Using MailChimp Automation to Better Care for Groups By Jay Kranda

Screen Shot 2016-02-29 at 5.24.56 AMI’m always looking for ways to better care for people on a scalable level. You can’t be everything to everyone, but you can be something to somebody when they cross your path. If someone calls me and wants to get coffee then we get coffee, but that strategy isn’t scalable. Getting coffee with one host is great, but I have hundreds more that I’m responsible to help. Plus, most people live overcommitted lives and are running from one event to the next event. One of the many things they do is lead a small group. How do you help that overcommitted person? I’ve found the majority of my groups fall into that overcommitted category and a few have the bandwidth to have coffee.

I think you can add value to overcommitted hosts and automate a large percentage of the process. You never want to automate 100% of the operation. Caring for groups is a balance of being available, live events, and automation. One of the ways you can automate a part of the process is by using MailChimp. I love MailChimp because it’s affordable and their workflow automation triggers and reports are extremely easy to use.


Here are three ideas to leverage MailChimp’s workflow automation:

  1. Create 5 emails that go to all new hosts over the course of the first 5 months of being a host.
  • 1st month email – Everything you need to know as a host [Your Cheat Sheet Guide]
  • 2nd month email  –  How do I deal with that one person who doesn’t shut up in the group?
  • 3rd month email – Where can I go if I want to become better at being a host?
  • 4th month email – What is the perfect small group study for a group that has been meeting for a couple months?
  • 5th month email – How has your first 5 months of hosting a group gone? [Be Honest]
  1. Create a workflow of groups that are not responding to your emails and/or calls.

Have this workflow be the last result before deleting their group. Create a couple emails to be sent out over the course of 3 months and watch who is opening your emails, emails that are bouncing, and those unsubscribing to your emails. If they are opening your emails then they are not a non-responsive group and if their emails are bouncing and/or have unsubscribed then it’s safe to say they can be deleted. Use the reporting feature in MailChimp to better understand your groups. Again, most people are overcommitted and might be reading your emails and just haven’t responded yet. Don’t delete them just yet.

  1. Create a workflow based off host’s birthday.

Setup a fun email to be sent to them on their birthday. I’ve done this with my groups and  90% of my groups open it. It’s a personal touch and it’s automated.

There are so many ways to leverage MailChimp. You will never replace the face to face interaction, but you can use automation to help those who are overcommitted and hopeful they will get coffee with you sometime soon. Setup your MailChimp account and test some ideas. If you come up with a fun idea please share it.

Video Resource: Watch this Tutorial on How to Setup MailChimp Automation


Have a question or an insight? Leave it below!

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Daniel Thomas

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Daniel serves as Executive Pastor at Community Church of Mountain City, TN.  Daniel and his family are on a mission to establish roots within their community, fight for peace and serve well.  He serves as our Connections Director in laying the groundwork for Circles. He loves great coffee and traveling with his wife Tia and two children, Deklan and Aden



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