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Create free email lists with smart Mailchimp

Mailing lists are a smart way to get information out quickly. Regardless of whether you are a small business owner, secretary of an association or work in something else, you can benefit greatly from sending emails to many recipients.

One solution is, of course, to use your usual email program and enter recipients as hidden copy recipients, but that is unnecessarily complicated. There are smart services that do the job in an easier way, for example Mailchimp.

1. To use the service, start by going to Mailchimp and creating a new account. It does not cost anything. Your username doesn’t matter too much either. Just choose something you’ll remember and key in a password that’s not too easy to guess. In particular, make sure your email address is correct.

2. After you do this, Mailchimp will send you a letter. In there is a link. Click it to confirm your email address is correct and that you are not a robot. Then it’s time to key in some information about who you are. Note that you can integrate the solution with your web shop as well, but we will not go into that in this article.

Create account on Mailchimp
It costs nothing to get started with Mailchimp.

3. Once you have entered the tool itself, the first step is to create a list of users. Therefore click on the Create a list button. You now end up in a window where you can click on a button with the same name once more. Then you land in an input form.

4. Fill in information about the list. Note that From email address does not have to be the email address you used when registering. If you have a special no-reply variant, it is fine to enter it here as well. Be sure to fill in the box that explains why a user is on the list. Spam is not allowed, so it’s important to explain to the recipients so they don’t flag you as a spammer.

Check boxes on the Mailchimp homepage.
The interface is very clean and easy to work with..

5. With the list ready, it’s time to fill it. You normally do this by importing addresses from some type of file. But in this case, you can enter a test address manually. Click anyway Import subscribers and then select Copy/paste from file followed by Next.

6. Now you get an empty box into which you can normally paste addresses from Excel. But you can also write straight up and down. Enter your email address, first name and last name with tabs between. Then tick the box that you understand that too many addresses can start to cost. continue with Next.

List creation on Mailchimp.
Normally you get your lists from an external program.

7. Before you can start importing, you must tell Mailchimp what you have entered. Normally, the program finds e-mail addresses, but you have to do the rest manually. click Editselect the correct heading and then Save. When you have done it for everyone, click Next again.

As you can see in the lists, you can enter a lot of information about users, which can be interesting if you want to segment or do A/B tests. But that’s a bit overpriced and will come in a later article.

Input form with an email address filled in.
…but it is also possible to enter them manually.

8. In the next view, you talk about how the rows should be imported. Just for this case, you don’t need to change anything. This means that your entered address will be entered as a subscriber. Press Import to finally get all the rows in and see a list.

9. Now it’s time to create the campaign itself. click Campaigns up in the top menu. When the page has finished loading, click on Create Campaign. There are a few different variants to choose from. Press Select to the right of Regular campaign.

A list of people who are on the Mailchimp list
The stars indicate how good the address is and increase when clicked and opened.

10. On the next page you can choose the recipient. In this case, it’s already done for you as you only have one list to choose from. Make sure that the top circle, Send to entire listis highlighted, then press Next which you will find in the bottom right corner.

11. The next step is to name the campaign and fill in details if you don’t want to use default settings from the list. You have quite a few choices below Tracking but you can leave them as they are. In many cases you cannot change them without being a paying customer. Press instead Next.

Campaign creation page.
The campaign is the actual mailing you do and it is important to keep track of recipients.

12. Choosing a template can be tricky at first before you know exactly how you want your letter to look. But usually simple is good. So for this test you can choose the option 1 Column which you will find at the top left. You do that by pressing on Select.

13. Now it’s time to create the letter itself. In the basic version, you have a header, space for an image, the email itself, social links and a footer. You should not remove the latter. If you don’t want angry emails, you have to give customers an easy way to unsubscribe from the list.

14. You can easily add new segments by dragging items from Contenttab to the main screen. And if you want to delete something, you can drag the mouse pointer to the right part and just click on the trash can that appears. Expect it to take a little while to get everything in place.

Editor to create the letter template.
It’s easy to put too much into the newsletter so it becomes cluttered.

15. If you want to edit the content, it is easiest to mark the right segment and fill in the information on the right. Depending on what you are working with, you get different choices. Text is just an editor and social links give you special boxes for each website.

16. Double-click the field at the top, with the text Use this area to offer a short preview…. Change the text in the box on the right to This is a test. Then do the same with the main text box that starts with the text It’s time to design your email. Then click Next.

A red button and a trembling monkey.
Before the letters go off, you’ll get an extra reminder because there’s no undo button after this.

17. Now you get a summary of what you have done. Make sure all boxes are checked green and click Sent. Before it actually goes off, you have to click on Send now for safety’s sake. Press again and get a high-five from Mailchimp.

18. The next step is to test it worked. Check your email and make sure the letter went through. Open it properly and take a look at the result. Then go back to Mailchimp and click on the monkey at the top left to get to the overview view.

A report page with some information.
Once the letters have gone out, you can follow the statistics and see how well it is received.

19. Here you can see how your mailings have gone. In this case, you’ve only sent to one person and you have a 100 percent open rate, which is pretty good. click View report to get a detailed view of who read and what time.

20. It doesn’t get any harder than this. Now you can upload a real list and start experimenting with creating mailings. Just remember to only send to addresses that you are okay with. So as long as you keep below about 10,000 letters a month, it will be completely free.

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