Have you been looking at Mailchimp for a while, knowing you should start your own mailing list, but haven’t taken the leap yet? It can be overwhelming if you know absolutely nothing about this world or aren’t very tech savvy, so that’s why I wanted to go through the process with you.
We’ll start from the creating of you account to sending your first campaign! You can set all of that up in under 10 minutes if you want to!
Step One: Create An Account
Total time: 30 seconds
From the homepage of Mailchimp (get a $30 credit by using this link), click on the red ‘Sign Up Free’ button in the top right corner. It’ll take you to a page where you can enter your email address, username, and password. Once you’ve got everything ready, click on the ‘Create My Account’ button.
Step Two: Activate Your Account
Total time: 30 seconds
Next, head to your email box to find the message Mailchimp just sent you. You might have to wait a bit before you get it, but it usually comes quick. Once you’ve opened it, click on the ‘Active Account’ button.
You’ll be taken to a page where you have to prove you’re human. Just fill up the captcha box and click on the ‘Activate Account’ button.
Step Three: Give Them The Info They Need
Total time: 1 minute
To make sure you’re not going to be spamming your mailing list, Mailchimp needs a bit of info about you. I know a lot of people don’t like filling up their addresses, but you have to. It will appear at the bottom of your email, and you can’t remove it: it’s there by law. You can always get a P.O. Box if you really don’t want people to know where you live, but otherwise you’ll have to give them your address. You can read about this more on the CAN-SPAM website.
Step Four: Create A List
Total time: 1 minute
Awesome, you have a free Mailchimp account now! It’s time to start with the serious stuff.
The first thing you’ll want to do is create a list. The list is basically where all your email addresses are going to be saved. If you have a few different websites, you’ll have a few different lists. You don’t have to create an account for each website; you can simply have different lists. You can also have a few lists for the same website, but let’s not talk about that now.
Click on List > Create List (watch the gif below to know where to click!)
List Name: Choose whatever you want, only you will see that. I like to use the name of my website, as I only have one list per website.
Default “from” email: That’s the email address your emails are going to be from. If you have a firstname.lastname@example.org email address, it’s great to use it now! You’ll have to confirm you can use this email later, so don’t write something you don’t have control over.
Default “from” name: You can either write you own personal name or your business name or both. Whatever name you believe your readers will recognize best. You can also do a mix of both if you wish, like Virginie from CityGirl’s Design wouldn’t be bad!
Remind people how they signed up to your list: Write a short sentence that does what the title asks! If you haven’t emailed your list in a while, your readers can look at this sentence and remember that you aren’t spam! You can use the example Mailchimp as on there; it works great!
You can also edit your address if you have a business address and don’t need to use your personal one.
Don’t forget to choose if you want to get notifications or not by email! I know I like the daily summary which tells me how many people subscribed and unsubscribed. If nothing happens, they don’t send you one.
Step Five: Send Your First Campaign
Total Time: 5-10 minutes
I know, I know. You probably don’t have anybody on your list yet, so it’s not really like you can send something already, but why not add yourself to your list and try it out? That way, you can see the process, how it works and if you understand it! That way, you won’t spend hours figuring out the newsletter you need to send ASAP.
So click on Campaign > Create A Campaign. You can also create a campaign straight from the dashboard.
Select Your Campaign Type
You’ll be asked to choose between four types of campaigns.
- Regular Campaign
- Plain-Text Campaign
- A/B Testing Campaign
- RSS Campaign
I usually pick the regular campaign. A plain-text campaign doesn’t have any code in it, so it’s basically just text. The A/B testing is great if you’re not sure about what headline to use, but it’s only available to paid users. Finally, the RSS campaign is great if you have a blog and want posts to be sent automatically. But that’s for another day. Today, we’re just getting a regular campaign out so you can figure out Mailchimp!
Select Your List
It’s time to choose which list you want to email, but also who specifically within that list you want to email. I usually email everybody, but if you wanted to send an email only to people who have been on your list for more than three months, you could create a new segment. Select ‘Date Added’ > ‘Is After’ > ‘A Specific Date’ > ‘(Pick A Date Three Months Ago)’. You can, of course, play with those segments. Today, you can select everybody as it doesn’t really matter.
Enter Your Campaign Info
It’s time to give Mailchimp all the info about the campaign you’re about to send.
Name of your campaign: This is for you only, so name it whatever you want! I usually use the same thing as the title of the email.
Email Subject: Make sure your subject is interesting and that people will want to click on it! If you have the paid version, you can A/B test it, but not with the free version.
From Name: You shouldn’t really have to change that ever, but you can if you want to. It’s the name the email is going to come from. Make sure it is easily recognizable so that your readers don’t think you’re spam!
From Email Address: Again, this shouldn’t really be changed, but if you need to, you have the option here.
I don’t touch anything else on the rest of the page. You can connect your Google Analytics to your email if you want to, but it’s not something I found useful in my case yet. If you’d like to track purchases and have GA set up the right way already, you can definitely connect it, though!
Select A Template
Depending on what kind of content you want in your email, you can select the appropriate template. There’re quite a few options, so look carefully at all of them and take a decision! You can always come back and select another template if the one you choose doesn’t end up doing what you want (or if you change your mind along the way).
Design Your Campaign
It’s time to put all the pieces together and upload your content to the email itself! Don’t forget to edit the top part of the email. I often forget it, so this is my reminder to you 🙂
You can add you logo or a picture of you, whatever will remind people of who is emailing them. Don’t forget to add social media icons at the bottom! If people want to reach out to you, they’ll be able to find you easily. If you need extra boxes that aren’t already in the template, you can also drag and drop them from the right side of your screen.
Don’t be afraid to change the colors and design your email! Just click on Design at the top of the main menu to be able to change most of your template!
Once you’re satisfied with the content and the look of your email, it’s time to send it!
Send Your Email
At this point, you can review your campaign and make sure that everything is right and ready to be sent.
You have two choices: either you send you campaign now, or you can schedule it. Choose the time and date you want your email to be sent at and it will go out without you having to do anything!
Step Six: Enjoy and Relax!
You’re done! You’ve created your Mailchimp account and sent your first campaign! Isn’t that great?
Now it’s time to take a break, congratulate yourself and think of a real campaign for next time 🙂