MailChimp Tutorial, part 1. This article is for someone setting up a MailChimp account as a platform to deliver newsletters.
Specifically, I am moving from another newsletter platform (GetResponse) to MailChimp. In this MailChimp tutorial #1, I will cover the steps of opening a MailChimp account (the free account). Then how to import current subscribers. In the next article, I will go into setting up a campaign.
FYI: I am not deleting my GetResponse account till MailChimp is set up and ready. Only then will I replace the sign-up forms at my sites and/or on any other platform (e.g. Facebook).
SignUp to MailChimp: Free Plan
Free SignUp: Just go to MailChimp to sign up.
Check out the MailChimp pricing. I am going with the Free plan for now. Which at the time of writing, is free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. Sufficient for small or beginning sites. Certainly enough for me.
Note: You can always upgrade to another MailChimp (paid) plan or even move to another platform when your needs increase.
Once you have signed up (email address, username, password), MailChimp will send an email to the email address you provided. It will contain an activation link.
Once activated, you will be brought to page where MailChimp will guide you through setting up the needed account details (name, physical address, etc.)
Note: It will ask you the name of your business and website If you don’t have a website, you can use yout social media URL. They provide more info here if you don’t have a website. Also good to know is that you can change these details later from within your MailChimp account.
Once you have filled in all the basic account details (which can be changed later in you account settings if you need to), you will be taken directly to your MailChimp dashboard.
MailChimp Initial Dashboard
You will see something like per below. To get started, you can see that there are 2 main areas we will need to attend to.
As I said earlier, currently I am specifically trying to move from another newsletter platform (GetResponse) to MailChimp. Which means I already have some subscribers to my newsletter. The aim then is to import those current subscribers.
To do that I need:
- to have exported the current list of subscribers from GetResponse (or whatever your current newsletter provider is) and have that data in a .csv file
- to create a new List (of subscribers) here in MailChimp and..
- to import that .csv list of subscribers into my MailChimp list.
I am going to assume that you have already gotten your .csv file ready to be imported. (If you need more information, please refer to MailChimp’s Knowledge base on Import Subscribers to a List).
So go ahead and click the “Import Subscribers” button under Audience (see image above).
You will be taken to a form to create a new list. (You need a List into which you can import your current subscribers.)
Tip: putting you mouse into any of the fields will activate some tips and suggestions as to what you need to fill in in each field and what they are used for. And who sees that info.
Just follow the hints and steps on the page. Next we will be importing our current subscribers from our .csv file into this new list.
MailChimp will guide you through the steps. Do not worry if your .csv file has other fields. (Mine did). MailChimp will allow you to skip any unwanted fields before completing the import. You can also see all the data (list of subscribers) so that you can check that the names and fields are correct.
I only want fields for:
- Email address (required)
- First Name
All fields that you specify to “skip” will not be imported. When ready, just go to the next step.
After your import, you will see the completed list of your imported subscribers.
Another MailChimp Tutorial
In case my specific scenario is not quite applicable to your situation (i.e. you are not specifically moving from another newsletter platform to MailChimp), below is a more generic tutorial my Melyssa Griffin. It is a good tutorial on How To Use MailChimp. It has both written and video instructions.
Another MailChimp Tutorial worth watching is:
In case you are interested …
Why am I moving away from GetResponse? The most significant reason is that, despite having used them for a few years, I still find their user interface very non-intuitive. So that each time, after some long absence, it all becomes frustratingly Greek to me again. Plus, even from the start, I didn’t find their interface nor their design email editors easy to use.
Additionally, I generally do not have a huge list of subscribers. Nor am I focussed on marketing to my subscribers. So having to pay fees every month is really wasteful for me.
- MailChimp Knowledge Base: Import Subscribers to a List