Why Mailchimp? Part 2

Nowadays, you need an ESP (email service provider) for any advanced marketing strategy. Mailchimp is a good choice. WP beginner, for example, says that using a third-party provider for email management is indispensable. It is because many other solutions will mark your emails as spam. Said differently, spam is a given when you don’t use an email marketing software such as Mailchimp. Therefore, it is well worth the cost. 

Mailchimp advantages or why you should use it 

What are some of the Mailchimp advantages? For one, it is one of the most popular email automation tool providers in the market.  

Second, its freemium plan includes up to 2,000 subscribers and a maximum of 10,000 emails a month. Alternatively, you can also choose a pay-as-you-go option. Check their pricing plans https://mailchimp.com/pricing/marketing/ & decide what works for you. Invest some time now, rather than pay for your mistakes later. 

Another advantage of Mailchimp is that almost all features are available on the freemium plan. You can also consult the pricing plans via Email tool tester: https://www.emailtooltester.com/en/reviews/mailchimp/pricing/. 

The third outstanding advantage of Mailchimp is reporting. Other advantages are simple to use landing pages, good email templates (though some sources say they are becoming obsolete), and an intuitive email designer tool.  

Mailchimp advantages: 

  • Comprehensive freemium plan 
  • Easy to create landing pages 
  • Good quality email templates  
  • Intuitive email designer 

As you can see, there are quite some features that make Mailchimp a great choice. But what are the downsides? 

Disadvantages of Mailchimp or why choose a different ESP provider 

First of all, Mailchimp and any other email marketing services incur additional and (mostly) recurring costs (in form of a subscription).

Additionally, they are sometimes confusing. Mailchimp itself is a bit notorious for having a pricing scheme that is hard to understand. It also has limited automation tools, like for email chain of events, and it can become too simplistic for advanced email marketers and companies.  

Another downside is that using Mailchimp requires you to be very organized with lists. I discuss lists in the article Avoid common Mailchimp problems. For the price you pay, Mailchimp should include a structure that is easier to follow.

Moreover, the menus in Mailchimp are confusing. This was apparent when I tried to figure out what Mailchimp does in the first part of this article.  

To finish it off, deliverability is acceptable, and some emails land in the folder promotions in gmail. For serious businesses, an “acceptable” level of deliverability is unacceptable.

Final remarks:

Finally, it is not surprising that many people search for tutorials on how to use Mailchimp. It seems that the platform itself isn’t very intuitive and that it requires quite a bit of patience and care when dealing with the pricing schemes for example. All in all, although other sources point towards Mailchimp as a good solution I am not convinced yet. More research would be necessary.


Before using Mailchimp this is what you need to know

Nowadays, we are used to googling just about anything. From instructions for machines and tools to historical dates we can’t seem to retain to definitions of words we don’t understand. It comes as no surprise then that starting to use Mailchimp comes with its own set of searches. In this article, I will present some of the topics that you need to know about before starting to use this tool. 

Mailchimp – an email marketing software 

When you first come in contact with the name Mailchimp, you may not be familiar with it as a tool. You may know it as just one of the options and softwares for email marketing. Indeed, some searches related to Mailchimp are: “email marketing”, “email marketing software”, “email marketing services” and “mailchimp alternatives”. We can conclude that Mailchimp falls under the umbrella of what people perceive as an email marketing tool (software or service). Because they search for alternatives too, it means there are other softwares that fall under this category.

First contact and logging in 

Moving on, starting to use Mailchimp comes with searches such as:  

  • “Login” 
  • “Sign in” 
  • “Mailchimp pricing” 
  • “Support and help” 
  • “Contact Mailchimp”. 

The first two serve as an indication to the company that the log in/sign in link should be as visible as possible. This way, they decrease the friction for (potential) users who also search for information related to pricing. Mailchimp is somewhat notorious for its complicated pricing system. Internet users also search for support, help and contact which may indicate that people want to be accompanied. 

The search for Mailchimp tutorials  

Next up, tutorials and learning about the platform itself is a topic people are interested in. Below is an overview of some searches related to self-learning, mainly focusing on tutorials and instructions. People want to learn and are willing to invest in it. The difference between the searches points to a difference in preference of support materials they want to find. Some want a pdf, some video and others make sure to point out the year 2021 to have the most updated version of the tutorial possible. 

Before using Mailchimp people search for tutorials
Google searches regarding Mailchimp tutorials

Final remarks: people want instructions and people want to be supported when they start using Mailchimp. It surprised me to see that so many people actively look for tutorials. This means they are willing to put in time and energy to learn about the tool before using it. On the other hand, people who want to try it out, may search for sign up, get in the platform and try things out. If the process isn’t sufficiently intuitive, they may search for “how to create campaign mailchimp”. 

Besides knowing things this article talks about, it is beneficial to be aware of the common problems you can run into when you start using Mailchimp. Check them out!

Entrepreneuring China vs. USA

What’s your take on it? Where would you think it would be better to be an entrepreneur?

I’ve lived in both countries and have been in contact with the entrepreneurial ecosystem of both countries so I believe I’ve got an opinion that is worth sharing. Take it with a grain of salt though, I’ve spent 4 months in both countries which does not give me the whole and complete picture. At the same time, it is just enough time for someone to decide whether they would feel comfortable continuing their entrepreneurial journey there.

Because I’ve been to China first, I’ll go with that first.

Shanghai’s bankside

I can talk about Hanghzhou and Shanghai. My positive feelings in China were that:

– entrepreneurship is supported, enouraged & funded by the government
– there is a huge increase in funding going for supporting innovation (and not just copying as I thought before)
– the copying that Chinese companies do (and there’s no doubt about that) is in some cases extremely innovative ; getting the basically same result with lower costs is impressive
– entrepreneurs and business owners that I’ve been in contact with are OPEN

The startup grind event in Shanghai

The negative parts:
– government has a say in what people can and cannot say; that is a downside
– competition is fierce; if I’ve heard anything repeated over and over again, it is that competition in China is fierce – for schools, for universities, for jobs, for companies.
There are multinationals that eat you up in a matter of hours if they want to. And this is not an exaggeration. 
– the language of course; the knowledge of English is definitely limited. The tendancy is more going towards the fact that foreigners would employ translators than the Chinese learning English. There are people speaking English more and more in schools and in general in Shanghai but still, for business, you almost cannot do without Chinese.
– which brings me to the next point, the Chinese CULTURE. It is closely connected to the language and plays a huge part in the everyday life which only means it will be even more important in an business environmen

And last, the good and bad;

Things go fast.
It is good because if you have an idea and want to do something and have the necessary funding of course, things can go extremely fast. That does not mean they won’t look at your figures and what not closely, but it means that things can get done quickly. It is bad due to what I mentioned – big companies can eat you up. Fast. So that’s bad. 


Onto the US. Again, be aware that my experience is mostly with New York which of course is one of ‘the’ places for entrepreneurship so it is not a complete picture but I did get the feel of the atmosphere for entrepreneurship here as well

The good:
– DIVERSITY; for those that know New York there is no necessity to explain further but I will because not everyone is in this privileged case. There is a lot of all. Sometimes it is hard to explain but let’s just take a simple example of restaurants; from chic, hippie, downright horrible, fast food, vegan, bars, pubs — different decorations, different types of food and the same goes for people. From everywhere, with  different backgrounds and different ideas. What an amazing place for creativity and innovation.
– the feeling of FREEDOM; I’m talking about the mental feeling of ‘I could actually do anything I wanted to’. New York has that and that is incredibly powerful.
– an incredible startup culture and the allowing to fail: the amount of meetups is incredible and failing is just a part of life

WeChat Image_20170828215026
The freedom effect in Central Park

The bad:

– homelessness on every corner – makes it an uncomfortable situation to be in; you feeel privileged and so many others aren’t as lucky as you. I am not saying it should be hidden, no, that is not the point but it is a very obvious problem here. Which makes one wonder, when I fail as an entrepreneur, would that be my future standing? That is scary.
– the DIRTY – streets anywhere, subways, rats, mice and roaches…funfunfun
– the SAFETY concern: not to say I feel unsafe in New York but I am definitely feeling more secure in China. Point blank. China is safe. You go to a Starbucks, leave your bags there while you go to the toilet and when you come back, your bags are there.

The good and the bad; NETWORKING.

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Networking event on microfinancing introducing Kiva company with the WAM NY (Women Advancing Microfinance New York)

It is a must, it can be a bore but it allows you to meet  interesting people. At the same time, everyone is doing the same thing so how can you stand out in an ocean of the same? 

So where would I choose to be?

My answer considering all the positives and negatives above is the USA. The diversity present here is unmatched and it really makes for an intersting life and entrepreneurial journey.

Until next time…


Seeing Daymond John!

Hello there!

In the last blog I left you unsatisfied – I promised to tell you about an event and now I’m making you read this post to actually find out about it. But it will be worth it, believe me.

To recapitulate what we learnt the last time: there is this guy, called Daymond John & he is a HUGE DEAL (pun intended) in the Shark Tank, a show where he participates as a potential investor to ideas that are presented to him and other ruthless and incredibly sucessful businessmen & businesswomen (or for short “sharks”). Here is a fun video where he describes how he beats other sharks to make a deal:


Also: “President Barack Obama appointed Daymond a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship in 2015, a position focused on promoting the power and importance of entrepreneurship on a global scale” (https://daymondjohn.com/#bio).

So because he is a HUGE DEAL I leaped at the opportunity of seeing him and his success formula where he and his team teach others how to become as successful as him. The event was free and I understood what was going on, it is a sales presentation. Because when it seems it is too good to be true, it usually is. So obviously, it was an event organized by him, using his well known name (pure personal branding) that is a synonym for success but he wouldn’t actually be there. To be honest, I was not really disappointed and I was really curious on what would the event be like.

Let me skip all the organization part but just to say I had to take a train and it was in a to me completely unknown village of Mamaroneck (which, by the way looks pretty stunning).

Mamaroneck’s little bay

Daymon John’s Sucess Formula event

And onto the event! It was a great venue, beautiful location and gifts (everyone love gifts, am I right?).

Ready to write

The room was full of people and the main presentation was given by Mike Vogel who is a serial entrepreneur and was presenting in the name of Daymond. I must say I’ve never been to a better sales presentation and had I had the money I would have gone for his workshop (5000 –> 2000 dollars).

Because I am a diligent note taker I now share actual valuable information that we recieved during two to three hour presentation. The notes are not in a specific order but I am shoosing those that I consider more relevant to myself and to you, my dear audience of future successful entrepreneurs.

About being an entrepreneur…

  1. Time is…PRECIOUS.
  2. more income –> more precious time
  • Your job is to acquire more CUSTOMERS

The true entrepreneur is a doer not a dreamer. Others are FEAR-BASED and do not act. You cannot have success without failing so RELAX and keep moving forward.

About taxes… 

It is important how you do your taxes – you might be able to lease a portion of your house to your corporation (which, again, is you) and pay less tax.

Protect your assets and think like a big corporation (Boeing), think global.

Never forget about NET PROFIT.

About passive income (my favorite topic)…

Be a seller on Amazon and learn through:

  • private labelling
  • droppshipping (learn more here)

about good buying experience of customers.

About advertising…


  • youtube marketing (80% of information will be consumed through videos)
  • SEO
  • blitz marketing

We also learnt about the importance of the team, 10 important steps in creating a business & 3 main keys to success. If you want to know more about those, leave me a comment below.

Until next time…



What personal branding made me do…

Hello there!

In the previous post, I promised you I would tell you what personal branding made me do. So here we are and let’s get into it. First, let me situate you into the context. I am a student at EMLYON Business School called Mcs in Global Entrepreneurship & Innovation (and for short GEP). During this program we have the privilege of learning about entrepreneurship and innovations in Europe, China and the US. We talk about things that stand out, things that are different and creative.

Personal branding is one of the things that stood out for me since we started doing pitches on different projects in China. As it happens, there is a show devoted entirely to pitching to powerful investors and getting funding (or not) for an idea. You might have heard of it – Shark Tank.

Just for those that are interested in watching more pitches in front of investors, there is another show, called Dragon’s Den. I believe it is the British version of the Shark Tank. People have recommended it to me so feel free to check it out.

Back to Shark Tank!

Top row (from left to right): Daymond John, Mark Cuban, Robert Herjavec & bottom row: Barbara Corcoran, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner

On the photo you can see the hugely successful businessmen and businesswomen that judge entrepreneurs’ ideas and decide whether they want to invest into their projects. The first on top left corner is Daymond John. After having watched (almost) countless Shark Tank episodes, his name definitely stayed with me.

And so when a schoolmate shared a link to his event, I had one thought and that one only – “I am going”.

To find out whether I went to his event read my next blog post!

Until next time…




The power of a personal brand

Hello there!

Last time I promised you we would talk about personal branding. What is it though?

Let me show you a simple example:


One photo replaces a thousand words. And in the case of personal branding one word can have a great amount of meanings. When a person says Oprah we think:

  • female
  • businesswoman
  • owner
  • entrepreneur
  • inspiring

and more and more.

Let’s take another example:

©Warner Bros

Ellen. What does the word make you think of?

  • talk show host
  • comedian
  • homosexual
  • entrepreneur
  • pet lover

Or all of the above?

These are two very obvious examples of people who have transformed their names into a personal brand with which comes reconizability, responsibility an great power of attraction. Having your name transforming into a brand is one of the most powerful ways of advertising of whatever you do, whatever project you are a part of and any product that you sell.

I hope you liked learning about personal branding and until next time…when I will share with you what personal branding made me do.



Give me a name!

The first thing everyone starting a blog has to come up is a name which is:

  • short 
  • fun
  • memorable // easy to remember

      Short brand name





Well, I’ve had ideas. Unfortunately, these blogs already exist!

As a consequence I’ve decided my name would be enough to start this new blog. I’ve heard time and time again that you are your own brand – so hello, my name is Ana!

Until next time…when we will talk about personal branding and how effective it is.


Coffeeshops in Lyon…

you have to visit!


If I say coffeeshops I also mean good places to sit and work (study and what have you) and get a bite! I have only included places I have been to for at least an hour so lets dig in!


First on the list –

J’adore café – located at 46 Montée de la Grande Côte. This is the 1st arrondissement and just a little northern of Hôtel de Ville-Louis Pradel.

I give this coffeshop 5 stars easily for the reasons below:

  1. Working (or studying) on your computer.

If you are like me, the first thing you look for are plugs for charging the computer. Look no further, this coffeshop has three tables, especially adapted to you! As soon as you entrer you will see (on your rightside) two large tables with chargers (yes on the table, it’s genious) plus USB entries for anyone who needs them. You also have a table lamp and a fake plant (for the decoration duuh). Behind the two tables you’ve got a “meeting” table that is big enough for around 8 people, and 4 very comfortably. There are also chargers.

  1. Calm & warm


Atmosphere & environment

It is calm, there’s not much noise. They have this 80s radio and it’s quite fun but never overwheling or too loud, just right. There aren’t too many people either. I was there when it was raining for the whole day and it wasn’t too full at any moment. People are coming and going in time so if you are sitting close to the entry you might want to take an extra sweater. It is not cold though but as you sit for a while your body cools down anywhere. The place is also very spacious and has high ceilings so you can breathe well.

  1. The offer (but not so much the service)

You have to order at the counter which is a little annoying and the staff is somewhat slow but they are nice. They get you an extra glass of water and so on. They have many different formulas for breakfast and luches so I would prefer to have a menu to look at calmly sitting down but they don’t have that. I might check their offer in advance online the next time.

My experience: I got a lunch formula: sandwich + dessert for 7 eur plus a coffee. It cost me 10,70 eur in total but what can you do, Lyon is quite expensive. So I got a “sandwich américain”, made of a bagel with Philadelphia spread, bacon, cheddar, spinach and a few tomato slices. I was positively surprised with this one, the cheddar was really quite delicious, slightly melted (ask for warm sandwich) and the spinach was intact, totally fresh and not destroyed by the heat. That was a BIG plus for me. The dessert was a brownie, which was good but maybe a little too nutty (I think it was pecans that I tasted a tad too much). I got a big “café viennois” as well, which is normally a coffee with cream in France (but not always the same size as what I am used to). Coffe was good and came with cream with chocolate and caramel syrup. A+ for the coffee. I enjoyed it.

I could observe others people’s orders that really looked delicious and the portions are quite big so I am excited to try other stuff. They also have pancakes, cookies and that kind of stuff at the counter so you can look at it while waiting and it looks cool.

– facilities

There was a negative. I will not go into so much detail because I was just telling you about food but I still believe that a place is well judged by its toiletes! Don’t laugh, it’s no laughing matter when you need to go but can’t! So here the toilet is locked by a key that you get at the counter. That’s totally fine but then you aren’t supposed to throw any paper in the toilet (kindda reminds me of planes and disgusting train toilets) which of course needs total mental concentration. Even with that it doesn’t work well. What I mean is that I had to flush three long times in order to get rid of any “remains”, if you catch my grif. Yea, so there was that. It’s embarassing duh, so this was a negative.

All in all, I totally recommend the place and you can stay there for the whole day if you wanna, have a whole table for yourself and enjoy working or meeting with a friend. Also the view on the street that is lowering toward the center is beautiful and you might catch a glimpse of the view of the whole city if you sit outside.

Next on the list- Laureline’s Corner




Isn’t this just so cute? This is the cupcake shop’s business card and it’s precious! I am a sucker for cute girly design and would go there just because of this. Oh wait, I did. Also, their website is equally cute (http://laurelinescorner.blogspot.com/). Nevermind, it was a great decision.


I went with a friend and we got cupcakes. I got one with “chocolat blanc et fruits de bois” so white chocolate and forest fruit and my friend got Oreo one. We got a “tasse” (cup) of tea with it that was delicious. She had Prince Wladimir (it’s Kusmi tea brand) and I got a “café viennois”. Here it was slightly smaller than in J’adore (but I think I did order the big one there) and it had cream with sprinkles. Which was fun and made me happy. Fun fact, my friend is Russian, and she told me the brand is French (Paris-based) but founded by Russians. And that’s why ever tea has a Russian name. Kindda cool, right? Back to our cupcakes; I judge mine good but a little dry. I am not an expert in cupcakes but I assume they have to be slightly drier than a piece of cake for example so they don’t fall apart when you eat them. Correct me if I’m wrong.

All in all, great offer and service, fast waitress and fast service plus great décor!

The place itself is also very spacious and has high ceilings (I guess old buildings all had them as this is this old part of the center) and very nice tables. The walls are also painted in cool blue. I was there to relax but I could image myself working on a computer there with no problem. There are two seating levels, the coffeshop level when you enter with nice sturdy tables and a slightly not elevated but the opposite part that is decorated very cool, looks great in photos and kinddof makes you feel you a sitting in a comfortable living room. Five stars! I am so nice :P.

Thumbs up for this place!


Next up – Little’s

IMG_20160309_154640 - Copy

If this cute sign doesn’t lure you in:

Little – small cakes (or deliciousness)

What about now?


Yeah, let’s go in. Little’s is located at 30, rue des Remparts d’Alnay, close do Ampère Victor Hugo metro stop and it’s really easy to find from there. They have a big selection of cupcakes (that I haven’t tried yet, I was being good) but also some different sweets. I just got a Vladimir tea (the same brand as Laureline’s Corner but here you get a smaller and less beautiful cup (just wanted to point that out). Oh yeah, and you have to order and pay at the couter as well. I am seeing a benefit in doing that (you are served faster) and people keep changing and you can easily stop the waitress if you want to order something extra (she moves a lot).

We’ve got two levels as well entry and first floor (low ceilings but plugins for your computer). It is a place to realx or work on your computer as well. Also, bring a sweater. It’s not cold but sitting down for a while..you know the drill.



They have a changing table for babies which I think is good so it’s baby-friendly and definitely normal people will come but the walls inside are totally dameged and old, unkept. Minus for the toilet walls.

As a consequence, people with babies tend to come..if that is not bothersome, the place is cool.

Favorite? You tell me. Go and try and comment if you had a better or worse experience in these places and wish you productive work wherever you are :).