LAUREN KASHUK: Welcome tothe Google Small BusinessCommunity. I’m Lauren Kashuk, andtoday, we are discussingthe power of email marketing. Today, we haveMailChimp, and we haveAllyson Van Houten who is aBrand Manager at MailChimp. Welcome, Allyson. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Thank you. Thanks for having me. LAUREN KASHUK: So why don’t youtell us a little bit about whatyou do at MailChimp. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN:Yeah, so I workin the marketing department. I work a lot with ourretail and e-commerce usersdeveloping marketingtools, talking to themabout how their businesseswork, and seeing them at events. I also work with our partnerslike Google and Twitterand Facebook to developgreat new productsand content forour business users. LAUREN KASHUK: Allright, so before wedive into the worldof email marketing,we have an initiationquestion that we ask everyonewho is in the Community. Are you ready?ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Yep. LAUREN KASHUK: Thequestion is if youcould have a Hangout with anyoneliving or dead, who would it beand why?ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN:It would probablybe my favorite fantasy author. His name is Neil Gaiman. He has a wonderfulspeaking voiceand tells reallyinventive stories. So I’d love justto have him justsit and talk to me for a while. LAUREN KASHUK: So if youwere hanging out with Neil,what’s the most embarrassingthing that you would ask him?ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Oh,what his guilty pleasure is. LAUREN KASHUK: Oo,what his guilty– Neil,what is your guilty pleasure?With that, let’s shiftgears and talk a little bitabout email marketing. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Great. LAUREN KASHUK: Soto start out, wehave from the Communityand he wants to know what agood first step is to start. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Sothe very first thingthat you’re goingto want to do isto start collectingpeople, your subscribers. You can do that a lotof different ways,whether it’s at aretail location,whether it’s via yoursocial media channels. But start building thatlist because email marketingis a permission-basedmarketing form,and so you have to havepeople to send the message to,and they have to wantto receive it from you. And the second thing is justto think about the contentthat you’re going to wantto be sending to folks. What’s new in your business?What new products do you have?Are you having events?Just think about generalthings that you’re doing,and as people sign up, knowthat they want to hear that. LAUREN KASHUK: Soonce you’re thinkingabout kind of maybe whatyou could talk about,why should you evenexplore email marketingif, let’s say, you arealready on social media?ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. So, email marketingis a really great wayto have a direct connectionwith your customersand your subscribers. It’s a marketing formthat’s not tied to a feed. You know that youremail is goingto get into somebody’sinbox, and they’regoing to have time tosit and process it. You can send a message that’slonger than 144 characters. You can send a lot of images. You have a lot moreflexibility with whatyou can send to folks. LAUREN KASHUK: So speaking aboutthe flexibility, especiallyas compared to social media,how can our businessesboth be doing email marketingand also on social mediamake them kind of workharmoniously together?ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Mhmm. So, social media is a fantasticway to build your audience. It’s a really greatway to kind ofhave quick interactions withfolks, ask fast questions. Some folks use itas customer service. And when you have that fanbase already transitioning themto your email marketing programis really super powerful. Yeah. Yeah. LAUREN KASHUK: So let’s goin a little bit differentof a direction. Maybe I’m thinkingabout email marketing,and I don’t know where to start. But are there anysituation really whenI should be justflat out avoidingemail marketing all together?ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. I mean there’s a couple. One is when you havekind of a direct emailthat you need tosend to a person. So maybe they have aspecific question for you. Maybe they had some issueswith a product for some reason,and they need to follow up. That’s something that you needto either send them a call,send them a personalemail and not,you know– if you havefive or six people,don’t lump them alltogether and send thema campaign or newsletterabout what’s going on. The other time is whenyou are having an eventand you need to send a reallyfast, immediate message. Say the location changes,or you need peopleto kind of knockon the door twiceto get in, sending textmessages is really useful. And we actuallyhave a tool calledGather that allowspeople to sign upto receive textmessages to eventsso they can get veryfast, immediate updates. LAUREN KASHUK: Customerservice and eventsare two areas you’resaying not so great whenit comes to email marketing. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Day of events whenpeople need to– it’sreally going toaffect how they’regoing to get there orexperience what you’re doing,send them or callthem with a message. LAUREN KASHUK: So let’s speaka little bit about– youmentioned this app. What other apps or toolsare there for our businessesto use when they’rethinking about exploringthe world of email marketing?ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN:There’s a lot. I think if you’rejust getting started,we have a great appcalled Chimpadeedoo. And what that doesis that it allowsyou to use your iPador any mobile deviceto collect emails ina physical location. So if you have a retailstore, or if you’redoing a trade showor a craft fair,that’s a really greatone to get started with. We also work reallywell with Google Apps. So if you’re collecting names ina spreadsheet in Google Drive,that’s a really great tool. It’s easy, and it’s free. And there are a lot ofother email marketingcompanies out therethat have various tools,but those are my favorite. LAUREN KASHUK: Wehave Chimpadeedoo,we have Google Apps, and–ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Gather. LAUREN KASHUK: Gather. All right, so some awesometools for all of our Communitymembers to use when they’rethinking about exploringemail marketing. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Yep. LAUREN KASHUK: So let’s talka little bit about what you’veobserved are somecommon mistakesthat lots ofbusinesses make whenit comes to email marketing. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. The first one would be waitingtoo long to send to your list. So, an email addressis really onlyvalid for about 6 to 8 months. After that long, people willunsubscribe– well they’llforget that they signedup for your list,and they’ll maybe unsubscribeor mark you as spam. They might leave thatemail address entirely. So I would say– I mean 6 to 8months is the latest that youshould wait. I would say four months is areally good spot to kind of aimfor. But as soon as you startcollecting those names,you can start sending to them. The other commonmistake is to nottest your emails before yousend them to your whole list. So test those emails, andsend them to yourself. Send them to your colleagues. Make sure all thelinks are working. Make sure you’ve updated allthe content in the right places,you’ve got the rightimages in there. And send that a fewtimes if you’re justgetting started tomake sure you’rereally comfortablewith that contentbefore you send itto your whole list. LAUREN KASHUK: Waiting fourmonths or 6 to 8 months,but we say four monthsis really the prime timebefore you need to startsending out another emailto your customer base. Awesome. Well we also are well awarethat it’s the holiday season. We’re approaching theholidays pretty fast,and we’ve all seenyour holiday tip guide. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Thank you. LAUREN KASHUK: So maybeif you can kind of dive infor our Community and talka little bit about someof those tips and how theycan affect, positively, emailmarketing for a community. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Yeah,so I would say the first oneis to set up aneditorial calendar. Those are really great for theholidays but also really goodyear round. That calendar helpsyou make sure you’regetting all themessages that youwant to make sure you get infront of your subscribers. And it’s helping you planahead for how long it’sgoing to take youto write that emailand test it before it absolutelyhas to go out the door. Another one is if you havedifferent store opening hours,or if you have orderby dates to get thereby a specific holiday,whatever that might be,let your subscribersnow when that is. Give them a littletime to prepareso that you don’t have a lotof customer service complaintswhen it’s like,where’s my order?Why isn’t it going to be here?Is it going to be here?You can save yourselfa lot of time. Another tip in there isto automate where you can. So you can automate a handfulof messages to go out,maybe letting people knowwhere your locations arewhen they sign up andanything else thatwould be helpfulthat’s going to staythe same for the next few weeks. LAUREN KASHUK:Automate and prepare–it seems to be a keyto success for allof our businessesover the holidays. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. And don’t over-automate. Don’t try to make everythingan automated message. Set up one or two. Don’t– again– don’t getlike super complex in whatyou’re sending, just what’s acouple of things that would bereally helpful that you don’thave to send out all the time. LAUREN KASHUK:And what would yourecommend should be the ratiobetween what you’re sendingthat’s automatedversus what you’rekind of creating for one time?ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN:So, automated messagingis really great when it’s goingto be the same message that youwant everybody to seeover and over and over. So say like I signed upfor your list two weeks agoand you sign up tomorrow,what’s the same thing both of usneed to know?One really greatautomated messageis the location of your storeand what your store hours are. And so setting that message upto send as soon as I sign up,it’s really powerful. LAUREN KASHUK: Fantastic. Well we have some live questionsnow here from the Community. The first is from He wantsto know if you can talkabout how your productMailChimp addressesCASL complianceand what we need toknow about this feature. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, so forthose of you that don’t know,CASL is the Canadiananti-spam law. It’s Canada’s laws forsubscriber protection. And what that lawhas been– it’sbeen adjusted and put inplace about this past July–is that you need to havepermission to send to somebody,which for MailChimp–what we have set in placeis called the double opt-in. So, when a subscriber goesto sign up for your list,they enter their emailand they say sign me up. And then they get anemail to their inboxthat says please confirm thatyou’re actually signing upfor this list. Any of our users that have thatin place are CASL compliant,but you reallyshould double checkwith your legalrepresentative to make surethat– double checkand make sure. And if you’re sending any emailto any Canadian residents,you do need to be compliant. We have quite a fewresources on our websitethat explain in a little moredetail what CASL is and helpsyou have some tips on whereto get started getting readyfor it. LAUREN KASHUK: And can youlet our Community know aboutwhere they can findthose resources,what that website is. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN:Yeah, it’s actuallyif you visit mailchimp. comand search CASL,all those resources willpop right up for you. LAUREN KASHUK: And goahead and spell it for us. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: C-A-S-L. LAUREN KASHUK: –S-L. Soundslike castle but it’s–ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN:It’s four letters. LAUREN KASHUK:Just four letters. All about Canadian compliance. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Yep. LAUREN KASHUK: Fantastic. So we have another questionhere from who wants to knowwhat are the best waysto introduce a new productusing email marketing. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Oh,the best way to do that?I mean, product imagesare really great. There’s a lot of ways that youcan take really great images. There’s a lot ofresources online. But if you have asmartphone, you probablyhave a really good cameraat your fingertips. People really want to see whatthey’re about to buy, so showit to them. Show them a coupledifferent views. If it’s a product thatsomebody is going to wear,maybe show it on a person. And try a couple differentemails showing different thingsand see how people react to it. LAUREN KASHUK: We have anotherquestion here from Neil. “How do you get readers toclick on calls to action?”ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: So we havea really cool email designguide that talks aboutdesign principlesspecifically foremail marketing. But doing things likecreating buttons,making your call to actionlook different from the restof your body copy– thoseare a couple ways justto visually make surepeople are seeing it,and make sure thelanguage is really clear. So if you want somebody toclick here to buy a product,tell them click here. Don’t kind of hide thelink within your body textso that it’s reallyhard to find. LAUREN KASHUK: Andthat guide, wherecan our Community find thatguide if they’re interested?ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN:So if you go to [?mailchimp. com/email designguide?] I believe that’s the link. You’ll be able to find it. LAUREN KASHUK: And is that free?ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN:It’s totally free. You can also– if you’rechecking out our holiday tipsguide, it’s alsolinked to in there. LAUREN KASHUK: Fantastic. Another free resourcebrought to us from MailChimp. And we have another questionhere from Sue. “What does automate mean whenit comes to email marketing?”Great question, Billy. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: That’sa really good question. So automate meansthat you’re setting upa series of conditions. So, I’m subscribing to thislist– that’s your condition. And when I meetthose conditions,an email is going to send tome that you’ve already written,you’ve alreadydesigned, and it’s justgoing to go out every timesomebody hits those conditions. So, you’re setting itup once, and it’s justgoing to keep sending untilyou change the contentor you put it on pause. LAUREN KASHUK: And whenyou’re automating an email,you can choose differentsettings, right?ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Mhmm. Yeah, we have– MailChimpspecifically hasa huge set of differentsettings that you can choose. We also have somepre-built recipesthat if you don’treally know whatyou’re doing withautomation yet and you’rea little unsureof where to start,we’ve already figuredthat out for youand seen what are the mostcommon uses of automated emailmarketing and set it up. So you just have to input yourcontent and choose your list. LAUREN KASHUK: Recipesaren’t commonly a wordthat you hear when you’respeaking about email marketing,but you have kind of pre-decideddifferent ways for businessesto look at ways that theycan explore automating. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN:Yeah, we found–I mean automation can bereally big and really scary,and there’s a lot of waysthat you can mess that up. So it’s hard for peopleto get started with it. So what we did is we talkedto a lot of customers. We saw what’s mostuseful for them,and so we pre-builtsome of that stuff. You can still go totallycustom if you want,if that’s what’s goingto work best for you,but we set a fewthings up already. So we took some of thethinking and decision makingand made it simpler. LAUREN KASHUK: We have anotherquestion here from Neil. Thank you for thequestions, Neil. Best practices for keeping allof your email lists up to date?ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: So, ifyou’re using an email serviceprovider like MailChimp,we’ll be doing that for you. So keeping it upto date in my mindmeans making sure yourunsubscribes are noton that list. They’re not gettingthose messages again. New subscribers areautomatically getting added. So that’s one ofthe big benefitsof using an emailservice provideras opposed to sending everythingout through your personal inboxis that we’ll handle allthat list management for you. LAUREN KASHUK: Anotherquestion that kind ofis a follow up from Neil. How do you keep a databaseintegrated with MailChimp?ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Thereis a lot of ways to do that. It kind of depends onwhat your database is. So, we have anintegrations directory,which is about 600different platformsthat we integratewith with steps on howto set that integration up. So what you want todo is go to– it’sat connect. mailchimp. com. Search for whatyour database is. If we have it, there willbe instructions thereon how to set it up. And so you can getthat informationgoing back and forth. LAUREN KASHUK: Fantastic. Well, that actuallyis all of the timethat we have todaywith you, Allyson. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Great. LAUREN KASHUK: Thank you somuch for joining us and givingsome very wise words to ourCommunity members about–ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN:Thanks for having me. This was really great. LAUREN KASHUK:–email marketing. And just as a followup to our Community,Allyson will be around jumpingback into the Communityto answer any questions that youguys have that haven’t alreadybeen addressed. Thank you so much inadvance for doing that. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN:Oh, my pleasureLAUREN KASHUK: And if youhaven’t joined the Communityyet, please do. We are at g. co/gsbc. And again, I am Lauren Kashuk. Thank you so much for tuninginto the Google Small BusinessCommunity. We are here to helpyou get the help youneed to succeed on the web.