4 Steps to Get Started with Mailchimp Email Marketing

MailChimp is my choice for email marketing and newsletters.

Not only is it free to get started but the sky is the limit when it comes to designing an email template with their template editor.

And MailChimp offers a never-ending list (it seems) of integrations. I’ll go through a few basic integrations that I use. Keep your subscribers waiting no more. Let’s set up your MailChimp account!

1. Set up your free account

Go to www.mailchimp.com to set up your account. To comply with the CAN-SPAM act, you’ll need to have your company name and physical address to input to get your account started. After completing your account registration, you’ll receive a link to your email (Activate your MailChimp account) to confirm that you want to start your account. You’ll also be able to subscribe to MailChimp’s Getting Started emails.

2. Import your email list

Hopefully, you already have your contacts in an Excel spreadsheet or CSV file that can be effortlessly loaded to MailChimp or have your contacts in a system that integrates with MailChimp. If you have a huge list of contacts that aren’t upload ready, the best thing to do is to enter them into an excel spreadsheet first, save it and then upload or copy your list to MailChimp. No list, no problem. We’ll get to how to create a sign-up form for you site to start list building.

Go to “List,” then “Create List”

I already have some lists saved so it gives me the option to create a New List or Groups. Groups allow you to get even more detailed and segment a list. For purposes of this tutorial we won’t go into groups.

No spam here. You must put in a short blurb as a reminder on how someone got on your list. This will be viewable each time a subscriber receives an email from you as well as the option to unsubscribe from your list. As you create more lists, you’ll be able to use the same permission reminder from a previous list (if applicable).

You’ll get notified each time someone subscribes or unsubscribes from your list daily or as a they happen depending on your preference selection.

Click on Import subscribers:

Import your list from one or more platforms that MailChimp integrates with:

You can create as many lists as you want.

3. Design a sign-up form for your website.

Designing a sign-up form and placing it on your website can range from super easy to “HTML Expert Needed Status.” More power to you if you’re a coder or HTML-er but it’s not required to design a professional looking email template or sign up form.

Go to the right of one of your lists and click on the Stats drop down then click on Signup forms.

Select General forms.

The General forms tab is what you’ll use to create a form for when someone clicks on a sign-up form link from your website or from your facebook page sign up form.

The link will automatically populate once your form is complete.

Play around with this section to give your form the look and feel that you prefer:

Take time in this section to personalize your welcome, thank you and confirmation emails for when someone joins your list.

Mailchimp has preset verbiage for the response emails and sends these for you automatically.

When someone joins my list, this is the page they receive letting them know to check their email to confirm that they actually want to receive email communication from me.

To have a physical sign-up form display on your website, go to Embedded forms:

Choose your form style (classic, super slim, naked), fields (email address, first name, last name) and title (subscribe to our mailing list). The embed code that you’ll need for your site automatically populates as you edit your form.

Just copy and paste it into your site when done.

*If you’re using wordpress.org for your website, I recommend downloading the MailChimp plug-in. It’s free!*

My WordPress site (Jacqueline theme from Bluchic) came with a sign-up form style that integrates directly with MailChimp and pre-designed to look a certain way when the code is inputted into the MailChimp Embedded forms section:

Bonus: To enhance your MailChimp sign-up form success, try the SumoMe scroll box. It integrates with MailChimp and is once again totally free. It pops up in the bottom corner of your site upon each unique site visit after a certain amount of time (that you set).

MailChimp also offers a popup box but I like using the SumoMe scroll box. This is how the scroll box displays on my site:

4. Set up a reusable email template

I don’t like reinventing the wheel and as a time sensitive entrepreneur, I’m sure you don’t either. Design an email template that you can be happy with that you’ll use for your weekly email newsletters. Once you create it, you can save the template in MailChimp to use over and over. Mailchimp also automatically saves each campaign in the campaign screen so you can easily use the “replicate campaign” to open a previous email and just erase and add your new content.

Go to the Templates tab at the top of the screen and then click “Create Template”

Use one of the first two options: Basic or Themes to create a professional looking email template or custom Code Your Own design.

I like using Basic. Though it’s not custom, you still start off with a blank email template that you can mold how you like with colors, font styles & sizing, pictures, social media buttons, borders, frames, etc.

For example, I’ve chosen the first Basic template: 1 Column.

1 Column unedited version:

Your first email can be as painless as adding your header image from your website plus the latest and greatest content you want to share with your list:

*Note: If you already have a contact list loaded in MailChimp or have already started sending email campaigns then you can also click on the “Campaigns” tab and go to “Create Campaign” to design an email template.*

Select “Regular ol’ Campaign,” and select your “List”.

Choose your list from existing lists you’ve saved:

The “Email subject” is what your subscribers will see so put in something worthy of opening.

Before sending your email, you have the option to preview it and send a test email. I send a minimum of two test emails (even if I think I have everything correct). I find it easier to catch mistakes once I view it in my inbox.

When you begin sending your emails, your footer will look something like this:

All the different integrations, sign up forms and email template styles and choices can be overwhelming so if you’re just starting, stick to these four steps.

1. Set up your account

2. Import your email list

3. Create a sign up form

4. Design a reusable email template

Then hit send.

There’s no reason to not do an email newsletter. It’s your consistent traffic driver to your website.

Do it each and every week or at the least, twice a month.

Where are you getting hung up on getting started or sending email newsletters for your business? Share below.

Originally published at reesebenyaacov.com on June 29, 2015.

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