Some of you got to meet the folks from GoDaddy at the Expo of BlogHer '14. Today the company announces its acquisition of email marketing start-up Mad Mimi, which was founded by a jazz musiciain who wanted to reach his peeps. We talked to Steven Aldrich of GoDaddy and Gary Levitt of Mad Mimi to find out why email marketing should matter to bloggers.
BlogHer: Why is email marketing important to bloggers and other website owners?
GoDaddy: When I think about what small businesses are doing in their daily lives, they're emailing to one-on-one contacts every day. Everyone's using email. When it comes to engaging customers in a one-to-many way, surprisingly there's still a very small percentage of businesses that are doing that without using bcc. Then you can't track what's working and who is engaging with you. That is something I think we can solve well with Mad Mimi. When I think about how to grow small businesses and blogs, I realize they don't have media budgets. They need to tap into the existing customers or readers with whom they already have relationships.There are lots of ways to engage, but email is still a very successful one.
BlogHer: Will Mad Mimi be offered as an add-on or with every GoDaddy package? What will the pricing look like?
GoDaddy: We're going to do a few different things. Mad Mimi's existing service will continue for their existing customers. We're also going to sell GoDaddy/Mad Mimi email marketing to our customers and we're also going to add it to some of our existing services in the future across a number of our products.
BlogHer: GoDaddy has made other acquisitions recently. What lessons from your other acquisitions will you apply to the Mad Mimi transition? What can your customers expect in terms of continuation of experience during the transition?
GoDaddy:I came to GoDaddy through an acquisition. I was the CEO of a company that is now embedded in GoDaddy's services. We've been able to grow the customer base and tap into GoDaddy's expertise. We're applying the power of creating an integrated experience from single sign-on to a single bill and getting from one product to another and bringing the data with you. We're going to do that type of product integration with Mad Mimi. The existing customers of Mad Mimi can expect the great level of customer experience and customer care they've come to expect. Next year as we roll out an integrated product, we're sure the GoDaddy customer base will like this service that they can access through their existing customer accounts with Mad Mimi.
BlogHer: What is it about Mad Mimi's customer service that attracted you to them over another email marketing company?
GoDaddy:It's the empathy that they show for the customer. Mad Mimi has a chief culture officer. Each person gets trained for weeks when they are hired to discuss the tone to use with customers and how to treat customers properly. We at GoDaddy have made a huge investment in phone customer care. That empathy for the small business owner is what we saw with Mad Mimi. Empathy is important to all of us.
This acquisition is another piece of the strategy GoDaddy has been taking for the past two years. We are here to help small businesses be successful. Mad Mimi had the highest net provider score of any email marketing company, which leads to delighted customers. GoDaddy is investing in products and expanding the types of things we're doing to help small businesses be successful.
BlogHer: Gary, you're the founder of Mad Mimi. You started out as a jazz musician who wanted to reach his fans. That's very similar to the challenges a blogger faces. What were your goals as a musician trying to reach out when you created Mad Mimi?
Mad Mimi: I was trying to not be a busboy anymore.The most interesting thing about musician and blogger energy is that starving artist mentality. Starving artists make beautiful stuff with all their heart and soul and don't think about how much money they're going to get from it. That attitude was built into my bones. I really liked the idea of reaching a broader audience and solving a bigger problem for artists. I'm trying to fix problems, not first and foremost trying to see how much money I can make by fixing the problems.
BlogHer: What have you learned about email marketing over the course of your tenure at Mad Mimi?
Mad Mimi: Starting without a preconceived notion can be a beautiful thing. The most important thing I've learned: Simple gets more clicks. We have the data to prove it. An email with one or two paragraphs and a single link or call to action generates huge engagement. Specifically for blog traffic: If you make an email with one paragraph of 500 characters and have a link at the bottom to launch into the full post, you'll see how much traffic that actually drives to a blog, assuming that the content is good. We've seen a significant uptick to our own blog when we use this strategy. The best thing about it? It's so easy. A lot of time people consider email marketing as something that needs to be really complicated, but really email is just a springboard to your other communication channels. It should be consumed in a maximum of 45 seconds, but ultimately probably about three seconds.
BlogHer: Your blog is full of brilliant tips that help beginners understand marketing, and everyone understand writing quality. Why did you think it was important?
Mad Mimi: I think quality in everything is important. When I observed the lawyers drafting our deal, every teeny-weeny little word is so important, every comma is important. If you live by that ethos of everything being extremely important, you'll generally be a much happier, more satisfied individual with life. If every little thing on your blog has attention, you'll appeal to people thirsty for nuance and detail, people who are hoping to have everything be quality.
We've been big fans of BlogHer and the BlogHer conference for a long time. We're targeting that scene and love bloggers. I'm very happy to be able to speak with you.
More from living