Jocelyn K. Glei knows creative productivity. The LA-based writer and consultant has literally written the book about avoiding distraction, tackling important work, and building a meaningful career. Yet, even she had put off some key upgrades to her one-year-old newsletter. “I knew there were so many things that I could be doing to optimize my list,” says Jocelyn, whose next book, Unsubscribe: How to kill email anxiety, avoid distractions, and get real work done, will be available in October. And no, the irony of that title is not lost on someone who writes a weekly email and would very much like you to subscribe.
Before she started the course, Jocelyn was frustrated that her newsletter images didn’t show up for Gmail users. After taking the first Chimp Essentials Mailchimp video lesson, she realized that she had verified, but not authenticated, her web domain. Making that one simple change fixed the missing-image problem for good.
Next, she tackled merge tags and data tracking. “Now I understand exactly which pages people are signing up to my newsletter from,” says Jocelyn, who learned that a high proportion of subscribers joined after reading one particular blog post. Knowing that post was driving sign-ups compelled Jocelyn to step back and think strategically. She had been meaning to post more consistently. Now, she had hard evidence to back up that decision. “It was very specific data that motivated me to say, ‘okay, I need to be doing this more regularly,’” says Jocelyn.
With her mailing list momentum growing, Jocelyn pinned a Twitter card, re-wrote her on-boarding copy, and added a welcome letter that highlights her most popular content. Some of these tasks had been on her to-do list, while others were new ideas that have delivered good results. “Chimp Essentials provides a very straightforward, end-to-end walk-through of everything you need to know,” says Jocelyn. “If you were resourceful, you could dig up most of this information, but it would be exhausting. The course makes it super easy and super accessible.”
Her email list is still in the toddler stage and she has a couple course modules still to go, so Jocelyn can’t say she’s grown her list by 5,000% or earned enough money for a Caribbean book tour. But, going deep into her newsletter has been invaluable. “Understanding how and why my list is growing,” says Jocelyn, “and clarifying the data behind sign-ups has been really powerful.”
Why does that sign-up data matter? After leaving her position as editor-in-chief and director of Behance’s 99U, Jocelyn needed to grow her personal audience. She had gone solo to write more books and consult on everything from editorial brands to conference building. “Our focus is so scattered and most of us are all over the place,” says Jocelyn, “but one of the few places you can potentially get someone’s full attention is in their email.” Jocelyn’s newsletter lets her share new projects and engage directly with her very own “merry band of neurotic creatives.”
Habits have changed. Content consumption has shifted. Few people visit a bookmarked list of websites anymore. That’s why email is important – and mastering your Mailchimp list can trigger a series of positive changes. For Jocelyn, taking Chimp Essentials is “unbelievably worth it.” And yes, that’s a direct quote. “I’m learning how to optimize my email list in a way that’s going to help it grow much faster,” says Jocelyn. “There isn’t anything I could do that would be better for my business.”