It's time to sync your Public Folders to MailChimp

It’s Time to sync your Public Folders with MailChimp

(….and your shared folders too)

Public folders in Microsoft Outlook and Exchange have long been a favourite store for Company Contact lists. Anyone can add a contact, and it becomes an easy way for everyone in the company to have access to up to date information. With Office 365 some Public Folders have been migrated to folders in shared mailboxes – but the user experience is just as good.

Data Protection

But we live in a world of increasing Data protection, and it is no longer acceptable to just randomly add people to lists – and send them every form of company news from Christmas greetings to product launches.

Contacts have rights too

Contacts have a right to decide if they want to be contacted – and to decide what they want to be contacted about.

We have responsibilities – and opportunities

We have a responsibility to manage our contact’s data carefully.

But in an age of increased communications it also makes perfect sense from a marketing perspective to manage who gets what information much more carefully. EVERYONE gets too many emails.

Unless yours stand out – they will be skipped over or confined to junk mail. Your emails have to add value to the recipient.

So what should you do about it?

1. Let them unsubscribe

If you are sending mass emails, you have to give people the option to opt out. To Unsubscribe.

Unsubscribe

Actually they are doing you a favour when they unsubscribe. It lets you know that they are not interested and shouldn’t be on your list. If you have a list of 200 people – with no unsubscribe option – you are lulled into a false sense of security. If given the chance 190 of them unsubscribe, its a wake up call that you need to change what you are doing… and maybe pay special attention to the remaining 10.

2. Segment..and segment again

The way you make your emails interesting, and keep the interest of your contacts, is to understand what they are interested in. ASK THEM. Or at least track what they look at or what they open.

Don’t send everything to everybody. Ask them if they want to be reminded when the next regional roadshow is. Ask them if they want to know more about ProductX or ProductY or both. Then tag their Outlook contacts with your newly found information.

And when you send and receive emails from them – update their MailChimp profile – removing information which is no longer valid or contacts who have moved on, and add new and updated information.

The result should be emails which get opened and read, and a growing mailing list of engaged recipients.

Audience

MailChimp and Public Folders

MailChimp is a great place to send mass emails. All the mass-send infrastructure, the tracking and logging of bad email addresses, the adding of links and converting and storing images – all takes place seamlessly by MailChimp.

More importantly the recipients get an easy unsubscribe option, and can update their data at any time.

Unsubscribe

Sending to segments of your list is simple. Automating mail sequences is a doddle – for new customers perhaps, or to introduce new additions to the list to the range of options over a few days or week.

Best of all if you have less than 2000 contacts and send less than 12,000 emails per month, MailChimp is Free!

Campaigns

Public Folders, Shared Mailbox folders, in fact any Outlook Contact folders – are a great place to manage contacts.

Features like drag and drop, edit multiple contacts at once; and view options such as contact cards, or list (excel style) formats – all make editing simple.

Contacts have over 100 standard fields, including the super-useful categories field; plus the ability to create custom fields.

Add to that the ability for personal contacts to sync to your phone, and it becomes a super efficient tool on so many levels.

Outlook contact folders are a great place to store and manage your contacts.

Contacts

– an excellent match, but how do I make it work?

 

ChimpySync

ChimpySync is the glue that joins to two together. ChimpySync is a plugin for Microsoft Outlook which lets you integrate MailChimp lists with Outlook.

ChimpySync lets you synchronise a MailChimp list with an Outlook contact folder, so that changes in MailChimp are seen in Outlook, and changes in Outlook are seen in MailChimp.

Your Outlook categories can now update your MailChimp groups.  Your Outlook contacts will clearly show who is subscribed or unsubscribed.

If you get a message from Peter@PetersPipers.com you will see in a panel next to your email which lists he is subscribed to, and which messages he opened or clicked on…

  • If Peter wants to be added to your list, you can subscribe him straight away.
  • If Peter tells you about his interests or gives you a new phone number, you can update his MailChimp data from the panel.
  • If you want to know if Peter opened the last campaign email, you can check the activities tab and see straight away.
ChimpySync

Joining MailChimp and Outlook will help you keep your list data fresh, and ensure your customer communications – either direct from Outlook or through MailChimp emails – can be relevant and interesting to your customer.

ChimpySync includes a 14 day free trial. MailChimp is free for up to 2000 contacts. It takes just a few minutes to set up.

So you have every reason to download ChimpySync and start synchronising your Public Folders with MailChimp.

Where next?

If you don’t have a MailChimp account yet:
– here is a blog about planning and creating your MailChimp list

If you are ready to download ChimpySync and get going:
– here is where to get installation instructions.

If you want some more information on ChimpySync:
– Click here to go to the ChimpySync web page.