Monthly Archives: November 2010

How to get started with MailChimp

Last week’s post focused on the important task of setting up a list and using that list to promote and grow your business.  If you aren’t already convinced that setting up a list is a good idea, check out the post and then come back here for step by step instructions on how to get started for FREE with MailChimp.

MailChimp is a funny name for a company, but the tools it gives you are very powerful.  With over 450,000 users, they must be doing something right.  We are using MailChimp as a good way to get started with email marketing because they offer a “Forever Free” account that lets you use email marketing without having to pay for it up front.  Once you start using it on a regular basis, you will see value and have no problem paying for it when you go over your free account’s limit of 6,000 sends.  For more details on why you might want to consider using MailChimp, click here.

Read on for instructions on how to get setup with them and start your first email campaign:

  1. Go to and click on the big “Sign up Free” button
  2. Enter your email address, user name & password.  I recommend you use the name of your business as the user name to keep things simple.
  3. Once you have your account setup, click on the “create new list” button.  This is where you give your list a name.  Something like “Weekly newsletter list” or “Weekly Specials Subscribers”.  Something that accurately describes what type of info you will be sending to this list.
  4. Once your list name is setup, go to the list inside of MailChimp and click on “add people”.  This is where you will add each person you have from your big list that we made last week.  You can manually enter each person right here, or you can click on the “Import a list” button to upload your big list all at once.  If you are importing your list all at once, make sure it is in a Microsoft Excel file.  MailChimp allows you to simply copy & paste the entire list right there.  Pretty easy.
  5. Now you are ready to start sending out your newsletter!  The next step is to create a campaign by clicking on the “Create Campaign” button.  From here on out you will follow very simple instructions that guide you through how to create your campaign.  You pick a design template (or choose plain text), enter your content (text of the newsletter), add any pictures and voila!  You are ready to send your newsletter to your list.

MailChimp handles the delivery of the email to your entire list.  If emails bounce back, it handles them automatically without clogging your inbox.  If someone wants to unsubscribe from your list (you must give them a link to do so), MailChimp handles that automatically.  Come back the next day to your dashboard and find out key metrics of your campaign like how many people opened it, how many people forwarded the email to friends, how many people clicked on links, etc…  It really is a powerful way to help you refine your content for future newsletters.

I hope this list helped you get started with your company newsletter.  For some people this still may be a bit overwhelming.  If you are having trouble, feel free to contact me to get some help.

If you found this useful, please share on Twitter, Facebook, or StumbleUpon using the links below.  I really appreciate it.  – Bryan