Mailchimp & Contentful: Bigger Content Impact and Easing Growing Pains
If you check your email inbox right now then it’s highly likely that you’ve received an email generated through Mailchimp.
One staggering fact about Mailchimp is that one billion emails are sent out every day through the email marketing service.
Yet Mailchimp’s services are broader than that. It has become a hub for small businesses. Back in 2019, Mailchimp launched its all-in-one marketing platform that provides a number of services that include social media ads, customer relationship management tools, and even paper postcards.
Its marketing platform is set to bring in around $700 million by the end of this year.
Most of Mailchimp’s users are small, mom-and-pop stores that need to find solutions for retargeting ads on social media as well as tracking customer leads.
The platform already had a help site, with close to 99% of help seekers finding what they were looking for. In addition, it has an in-app help search function that lets users seek out solutions.
“It was scary,” said Pamela Vickers, senior engineering manager at Mailchimp. “If we break that, we have to hire more support people. It would’ve been moving backwards.”
As it expands its ambitions to become a home for everything marketing, Mailchimp needed to consolidate its websites in order to create a unified digital presence. And that meant a big organizational change.
The top pick that they decided on to launch this new project was the content management system Contentful.
While the brand and design work got underway, its engineering team was testing an interface that would go between Contentful and the browser.
“It went really, really smoothly,” added Pamela, “to the point where I kept thinking that something should have gone wrong.” The team did find some edge cases around localization, such as the face that the knowledge base is available in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese – but they were quite simple to fix.
When it came to another problem with a broken link: “We were able to fix it with a redirect really fast using Contentful,” said Patrick Young, a digital production manager. “It showed us how much of a game changer this CMS really was, because we were able to do things so fast.”
The impact was seen almost immediately as their marketing team are now able to edit content directly. In the past it would have taken between 10 and 20 minutes to fix a minor typo. Now, whoever spots an error can go in and edit in Contentful.
“That’s huge,” said Pamela. “But what’s even bigger is that they can just create a brand-new page without any help from engineering. Where we saw the absolute biggest change is just allowing the marketers the ability to market.”
Not worrying about the content management system, it frees up time for workers like Pamela to dive deeper into other strategic areas. Focus is not more geared towards collaborating between marketing and engineering.
On the engineering side, they do think about the content management system. “My current job would not have been possible before Contentful,” said Brett Belcher, a content engineer. “Most of my job revolves around using the Contentful API to pull, audit, and manage our KB content.”
In those pre-Contentful days, they were using “a really crummy, antique-like user interface” he added, whereas now it “lets us do things that we couldn’t do before.”
Another thing that they can now do with Contentful is “broad sweeping wholesale changes to content in a fraction of the time.”
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