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I’ve worked at MailChimp for 3 years, which means when it comes time to set up my MailChimp account for Freddie and Co., I’d surely know exactly what to do, right?

Wrong.

I started out in office management, feeding the Chimps. Now I’m in marketing, handling production and inventory. I’ve had 4 different jobs, 4 different managers, and 6 different desks. But not once have I ever really dug into this app called MailChimp. I’m about as far from expert status as you can get, and I work with the people who build the thing.

Sonya, an engineer

Somewhat embarrassed by my lack of knowledge, I decide to peek into the app and discover for myself what I should prioritize as my first steps. It seems to me that before my store opens, there’s not much I can do as far as email marketing goes besides build my list, so I focus on list building tools in order to not get overwhelmed: signup forms, campaign templates, and connecting my store.

Sign-up Forms

I need to make these attractive and easy to use. But holy cow, there are so many!

I color the background blue, stick the logo on there, and make sure it looks the same everywhere. Nailed it.

Then I tell some people how great I am at MailChimp. “Okay, very good, Meg,” they say. “We’re working.” Awesome. I love compliments.

Templates

I’d like to have at least 1 — but ideally 2 or 3 — different templates. For the first, I’m keeping it simple. I got help from our art director, David, who put together a really cute way to feature the socks in the email.

I know, I know… I’m getting help again. I’ll talk more about asking for help in a later email, but for now I’ll just say this: I’m a MailChimp employee working on a MailChimp project. If Freddie and Co. fails, I still have a job. I can turn my head 30 degrees and shout to Jane, “HOW DO YOU CHANGE THE BACKGROUND OF THIS DANG THING!?” and she patiently, kindly, and helpfully replies to me for some reason. We can give away all our profits because we’re not dependent on the money the store makes. We have some advantages.

But the point of this project is to learn as much as we can and discover the pain points of building an e-commerce business — not to claim we’re experiencing the same fears and struggles that come with putting everything you have into a new business. Y’all are the real heroes. I’m just the poser who’s trying to figure out what I can and report back to my bosses. Speaking of which:

“Hey, Tom! Guess what!? I learned a thing!” -me

“Okay, Meg, good job. I knew we picked you for a reason…” -tom

Connect Your Store

Obviously, I want the store and the mailing list synced up so I can take advantage of all those features once we’re up and running.

This part is easy. Probably should have assumed so since MailChimp is always talking about “connecting your store.” I just found the e-commerce section inside my account and followed the instructions. Voila, connected! I did the same inside Shopify, so now my storefront homepage can have a newsletter signup. Bam. It’s so easy to make it easy for people to subscribe!

-meg 2

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