MailChimp is a widely used newsletter service provider which allows you to send custom newsletters to a list of your subscribers. However, figuring out how to send a newsletter can be tricky at first; here’s how.
After logging in you will see a bar across the top of the page with items including “Campaigns”, “Templates” and “Lists”.
Creating a List
The first step is to create a list if you have not done so already. Click on “Lists” at the top and then “Create List”. The fields are self-explanatory; fill them out, click “Save” and you will have your first list. If you are just testing for now, you may wish to name the list something like “Admin Test”.
Next, you need to add subscribers to the list; go back to “Lists”, click on the name of the list you just created, and click “Add Subscribers”. You can add subscribers one by one, or by importing from an external source (such as a spreadsheet). Note that is illegal to add email addresses to a mailing list without their consent, so if importing a list of addresses make sure that they all agreed to subscribe to you (if you are in doubt or if it is an old list, MailChimp has functionality for sending out confirmation emails to confirm that subscribers still want to be subscribers). If you are just creating a test list, you can add your own email address as the first subscriber.
Sending the Newsletter
Finally, you are ready to send a newsletter. MailChimp newsletters are sent through campaigns.
- Click on “Campaigns” at the top and then “Create Campaign”.
- Select the campaign type. Generally most campaigns will be “Regular Campaign”, although for a first test you may just want a “Plain-Text Campaign”. Click “Next”.
- On the next page, you will be asked which list you wish to send to; select your preferred list (you can choose whether to send to the entire list or just some of it) and click “Next”.
- Name your campaign; if a test campaign, just call it something like “Test Campaign”. Click “Next”.
- If you selected “Regular Campaign”, you will be prompted to select a template. If you have created templates in the past, click on “Saved Templates” and select one of your templates. Otherwise, select one of the built-in templates under “Basic” or “Theme”. Click “Next”.
- Fill out the template; what you fill out now will be the final newsletter that is sent. The exception to this is bits of text in the format “*|TEXT|*” – these are variables and are automatically replaced by MailChimp when you send out the campaign. E.g., “*|CURRENT_YEAR|*” would be replaced by “2015”. Click “Next”.
- The final page is simply a confirmation page. Review the details and use the links at the bottom to go back and make revisions if necessary. To send the campaign immediately, click “Send”, or to send later at a specified time, click “Schedule”.
- Congratulations, your newsletter has been sent! If you clicked “Send” in the previous step, you should receive it within less than a minute. If you do not receive it, make sure that you sent it to the correct list, and that your email address is on that list correctly.