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3 Things I learned in the first month of using MailChimp

3 Things I learned in the first month of using MailChimp

If you are new to using Mailchimp, this post will go over three things you should know right from the very beginning!  Don’t miss these Mailchimp tips!

Even though I am a beginner blogger, I wanted to set up a subscriber email list right from the start.  Reading posts over the years from experienced bloggers, one of the regrets that seems to come up for many of them is that they wish they had started getting subscribers earlier.  I have read time and time again that even if you don’t have an iron-clad plan in place for what you want to do with the subscribers, just start building your e-mail list.

There are a lot of different platforms you can choose to help you build your subscriber list.  After doing some research, I decided on using Mailchimp to start.

This post may contain affiliate links.  Please read my disclosure for more info.

Why I decided to go with using Mailchimp:

  • It’s free for up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. Free is important to a new frugal blogger, folks!  I bought hosting (inexpensive through this link with Bluehost!) and a theme for my blog, and that is all I want to spend money on for now.  My main goals are to figure things out more on the technical side, and keep writing regular, content-packed articles.  Down the road I might pay for email automation, but for now I am all about free!
  • It is one of the most used marketing automation platforms. Because of this, there are a lot of tutorials and videos on Mailchimp tips.  This was crucial to a total beginner because it meant that there was a lot of information out there in case I got stuck (and I did get stuck).
  • Includes automation, reporting, and sign-up forms under the free plan.

Related reading:

On to what I learned and what you should know!

3 Things I learned in the first month of using Mailchimp

1. Disappearing information in preview mode

When you go to preview one of your templates, the footer information will not show up properly. In preview mode, the required footer content will not display, but this doesn’t mean you did anything wrong.  I initially thought it was something that wasn’t working properly that I needed to fix.  It just doesn’t show the live info during previews or even when you send yourself a test email from templates.

When you work on your first campaign and send a test email from there, the footer info will be there in that test email.  So don’t worry if you see static info in your footer in preview mode of templates.  Do a test email from campaigns to make sure that it is there (and that everything else looks good too).

If you want to up your SEO game:

2. Finding your files in MailChimp

I learned how to quickly find my files that I had uploaded to Mailchimp. It is not super obvious in a menu button so at first I didn’t know how to easily find my files.  Here is what you do:

  • Log in to your account
  • Click on Templates at the top of the page
  • Now click on Content Manager on the right side of the page. All your files will be there.

It would be great if there was a File Manager or Files button right on page when you log in, but this is an easy way to get to everything you have uploaded.

3. Authenticate your domain

I learned why and how to authenticate my domain to send more professional newsletters. Since this this one deserves its own post, I wrote an easy tutorial on this topic here.  In it I will show you how to make sure more of your emails are landing in inboxes, not in spam/junk folders.

At this point I send out a monthly email to my subscribers.  It recaps the blog posts from the month and links to each.  I’m not sure if I will keep the monthly post or if it would be better to write a short weekly note with each post that goes up.  This will be something I play around with.  This is a fun, creative part of blogging that I really like – trying new things, figuring out if they work, if not trying something else.  It’s a big, ongoing experiment!

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how to use mailchimp | mailchimp for beginners | new to mailchimp | beginner tips for mailchimp

Any tips you have learned since using Mailchimp?

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Monday 8th of April 2019

I appreciated your article but I'm having trouble with point #2. I can find the Content Manager but I can't find the link to UPLOAD files so they will be in the Content Manager.

When I click on Content Manager, I do not get a listing of options on the left side of the screen, I just get a blank white screen.

Any help appreciated. Jane


Monday 8th of April 2019

Hi Jane. MailChimp changed their interface recently so it's a bit different than it was when I wrote the post (I think it's better than it was!). If you click on Content at the top menu, it will bring you to what was the Content Manager before. The right side has a grey upload button where you should be able to upload the files you want. Hope that works for you!

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Thursday 23rd of August 2018

Thanks for this helpful post! I am in the same boat in terms of new to blogging and debating how often to send emails. Did you choose to send a freebie with your guest initial email, or do you ever attach pdfs in your emails? Have read that's a good way to get people to sign up but not sure how easy it is with mail chimp.


Thursday 23rd of August 2018

Hey! Glad you found it helpful. I'm playing with this a bit and now I'm sending out an email to let readers know each time there is a new post. And yes I do have freebies! I found it not too bad to do with MailChimp. You need to make your pdf and upload it to MailChimp. In your welcome email you will create a link to the file you have uploaded. If you have any questions about it as you set up, feel free to pm me.

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