MailChimp Customer Journey: All You Need To Know

MailChimp Customer Journey Cover
Ravi Davda Rockstar Marketing CEO

Written by Ravi

Feb 27, 2023

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When you’re about to embark on a road trip, it’s ideal that you have a plan covering all the steps you’re going to take along the journey. After all, you must know what you’re going to do at every stop and destination; otherwise, your vacation could be a waste.

The same goes for email marketing.

After all, the journey a customer takes from the moment they hand you their email address to the second they make their first purchase is a long one. And if you don’t know how to treat a customer every step of the way, you’re going to lose them. It’s basically like passing by Yorkshire’s Fish and Chips trail on your road trip without tasting their – hey, surprise! – fish and chips! How awful would that be?

That’s why it’s important to plan your customer journey when doing email marketing.

The good news? Big email marketing platforms, like MailChimp, allow you to do it right from your dashboard!

So, without further ado, here’s what you need to know about MailChimp customer journey!

MailChimp customer journey: What is MailChimp?

At its core, Mailchimp is an email marketing platform. However, it also offers a plethora of other tools and features to help businesses with their customer engagement. It’s basically an all-in-one marketing platform that allows businesses of all sizes to connect with their audience and drive growth.

Whether you’re a small business owner, marketer, or simply a designer, Mailchimp has the tools you need to create and send beautiful emails, automate your marketing, and make data-driven decisions.

What is a MailChimp customer journey in email marketing?

As mentioned (in a simplified manner), the customer journey in email marketing refers to the series of interactions and touchpoints that a customer has with a brand through email communication. Here’s a visual representation of what we’re talking about:

Customer Journey Email Marketing

It can include actions such as subscribing to a mailing list, receiving promotional emails, clicking through to a website, making a purchase, and receiving follow-up communications.

Still confused?

Well, think of it as a plan that you hand MailChimp on how to deal with your customers every step of the journey. You’re basically telling MailChimp:

  • When a user submits their information in my opt-in form, send them a Welcome email to make them feel at home
  • When a user adds a product to their cart and leaves the website, send them a reminder email. Maybe they simply forgot about that product after all
  • If a user doesn’t interact after a while, check in with them to see if they still want to receive our emails. If they don’t, maybe we shouldn’t keep bombarding their inbox with our emails (of course, remind them of the benefits of doing business with us before!)
  • And the possibilities are endless!

And when you delegate all of those tasks to MailChimp, you take a helluva lot of manual labour off your plate (I mean, imagine having to do all of the above manually!). Yay!

The goal of mapping out the customer journey is to understand the customer’s needs and preferences at each stage. That way, you can create more targeted and effective email campaigns.

Here’s why you need a MailChimp customer journey

Mapping out the customer journey in email marketing can be beneficial for several reasons:


By understanding where a customer is in their journey, you can tailor your email communications to their specific needs and interests, which can increase engagement and conversion rates.

For example, if a customer has just learned about your brand, it would be a bad idea to bombard them with a sales pitch in the first email. Instead, you should start by welcoming them and telling them more about your business.

Increased ROI

By creating more personalised and targeted email campaigns, you can increase the return on investment (ROI) of your email marketing efforts.

According to several studies, personalisation can achieve the following results:

  • A 50% reduction in acquisition costs
  • Lift revenues by 5% to 15%
  • A 10% to 30% increase in the efficiency of marketing spend

Those are quite the results, aren’t they?

As for the benefit of using a customer journey itself, Dirty Girl Produce (yep, that’s an actual company name) saw a 35% increase in sales after implementing a customer journey, according to MailChimp.

Better customer experience

This is another direct result of effective targeting and personalisation. By understanding the customer journey, you can improve the overall customer experience by providing relevant and timely information, which can lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Identify pain points

By identifying customer pain points and drop-off points in the journey, you can optimise the customer journey to improve conversion and customer lifetime value.

For example, if you notice that customers stop converting or responding after a specific email campaign (which is a step within the journey), you can try playing around with different elements of that campaign to see if anything changes).

How to set up a Mailchimp customer journey

Okay, since you made it this far, it means that you do actually want to start using customer journeys to boost conversions and ROI. Here’s how to do so using MailChimp:

Step 0: Create a MailChimp account

Well, you obviously need to have a MailChimp account for this. Just head over to their website, click on “Sign up”, fill in your info, verify your email address, and you’re good to go.

MailChimp Customer Journey: Create a MailChimp account.

Step 1: Create a customer journey map

The first step in setting up a Mailchimp customer journey is to create a journey map. A journey map is simply a visual representation of the customer’s journey. That representation includes the different stages and steps that the customer goes through.

You can easily do this by using the drag-and-drop customer journey builder, located on the left menu within your MailChimp dashboard:

Step 1: Create a Mailchimp customer journey map.

You can either start from scratch or use one of the pre-built journeys MailChimp offers. Keep in mind that you have to subscribe to a paid plan to use them. For example, here’s the pre-built journey to welcome new contacts:

The journey builder allows businesses to add different elements to their journey map, including trigger events, filters, and actions. Here’s a brief explanation of each of them:

Trigger events are the starting point of a journey and can include things like subscriber sign-ups, abandoned cart events, or purchase confirmations.

Trigger events

Filters are used to segment the audience and determine which customers should receive which emails.


Actions are the emails, SMS, or other messages that are sent to customers as they progress through the journey.


Step 2: Add starting points

Mailchimp customer journey: Add starting points.

If you don’t want to use a pre-made template, the first step to creating a MailChimp customer journey is to add starting points.

Starting points are the events or actions that trigger a customer’s journey. In Mailchimp, you can choose from various starting points, including:

  • Lists: Customers can be added to a journey when they are added to a specific Mailchimp list
  • Segments: Customers can be added to a journey when they meet certain criteria and are added to a specific segment
  • E-commerce: Customers can be added to a journey when they make a purchase or take a specific action on an e-commerce website
  • Other events: birthdays, tags, etc

Note that a MailChimp customer journey can have several starting points or trigger events.

Step 3: Add journey points

Once starting points have been added, the next step is to add journey points.

Journey points are the different stages of the customer’s journey. Here are some of the journey points that you can add in MailChimp:

  • Email campaigns: Send targeted, automated email campaigns to customers as they progress through their journey. Of course, you can add a subject line and customise these emails to your liking using MailChimp’s drag-and-drop email designer
  • SMS messages: Send SMS messages to customers to keep them informed and engaged
  • Web push notifications: Send web push notifications to customers to keep them informed and engaged

If you want your customers to pause before moving to the next action, you can set a time delay between different journey points. This would be a great idea if you’re planning to send a series of emails. After all, you don’t want to bombard your customers with a handful of emails within minutes now, do you?

Additionally, you can set a “Wait to Trigger” rule. It basically prevents your contacts from moving on to the next step of the journey unless they’ve made a specific action, such as making a purchase, for example.

Step 4: Set “If / Else” rules

Step 4: Set “If / Else” rules.

Not all customers are created equal, which is why the “If / Else” rule is pretty handy.

After all, you want to separate customers who have purchased a product from those who haven’t. That’s because their paths are pretty different.

Here’s an example:

  • You can send a “Thank you” email to those who have bought a specific product or tag them as “VIP” contacts
  • As for those who haven’t taken any action yet, you can send them an email with a gentle nudge to make a purchase (with a coupon code or a special discount, maybe?)

Step 5: Activate the MailChimp customer journey

Once the journey has been set up and all the elements have been added, the next step is to activate it. To do so, simply click on “Continue” and then on “Turn on”.

Step 5: Activate the MailChimp customer journey.

Step 6: Manage your journeys

Once the journey is activated, you can manage and monitor it through the Mailchimp customer journey dashboard. From there, you can:

  • Pause, resume, duplicate, end, or delete a journey
  • Edit the different elements of a journey, such as the starting points, actions, filters, and more
  • View statistics of a journey (open and click rate, bounce rate, etc.) using Mailchimp’s analytics feature. We’ve covered all the metrics and KPIs you ought to monitor in detail in this guide

Feeling confused? Let us help

Creating a customer journey on MailChimp may seem easy, but it’s actually more complicated than it looks. Thankfully, we’re here to help. Just book a discovery call with us today, and we’ll show you how we can take care of everything related to email marketing for you.

MailChimp customer journey – FAQs

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