MailChimp is the Go-To E-mail Newsletter Service
Name: MailChimp (Visit MailChimp)
Type: Newsletter Service
Best Website For: Newsletter Management
Reason it's on The Best Sites:
MailChimp is an industry standard when it comes to managing e-mail newsletters. They let you send up to 12,000 e-mails per month for free and offer plenty of free tools to help you get started building a newsletter following.
An interview can be a terrifying thing. The only way to get better at them is practice, but getting that practice can be tricky, too. In a 1:1 conversation with MailChimp’s VP of Development, Eric Muntz, I’d mentioned an idea for using my 16 hours of volunteer time. We’d been talking about an internal event we’d held last year, MailChimp Gives Hack. Over 2 days we worked with 3 local organizations to rebuild and enhance their websites. All of the volunteers loved sharing their technical knowledge with these organizations, and we wanted to host something similar this year but hadn’t planned anything yet.
I was thinking about holding community office hours for career coaching and letting folks practice some interviewing skills. As a Software Engineering Manager at MailChimp, I strive to hire a curious, kind, and thoughtful team.
But conducting interviews takes practice, too! When I mentioned the idea to Eric, he suggested we go bigger. Why not open it to the engineering community, create something that helps people outside of MailChimp’s walls, while also broadening our own perspectives? Just like that, we started organizing our first MailChimp Gives (Feed)back event.
We put out the call for volunteers, worked with our Facilities, Office Management, Recruiting, and Design teams, and started reaching out to the Atlanta tech community, mostly through women’s programming groups and the network of tech folks collected by our diversity employee resource group, The Mothership. We quickly “sold out” of our 50 free tickets and started pairing the mock interviewers with mock candidates based on their career trajectory and fields of interest noted during the registration process.
When the day of the event arrived, we were ready. Engineers, managers, directors, testers, designers, and writers from our Engineering team and across the company were all present for mock interviews, career coaching, group exercises, and general conversation. Volunteers from the Engineering team also staffed the espresso machines, serving cappuccinos, lattes, and americanos in custom-made mugs—gifts for attendees and volunteers alike.
MailChimp’s excellent recruiting team was on hand all day holding office hours. They gave feedback on résumés, portfolios, cover letters, and LinkedIn profiles, all while answering questions big and small.
As an after-lunch activity, we asked Jennifer Jackson, a Millennial Transition Coach, to moderate a panel about all the things to consider while on the job hunt. She got our MailChimp panelists (Loren Crawford, Junior Software Engineer; Lee Duh, Senior QA Analyst; Ethiopia Rabb, Software Engineering Manager; Maura Kelly, Senior Director of Engineering; Chris Turner, Technical Recruiter; and Eric Muntz, VP of Development) talking about a great range of topics, including how to approach questions when you don’t know the answer and how to dress for an interview at a more casual tech company.
But the best part of the day was getting to meet and getting to know the mock interviewees. So many of them were self-taught and transitioning to a brand-new career. A few even had their first technical interview in our mock interview setting. Everyone was excited to know that they’d get real feedback afterward, and not just a pass/fail response. Our interviewers all filled out a scorecard to grade on various criteria, including:
- Demonstrates a strong grasp of core functional/technical skills expected at this level
- Shows curiosity and initiative
- Capably articulated an approach to a previous project
- What’s something this person could improve for their next interview?
- What’s something this person did really well in this interview?
Besides giving direct feedback on their interviews, we wanted to provide a setting to the mock candidates where they’d experience how interviews should feel. Interviews should be challenging, and maybe even a bit stressful, but the interviewers themselves should be kind and respectful. We hope that by giving them a realistic experience, they’ll be empowered to treat future interviews as a 2-way conversation.
At the end of the day, our guests packed up their notes and coffee mugs and headed home, awaiting the results of their interviews. Our interviewers put the final touches on their notes, and we started thinking about how we could offer similar events to other communities.
Looking ahead, our Recruiting team is organizing one such event in September at the Grace Hopper Celebration, which will focus on mentorship. And later this year, we’re working with Friends of Refugees to offer practice scenarios for interviewing at American companies. Here’s to making that process a little less terrifying, one practice conversation at a time.
Humility is one of MailChimp’s core values, and it can manifest in our daily lives in a variety of ways, from accidentally broadcasting silence during our weekly radio shows to admitting failure to hundreds of our peers.
Recently we had the opportunity to have Kim Scott, author of bestseller Radical Candor: Be a Kickass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity, come to our office to speak for our Coffee Hour series. It was an hour chock-full of candid advice about being a better boss, employee—heck, just a better person in general.
"It’s such a simple idea, radical candor, but if you all can put it into practice, not only will you do the best work of your lives, more importantly, from my perspective, you’ll form the best relationships of your career,” Kim told us.
Here’s what else we learned:
It all started with a puppy.
Kim’s initial brush with the concept took place in the time it took a streetlight to change from red to green. Her beloved golden retriever ran in front of a cab, and a man approached her and said, “I can see you really love that dog.”
“But,” he said, “you’re going to kill that dog if you don’t teach her to sit.” With that, he commanded the dog to sit, and she did. Kim looked at the man in amazement, and he said, “It’s not mean. It’s clear.”
“And then the light changed, and he walked off, leaving me with words to live by,” Kim says.
Radical candor means to care personally and challenge directly at the same time.
In other words, it’s the ability to give feedback while also giving a damn about the person you’re saying it to. The reason this feels so unnatural is because many of us have been taught, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” But if you’re an employee (or maybe a boss), that can sometimes be your job.
You may also have been told to act professional, which usually translates into leaving your humanity at home. To build strong relationships, though, you have to bring your best self to work.
And there’s a helpful guide about how to do exactly that.
If you’re ever unsure how to interact with someone—or to gauge praise or criticism—this handy 2×2 feedback framework is a tool you can use. "We all make all these mistakes all the time,” Kim says. “What I want you to do is to use this framework like a compass to help you guide the conversations that you have with people to a more positive place."
But giving helpful feedback isn’t as easy as you think.
“Everything that is best about people is good because we can correct our mistakes,” Kim says. “But we cannot correct our mistakes if we’re not aware of them, and for that kind of awareness, we rely on each other. So you really owe it to each other to point out in a warm, caring way when somebody is screwing up, but also when somebody is doing great work. Showing what success looks like is even more important than pointing out mistakes."
“That’s why radical candor is important,” Kim says, adding, “it’s also why it’s hard."
In fact, it’s best in short intervals.
The best feedback she’s ever gotten in her career has always happened during 2-minute impromptu conversations, Kim says. “Don’t save your feedback up for a 1-on-1. Don’t save your feedback up for a performance review. You want to give it in the moment. It’s so much more powerful then."
And radical candor isn’t exclusively reserved for bosses.
"Caring personally is something that you can offer to every single person who you work with, regardless of hierarchy or anything like that,” Kim says. ”Common human decency is the one thing that you can offer just without any regard to who the person is. Everybody deserves your common human decency."
“Radical candor should be practiced up, down, and sideways,” she adds. “You should be able to be radically candid with your boss, with your peers, and if you do become a manager, with your employees as well."
As our plane departed Atlanta for Austin, a single question nagged me: “How are we going to make the most of this for the students?” Our objective was to play a part in the HBCU@SXSW program, which aims to “diversify the innovation, entrepreneurship and investment ecosystem for all…by bringing the smartest and brightest minority college students to SXSW.” And to be completely honest with you, that felt like a daunting, crazy, ambitious thing—one I was excited about, for sure, but also anxious about as well.
Bringing 150 HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) students to one of the world’s largest conferences is a huge effort that requires precision, dedication, and vision. Thankfully, Atlanta’s Opportunity Hub, whose mission is to build inclusive innovation, entrepreneurship, and investment ecosystems for all, exhibited those characteristics and more to make a weekend that so many people will remember for a lifetime.
More than 1,000 students applied to be flown to Austin and immersed in a weekend of intense programming designed to prepare them for the transition from college life to full-time employment and/or entrepreneurship. The weekend offered networking opportunities for the students with some of the world’s most innovative tech companies, discussions with professionals and career coaches, and a surprise visit from Spike Lee. MailChimp was one of several companies who, through Opportunity Hub, sponsored students to attend this life-changing weekend.
My colleagues and I started off our conference at Maggie Mae’s (the Opportunity Hub house for SXSW) where, in a room packed to its edges with students, we introduced MailChimp as an Atlanta-founded marketing platform with a mission to empower the underdog.
We ditched the sales pitch altogether, instead sitting with the students and giving them insight into our personal struggles, ambitions, and successes. We shared stories that highlighted why small businesses were so important to MailChimp. And we drew parallels between the struggles of those businesses and the students’ struggles as undervalued, underrepresented, and marginalized people.
All told, we’d spent 3 days at SXSW with the students. During this time, we shared with them our perspective on intentionality in career choice, persistence in ambitious pursuits, and hard work rooted in self, not competition. We shared stories of failure and insecurity, stories of triumph and wins. They, in turn, reinforced our hope for a much brighter future full of innovation and hope.
A couple of weeks after HBCU@SXSW, back in “the A,” my colleagues and I would visit the legendary HBCU, Morehouse College, at the invitation of some of the students. As we walked the campus, looked in awe at the amazing hall of portraits, avoided walking on their sacred lawn, and celebrated the advancements in their robotics lab, the story seemingly came full circle. I was once again wondering, “How are we going to make the most of this for the students?” More specifically, how do we continue to serve these folks in their journey? How do we continue to support them and their underdog stories?
For now, MailChimp’s growing internship program will continue to give college students real world experience. And our partnership with HBCU@SXSW ensures that we’ll have further opportunities to leave a mark on HBCU students at SXSW. Finally, our continued support of local schools will help to make a distinct mark in our community.
If you’re a student looking for a career-shaping internship opportunity, or looking to work at a company that supports the community and invests in the next generation, head over to our jobs page! We’re always hiring, and we’d love to hear from you.
Bicycles are an important part of our culture at MailChimp. Many of our 800 employees bike to work, so we built a bike room that boasts storage for more than 100 bikes, as well as locker rooms with showers so our employees could freshen up before starting their day.
We believe in and encourage considerate urbanism, which is why we sponsor local projects and organizations like Streets Alive, the Atlanta Cycling Festival, and the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition. We even offer a stipend to employees who opt to take alternate transportation.
Our headquarters are right off of the Atlanta BeltLine, which is a multi-use trail system that will one day be 22 miles long and connect 45 neighborhoods. Because of our location, our employees who are cyclists, pedestrians, skateboarders—you name it—can get to our office quickly without having to battle an onslaught of cars.
Not everyone takes advantage of this commuting method, of course, but all employees do have access to our bike share program for quick trips or breaks.
The beginnings of this bike share program were serendipitous. I’ve been riding bikes since I was 4. They’re a passion of mine. So when I showed up to a meeting that had 2 huge boxes from Priority Bicycles, who just happen to be one of our customers, I completely derailed the meeting to talk about the bikes. It was then that I learned our Co-Founder Dan wanted there to be a bike share that would make checking bikes in or out easy—and someone to make it happen.
When it came time to select bicycles for our bike share, Dan looked to Priority, because Priority and MailChimp share a similar mission: We both strive to build a product that’s easy to use, approachable for any customer, and is reasonably priced.
I offered to run the program, and now we have 7 Priority Bikes and an internally built app to automate the check-in and out process. (Props to our Product Designer, Izu!) Almost a year in, the MailChimp bike share mostly runs on its own at this point. All I have to do behind the scenes is maintain the bikes and provide support if someone runs into an issue.
Since that fateful meeting 2 years ago, we’ve collaborated with Priority on several occasions. We’ve featured them in What’s in Store, asked them to be a part of our customer research, and recently, partnered with them on a promotional video that features our bike share program. It was my first time meeting them face-to-face. A few MailChimp peeps got to be a part of a group ride with them, and I got a maintenance lesson from their Co-Founder Dave. They are the epitome of a scrappy small business, and it was inspiring to hear stories of their hands-on, thoughtful approach.
All of which is to say: happy National Bike Month! We hope you’re out there having safe and fun rides. We support the bicycling community because we think it’s a great way to be healthy, see our beautiful city, and reduce our environmental impact. We’re glad to have partners like Priority Bikes who design a product that makes bicycling more accessible to more people. And we hope you’ll go for a ride this month—maybe in the months to come, too.
Inman Park is one of Atlanta’s oldest neighborhoods, and it just so happens to be in the metaphorical backyard of our headquarters at Ponce City Market. The neighborhood hosts a spring event every year called the Inman Park Festival, and it’s known for its artist market, tour of homes, and quirky neighborhood parade.
We’ve come a long way since we first participated in 2013 when it was only a handful of folks from our support team lead by our Co-Founder and Chief Customer Officer Dan Kurzius. We didn’t want to keep all the fun to ourselves, so over the years we started inviting friends and family to join us when walking in the parade. MailChimp has participated in the parade for 6 years running. And in 2018, we had more than 200 employees, friends, and family help us celebrate the things we love about Inman Park.
If you look closely at the Inman Park butterfly, you’ll see two faces. One symbolizes looking in the past, and the other is looking to the future of the neighborhood. But if Inman Park ever considered a backup mascot, I feel like the squirrel would be a great fit. As it turns out, our friends from The Squirrel Census were curious about how many squirrels roamed around Inman Park, and they figured it out. Now they have their sights on bigger parks. It just goes to show you how great ideas in Atlanta often influence other cultural centers.
When we first walked in the parade in 2013, we really had no idea what we were doing. This was our first parade! We raided our swag closet of shirts, chimp hats, and stickers to hand out. Little did we know that more than 100,000 people attend the Inman Park Festival—a few tote bags of swag wouldn’t stand a chance. We learned our lesson over the years, and our friends and family helped us give out 4,000 slap koozies (!) and 4,000 stickers (!!) to parade attendees this year.
Here’s a question we like to ask new employees during their first week of onboarding: What’s something that excites you about your new job at MailChimp? It’s not uncommon to hear people say one of the reasons they chose to work here is how we make community a priority, and how they’re looking forward to getting more involved. The Inman Park Festival is just one of the many ways we show up. Like Atlanta Pride and the Decatur Book Festival, this parade is an iconic event that means a lot to ATLiens and MailChimp.
But also, it’s just a great time. As one of our employees’ kids told him at the end of a long day: "Dad, this day was the most fun of my whole life. I loved it more than candy."
As the Data Protection Officer at MailChimp, it’s my responsibility to make sure that we’re prepared for—and compliant with—data privacy laws like the GDPR.
A few weeks ago, our General Counsel wrote about the benefits of the GDPR and discussed the new tools that we’ve been working on to help make your GDPR preparations simple and fast.
Today, I’m excited to announce that those tools—including GDPR-friendly forms and an easier way to manage your contacts’ data—are now available in your MailChimp account.
Easily get consent with our GDPR-friendly forms
Under the GDPR, consent is required for each distinct use of a contact’s personal data, unless you’re able to rely on another legal basis. The law says that pre-ticked boxes (along with silence and inactivity) do not count as consent, so you’ll need signup forms that make it easy to collect the permission you need.
But don’t worry; our new GDPR-friendly forms make it easy to obtain (and record) the consent required under the GDPR.
And because these new features are built directly into our hosted, pop-up, and landing page forms, you don’t have to compromise on design.
- Marketing permission text: Let your new signups know why you’re collecting their information and how you’ll be using it. We’ll provide default text to help you get started, but you can edit the messaging in this section to meet your specific needs. Be sure to clearly describe all of your data processing activities for your contacts.
- Opt-in checkboxes for all of your channels: Contacts can choose exactly how and where they want to hear from you. By default, we’ll include 3 of the most common marketing channels—email, direct mail, and customized online advertising (like Facebook, Instagram, or Google remarketing ads)—but you can add up to 20 different channels and customize the field labels to ensure the form is consistent with your practices.
The GDPR permission fields behave just like the other fields in your signup form, so you can use the information they collect to build segments and filter your contacts based on who has—or who hasn’t—checked the appropriate box and opted into receiving a certain type of communication from you.
Send a re-permission email to your existing list
If you’ve previously obtained consent from your contacts in a manner that complies with the GDPR, there’s no need to ask for their permission again. But if you’d like a fresh bill of consent from any of those contacts to demonstrate that you’re in compliance with all of the new law, you can send a re-permission email to your list.
We’ve created a new template (along with editable suggested language) to help simplify this process for you, and if you need additional tips, we’ve got you covered.
Stay compliant with our data management and security tools
MailChimp is entrusted with the data of millions of people, and it’s critical that we preserve that trust by protecting the information we process.
- We’re certified to the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework and the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework, so you can legally transfer contact data from the EU to MailChimp once you get the necessary permission and complete our updated data processing agreement (DPA).
- We offer a number of security tools that you can implement to add extra layers of protection to your account, including two-factor authentication (2FA). We recommend that all MailChimp users turn on 2FA—and we’ll even give you a discount on your account when you set it up.
Improved contact management
The GDPR provides individuals with expanded rights regarding the use of their personal data, including the right to request its deletion. And with MailChimp, it’s quicker and easier to address data requests from your contacts—there are no cumbersome processes or long wait times while someone else handles the requests for you.
Here’s how we’re helping you manage your contacts and their information.
- Record consent: Our new GDPR-friendly forms will take a snapshot of the form version when each person signs up—along with the information they provided on the form, the date, the time, and the IP address used to submit it—so you’ll always know exactly what the contact saw and what data they provided. This will be available in thecontact profile, and you’ll be able to export, share, and prove consent in a few simple steps.
- Modify contact information: If someone wants to make changes to their personal data or permissions, they can do so through the Update Profile link in the footer of all MailChimp’s Basic and Themed templates or by contacting you directly. If you receive a request from a contact, you can manually update their profile in just a few clicks.
- Delete all personal data: When a contact requests to be removed from your list, you can easily delete all of their personal data without affecting the accuracy of your MailChimp reports.
Get started with our GDPR tools
The GDPR is going to impact businesses all over the world and will take some effort on your part to get ready, but ultimately it will help you develop a more trusting relationship with your contacts—and it should help improve your email deliverability, too.
The GDPR takes effect on May 25, 2018, but there’s still time to prepare. Log into your account today and turn on GDPR fields for your signup forms.
The GDPR, or General Data Protection Regulation, goes into effect on May 25, 2018, in the European Union and regulates how EU personal data can be collected, used, and processed. For more details, check out our helpful FAQ and GDPR guide.
Years ago, when MailChimp was a smaller company, Friday mornings were a time to gather and talk about what’s going on around the office. But now that there are 800 of us, we like to mix it up occasionally. Recently, we did just that by inviting Tony Hawk to our Coffee Hour series.
As an athlete, not only has Tony been a 12-time world champion and 16-time X Games medalist, he invented nearly 100 tricks and became the first skateboarder to complete the 900. But the road to the top wasn’t easy.
"I was still an absolute ghost at school,” he told us on a recent Friday. “It was this weird paradox, because skating just wasn’t that cool. I would hide my board in high school, because I didn’t want to get hassled.”
Here’s what he taught us about what it means to be authentic to yourself:
If at first you don’t succeed…
Tony didn’t have an epiphany the first time he stepped onto a skateboard. In fact, he crashed into a fence so hard, he got splinters on his hands. Tony and his family lived in San Diego, where his older brother would surf. But when the waves were flat, his brother would skate. One day, Tony stepped onto the skateboard, riding down their driveway. Realizing he had no idea how to navigate, he turned to yell, “How do I turn?” before plowing into the barricade. "Angels were not singing, there was no epiphany for me,” Tony says.
…try, try—and try—again.
Not long after his fateful meeting with the fence, Tony’s neighborhood friends started skating, too. Every so often, someone would build a ramp in their driveway, and the kids would skate on it for hours until it was torn down (or the neighbors got angry). "It felt more like a fad, like pogs or yo-yos or something,” he says.
Though there were a few skate parks in the area, Tony wasn’t old enough to go to the one everyone went to, but he did see people flying out of swimming pools. "That was my moment. That was my epiphany. I was like, "I want to do that. Whatever it takes to get there, I want to do that. I want to fly out of these pools because that looks like they’re defying gravity—and looks like the most fun."
Always plan for the future.
Things in the skating world started to ramp up and get bigger to the point where Tony was making serious money when he about 17, so his dad convinced him to invest in a house and put money away.
"We were living this dream, but that dream had never existed before, so we were creating the dream,” Tony says.
Don’t forget to be yourself.
As endorsement deals started to pour in, Tony realized he wasn’t being authentic to himself.
"I vowed that if I ever got to do anything in the future, I would keep that control, and keep that authenticity, because it just really was not representative of who I was as a skater,” he says.
Expect to make a few sacrifices along the way…
“The obvious choice was to start my own skate brand, because skating was at an all-time low, and I thought it was my transition from being a pro skater. I really thought it was like, ‘This is my way to stay in the scene, to do my own thing, start a brand with a bunch of skaters that I respect that I feel would make a really good team.'"
To do so, he had to take a second mortgage out on his house—and eat Taco Bell, Top Ramen, and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for about 3 years. But he says creating Birdhouse was worth the risk.
“We really did it banking on that skating was cyclical. It had come and gone in fashion a few times, and it was at its lowest point,” he says. “To be established as one of the best brands at that time was not hard, because the back page of the main skate magazine to advertise was $400 or something, and you could talk them down from there."
…even if it means pursuing an unlikely side hustle.
Then Tony got a got phone call from ESPN. The network wanted to put on an event with skating along with other sports called "Extreme Games.” Held in Rhode Island in 1995, the games featured skateboarding, rollerblading, and bungee jumping.
"It was more of an experiment,” Tony says. “But I knew that if we just entered, if we competed at the event, I felt like our experience and our integrity would shine through the noise and all the silliness of it."
Remember your roots.
Tony even set out to create a foundation to fund more skate parks in low-income areas. When he got the opportunity to be on an episode of celebrity Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?, Tony used the $125,000 he won to start the Tony Hawk Foundation, which has since helped fund almost 600 skate parks that have had more than 6 million visitors.
"To be honest, I’m just happy to still be skating. I’m going to be 50 in May, and to think that I’m still a pro skater, relevant somewhat, at this age, is beyond any dream that I ever had.”
No one knows the small business struggle quite like those who are living and breathing it every day. In honor of Small Business Week, we wanted to share more stories from the companies featured in our What’s in Store newsletter. We figured some of the biggest learnings come from real-life examples. From landing page success to fun with A/B testing, here’s what they had to say:
Landing page love
We caught up with Kristen Lambert of Third Piece, a one-stop shop for warm, chunky, handmade knits. To boost digital engagement, Kristen uses MailChimp’s landing pages feature. She set up 2 different types of landing pages: one designed to grow her subscriber list, and the other to recommend her top-selling items.
“The functionality to set up landing pages was extremely user-friendly,” she says. “It was something I had delegated to our marketing manager to explore, and she has great success in increasing our engagement, generating new leads, and increasing traffic to our business.”
April May spoke to us about the backstory behind her stationery and gift line, Smudge Ink. When customers leave items behind in their carts, she uses MailChimp’s product recommendations feature to bring them back. Smudge Ink sends those suggestions as part of their abandoned cart strategy.
“We use product recommendations the most in our abandoned cart emails,” April says. “Not only can it automatically fill in what’s abandoned in their cart, but then below we can have recommendations of other similar things that they might want to add to their cart when they go back and hopefully buy that thing they forgot.”
Save time with automations
Lekker Home founder Natalie van Dijk explained that time management is always a crucial part of their modern furniture line’s success. Enter email automations, which can be left running in the background.
“As a small team, automations make it easy to engage with our customers consistently no matter what the business throws our way on any given day,” she says. “We know those emails are going to be sent without a hitch. Our time is precious and automations help us re-market.”
Advertising made easy
Sure, Harvard’s long-standing tradition of educational excellence dates back to pre-social media days, but the Ivy League institution’s current students love Instagram and Facebook. In our 100th issue, we sat down with Christi Lee, marketing manager for The Harvard Shop. Christi explained why using Instagram ads through MailChimp were a game changer for them.
“MailChimp ads have increased our market reach by the thousands,” she says. “The features that allow us to narrow down our audience and target certain people are really helpful in making our ad campaigns as effective and efficient as possible. We look at the target audience and the impact that all of those ads are having, whether it’s clicks on the ads and getting them to our website or it’s actually translating into revenue, both are really effective for growing our brand as a whole.”
Lovepop co-founder Wombi Rose said it best: “It’s not always obvious when something’s going to work in an email. So knowing that you have a statistically robust way to test it is really valuable.”
We spoke to the team behind the 3D-greeting card company about how A/B testing gives them the analytics to their messaging more clear.
Wombi’s co-founder John Wise says, “By being able to test side-by-side over a long period of time, we can better understand our customers and better present them the materials they want.”
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That’s right: National Small Business Week is here. To celebrate entrepreneurs working hard to turn their dreams into realities, we pulled some compelling research stats and tips that will help you have a successful 2018.
1. Automate, automate, automate.
Almost 50% of small business owners spend less than 2 hours a week on marketing. On top of that, cost is the top reason U.S. small and medium businesses don’t use marketing automation. MailChimp offers various automation tools that allow you to send the right message to the right people at the right time. Oh, and did we mention that they’re free? Start saving time today.
2. Landing pages are your friend.
And we have the numbers to prove it. Our landing pages not only give your audience a clear call to action and an easy space to make purchases, they’ve helped our customers increase their list growth rates an average of 36%. Give them a shot.
3. Make your phone work for you.
In 2014, global mobile e-commerce revenues amounted to $184 billion U.S., and they’re projected to reach $669 billion in 2018. Our mobile app makes it easy to resend to non-openers and keep tabs on revenue from marketing efforts, meaning that a few thumb swipes can lead to extra money in your bank.
4. The kids are all right.
Just when you thought you had the different tiers of millennials figured out, in comes Generation Z (those born between 1996 and 2010). And believe it or not, 60% of Gen Z consumers say email is the most preferred and personal way brands can target them. Share your story via email templates, a tool that lends itself to customizing that relationship.
5. Don’t be sad: Remarket!
Do-overs aren’t confined to cul-de-sac touch football games. Small businesses also need a second chance at making a business connection. Our Google remarketing ads give you the power to recapture the attention of people who leave your website. If 97% of first-time visitors to e-commerce websites leave without making a purchase, then making use of this tool will help put those conversion odds back in your favor.
6. Don’t shy away from social media.
Last year, 80% of Instagrammers followed a business, and 500,000,000+ Instagram accounts worldwide are active every day. Whether it’s the holiday season or not, incorporating Instagram and Facebook ad campaigns into your marketing regimen can only help.
7. Do you speak emoji?
If not, it won’t hurt to at least try. According to Business Insider, Unicode—the folks tasked with choosing new emojis across all platforms—approved 157 new ones for 2018. That means there are now almost 3,000 possibilities when it comes to communicating with customers with more than just words and numbers. Nothing quite says “make it personal” like a few hearts, a fist bump, or a smiley face, especially in a subject line.
8. Less is more.
Does the perfect email template exist? Well, what we do know is that when it comes to the relationship between click rate and the ratio of text to images in campaigns, keeping the amount of copy per image lower leads to success. In fact, 95% of our high-performing accounts typically sent campaigns with 200 words or less per image.
“Whisper!” Over the phone, there’s silence, then a low, burbling growl. “Oh, that was good! Did you hear it?” Karen Anderson asks. I laugh, and in that moment, the anxieties of daily life melt away.
That’s because when you talk to Karen (or her dog, Max), you’re immediately transported to her world—a world filled with chatty pups and small doors and petite accoutrements like books, shoes, and sweaters.
Tiny Doors ATL began in 2014, when Karen and Atlanta native Sarah Meng founded the project, which installs 6-inch doors in strategic places throughout the city like the Krog Street Tunnel and the BeltLine. “It’s a dream job,” Karen says. “I will never say it’s not a dream job, no matter what happens.” Currently there are 13 doors that are public, accessible, and free to visit throughout the city, and 5 doors in both of MailChimp’s Atlanta-based offices.
We talked to Karen to learn a little more about what it’s like to create small-but-powerful art—and to be living her dream as Tiny Door’s Principal Artist and Director.
She has a lifelong admiration of miniatures.
When Karen was a kid, she had a metal dollhouse filled with furniture and people. After giving away the house’s insides, she remade everything using clay. “I didn’t care about the drama of the people in the house. I just wanted to know how the bed was made,” she says. “My love was for replicating the world around me.”
And has always been involved in creative pursuits.
As a teen, Karen went to an arts-focused high school and even taught art at a summer camp. After graduating, she played bass guitar in a jazz/punk band. “I was a musician for 5 years and toured the country, and I gained this really deep appreciation for community, and community artwork, and the power of art to bring people together,” she says.
After touring, Karen returned to school and received a degree in visual art from Rutgers University in New Jersey. After volunteering as Applied Arts Director for Girls Rock Camp ATL during college, Karen decided she wanted to stay in Atlanta. But her penchant for creating didn’t end there: She made sculptural custom cakes and dabbled in public speaking.
Karen grew up with Ann Arbor, Michigan’s fairy doors, which is a series of small doors throughout the city. When she moved to the South, Karen knew she wanted to bring a project to her new town that had an equally whimsical feel—but that also represents the city’s neighborhoods.
“It’s a love letter to Atlanta. It’s a conversation with Atlanta and I love that about it,” she says. “It’s my job is to create the most exciting blank canvas for your imagination.”
But what’s behind the doors is up to you.
“I think sometimes people have asked me questions before about the fantasy world in my head. I’ll tell you right now: There’s not one. The world in my head is very reality-based, with the element of surprise,” she says. “I’m fascinated with interrupting your day with something curious, with something that makes you think.”
One of the Indigo Girls has written music for Karen.
“Emily Saliers from Indigo Girls wrote a soundtrack, so whenever you see a Tiny Doors video, she wrote it for Tiny Doors ATL,” Karen says. “It’s written here in Atlanta by a homegrown rock star!”
She uses social media to keep tabs on her doors.
Since most of her art is public, Karen has gotten used to occasional vandalism, but she doesn’t let it bother her.
“It’s just fascinating to me that I have that huge advantage to use social media as a tool to help keep track of my art,” she says. “I give out my number and ask people to text me photos of the doors if they ever see damage, so my heart skips a beat when I get a text photo from a number I don’t know, because it’s always damage. But when I can see it, I know how to fix it.”
Because she’s always on call, she travels to her doors often, tending to them whenever they need a touch-up. But she also gets a lot of joy out of checking her hashtag, especially with so many furry visitors.
To create her public doors, Karen works in reverse.
“I think about all the bad things that are going to happen, like rain, flooding, heat, and sun. Every single thing,” she says. Then she gets to know the neighborhood so she knows what to highlight. “And so I make them based on the architecture and the spirit of the neighborhood.”
Karen also takes comfort that, of the tens of thousands of people who walk past her art, only a handful of them have tarnished the installations. “I feel like it’s a dream job even on the hard days.”
Her latest commission for MailChimp was the Plaza Theatre.
“Honey, we shrunk the Plaza Theatre!” reads her Instagram post of MailChimp’s latest Tiny Door. Other doors in the offices include a tiny newsstand and bodega.
“I’m thankful to MailChimp for being the first to reach out and to see the potential for this project to be more than just street art.”