MailChimp Tutorial | Email Marketing Best Practices

Hello and welcome to another little video in our series which guides you through setting up a successful WordPress website and building your online presence!

This video will be the ultimate guide to setting up MailChimp on WordPress! In this video you’re going to learn..

  1. Why your website absolutely needs an email list
  1. How to setup email lists with MailChimp
  1. How to add email subscribe boxes on your WordPress website that actually work
  1. How to setup auto responder messages, and what an auto responder is
  1. Awesome tips to start getting your first email subscribers!

You might have come across a popup on some pages which ask you to enter your email address in exchange for subscribing to a newsletter or in exchange for something free in return. All of these little boxes gather email addresses so you can deliver awesomeness to everyone even while you’re sleeping! Creating an email subscriber list is one of the first things you should do to grow your website and online presence, even when you have zero traffic!

I wanted to make this step-by-step guide for you so I can hold you by the hand and walk you through setting up your first newsletter email opt-in! And I’d like to give you some awesome tips on how to get people to subscribe!

Let’s jump straight in and get started!

We’re going to be using MailChimp because it’s super simple to use and has a completely free option! There is an option to pay for it monthly, which will give you more options, but for now the free version is great!

MailChimp is feature rich! You’ll be able to use your blog’s RSS feed to send emails. This makes it really easy to automatically have your newest blog posts sent out to your email list. You’ve got subscriber profiles so you can get insights about your subscribers and keep in contact in one place.

MailChimp can be completely automated. It helps you email the right people at the right time. This is based on customer behavior and preferences as well as time zone! Mail chimp also recommends the best time to send emails within 24 hours of your selected delivery date. This can be determined by your specific lists engagement data.

MailChimp has flexible design options for teams of all sizes. You can collaborate on campaigns that fit your brand by using mail chimps email designer. MailChimp’s templates and forms are responsive so they work on any device!

MailChimp is always working for you 24/7! Lets learn how to set it up!

How to set up MailChimp!

Head over to MailChimp.com. The first thing you want to do is sign up for your free mail chimp account. Click on “Sign Up for Free.”

Enter your email, username and password. If you agree to the terms and conditions, just click on Create My Account! You’ll be sent a confirmation email so lets go and confirm that now so everything coming up works perfectly.

So find the email and click the button and we then just need to fill in a few more details to finish setting up our account. Enter your name again and your address or your PO Box. This will be the address that is shown on the bottom of emails you send.

Once that’s all filled out, click on Save and get started and you’ll be on the Dashboard!

Creating your first list

To create your first list just click on “Create A List” and you’re taken to this page to fill in some information about your list. So, give it a name, the default “From” email you want to use, and the default from name, and a little message for people to remind them how they got on your list. Check any notifications you’d like to receive about this list. I recommend not having an email every time someone subscribes or unsubscribes as you can receive hundreds of emails. Just use your phone and the app or check your daily summary instead.

Fantastic! You’ve now got your first list! But, it looks emptier than a gym in October! So, now it’s time to learn how to set up auto responder and welcome messages, and get an email option form on your website!

How to add an email subscribe box to your WordPress website

I’m going to show you one of our favorite plugins we use which integrates with MailChimp perfectly, that creates the perfect email opt in box for your website. I’m talking about SumoMe ListBuilder.

ListBuilder converts one time visitors into lifelong readers and email subscribers. Because you work hard on your website, ListBuilder lightbox makes sure they subscribe to your email list and come back for more!

It catches their attention right before they leave, asking for their email address in return for a great offer. It’s fully customizable and easy to set up. I’ll quickly guide you through getting this installed on your WordPress website and then link it to our MailChimp to collect our email opt-ins.

Set up SumoMe List Builder

So to do this make sure you’re on the dashboard for your website. We’re going to install the SumoMe plugin and then install Listbuilder. SumoMe has quite a few apps and I’ve made videos on them all if you’re interested in learning about the others.

So, head to Plugins, and Add New. And search for SumoMe.

Click on Install, and then Activate.

Now you’ll see you have a new box on the top right, which you need to click and register with SumoMe. So do that now.

When you’re done hover over the box again and click on the crown, and SumoMe Store. We’re looking for ListBuilder.

As I said SumoMe has created some awesome apps to use to leverage your website. ListBuilder is just one of them. Now click on ListBuilder, and FREE, and it’s installed!

Now click on the crown again and click on ListBuilder.

You’ve got a toolbar on the left with all the sections. We’re here to link MailChimp to ListBuilder and our opt-in form so we can start collecting emails from our visitors. So click on Services, and this brings up all the services that integrate with ListBuilder. MailChimp is at the top, so let’s click on that. It connects in just a couple of clicks. Click on Connect, enter your details, and Sign In, and you’re all connected! ListBuilder will now work with MailChimp and when someone submits their email to your opt-in form that we’ll be creating in a moment, it will be added to the list in MailChimp, so you’re always in communication with your visitors!

So now we want to create a lightbox or opt-in form so we can start collecting our visitors’ email addresses. All we do is click on Design and this page let’s us customize our opt-in form, so we can write a title and the main text, change colors, the size of the form, and edit the success message after someone enters their email. You can see how your changes look right away on the right as you do them. You’ve also got templates which has forms you can pay for to use, and these look good so if you want to do that you can, but the free default form works great!

When you’re done click on save.

Click on Behavior and we’ll have a quick look at the settings for the form.

Here you can choose when you want your form to show up, and if you use the Smart feature ListBuilder knows when your visitors are about to leave and the form shows up. There are lots of options here to play around with it.

Check out your website and have a look at your new ListBuilder. I’ve got mine to show up just as someone is about to leave!

Now we’ve set up our lightbox and linked it to MailChimp, all we need to do now is setup a welcome message and auto responders. So, lets do that now!

Setting up an auto responder

So what is an auto responder? It’s a message that’s been setup to be sent automatically when you sign up to an email list, for example. Have you ever received those emails right after signing up for something? That is an auto responder. Auto responders make it so that you don’t have to manually send out emails to each subscriber that joins your list. You just set everything up and let it run. Auto responders are only sent when specific actions happen.

For instance, you might setup a series of auto responders to go out in a sequence. You send message #1, and then setup message #2 to be sent only after the subscriber has opened message #1. Or you can set it up to send X number of days after a subscriber joins your list. There are a lot of possibilities, but that goes beyond the scope of this video.

Here’s how a standard email signup process works:

  • Bob enters email to opt-in box
  • He then receives an email asking to confirm his subscription (this is called a double opt-in)
  • After he confirms his subscription, he’s taken to a “thank you”

Now let’s walk through the process of setting this up.

I’m going to set up an opt-in confirmation email, but the process is the same for other forms.

Back in MailChimp, you’re going to go to List, the list you just made, Signup Forms, and General Forms. Then click on the drop-down button to choose the opt-in confirmation email. This is the email that a person gets immediately after filling in the subscribe box. It’s basically a way of saying “hey, you signed up to get emails from me” Technically double opt-ins are optional, but it helps keep your number of unsubscribers down because the person is confirming that they actually meant to sign up for your list.

The message that you put on your opt-in confirmation email will depend on what you offered to originally get them to sign up. Once you’ve filled that out click on the drop down again and choose confirmation thank you page.

The confirmation thank you page is where people go after they click on the “Yes, subscribe me to this list”.

Your confirmation thank you page should be the page where people can get whatever it is you’re giving away. So in my opt-in form, I was giving away a free cheat sheet. So, I would link a page for my visitors to download that. I could also send the cheat sheet directly to their inbox.

Building a Campaign

Now we’ve setup our list and an email subscribe box. The next part of email marketing is crafting the email message itself. There are lots of names for your email—mass email, newsletter, e-blast, e-zine—but MailChimp calls each email message a “campaign.”

Let’s have a quick look at how to create a campaign and start sending email messages to your subscribers!

So, from the MailChimp dashboard click on Create a Campaign, and it takes you through a few steps to setting up your campaign. Here you choose which list of subscribers you want to send the campaign to. So, I’ll choose the list I created earlier for this example, then click on next. Then you fill in some information on the campaign, such as it’s name, email subject, from name, from email address, as well as lots more options such as tracking and social media which lets you connect to different tracking such as Google analytics, and use Twitter and Facebook with your campaign.

Next, choose a template to use for your email. You have a choice from all kinds of sizes and different looks. Now you get to customize how it looks! Click next. This is where you can get creative!

On the right you have lots of different elements you can add to your Campaign such as text, image, group of images, social share buttons, and image with a caption. All you do is drag it over to your campaign to where you want it to go. Easy! Now you can edit when the editing window comes up. So If I want to add an image I click and drag it over, click on browse, and upload, choose the image I want to use, and it’s uploaded!

Click on Design and you have even more options to customize the look and feel of your campaign such as it’s background color, text color, font, and lots more! Click save when done.

You have so many options to make your campaign unique and engaging to your subscribers! The possibilities are limitless!

When you’re done click on Next! Now you can send your campaign to your subscribers or schedule it for a date and time you want it to be sent. Using MailChimp can be a powerful way to leverage your WordPress website. It’s also easy and intuitive to use!

How to get your first email subscribers

First and foremost, you have to give people a reason to join your email list. “Subscribe to get my latest blog posts” just doesn’t cut it anymore. Tell people what they’re going to get out of joining your email list. Whether you’re giving away a free guide, a discount code, a workshop, or a free consultation, you have to give your audience some type of value to make it worth their while.

My suggestion is to create some type of a free guide. Guides are great because they’re not difficult to make, especially with a nifty little tool that I will link at the end of this video for you, it’s called Canva. I definitely suggest you have a look!

You now have everything you need to set up your email list, put that bad boy on your website, start getting email subscribers, and building your email list!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this video and if you did please give it a quick like and even share it! Thank you! If you have any questions please leave us a comment, coming up is Canva! Thank you and see you in the next video!


20 thoughts on “MailChimp Tutorial | Email Marketing Best Practices”

  1. Nice article – I was enlightened by the specifics ! Does someone know if my business might get access to a template IRS 12509 copy to complete ?

  2. I use esend.io because of the cost and no need to host own servers. Has all the features I need. Only $0.10 per 1000 emails. There is also free tier (2,000 emails/day)

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