One of the reasons we recommend MailChimp to customers who will be managing their own email marketing campaigns is because it's one of the most user-friendly tools out there for this. In fact, if you receive our monthly newsletter, you've probably already noticed that we use it in-house, too.

In addition to being incredibly easy to use, MailChimp is attractive for it's powerful capabilities, well-organized reporting, and competitive pricing. If you're shopping around for a new email marketing platform, we suggest giving MailChimp a try. It costs nothing to create an account, import your list, and set up your first campaign. Furthermore, depending on how many people you plan to email at one time, you may not have to pay anything.

Creating Your First Email Campaign in MailChimp

Once you're all set up with your free account and you've imported your email list, you're ready to create your first campaign in MailChimp. Better yet, if you already have your copy written, this process won't take long.

  1. From your MailChimp dashboard, click the red button on the left side of the screen that says "Create Campaign." From the drop down list, choose "regular ol' campaign."
  2. On the next screen, choose which list of email recipients you're going to be sending this campaign to. If you only have one list, just click "Next."
  3. Next, name your campaign (for your own internal use), and give your email a catchy, descriptive subject line. After confirming which options you want on the right hand side of the screen, click "Next." By the way, you can also choose "Save & Exit" at any step along the way.
  4. Now is where you'll choose this campaign's template; the design of your email. If you've worked with AAI to set up your MailChimp account, you'll see a customized template in there that we created for you. If not, you can choose a standard template from MailChimp. Click "Select," and then you'll be brought to a screen where you can actually input your content.
  5. This is where you have an opportunity to be creative and remarkable. If you've ever sent an email at work or home, a lot of the formatting options already look familiar. Enter your text, images, video, and format it the way you want it to look. Also note that you can see a Popup Preview of your progress at any time.
  6. After entering and formatting your content, the next step will ask you to confirm the plain text version of your email. This is what recipients will see if their email client doesn't show messages in HTML format. If it all looks good, simply click "Next."
  7. The next and final step is where you'll look over everything and actually send your campaign. If there's one thing we can't stress enough, it's this: always, always, always send yourself (and others on your team) test messages before you send the final version.

This was the break-neck speed version of sending a campaign in MailChimp. There's a lot more you should be thinking about as you send your next campaign (tips for successful subject lines, which email lists you should never import to MailChimp, etc.), and we'd love to help you through that learning process. Let us know if an email marketing crash course would be beneficial. We're here to help!

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