Mailchimp free account allows you to have up to 2000 subscribers in your list.
Sign Up for a Mailchimp Account
Go to mailchimp.com. Right now Mailchimp has no support for Facebook, Twitter or Google sign in, so you have to create an account using normal email address and password.
After you signed up and activated your account, you will be redirected to a get started page. Fill out your name and email address. And then as you can see from the screenshot below, in the organization information section you have an option to import your email list if you have build one before. Very nice feature!
According to CAN-SPAM act and International Spam law, you need to specify your company/orgnization name, mailing address and website URL in the footer of every email you send to your subscribers, so fill them out in the section below.
Then enter some other information and click Save and Get Started button.
Create an Email List
There are three things that are important. First you need to create a list and then create a campaign, after that focus on building your audience. First let’s create a list.
In your Mailchimp dashboard, click Lists on the upper left menu bar.
Then click Create List on the upper-right corner.
Give your list a name, a from email address, a from name and a sentence that remind people how they signed up to your email list. When your subscriber receive an email from you and hit the reply button, then the reply email will send to the from email address. Note that your subscribe will see all the information you entered here.
At the end of the page, you can set a notification about subscribe/unsubscribe activity to your email address. After that click the Save button.
If you have more than one website that are in different languages, you can always create a list for a website and specify all the above infomation using different languages for different websites.
Create a Signup Form
Now you have created a list, it’s time to create a signup form your list.
Before you can create a signup form you must verify that you are the owner of the default from email. After that, select your list and click Signup Forms.
You can create four different signup forms.
- General forms
- Embedded forms
- Subscriber popup
- Form integrations
I think the general form should be called a signup page. The general form lets you create a form in a Web page and then you send the link of the Web page to potential subscribers so they can sign up at that Web page. You can also add the link of your sign up page to one of your navigation menus. You can see that I added one in my footer menu.
The embedded form is a form that you can embed to your website sidebar or below your post. This is the signup form we see most of the time.
Add Subscribers to Your List
If you have build a list before then you can import your subscribers to your newly-created list. There’re two ways of doing this: add a single subscriber at a time or batch import subscribers. Please be sure that they have signed up for your list before or you have their permission to add them manually to your list. They will not receive a confirmation email from you.
You can import subscribers from a txt file. If you’ve only the email addresses of your subscribers, put one email address per line. So your txt file will be one column format. Mailchimp will assume it’s an email field. If you have the email address and name of your subscribers, put the email address in the first column and name in the second column and delimit them with a Tab key.
Create a Campaign
Now it’s time to create a campaign. In your MailChimp dashboard, click Campaigns on the upper-left corner.
Then click the arrow besiding Create Campaign.
As you can see, you can create 4 types of campaigns.
- Regular campaign
- Plain-text campaign
- A/B testing campaign
- RSS campaign
I’m going to show you how to create a RSS campaign. So click RSS campaign from the arrow drop-down menu. RSS campaign means you are linking your blog post to your newsletter content. Whenever you publish a new post, MailChimp will automatically email the new post to your subscribers.
Enter your RSS feed URL and set the time.
The next step is to select your list. You can send emails to your entire list or segment of your list.
After that, enter your campaign info.
Next, select a template for your campaign. Since this is a RSS campaign, the Basic RSS template is very suitable.
After you designed your email template, you are all set to send. You can actually preview how your email looks like by clicking preview and test on the upper-right corner and then click enter preview mode.
It’s also a good idea to send a test email to yourself before you start your campaign. To start your campaign, click Start RSS button on the bottom-right corner.