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How to Use MailChimp

I use mailchimp to create my email lists. I also recommend mailchimp as one of the services to collect emails when people sign up to subscribe on your site.

There are other options I hear that are good – including aweber. I don’t know enough about them so until I do, I’ll stick with mailchimp.

In this post, I’m going to tell you –

  • How to set up your mailchimp account
  • How to create lists
  • How to set up notifications
  • How to edit thank you and confirmation emails
  • How to send out emails automatically (free ebook, other links)
  • How to create and modify templates
  • How to upload files to send out
  • How to create a campaign
  • How to view your analytics (tracking)

As an added bonus (that you may or may not be ready to use), I’m going to recommend my all time favorite optin service to help you collect more emails. This includes a tip on how to exactly do this.

So let’s get started!

Create Your MailChimp Account

If you already have a MailChimp account – great! If not, go to MailChimp to sign up for free.

Now you don’t need to pay for anything on MailChimp. Only when your email list gets too large that you want to send a lot of emails out to a lot of people do you need to pay. By then, your website/business will probably be thriving and it won’t be a problem.

Add in all your details and confirm your account in your email inbox. 

Create Lists

Lists are how you store emails. You can create as many lists as you want for different optins or reasons. Or you can have one large list. I have multiple lists so I know what people are signing up for.

At the top you will see a label titled LIST

  • Click on that
  • Click the upper right button – CREATE LIST
  1. Fill in the Name of your list (any name you want)
  2. Your business or personal email
  3. And the name you want emails to be from (your name, your business name, or something else)
  4. Then you can write a short description for people to know how they signed up. Something like “You signed up to receive our weekly newsletter” may work.
  5. Then click when you want to be notified that you have a subscriber. You can get one email at the end of the day or an email each time. Same with when someone unsubscribes.

Make sure you click save!

Set Up Thank You and Confirmation Emails

If someone signs up to subscribe, you should be sending them a thank you email and a confirmation email. So let’s customize those (if you want).

All you have to do is to to LIST

Click on the LIST you want to edit stuff for

Go to Sign up forms – under list name (click that)

Click General Forms

In the drop down menu where it says “Forms and Response emails” you can click on –

  • Sign up thank you page
  • Opt-in confirmation email
  • Confirmation thank you page
  • Final “Welcome” email

All of these are edit-able. You can add more or less info. I really only like to edit the final Welcome email which I’ll send out some additional info and a link to a pdf of some sort the subscriber signed up to receive.

I may also from time to time re-direct someone to a URL page on my homepage instead of having the default thank you or confirmation pages (you can do this too by creating a page and pasting in your URL).

Create Email Templates

I didn’t know whether to discuss templates or campaigns first so I’m going to quickly talk about templates 🙂

You can create custom templates with your logo and other stuff to write emails to people with or you can use the default templates.

If you want to create your own templates to save you can do that here. Or you can always modify them when you send out a campaign (an email to your subscribers).

So back at the top of the page you’ll see TEMPLATES

  • Click on templates
  • Click create a template (or edit an existing template you have)
  • You’ll see Basic, Themes, and Code Your Own

We’ll focus on Basic templates but Themes are edited the same way. 

  • Then click SELECT on the template type you want
  • Once you click the template, you’ll see another page with the template and you can click on all the different sections and add in “stuff” that will always show up when you use this template

Once you’re happy with the template (remember this is a template you’ll use over and over – AND can be modified more when you send a campaign) – CLICK SAVE and Name Your Template

Upload File to Send Out

I’m going to show you how to upload a file to send out (like a free ebook or free cheat sheet) because this is essential.

So mailchimp doesn’t let you send out attachments but LINKs to download files you upload. So they will give you a URL that you can just link to text just like you can on your wordpress website.

  • Just go to TEMPLATES
  • Click File Manager on the right next to Create Template
  • Click Upload on the next page to get a pop up to choose a fil

And that’s it! It’s saved. And you can get the URL link whenever you send out a campaign in the menu section.

Create a Campaign

Click on Campaigns at the top (left)

If you don’t see the menu header at the top, you might have to X out of something on your upper right side

Here you can make a new campaign, replicate an old one, or look at reports on your campaigns if you sent one out (will discuss more about this)

  • Click Create Campaign

You can create a bunch of different type of campaigns but we’ll focus on REGULAR Campaigns because they are what you really need to get up and running. Then you can do all the other cool stuff.

  • Select Regular Campaign
  • Now select the email list you want to send your campaign to (if you have multiple lists)
  • Then click NEXT at the lower right bottom
  • You have to name your campaign and put in a Subject Title for your email
  • Then you can select any of the options below or just skip this and click NEXT
  • Click Select a template or go to your Saved Templates if you created one
  • On this next page, you can paste in or write your email or whatever info you want to send out (modify anything you want)
  • Then just click NEXT
  • And then click SEND

And you’ve just sent out an email campaign! Woo-hoo!

View Your Analytics

After you send out a campaign, you can see who opened the email, how many times they opened it, what they clicked on and whether they didn’t care for the email (bounced).

  • Just go to your Campaigns at the top of your header menu
  • Click on View Report
  • And you can see a bunch of details there
  • You can also click on the % to see more details and all the other data links

This helps you see what works and what isn’t working.

Get API Key

If you need an API Key code (sometimes you need this to access your mailchimp account through a 3rd party app like LeadPages) – do the following

  • Go to your upper right corner (click on your name or account)
  • Click on Account
  • Click on Extras
  • Click on API Keys
  • Create a Key

You really only need one key for everything. This is where you’ll get your key whenever you need it as well.

EXTRA: Optin Services and Plugins

Okay, now that you know how to use MailChimp, I want to give you some additional help.

There are plugins you can download in wordpress to use as your optin forms. These are fine. The one I recommend is “Optins Form” because of it’s functionality and “Mailchimp for WordPress”. But I don’t like that you have to pay to have more than one optin list.

If you’re going to pay for any sort of optin service, the best one I know of (and personally use) is LeadPages

LeadPages is awesome because it makes a subscriber click a few times and invest into opting in. It works. I can say that with 1000% confidence. But you have to pay for this service but for me, it’s paid off and I am so happy I got it.

  • Now what sucks about LeadPages is that you don’t get the super nice optin forms like right of the bat.
  • But once you click on a link you do 🙂 and that means more to me.
  • I rarely have optin forms on my pages any more – I don’t think they work that well nowadays.
  • What I have instead are images or book covers or banners that say “Get this now!” and someone clicks on it and a leadbox by LeadPages pops up which I think is super powerful

Leadpages also offers some simple analytics about how many people click and how many people sign up so you can adjust your strategy.

I’ve been using LeadPages since July 2014. Before that, I just had an optin form. I’m still amazed at the growth 🙂

leadpages growth

So really. If you can invest the $ and want to get more email subscribers – give LeadPages a go. I will talk more about this later but I’m happy with it and so are some of the most successful online entrepreneurs.

Extra Extra: How To Get more Email Subscribers

Back in the day, all you needed was an optin form that said “Subscribe to our weekly newsletter” or something like that.

But the world has changed! And people want something for free in exchange for their email address.

So try this strategy next time you want to increase your subscriber base.

  • Offer a free cheat sheet with 5 or so simple tips to your service
  • Offer a free ebook (doesn’t have to be long)
  • Offer something…anything! 🙂 It will work a lot better than an optin form with no offer.

That’s all folks. Get those emails. Follow up. And get more business or traffic.

P.S. I didn’t talk about this here in detail but emails are far better than Facebook likes, twitter followers, and maybe youtube subscribers. So start collecting emails right now.

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  • Hi. I did the tutorial but when someone subscribe, its supose to add the email in mailchimp?

    Thanks

  • Jameson, you are the best!!! One question: when I use the mail chimp form in my sidebar with the blue theme (or any other color), I don’t get the light blue box background, like yours has. I can’t figure out how to get that. Can you email me the response to stephanie@thetop9.com. Thank you!! I love your tutorials. You’re a true lifesaver!!

    • They are two plugins I used. You’re using the one for the pages and post and not the one I used for the side bar. I will email you this answer as well.

  • Do you know if mailchimp has the ability to group emails and sort them into categories? For example, if you wanted to group all your out-of-state people and only email them and perhaps send a different email (in a different category) to say all your people out of the U.S. that’s one separation I’d like to know if it is possible? Or perhaps you only wanted to send an email to people who live in a particular city like say, “Chicago” …. can you do this with Mailchimp’s email service?

    • Valaki

      yes

  • Tamika

    So when you are creating the optin form which WordPress package did you purchase?

    • I didn’t purchase anything. I just used a free plugin.

  • Christine Olivia

    my url wont work in the rss feed. What could I be doing wrong? mail chimp says its not a valid rss feed

  • Sandie

    Thank you for this tutorial! I have created a sign up/subscribe page and added the html form to my website. In testing, I get the sign up thank you form, but it never sends to email nor adds the name to the list. Can you help?

  • coderlucky7

    nice work bro
    every moment following you

  • Hi .Great job with this Mailchimp insights and tutorial. very helpful to beginners. You can also share this with your readers, It’s very helpful to new Mailchimp users: https://www.udemy.com/mailchimp-tutorial-videos/

  • Keysha

    Thank you for this tutorial. I was stumped and just decided to look on YouTube; Voila!! This is awesome,very helpful.

  • Jennifer Figueroa

    Quick question,
    Am I able to create templates prior to completing my email lists??

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