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How to Create Mailchimp Journey Map and Set Up Automations

How to Create Mailchimp Journey Map and Set Up Automations

Read this blog post to learn how you can increase open rates and click rates with the help of Mailchimp customer journey builder. We will walk you through the stages of setting up Mailchimp automations and creating automated customer journey maps.

What Is an Automated Customer Journey Map in Mailchimp?

First of all, let’s see what a customer journey is. It is usually defined as a series of touchpoints a customer has with a brand. To visualize the stages of the customer journey, marketers resort to a customer journey map. This may sound like a lot of work, but with the right tool, you can build an automated customer journey map.

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1. Create a new Mailchimp automation

Open the Automation section to create a Mailchimp customer journey

There are two ways to create a new automation: either in the Create or Automations section. 

how to create a new mailchimp automation

Automations can be found at Automation → Customer Journey. To create an automation, go Automations → Customer Journeys and click “Create Journey”.

create journey button in mailchimp

You can launch, pause, edit, copy, or delete a Mailchimp automation in the main menu.

2. Create a Mailchimp Customer Journey Map

Click Create and enter the name of your automation.

how to create customer journey map in mailchimp

At this stage, we need to choose a Starting Point: a trigger that will start the automation and mark the beginning of a customer’s journey. For example:

  • a person subscribes to your email list;
  • a subscriber gets a tag;
  • a subscriber’s custom field is changed;
  • a milestone or a key date;
  • purchase.
choosing a starting point for a customer journey in mailchimp

All in all, Mailchimp offers six categories with about five items in each.

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3. Set the Contact Activity for a Mailchimp customer journey

Let’s take a look at all starting points the platform offers.

how to set contact activity for a mailchimp customer journey
  1. Tag added

The subscriber is assigned with a certain tag. This is necessary to segment subscribers within one list, e.g., subscribers and customers. As soon as a person buys something, they get tagged to receive personalized automated emails.

  1. Sign up

This starting point triggers the welcome email series after a person has subscribed to the email list.

  1. Audience field changes

A subscriber gets an email after we have changed their custom audience field. There are many scenarios in which this starting point can be used: the subscriber receives a certain number of reward points, fills out a survey, performs an action on the website, etc. 

  1. Joins audience group

We send an email to a subscriber who gets into an audience group within the email list.

  1. Leaves audience group

We send an email to a subscriber who leaves an audience group.

4. Set the Date & Special Events for Mailchimp Customer Journey

how to set date and special events for mailchimp customer journey
  1. Sign Up date

The series is triggered on the day of subscription anniversary: you can congratulate your subscribers on achieving this milestone.

  1. Birthday

We congratulate a subscriber on their birthday. It’s better if you send this type of email not only on the actual birthday, but also a little before: the subscriber should get extra time to choose a present.

  1. Specific date

Any special date or event.

  1. Recurring date

You should definitely make use of this feature: it makes it easier to congratulate a subscriber on an important day that is celebrated every year. This can be a national employee day (we used it to create emails for the International Volunteer Day for a charity foundation).

5. Add Shopping Activity

This automation works if you connect your account to a supported ecommerce online store. Some starting points aren’t available yet or need to be added.

how to add shopping activity in mailchimp customer journey
  1. Buys any product

You can thank your customer for subscription or buying complementary products (cross-selling) if the context allows it.

  1. Abandoned Carts

This series is probably one of the most popular ones for ecommerce. There is one thing about abandoned cart series in Mailchimp: if you’re okay with the classic automation builder, you can send this type of email straight from Mailchimp. However, if you want to send HTML emails, we recommend you download Mandrill — a paid Mailchimp add-on. At the moment, you can’t create HTML emails in Mailchimp, but we hope that at some point we’ll be able to add dynamic content with products.

  1. Buys a specific product

This automated email series triggers only for the users who bought a specific product.

  1. Doesn’t buy a product

This automation is for those who haven’t bought anything. It serves to motivate people to make a purchase.

  1. Buys from a product category

With this automation, you can divide your products into basic categories and create an email series for each of them: once a customer buys a product from a particular category, they will receive an email.

  1. Time since last purchase

The series is sent to customers who haven’t bought anything in a long time.

6. Add Marketing Activity

With these starting points, you’ll be able to sort new contacts to a journey depending on certain email actions. 

how to add marketing activity in mailchimp customer journey

7. Mailchimp Customer Journey API

how to set mailchimp customer journey api

API stands for application programming interface and serves to manage Automation workflows, emails, and queues by creating custom features and events.

You can use API keys to add new starting points and endpoints to deliver a better customer journey experience: there can be different scenarios for automation launch or end.

the scheme of setting up api in mailchimp customer journey

You use segmenting conditions if you want to keep your email list in order. 

how to set segmenting conditions in mailchimp customer journey

How to Create an Automated Email Series in Mailchimp

You can also include imported contacts when setting an automated email series for new subscribers.

how to change a starting point in mailchimp customer journey

You can choose rules and actions from the panel on the left. 

rules and actions in mailchimp customer journey

If / Else Rule in Mailchimp Customer Journey

if/else rules in mailchimp customer journey

The If / Else rule works for contacts that completed a certain action before they are sent the next email. You can choose up to 5 conditions 

The contacts can move down two paths: Yes (those who meet the conditions) and No (those who don’t meet the conditions). 

Wait for Trigger Rule in Mailchimp Customer Journey

wait for trigger rule in mailchimp customer journey

The Wait for trigger rule means waiting for some action from a subscriber: a purchase, addition of a tag, etc. Mailchimp offers users a variety of options to choose from:

  • a user bought a specific product;
  • a user bought nothing;
  • birthday;
  • X days since the last purchase;
  • a user received and opened a particular email.

Time Delay Rule in Mailchimp Customer Journey

You can delay an action for any period of time. With the help of the Time delay rule, you can navigate contacts on their journey at a comfortable speed. 

how to set a time delay rule in mailchimp customer journey

Apart from rules, you can make use of actions to create a user-oriented Mailchimp customer journey:

Send Email

The action is used to send an automated email.

Add or Remove Tags

Being able to add or remove tags is a very helpful feature since it allows you to segment subscribers based on the way they interact with your automated email series. 

If you want to change the journey settings, click Edit Settings in the bottom left corner. Here you can edit the name of the automation and set additional conditions. For instance, the automation can be activated every time a new contact is added to the journey.

how to add or remove tags in mailchimp customer journey

Mailchimp Customer Journey Not Working: Why?

If you followed the steps and found that the Mailchimp customer journey doesn’t perform as you expected, you should be on the lookout for these problems:

  • You haven’t activated your automation
  • You didn’t test the automation
  • The conditions you’ve set are unrealistic
  • You forgot to add contacts to the list after you created an automation

The Future of Mailchimp Customer Journey Map

Mailchimp customer journey maps allow marketers to enhance customer experience with the help of automated email series. Utilizing various starting points and endpoints allows you to build more flexible customer journeys. 

You can create a customer journey from scratch or pick an automation from a collection of pre-built maps — either way, you won’t regret tapping into this Mailchimp feature.

Sergey Lobanov, CRM Marketer
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