MailChimp Tutorial: How To Get Started & Beyond

After a couple of months of starting BforBloggers, I understood email marketing was going to be my blog’s integral part.

If you’re just starting an online business or wish to collect emails from your blog, MailChimp is the software you need.

In this guide, I’ll help you set up your account and make most out of MailChimp, step by step.

 About MailChimp

MailChimp is one of the most popular email marketing services, and there’s a good reason why they have millions of customers.

It is free to get started, and you get every feature that you can ask for in an email marketing service.

You can collect and send emails to 2,000 subscribers for free and best of all, you now also get free access to complete automation workflow in every plan.

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to correctly get started with MailChimp, about every important MailChimp feature, how to send your first email and how you can use it to build & grow your business.

MailChimp Basics You Should Know

There are a few MailChimp specific terms you should know before you start using it. In this part, we’ll cover those terms.

1. Email Lists Are Called Audience In MailChimp

MailChimp lets you create email lists called Audience.

This list is where you’ll store all the email address you collect.

You can create an unlimited number of lists but there a limit on how many emails you’ll be able to save in them which will be specific to your MailChimp plan.

The free version of MailChimp lets you store 2000 email addresses in total which you can distribute among various lists. MailChimp counts duplicate email addresses in multi lists as same.

Suppose you’ve 5 email lists and one of your subscribers with same email address joins all 5 lists, then it will be counted as 5 different email addresses.

2. Groups

This has to be the best feature of MailChimp. MailChimp allows you to create groups in email lists. These groups let you separate different segments of your subscribers according to their choice, interest, and almost anything you may want.

You can use groups to sperate and identify your subscribers according to their choices and interest, beneficial when you have a diverse audience, multiple websites to collect emails from or many lead magnets to deliver.

MailChimp allows your readers and visitors to select their preferred interest right before they subscribe, and this feature is found a very few email marketing services.

3. Autoresponders

Autoresponders are emails sent automatically over some time.

This is the best part of every email marketing service & software. You write a few emails and set an autoresponder to send them on a specific time.

Autoresponders build up the whole concept of email marketing automation, and sales funnel, as you’ll learn in this tutorial below.

You can precisely choose when to send pre-written emails to your subscribers.

4. Automation workflow

Automation is the core of email marketing. MailChimp gives you access to powerful automation workflow you can use to run your business on autopilot.

It works on one thing: Triggers.

Triggers are specific actions your subscribers take to activate autoresponders. It can be after some time, after they click on a link, after that open an email and many more other triggers.

For e-commerce, the automation workflow is the key to recover cart abandonments and after-sales service.

How To SignUp For MailChimp & Setup Your Account

If you are just starting out, you haven’t used any email marketing service and no subscribers at all, then you don’t have much to worry about. The whole setup process is pretty straight up in MailChimp.

However, if you have used an email marketing service before and you have an email list you’ll like to import to MailChimp, I’ll cover that part as well so don’t worry.

Step 1: Go to MailChimp.

Step 2: Click on “Sign Up Free” button.

Step 3: Enter your email address, user name, password, and click on “Get Started.”

Your account has been created, and now you can log in to your MailChimp dashboard.

If you ever wish to upgrade, MailChimp has three premium plans. The pricing starts from $9.99/month for the essential plan. The standard plan is priced at $14.99/month the premium plan will cost you $200/month.

You can pay annually, as well as monthly.

How To Setup Your First Email List

MailChimp wet through a massive update in 2019 which changed many things.

Since the update, you now no longer see “lists” terminology used in MailChimp. MailChimp now uses the term “audience” for defining lists that store the email address of your subscribers.

So to collect your subscribers’ email first thing you need to do is create a new audience list.

Here I’ll show you how to create a new audience list and all the essential details you shouldn’t miss.

Go to and sign in to your MailChimp dashboard.

Step 1: Click on the audience button in your MailChimp dashboard.

Step 2: Click on create new audience button.

Step 3: Enter the list name and fill all the other details.

While creating your audience list here are a few things you need to know:

Always enter your business email address which is self-hosted your domain. Something like [email protected] is preferred than a Gmail email address because it makes it hard to verify the actual sender.

You don’t have to enter your home address in the contact address section while creating your audience list.

You can choose to enter your office address. However, you can’t skip it as it is mandatory in MailChimp to provide a physical contact address.

You should also turn on the double optin feature, so you don’t end up getting tons of spam emails in your list.

How To Import Your Existing Email List To MailChimp

If you have been collecting emails from a coming soon page, then follow the steps below to import those email subscribers to your MailChimp audience list.

To begin with this import process, you’ll have to keep a download the CSV file of your subscribers.

Step 1: Go to the “Audience” report and click on import contacts.

Step 2: Click on “CSV.”

Step 3: Upload the CSV file and click on continue.

Step 4: Review the import fields, click on the skip button for unknown fields, and then click on Import.

It will take a few minutes to complete the import process.

Creating List Groups

This one setup will save you both money and time as well as you’ll make more money from your mailing list. Creating groups will help you separate and different between different segments of the audience.

You might have a blog where you talk about fitness, and you have both demographics of the audience. You can easily create two groups in MailChimp to separate men and woman when you send an email.

When you publish a post about men, send an email to all the people who are in the group men and when you publish a post important for women, sending an email to group women will give you more conversion, and above all, it makes more sense too.

Step 1: Click on the “audience” and select “groups” from the manage contacts dropdown menu.

Step 2: Create groups.

Step 3: Enter a name for your group and click save.

You can use MailChimp’s own form builder or other lead generation tools to create optin forms and assign a group to that form so whenever someone subscribers through that particular form, they get added into that group. I’ll show you how to do that, later in this tutorial.

Setting Up Autoresponders

To begin with email marketing automation, you need to set up a few autoresponders first.

Autoresponders have several benefits, and the most important of all is that they save time. And time is money.

If you have a lead magnet or an ethical bribe, you should set up an autoresponder right away.

Step 1: Click on create a campaign.

Step 2: click on “Email.”

Step 3: Click on automated and then click on welcome new subscribers.

Step 4: Click on the single email and then enter a campaign name.

Step 5: Click on edit design.

Step 6: Edit your email and click on save and continue.

Step 7: Click on start sending.

That’s it – your autoresponder is now set and will work as soon as you start collecting more emails.

Creating Optin Forms To Collect Email Addresses

Once your autoresponder is set up, it is time to set up some optin forms. Optin forms or also known as sign up forms are the forms that allow your visitors to enter their email and subscribe to your email list.

Step 1: Go to your MailChimp dashboard and click on create and select sign up forms.

Step 2: Click on begin.

Step 3: Copy the HTML code and paste it on your website.

Adding optin forms on your blog or website becomes reasonably easy by using one of the many free optin form WordPress plugins.

The one which I use and recommend is Icegram or SUMOme as they both are free to use. If you would like to get a more powerful optin tool, you should check out Thrive Leads.

How to Send an Email Newsletter in MailChimp

Step 1: Click on create

Step 2: Click on “email.”

Step 3: Select regular and enter a campaign name.

Step 4: Click on add recipients and select your email list.

💡TipAt this step, you can choose to send the email newsletter to a group by clicking on segment or tag dropdown

Step 5: Add a subject for the email and then click on design email.

Step 6: Click on Design and create your newsletter.

Once you’ve written your email and finished designing it, you can click on save and continue.

Step 6: Click on the send button.

That’s it, your email newsletter will be sent to your subscribers in a few minutes. You can also schedule the email to be sent on a specific time by clicking the schedule button on the top.

That’s it- congratulations!. You’ve successfully set up MailChimp.

You can now easily use MailChimp to send your lead magnets on time, you can create automation to run your business on auto-pilot, and you can keep your subscribers engaged by sending them newsletter periodically.

Other MailChimp related guides you may find helpful:

How are you going to use MailChimp for your online business?

Or do you have any questions?

Anyway, let me know by leaving a comment below.

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One Comment

  1. Hello
    Oh, this is absolutely fantastic! -As I have been looking for an understandable manual in Swedish to start up Mailchimp for my small business. I’m so totally non-technical but really think I’ll be able to follow your numbered steps to set up my Mailchimp.
    But IF I need help or ask something – How or Where can I get in touch with you Then?
    Carina Frendin / InreBalance

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