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How to Create Pinterest Newsletters with Mailchimp

How to Easily Create Pinterest Newsletters with Mailchimp by www.MCNGmarketing.com

UPDATE: Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my page. Unfortunately the advice that you see on this page is no longer valid, as it seems that MailChimp has discontinued their Pinterest Chimplet tool and so the following method does not work now. 

Welcome back to MCNG’s blog, if it’s your first time here then you’re going to love reading this because I have something awesome to share with you. Not only for Pinterest users, but users who are into MailChimp. I’m going to show you how to easily integrate pins from a specific board with your newsletter.

I’m not going to lie, this is not perfect solution, but it’s a beautiful solution for people who are looking to promote their Pinterest pins in a highly visual fashion to their newsletter subscribers and hoping to get more repins.

So without further ado, let’s talk about how to create a Pinterest newsletter with Mailchimp.

How to Integrate Pinterest with Mailchimp (Fast, Easy and Lazy)

1) To integrate Pinterest with Mailchimp visit http://pinterest.chimplets.com/

How to Integrate Mailchimp with Pinterest by www.MCNGmarketing.com

2) Put in your Pinterest username.

Choose the board in which you want to feature your most recent pins from. If you don’t choose a board, the tool will just take your most recent pins in general.

3) Choose the style that you want for your Mailchimp newsletter campaign.

If you’re planning on doing it as one time thing, or something you’re going to do every few weeks then choose classic or mobile. The classic version will look more like a Pinterest feed where pictures are side by side, while the mobile version will be a vertical version that is just one pin after the next.

I pulled the latest pins that was from Francisco Rosales’ Pinterest Board, SocialMouths. This is what the mobile version looks like on my Android.

The “chimplet” pulled a total of 21 of Francisco’s latest pins to put onto the Pinterest feed, and so it was a lot of scrolling.

How to Integrate Mailchimp with Pinterest by www.MCNGmarketing.com

For these two versions, Pin it buttons are included with each accompanying visual. When people click on Pin it buttons they’ll load up a pop screen asking you to log in. After logging in you will be able to choose which board to pin the visual on.

The other option is to actually auto generate Pinterest type newsletters and choose and RSS Feed on a regular basis using the RSS feed options. What this will do is that it will auto generate e-mails based on your latest pins from the account or board. This way you can generate a newsletter that can be sent out every day, every week or every month.

The downside of using the RSS feed is that the pins inside the e-mail don’t have an actual Pin it button, so readers won’t be able to pin directly from within the e-mail.

How to Customize Your Pinterest Integration with Mailchimp

The above instructions were designed to get you warmed up. I highly suggest that you play around with the basics of integrating Pinterest with Mailchimp to get the hang of things. Once you’ve got the hang of things then you’ll want to move on to customizing your e-mail to help you drive even more traffic to your website.

Once you’ve set up a Pinterest Mailchimp newsletter, Mailchimp will hold it as a campaign that will be on hold. This is where you’ll be able to make some adjustments to the one time send offs.

Question: I don’t want so many pins showing up for the newsletter?

Answer: The good news is that when you go in and edit the newsletter where the pins are located, you’re able to take out the pins that you don’t want simply by highlighting the pin, the Pin it button, and the text and pushing backspace to delete the whole area.

What will happen is that pins will naturally move up from that point.

Question: Can I move the order of the pins around in the Mailchimp Newsletter?

Answer: Technically…yes. But it’s a lot of hassle. You can actually move each element, meaning that the visual, the Pin it button associated with the pin, the description, and the date element, but they must all be moved separately into the same area. I’ve tried moving one and it was a lot of work. Re arranging 5 of them would be a nightmare.

Question: Do the pins have to link back to the Pinterest pin or account, or can I customize it to a web address?

If you have a bit of time, you can actually get people to click on the pin inside the e-mail and have it go directly back to your site instead of the pin’s unique url. To do this, go into the edit section under “Design” and then when you click on the pin a menu will show up where you’ll be able to customize the web address

How to Integrate Mailchimp with Pinterest by www.MCNGMarketing.com

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How to Integrate Pinterest with Mailchimp by www.MCNGmarketing.com

Question: Can I change the description in the pins in the e-mail?

Answer: You can change the descriptions to whatever you like in the e-mail. But once someone pushes the Pin it button, it will pop up the original description of the pin that was used.

Question: Can I change the design of the template?

Answer: You can change some elements of the template design but unfortunately you won’t be able to make it nice and fancy to completely match your brand. :(

That’s how you can start a newsletter just using your pins from Pinterest. If you really enjoy using this feature, you may want to start a board on your Pinterest account that’s titled Newsletter or start a newsletter that features your most repinned products from your Pinterest account.

So will you be testing out this method of sending newsletters? Feel free to leave a comment.

NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT:

I’m happy to announce that I will be assisting Cynthia Sanchez of Oh So Pinteresting with her upcoming Pinterest for Business Workshop Series. This is an amazing live online workshop series, where you will have access to two Pinterest experts. Something that has never been done before! The course is half sold already and starts January 29th.

If you’re looking to get your Pinterest marketing to the next level then check out Pinterest for Business Workshop Series.

Pinterest Workshop, starting January 29th, 2014 by Cynthia Sanchez and Vincent Ng.

Enjoy this Story? Get More Like it On Pinterest

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Risk Analysis for Social Media Marketing

Most Social Media Blunders can be Avoided

With the recent events that have taken place across the East Coast with Hurricane Sandy, a few large companies such as American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, Gap and even President’s Choice had used some insensitive online marketing strategies online to help promote sales. You can read more about the details of what was written from the Financial Post.


I have to admit I’m pretty amazed at how these large companies can make light of such a situation where people are dying and struggling without power. Would these companies have done the same type of promotion with 9/11? “Stuck at home because of 9/11? Then shop with us. Type in coupon Terror 9/11.”

I would imagine that a person and company would have to be pretty damn stupid to try to even go down that road with 9/11, and yet they did it for Hurricane Sandy. It’s moments like these that make me want to bang my head against the wall because it’s a few bad apples like these that make the industry sour.

There is actually a simple formula for businesses doing marketing that will prevent you and your company ending up with such a PR nightmare. And this isn’t just for social media. It should be for every type of marketing campaign that you hold for your business.

1) What’s the Worst that Can Happen?

This is an important question to ask. If you post this on social media, or in any marketing strategy, what is the worst that can possibly happen? While marketing encourages you to be on the edge, no marketing should be on the edge for the sake of it. Being on the edge needs to incorporate strategy. Calvin Klein did an ad that featured Brooke Shields at 15 that was extremely risque.

The marketers knew very well that the worst that was going to happen was that they were going to get an uproar from parents and those concerned with the exploitation of teenagers. They knew they were going to get bad press. But they anticipated it, and went with it anyway, because they weren’t aiming at those angry parents. They were aiming for their children who wanted to be “cool” and different from the parents.

However, when you start a sale that revolves around Hurricane Sandy, and you decide to send an insensitive tweet referring to it, what is the worst that can happen with that tweet? Hmmm….hundreds of thousands of people reading up on it over the internet and on newspapers not mention the tweeps that will jump on the opportunity to publicly yell at you.

Now the companies have to spend time and money to get the PR people to fix and analyze the situation. And with all the negative publicity they got, was it worth getting the extra sales (if any)? I would imagine not even close. I’m sure there are customers that are in the East Coast area that probably won’t be shopping with those retailers for a while.

Social Media Marketers Need To think In Terms of Risks and Expected Value

Analyzing risks is vital in social media marketing. Too many social media marketers don’t think in terms of risks and expected value. If a tweet such as the PC one above is seen by the public, what risks does it pose to my company? How does this affect potential sales, and what would the costs be to recover from this type of fiasco?

From a straight numbers point of view, you must ask, will taking this action actually help increase sales to the point that it outweighs the costs to offset the risk that are taken? If not, then you have a losing strategy. Period.

If the action you take has the potential to increase sales, and the risks associated with this marketing strategy are low, then this strategy should be taken. There are many creative concepts that are low risk and high reward. These include the Old Spice campaigns and the original Axe commercials. (in the case of Axe, their risks were quite interesting, they actually ended up selling their product too well to the right target audience that it soon was associated as a geek brand, and they later had to make some slight changes to their marketing tactics.)

Here’s the Basic Matrix:

High Risk, Low Reward – Don’t even think about it about executing that tweet, or marketing strategy.

High Risk, High Reward – Better fit your brand strategy, and it better not offend the target market you’re aiming for. But be prepared offend other groups. Remember that the sales and profits should outweigh the costs of risk involved.

Low Risk, Low Reward- These are called boring, boring marketing messages. Often require a lot of repetition to stick out and remain top of mind to customers and clients.

Low Risk , High Reward- This is where true creative marketing comes in, and this is why marketing agencies get paid the big bucks, it’s also where it’s most time consuming.

Look at the Matrix:

If your company plans on scheduling e-mails or social media messages that have the potential for conflict, just look at the matrix and ask where this message fits. And is the company prepared to deal with the consquences.

Restaurant E-Mail Marketing – How to do it Right

Spam Messages

Photo Courtesy of Bloomberg Business Week

I know what you’re thinking, we’re constantly being flooded by e-mails, and we have so many these days, is e-mail marketing still worth the time and effort?

Yes it is. I don’t think that e-mail is going to die any time soon. I think restaurants need to be smart about getting people to sign up for their e-mail, and they need to be careful of the frequency. There are many best practices when it comes to e-mail marketing for restaurants and the great thing is that that it doesn’t need to cost you an arm and a leg. Here’s a guideline on e-mail marketing best practices for your restaurant’s newsletter.

Know Your Restaurant’s Brand

1) Ensure that you know what your restaurant’s brand is. Sometimes I feel that restaurants sign up for newsletter providers, and then end up using a generic template and send it off to people in an e-mail that doesn’t represent the restaurant, or remind people of the restaurant at all. Decide on your colours, the feel of it, and ensure that if your restaurant is using a logo, or has a slogan, that they’re incorporated into the newsletter.

Entice Your Website Visitors to Sign Up

2) Once you feel that you have the design and that it matches well with your brand, you need to decide how you want to entice people to sign up for it. People may come by your website and look at it, and then leave, and may come to your restaurant. But you still want to be able to keep in contact with your customers and potential customers after they’ve visited your website.

This is why when you decide to use a newsletter provider such as Mail Chimp (which I personally advise since it’s great for small restaurants and businesses) you want to be able to create an incentive for web visitors to sign up. Leaving it blank, and expecting people to sign up isn’t an effective marketing strategy.

Depending on your restaurant’s brand your incentives will vary. If your restaurant is not a discounting brand, then you may get people to sign up by letting them know about exclusive events that are only available to your newsletter readers. If your restaurant is okay to give coupons, then you might offer a free dessert when your visitor signs up.

Don’t give some cheesy offer like, you get a cap when you bring this in. No one cares! Make the offer enticing to a customer. It doesn’t need to be grand, it just needs to be enticing.

Make it Visible

3) Once you’ve put the newsletter sign up should always be displayed where it’s visible for web visitors to see. Putting your sign up form on the very bottom where people have to scroll down, and then have it in a small font is a terrible idea. Make it nice and visible, and on the landing page of your website. Remember to put down a compelling reason why people should join your newsletter. A call to action can do a lot to convert visitors into actual subscribers.

Don’t Add People Without Permission

4) Please don’t add people onto your mailing list that have not asked to be on there. I don’t know why some business people do this in this day and age. It is not okay to put subscribers onto your e-mail list just because they gave you their business card. It is rude, and you will upset people. And it is technically against the law. Spamming people is not allowed, period.

Set Up Automatic Auto Response

5) Set up an automatic e-mail to your subscribers. E-mail allows you to create auto responders, which means that once someone has signed up they will receive an e-mail to double check they are asking to subscribe, and then when they agree they’ll get the regular newsletters that you send. Ensure that you set up an auto responder that welcomes the subscriber and their offer. Keep your first e-mails relatively short at about 100 words with the most relevant and important information on the top. Any additional information can be placed on the bottom. Try not to pack in too much so that it’s crowded. It should be pleasant to read and easy to read.

Don’t Send Your E-mails Too Often

6) Don’t send them too often. E-Newseltters take a lot of work and time, and someone designing your branded template will make a big difference in saving time. However, it’s important not to get overly excited and send e-mails to your customers every week. Send information that is relevant to your customers that you believe your customers want to know about. If you honestly don’t know what types of e-mails your particular customers want to read about, ask them after they’ve finished dinner or ask them in a survey.

Do they want to receive discounts, do they want to know when the restaurant has launched a new menu, would they like to know when a rewards program has launched, would they like to know about this month’s feature food? Whatever it is, only your customers can tell you the best answer.

The Headline is What Matters Most

7) It’s all in the headline. One of the great things about most e-mail providers is that they give you the analytics about how many people are opening your e-mail. This gives you a good idea of what type of headline, or offer is getting the best responses.

If you want people to open up your e-mail you want to ensure that it’s a compelling e-mail headline that will grab their attention. If you read into this more on other marketing sites, there are some interesting ways to create headlines and certain formulas that work such as:

“The Top 3 New Menu Items that are to Die For.”
“The Executive Chef Reveals His Secret Dish.”
“You’re Invited to our VIP Party.”
“Two Weeks Left to Try our Exclusive Menu.”
“Exclusive Offer for Just our Readers.”

The goal of a good headline is to get subscribers to open up the e-mail. And once they do, then you have to make sure that information is short and relevant. Pictures don’t hurt, but text is important because e-mails have options to go “Display graphics” or something similar.

Keep Testing What Works

8)Split Testing. Remember how I wrote, ask your customers which type of e-mails they prefer? If you ultimately want to find out, you can always do what’s known as an A/B test. You can send out two different e-mail newsletters at once. The first e-mail would go to Group A (which is the first half of your total group). The second e-mail would go to Group B (which is the second half of the total group). And you can see which one gets more people to open the e-mail, and you can also see which one brings in more people with a specific offer.

Repeat the process to keep refining it.

Integrate Your Social Media

9) The last thing to do is to ensure that you’re integrating your social media into the newsletter. Ensure that a link to Twitter, Facebook, and/or Pinterest is on there. And a link to your website.

It’s important to realize that building up an e-mail list will take time and effort, and will pay off dividends in the long term if you’re consistent. Over time you’ll be able to keep in contact with thousands of people who purposely subscribed to your site. Even Twitter can’t claim that. :)

If you’re interested in learning more about how to market your restaurant, and get customers into the door feel free to contact us at 604 782 0801 or reach us at our contact page.

If you would like to know more about how to improve your restaurant’s e-mail marketing to drive more customers into the door