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Mailchimp Using Mailchimp

That time we used our own app to promote the store!

Hero image for Issue #18: MailChimp Using MailChimp

Hi, everyone. It’s your old pal Brad. I hope Meg doesn’t put a picture of me above this first paragraph like she did for Brooke.

As you might remember, when our team started Freddie and Co., we had no idea how to run an online store. It was also our first time using email marketing for an online store. On a Netflix scale from 1–5 (whole numbers only), our expertise was a solid 1, matched only by The Cobbler.

Announcing a fresh feature or telling folks about a new partnership — got it. Staying both direct and respectful while alerting users about an accidental charge or retired plugin — it’s not always easy, but there’s a guide that can help. Explaining the difference between a “Meap” and a “Dert” and the benefits of 2% elastane? Good luck, Meg!

Fortunately, we get to try stuff out and learn on the fly and usually no one gets mad.

Freddie and Co. opened with free shipping. Then free shipping went away. Then we added free shipping back for a few days. What a whirlwind! We wanted to spread the news about the Free Shipping Reunion Tour, but it didn’t make sense to create a full campaign when the message was focused and brief. Instead, Meg used Mailchimp Snap to send this email right from her phone. There were 29 orders during the 4-day promotion and the app-made email was responsible for 14 of those, earning $240 for Lost-N-Found Youth.

Our photographer Lizzy took all sorts of pics for our latest collection, and our art director David had the great idea to run a Multivariate Test. We delivered 4 versions announcing the new collection: 2 focused on the pinsthemselves, and another 2 with people in denim wearing the pins. We printed the emails, taped them to a whiteboard, and everyone voted on which set they thought would bring the most clicks. Most of us guessed the product pics. In the end, the fashion shots won by 10%, but both led to the same number of orders.

The other day I wanted to buy some peppermint-scented Castile soap. What’s In Store is a newsletter, not a network TV show — no product placement here! But let’s say it was just what the “doctor” ordered. Anyway, it was too hot to walk across the street to Whole Foods and anyway I found a website selling the soap at an even better price. I added it to my digital shopping cart but must have gotten distracted by something more important like continually reloading Instagram. Later that night, an email came: “Hey! You forgot to buy this peppermint-scented castile soap!”

The email was right. I clicked the button, finished checkout, and 2 days later my floors were clean and ants relocated. Hmmm, could this work for Freddie and Co.? Mailchimp’s abandoned cart automation is pretty new. I had no idea how subscribers queued or if the system double checked that someone hasn’t purchased (it does). Thankfully, when he’s not climbing the ranks as a Top 500 FIFA player, TK spends his afternoons as an engineer on Mailchimp’s product team. Sometimes we make coffee together and I ask him questions about the automation system that he programs.

Eventually, TK shared all of his wisdom and we set up our very first abandoned cart transactional campaign.

So far, Freddie and Co.’s abandoned cart notice has sent 88 times and the open rate is a strong 68%. But how many completed their purchase?

That’s okay, though! Should we change the template, update the copy, maybe add in some product recommendations? We might not have a wealth of sales, but we’re collecting info, making adjustments, and finding out what works for us. And there’s a lot more to try. We used the custom-code editor to add an animated background, but are still waiting to test our first subject lines. We’re syncing data with Shopify, but what if we segmented by purchase activity? My top tip for aspiring e-commerce email marketers: don’t be afraid. With every experiment you’ll always learn something new about your customers.

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