Free Email Marketing Tool: Mailchimp
Use Mailchimp as your first email marketing tool/system and start email marketing for your online business or website.
This Mailchimp tutorial will explain how to set up an email marketing campaign, create audience (or contact list), and send emails to your contacts for free through Mailchimp.
- Sign Up Mailchimp Free
- Choose Mailchimp Plan
- Create Basic Account Information
- Create Audience
- Add Contacts
- Create Tags
- Verify Domain Name Email Address
- Create Email
Sign Up Mailchimp Free
Start with registering a free Mailchimp account:
When signing up your new free Mailchimp account, you will have to enter:
- Your name
- Your email address
- Your password (to login in to your new free Mailchimp account)
You will receive a confirmation email from Mailchimp. You are required to verify the ownership of your email address by clicking the link in this email.
Choose Mailchimp Plan
Mailchimp offers 4 different plans, including:
- Free: US$0 per month
- Essential: US$9.99 per month
- Standard: US$14.99 per month
- Premium: US$299 per month
After successful registration of your free Mailchimp account, you will have to choose from one of the four plans.
In this Mailchimp tutorial, we will choose the free plan. The free plan allows you to import up to 2,000 contacts, and let you set up and send emails to your contacts for free.
Create Basic Account Information
You will have to fill in your basic account information in your free Mailchimp account, including:
- First name and last name
- Business name
- Website URL
- Addreas information, including address, city, state, country, ZIP / postal code, etc
You will be asked this question, and will have a choice to answer yes or no.
Do you have a list of email subscribers?
In this tutorial, we will answer yes.
At this stage, you have completed providing all your basic account information.
Before sending emails using Mailchimp, you must have contacts (i.e. contact persons).
Normally, you will first have to create an Audience in your Mailchimp account. With the Free Plan, you are allowed to have one Audience.
By default, this Audience already exists in your free plan Mailchimp account. In the structure of any Mailchimp account, an Audience is a group to hold your contacts.
You will have to import your contacts (with their email addresses, etc) into the Audience. When you set up your email campaigns, you are sending emails to your contacts in the Audience.
You may already have the contact details of people who you have previous conversations with through some of these situation:
- Email conversations between you and your clients
- Your Facebook followers who have given you their email addresses through your company Facebook page and/or Facebook group
- Business cards that you have collected in local conferences or industry events that you attended
In your free plan Mailchimp account, click the Audience tab at the top menu.
Contacts are the persons to receive your emails. Before sending emails, you must import your contacts in the Audience in Mailchimp.
How to import contacts into Mailchimp?
You may add one contact at a time. Or you may import up to 2,000 contacts all at once (in bulk) with a CSV spreadsheet.
Create three column headings in the CSV spreadsheet:
- Email address
- First name
- Last name
Enter the information of your contacts into the cells under the three columns.
Save the file as a CSV (comma delimited file).
Click Manage Audience to open a dropdown list, and you will see options including:
- Add a subscriber
- Import contacts
- Signup forms
- Manage Contacts
- View audience
Select Import Contacts from the Manage Audience dropdown list.
Select CSV or tab-delimited text file.
Click Continue To Setup.
Click Browse, and then select the CSV file that you have saved.
Click Continue To Match. Mailchimp will match all the spreadsheet columns (including email address, first name, last name) to the available fields that are within your Mailchimp account.
You will see this message:
All columns are matched
Click Continue To Organize.
With the Free Plan, your Mailchimp account is allowed only one Audience. But you can distinguish your contacts by using Tags in your Mailchimp account. It is achieved by assigning different tags to different contacts.
When you are importing your contacts, you can create new tags.
Under Tag all contacts, click the + symbol next to Add or create a tag.
The newly imported contacts will be assigned to the new tag.
Under Status of imported contacts, you have four options:
Select Subscribed. Click Contine to Review. Click Import.
Verify Domain Name Email Address
Before sending emails, Mailchimp needs to verify that you are the owner of the domain name of your email address.
For example, if your website’s domain name is example.com, you must verify you own this domain and you are able to receive emails.
Email address email@example.com needs to be able to receive emails that are sent from Mailchimp.
Click Brand, at the top navigation menu.
Select Manage Domains from the dropdown list.
Under Verify your domain, click Verify Domain.
Enter your email address (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org), and click Send Verification Email.
You will receive an email from Mailchimp with a verification code.
Copy this verification code. Paste the verification code to your Mailchimp account to complete the verification.
Select Email from the dropdown list.
Select Regular, and then click Begin.
Select Email Recipients
Before designing your email template (or layout), you must select your email recipients (i.e. Audience).
It is possible to not send your email to all the contacts in an Audience i.e. your mailing list.
When you have previously assigned different tags to all your contacts, you can choose only contacts who are assigned with one or several specific tags to receive your email.
Enter Sender Name and Sender Email Address
Enter sender email address.
- This is the email address the recipients (or your contacts) will see when they receive your email in their inbox.
- The best practice is to enter an email address that contains your website domain name.
- Make sure you have already set up this email address correctly in your web hosting account, so it is able to receive any email reply from your contacts.
Enter sender name.
- This is the name the recipients (or your contacts) will see when they receive your email in their inbox.
- The best practice is to enter your name, or brand name.
Enter Email Subject and Preview Text
Write a subject line for your email.
Write a preview text.
Design Email Template
You can start designing your email template.
You may choose one of the default email template provided by Mailchimp, or create a new email template from scratch.
You have options to add new blocks to your email template, such as text, image, etc.
Fill in all the text content in your email template, and add images/photos.
You may select Enter Preview Mode to view the email template in preview.
Or you may select Send a test email. Enter your email address to receive the email template that you have designed.
You may click Edit which is next to Settings & Tracking to enable and/or set up link tracking in your email.
Now click Send, and you will be taken to Prepare to launch modal in your Mailchimp account.
Lastly, click the Send Now button.
The email you have created will now be sent to the contacts you have selected in your Mailchimp account.
If you are required only to send emails to your existing contacts once in awhile, Mailchimp is a good option.
The Mailchimp free plan account suits your requirements.
- It is simple to set up email campaigns with Mailchimp.
- With the Mailchimp Free Plan account, you may import up to 2,000 contacts. You will then be able to send emails to all the 2,000 contacts with Mailchimp.
- You may set up your list building campaign using Mailchimp’s contact forms and autoresponder to collect new contacts through online web forms such as newsletter subscription form, etc.
If your requirements involve rule-based marketing automation, Mailchimp may not be the most suitable email marketing tool.
Email marketing tools that are highly equipped with capabilities for email marketing automation are:
- ActiveCampaign (Tutorial)
- SendInBlue (Tutorial)
I have written a Chinese version of this Mailchimp tutorial.