6 mistakes you’re making with MailChimp that you don’t know you’re making

MailChimp is super popular and you’re probably using it for your business or for your customers.  However, no matter how simple and smart MailChimp can be, we all make some pretty fundamental mistakes.

1. Not changing the default you’re subscribed email copy

I see this one time and time again.  If you’re using a double opt-in process or with any email confirmations, MailChimp will send an email to new subscribers confirming that they are on a list

Often, it’s a basic message stating that they’re on your list and here are the details.

MailChimp, subscription, confirm, mistakes

The email address is blanked out, but make sure that it’s using a domain that IS THE EXACT SAME as where people sign up

First, make sure that your email address is from the same domain that someone signed up from.  There’s nothing more disconcerting to a subscriber than visiting websitedesign.com only to receive an email from mike@seoagency.com.

Mailchimp mistakes, list building, subscriber, email

This is prime real estate and it might be the first thing your leads see!

Secondly, this is prime real estate.  You can customise the welcome emails and confirmation emails.  Insert some personality and start to direct subscribers to some prominent and beneficial blog posts and content.

2. Not sending something the INSTANT someone signs up

The second most common and dangerous mistake that MailChimp users make is not rewarding new subscribers straight away.

Here’s what happens. If someone signs up, they are taking a risk (albeit very small, but a rish none the less).  They’re giving you their email address and they want to be rewarded.  Whatever reason they’re signing up – lead magnet, newsletter, subscription etc.  You need to send something to them instantly.  First, to let them know they are signed up and that they will get more from you and second to show them that you value their subscription and that you wnat to share some cool stuff with them.

3. Multiple lists instead of groups and segments

It’s very easy to get carried away and create list after list.  To the untrained, you might be creating a list for every new lead magnet or new opt-in form.

With MailChimp, you can assign people and subscribers into ‘groups’.  Groups are one way of categorizing subscribers so you can send specific emails or automation funnels to people who match certain groups.

If you want to see where groups are located in the MailChimp dashboard, check out the video below

Say for example you have a newsletter, an e-book giveaway and a webinar signup.  Anyone who signs up to one of these, you’ll want them to receive an email specific to the reason they signed up.  But you might only want to send weekly newsletters to people in the newsletter group.

4. Making sure that subscribers only get what they need

On the note of subscribers getting something specific, it’s important that people only get what they need.

Here’s how I explain emails, spam, frequency and relevance to my customers.

If I sent 3 emails a week, my subscribers would only consider it spam if they weren’t expecting that many AND if the emails didn’t contain anything valuable.  If I sent 1 email a day, giving them £5 or $5 every time, they’d LOVE getting emails once a day.

If I sent emails once a month that a clearly just a sales email, almost like an advert, just for a product that doesn’t really have any relevance to why they signed up, they’ll consider that spam.

You need to be 100% sure that what they’re receiving and what you’re sending is specific and useful.

5. Not synching your forms to MailChimp

I’ve been collecting leads for my website, my businesses and my customers for over 3 years now.  Even today, I find the occasional form that ISN’T synced and connected to MailChimp.  I cannot stress enough how important testing is.

TEST TEST TEST.  If you’ve set up a form or an opt-in. Test it.  Go on Fiverr and get some other people to test it.  Make sure that whatever you create, is totally automated.  After a while, chasing all your broken forms can be a nightmare.

6. Not emailing your list regularly

Finally, the most common mistake made with MailChimp, or any CRM for that matter, is that you don’t email your list regularly.  Most of the time, it’s because people feel that it’s a waste of time emailing a list when it’s only 5 people to start with.

Please tell me what possible difference sending ONE email per WEEK would be to 1000 people compared to 5?  Isn’t the point of a mail system that you only have to write one email?

Besides, you’re building your list.  It will grow and you need to be patient.  If you’re not producing regular blog content (and you should) then ask questions instead.  Open conversations and start a dialogue.


This is not an extensive list, but it is a checklist that you should run through your MailChimp account.  Take the time to do an audit (no matter how boring) and get used to creating a process.  If you can’t get it right for your business, you can’t get it right for your customers.

Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.