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Send Some Love

Send Some Love with Emily Ryan

  Patrick Sande     May 8, 2024    

Emily Ryan
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Hi, Emily! Thanks so much for taking some time to chat with me.  I just finished reading yet another great edition of 9 Things Sunday which I’m excited to get into in just a bit.  But, first, can you share a bit about who you are and what you do today?
I’m Emily Ryan and I’ve been helping awesome brands send emails for the last 9 years. I co-founded an email marketing agency, Westfield Creative, which mostly focuses on Mailchimp but specializes in all things email marketing. I’m obsessed with the power of email and how it can grow your biz. I also have 3 little kids and I’m based outside of Chicago. 

You can find me on Instagram daily (@emilyryanlikes), sharing email and Mailchimp tips and I send a popular email out every Sunday called “9 Things” which is super fun to create each week. You can subscribe here

So, how did you get into Email? Did you seek it out? Or, did it find you?
I worked for a startup in NYC years back. We were looking to send an email campaign out for the first time to potential donors (it was a non-profit) and I was put to the task of figuring out how to do that. I remembered -- “Oh, I think there’s a platform about a monkey or a chimp or something…” and I found Mailchimp and the rest is history! 

Our email campaign ended up generating a huge donation and I was officially intrigued by email marketing. A few years later, I was dreaming of working from home (to be able to be around my newborn son more), so I started my own virtual assistance business and all of my clients needed email help. I ended up getting away from virtual assistance and focusing on learning everything I could about email. I’d spend nights reading everything I possibly could on email and listening to email podcasts. 

And 9 years into my business, I’m still obsessed with email and how something so simple can generate a lot of revenue for a business. 

I love that, it's really cool to hear about how you've built up your knowledge and expertise and your appreciation for for email really shows. I learned about what you are doing through your weekly newsletter, which I love. Any tips for others who are thinking about starting or currently running a newsletter?
You have to make the experience of creating your newsletter enjoyable each week. If you don't enjoy it, it will be hard to create month after month. Pick a time each week to sit down and create, make a great cup of coffee (or have a glass of wine!), put on a playlist and have at it. If you enjoy the process, it will show in your email!

Also, consistency is key. You need to commit to showing up regularly in the inbox. That could be monthly or weekly…but choose something you can stick to and make it part of your schedule each week. 

Lastly, a huge part of sending a newsletter is your list. You need to constantly focus on growing your email list with quality subscribers (quality not quantity!). The more subscribers you have to market to, the more successful your newsletter will be. So growth has to be a big priority if you plan to send a newsletter. 

Great tips (and good reminders for me). Thanks for sharing those, Emily. Can you tell me a bit more about your agency, Westfield Creative. Are you doing design and campaign management for your clients? 
We offer three main services – all within email marketing. Campaign management is our main service. Whether you need 1 email a month or 5 emails a week, we will design and manage everything for you. We also offer Mailchimp training and consulting calls and finally, automation setup for ecommerce. So if you need a new abandoned cart series or a great welcome series, we can help! We specialize in Mailchimp but can work in Klaviyo as well. 

What’s a common misconception you’re seeing today as you have conversations with clients and prospects? And/or conversely, are there any budding opportunities that email marketers can or should leverage more than they do?
The main misconception I’ve found with email marketing is that email is actually not “easy.” While you can create a simple email in minutes, creating an effective email campaign requires planning, strategy, testing (lots and lots of testing) and understanding how to look at the reporting to inform your overall strategy. 

Yes! You really do need to jump into it with both feet and embrace it. So, last question. Who or where do you draw inspiration for email marketing?
There are so many places I look to for email inspiration. A few of my favorites are Email Love on Instagram, and I love Dan Oshinsky’s newsletter (Inbox Collective). I also look to the Mailchimp Partner community for a lot of inspiration. But the main source of inspiration is from observing my own inbox. I subscribe to so many brands emails and I love seeing what brands are sending each day. I learn more from studying my inbox (and my spam folder!) than just about anything!