Getting Started with Email Marketing

LAUREN KASHUK: Welcome to
the Google Small BusinessCommunity. I’m Lauren Kashuk, and
today, we are discussingthe power of email marketing. Today, we have
MailChimp, and we haveAllyson Van Houten who is a
Brand Manager at MailChimp. Welcome, Allyson. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Thank you. Thanks for having me. LAUREN KASHUK: So why don’t you
tell us a little bit about whatyou do at MailChimp. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN:
Yeah, so I workin the marketing department. I work a lot with our
retail and e-commerce usersdeveloping marketing
tools, talking to themabout how their businesses
work, and seeing them at events. I also work with our partners
like Google and Twitterand Facebook to develop
great new productsand content for
our business users. LAUREN KASHUK: All
right, so before wedive into the world
of email marketing,we have an initiation
question that we ask everyonewho is in the Community. Are you ready?ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Yep. LAUREN KASHUK: The
question is if youcould have a Hangout with anyone
living 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 wonderful
speaking voiceand tells really
inventive stories. So I’d love just
to have him justsit and talk to me for a while. LAUREN KASHUK: So if you
were hanging out with Neil,what’s the most embarrassing
thing 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 shift
gears and talk a little bitabout email marketing. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Great. LAUREN KASHUK: So
to start out, wehave
from the Communityand he wants to know what a
good first step is to start. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: So
the very first thingthat you’re going
to want to do isto start collecting
people, your subscribers. You can do that a lot
of different ways,whether it’s at a
retail location,whether it’s via your
social media channels. But start building that
list because email marketingis a permission-based
marketing form,and so you have to have
people to send the message to,and they have to want
to receive it from you. And the second thing is just
to think about the contentthat you’re going to want
to be sending to folks. What’s new in your business?What new products do you have?Are you having events?Just think about general
things that you’re doing,and as people sign up, know
that they want to hear that. LAUREN KASHUK: So
once you’re thinkingabout kind of maybe what
you could talk about,why should you even
explore email marketingif, let’s say, you are
already on social media?ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. So, email marketing
is a really great wayto have a direct connection
with your customersand your subscribers. It’s a marketing form
that’s not tied to a feed. You know that your
email is goingto get into somebody’s
inbox, and they’regoing to have time to
sit and process it. You can send a message that’s
longer than 144 characters. You can send a lot of images. You have a lot more
flexibility with whatyou can send to folks. LAUREN KASHUK: So speaking about
the flexibility, especiallyas compared to social media,
how can our businessesboth be doing email marketing
and also on social mediamake them kind of work
harmoniously together?ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Mhmm. So, social media is a fantastic
way to build your audience. It’s a really great
way to kind ofhave quick interactions with
folks, ask fast questions. Some folks use it
as customer service. And when you have that fan
base already transitioning themto your email marketing program
is really super powerful. Yeah. Yeah. LAUREN KASHUK: So let’s go
in a little bit differentof a direction. Maybe I’m thinking
about email marketing,and I don’t know where to start. But are there any
situation really whenI should be just
flat out avoidingemail marketing all together?ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. I mean there’s a couple. One is when you have
kind of a direct emailthat you need to
send to a person. So maybe they have a
specific question for you. Maybe they had some issues
with a product for some reason,and they need to follow up. That’s something that you need
to either send them a call,send them a personal
email and not,you know– if you have
five or six people,don’t lump them all
together and send thema campaign or newsletter
about what’s going on. The other time is when
you are having an eventand you need to send a really
fast, immediate message. Say the location changes,
or you need peopleto kind of knock
on the door twiceto get in, sending text
messages is really useful. And we actually
have a tool calledGather that allows
people to sign upto receive text
messages to eventsso they can get very
fast, immediate updates. LAUREN KASHUK: Customer
service and eventsare two areas you’re
saying not so great whenit comes to email marketing. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. Day of events when
people need to– it’sreally going to
affect how they’regoing to get there or
experience what you’re doing,send them or call
them with a message. LAUREN KASHUK: So let’s speak
a little bit about– youmentioned this app. What other apps or tools
are there for our businessesto use when they’re
thinking about exploringthe world of email marketing?ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN:
There’s a lot. I think if you’re
just getting started,we have a great app
called Chimpadeedoo. And what that does
is that it allowsyou to use your iPad
or any mobile deviceto collect emails in
a physical location. So if you have a retail
store, or if you’redoing a trade show
or a craft fair,that’s a really great
one to get started with. We also work really
well with Google Apps. So if you’re collecting names in
a spreadsheet in Google Drive,that’s a really great tool. It’s easy, and it’s free. And there are a lot of
other email marketingcompanies out there
that have various tools,but those are my favorite. LAUREN KASHUK: We
have Chimpadeedoo,we have Google Apps, and–ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Gather. LAUREN KASHUK: Gather. All right, so some awesome
tools for all of our Communitymembers to use when they’re
thinking about exploringemail marketing. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Yep. LAUREN KASHUK: So let’s talk
a little bit about what you’veobserved are some
common mistakesthat lots of
businesses make whenit comes to email marketing. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. The first one would be waiting
too long to send to your list. So, an email address
is really onlyvalid for about 6 to 8 months. After that long, people will
unsubscribe– well they’llforget that they signed
up for your list,and they’ll maybe unsubscribe
or mark you as spam. They might leave that
email address entirely. So I would say– I mean 6 to 8
months is the latest that youshould wait. I would say four months is a
really good spot to kind of aimfor. But as soon as you start
collecting those names,you can start sending to them. The other common
mistake is to nottest your emails before you
send them to your whole list. So test those emails, and
send them to yourself. Send them to your colleagues. Make sure all the
links are working. Make sure you’ve updated all
the content in the right places,you’ve got the right
images in there. And send that a few
times if you’re justgetting started to
make sure you’rereally comfortable
with that contentbefore you send it
to your whole list. LAUREN KASHUK: Waiting four
months or 6 to 8 months,but we say four months
is really the prime timebefore you need to start
sending out another emailto your customer base. Awesome. Well we also are well aware
that it’s the holiday season. We’re approaching the
holidays pretty fast,and we’ve all seen
your holiday tip guide. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Thank you. LAUREN KASHUK: So maybe
if you can kind of dive infor our Community and talk
a little bit about someof those tips and how they
can affect, positively, emailmarketing for a community. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Yeah,
so I would say the first oneis to set up an
editorial calendar. Those are really great for the
holidays but also really goodyear round. That calendar helps
you make sure you’regetting all the
messages that youwant to make sure you get in
front of your subscribers. And it’s helping you plan
ahead for how long it’sgoing to take you
to write that emailand test it before it absolutely
has to go out the door. Another one is if you have
different store opening hours,or if you have order
by dates to get thereby a specific holiday,
whatever that might be,let your subscribers
now when that is. Give them a little
time to prepareso that you don’t have a lot
of 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 yourself
a lot of time. Another tip in there is
to automate where you can. So you can automate a handful
of messages to go out,maybe letting people know
where your locations arewhen they sign up and
anything else thatwould be helpful
that’s going to staythe same for the next few weeks. LAUREN KASHUK:
Automate and prepare–it seems to be a key
to success for allof our businesses
over the holidays. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Yeah. And don’t over-automate. Don’t try to make everything
an automated message. Set up one or two. Don’t– again– don’t get
like super complex in whatyou’re sending, just what’s a
couple of things that would bereally helpful that you don’t
have to send out all the time. LAUREN KASHUK:
And what would yourecommend should be the ratio
between what you’re sendingthat’s automated
versus what you’rekind of creating for one time?ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN:
So, automated messagingis really great when it’s going
to be the same message that youwant everybody to see
over and over and over. So say like I signed up
for your list two weeks agoand you sign up tomorrow,
what’s the same thing both of usneed to know?One really great
automated messageis the location of your store
and what your store hours are. And so setting that message up
to send as soon as I sign up,it’s really powerful. LAUREN KASHUK: Fantastic. Well we have some live questions
now here from the Community. The first is from
He wantsto know if you can talk
about how your productMailChimp addresses
CASL complianceand what we need to
know about this feature. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Yeah, so for
those of you that don’t know,CASL is the Canadian
anti-spam law. It’s Canada’s laws for
subscriber protection. And what that law
has been– it’sbeen adjusted and put in
place about this past July–is that you need to have
permission to send to somebody,which for MailChimp–
what we have set in placeis called the double opt-in. So, when a subscriber goes
to sign up for your list,they enter their email
and they say sign me up. And then they get an
email to their inboxthat says please confirm that
you’re actually signing upfor this list. Any of our users that have that
in place are CASL compliant,but you really
should double checkwith your legal
representative to make surethat– double check
and make sure. And if you’re sending any email
to any Canadian residents,you do need to be compliant. We have quite a few
resources on our websitethat explain in a little more
detail what CASL is and helpsyou have some tips on where
to get started getting readyfor it. LAUREN KASHUK: And can you
let our Community know aboutwhere they can find
those resources,what that website is. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN:
Yeah, it’s actuallyif you visit mailchimp. com
and search CASL,all those resources will
pop right up for you. LAUREN KASHUK: And go
ahead and spell it for us. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: C-A-S-L. LAUREN KASHUK: –S-L. Sounds
like 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 question
here from who wants to know
what are the best waysto introduce a new product
using email marketing. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Oh,
the best way to do that?I mean, product images
are really great. There’s a lot of ways that you
can take really great images. There’s a lot of
resources online. But if you have a
smartphone, you probablyhave a really good camera
at your fingertips. People really want to see what
they’re about to buy, so showit to them. Show them a couple
different views. If it’s a product that
somebody is going to wear,maybe show it on a person. And try a couple different
emails showing different thingsand see how people react to it. LAUREN KASHUK: We have another
question here from Neil. “How do you get readers to
click on calls to action?”ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: So we have
a really cool email designguide that talks about
design principlesspecifically for
email marketing. But doing things like
creating buttons,making your call to action
look different from the restof your body copy– those
are a couple ways justto visually make sure
people are seeing it,and make sure the
language is really clear. So if you want somebody to
click here to buy a product,tell them click here. Don’t kind of hide the
link within your body textso that it’s really
hard to find. LAUREN KASHUK: And
that guide, wherecan our Community find that
guide 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’re
checking out our holiday tipsguide, it’s also
linked to in there. LAUREN KASHUK: Fantastic. Another free resource
brought to us from MailChimp. And we have another question
here from Sue. “What does automate mean when
it comes to email marketing?”Great question, Billy. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: That’s
a really good question. So automate means
that you’re setting upa series of conditions. So, I’m subscribing to this
list– that’s your condition. And when I meet
those conditions,an email is going to send to
me that you’ve already written,you’ve already
designed, and it’s justgoing to go out every time
somebody hits those conditions. So, you’re setting it
up once, and it’s justgoing to keep sending until
you change the contentor you put it on pause. LAUREN KASHUK: And when
you’re automating an email,you can choose different
settings, right?ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Mhmm. Yeah, we have– MailChimp
specifically hasa huge set of different
settings that you can choose. We also have some
pre-built recipesthat if you don’t
really know whatyou’re doing with
automation yet and you’rea little unsure
of where to start,we’ve already figured
that out for youand seen what are the most
common uses of automated emailmarketing and set it up. So you just have to input your
content and choose your list. LAUREN KASHUK: Recipes
aren’t commonly a wordthat you hear when you’re
speaking about email marketing,but you have kind of pre-decided
different ways for businessesto look at ways that they
can explore automating. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN:
Yeah, we found–I mean automation can be
really big and really scary,and there’s a lot of ways
that you can mess that up. So it’s hard for people
to get started with it. So what we did is we talked
to a lot of customers. We saw what’s most
useful for them,and so we pre-built
some of that stuff. You can still go totally
custom if you want,if that’s what’s going
to work best for you,but we set a few
things up already. So we took some of the
thinking and decision makingand made it simpler. LAUREN KASHUK: We have another
question here from Neil. Thank you for the
questions, Neil. Best practices for keeping all
of your email lists up to date?ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: So, if
you’re using an email serviceprovider like MailChimp,
we’ll be doing that for you. So keeping it up
to date in my mindmeans making sure your
unsubscribes are noton that list. They’re not getting
those messages again. New subscribers are
automatically getting added. So that’s one of
the big benefitsof using an email
service provideras opposed to sending everything
out through your personal inboxis that we’ll handle all
that list management for you. LAUREN KASHUK: Another
question that kind ofis a follow up from Neil. How do you keep a database
integrated with MailChimp?ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: There
is a lot of ways to do that. It kind of depends on
what your database is. So, we have an
integrations directory,which is about 600
different platformsthat we integrate
with with steps on howto set that integration up. So what you want to
do is go to– it’sat connect. mailchimp. com. Search for what
your database is. If we have it, there will
be instructions thereon how to set it up. And so you can get
that informationgoing back and forth. LAUREN KASHUK: Fantastic. Well, that actually
is all of the timethat we have today
with you, Allyson. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN: Great. LAUREN KASHUK: Thank you so
much for joining us and givingsome very wise words to our
Community members about–ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN:
Thanks for having me. This was really great. LAUREN KASHUK:
–email marketing. And just as a follow
up to our Community,Allyson will be around jumping
back into the Communityto answer any questions that you
guys have that haven’t alreadybeen addressed. Thank you so much in
advance for doing that. ALLYSON VAN HOUTEN:
Oh, my pleasureLAUREN KASHUK: And if you
haven’t joined the Communityyet, please do. We are at g. co/gsbc. And again, I am Lauren Kashuk. Thank you so much for tuning
into the Google Small BusinessCommunity. We are here to help
you get the help youneed to succeed on the web.