Setting Up An Account

Go to mailchimp.com and click the sign up link. Fill in the info as the picture shows. For some reason, you need to supply a website URL. You don’t need to confirm that you own it, so I’m not sure what purpose this serves, but you’ve got to jump through the hoops. Just use the Everett Program’s URL, http://everettprogram.org and you should be fine.

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Read the “Getting Started with MailChimp” Guide

If you want a great, simple overview of what MailChimp does, what their terms mean, and how to…get started. Read this thing. MailChimp got as big as they have by being easy to use and they hired some great writers to put together their documentation. Find the Guide here.

Terminology

Like everything, MC has its own jargon.

Campaign

In simplest terms, a campaign is an email sent out to a group of people. They use the term “campaign” because you should be thinking about the email as just one part of a larger effort to accomplish something, e.g. finding volunteers, soliciting donations, etc.

Templates

The look and feel of the message that people will get

List

A list is a list of contacts. These are important. They are the people you are sending emails to. MC allows you to have multiple lists, because people naturally should be divided into different audiences. For instance, Everett has a separate list for

  • Current Students
  • Alumni
  • Donors
  • Partners

These are different types of people who we have different messages to send to at different times. That’s why lists are so important to an email campaign. They help you deliver the right message to the right people.

Reports

MC allows you to see how many people opened your message, what they clicked on once they did, if they unsubscribed, and a plethora of other things. These are great to dork out over.

Creating a List

Setting Up a General Signup Form

Start by selecting “Lists” in the sidebar, and clicking “Create List” in the upper right corner.

Now just fill out the details in the list creation page. You’ll need to supply a “from” email. This means the address that people see the message is from.

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Add Subscribers

There are two ways to add subscribers to a list

  1. Upload an existing contact sheet (like this TE-mailchimp)
  2. Create a signup form

Click the “Signup Forms” tab to get started

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Choose “General Forms”

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Build The Form!

This is the “Build It” Tab. You can drag and drop blocks onto the form to add or subtract what sort of information you want to collect in addition to the email address, like name, address, phone number, etc. On the right, you can set whether or not a field is required as well as some other information.

Something to remember when doing this for real orgs is that people will only be comfortable giving up so much information.

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Style the Form!

Make it fabulous with the style tab. On the top, select the form element and then customize to your heart’s content.

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How Do People Use Your Form?

MC produces a URL for you to share.

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Emailing people a link to a signup sheet is not necessarily the best way to gain subscribers, but it will do for this lab. Once you get a website, you can make embeddable forms.

Go ahead and sign up for your own list! Give it a few minutes to show up.

Your First Campaign

Ok now comes the good part. It’s time to send something. Choose “Campaigns” from the sidebar and hit “Create a Campaign”. Choose “Regular Ol’ Campaign”

This lesson has gotten to be long enough, so we’ll leave you here. It’s pretty self explanatory and anything else you need to know will be present in MC’s own guides. If you have any trouble, just click “Help” and search the knowledge base.