How MailChimp achieved big numbers with a unique content marketing strategy
In 2009, MailChimp went from a paid email marketing service to a free one, with a customer base of 85,000 users. The next year, the customer base grew 5-fold, reaching a number of 450,000 users.
In spite of its success, MailChimp didn’t stop improving its services. Therefore, in 2011, they hired data scientist John Foreman, in order to better understand clients’ needs. Their final wishes were to create a better user experience by knowing their clients. Many of us think data is the solution to all the problems a company might have. In reality, if you do not know what to do with it, you should not be expecting to obtain impressive results. One of the things MailChimp did very well was to help its customers through the information gathered. And this is where their content marketing strategy kicked in.
MailChimp’s content marketing strategy
MailChimp knows how to talk to their prospects and clients. Even though all of them are experts on something, they choose not to be bossy. Readers can easily notice a difference between a “must” and a suggestion. The company encourages their employees to share knowledge on MailChimp’s blog or on other blogs. In their articles you will find an informal tone of voice. The thing we appreciate the most is that they adapt their content to every category of visitors. And more important than this, the tone of voice adapts to users’ feelings.
For example, on your first time on MailChimp , they ask you to spend some time on this site http://voiceandtone.com in order to get familiar with their services. This means they have targeted content for each category of visitors. Moreover, they anticipate questions that users might ask and have all the answers on their website and their blog. This is how they save resources.Something visitors will never forget is how you made them feel. And MailChimp does that through content. It offers so many types of information so that everyone can find useful stuff. Not to mention that users who find what they are looking for feel like the blog is written especially for them. Good vibes do not come only from great content, but from knowing what to offer to readers and how they would like to be treated.
Taking a look at their style guide, it is impossible to ignore how they structure the information. Besides that, we’ve noticed huge focus on clarity, complexity and human contact. When it comes to content, they produce and publish many types, such as:
Blog posts; informative and written with one purpose: to teach customers something new. As MailChimp say on their website, they are doing this to educate their loyal users, and to show them that they love what they do.
Guides use more information than what you find on blog posts. It must be clear because people are looking for exact answers. These guides also describe how to use MailChimp on a high level, explain new features to different categories of users and so on. They do that to educate users, make them more self-sufficient, and answer questions they don’t know they have.
Reports include specific information about a certain topic related to email (for example, emails on Mobile Devices). They don’t even mention MailChimp, given that the company writes reports to share knowledge with people who are interested in their industry.
MailChimp at Work series is the company’s way to brag about their users. They make videos to share how their clients – people or companies – use their product. This is a good strategy to show potential clients how MailChimp can help their business grow.
Case studies describe how clients use a particular MailChimp feature. This way, they can choose what fits their business best.
Knowledge base articles have a very precise purpose: to educate users, answer specific questions and quickly solve urgent problems. That`s why these article are pretty short and extremely clear.
The public website explains potential customers why they should use MailChimp. Also, all the materials we’ve talked about are there: articles, case studies, reports, guides etc. Also, you can log in to their app from there.
Landing pages are the best proof that MailChimp targets its customers to come up to the offer which fits their interests. They are not linked to the website, but to specific informative materials. For example, “MailChimp for Musicians” is a landing page that explains why musicians use MailChimp, how they are using it etc.
Email newsletters comprise photos, stories, experiments, links, announcements for people who want more information about MailChimp. The main goal is to inform people about the company.
Social Media. MailChimp uses Facebook and Twitter as the main social channels. Their messages are conversational and informative. They also have a Twitter account for those moments when server issues appear. So, if the users have problems with the app, they know there`s a place where they can talk about it and ask for solutions.
Content marketing, the ultimate solution
Even if email marketing seems like an easy way to connect with an audience, not everyone knows how to get the best out of it. This fact explains MailChimp`s marketing strategy. Marketing shouldn’t be about being pushy, or just about the product, but about your clients’ needs. Covering best practices for sending frequency, content marketing and copy tricks, the platform engaged a big number of people who were looking for exactly that kind of information.
Businesses are different, and so is the information needed. That is why John Foreman attempted to find what types of people would visit their blog. He could figure out who was a beginner and who was a pro by keeping track of the registered clicks during their navigation through MailChimp.
Everyone can post something on a blog. But if that they don’t know what they want to transmit and obtain from this whole marketing effort, their work is useless. Besides that, there are other things business owners must pay attention to: publishing frequency, type of content needed, what the audience is, what the target wants, appropriate tone of voice, appropriate social channels, potential customers’ behaviours etc.
Some facts: MailChimp placed their client first and created their marketing strategy around them. If you want to see some numbers, you can find them here. But more important than numbers is the fact that MailChimp grew so massively because they realised how important it is to have grateful clients who come back to the website because they need you.
Do you have some content marketing experiences you want to share? If you do, let`s meet in the comments!