6.9.09

Our Save the Dates with MailChimp


[The final save the date banner I designed for the email campaign. I believe this was version #12. No joke.]


[The whole save the date email! Sorry, I had to screen grab it in parts because it's so long that it wouldn't fit on my screen!]

It's official! 98 people were emailed about our wedding as of Saturday night, 12:30 AM PST. It's been months since I started this project, and I'm really proud that it's finally out of my hands and into our friends' and families' emails!

We decided not to do a paper save the date to save money. Instead, we decided to do an email save the date through a free account with MailChimp. We included the following information:
-the bare basics of the event (time and place)
-a really obvious link to our website (we made ours big and red on the page, and also made the photo a link. I'll share the website soon!)
-an email for guests to send their mailing information. This is how we worded it:

Please send us your information to receive a formal invitation!
Copy/paste into an email to wedding@email.com
Your first and last name:
Partner's first and last name, if applicable:
Names and ages of children, if applicable:
Address:
City:
Zip:
State:
Phone number:



And now, a little bit about MailChimp! And, cross my heart, they are not paying me.


MailChimp allows you to create an email campaign, organize lists of emails, and check the statistics on who viewed the email and clicked on the links. This is not something geared towards brides, but a real marketing tool that businesses use. Therefore, there's a lot of fancy stuff not needed (like a pie chart of how many people opened your email and on what day!) but it's definitely appreciated by this geeky organized fool. :D

If you are considering making an electronic save the date and want to use MailChimp, here are the pros and cons:

PROS:
-user friendly! To be honest, I was pretty clueless about email campaigns and thought the whole thing was going to be really complicated since I know very, very little HTML. After watching some of their tutorial videos, it seemed like an easy way to get the word out about our wedding. It was. Making the save the date was pretty easy, and the interface was intuitive and didn't take much head scratching. You can totally customize your design with your own pictures, add links, and change all of the colors and fonts, you just have to stay within 650 pixels wide. The best part? NO HTML KNOWLEDGE NEEDED.

-for the free account, you get 3,000 sends and memory for up to 500 emails. Plenty for our wedding.

-you can organize your lists of emails, so I divided ours into my family, the boy's family, and our friends. I manually added all of the emails, but you can upload an Excel spreadsheet if all of your emails are in that file. It works the other way too--now that I have added all of the emails to MailChimp, I can also download all of them into a spreadsheet, along with the statistics of how well our save the dates are being received for that next business meeting. ;) Like I said, lots of fancy stuff you don't need!

-it tracks who has viewed your email. This is useful in case we need to re-send any messages because of spam. If Joe Uncle didn't send us his contact information yet, but I see that he's viewed our save the date, no excuses!

CONS:
-the mailing addresses people are sending us by email will have to be copied and pasted into a spreadsheet, whereas something like Google form automatically does that for you.
(See my edit below)

-there's a lot of stuff to fill out, and mostly stuff that does not pertain to us (uh...what business name?)

-you gotta have the "MailChimp" logo at the bottom of the save the date (you can see it at the bottoms of ours--personally, I don't think it distracts at all and I'm fine giving them the credit for making such an easy (and free) tool!)

I hope this helps anyone considering an electronic save the date!

For an alternative way to make an e-save the date, check out Mrs. Daffodil's tutorial from Weddingbee.

EDIT: The kind folks at MailChimp emailed me this morning to tell me that MailChimp can in fact work with Google Forms, Wufoo, and Formspring!
Here are the links if you want to integrate a form into MailChimp:
Google Form: http://eepurl.com/drt3

Wufoo: http://www.mailchimp.com/blog/wufoo-form-integration-with-mailchimp/

Formspring: http://www.mailchimp.com/blog/formspring-integration-with-mailchimp/
Moo

6 comments:

The Professional Bridesmaid said...

Again, speechless ( I read the wedding website post first). I love it!

honey my heart said...

looks awesome, mo! and the banner is too cute for words :)

sosnweddingdesigns said...

great job Mo! what a creative way to save $$ and the banner looks terrfic!

KindredEsprit said...

My friend & I just sent out their STD "campaign"! This is so fun! Thank you *so* much for this post; it's exactly what we were looking for!!!! It's so fun to check the stats, too!!! Again, many thanks for sharing your experience!

Mo said...

@KindredEsprit: I'm so glad that it helped! Yay for Mailchimp campaigns and nerdy statistics!

KindredEsprit said...

We jokingly said we'd have some champagne when we hit 50% opened! *lol* I also love that we can track how many have clicked to view their website!

Again, thanks so much; this was a truly helpful & valuable post. Oh and I *heart* your banner and it's so cool of you to carry it through the blog!!!

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