Bharat’s Babies Favorite Feature Combo

How the indie publishing house increased sales using their thumbs.

Hero image for Issue #98: Featuring Bharat Babies

For indie publishing house Bharat Babies, the goal is simple: produce “diverse kids literature for a diverse world.” Since 2014, the Boston-based company has worked to create books, magazines, and digital media for toddlers through elementary school students, telling stories of Indian and South Asian heritage. For What’s in Store, we caught up with Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer Megan Boshuyzen and learned how her team uses the Mailchimp mobile app to handle marketing on the go.

It all started with a baby shower. In the spring of 2013, Bharat Babies Founder and CEO Sailaja Joshi was planning her “library”-themed party, and was on the hunt to find books about Indian culture that she could share with her newborn daughter. Instead, what she saw in the marketplace was a lack of diversity. The books that did talk about India were, in her words, “developmentally inappropriate, culturally inaccurate or, worse, culturally insensitive.”

According to industry data collected by publisher Lee & Low and others, roughly 80% of the teams producing children’s books worldwide—authors and illustrators, editors, execs, marketers, and reviewers—are white. To date, with some bootstrap funding, Bharat Babies have physically printed and published 10 books across 4 product categories, with diverse titles such as Let’s Celebrate DiwaliAmal’s Ramadan, and Ganesh and the Little Mouse.

One way the team stays in contact with and targets those “U.S. parents hoping to raise global citizens” is through their Bharat Babies Book Club. And that club is assisted by a combo of Mailchimp features.

“We are in there every day sending out emails, integrating into our Shopify system so our customers can get those personalized product recommendations, reminding them when they leave something out of the cart, and then we take that information and analyze it so we can reach them in an even better way,” Megan says.

The staff at Bharat Babies, along with founders Sailaja, Megan, and SriVani Ganti, is a collection of editors, authors, and illustrators. From top to bottom, everyone has a full-time job. Juggling 2 gigs can make staying on top of their marketing campaigns tricky, but thanks to Mailchimp’s mobile app, production doesn’t take a hit.

“It’s easy to get into and for me to shoot off a test to my other 2 co-founders once I create an email,” Megan says. She’ll often start building a campaign on her desktop and finish it on the phone. “I can go in and check on analytics to see how a recent campaign is doing, and I can also start creating those emails on the go.”

“Since we’ve been using the MC mobile app, we’ve been able to attribute a larger percentage of sales to email marketing,” Megan says. The mobile app also gives her more opportunities in the day to communicate with the staff.

“Being able to look at reporting on the go means less time looking at my computer,” Megan says. “It allows me to work on other things like reading manuscripts or talking to illustrators or typesetting a book.”

And without those books, there would be no Bharat Babies.