So you are planning to start promoting your website through newsletters. You will have to build an email list first. For this purpose, you will need a way to securely keep and manage your subscribers’ information. In the following I will be review MailChimp, one of the most popular email marketing tool. Will also show you how to get started and send emails for free.
Campaign Monitor Integration
Login to CampaignMonitor and go to templates. Here you can start your own template or upload one. Select the second option and name your template while you import it from your computer the HTML file and the zip file. You need to wait until the process of importing and scanning is over and then until the thumbnail of the design is ready.
How to edit Newsletter and email templates
Basically, an email template is a HTML page so you can edit it with your Notepad or with something more useful such as Notepad++ or even Dreamweaver. In the process of editing email templates you can always use Firebug or developer console of your browser to edit your template in real time, but please take care because the changes cannot be saved in this case.
Creating Landing Page
You are going to replace template subscribe form with the MailChimp form by going to MailChimp and at Lists. Here you can see your list, or if you do not have one, you need to create it. Click on signup forms and then go to embedded forms. Copy the HTML and now locate the part of your landing page where the Newsletter form it is. Replace the code of the newsletter form with the one from the MailChimp.
How to use MailChimp
You can use MailChimp for free to send regular newsletters to your mailing lists. You send 12,000 emails per month and you can have two thousand subscribers. This is suitable for getting started with an email list and also for promoting a small business.
First of all, you need visit the official MailChimp website click on the sign up button. Fill in the form with your email, username, and password and captcha code.
Next, you should check your email in order to activate the account. This will enable you to finish the process so you need to type the captcha code and then fill the form about yourself such as First Name, Last Name, details about your organization and so on. You can even add a profile photo and choose a time zone.
After that, you press the complete button and you can see the MailChimp dashboard. Here you can import lists from your Outlook, Excel or Gmail. This list contains your email contacts. You can also create and send a campaign and also you can start building your audience on Facebook, Twitter and so on.
To import your list of existing contacts press import the list and write the list name, default from email and you can remind people how they got on your list. You can also see a preview of your contact information and you can edit it if you want. There are also available options such as daily summary, one by one and so on regarding notifications. Next, you can create the list and now you can import your subscribers using a TXT file, a CSV file, copy-paste from Excel, or use various web tools available. It should be wise to import just contacts which subscribed and not contacts used for spamming.
Save your EXCEL file with the contacts in CSV format and then import it into MailChimp using the first option. Now you can match a column for name, a column for the surname, a column for an email address. Complete the import and you can see your lists membership together with the number of people and their information.
If you go at campaign you can create new email campaign so click create a campaign and select which type of campaign you want to use. You should choose a HTML campaign or alternative a plain text. Select the HTML campaign and select if you want to send it to your entire list or just a new segment or a saved segment. Click next and give your campaign a name, an email subject and check to see if your name and your email address are correct on the right. Additionally, you can set up options for tracking, social media, and advanced options. Click next.
Now you can select a template. There are a few of them from where you can choose to have different layouts. You can also search for themes or use saved templates and recently used templates. You can also create one from scratch if you want and have the knowledge to code a newsletter template.
After you chose a layout you can enter the text and the image by clicking on each element from the left while in the right you can change it using a WYSIWYG editor. If you selected a basic template you can use drag and drop to edit the template and to use elements as you wish to position them properly after your taste. To edit each block you just need to click on it. You can add images, text, videos and even social media buttons and links. Click next.
You are ready to send but you can check everything you did such as the list, the subject line, replies, tracking, HTML email campaign type and mail and so on. If you do not set up an available option you will have an exclamation sign near the element which you need to edit it in order to everything to be perfect. Do not forget to edit he template header in order to have a preview of your email so you can summarize or write something which makes subscribers open your email.
Now that everything is ok you can click on the top right button and preview and test your email template on your browser. You can also see it on the left as a standard email opened in a computer while in the right you can see a mobile preview.
You can also send yourself a test email so choose to send a test email from the preview and test and write your email.
Next click send and you can click again send now and the campaign will be sent to your list. You can replicate your campaign from the campaign list or you can use other options.
You can always save and exit your campaign. Once your campaign started you need to wait for the emails to be received and you can see how many people opened or clicked your email. All of these stats are available at Reports.
You can always manually add subscribers by going at lists and adding their email and names.
Hope this quick overview of MailChimp was useful to many of you. Now you know how to create an email campaign and send out newsletters to your potential clients. I assume that you already have a website, but if you don’t please check out our guide on how to great a professional website.
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