Creating a Subscription List and Newsletter with MailChimp

MailChimp is one of the most famous email marketing tools on the Internet. Thanks to its design and ease of use, it allows us to easily create an email newsletter and send emails to our subscription list. One of its advantages is its compatibility with content managers such as WordPress, Joomla, Drupal or Magento.

When creating a blog, the next thing you should do is create a list of subscribers, and MailChimp is one of the best options for this type of tasks.

Creating a list of subscribers in Mailchimp

Registration in MailChimp is completely free, although there are payment plans if we have a large number of subscribers or a large number of newsletter. In our case, the free plan is perfect for us. The first step we will do is create a subscription list. Subscriber lists store all the information of our readers, such as their names and their emails, and they will receive the newsletter we will send from Mailchimp.

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Once we are logged in the web, in the main menu of MailChimp located at the top, we will click on Lists to enter the page of the lists. Then, we will go to the Create List button on the right. In the new page we will define the details of the list that we are going to create:

– List name: It is the name that we will give to the list. In our example, we will call it SiloCreativo List.

– Default “from” email: it will be the email that our subscribers will see; from where the newsletter is sent. Usually a domain address will be used with the same domain of our blog, as could be: user@mywebsite.com.

– Default “from” name: It is the name that will be seen in the email that our subscribers will receive.

– Remind people how they got on your list: With this phrase we will be able to remind our subscribers why they are receiving the newsletter.

Within the Notifications section we will have the option to choose how we will receive notifications by email: a daily summary, an email every time someone subscribes or an email every time someone unsubscribes from your subscriber list.

From the Manage subscribers page we can manage everything: add and view our subscribers, create new forms, design the emails they will receive when they sign up for our newsletter or view the statistics on the list.

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Subscription forms for new registrations to our Newsletter

In order for users of our blog to be able to easily register our mailing list, the first thing is to create and personalize our subscription forms.

In the control panel of the subscriber list, we can access the configuration of the forms by clicking on Signup forms. Then, we will go to General forms, which is the option that allows us to create and design the registration forms and the response emails that will be sent when a new user registers in our list.

When we are in the Create Forms section, a drop-down list called Forms and response emails will appear with the existing forms so that subscribers can sign up, unsubscribe, or modify their data. The emails are the ones that they will automatically receive when they will sign up, unsubscribe, or modify their data.

In this list are classified the forms and mails according to the actions that our subscriber does, and we can design each of them. As we see, one of the strengths of MailChimp is its high customization.

But this may seem too much for this first approach to the platform, so it is advisable to edit and customize for now only the email that our subscribers will receive when they join our list, or Subscribe. One of the advantages of MailChimp is that once we personalize, even if it is just a form or mail type, many of these designs, such as fonts, colours, logo… will be common to other forms and emails, so work that we will save will be important.

Adding the subscription forms to your web or blog

The next step is for your visitors to register on your mailing list using a form that is embedded directly in your web or blog. This option to get subscribers is usually much better than simply providing the link to the registration page that you saw in the previous section.

MailChimp allows you to embed forms almost in any web by adding your own HTML code. Enter the control panel of your mailing list by clicking Lists from the top menu and then clicking on the name of the list. From the control panel of the mailing list you can access the configuration of the forms by clicking on the menu Signup forms.

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On this page you will see a list of options, and the one that interests you is the second one: Embedded forms. It is the option to design the form and then generate your HTML code so you can insert it in your web or blog.

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Here you will see that you have several types of forms that you can create:

– Classic: the best mix between a good design and good options to configure.

– Super Slim: the simplest of all maintaining a good design.

– Naked: this is actually a Classic form but without the design, only HTML.

– Advanced: This is really a section where the people of MailChimp offers style guides and documentation of your API to make the form yourself.

When selecting the Classic type, you will see that on the left you have the options that you can configure, and on the right you will see how the form with the fields of your mailing list and the HTML code that is generated automatically are left.

Once you have configured the form, you just have to copy the HTML code that you have on the right in the section copy / paste onto your site and paste it into the HTML code of your web or blog. Here’s more information on how to integrate these forms into your website.

Creating our first Newsletter campaign with Mailchimp

Either to have a newsletter with the latest news on your website or just to announce something special, email campaigns (or email marketing) fulfil the main reason why it makes sense to create an account in MailChimp: to send emails to your subscribers!

So let’s follow this tutorial on how to create newsletter with Mailchimp with the creation of campaigns. From the main MailChimp menu at the top of the page, we click on Campaigns to enter the campaigns page. On this page we will go to the Create Campaign button. Then, we will choose the type of campaign that we are going to create, depending on the use we are going to give it. In our case, we will choose a Regular Campaign, which is the most common campaign for mailing, in which our subscribers will receive an email with a design based on HTML templates that we can customize to our liking or that we will send directly with text without any format.

types-campaing-mailchimp

The first thing we have to decide is who we are going to send our campaign to. As we do not have segments created, most commonly we will send it to our entire list (all subscribers that have been added to it,) so we must select Entire List and click on Next.

In the next screen, we will have to name our campaign. The only fields that need to be filled are the first two Campaign name and Email subject. Everything else we leave as is. The name of the campaign is internal, that is, it is only going to see by us, so we can put what reminds us at first sight at what the campaign was.

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Remember that if you want to connect Mailchimp with Analytics in the future: the title of the email is the one that will reach your contacts, you have 150 characters, but remember that if it is very long, many users will not even get to open the email. Once we have entered these two fields, we move to the next point, pressing Next again.

themes-email-mailchimp-newsletter

Now we must select a template. As you can see there are many to choose from (they are predefined by Mailchimp,) and their operation is similar to templates for WordPress, that is, they are empty templates that come with a demo content prepared for you to edit. You can also design your own templates following these good tips to design a more attractive newsletter.

Now we are in the space in which we must introduce our content to the newsletter. As you will see, on the right there are multiple options, but since we already have the design defined beforehand, we are going to fix in the left part.

Let’s go to the Space dedicated to add text. Click on it or the icon of the pencil that appears when we put the mouse over it. As we will see on the right, there is a text editor, quite similar to WordPress in which it is possible to write the text that we want. There are three tabs:

Text: The space to add text in which you can also add links, images and resize fonts, make titles …

Style: To change the style of the text a little.

Setting: We can define, for example, the number of columns.

design-mailchimp

As you can see, the only tab on which to work is the text, and it works just like any editor. Enter the text and give it the shape you need, add the links and even some image if you want.

Once you have your text click the Save and close button to save the changes. We can see a previous version of the newsletter that will be sent in the upper bar Enter preview mode or we can send us a test email Send a test email. It is okay to always check the pre-order so that everything is to our liking and there is no bizarre disregard in the content.

Once we are sure that this is the newsletter we want to send, we can click on Next, at the bottom bar to go to the last step.

We have already finished our newsletter. Now we just have to decide when to send it. Both options appear in the lower bar. If we want to send it immediately, we will click on the Send button that appears in blue. The newsletter will be sent at this time to all your subscribers.

If on the contrary we want to program it to be sent at another time, we must click on the Schedule button and scrolling, the fields to fill will appear. The important thing is that we add the day and time, and of course we click the Schedule campaign button. We have already programmed it and it will be sent at the time that you have defined.

The last step is for your subscribers to enjoy your content!

We have already learned how to create a newsletter with Mailchimp. In the next chapter we will talk about how to automate this process and send an automatic email every time you publish a new article in your WordPress blog. Stay tuned!

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