Meg is a Marketer at MailChimp. She started writing the "What's In Store" newsletter in 2016. I have been a subscriber since her first issue "An Idea" when her boss asked her to open an online store for MailChimp. The goal was to experience first hand what it is like for their customers; small businesses like us.
I looked forward to every episode as Meg and her colleagues at MailChimp created an online store and learned through trial and error what it's like for small on line business start ups.
First My MailChimp Experience
Let me explain a little about our experience with MailChimp first and then I'll get back to Meg and her newsletter.
We use MailChimp for our monthly newsletters and special announcements. We currently use their templates and are focusing on growing our subscriber base.
MailChimp has many features that we plan to take advantage of in our business in the future as we grow. I learned about MailChimp and wrote about my experience getting started with our monthly newsletter in an early blog post, Blogs, Newsletters, MailChimp, Oh...My!
We published our first monthly newsletter in the Fall of 2015 and have learned a great deal through trial and error over the past year.
We encountered our first major "snafu" as Meg would call it with our newsletter subscriber list.
We had about 3000 customers in our online store that had subscribed to our newsletter over the years and never received one because we never published one.
Our IT Specialist uploaded this list to MailChimp for us and then we discovered after sending out our first newsletter that we should have sent out a call to re-subscribe or opt-in before hand. As a result, we had a high "bounce rate" and had to start our mailing list from scratch. We survived that initial catastrophe thanks to some help from MailChimp.
Mailchimp also came to the rescue for us when we experienced Hurricane Matthew.
We used our subscriber mailing list and social marketing to notify our customers and keep them informed about when we would be re-opening our online store. As a result, we did not have a decrease in sales in October 2016, in spite of being closed 10 days for recovery and cleanup.
You can read about our experience in my blog; 5 Things We Learned About Emergency Preparedness And Recovery For Small Business.
Back To Meg's Newsletter
I was learning to use MailChimp and write newsletters at the same time that Meg was experiencing her trials and tribulations with opening and running her online store.
I looked forward to the newsletters because I felt like I was getting to know Meg and her colleagues at MailChimp as they experienced the ups and downs of running an online business. The small moving photos included in each newsletter brought these people to life.
I could so relate to those frustrating and embarrassing experiences we encounter in small business when I read Issue 36!
The newsletters also gave me some great marketing tips and I learned more about what I like in the layout and design of a newsletter. Some examples are the Gif Files included in each issue.
Loved this Gif in Issue 8 about making business mistakes and the fear that goes along with starting something new.
Then there was Issue 27 about giving your online store a holiday makeover filled with tips for increasing gift sales.
Here is the Archive of Meg's newsletters for some Binge Reading when you need a fresh perspective about your craft or small business.
I continue to look forward to each issue. Currently, Meg is interviewing online business owners and sharing their advice, tips, and tricks some of which I can use in our business.
I learned recently that MailChimp is physically located in Atlanta, Georgia. I'll be heading there for the Pinterest Pinners Conference and Expo in April. I'd love to stop in and meet Meg and the staff at MailChimp in person.
I want to say Thank You! for their hard work helping small businesses grow and get them to show me how they make those cool little moving gif files. I'll let you know if I make it there.
Tip #1: Follow Dory's Advice; Just Keep Swimming
In August, I wrote about some of the dread I was feeling about writing a newsletter in my post,
Blogs Newsletters and Mailchimp... Oh My!
I had postponed starting a newsletter for over two years simply because I did not know where or how to begin. I finally dived in last month and started working on my first newsletter that was mailed out on October First. That is a huge step for me and our small business.
I am sharing with you, 4 tips gained from my experience with writing my first newsletter. If you are thinking of starting a newsletter or using MailChimp, you'll find some of these tips helpful. In spite of my best efforts; I made some mistakes and broken a rule or two for writing newsletters. I'm not alone; everyone does when they are beginning and some of those people give up on writing newsletters. I'm for following Dory's advice. Now that I'm in the water; I'll "Keep on Swimming". It's another adventure in Marriage with a Small Business to Raise!
Tip #2: Follow Abby's advice; Subscribe to and Read Newsletters.
I spent the last few months reading articles, books, and newsletters. I was looking for any information I could get my hands on and wrap my mind around to help me build a newsletter that people would enjoy receiving and reading. I am glad I purchased
"How to Create A Powerful Newsletter". I did subscribe to some newsletters as Abby recommended and kept a running list of my likes and dislikes as I was reading each newsletter. I'm still experimenting to determine what works for me so I will be referring back to Abby's e-book again and again in the months ahead.
Tip #3: From Me;