing them into your archived episodes. Automation recognizes where patrons are in the lifecycle and tailors messaging to that particular stage.
Here are some of the ways you can act on audience insights:
- Identify your top performing work and build out multi-channel campaigns so that you can be more effective in your marketing
- Design personalized email campaigns
- Create and publish paid ads through Instagram and Facebook
- Send organic social media posts through Mailchimp to tie back to your overarching marketing
Mailchimp x Patreon is a great tool to learn what works with your audience and take those learnings and build out additional elements.
SENDING EMAILS VS. POSTING ON PATREON
So, how do you decide which news and content to share on Mailchimp vs. Patreon? “If I’m making an announcement or getting in touch about an event that’s happening, it makes sense for me to send an email and be able to optimize future emails through that,” Nick explains. His Patreon is an archive of all the brilliant things he wants his patrons to benefit from and a place for them to just hang out.
*Under U.S. and Canadian email marketing laws, you don’t always need opt-in consent from people, although you must always allow the customer to unsubscribe or opt out of future messages. However EU GDPR (Government Data Protection Regulation) requires you to get consent when you collect data used for bulk email (e.g. the subject’s name and email address on a signup form). Don’t worry though, Mailchimp and Patreon’s tools are built to make GDPR compliance a lot easier. Find out more here.
Wherever you are on your audience journey, connect with likeminded creators and members of the Patreon Team on our Official Patreon Creator Community Discord server.