Be a MailChamp, not a MailChump!

By Lauren Rogers on March 8, 2017

By Lauren Rogers on March 8, 2017

We love MailChimp here at T&S. But if you don’t use it super often like we do, it’s possible you can make a mistake that leaves you with egg on your face.

Since we send dozens of email campaigns with MailChimp every month, we’ve learned some best practices. After all, we’re not perfect either!

Here are three things we do before we send any MailChimp campaign.

1. Check the preview

You want to be sure your email looks the way you want it to, right? While MailChimp’s visual drag-and-drop designer will give you a good idea, to be sure you should select “Preview and Test” at the top right, then select “Enter Preview Mode.”

Check in both Desktop and Mobile mode. If you use any personalization (the recipient’s name, email address, etc.), then you can turn on the option to “Enable live merge tag info.”

You can also run Inbox Previews if you’d like. But that does require an additional investment. MailChimp’s Knowledge Base has more info on Inbox Previews.

While you’re in Preview Mode, be sure to check all the links. I recommend right clicking on them and selecting “Open link in a new tab” to be safe.

2. Send a test email

Once you’ve closed Preview Mode, go to that same “Preview and Test” dropdown again, and this time select “Send a test email.”

You definitely want to enter your own email address in there. But I also recommend sending to someone else as well. A second set of eyes can help you avoid embarrassing mistakes. And if the other person is using a different email client than you, even better!

If you’d like to enter a message in there, feel free. Note that if the other person replies to the email they receive, it will go to whatever your email address is for the campaign. If you want them to reply to a different email address, you can mention that in your instructions.

3. Check it in the Campaigns page

Finally, once you’ve scheduled it, you’ll also want to check it in the Campaigns overview. That helps you see if there are any inconsistencies with previous campaigns you’ve sent.

If you typically use a certain format for your subject lines, check and make sure the subject line for your current campaign is consistent. Always send your newsletters out on a certain date and time? Check for consistency there, too.

Doing these three things will help you avoid many mistakes that could—at best—be embarrassing, and—at worst—cost you actual revenue!

Freddie image courtesy of Chimpstock, the Mailchimp stock photos website.

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  1. Avatar Matt McNeil, ISA CAPP on March 11, 2017 at 5:30 am

    Why do so many of my customers who have Gmail addresses have such abysmally low open rates?

    Does Gmail read my MailChimp blasts as spam? And if so, why are so many of my customers unaware that they (GRRRRR!) have spam boxes to check?


    • Lauren Rogers Lauren Rogers on March 16, 2017 at 9:45 am

      Hi, Matt! Awesome question. And I can’t speak for your clients, but lots of people forget to check their spam boxes. I feel your pain!

      Gmail has some of the strictest spam filters around, and they tend to flag stuff that seems highly Promotional. Without having seen your newsletters, my suggestion is to look at what you’re sending out and see if you can change the ratio of Promotional, Entertaining, and Informative to be less Promotional and more of the other two.

      But your instincts are right–Gmail is especially strict! Hope that helps!