3 Reasons Not to Quit MailChimp

“My lists are a mess.”
“I can’t do automations.”
“Ugh—how do I get my new gift to people?”
“I know I’m supposed to be tracking where people are coming from, but how?”

I’m done with MailChimp.

Hold on, there. Quitting MailChimp may feel like the answer to your problems or at least a fresh start, but will it really make life easier?

What if instead of switching tools, you learned to use the one you have properly?

I know what happens when you switch away from MailChimp without really thinking it through—and how you can manage MailChimp like a pro. So before you dash off and ditch MailChimp, let’s talk about this. Maybe quitting isn’t your answer.

It’s a Pain in the Butt to Switch from MailChimp

Where is MailChimp integrated into your site? There’s that opt-in you set up in the sidebar and oh, the landing page for that free webinar you’re doing. Anything else? Are you sure? If you’re using it right, MailChimp is embedded throughout your website (because there is so much you can do with it.)

Often MailChimp is embedded in more places than you realize (or remember). Does that mean you should never make a switch? Of course not. It does mean you shouldn’t make a switch lightly or without a plan.

Quitting MailChimp isn’t as easy as opening an account with a new email marketing service. It may be a fresh start, but it isn’t a clean slate.

You Already Know (Kinda) How to Use MailChimp

Yes, I hear you—you don’t know how to use it properly. You can’t figure out how to set up a course without a set start time or get your opt-in automated properly. But you know the basics. You’ve figured out how to set up one opt-in. You’d like to fine-tune the process, but you’ve got the basics. You’ve got a list (or lists). But it isn’t working the way you think it should.

Enter a new shiny object—a tool that promises to do all the things you can’t do with MailChimp. Wait a minute—can’t or don’t know how? There’s a difference. And you know what, you don’t know how to do them with a new service either. Either way you’ve got a learning curve, but with MailChimp you start knowing the basics.

You Can Do That with MailChimp

Want to manage one list? Need to track who is subscribing—and when and where and how? Wish you could segment your list and so that you could send super targeted campaigns? You can do that with MailChimp.

Instead of multiple lists, shift to Groups and Segments. Then use a form builder like Gravity Forms to deliver unique opt-ins instantly and funnel subscribers to Groups. Yes, you can use groups and segments to avoid paying twice (or more) for subscribers.

Want to integrate MailChimp with your shopping cart? Set up an automated course? Use multiple sign up gifts? You can do that with MailChimp.

You can get rid of the pesky double opt-ins, send as many unique opt-in gifts as you like—and still keep one list.

But there’s more. Did you know you could:

  • Send a follow-up after someone buys a product
  • Exclude customers from receiving pitch emails
  • Automate your entire email funnel
  • Automate webinars notices

And those are just a few examples. All of this is a snap with Gravity Forms—and a little instruction. Give MailChimp a little more time—see what you can do with it.

You don’t need a new tool. You need to know how to use the one you have.

Ready to learn to use MailChimp properly?

MailChimp Masterclass to the rescue.

You’ll learn to:

  • Discover how to manage just one list in MailChimp
  • Identify exactly how many subscribers you have
  • Reduce your costs by not having duplicate subscribers
  • Track exactly where your subscribers signed up
  • Segment your list into who actively opens emails, and who doesn’t (and so much more)
  • Clean up your list to remove people who don’t open emails or buy from you
  • Create as many content upgrades as you like
  • Deliver the free opt-in gifts instantly – no double opt-in required
  • Know which products/services people purchased and send emails just to people who did – or didn’t – purchase
  • Create welcome email automations to nurture new subscribers and new customers
  • Construct automation campaigns to run evergreen courses
  • Trigger automation campaigns for a course with a specific start date

In just two weeks, you’ll see MailChimp as the marketing power tool you’ve been looking for—and you’ll know how to use it confidently.

Learn More
Client Testimonials: How to Make Them Pop on Your Website

Client testimonials don’t do any good sitting in a file on your computer. So once you get people saying great things about you, how do you show them off on your website?

Make them easy to find. Put client testimonials on a Praise page or set them off visually on other pages in your site. They’re particularly effective on sales pages and Work with Me pages but can really show up anywhere.

Get visual. Using a client’s picture or brief video adds to social proof. People tend to trust people they can see more. Another way to increase trust is to include full name, position, and company of the people saying nice things about you. Those details make the person seem more real and believable to most visitors.

Be specific. You want real clients talking about real, specific results. “Katy is the best” doesn’t cut it. Look at this example instead:

Set up a system to get great client testimonials. Then use a plug-in to make setting up testimonials on your site a snap.

Make Client Testimonials Pop on Your Website

You can find plenty of tools for testimonials. My current favorite is GC Testimonials. Although it hasn’t been updated for WordPress in some time, it still works like a charm. The updated testimonials plugin version is here, but the original is so simple, I’ve stuck with it.

With GC Testimonials, you can add, edit, delete, and add photos to a testimonial. You can choose how many to show and whether they should be static or cycle through. There’s even code for a submission form to streamline the process of getting testimonials and posting them.

So what do your testimonials look like?

Here’s how they look on my testimonial page (first image) and on a Mindful Life sales page (last image). I also use testimonial plugins for press pages…


Client Testimonials: How to Make Them Pop on Your Website testimonial-1

Client Testimonials: How to Make Them Pop on Your Website

As you can see, the look of the testimonials varies to match the brand. Ready to set your testimonials up so they pop?

Another tool that intrigues me is Thrive Ovation. What I love about this one is the feature to save social posts as testimonials. My partner and I constantly get amazing feedback for our Web Designer Beauty School in our private support school community. I have been saving these in Saved Articles … never return to them again. It’s time to stop that madness and start sharing that feedback to my site instantly. If you get social shout outs, look into Thrive Ovation.

How to Set Up Client Testimonials on Your Website

Show off the brilliant things your clients have said about you. It’s time to make your testimonials pop.  Setting up testimonials is fairly painless once you have your GC Testimonials plugin set up.

  • Simply Login and go to Testimonials. Choose Add New Testimonials. Hit Publish.
  • After you publish, Click “Testimonials / All Testimonials.”
  • Select and copy the Shortcode for that testimonial (or write it down)
  • Go to your page or post, and simply paste it into your text area. E.g.,
    Client Testimonials: How to Make Them Pop on Your Website

  • Now you have a beautifully formatted testimonial!

If you want to show 2, 3, or more testimonials at one time, you can! First give each of the testimonials a special category. Then go to Categories in the Testimonials menu, and copy+paste the shortcode for that category.

Want to see that in action? Grab my step-by-step video on adding client testimonials:

Client Testimonials: The Best Way to Get Awesome Ones

Your clients love you. You solve their problems. You make a difference. But does the world know that?

You know that testimonials make a difference. But if you’re like a lot of people, you hate asking for them. So you don’t. Let’s change that shall we? Let’s make it easy for you to ask for client testimonials and for your thrilled clients to sing your praises.

The Best Way to Get Amazing Client Testimonials

It would be lovely if every client simply sent you perfect words and a head-shot at the end of a project, but it doesn’t work that way. You need to ask for testimonials, and the best way to get client testimonials is to ask for them — regularly.

You need a system

Build asking for a testimonial into every project you work on. Send a request with the final invoice or when you turn over the last deliverable. Request a testimonial with a thank you note to the client for trusting you with their project. Do it every time.

Make it easy on yourself — and on your clients. Set up a questionnaire. This gives you an easy way to ask questions and it provides a framework for your clients. You can send your form out through email or a Google form or something similar — or you can create a page on your site to direct clients to.

Here’s mine.

This survey actually serves a few purposes. It helps me gather information about what my clients need to overcome to work with me, which helps me target my marketing to potential clients. It helps me understand what I can do better. And it asks about results and benefits of working with me. Those are the questions that will blossom into testimonials.

Other questions you might want to ask:

  • What were you struggling with or where were you getting stuck before we started working together?
  • What surprised you most about working with me?
  • Tell me about 3 changes or shifts you noticed during our work together.
  • Describe one lasting change that came out of our work together.
  • What would you tell somebody who was thinking about working with me?

You may choose to ask directly for testimonials, or you may gather feedback and then shape a testimonial that you share with a client and ask for approval to use. The latter approach gives you more space to choose the details that really speak to particular aspects of your service.

When to Ask for Client Testimonials

The best time to ask for client testimonials is after a big win. Ask right after you wrap up a big project—or better yet as you are finishing up. Request a client testimonial right after you solve a tricky problem. Ask when a client is already praising you.

If a client sends you email praising your work or telling you how much they love working with you, save it. I love looking back on comments like that on days when nothing seems to be going right and I’m wondering if it’s time to quit. But don’t just tuck it in a drawer. You want those words out in the open.

If the praise is perfect as is, simply ask if you can share it on your website. If it could use a little tweaking or you hope the client will say more, follow up with a targeted question.

Making Your Client Testimonial a Win-Win

As you saw on my client questionnaire, I tell clients I want to feature them on my website — and I do. Many clients are featured in my web portfolio. In addition, I frequently do client profiles where I explore a project in more depth. This allows me to showcase the different kinds of solutions I provide — and showcase my client at the same time.

What does this have to do with testimonials? The information I use is from the same client experience form that my testimonials come from. If you dread asking for testimonials, ask questions that give you additional information you can use in ways that serve you both.

Wrap Up Your Client Testimonial Ask

What’s the final part of your testimonial request? Say thank you.

Thank your clients for trusting you with their project. Thank them for taking the time to answer your questions and giving you permission to use their words.

And don’t forget to tell them that you’d like to work with them again or would appreciate referrals.

Does that feel strange? Start making it part of your process. Set up a template email you can personalize. Pretty soon, you won’t think twice about asking for testimonials or referrals, and if you do it right, you make it so easy your clients don’t have to think twice about giving them.

You do great work. Let your clients tell the world about it.

So once you have great testimonials, what do you do with them? Tune in next time for client testimonials, part 2—How to Make Client Testimonials Pop on Your Website.

Are you making this "Pinteresting" mistake on your website?

What do favorite recipes, decorating ideas, and your business have in common? If you’re making the most of social media, the answer is Pinterest. Pinterest has more than 100 million Pinterest already, and it’s growing. If you’re not tapping into this rich social media platform, you should be. If you are, let’s make sure you’re making the most of your efforts.

Naturally you should include a Pinterest icon with your social media follow buttons on your website. But don’t stop there. Let’s look at what you can do on your website and blog to make the most of Pinterest. It’s time to get SEO savvy – on Pinterest!

Tip 1: Before you upload an image to your blog, re-name it

You know that Pinterest is image focused, but words—keywords—matter too. That means you don’t want images titled CS00654.jpg. Instead you want image titles with keyword rich names. So when Pinterest pulls your image title, pinners know what it’s about.

Tip 2: After you upload an image to your blog, update the title, alt and description

Every post should have an image, preferably with text that makes the subject clear so that it stands out on Pinterest. “Sure sure. I already do that,” you say.

But do you help Pinterest and it’s users know what the image is all about – or more importantly, what the website that it links to is all about?

The number one mistake I see website and blog owners make is to not update the Attachment Details – and it’s the simplest way to help your website get found on Pinterest!

If you include a Title, Description and Alt text in your image’s Attachment Details for each image, Pinterest will in turn pull your title for the title of your image in Pinterest, and your Alt OR Description text for the description of the pin. You can use these fields to add a teaser to you post or include a call to action and your URL. The saying goes that a picture is worth a 1000 words, but if I can’t remember if the picture is for a green smoothie or a salad recipe or your latest weight-loss challenge, it’s useless on Pinterest.

It’s quite simple to add this information. When you choose Add Media for your post and upload and image, you’ll have the option to update these fields in the Attachment Details on the right side of your screen.

How to Make the Most of Pinterest on Your Website

Bonus tip 3: Create Images with Ease

You want branded, Pinterest-optimized images for every post. You don’t want to have to run back to your designer for every post image, nor do you want to turn making those images into a second job. The solution? Templates.

My favorite tool for creating image templates is Canva. With a template, you can use consistent styling and a watermark of your logo without reinventing the wheel every time, and you can optimize the size for Pinterest. I set my web design clients up with these templates to help them maintain their brand and optimize their use of image on their sites.

Of course there is a ton more you can do to promote your business using Pinterest. Like any social media channel you need to be active and engage. But these three tips help you optimize your website or blog to encourage people to pin or repin your content.

Like this post? Click here to Pin it! And follow me on Pinterest.

What’s your favorite Pinterest tip?



3 Fun Photo Apps—Personal Favorites I Use Every Day - by Katy at Tall Poppies Design (http://tallpoppiesdesign.com/blog)

You already know I love MailChimp, WordPress, WooCommerce, and Gravity Forms for clients, but with summer here, it’s time to kick back a little. So today I’m sharing some apps I use just for fun. And since you’re sure to have lots of photos of family vacations, days at the beach, bbqs . . . all that summer fun, I’ve picked three apps that make it easy to get great looking photos, share them, and save them.

Adobe Photoshop Express

You don’t have to be a great photographer to get good pictures. Photoshop Express can brighten a picture you took in the shadows because your little one was just too cute. You can crop out your mess to focus in on what you want to see. It will even suggest effects to enhance your picture. A few touch ups, a quick filter and your so-so snapshot looks a lot more pro. (You can even get rid of selfie shake.) I edit my photos with Photoshop Express before I upload them to Tinybeans (see below for details on that favorite app).

Here are some of the many ways it can help you improve your photos:

  • Basics: Crop, straighten, rotate and flip your photos. Remove red-eye and pet-eye.
  • Auto-Fix: A one-touch adjustment for contrast, exposure and white balance.
  • Blemish removal: Remove spots, dirt and dust from your photos with one touch.
  • Corrections: Slide controls for clarity, contrast, exposure, highlights, shadows, temperature, tint and vibrance.
Download now on itunes


I’ve been using Tinybeans since my daughter was born. With family halfway around the world, I needed an easy way to share the silly, funny, and beautiful moments as she is growing and changing so rapidly. Tinybeans does everything I want it to do (except make sure I take enough pictures and upload them daily).

You can post videos too. I have never liked video all that much – whether I’m behind or in front of the camera – but since my family is desperate for any intimate detail of my daughter, I captured countless little moving pictures, from just a few hours after she was born, simply smacking her lips, to her first steps, first words and all the mundane moments in between which, looking back on, are not mundane at all. Sure, I get a little peeved when I get text messages from the other side of the world, “TB?” indicating that I am behind on posting a new photo or video for that day, but as a result of my family pestering, I have amassed an incredible – and highly organized – diary of my daughter’s life.

I choose who to share with and invite them into what Tinybeans calls a Nurture Network. Unlike posting to Facebook, where my network extends beyond my close family to work colleagues, primary school friends, and friends of friends of friends, my Tinybeans connections are close-knit: my husband, mum, dad, sister, husband, grandmother, aunty and a few very close friends who also want to see photos of my baby girl covered in yogurt and doing nudie runs on a daily basis!

Those same friends can share their Tinybeans album with me too – and I am so grateful for that, and honored to see so many of their intimate family moments.

Once I upload photos to Tinybeans, my Nurture Network gets notifications that I’ve shared moments (photos) with them. These notifications include in- app notices on their phone or ipad, or daily emails which is especially great for my grandmother who is has mastered email, but it terrified of her phone and has pretty strong opinions about Facebook is the downfall of society!

Just like Facebook, everyone can comment on the photos.

I can easily add milestones and other observations. Hey, can you really remember exactly when your kids got their first tooth, or learned to walk? Yeah, our memories get murky pretty quickly. Tinybeans solves that problem.

It’s a great way to share and keep my photos of my daughter organized and together. If you want a photobook, you can do that directly through Tinybeans too, though I’ve got another favorite for that (see below).

I know a lot of people use Facebook as a way to share photos with ease, but it isn’t always the ideal solution. Whether it’s privacy concerns or relatives who just don’t want to be on Facebook (some days I think they have the right idea!), or whether your Facebook friends can truly handle the shear volume of images you need to share in order to keep your mother and mother-in-law happy, Facebook isn’t the best choice for sharing photos of your little ones.

Tinybeans is specifically designed for sharing photos with family and friends, so it’s much easier to keep a handle on who sees pictures of your kids.

Download App in iTunes

Artifact Uprising

I love that I can share digital files in an instant, but when’s the last time you printed a photo? (I’ll wait while you try to remember.)

Prints, cards, photobooks . . . it’s time to get some of your lovely images out of your phone into your home. While both Photoshop Express and Tinybeans give you the option to make photobooks, I love Artifact Uprising for printing.

And their products are simple, classic, and gorgeous – and it’s home grown in Colorado. They didn’t chose the name Artifact for nothing. The paper quality, binding, and covers make for a really special family keepsake. So what’s been happening lately—baby’s first year? Graduation? Wedding? Family vacation? Celebrate it and make something tangible with those memories. Artifact Uprising makes it easy.

I create up to 100 page soft-cover photo books, and their Wood Block + (25) Prints right from their app on my phone. It’s very easy to use, and the app pulls photos directly from your phone, or from DropBox if you have created a back-up system. I actually like pulling the photos from the phone before I back-up my phone to DropBox and/or iPhoto. As soon as I download my photos to these back-up solutions, the date order of the photos inevitably gets royally messed up, which makes creating photos books a terribly time-consuming task. By using the AU app, I circumvent this nightmare. And I can do it all while watching The Daily Show.

I love that the AU photo books are simple in their design and layouts, and focused on the beauty of the photos. No rainbows and unicorns, cutesy text, and crazy photo layouts that add infinite hours to the photo book making process. No wonder everyone puts off making books. All this kitsch customization turns printing a few photos into a mammoth project.

Download App in iTunes

To Summarize…

  • (Almost) Everyday, I (try to) take a few happy snaps
  • At the end of the day, when I can finally put my feet up, in the iPhone photo app I choose the photos I like best, and delete the rest. (If I don’t do it then and there, my photo library gets out of control).
  • I open my fav photos in the Photoshop Express app and color edit them: a little brighter, a little more contrast, a little more color saturation (or vice versa)
  • I post the edited images to TinyBeans (and usually try to delete the un-edited ones in the iPhone photo app, again to keep the photo library organized)
  • Every few months, I create a photo book of all the photos using the Artifact Uprising app, and on special occasions, I create  Wood Block + Prints as gifts, or to update my own collections around our house

These are the apps I use on the personal side to make the most of my photos. What photo (or other fun) apps are you playing with right now?