MailChimp for Small Business Email Marketing

Email Marketing Made Easy with MailChimp

Welcome back to this several-part tutorial on setting up MailChimp for your small business. Here’s what this week will cover:

  • Creating a list
  • Customizing your signup form and sharing it (on your website and Facebook biz page) so that you can get subscribers on that list
  • Getting your welcome email locked and loaded so that when people hit your list, they get a big ol’ welcome 
  • Creating templates so that the next time you want to send something out, you just need to worry about content and not so much the design
  • Sending out your first ‘campaign’ (which is just fancy talk for email)


Create a MailChimp List

As soon as you create an account, you’ll want to create a list.


Now, as mentioned in part 1 of this series – you do need to go into this with a fairly clear understanding of how you will structure your lists.


MailChimp allows you to build multiple lists, which is handy if you want to send different groups of people different types of email. As a general rule, I always say consolidate as much as you can and where it makes sense.


An example where multiple lists might work though is with a client I support who coaches two very distinct groups – freelancers writers and online business owners. In this instance, it makes absolute sense to have two separate “master lists.” If however, you speak to online business startups and have (as an example) two separate offers out there… one offering people an SEO checklist for optimizing their website, and another offering people a swipe file of welcome email messages, then you could probably go with one master list, which is segmented into two groups.


Anyway, here’s what you need to do to get a list going:

1. Go to the Lists page

2. Click Create List

3. In the ‘New list or groups?’ box, click Create List

Create a list in MailChimp

4. At this point, you’ll be prompted to add information like the list name, the email address that the emails to this list will be sent from, and a reminder blurb that tells email recipients how they got on that list. An umbrella statement like “You are receiving this email because you opted in on my website or online calendar.” could be a great starting point. Remember, you can always come back to revise these details later.

5. When done, click Save.

You’re now ready for the next step, which is setting up your signup form to start growing your subscriber list.


Create, Customize & Share Your MailChimp Signup Form

So here’s the deal. MailChimp automatically generates a signup form for every list you create but it’s just not visible until you to share it.

To see what the default signup form looks like

1. Click through to the Lists page

2. Go to the list in question

3. Click Signup Forms

4. Select General Forms

Sign up forms in MailChimp

5. Under Forms and response emails, select Signup form. The page should now show you the signup form as is.


Note: When you use MailChimp’s signup forms, the double opt-in process is a requirement (it is considered industry best practice… I explain what it is + my thoughts on it a little more here.)


To customize your MailChimp signup form

1. Select ‘Build it’ to add fields and edit your field settings. Remember to hit the Save field button.

2. Select ‘Design it’ to customize the way the form looks and feels. Add a header image, change the font type and colors to match your brand etc.

3. When you’re happy with it, you can pretty much use the signup form URL provided in emails, on your Facebook posts, on Twitter etc.

Mailchimp signup

To embed a signup form on your WordPress site

We covered this in part 1 of this series (click here for the instructions).


To embed it on your Facebook business page

Embedding your MailChimp signup form on your Facebook business page requires that you set up an integration through your personal Facebook profile. You can have one signup form per Facebook page, and they appear as a separate tab on your Facebook page.

1. Click your profile name

2. Select Account

3. Click Integrations, and Facebook

Facebook integration in MailChimp

4. Choose the Facebook Page where you’d like your signup form to appear and the list where you want to add your subscribers from Facebook

5. Click ‘Yes’ to Use signup form tab to activate the signup form tab on the Facebook Page

6. Click the Form theme drop-down menu, and choose a form style

7. Enter a name for your tab in the Tab label field

Email Signup Tab on FB

8. Hit Save


Set up an Awesome Welcome Email

One of the best ways to get people to hand over their email address is to offer them amazing value in return. That’s where your final welcome email comes in – this is the email that delivers all that awesomeness. In MailChimp, you have the option to enable or disable the final welcome email (sent after someone clicks to confirm their subscription). Let’s work on the assumption that you will be enabling it.

Let’s work on the assumption that you will be enabling it:

  1. Navigate to your Lists page
  2. Select Signup forms
  3. Go with General Forms
  4. Choose ‘Final welcome email’ from the dropdown list.
  5. Tick the “Send a final welcome email” button so that MailChimp automatically sends this valuable email you’re about to craft!


Your final welcome email should be short and sweet. Include your logo and branding elements, a nice welcome – thank you – what’s in it for me spiel, a link to where your newest subscriber can download their amazing new freebie and perhaps even a what you can expect message. You’ll also want to customize the subject line to make it compelling and click-worthy.


Create a Template

1. Go to the Templates page on your MailChimp account

2. Click Create Template

3. Choose a template that you’d like to work with. The Layouts tab offers feature templates (driven by your objective) and blank templates. The Themes tab sets you up with a whole range of predesigned layouts. 

4. Select the template that works for you

5. The window you end up with has two main parts. The right side offers you different content blocks that you can drag and drop into your template – which is displayed on the left. The commonly used blocks are Text, Image, Button, Social Follow and Video. 

MailChimp Template 2



To add a button, just drag and drop the content block into your template layout, then click on the block itself. This will open up the button settings window where you can change things like button text, the URL the button takes readers to, the color and font type used etc.

Creating buttons in MailChimp


To set your social media block up, do the exact same thing. Drag and drop the block into its spot, click on the block to trigger the settings window, add your social media profile URLs, then hit Save & Close.

Social media block in MailChimp

6. When you’re done creating your template, click Save and Exit

7. Name your template

8. Click Save



Create Your Very First Email

If you’ve gotten this far, great job! Let’s get your first email (aka Campaigns) started. 

To create a campaign

1. Navigate to the Campaigns page

2. Click Create Campaign, and then Create an Email

3. Staying on the Regular tab (because this is a one-off newsletter and not an ongoing email sequence), enter a campaign name

4. Click Begin

5. Choose a list using the drop-down menu

6. For now, let’s go with Entire list

7. To proceed, click Next

8. Enter your Campaign Name (this is an internal field, so treat the same way you would name your working files – consistent format and clear) Email subject, From name, and From email address. Enable tracking tools, and personalize where you can

9. Click Next

10. On the Template step, choose Saved templates

Saved templates in MailChimp

11. Create your campaign content

12. Click the Preview and Test drop-down menu to Enter preview mode and send yourself a test email (you must do this every time – it is so important to see the email as your recipient would)

13. Click the X in the top-right corner of the screen to return to the Design window

14. Make any final edits to your campaign and click Next

15. Review the checklist (I tend to pay particular attention to the List and Subject line)

16. If all is as it should be, you can send the campaign right away, or schedule it to go out at a later date/time.



Till next time! 🌟