MailChimp announced the expansion of its cross-channel marketing capabilities on Tuesday, enabling customers to create their own Google advertisements from within the MailChimp dashboard.
MailChimp is making it easier for customers to use Google Ads, incorporating the retargeting ads into the MailChimp user interface. It’s a self-service platform, and MailChimp provides educational material about Google ads embedded into the workflow for inexperienced marketers.
Additional product features include comprehensive reporting, including revenue, first-time buyers, products sold, average order amount, and engagement metrics like impressions and clicks.
There is no additional cost for MailChimp to place the ad, and customers pay the same price that they would if they worked directly through Google. Google Remarketing Ads will be rolling out across the next week, and will be generally available to all MailChimp customers by October 2.
The launch of MailChimp’s new feature could not come at a better time for small business owners gearing up for the busy holiday season.
“Right now is when holiday marketing really starts to heat up,” says John Foreman, vice president of product management at MailChimp. “This is the time when entrepreneurs get super busy, so they really need their marketing to be on autopilot. It’s about to be a mad house for the holidays.”
MailChimp was founded in 2001 as an email marketing company, but in recent years has grown its repertoire of services beyond the email channel. Foreman says MailChimp started in email because it was, and remains, a valuable tool for small to medium-sized business owners.
He says MailChimp’s goal is to “democratize cross-channel technology” for small businesses. These entrepreneurs, he says, do not have a lot of time or resources for marketing.
“Their budget is their own checkbook,” says Foreman.
Remarketing ads have a great return on ad spend according to Foreman, but can be complex and difficult to set-up for inexperienced marketers. SMBs might not know how the technology works, but they see larger brands doing it and want to incorporate it into their own campaigns.
Ecommerce sellers have an additional tool that automatically turns the retailer’s top-selling products into a responsive digital ad. Product photography displayed in MailChimp-connected storefronts, like Shopify, can be automatically repurposed into Google Ads.
“We very much view this as a marketing automation tool, just like our email automation functionality,” says Foreman, describing how the tool provides snapshots of what the ads will look like across devices and platforms.
“There’s a million different types of formats and possible banner sizes, so we do all of that for you,” says Foreman.
Foreman says MailChimp plans to continue incorporating new cross-channel marketing solutions into its platform, but that small business will always be at the heart of what they do. The company recently added Instagram and Facebook ads to its platform as well.
“Email is the center of a customer profile,” says Foreman. “We found that the most effective ads on Instagram and Facebook are the ones targeting email addresses you already have.”
He says that layering remarketing ads on top of other efforts, like email marketing, helps move customers down the funnel and cultivate deeper relationships. Email is also an incredibly effective tool when searching for lookalike audiences, as it is an online identifier that bridges channels.
Foreman confirms that retargeting ads was something customers had been asking for, and that beta tests have showed high returns.
Although MailChimp was unable to name any beta customers, the company did sat that "one customer saw 800% return on ad spend when beta testing MailChimp's Google remarketing ads product." That beta customer spent $1 a day for a month, and generated $570.