MailChimp Fundamentals

MailChimp is a popular email newsletter services used by over 9 million people to send hundreds and thousands of emails every day. Founded in 2001, MailChimp fits the need to design, send, and track email newsletters for a wide variety of people, from self-employed to small businesses, all the way up to Fortune ranked companies. MailChimp isn’t just used by businesses to create and send newsletter—just about anyone who needs to manage subscriber lists and send regular emails can use MailChimp. In today’s post, you’ll learn how to use MailChimp with your WordPress website to manage your company’s email newsletter.

Getting Started with MailChimp

Navigating the interface

Once you log in to MailChimp, you’re shown your company dashboard.

MailChimp Dashboard page


MailChimp Menu Items

  • Campaigns – the email message you design and send to subscribers
  • Templates – a preset layout that you build your campaign on
  • Lists – subscriber lists e.g. Newsletter Contacts
  • Reports – performance of your email campaigns
  • Automation – a paid feature used to streamline recurring communications and make sure your subscribers receive the right emails at the right time

Creating and Sending Campaigns

Working with templates

Templates work much the same way in MailChimp as they do in other applications. Think of templates as reusable layouts that you build your campaign on. There are several templates already created in MailChimp to choose from, or you can create a template from scratch to give your emails a more personal and branded look. You can play around with a pre-built template or create your own from the Templates page in MailChimp’s navigation.

Creating campaigns

There are two ways to create a campaign. From the Templates page or the Campaign page. If you’re on the Templates page, you have the option to create a campaign from a template of your choosing. Alternatively, you can create a campaign from the Campaigns page by clicking the Create Campaign button. You don’t need to have already created a template to create a new campaign. When you create a campaign in MailChimp, they’ll walk you through a series of steps one of which is to choose a template (or create a new one if that’s your preference). Once you have your template, you’ll design it with your newsletter contact, preview and edit it, and then send it to your email list.

Reviewing campaign results

Use MailChimp’s Reports to track the performance of your email campaigns over time. With the help of interactive graphs and data tables, you can monitor trends in how your users interact with your emails including open and click rates among your entire email list, identify your most engaged subscribers over time, and manage your those who have unsubscribed so you don’t accidentally send an email to them in the future.

Working with Subscriber Lists

Manually adding subscribers

To add a new subscriber to a list, go to Lists>Add new subscriber icon>Add subscriber information>Subscribe. You’ll see a form that corresponds to the columns in your email list. Add a new subscriber by completing the form—very easy.


Manually Add Subscribers


Importing subscribers

If you have hundreds or thousands of emails in a spreadsheet, you can upload a CSV file in seconds to import the entire list—it’s very quick and easy. To import subscribers, you need to already have a list in your account—learn how to create a new list in MailChimp. Once you’ve created a list, here’s how to import a CSV spreadsheet containing email addresses to it:

Go to the Lists page>click the drop-down arrow next to the list you want to work with>choose Import>Choose CSV or TXT depending on your file type>Next>Click Browse>Choose the file from your computer>Next>Match your columns in the import file to the columns in your MailChimp list>Click Save for each column or create a new column for any unmatched columns>Click Next to review your final settings>Click Import

Exporting your lists

You may want to export your subscriber list for various reasons. Use MailChimp’s export list tool to do this—again, it’s quick and easy. Go to Lists>click on a specific list e.g. Newsletter Contacts>Export List.


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