Your Mailchimp list requires three items/elements for each contact:
- An email address.
- Data for personalisation.
- Information for targeting (segmentation).
Above I mentioned that a mobile (cell) phone number isn’t worthwhile having in a subscriber list. Referring to the three elements needed for email marketing, a mobile phone number neither helps for personalisation nor targeting therefore isn’t worth collecting in an email list.
Below I explain further above the three elements.
Without an email address you can’t send email marketing
In Mailchimp, and all email marketing platforms, the email address is a required field. It stands to reason that an email address is mandatory for each contact as we can’t send an email message to a person if we don’t have their email address.
Make your email marketing personal
Data shows that by personalising your email campaigns, click rates improve. In fact, your campaign open rates will also improve if you include the recipients first name in the subject line of your EDM (read how to add the first name of the recipient in your subject line).
Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. Campaign Monitor
Personalising an email campaign can be as simple as merely including the first name of the recipient. Of course, personalisation can get alot more personal as any data in your list (or collected via Mailchimp E-Commerce) can easily be inserted into a campaign with merge tags.
The thing about personalisation is that you need the data (that you want to include in your campaign via merge tags) in your list. Mailchimp can’t infer nor make a guess at data; the data must be available in your list for Mailchimp to use.
Send the right message to the right people
Segmentation is about dividing your list into recipients with common needs and targeting a specific message at each segment (division). For example you may segment by geography, age group, average spend, gender or any other data that you have for each subscriber. As Ginter and Dickinson note “the key point regarding segments is that to be useful, the segment groupings must contain consumers who are similar to one another and distinct from the consumers in other groups with respect to their responsiveness to your potential marketing offerings and appeals”.
Segments are simple to create in Mailchimp and have been proven to improve open and click rates. As with personalisation, if we don’t have the data in our list with which we may segment our contacts, we can’t use the power of Mailchimp segmentation to target our marketing.
Our marketing success relies on data
The simple answer to the question of what data we need for each subscriber is as follows: We need the email address to send an email message. The only data we then need is to personalise our content an to send targeted marketing.
Unless you subscribe to Mailchimp Pro, you have a maximum of 30 columns (fields) of data available for each subscriber. Many Mailchimp training attendees say that this is very restrictive however, if you only include data for the three items/elements as mentioned, 30 fields is way more than enough data.
Keep in mind that you can only personalise and use Mailchimp segmentation if you have the data for each subscriber in your list.