How to Use the Templates in Mailchimp?

The Templates section is accessible via the Template link in the top menu.

A Template can best be defined as the email framework with content that can be designed by a HTML expert or MailChimp user without any HTML experience.

A seasoned web designer can write their own code or a novice user can use pre- built MailChimp templates with What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG) tools to design/edit their own Email Template. Normally before creating an eBlast Campaign the user has already created and saved an Email Template to select during the process. These templates allow uploading, saving and referencing images from the Content Manager. They also allow the user to format text with color, bold and italic emphasis within the body of the email.

By clicking the Templates link at the top of the page, a list of all Templates will displays. You may edit the Template by clicking the name of each. You may also Edit the Template by using the gray button in the Template row. Replicate is also an option if you use the gray button. The type of Template is listed below the name and date created. The two options are Code Your Own or Drag and Drop. The Code Your Own type is for the more advanced user, while the Drag and Drop type is suitable for the Beginner with little to no HTML experience.

From the Templates page, you will notice the Content Manager, MailChimp’s asset repository, which allows you to access a control panel that provides the ability to upload images, files for download, videos and other assets that can be referenced from Email Templates. The Create Template button is also available at the top right corner of the page.

Defining Links with Source Codes (Optional)

Many times companies need to track where their website traffic is coming from. In many cases this data is used to determine the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. This is something you may want to consider when creating your email marketing campaigns and associated Templates.

In the web world, a common practice is to use a source code along with a query string to identify where web traffic originates. Although using source codes along with query strings is completely optional when defining website links, you may find that there are some added advantages to using this technique to improve targeting and marketing of your email campaigns.

Source Code

A source code is a text value consisting of letters, numbers and/or symbols that is internally defined by companies. Source codes provide information about website traffic sources.

As long as the target website has tracking or analytics support built-in (either custom or more notable applications like Google Analytics), using a source code is a very effective means to determine where your website traffic originates. Some information used in source codes may be media type information, date information, and company, website or agency the traffic is sent from.

For example, a source code may be: EMLNEWSXYZ030518

More specifically this code may be further defined as:

  • Media Type: EML (for Email) 
  • Topic/Purpose: NEWS 
  • Company: XYZ
  • Date (Day Month Year): 030518

Here is another example of a source code: BLOGPOSTABC121018

This can be better defined as:

  • Media Type: BLOG 
  • Topic/Purpose: POST 
  • Company: ABC
  • Date (Day Month Year): 121018

These are just a few examples of source codes. The element order as well as the elements themselves are limitless and are up to the agency or company that creates the source codes.

Query Strings

Now that you understand some basics of the use of source codes, let’s look at how they can be added to your Campaign Emails which are derived from your Email Templates. As a part of linking to websites from emails, a URL (Web address) will need to be defined. When creating a link to a website, a query string which is appended to the URL can be used to pass data to the target website. A query string is comprised of a list of query string parameters and their associated values. By adding the source code in a data element or query parameter of the query string, the source code can easily be supplied to the target website and processed and tracked accordingly. Note: Multiple query parameters in a key value pair format( ie. https://www.company.com? z=abc45&x=def74) can be passed to the target website using an “&” to concatenate additional query parameters.

Here is an example a URL with a query string: https://www.highincomesource.com?hisrccd=EMLNEWSXYZ030518

Here is another example:

https://www.highincomesource.com?hisrccd=BLOGPOSTABC121018

As a rule of thumb, the query string begins with the “?” and continues to the end of the URL.

Benefits

If you choose to define your email links with query strings and source codes, upon logging into external tracking software like Google Analytics connected to your website, you will easily be able to identify the traffic you received from your Web address email links considering they should include the query parameters along with source codes.

In several places in this module and beyond you will need to define a Web address URL. For this reason, you may want to use a query string along with a source code to define links to your website. Alternatively, you may simply want to define the Web address URL without the query string or source code.

For example: https://highincomesource.com

This is completely up to you and your company’s direction. Defining your website links depends on your goals and envisioned outcomes around email marketing and website referral tracking.

Note: For the purposes of this guide, to simplify defining Web address URL’s for learning purposes, we will not define our Web address URL’s with query strings with source codes while building Email Templates for our Email Campaigns.

Creating a Template

To Create a Template, use the Create Template button at the top right corner of the page. You will first need to make a decision on the layout based on the Featured or Basic Layouts available. Choose the layout based on the purpose of the eBlast you are sending.

Drag and Drop Templates

Featured Layouts include:

  • Sell Products
  • Make an Announcement Tell a Story
  • Follow-up
  • Educate

Basic Layouts include layouts based on Columns and Widths.

With these Drag and Drop Layouts MailChimp has built in resize styles that are responsive to various device sizes in which the layout will display. From a large display to a small display, emails will maintain their proportions to fit all sizes. It is important that the MailChimp Template layout accounts for this level of flexibility because emails that are not well formatted statistically result in lower opens and clicks reducing the effectiveness of the Campaign overall.

Double click the Preferred Layout to display the dual window screen with one side with the formatted layout and the other with the Drag and Drop Content Blocks.

Update the Content Blocks as needed replacing default text, images, rearranging or replacing the Drag and Drop Content Blocks as desired. Reposition the Content Blocks by using the checkered box visible when hovering over the pre- existing Content Blocks.

To begin the editing process, make sure the Content Block is in edit mode. To update the Content Blocks on the left, use your mouse to hover over the Content Block, until you see a transparent black border around the Content Block with icons in the upper right corner resembling a

  • Checkered Square to Reposition
  • Pencil to Edit
  • Trash to Remove
  • A Window with a + Symbol to Duplicate

To Edit a Template you must follow the steps below defined in the Edit a Template section.

Code Your Own Template

By creating a Code Your Own template a page will display with the well- formed email layout on the left but an HTML panel on the right that allows you to edit the HTML directly. Note any edits performed on in the Edit Window will auto-save within seconds after each update. This is something to keep in mind considering it is possible to lose the original HTML based on how quickly the auto save occurs. It is highly recommended that Beginners use the Drag and Drop type Templates and avoid using the Code Your Own Templates. Code Your Own Templates require an advanced level of understanding of web design and HTML.

To completely Create a Template the same rules apply when editing. See Editing a Template.

Save Your Template

Once your Template has been edited, including replacing default text and other content, you must click Save and Close to finish editing the Content Blocks. Click Save and Exit to Save the Template. Enter the name of the new Template understanding it may be sent multiple times to various recipients. Unlike a Campaign name, the Template name should be less specific.

Create Drag and Drop Template – Step by Step

In this section we will create a Template from scratch. This Template will be used later in the Creating Campaigns module to generate an actual email to be sent to subscribers. An example of the resulting email can be viewed in the Creating Campaigns module. It is titled Example A within the Resulting Emails section.

Step 1: Choose a Layout

For this example we will use a Basic Template layout to create the Email Template. With Templates from the main menu:

  • Click the Create Template button in the upper right of the screen.
  • Scroll to the Basic Template Section. 
  • Choose 1 Column

Step 2: Remove Unnecessary Default Content Blocks

  • Use the mouse to highlight the first Text Content Block with the link: View this email in your browser
  • When the black transparent border appears click the Trash Can Icon.
  • Click the Delete button on the Confirm dialogue to delete the Text Content Block.

Step 3: Insert Content Blocks

Adding Image Content Block for the Logo

Now we need an image at the top of our email that helps to identify the company from which the email is being sent. To do this we need another Image Content Block to be placed above the existing Image Content Block. To add another Image Content Block we can drag the Image Content Block from the right pane and place it where we want to in the left pane.

Use the mouse to Click to Select the Image Content Block in the right pane.

Click and hold the Image Content Block and drag it to the left pane to place it above the existing Image Content Block.

When the right pane displays the Drop block here message release the mouse to place the Image Content Block above the original Image Content Block.

Configure Logo Image Content Block

The right pane should now be in edit mode. To upload an image, you can either drag one from your computer and drop it inside the Image Content Block or use the Browse button or Link to upload an image from MailChimp’s central asset repository location – Content Manager. Click the Browse link in the right pane to upload the company’s Logo image. 

The Content Manager displays. Notice the Search bar at the top of the page along with the Upload and X (Close) buttons to the far right. To the far left there is a menu, under the Content Manager Page title, with My Files, Products, and Giphy links. Also, notice the Filter, Folder, Sort by, and Toggle View buttons.

Define Logo Image Using Content Manager

Locate the image you would like to insert into the Image Content Block. Use the scroll bar on the right if available to locate the image.

Click to select the logo image you wish to insert. Note: If the image is not available you will need to use the Upload button at the top of the page to upload the logo image into the Content Manager prior to selecting it from the list of items. For directions on how to upload an image, refer to the next section titled: Upload Main Image Using Content Manager. With the exception of the differences of the filenames and dimensions, the process to upload the image using the Upload button then navigating to the location of the logo should be the same. The logo’s image filename may vary. Our filename is logo.png with a width of 400px and a 70px height. Once uploaded using similar steps to the Upload Main Image Using Content Manager be sure to return to this section to update the link as directed below to the home page of the company’s website, as well as left justifying to the logo image.

A new label and set of buttons appear which allows actions to be performed on the selected image. From left to right note the label 1 item selected, and buttons – Deselect All, View Details, Move To, Delete, Insert and the X (Close) button.

Click the Insert button to insert the selected logo image. The image should now be positioned in the proper place at the top of the Email Template.

Update the Logo Image’s Link to Web address

Update the logo image so that it links to the Home Page of the company’s website. Click the blue Link in the right pane. The dialogue box displays.

When the dialogue box displays, enter the following to point to the company’s home page: https://highincomesource.com/

Note: Alternatively, you may want to define your link with a query string and source code as mentioned previously in the Defining Links with Source Codes section.

Click Insert. Now we need to align the logo to the left.

Click the Settings tab in the right pane.

Now use the Align drop down to change from Center to Left.

Click Save & Close.

Configure Main Image Content Block

Now we need a header image that helps to describe the email message. We will use the original Image Content Block to insert this image.

Use the mouse to Click and Select the original Image Content Block in the left pane.

Click the Browse link in the right pane to upload the Template’s Main Header Image.

Upload Main Image Using Content Manager

The Content Manager displays. Unlike the Logo Image, we need to upload into the Content Manager the Main Header Image from our local drive or folder source.

Click the Upload button in the upper right hand corner of the screen.

The Open Dialogue Box displays. Navigate to the source folder that contains the Main Header Image.

Click the Main Header Image. In our case the image file is named EBlast_Template_Header_CompanyListing.png. Note: Our image is a PNG. JPEGS and other image types are acceptable. Also, our image has overlaid text with some other colorization effects which was created in a photo editing or graphics program prior to this upload. The image does not have to have text or have any colorization effects. It can simply be an image without text that gives the user an idea about the content of the email. Also, the image that we have chosen has a width of 600px and a height of 200px. Once uploaded, MailChimp will give you a warning if the image doesn’t meet their dimension recommendations for the image’s best possible display. MailChimp may autocorrect your images dimensions or require you correct the image and then upload a corrected version of the image. The image we’ve currently selected does meet the recommendations.

The image should now be positioned in the proper place beneath the logo in the header of the Email Template.

Click Save & Close to save the changes.

Update the Main Image’s Link to Web address

Update the Main Image so that it links to the company’s web page with the content that best describes the email’s content. Click Link in the right pane. The dialogue box displays.

When the dialogue box displays, enter the following Web address to point to the company’s web page that best describes the email’s content.

Note: Alternatively, you may want to define your link with a query string and source code as mentioned previously in the Defining Links with Source Codes section.

Update Main Body with Text Content Block

Now let’s begin composing the body of the email.

Use the mouse to Click and Select the original Text Content Block located in the body of the template in the left pane. An editable WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) Text Content Block appears in the right pane which is used to update the text in the email.

Use the middle scroll bar to fully display the formatted text in the left pane as the text is entered in the right pane.

Now let’s update the header text using the text editor.

In the right pane, highlight the default text and replace it with a heading more suitable for our email. Enter List Today and Increase Your Exposure for our heading.

Now let’s include a salutation to make this email more personable which studies have shown results in more Opens and recipient engagements overall. We need to use Merge Field Indicators to take advantage of the field names (ie Column Names) in our Subscriber Lists. We will discuss Merge Field Indicators and Tags later on in this guide.

For now, simply enter the following line, with the exception of the bullet symbol of course, below the bolded heading:

Hello *|IF:FNAME|* *|FNAME|*, *|ELSE:|* Friend, *|END:IF|*

This line of code will either generate a salutation that will address the recipient by their First Name or by Friend if the First Name is not included in the Subscriber List. Again this will be explained in more detail later in the sections titled Creating Lists Overview and Add Subscribers. For now simply enter this line exactly as it is written above.

After entering the salutation, enter the following text to complete the main body text in the email (without the double quotes):

“Do you own a company or organization and want more online exposure?

At High Income Source, you can list your company/organization for FREE. At no charge, your organization is provided a custom page to update with your logo, organization’s contact info with description, phone, web address, map of your location, and more. Sign-up FREE and get listed today to appear in our online publicly searchable Organization directory.

Need to post jobs as well? Enjoy the extra bonus of 2 FREE Job Posts.”

Click Save & Close.

Adding Button Content Block

Now we need to add a Button as a Call-to-Action to visit the company’s website from our Email Template. To add the Button Content Block we can drag the Button Content Block from the right pane and place it where we want to in the left pane.

Click and hold the Button Content Block and Drag it to the left pane to place it right below the Body Text Content Block. Make sure you place the Button Content Block in the body with the white background on the inside of the gray line right beneath the text. The message Drop block here should appear to help you place the Button Content Block.

Release the mouse to place the Button beneath the Body Text.

Update Button Content and Style

Now let’s update the Button’s Content and Style. We need to customize the Button to match our company’s branding and colors. This, as well as all content within the email, will vary depending on the purpose of the eBlast.

In the right pane with the Content tab selected:

  • Change Buy Now to List Today.
  • Enter the following for the Web address (URL)

Note: Alternatively, you may want to define your link with a query string and source code as mentioned previously in the Defining Links with Source Codes section.

With the Style tab selected, under the Button Style section: Keep the Border and Border radius defaults.

Update the Button’s Background to #ec7425.

Use the vertical scroll bar on the far right side of the page to scroll to the Text Style area.

Accept the defaults for: Color #FFFFFF; Styles B; Spacing Normal; Font Arial.

Change Size from 15px to 22px and accept the default for: Padding 15.

Click Save & Close.

Adding Another Text Content Block for Closing Text

Let’s add a closing to this email. To do this we need to add an additional Text Content Block to the Template. We need to place it below the Button Content Block. To add the Text Content Block we can drag it from the right pane and place it below the Button Content Block in the left pane.

Click and hold the Text Content Block and Drag it to the left pane to place it right below the Button Content Block. Make sure you place the Text Content Block in the body with the white background on the inside of the gray line indicating the bottom of the body area. The Drop block here message should appear to help you place the Text Content Block.

The Text Content Block displays and the editable WYSIWYG displays in the right pane.

Update the Text to include a closing and standard signature such as:

We look forward to having you as the next organization listed in our directory.

Sincerely,

Anthony

Co-Founder & CEO, H LLC

To add additional styling for emphasis purposes, highlight and click the Bold Formatting button identified in the right pane’s toolbar with the letter B.

Click Save & Close.

Update Footer’s Default Social Share Content Block

We are ready to update the footer. By default the Template comes with a Social Follow Content Block in the footer which is configurable. We need to update the Social Media Links’ Target URL’s to point to our company’s respective Social Media websites to allow the recipients of this email to easily navigate to our company’s Social Media websites. We also have the option of updating an additional icon that points to our company’s website.

For each Social Media Link, there is a drop down that is used to pick the Social Media Site, a URL for the Web address and Link text used optionally if the user chooses to display the Link Text. Finally, the links can be reordered using the repositioning handle identified by the three vertical dots at the beginning of each Social Media row, as desired to the satisfaction of the user/company sending the email.

Reorder Social Media Icons

Let’s reorder the default Social Media icons. We need to move the Facebook icon in front of the Twitter icon.

Click and hold the Facebook handle identified by the three vertical dots and Drag it to the 1st slot. You’ll notice a black bold border at the top of the Twitter row which indicates the Social Media row being moved (Facebook) is ready to be dropped to complete the reordering. Facebook should now be in the 1st slot and Twitter should be in the 2nd slot.

Configure Social Media Details

Now let’s update the Social Media details for each icon. We will accept all defaults for the Link text on each Social Media icon. Again, these values will vary based on the company entering the data.

Our company’s values for High Income Source are as follows:

For Facebook, enter the Facebook URL.

Finally enter the Link text: Facebook

For Twitter, enter the Twitter URL or username

Enter the Link text: Twitter

For Website, enter the Website URL

Enter the Website text: Website

Note: Alternatively, you may want to define your link with a query string and source code as mentioned previously in the Defining Links with Source Codes section.

Add New Social Media Service References

Now let’s add more services and reorder them accordingly.

Scroll to the bottom of the existing icons and click the Add Another Service button.

The page should now show a new empty Social Media service slot.

Reorder Social Media Service

Scroll to position the new Social Media slot with Email as the default. Ensure you are able to clearly see all fields that need to be updated. Let’s enter LinkedIn information instead of Email in this new slot.

To do so first choose LinkedIn from the drop down.

For LinkedIn, enter the LinkedIn profile URL: https://www.linkedin.com/company/

Enter the Link text: LinkedIn

Reposition to reorder LinkedIn below Twitter and above the Website slot. Click and hold the LinkedIn handle identified by the three vertical dots and drag it to the slot right above the Website service. Look for the bold black top border which indicates the Social Media icon is ready to be dropped.

LinkedIn should now appear below Twitter and above the Website slot.

Add, Reorder, and Configure More Social Media Services

Scroll to the bottom of the Social Media icons and locate the Add Another Service button to add YouTube. Repeat the steps used to add LinkedIn by positioning YouTube right above the Website service.

For YouTube, enter the YouTube channel URL: https://www.youtube.com/channel/

Enter the Link text: YouTube

Scroll to the bottom of the Social Media icons and locate the Add Another Service button to add 

Google Plus. Repeat the steps used to add LinkedIn by positioning Google Plus right above the Website service.

For Google Plus, enter the Google Plus profile URL: https://plus.google.com/

Enter the Link text: Google Plus Click Save & Close.

Once completely updated with the respective Social Media Links and from the left pane after clicking to select the newly updated and reordered Social Media Follow Content Block, the right pane should resemble the following:

Footer Content Block

The footer also includes a Footer Content Block by default. To access the content within this block click hover and click the last content block at the bottom of the template. Just like other Content Blocks the content in this block can be edited, but caution must be applied. Contact Information in this block is required in all campaigns to comply with the CAN-SPAM Act and international spam law. MailChimp automatically includes your contact info in the Footer Content Block. Similar to the salutation we used earlier, Merge Field Indicators are used to dynamically 

reference contact info provided during registration such as, company name and address.

In addition, other info included consists of the year for copyright purposes, and Rewards fields that indicate the email was generated using MailChimp. Also, as a result of the CAN-SPAM Act, individuals receiving campaign emails must be provided the ability to cancel or opt-out receiving emails. Individuals may opt-out by using the unsubscribe from this list link which allows them to remove their name from the MailChimp subscriber list. Once the recipient of the email clicks the link in the footer of the email, they are provided an online form by MailChimp to easily complete the unsubscribe process. Once unsubscribed, the recipient, and not the company, may only re-subscribe to receiving the emails again. The Rewards Merge Field references convert to a MailChimp logo for branding which is required when using the New Business Forever Free version of MailChimp but not the paid versions.

Step 4: Save Your Template

Once your Template has been edited, including replacing default text and other content, after clicking Save and Close to finish editing Content Blocks, we need to save the Template itself with a more relevant name to replace its current Untitled Template default name. Click Save and Exit to Save the Template. Enter the name of the new Template understanding it may be sent multiple times to various recipients. Unlike a Campaign name, the Template name should be less specific.

Editing a Template

To Edit a Template from the Templates page, identify the Template to edit and click the name or use the Edit button of the respective row.

Code Your Own Template

By editing a Code Your Own template a page will display with the well-formed email layout on the left, but an HTML panel on the right that allows you to edit the HTML directly. Note any edits performed in the Edit Window will auto- save within seconds after each update. This is something to keep in mind considering it is possible to lose the original HTML based on how quickly the auto save occurs. It is highly recommended that Beginners use the Drag and Drop type Templates and avoid using the Code Your Own Templates. Code Your Own Templates require an advanced level of understanding of web design and HTML.

Drag and Drop Template

For users just getting started and may not understand HTML, Drag and Drop Templates are recommended. By editing a Drag and Drop Template a page will display with the well-formatted email layout on the left but optional Content Blocks on the right that can be dragged to the left.

The available default Drag and Drop Content Blocks that can be dragged from the right panel to the left panel include:

  • Text
  • Boxed Text Divider
  • Image
  • Image Group 
  • Image Card 
  • Image Caption 
  • Social Share
  • Social Follow 
  • Button 
  • Footer
  • Code
  • Video

By clicking the Content Block once positioned in the left side of the screen, you are provided the edit panel on the right side that allows the Content Block to be updated. To update the Content Blocks on the left, use your mouse to hover over the Content Block, until you see a transparent black border around the Content Block with icons in the upper right corner resembling a:

  • Checkered Square to Reposition
  • Pencil to Edit
  • Trash to Remove
  • A Window with a + Symbol to Duplicate

For example, to edit a Text Content Block, hover over the Content Block in the left side of the window until the transparent black border displays around the Content Block. Once the border displays, hover over the Pencil icon and click it to display the edit pane on the right side of the page. At this point you are able to edit the content of the Text Content Block similarly to using a popular word processing program with font style formatting options including color, size, bold, italics, and/or bullets. After editing the content such as within the Text Content Block, be sure to click the Save and Close button to update the Content Block.

Sometimes you may also need to update an image. Images from the Content Manager are easily integrated into Email Templates. To update an Image when using the Image Content Block, hover over the Image Content Block until you see the transparent black border around the Content Block. Click the Pencil icon on the left to bring up the Image Content Block Control panel on the right. You’ll notice the thumbnail of the image with the name and current dimensions. Below the dimensions, you’ll notice the links:

  • Replace – Replace will bring up the Content Manager which will allow you to click to select another image or upload a new image. Once the new image has been selected, use the Insert button to replace the image.
  • Edit – Clicking Edit will allow Photo-editing with features such as Cropping, Colorization, Overlays and Frames.
  • Link – By clicking Link, a panel will display with a drop down allowing you to link to Web Address, Email Address, Anchor Link and File
  • Alt – You may use the Alt link to provide Substitute text for when the recipients’ email client has images blocked or for when an display error may be resulting.

Save Your Template

Again, after editing the Content Blocks such as the Text Content Block, Image Content Block and/or other Content Blocks, be sure to click the Save and Close button to update the content. To update the Template, make sure you click the Save and Exit in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.

List Management 

Creating Lists Overview

To Create a List, click the Lists Menu from the Main Menu at the top of the page. A page displays with either all your Recipient/Subscriber Lists you’ve created or no List if you haven’t created any yet. If you do have Lists, the index should include the Name of each Subscriber Lists, Created Date, and Rating. They will also include stats on Subscriber Count, Open Rate, and Click Rate. Along with these Stats, there is a gray Add Subscriber Button and a Stats Drop Down.

Under the Stats Drop Down are the options:

  • Manage contacts 
  • Signup forms 
  • Settings
  • Imports
  • Exports 
  • Replicate list 
  • Combine lists

To select a Subscriber List click the highlighted Name.

The Subscriber List should appear showing the minimal default fields for

Email Address, First Name, and Last Name.

As a rule of thumb, a Subscriber cannot exist without an Email Address. All

other fields are optional.

On the Subscriber List page you’ll also notice as the title, the Subscriber List Name with the Subscriber Count as a link. Below the title there is a Switch List Drop Down link that allows you to toggle between the available Subscriber lists. Following the Switch List Drop Down link, there is a secondary menu that allows you to Manage and Configure the list display with options,

  • Stats
  • Manage contacts 
  • Add contacts 
  • Signup forms 
  • Settings
  • Search

Creating Lists Process Configuration

Click the Lists Menu at the top of the page to start the process to create a recipient List. From the Subscriber Lists Index page, click the gray Create Lists button in the upper right corner of the screen.

In the gray New Lists or Groups box click Create List. A page will display titled Create List with fields and settings required to setup the Subscriber List. Under List details you must supply the:

  • List Name
  • Default From email address
  • Default From name
  • Short reminder about how the Subscriber joined the list

Optionally you may edit the Office Address and the Default Reply-to-email address setting which should match the email you used to set up the MailChimp account.

You can also choose to receive Summaries to the default email address for:

  • Daily for Subscribe/Unsubscribe activity 
  • One-by-One Subscribes
  • One-by-One Unsubscribes

To create the Subscriber List click Save.

On the Subscriber List page you’ll also notice as the title, the Subscriber List Name. Below the title there is a Switch List Drop Down link that allows you to toggle between the available Subscriber Lists. Following the Switch List Drop Down link, there is a secondary menu that allows you to Manage and Configure the list display with options,

  • Stats
  • Manage contacts 
  • Add contacts 
  • Signup forms 
  • Settings
  • Search

Collect Email Addresses

Before emailing recipients from MailChimp, it is recommended that users of MailChimp gather a list of recipients which they wish to send emails in order to get started. This is completely up to the MailChimp user as to how they carry out this process to compile the list. Some companies or users of MailChimp can gather the list of recipients and compile the recipients from:

  • Their collections of business cards
  • Paper Sign-up List at Company events
  • Online Sign-up Forms
  • Internal Database Email Subscription List Systems Email Contacts in Email Systems like Gmail
  • Or Leads from Other Paid for or Non-paid lead systems

Once collected these emails addresses with relevant Subscriber List fields may be placed in a single file to be imported into MailChimp in batch once the Subscriber Lists has been properly configured and the List Fields have been defined. For instance MailChimp will accept a precompiled list of Email addresses that have been added to a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet or a comma delimited (*.csv) file. Loading the files in bulk from a precompiled list can help to expedite creating official Subscriber Lists inside of MailChimp. As an alternative to collecting Email Addresses beforehand, they may be added in real time on an as needed basis using MailChimp’s administrative forms or online subscriber forms which can be integrated into external websites like a company’s official website. These Add Subscriber options are described later in this guide in detail in the section titled Add Subscribers.

Define List Fields and MERGE Tags

From the Settings drop down menu option click on the List fields and *|MERGE|* tags.

The page will display with a sub heading of List fields and *|MERGE|* tags. You will notice a list of fields already present.

They include: Email Address, First Name and Last Name.

As a rule of thumb, a Subscriber cannot exist without an Email Address.

This page is designed for you to create a layout of the Subscriber List. It allows you to type the text for the Label of the field you would like to display in a Subscriber form or the Subscriber List layout. Along with the field label text, the type of field is defined. These include:

  • Text
  • Number
  • Radio Button
  • Date
  • Birthday
  • Address
  • Zip Code (US Only) Phone
  • Website
  • Image

By default the Email Address field is an Email type, the First Name field is Text, and the Last Name field is Text.

MERGE Field Tags

There are also MERGE field indicators that by default resemble *|MERGE#|*. For each field the # is replaced with the sequential order of the field. You can also rename the field to a Tag that is more reflective of the actual Field Name.

MERGE field indicators are used to dynamically reference data from the Subscriber list in Email Templates and other places in the MailChimp system that can dynamically populate data from the Subscriber list. A prime example is the salutation of an email or letter. For instance Hello *|FNAME|* used in a Template can dynamically populate the First Name for each recipient of the eBlast.

Add New Fields

Many times it’s advantageous for users to add fields that do not exist by default. For example to add a City field just click on the Add A Field button at the bottom of the page. This prompts you to click on the type of field you want under Select a field type to add.

For our purposes, click Text.

Next add the name of the field in the Field Label and Type. Type City in the textbox.

Also in the 2nd text box replace the text MMERGE3 with CITY.

Required and Visible Field Properties

Next you will notice the Required and Visible checkboxes. The Required checkbox will define if a field can be empty or not. The visible checkbox will hide or show the field on the User Subscriber Forms.

Save List Changes

Click on the gray Save Changes button to save the list changes including the new field.

Remove Fields

If you change your mind about a field you can remove it by clicking on the garbage can icon at the end of the row next to the respective field.

Add Subscribers

We are now at a point where we can Add Subscribers to our list. There are 4 methods used to Add Subscribers to list in MailChimp. We may add subscribers using:

  • The Add Subscriber Form for Administrators
  • Add Subscriber Form for MailChimp Users
  • MailChimp Application Programming Interface (API) calls in conjunction with an External Website
  • Copy/Paste or Import them directly into MailChimp using an external data source such as a comma delimited file (CSV) or a Microsoft Excel file

For the purposes of this guide we will focus on using Add Subscriber Form to add subscribers one at a time and importing them in batch into MailChimp using an external data source such as a comma delimited file (CSV) or a Microsoft Excel file.

Add Subscribers Form

Let’s look at adding a subscriber using the built in Add Subscriber form. To do this, simply click on the Add Contacts drop down and select Add Subscriber. The Add Subscriber form displays.

Simply complete the form with the Subscriber List data for the following fields:

  • Email Address 
  • First Name 
  • Last Name 
  • City

For Example:

  • Enter [Your Email Address] like [email protected] for Email Address
  • Enter [Your First Name] for First Name
  • Enter [Your Last Name] for Last Name
  • Enter [Your City] for City
  • Also check the box for: This person gave me permission to email them. For the next check, also check the box: If this person is already on my list, update their profile.
  • Click Subscribe to add the subscriber.

A confirmation message should display as follows:

Repeat this process using additional subscribers until you have finished adding all your subscribers.

Import Subscribers

Adding Subscribers can be accomplished one at a time using the Add Subscriber form like described above. This is effective for quick additions that are few in number. But when there is a need to import multiple subscribers at once, the form may not be practical. When there is a need to import Subscribers in a batch or in higher volume all at once, MailChimp allows the user to import subscribers in a file format using CSV or an excel file. To make this as seamless as possible, the file used to import the subscribers should have fields that match the fields outlined in the corresponding MailChimp Subscriber list. Those fields that do not match will display as unmatched and can either be manually mapped at the time of import or skipped and not imported at all.

Let’s take a look at how to import data from an Excel file data source. To do this, simply click on the Add Contacts drop down and select Import contacts. When presented the question:

Where do you want to import contacts from? 

  • CSV or tab-delimited text file: Import contacts from .csv or .txt files
  • Copy/paste from file: Copy and paste contacts from .cls or .xlsx files
  • Integrated service: Import contacts from services like Google Contacts, Salesforce, Zendesk, and more

We will use the Copy/paste option to import our data. 

Select Copy/paste from file

Click the button at the bottom of the page with the text Next>

The Next page displays with the title Copy/pasted file.

Open the Excel file with your contacts.

In Excel, highlight and Copy the data including Field names (Note: In our case, our field names should match our MailChimp field names. As a preliminary step, we created the Excel file knowing the exact field names we would need to import into MailChimp.).

In MailChimp, in the box at the top of the page, place the cursor at the beginning of the watermarked text and Paste it.

Check the box that states: I understand that my billing plan may be automatically updated.

Click the button at the bottom of the page with the text Next >

The Next page displays with the heading Import contacts.

Notice the bar at the top of the page which should state All columns are matched.

Click Next below to Finish.

Because we took some preliminary measures to make sure our Field names in our MailChimp Subscriber list matched the Fieldnames in the Excel file we are importing from, all field names synched without issue. If some of our fields didn’t match they would appear below in red and we would then need to use the drop down in each unmatched field to match the fields properly. 

With the exception of Email Address or any other required field, if we determine that we do not wish to import a field we can simply click Skip for the matched and unmatched fields.

Per the successful confirmation message indicating all our columns matched,

  • Click the Next button below to Finish.
  • The Next page displays with the heading: You’re all set to import!

The page should also display the following:

Please review the selections below importing your data Import.

  • Import method Copy/Paste
  • Importing 4 of 4 Columns (Edit using the gray Edit button to modify fields being Imported)

Categorize the imported contacts as:

  • Subscribed 
  • Unsubscribed 
  • Cleaned

Mark the imported contacts as Subscribed and proceed to import:

  • Choose Subscribed to ensure all contacts can be contacted as needed with the next Campaign.
  • Click the Import button to complete the Import.

A confirmation message appears at the top of the next page stating # contacts were imported successfully.

The data should now show as imported in the grid at the bottom of the Subscriber List detail page.

Note the data loaded in the bottom of the screen with the data indicating the date imported and type of Import Source as Copy/Pasted File.

Recommendation: MailChimp Alternative

If you don’t like MailChimp, no worries. There are many other email marketing automation tools you can choose.  Due to the many options available on the market, they are quite challenging to compare. 

ActiveCampaign is used by many online marketers as an autoresponder.

ActiveCampaign is the platform I use for my online business.

Founded in 2003, ActiveCampaign is a marketing automation company. Its marketing automation software allows businesses to stay in touch with their customers.

With over a decade of experience, it offers business owners a powerful email marketing platform and CRM platform, allowing them to easily control email marketing.

I have reviewed ActiveCampaign in detail. You may want to read my ActiveCampaign review before deciding to use it.

The Groundhogg email marketing service might be the better choice for WordPress users looking for a cheap email marketing tool. It will be more technical to use Groundhogg. 

Within the Groundhogg dashboard, you can manage your CRM, Emails, and Marketing Automation. Everything is under your control.

Unlike SaaS, Groundhogg offers a low-cost CRM platform and an email marketing platform. You can read my Groundhogg review to determine if it is for you.

Additionally, I found a tool that lets you send videos by email along with a powerful email automation tool. Videos can be inserted into clients’ emails in just one click, increasing traffic, conversions, and sales. There is no GIF here, but a video.

Developers of Email Videos Pro claim that the software increases engagement tenfold and profitability tenfold. I reviewed Email Videos Pro to help you decide if it is right for you. Read my Email Videos Pro review here.

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