E-Marketing with Mailchimp Newsletter Software

Many of our clients ask us about ways to send out an email to their database of contacts. Instead of using Outlook and CC/BCCing all of your contacts (a risky move!), we recommend a system called Mailchimp. Although newsletter systems can often be somewhat clunky, Mailchimp is one of the most user-friendly we’ve come across. It is also free for lists under 2,000 subscribers! Email nurture can be particularly effective when combined with an SEO or PPC strategy.

Signup Form

The first step in sending a newsletter is to create a database of customers/potential customers. One of the easiest ways to do this is to have a newsletter sign up form on your website (like the one titled Join In, to the right of this post). Mailchimp allows you to create a form to slot in to your website’s template. You will need the ability to edit your website; if you need help with this, please feel free to drop us an email using the Enquire Online button at the top of this page.

mailing list signup box

Once the form is slotted in to a visible part of your website, people interested in your business can sign up to a periodical email, meaning they’ll always be up to date with your business (new products, services, developments, etc). It’s best not to bombard people on your email list (or they may become fed up and unsubscribe). Thankfully Mailchimp and most newsletter systems will allow you to see how readers are interacting with your emails (whether they opened them or not, if they clicked links, etc).

If you have an existing database that you’d like to add to Mailchimp, this is simple to do. Create a spreadsheet with your database, putting the information in the following 3 columns: First Name, Last Name, and Email Address. Also make sure any dodgy formatting has been stripped out before you upload.

Sending an Email

Once you have created a list, you will want to send out an email. After logging in to Mailchimp the first step is to Create a Campaign. When the dropdown appears, select Regular Ol’ Campaign. (Every email counts as one campaign).

create mailchimp campaign

You will then need to select which list (email database) you’d like to send your email to. Once you’ve chosen your list, select Next Step.

On this screen you will fill in the details for your email, including the sender name and email address, email subject line, etc.

mailchimp email details

With regards to “specify *|MERGETAGS|*”, you can leave this field alone for now. From this page you can also set up automatic social posting, if you have connected your Facebook account or Twitter profile with Mailchimp.

Choosing a Design/Template

The next step is where you will design the look of your email.

mailchimp templates

There are a few options available to you here:

  • The Drag and Drop Editor will allow you to create your own design from scratch.
  • The Basic option is the quickest, allowing you to slot your copy in to a simple predesigned template.
  • The Predesigned option allows you to slot your copy in to more advanced/dynamic templates, although this is more time consuming than the Basic option.
  • My Templates is where your custom templates will be stored. If you have a bespoke brand template designed, they should be located here! If you need one, get in touch!

For this example I have selected one of Mailchimp’s default Predesigned templates. The content boxes appropriately describe what text is to be placed there; it is just a case of swapping the headings, copy and images with your own! You can also delete any elements that you don’t need.

email template

The Next Step will take you to a Plain Text version of the email. This is for people who are reading their emails from devices that cannot display HTML emails. Click the Copy Text from HTML button, and then go through to the Next Step.

copy text from html

Confirm, Test and Send

This is the last step, where you can preview your final email, and then send it to your list.

review mailchimp email

If you’d like to check your email before sending it (always worth doing), the quickest way is to select Preview and Test > Open Popup Preview

If you’d like to see what it looks like in your inbox, select Preview and Test > Send a Test Email

If you’re not happy with your email, you can go back to a previous step to make changes using the top navigation.

mailchimp previous step

send nowIf you’re 100% happy with your email, you can send it straight away by selecting Send Now, or you can Schedule the email to be sent at a specific time.

So that is how to send an email with Mailchimp, in a nutshell. If you need help getting set up or integrating Mailchimp with your website, or if you’d like an email template built for your brand/business, please do not hesitate to get in touch!