Getting Started With Mailchimp

The All-Important List

Your list is where all the email addresses reside.


You can have multiple lists in MailChimp,


you can have one that you section into different groups or different segments of people.

To create a list is really simple.
1. Log into MailChimp.
2. Click on Lists.
3. Click on Create List in the top right-hand corner.

  • List Name: This is just for your list management purposes. You can call it anything you want, but remember if you will have multiple lists this is how you will tell them apart.
  • Default From Email: It’s important to use a custom email if you don’t want your emails to show up in your readers spam folders. Something like for instance.
  • Default From Name: This can be your first name– first and last — or your blog name. It’s who the email will be from when it arrives in the person’s inbox.
  • Reminder: An easy explanation is to say something like, “You signed up to receive new posts by email on or you signed up for my awesome workshop. Anything to jog their memory, but don’t overthink it.
  • Address: Unfortunately, the law requires an address, so if you aren’t comfortable using your home address, you’ll need to get a P.O. Box.
  • Notifications: If you want updates on your subscribers (opting in or out) a daily summary is the way to go. You can also opt not to receive notifications at all.

Importing Your List

If you’re moving from one email service provider to another you will have to export your list and then import it to MailChimp. This depends on which company you’re using but most companies make it pretty simple.

You will download as a .csv file and import the same way. If you’re using Feedburner (for example) you would sign into your Feedburner account and click on “Export Excel .csv” and download your subscribers to your computer.

Go back to your MailChimp account and go to your list. Click the “Add Contacts” tab and then import contacts. Click the first button for .csv file and simply upload your list into your MailChimp account. If it’s a big list it may take a while, but just let it do its thing and when finished your list will be imported. NOTE: Remember to delete the subscribers in Feedburner so that you’re not sending out two different newsletters every time that you post a new blog post.

A side note: If you’re with Feedburner who probably was only collecting emails, but with MailChimp, you can ask more questions. Such as First Name, Last Name, etc. To do that you need to go to SETTINGS and then LIST FIELDS AND *|Merge|* Tags. Scrolling down will be what you are set up for. It’s also where you can add more if needed or take some away if you’ve come from another company who tracked more intel. To delete a certain one you would simply find the one you want and click on the trashcan on the side.

To add one you would click the ADD NEW FIELD button which will bring up a selection of question options. Click on the ones you want to add and then save your changes. Then it will ask you if you’d like to make it visible or if you would like to make it a required answer.

List Management

Groups or Segments?


Your list contains a lot of information about your contacts, like when they were added to your list, where they live, and how they interact with your marketing. You can use this information to filter contacts into segments, and then target them with email or ad campaigns.

Segments are used to create target audiences based on shared data. When you create a segment, you’ll set conditions to filter contacts based on the information that’s available on your list. Each segment can include up to five conditions.

Click on SEGMENTS, and then click CREATE NEW SEGMENT in the top right. Here you have to set parameters for your group. You can filter email addresses manually or do it based on date, location, etc.

Types of segments:

If you use conditions to create a segment, it can be saved as static or auto-updating.

Create a static segment if you don’t want Mailchimp to update your segment over time. Static segments can be useful if you have a fixed group of contacts, like a group of recent event attendees, that won’t change.

Auto-update segments target the same type of contact, even as things change. MailChimp will check your list data before each campaign send, and add or remove the right contacts as they meet or stop meeting your segment conditions.


You can use your MailChimp list to sort your subscribers into custom groups based on their interests and preferences. Groups function like categories in a list and are an excellent way to manage diverse subscriber profiles in the same MailChimp list. Groups can be the basis for building list segments for sending to targeted audiences.

Before You Start

To make sure groups are the right choice for what you want to accomplish, first ask yourself these questions.

  • Do I want to organize my list based on subscriber-provided information, such as their likes and dislikes?
  • Do I want to import subscribers into categories based on information I already have, such as which list they belonged to in my previous marketing automation platform or other information from my customer relationship management (CRM) database?
  • Do I need to be able to move subscribers from one category to another, like skill level or lead type?

If your answer is yes to any of these questions, then creating a list group may be the best organizational solution for you.

Make sure you specify if you want people to see the group on their sign up form, or if you want it private. A good reason to have it public would be if you want to give your subscribers a choice (email me every time there is a new post, email me once a week, email me once a month). You can create three separate groups and allow them to choose when they sign up. Otherwise, if it’s private, you’ll have to go through your addresses and add certain ones to the group you just created.

That’s it for today, but we’ll be continuing the Mailchimp discussion on Sunday.


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