MailChimp is used by so many businesses for their mail outs, you will often see their logo at the bottom. It is free to use for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month.
It can be used in a few different ways, if you have a blog, you can set it up to automatically send out new posts. You can also design newsletters to send out to your subscribers as and when you want to.
The bonus of using it over other newsletters and subscriptions like jetpack is that you can see the stats of how many people opened it and then also clicked it. It also allows you to design the newsletters and mail outs to match your brand.
Here I will guide you through setting up MailChimp to automatically send out new posts from your WordPress self hosted site.
An RSS feed is a feed with your latest posts that people can sign up to.
Below I will talk you through the following
- Setting up a MailChimp Account
- Setting up a Campaign and List
- Set up an automatic newsletter with your RSS feed
- Subscribers – If you are using a different subscription service you can import them to MailChimp
- Or if you are a new site you can start with no subscribers
- A way to let people sign up to the newsletter
SIGNING UP FOR A MAILCHIMP ACCOUNT
A few things to be aware of
- You will have to put in a street address, this will be displayed on your mail outs. If you don’t want to use your home, you could use an office or P.O. Box
- Make sure you set the correct time-zone
- You can change this is Settings – Details
- Make sure the email you sign up with is the one you want the mail outs to be sent from
SETTING UP THE MAIL OUT FROM YOUR WORDPRESS RSS FEED
1. Click on Campaigns (top left) then click Create Campaign
2. Click Create an Email
3. Choose Automated
4. Click on Share blog updates
5. Change the campaign name (if you wish)
6. The subscribers list below is auto generated when you set up the account, we can use this for now, and change it later if we need to.
7. Click Begin
8. Fill in your blog RSS feed address. It is usually your URL followed by /feed e.g http://geekfairy.co.uk/feed/ (or starting with http:// if you don’t have a SSL certificate.) Check your RSS feed is working by putting the address into a browser, it should look like the below
9. Change the settings for when it should be sent (it will only go if there is a new blog post/s) and on what days.
10. Choose to resize images
11. Click Next (bottom right)
12. Choose the list details – usually Entire List
13. Click Next (bottom right)
14. Campaign name – this is for your own use internally in MailChimp only
15. Email Subject – this will be added automatically
16. Add Preview text relating to what is being sent out
17. Change the From name to what you want it to be
18. Make sure your From email address is where you want it be shown as coming from (e.g. not your personal email but your blog / business one)
19. Personalise the To field – This will only work if you ask for peoples names when collecting their emails
20. Tracking – You can integrate Google Analytics if you wish, but fine to leave all as they are set
21. Click Next (bottom right)
Designing your template
1. Scroll down and choose under basic 1 Column – Full Width
2. Click Next (bottom right)
3. Add your logo – click on the browse on the left in the image box and then upload (on the right) to choose from your computer your logo
4. Hover on the text box below and click the pencil to edit the text – change it to what you want e.g. Here are the latest tutorials from the Geek Fairy Design Studio
5. Click Save and Close
6. Adding the RSS Feed – Drag the RSS items box to under the text box on the left, and then you can edit the set up on the right, showing full posts, or excerpts etc
7. Click Save and Close
8. Social Follow is already there, you can click and edit this, the account links and types of account. And also the design to match your branding. You can have up to 5 in a row. To add more add a second Social Follow row
9. Click Save and Close
10. You can add other items to the mail out, images, text, videos etc, but remember they will appear on every mail out as this is the template. The RSS feed will update the blog posts automatically, but the rest will be static
11. If you click on the Preview and Test (top right) and choose Enter Preview Mode, you can see what the email will look like on a desktop and mobile. (It won’t load the RSS feed here.) If you chose Send a test email and fill in your email, you will get an email to you so you can see what the mail out will look like and correct any errors
(If when your test email arrives it doesn’t have any featured images in it and you use them, add this plugin to your site)
12. Click Next (bottom right)
13. Here you can check all the details of your campaign, make sure it is all correct, alongside the text email you sent out. You can go back to any section and edit it
14. To start the campaign click Start RSS and then confirm the details
You need to add a box to your site for people to sign up, to join your mailing list. There are 2 options, using a plugin or embedding code into your site.
To build the form in mailchimp and then embed it in your site go to your Lists page in mailchimp, and click on the right arrow next to Stats and choose Signup forms
Then choose embedded form and design the form as you want it. Copy the code and drop it into a WordPress side bar widget, page or post.
Or use a plugin like Mailchimp for WordPress
You can export existing subscribers from most plugins. With Jetpack go to Jetpack – Site Stats – Click on Blog Subscriptions and click on the link Download all email-only followers as CSV
You can then upload them to MailChimp on the Lists page and click on the right arrow next to Stats and choose Import and follow the instructions