Setting up a MailChimp list is the first step in working with MailChimp to send emails. This is because MailChimp has two core areas to pay attention to when you are getting started:
- Lists. A list holds email addresses.
- Campaigns. A campaign contains the email you send to the email addresses in your list.
Since a MailChimp list holds email addresses, let’s talk just a little bit about these email addresses you’ll put into your list before we create a list. A list is a collection of email addresses. MailChimp doesn’t allow for email addresses to be used in its system if they have been purchased. MailChimp lists have to contain only email addresses that were provided by the people directly connected to those email addresses. If you import a list of email addresses you received from another party, MailChimp probably won’t know. But when you send a campaign to those email addresses, you are likely to experience a high rate of unsubscribes. If you do, MailChimp is likely going to flag your account and possibly suspend it, especially if your emails are marked as “spam” by a lot of people.
If you have email addresses you have been communicating with already, you can import those email addresses into your MailChimp list.
Set Up a MailChimp List – Step 1:
Login to your MailChimp account.
You’ll want to be sure you are on the correct screen within MailChimp. Choose List from the top menu. This is what to click if you are looking at MailChimp from a desktop computer.
If you don’t see the menu I show above, you’re probably in mobile view. In which case, you will see a menu icon on the left that looks like three horizontal lines:
Click the mobile menu and click “lists.”
Set Up a MailChimp List – Step 2:
Next, click the gray button that reads “Create List.”
The first view shown below is the desktop view.
If you are working in mobile view, the “create list” button will be even larger and will probably be centered on the screen, as shown here:
Next, MailChimp will ask you to confirm that you want to create a list rather than a group. If you are brand new to MailChimp, you’ll definitely want to click Create List. I’ll discuss creating a group in a tutorial in the future.
Set Up a MailChimp List – Step 3:
Now you’ll see a screen with a lot of options. It will look like the screen below. There’s a lot of things to consider, as you can see, so keep reading and I’ll walk you through each option.
In some cases, this list name might appear to your subscribers, so you’ll want to choose a name that is descriptive to you and that will make sense to your readers.
For instance, if my MailChimp list subscriber thinks they are subscribing to get email marketing tips, I might want to name my list “Brenda’s Weekly Email Marketing Tips.” If I have another set of people I am reaching out to that are interested in profitable website tips, I might want to create a second list just for them so when they sign up they know they are in the right place and are going to get the information they really want.
I like the “From Email address” to be from me (brenda@….) since people are subscribing for education material from me. If you are a larger entity or if the information isn’t from a specific person, you might want to have an email address that reflects the material being sent. For instance, if you are getting people to sign up to a MailChimp list that is for dog grooming tips, you might want to create an email address in alignment with the information you’ll be providing, such as “firstname.lastname@example.org.”
You want people to feel connected to you or your company as much as possible, so try to avoid more generic email addresses like “email@example.com.”
Much like the default “from email address,” make your “Default From name” as personable as possible. Rather than using the company name, try using the first name of the person sending it. For instance, if Katy is in charge of sending emails to the “dog grooming tips” list, let the “Default From name” be “Katy, from Your Company Name.” In my case, since my domain name is brendanewhouse.com, I just have the “Default From name” listed as “Brenda.” When sending to email addresses on a MailChimp list, the “Default From email address” and “Default From name” will show in the recipient’s inbox.
Next, MailChimp will have you fill in a reminder for the people on your MailChimp list. The above statement is what I have in place for my free WordPress Video Tutorial Course and for most of my other lists. This notice is called a permission reminder and yes, you can totally edit this if you need to change it later; here’s how.
This text is important because some people forget that they subscribed in the first place, so the reminder can save you from getting more unsubscribes than necessary.
Next, your MailChimp list needs to have contact information assigned to it. If you don’t like what shows up by default, you can click the “Edit” button (shown in the image above).
This contact information is required and actually needs to be your business’ contact information. So if you haven’t established a formal address for your business, now is a really good time rather than leaving your personal address as the contact information. Yes, a P.O. Box will work just fine.
How often do you want updates about your MailChimp list? That’s what the “Notifications” section lets you set. You can always change it in your list’s settings, but unless you’re getting 10s of signups per day, I recommend setting notifications to one-by-one. I like this setting because it’s nice to see those little notifications of a new sign up throughout the day magically appear in my inbox. It’s also nice to know when someone unsubscribes because then I can decide if I would like to write them and welcome them back at a later time or just let it be. I like reaching out personally to people when the unsubscribe just to thank them for giving my information a try and to let them know what’s on the horizon so they don’t miss out.
Your Next Step
- If you don’t already have a MailChimp account, you can sign up here: https://login.mailchimp.com/signup
- After you have your MailChimp account established, go ahead and set up your first list! Remember to keep your “from” information as personable as possible but still appropriate for your business’ branding.
The Next MailChimp Tutorial
So… how do you add people to this list of yours? That’s what I’ll be covering in my next MailChimp tutorial!
Affiliate? Who me?
Please note that I am not an affiliate of MailChimp and am not in any way being paid by MailChimp to talk about them. I like them. That’s it. As I write these tutorials, my goal is to share how I use MailChimp to grow my business so you can learn from my successes and failures and so I can become better at serving my clients by growing my expertise in email marketing.