Interview with Allyson Van Houten from Mailchimp

The Audio Interview

Allyson Van Houten @avanhouten

Allyson ran us through her typical day at MailChimp, where her responsibilities seem endless. Her time is spent with various teams within the overarching marketing team.

Allyson works with the user experience (UX) research team, who work to identify how people interact with MailChimp’s website and app. She also coordinates with MailChimp’s Partnerships and Integrations team to support partnerships with companies like Shopify and Magento. Lastly, Allyson not only writes blog posts and contributes to MailChimp’s quarterly ecommerce newsletter, but she also manages sponsorships and coordinates a portion of MailChimp’s sponsorships with her fellow brand managers.

MailChimp’s email marketing tools empower people to do more, so MailChimp looks to support people doing great things, whether individually, in an agency, or as part of a larger enterprise effort.

Both MailChimp and Shopify made an appearance at BDconf (Breaking Development Conference). The conference’s focus – mobile development and responsiveness – matches up with MailChimp and Shopify’s focus on delivering their tools to everybody. MailChimp want to take email marketing tools that are usually complicated and make them powerful and easier to use. At the conference were developers and web professionals of every size, from professional individuals to big companies. Such is the size of the audience that MailChimp’s tools appeal to.

Allyson notes that MailChimp’s advertising is untraditional. For example, Freddie the Chimp, MailChimp’s logo character, made an appearance on billboards across the United States. The billboards didn’t have MailChimp’s full logo, or MailChimp’s name, or any advertising material. The winking face of Freddie was simply an inside nod to MailChimp customers across the country who enjoy working with MailChimp tools. To learn more about the campaign, take a look at this blog post:

Allyson noted how much she enjoyed the BD Conference and spoke of Luke’s talk on ecommerce in the mobile space. Mobile users have limited screen space, take longer to type, and generally are less patient with tools than desktop users. Thus the purpose of the conference – you have to break away from the ways of desktop design and design specifically for the mobile user.

If you want to follow along with MailChimp and their conference sponsorships, follow

MailChimp on twitter or visit their blog for customer stories, observations from the data science team, advice posts from the UX team, and MailChimp feature releases and news. In combination with MailChimp’s website, their newsletters, including the quarterly monkeywrench newsletter, are full of cool stories and MailChimp progress (easy to believe an email marketing company sends out spectacular newsletter emails).

Who Did The Interview?

The Interview was conducted by Clark Buckner from (they provide coverage content on employee engagement systems, SaaS BI software and much more). Also be sure to check out their TechCalendar.


Gene Crawford

With over a decade of experience in the industry he has overseen the design and architecture of hundreds of web sites and applications. An active member in the design community, he's the editor & producer of, the ConvergeSE, ConvergeFL, ConvergeRVA and the Breaking Development conference series.