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How to Get Started with Mailchimp: Set Up Your Account

How to Get Started with Mailchimp: Set Up Your Account

1. Sign Up in Mailchimp

To sign up in Mailchimp, go to the main page, click the Sign Up Free button in the upper right corner. It will get you to the account creation page.

Welcome to Mailchimp

As usual, you should type your email, username, and password. You can log into the account not only via your email, but also via your username. If you don't want to create a unique login, just use your email address for it. The password must contain at least:

  • one lowercase character;
  • one uppercase character;
  • one number;
  • one special character;
  • 8 characters minimum.

To meet all of the conditions, just use any online password generator. If you are used to remembering one password, stop doing this and start keeping your passwords safe, for example, with the help of OnePassword or LastPass. When the account is created, don't forget to check your inbox and click on the link in the message to verify your email address. Now you are good to go.

2. Set Up Your Mailchimp Account


And this is how it looks like in the subscription verification page:

Confirmed subscription in Mailchimp

After you fill all the spaces, you will get to the starting page of your account that has nothing there yet:

Mailchimp starting page

Later you will see here the statistics on subscribers and emails delivered.

3. Look Around the Profile and Account Menus

When you click on your name in the lower left corner, a menu will appear. You can use it to go to the main account control pages.

Mailchimp menu

On the profile page, you can change your password and see the list of the available accounts. Pay attention, Mailchimp divides the concepts of Profile and Account. The Profile is connected to the user and the Account - to the company. One person can have access to several accounts:

Mailchimp profile
Mailchimp users

It is convenient both for the user and for the company. The first can enter various accounts with one login and the second can delimit the users' rights.

4. Give Other Users Access to the Mailchimp Account

If you want to give your colleagues access to the account, don't even think about sending them your login and password - these rascals can quit one day and send an email with a video, in which you, drunk, play twister with your secretary at the Christmas party to your entire database.

Giving other users access to your Mailchimp account

So just go to Account → Settings → Users menu.

Mailchimp users

There you'll see the list of the users that have access to the account. Click on the "Invite A User" button. Enter the email that needs to be granted access and the user's rights:

  • viewer: read-only;
  • author: reports review, creating and editing the campaigns without sending them;
  • manager: full access to the account, except for billing, list exports and changing the account info;
  • admin: full access with no restrictions.
Enter the email that needs to be granted access and the user's rights
Note: to have more than one user in your account, you should have at least the Monthly plan.

Also, if you work with an agency like ours that is a Member of the Mailchimp Partner Program, you can grant them agency access to your account. Agency members won't occupy your user seats (which are limited in the Free, Essentials, and Standard monthly plans) and your agency won't bother you when adding people to your project. To do that, you only have to provide your agency with the account owner's email. They'll send a request and you'll receive it as an email. Then you'll be able to grant them a role of your choice.

5. Change Your Contact Information

You can change the information you set while signing up in the Settings → Contact information menu. It is profile, billing, and account information, as well as audience information.

Changing contact information in Mailchimp

6. Pay for the Account

You can use Mailchimp in four ways. They are:

  • Forever Free - a free account;
  • Monthly - with monthly payments;
  • Pay As You Go - pay when you need it;
  • Pro Version - an enhanced version - for those who've been using the service and whose base has risen beyond 10,000.
Mailchimp plans
Mailchimp Forever free plan

Forever Free Plan is a free fare, it is turned on by default and it allows to have up to 2000 subscribers and deliver up to 10,000 emails a month. If it's not enough for your business, click the "Upgrade Account" button to pay for the account. Mailchimp supports credit cards or PayPal. To choose the payment method go to Billing → Monthly plans or credit. There, in the upper right corner you can set up the payment method.

You have to take into consideration the fact that the fare conditions always change. For example, there is a tendency for people using free fare to get less and less abilities. For instance, an ability to add raw html code to the emails vanished after the data plans were updated. So the best strategy is to go to the plans page and look there for the relevant information.

Information on a Mailchimp plan

Click the button, enter your credit card info, and you're done.

Lists in Mailchimp: Create, Set Up and Add Subscribers

How to Create a List in Mailchimp

So, your account has nothing in it yet. All of your subscribers are in the Audience tab.

Mailchimp Audience tab

It is divided into subscriber lists. If you have a free account you cannot create a new list. You can see audiences in the Manage Audience - View Audience section.

Mailchimp Audience

To create a new audience click the "Create Audience" button. It is unavailable in free accounts.

Creating a new audience in Mailchimp

These audiences work just as subscriber lists. The contacts' activity data doesn't cross between these lists. When creating a list you need to enter the Audience name and campaign details. There will be general information regarding your list. For example:

  • Audience name;
  • Sender's name;
  • Sender's email;
  • Enabling double opt-in;
  • Enabling recaptcha when subscribing;
  • Setting up the notifications when someone subscribed or unsubscribed from the audience.
Audience name and campain defaults in Mailchimp
Campaign defaults
New subscriber notification

How to Add Subscribers to the Newsletter in Mailchimp

There are several ways to add subscribers into the addressees list.

1. Adding the Subscribers Manually

When you don't have hundreds and thousands of subscribers and you just want to add your mom to your newsletter, you can do it manually. To do this, find the list you need on the lists page and click on the "Add subscriber" button:

Addin subscribers manually in Mailchimp

This function is also available on the list's page:

Adding subscribers manually from the list's page in Mailchimp

When adding a new subscriber, you can input all of the data, including the additional fields, but only one of them is obligatory - email. At the end you need to check the first checkbox on the screenshot below. By doing this we confirm that a person gives their permission to get our newsletter. If you don't check the box, the contact won't be added.

Mailchimp permission to email subscribers

If you are a freelancer who is just starting to explore accounting software, you will undoubtedly see the name Xero. The app allows you to accept p The second check box in this screenshot ("if this person is already on my list, update their profile") is not obligatory. It means that you aren't adding a new subscriber, but updating the data of an existing subscriber.

2. Copying From Excel

Let's assume that you have an Excel file with the contacts and you want to upload it into the newsletter list. Go to the needed newsletter list, Add Contacts → Import Contacts.

There we choose the "Copy and paste" radio button.

Importing contacts from Excel

Click the "Next" button in the lower right corner. Then copy the contacts from your Excel file and paste them into the paste window. It's preferable for the address list in your file to be composed considering the needed fields.

Copy and paste your contacts to Mailchimp

Then we choose the contact's status (whether they are subscribed or unsubscribed) and groups.

Organizing contacts in Mailchimp

Set up the tags if you need them.

Taggin contacts in Mailchimp

Then check the import columns and confirm the action.

Match column labels to contact information in Mailchimp

In real life, we seldom use this contact import method. If it is a one-off, then it's easier to add the contact manually. And for mass import of users always use the file import.

3. Import From CSV

This function is in the same menu as the previous one - Add subscribers → Import Contacts. When importing you don't have to copy anything, just upload the CSV file with the subscribers to the system.

Now go to the next page with the help of the "Next" button. There, upload the file with the subscribers.

Uploading contacts to Mailchimp

Go to the next page, where the familiar procedure awaits - match the columns to the additional fields, assign the groups and tags, done!

Why Your Account Can Be Blocked in Mailchimp

Mailchimp fights the unscrupulous newsletters. It can block an account or its separate functions if it suspects you in sending spam.

A clean newsletter is first of all, notable for the users' permission to get emails. The users expect good newsletters, while spam comes with no invitations. You cannot send a newsletter in Mailchimp without letting the users unsubscribe. If you don't put the unsubscribe link, Mailchimp will do it itself.

After signing up you state your company's type of activity and its main website in your profile. Mailchimp will require some time to check this information. It is important for your company's activity not to be banned, usually this parameter is checked. For example, if your business is in the gambling category or you are doing some sports betting, your account will be blocked. So, you'll have to look for a less conservative platform.

Basically, people face problems because of the main email stats. You sign up, upload the subscribers list, send your first campaign and get some of the functions blocked. Here are some reasons why it could happen:

1. No domain warm-up. If your domain was't used to send campaigns before, don't send emails to lots of addresses at once. Domains need to be "warmed-up" by sending emails to a small amount of the addressees. This way you gather reputation i.e. your emails will be gradually opened, read, and clicked on. And this means that you are certainly not a spammer that was sending a malicious newsletter and changed the domain. And of course, don't forget to set up the postmasters.

All in all, creating a unique domain is also an important part of setting up your Mailchimp account. In fact, it is one of the cornerstone steps for your email marketing journey. We prepared an article dedicated to what email domain is and how to create a unique one, in case you need to know.

2. Bad first results. You upload a part of the subscribers list, send emails and then you can't upload another part of the list. If the first newsletters have bad rates, Mailchimp will temporarily disable the ability to import the contacts. The system understands a major percent of the complaints and unsubscriptions as bad rates. You will get the importing ability back when the complaints and subscriptions rates go back to normal. This is why domain warm-up implies sending to super active subscribers first to make sure your open and click-through rates are high and email providers or your ESP don't block you.

These are the main reasons why Mailchimp may block the newbies. Even if you have a client base from the CRM that you want to send your emails to, you won't probably be able to do this instantly. Besides, the clients who didn't subscribe themselves, probably won't be your loyal subscribers, as they're not waiting for your emails.

After finishing all steps and making sure your account won't be blocked, you are good to go! But remember, this is only the beginning and we'll be glad to walk you through the rest that Mailchimp has to offer with our articles. Why not start with the guide to sending a single campaign?

Sergey Lobanov, CRM Marketer
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