I maintain a couple of club websites. One is a historic vehicle club. Members attend events organised by our and other club members. Sometimes events are cancelled or changed or new events are found. So that members can be informed of these changes, members have opted into (GDPR requirement) an email notification service. About 250 have opted in. Since around the introduction of GDPR more and more mail was being rejected as Spam by the big name email service providers, such as AOL / Yahoo, BT, Sky, etc. I had done some research and was becoming aware that a specialist service would have to be employed. At a Rekindle Research Group meeting, this topic came up and Steve, our leader, suggested that mailchimp could solve the problem and probably be free as the number of subscribers was low. After doing some more due diligence on mailchimp, I signed up for a free account – less than 500 subscribers. I use Thunderbird email client and it was easy to export the club email address book into a Comma Separated Value (CSV) file which was imported by mailchimp which converted it into their address book system. To send an email you create a campaign, design an email form from a large number of templates provided – my needs are very simple with the email having the club logo banner as the heading and a text box or two. The first email was produced, unfortunately announcing the death of a popular club member and sent. The results showed that there was a 100% delivery, 70.5% open rate and a 4.3% click rate – there was a hyperlink in the email to click. A second email was sent which included a hyperlink to the club Newsletter and some important information. Again, a 100% delivery and a very short time after sending, the results showed a 39.8% open rate and a 14.2% click rate (on the hyperlink).
In addition to the above, the email now has a “unsubscribe” button which brings us into better compliance with GDPR.
The only downside to this is that mailchimp demanded a physical address be shown on the email – US anti spam law. As the club doesn’t own any premises or mailbox, I was obliged to use my own address, the only mitigating factor being that the email is for members only and my address appears in the Newsletter already, but I still feel nervous about that.
I find these results very impressive and it certailnly seem to be way to go to send bulk email successfully.