How to Use MailChimp to Grow Your Brand

How to Use MailChimp to Grow Your Brand

When you woke up this morning I know what you were saying to yourself: “Hey you devilishly attractive person you, I wonder if there are 11 features of MailChimp that can help you build your brand?” This was followed by: “I wonder if Regina will be so kind as to talk about them on her blog today and discuss how to use MailChimp as a blog or brand owner.”

Well guess what? I will be so kind.

I’ve fallen in love with 11 uses/features of MailChimp and the 700,000 benefits they offer to brands . . . and I want to talk about them today . . . as well as give away a little sumthin’ sumthin’. (I hope someone started singing Maxwell in their head just now.)

Some of the features below come with the forever free account (for under 2,000 subscribers) and some are features of a paid account. I’ll mark which is which below. But, two things to keep in mind here: (1) Paid accounts start at only $10/month, (P.S. this is not an ad or a sponsored post) and (2) Stay tuned for a Regina-sponsored giveaway–as in, I love it so much I’m paying for it out of my own pocket, and (3) I can’t count, get over it: Some of these paid features are SO helpful for building your brand that the monthly fee will really be an investment in your business if you decide to go for it.

11 Crazy Amazing Features and Benefits of MailChimp
I’m not gonna bore you with details such as the awesome themes that you can start with (if you’re not super into design) or how you can make templates of your own out of your designs to save you time when you send out emails, I’m gonna tell you about the crazy useful features I don’t think people use enough. What am I basing these thoughts on? Intuition and a few conversations. I have no idea if that’s reliable enough for you or not, but please check out these cool features and ideas on how to use MailChimp anyways.

1. RSS to Email
Totally FREE, my friends.
So, it’s not a new concept to offer readers the option to subscribe to get all your blog posts via email, however, some software makes it difficult to set up, and some software delivers the emails in a less-than-attractive way. Booooo, I say unto you other software programs.

I started my RSS-to-email list after a lovely friend+reader asked for a way to get my posts via email. She doesn’t use Feedly or Bloglovin’, and she was so sweet to say she wanted to make sure not to miss a post. Instead of trying to add her to my old, ugly system, I decided to see if MailChimp had an option. Here’s allz ya have to do:

  1. Create a new list (ex: Posts via Email).
  2. Click “Create Campaign” from the Dashboard.
  3. Choose “RSS-Driven Campaign.” As in the image below.
  4. Put in your RSS feed URL. If you want to combine multiple RSS feeds into your emails (as in: you have more than one blog), combine your feeds with ChimpFeedr. P.S. Most WordPress blogs have a feed URL of
  5. Select the frequency you want your emails to send (daily/weekly/monthly), the days of the week you want them to go out on, and the time of day you want them to send.
  6. Choose the list you created (on the next screen) as the list your blog posts will be sent to.
  7. Name your campaign (internally–only you will see this), then decide the “Email subject” your recipients will see, along with other details such as your “from name.”
  8. Choose a MailChimp theme, select a template, go with a basic layout, or code your own design to control how the RSS emails will appear.
  9. Design your email as normal, but make sure to include the “RSS Items” block in your email so that your most recent posts will be placed in the email. As in the second image below.
  10. Preview your email and launch your campaign. P.S. Here’s some more info. directly from MailChimp on how to set up RSS to email: Tutorial time. P.P.S. If you’re using WordPress, you can change whether your emails and people’s RSS readers show your full post or just a snippet by going to Settings >> Reading and choosing Full Text or Summary. As in the third picture below.

RSS-to-email with MailChimp

How to get your RSS content into your MailChimp emails

How to get your full email to show in RSS

2. Chimpadeedoo
Another FREE feature, friends.
So yeah, this is a super cool app for your Android or Apple tablet that lets you collect email addresses for your list even when you’re not online–they’ll simply be imported when you’re back online. The app is super, duper handy for those of us with physical locations to use in store/coffee shop/boutique/office, but it’s also handy for those of us who host workshops, classes, and other events where people may want to sign up for our lists.

You can even customize the appearance of the signup screen. “Use one of our custom background themes, or add your own background and logo. Pick your font and button style, write your own copy, and connect the form to any MailChimp list.” –Thus sayeth MailChimp

So, whether at a workshop or at your store, if you want to offer people a discount or some cool content for signing up for your very attractive, custom-designed list, you can capture the signups on-site and hand over the discount/item immediately. Hello, awesome.

3. Geolocation
More FREE features, y’all.
When your subscribers open your emails, MailChimp tracks their geographic location. So not only can you check out your lists and see how many people are reading your emails from France or from California, but you can also target specific locations with certain emails or offers. When it comes time for you to host your first seminar in your city or state, you’ll be able to just email a segment of your email list that is in the same city/state (and surrounding states if you wish). Or when you want to talk news or coupons that only relate to a certain location of your store, you can email only those people. Tres tres easy, y’all. (Imagine that in a French Texan accent. Thanks.)

4. Delivery by Time Zone
Available with a paid account.
Soooo, when I send out an email at 11 a.m. Austin, Texas time, my friend Jessica (@JessicaSays__) gets it at 5 p.m. in London, and my other crazy+cool friend Jess (@JustJessMay) gets the email at 1 a.m. in her local time (as in: the next day) in Western Australia. This is not optimal, eh? Instead, I can create my email and select to send it at 8 a.m. in every single time zone. Jessica opens it at 8:01 a.m. in London, and the other Jessica opens it at 8:01 a.m. in Bunbury. Win-win-win.

You can also choose to do “send time optimization,” which allows MailChimp to select the best time (based on locations + habits) to deliver your email. This my friends is brilliant–well, full disclosure, I’ve never used send time optimization, but thought it was worth a mention.

5. Design for Really Smart People Who are Design Challenged
Le FREE; naturally.
A picture is worth a whole lotta words. I think that’s the phrase. But I’m gonna say words anyway, to accompany my picture below. You can add images, buttons, social media links, custom code, and cool dividers to your emails with just a click, drag + drop.

MailChimp Design Options

6. Collabable (as in Collaboration or Client Management is Possible)
This is FREE as well; are you getting tired of hearing that?
So you want to manage social media and emails for clients? Well, set yourself up as an admin and give them management, authorship, or viewer access so they can see what you create before it’s sent. Or have them set up the account and add in access for you so you can create cool designs and fancy wording before the campaign goes live.

Or, or, here’s a good one . . . use collaboration to work with other people in your own small business and split some of the email duties. Get crazy with it. I won’t tell anyone.

7. Automation
Available with a paid account. My FAVORITE feature ever.
I’m about to make you a star. Get your spirit fingers ready, or your jazz hands, whatever movie reference works best for you right now.

Sooooo many options to make you a star, by the way. Let’s see. Do you want to automatically send an amazing email and coupon out to your customers+friends on their birthdays? Or perhaps an email on the anniversary of them joining your list? You can set these automatic emails up quite easily my friends. Not your cup of tea? Okay, moving on.

Do you want to sell or offer a free email course that is automatically delivered on a schedule you set? Or a series of emails that is scheduled based on when your recipient opened the last email in the series or clicked on a certain link? Please say you’re catching the vision with me. No? I’ve got more.

Maybe you want to send an amazing email with certain resources right after someone signs up for your list? Or, maybe you are feeling the option to send a follow-up email to someone who opens an email from you and clicks through to a specific URL on your site (like a sales page, or a particular blog post). All of these things are possible with Automation.

Sending automatic emails with MailChimp or  sending courses by email with MailChimp

8. A/B Testing
FREEsy peasy, yo. People say that, right?. I think it’s cool.
So you’re torn between two subject lines for your email, or you’re not sure whether people will want to see your name or your shop name in the “from:” field . . . or you want to figure out whether people like getting your emails in the morning or during the afternoon sleepy hours to help reinvigorate them . . . well, do an A/B Test.

You can send your two options to 40% of your total audience (20% and 20%) and then, based on which email performs better, MailChimp will deliver that email to the rest of your list (the other 60%). Did you hear me? Is that not brills? It’s also completely free. Let’s do better about testing our options, yo. This was made for you commitmentphobes out there.

9. Social Pro
This is a PAID add-on, starting at $1/month, for brands with paid accounts.
Find out which subscribers are on which social networks with Social Pro. Want to target just people who are on Twitter with a special offer or request? Only want to email your Facebook users with your 30 best Facebook tips?

You can even figure out who your most active email friends are on social media and just target them. There’s lots to do, depending on how specific you want to get.

10. Amazing Amount of Guidance
More FREE stuff for the people.
MailChimp has an abnormally large amount of DIY, tutorial, and help files available. I’m serious. They have several free eBooks to make you epic at email, then they have a whole “design reference” library to make you awesome at design concepts within email, and you can also easily find tons of tutorial videos and independent bloggers who show you how to do cool stuff with MailChimp. Srrrsly. Just Google it.

11. Inbox Inspection
Available with a paid account.
Different email clients and apps (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo!, Android, Apple Mail, Thunderbird) interpret the code of your fancy HTML emails differently. This means your email may look extra wonky to some of your recipients. With Inbox Inspection, MailChimp takes your readers’ 10 most popular clients and allows you to preview exactly how your email will look.

BUT, that’s not the end of the coolness. Inbox Inspection helps you cover your gluteus minimus and maximus by also checking for any words or phrases that are likely to trigger spam filters. MailChimp identifies the exact places that make you look spammy and gives you the option to change your email before sending it out and possibly being rejected by inboxes everywhere.

Apparently I enjoy sharing my tees on Instagram (proof below). If this was the late 90s, I think I would be obligated to say that “I’m just keeping it real,” or something like that, by wearing so many tees. Well, MailChimp upped my t-shirt game when I upgraded my account by sending me an official shirt (photo on left). Oh, and if you want some Geek is Gangster in your life (photo on right), head over to Antisparkle.

Regina likes tee-shirts

I’m sorry y’all, but before I get to my little giveaway, my brother (@LemTheLawyer) really wanted me to tell you “There’s no monkeying around with how useful MailChimp is,” or something like that. It’s painfully cheesy such a great idea bro. So funny.

NOW FOR A SMALL GIVEAWAY: I want a brand owner like yourself to make the jump to MailChimp’s pro accounts (yes, you and I both get $30 in MailChimp money if you sign up with that link–affiliation in the house) because I truly believe they have some crazy amazing features.

I couldn’t find any MailChimp gift cards . . . what is that about? However, there is a little thing called PayPal (not sure you’ve heard of it, so here’s the link), and I’m sending one of you $25 so that you can try the advanced MailChimp accounts for a month or two (or more, depending on the account you get). Allz you have to do is leave a comment on this post to enter. In 72 hours (Saturday, November 22 at 8 a.m. UTC -6 time) I’m selecting a comment at random and letting you know you’ve won–and asking for your PayPal email address. That’s it.

The intention is for you to use it on MailChimp, but if you decide to blow it in Vegas, or invest in a few coffee beverages, this is a judgement free zone.

iPad mockup: Marcel Neumann
image on iPad: moi

128 Comments on “How to Use MailChimp to Grow Your Brand”

  1. Mind reading once again, Regina. Seriously, this is getting scary (do you have secret access to my google searches???). I literally was just looking up the advanced features for Mailchimp yesterday! I have an email newsletter but I really want to step my game up in that area. Some questions:

    RSS vs Newsletter: I know you have a newsletter (‘cuz I’m on it, yay!) but you mentioned you use mailchimp’s RSS to email feature too…how do you manage this? Meaning…how do you encourage your readers to sign-up for both without confusing them? Also, I didn’t see a place in your sidebar to sign up for RSS — do you just tell readers about it directly?

    Design: In your experience, is using a “design” for your newsletters better than sending a very minimally designed one? My newsletters are pretty much just text with an occasional picture thrown in. I’ve seen info online saying you don’t want a lot of design in your emails because people’s email service may not show it correctly? What say you, Regina? (btw, I love the way your emails are designed…they look just like your blog post! Awesome brand consistency!)

    Content: My last question is…what the heck do you send in a newsletter?!?! Separate, “newsletter-only” blog posts? Secret videos? Cool links found elsewhere? I’m struggling with what to send my subscribers in-between promotional emails. People get so much email (or at least I do) many times I feel skiddish about sending a blast to my list because I do want to “harass” them. I know this is irrational since they signed up for my newsletter (and I don’t even have a freebie and I still get sign-ups) but I just want to make sure what I send is actually purposeful. Any advice?

    • Hey Courtney! I hope you don’t mind if I throw in my 2 cents 🙂 I’ve been using MailChimp and sending consistent newsletters to my blog subscribers for years, and now design them for my clients.

      Regina has an RSS button up top (far right little circle next to all of her social media links). It’s most-likely linked to her MailChimp RSS newsletter, rather than a separate sign-up form. For my own, I send out daily RSS newsletters and weekly recaps, so my sign-up form has radio buttons where subscribers select one form or the other, or both! Surprisingly, most people sign up for both. YAY!

      My design in my newsletters mimic my blog design, as does Regina’s. Like you said – brand consistency. You can resize images in your newsletter so it doesn’t obliterate inboxes 😉

      Content – that’s the fun part! Literally anything – but you want it to be representative of you and your online presence. For instance, my readers know I’m kind of sarcastic and love stupid humor, so I’ll occasionally include a link to a funny YouTube video or add a silly picture. My weekly newsletter is a recap of the week’s events on the blog, but also a personal greeting/letter from me, links to my top pins of the week, and any announcements, insider info, or giveaways I want to point them towards.

      Hope that helps!! 🙂

      • Thank you Kristen! This is *super* helpful – thank you for clarifying! Right now I use feedburner to allow my readers to subscribe to the blog updates via email, but I think only the “tech savvy” ones know to click on my little RSS icon and subscribe. I like your idea of allowing readers to subscribe to BOTH your weekly newsletter and daily RSS feed at the same time. I’ll need to check out the benefits of having a Mailchimp-managed RSS feed vs a feedburner one.

        Also, thank you for the ideas on newsletter content. I don’t know why I seem to draw a blank when I go to send out one but I will keep your suggestions in mind! I guess I’m just over-thinking it…as usual! 😉

        • Courtney, the reason I love the MailChimp RSS is mostly because you can make it “pretty” – images from your posts, an “about me” section if you want, your header, etc. If you go that route, export your Feedburner subscribers, import them to MailChimp & set up that newsletter campaign, then delete your Feedburner – otherwise those subscribers will receive 2 of the same notification. One will be pretty and one will be Feedburner. Good luck!

          • Courtney and Kristen,

            Thanks for asking and answering these super helpful questions! This was an awesome post by Regina and I’ve been wondering how to incorporate RSS so I only have to use the newsletter when I post other important things!

        • Hey Patricia – Nope, it’s free! Sign in to your MailChimp account, then go to left sidebar and click “Lists”. In the right side drop-down menu next to your subscriber list, select “Signup forms” and go to Embedded Forms. (It sounds way more complicated than it is, promise.) 🙂
          When you build your signup form, you can add radio buttons, checkboxes, etc. To give subscribers the option to subscribe to daily or weekly, you will have to create those 2 segments in your list. If you need help, feel free to shoot me an email. {sweetteagrace} at {gmail} dot com.

          You could also create segments based on categories or interests if you need to subdivide your subscribers differently. Lots of options 🙂

    • First, yes, I totally have the non-creepy app on my phone that tracks all your Google searches. No biggie. I hope that’s okay . . . ? (P.S. That’s a joke for anyone reading this who is not yet accustomed to my humor. There’s a limit to my stalker tendencies.)

      Second, I love love your questions Courtney. I agree with Kirsten, so I’ll just add a few points to your first two sections, and then talk way too much on the last.

      RSS vs. Newsletter: Love Kirsten’s idea about the radio buttons. I honestly just sign up the people who email me requesting blog posts by email, so that list is super small. If someone wants it to be part of their strategy, I’d go with Kirsten’s solution. She’s brilliant.

      Design: I love simple design, but I think the most important thing is brand consistency. If you’d normally use a certain style of image, or a certain font, I say go for it via email too. I think it’s wise to try and make the images non-essential when possible, so people don’t lose the whole meaning of your email if they can’t see them for some reason. However, most of us in your target market are using Gmail and our iPhone or Android device and will likely receive images just fine. In my opinion, I’d opt for trying to create the same type of excitement and anticipation for your emails as people have for any of your other content, and I think well-placed design can do that for you. There are only two major marketers who I get emails from that have no design but I read/consume them anyway due to their content, for everyone else, I like you to set me up with pretty stuff. (Side note: only one of those marketers do I actually click through and visit their blog regularly–Neil Patel–my hero.)

      Content: I’m gonna pull from another comment I made for this response and elaborate a bit—

      I think the tips and content people love you for on your blog are exactly what people would want to hear more of in your emails. There are two methods I think are worth considering:

      (1) Follow up on one of your more popular posts with a second part via email. If you find that a particular post was simple to write, hard to keep short, and was received well, then create 3 more tips, or tell a few more thoughts/moments of the story via email. It will still add value for your readers even if they’ve already read your post, but if they haven’t, it will cause them to be curious and click to read the original piece. Option 1 allows you to expand your writing and go more personal.

      (2) Create an entire extra blog post each month/week and instead of posting it, send it out as your email. This means that there are exclusive pieces of fun/thoughtful/useful content that people can only get if they opt to receive emails from you.

      Here are some tips I shared previously in a comment:

      “General tips:
      –Start an editorial calendar for your emails. I think it really can help bring consistency to what you write, but it can also help you plan as much care into your emails as you do into your posts.

      –If you don’t already have one, try a plugin that makes it an option to sign up for your emails every time someone leaves a comment on your blog. This is where the majority of my signups come from. Generally, if someone is engaged enough to comment, they would at least consider your email list.

      –Treat your emails like posts, in that you design custom images for them, title them well, and speak in that great tone you have on your blog.

      –Write the emails regularly. I’m getting better at this. And I realized, sometimes you have to just force yourself to write. Your not obligated to send it if you don’t love it. But, the words your audience wants to hear will likely come as you create your emails consistently.”

      I know it feels like you might overwhelm readers, but you’re right, they signed up for your list so they likely want to hear from you. If you put the same care into your emails as you do into everything else I see you create, it will continue to be gold for you.

      • Regina–

        Can you share what plugin you use to allow commenters to sign up for your newsletter at the same time? All I see when I comment is the ability to subscribe to the post’s comments. Am I missing something?

        Thanks a lot!

  2. Regina, I share your love for Mailchimp! If people are deciding between Aweber and Mailchimp, Mailchimp is the way to go.

    Why? Aweber doesn’t allow you to add emails with a single opt-in option. Which can be a big hamper on your style if you want to use some neat features of tools like LeadPages (my second love after Mailchimp).

    For instance, LeadPages has this cool thing where you can send out a link that automatically signs up the email receiver (who you already have on your lists & loves your emails & you aren’t spamming) for a webinar and sends them an email about the webinar details. All they have to do is click, not fill in their information you already have. Aweber doesn’t allow you to do this.

    Plus, for most bloggers with smaller lists (under 5K), Mailchimp is cheaper!

    • Kim, I didn’t even realize that about Aweber. What a wonderful point.

      And I can’t wait to get into LeadPages. You don’t happen to have a post about it on your blog, do you? I definitely want to hear from someone who uses and loves it. I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve seen from it so far.

      Thank you for your comment–I know a lot of people ask themselves the MailChimp vs. Aweber question, and I think your points about it being cheaper and having the single opt-in option are excellent.

      • I don’t yet! I actually won a year’s worth of Pro and am testing it out. It has it’s great parts and it’s not so great parts. For the people who can’t code at all, it’s fab. For people like me who want to customize like crazy, it’s infuriating to no end. But I’ll be sure to write about it once I’ve been using it for a while!

    • I thought Mailchimp forced you to use double opt in confirmation because of their policies (?). How do you do about having single optin in your forms? Cheers!

  3. You always seem to know just what I need! I love Mailchimp, but honestly do not give enough attention to my newsletter or to learning anything extra about Mailchimp. I do great templates and automation for clients but slack when it comes to my own (same with my blog..ugh..good 2015 goal!).

    Anyway! I didn’t know about the RSS to email feature, so I’m definitely going to look into that. I also thought a lot of those free features were paid. Looks like I have some work to do!

  4. Hi Regina!

    Thank you so much for this post. It was incredibly timely as I was JUST setting up a new MailChimp account 🙂 I’m in the process of creating a website for my project management biz for fabulous entrepreneurs. I stumbled upon byregina yesterday and I’m loving all of your amazing content!

    Also – I have all of the same questions as Courtney! Thanks Courtney 🙂 Would love to hear your thoughts on those topics.

    • Nicole, I’ll definitely be coming back to answer your phone question, but I just wanted to let you know you won our giveaway.

      Will you please email me your PayPal email address?

      Thank you. I’m regina @

  5. Thanks, Regina – this is such a useful post. I started building my list over the summer but have been agonizing over how to add real value to people’s inboxes and best utilize MailChimp, so I still haven’t sent anything out. This was just the kick in the pants I needed and fingers crossed I’ll even get to try out the pro features, thanks to this giveaway. xo

  6. Really good timing as I think about sending my first email newsletter. I’m using the automated emails (pay as you go option which is better for me). But many of these points were new to me, so thank you!

  7. Oh, man! This is the golden ticket to MailChimp! I haven’t invested enough time to know the ins and outs of all the options…yet. This is the answer! Once I win, I’ll declarre one afternoon to my all access backstage pass of the MailChimp and make it something beautiful.

    Thanks Regina! I love what you’re doing. You ROCK.

  8. I keep *meaning* to start using my email list more…And now I know how to use it even better. Thanks for all the tips. I never really knew what the A/B Testing was all about, but how cool is that? I’m going to look into Chimpadeedoo as well. Thanks for this awesome post!

  9. Didn’t know half of those things existed. I like the automation and delivery by time zone, definitely going to use those. I use the collaboration option often with clients, when I design their emails or set up templates for them. It’s so easy. Thanks for an awesome post!!

  10. Thank you for pointing out all of the features! The procrastinator in me just nodded, since it’s been a month since I wanted to start MailChimp 🙂 I guess I have no more excuses now ! 🙂

  11. I use Mail Chimp for a couple clients and also L-O-V-E it. I am in the process of building my own lil’ blog and would love to use it for myself. I didn’t wake up wondering how I can use Mail Chimp more effectively, but I did get excited when I saw your new post show up in my Pinterest feed and now I am feeling very fortunate to have this new Chimp knowledge. I feel smarter already. BIG DAY!

  12. This is awesome. I’ve wanted to send out updates automatically, but didn’t know how to with a free account! Just got my RSS Feed set up–now I just need to get people subscribed!

  13. You are one of the few people who actually make me smile-slash-laugh-out-loud when I’m reading a blog post, Regina. 😀

    I adore Mailchimp for all the reasons you listed above. Though I don’t have a paid account, this post makes me want to upgrade yesterday. The delivery features and the ability to do long term autoresponders have been really, really, really tempting. How come you are so convincing?!

    Also, thank you kindly for pointing out the geolocation feature. I didn’t know about that!

    What I LOVE about their app is that I can see everything about my list while I’m on the go, incl. new subscribers, opens and clicks, etc. I also like that it notifies me on my phone when a campaign goes out. 🙂 The only improvement I could imagine would be if it would send my phone a notification in real time when someone subscribes. (Not because it’s necessary, but because I’m addicted to that kind of thing. haha)

  14. Would you beleive that right now, at this very moment, I am knee-deep…well, more like elbow-deep in my rough draft of an e-course for bloggers on how and why to create amaze-balls newsletters using MailChimp? (I’m using your 3 Day Create to guide me, by the way.)

    Seriously, I love, love, love MailChimp, and newsletters in general. I do virtual assistance work for bloggers and the #1 job I get assigned, far and away, is to create a rockin’ newsletter.

    MailChimp rocks my socks, which is why I’ve been a happy customer for years! This is a fantastic post Regina – will have to bookmark it for reference when I release my e-course!

    • Hi Regina,

      I am very impressed with Regina’s post and am going to switch to Mail Chimp. I am redoing my brand so this post is extremely helpful. Kirsten, how can I find out when your course is finished? I am very interested!

  15. Very nice blog post Regina. I have been coming here since your last post looking for any new stuff you had up. I was really excited to see a new post today.

    I love Mailchimp too and even created a course on it that I put on Udemy. I did not know about Chimpadeedo though. But now I know and I’ll make sure to use it next time I’m out and about.

    Thanks for the great post again.

  16. I actually recommend MailChimp to my clients, and some of these are new to me, so yay for learning new things… I have a newsletter list, with subscribers and I’ve yet to send out a newsletter, so it’s something I really need to get going on.

  17. Yet another great post. I’ve been using Mailchimps free account for a while now, the idea of automation makes me want to upgrade, my list is still super small and I’m still brainstorming a way to get more folks to sign up.

    I’d really like to now how to make a super cute subscription widget like yours. I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around that for a couple of weeks.

    • Hey Patricia,
      Hope you don’t mind me stepping in, but you can use MailChimp’s sign-up form generator (use the embeddable one) and choose the ‘Naked’ design, that will give you the code you need for the form. Then it’s just a matter of adding a little CSS to style it up the way you wan it to look…
      Hope that helps!

  18. Yes, another reminder from you to upgrade (& I’m getting close to the subscriber limit anyways…)! I definitely didn’t realize the A/B testing was free, and the inbox inspection is such a cool feature. What a wonderful post Regina 🙂

  19. Nobody’s signed up to receive my amazing newsletter yet… Yet, I say!
    The paid account might help me getting more serious about blogging, who knows :3
    Thanks a lot for this post Regina, as always it’s super “brills”.

  20. Yep, just another super-helpful, mind-reading post by my Guru of Choice. Ho-hum.

    I’ve bookmarked in my “Do Not Forget” folder, because there’s a lot here I’m going to need to implement. Chimpadeedoo is particularly brilliant for anyone who sells at art/craft shows and wants to grab emails. Thank you!

    And for those out there who are on Squarespace instead of WordPress, it’s worth noting that MailChimp can automatically link with your Squarespace site. It makes embedding sign-ups and stuff even more ridiculously easy.

  21. I’m fairly new to the world of newsletters, having sent out my third issue last week, so I haven’t really explored mailchimp yet, but you’ve given me my homework for the weekend, I think. Thanks for another comprehensive post that takes the hard work out of learning.

  22. Thanks for the great tips! I so want to have an email list that has automation, but unfortunately I don’t have the funds right now. I definitely will be looking into all of those free features. I really need to finally start my newsletter.

  23. Seriously Regina, you have the best informative posts – lots of details without it being overwhelming, photos, and just enough info so I understand but not too much that I get lost in it.

    I’ve been thinking lately of starting a newsletter for my blog so this post was great timing.

  24. I love learning new things. Your blog teaches me something new every time I read it. Most times it’s much more than 1! I’m ready to get serious about my blog and have started working on content, relationships, and a direction. I’d forgotten about Mail Chip (used it once before) and how awesome it’s features are. Thanks for the reminder and great information.

  25. I swear it’s like you’re in my head sometimes. I’ve been wanting to use mailchimp bc I want more control over how subscribers get my posts (and I wanted to start doing newsletter only posts + tips) but I wasn’t sure how to configure the plugin. This will totally help!

  26. Faaaab post as always, curly-haired sis! 🙂 I’ve used MailChimp for a while now, but have never made the jump for a paid account, so I’d love to give it a go! Thanks for this awesome giveaway!

  27. Oh, this is something that’s been on my to-do list for ever and I’ve never managed to conquer my fear of mailing list set up to review. Can you say kick up the posterior? Excellent timing as per normal lovely lady, and mailchimp has been bumped up the list regardless! Awesome giveaway, and awesome post – I feel like I win either way!

  28. Saw this show up in my Facebook newsfeed and knew that I HAD to click on it. I’ve been “monkeying around” with the idea of creating two mailing lists- one for my blog and one for my business for a while. I want to build my mailing list so that I can really reach the people who are interested in what I have to offer on a regular basis. I’ve had a free MailChimp account for *ehem* years, but never really knew how to get started with it. I definitely didn’t know about all of these features. Do you have any tips on getting people to join your list? I was thinking of creating an opt-in offer, but aside from that I have no clue what to do to get them to want to give up the almighty email address. I bet you do, though. 🙂

    P.S. That is awesome of you to offer people a chance to try the paid version. *fingers crossed*

  29. This may just be the trigger I need to finally start doing something with my email list. I use the free version at the moment, but the automation and time zone delivery would definitely be worth the upgrade!

  30. Why I Need the Pro:
    1st thanks for all you do! It’s wonderful and full on info!
    I have had Mailchimp for about a year and finally sent out my first newsletter now two weeks ago. My news letter will be bi-weekly. I only had a few on my list and have been blogging for years. I didn’t know the value in the LIST! And now I do. Who knows the people I could have been reaching. I am ready to learn more and reach more. Thanks again!

  31. I definItely need to check out the A/B testing because I am so indecisive! Thanks for pointing out some of the features I didnt know about. I am going to look into some of their design tutorials because that’s where I need the most help.

  32. Hi Regina,

    I think I love you and love Maxwell. 🙂 I’ve been using mailchimo for almost a year and some of the features that you mentioned are new to me. THANK YOU for this post! Like Courtney mentioned above I sometimes struggle with what to put in my newsletters and how many images are appropriate. You provided awesome tips, and I plan to start making changes today. I send out a biweekly newsletter including blog post, ads for coaching and affirmations. However in the alt weeks when its not a newsletter I still email the same group and send them the blog post for that week. Is that ok? Or should I include more content? Or should I not send an email about blog post and just stick to the bi-weekly newsletter and have links in that post about blog post they may have missed?

  33. I signed up for Mailchimp last week. I’ve read so many good reasons to begin a newsletter. I avoided for years but now see the value in doing so. Regina, you always come in, on time, with the perfect gem.

  34. Awesome post Regina! I really like Mailchimp, however, after reading this, I believe I haven’t been using it the best way possible, there’s so much more features I need to explore. I would love to try the pro version, specially the automation. I have a quick question, the RSS to email sends your latest posts to the subscribers? Can you have both a personalized newsletter that you write each month and the RSS? I’m confused with this, sorry if it’s sound silly.

  35. Ohh my goodness!!! My mind is going crazy over here. So many new things to experiment with. As you know Im living on an island in the middle of the pacific thousands of miles away from the nearest land mass… so my time zone is WAY WAY off from everyone else on the “mainland”/ rest of the world. I am constantly calculating time zone differences and trying to remember daylight savings changes… (there’s no daylight savings in Hawaii) I want to be consistent with all my readers who subscribe to my list but it can get a little intense trying to reach everyone at the same time. The delivery by time zone paid feature is almost enough on its own to make me subscribe for the paid account. And then there’s the Automation option looks amazing! I’ve been wondering how to set something like that up for any opt-in offers or e-cources I’m planning for the future. To have the option of keeping everything on one platform would make this so much simpler!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Regina, for such a great educational post! I am absolutely loving Tool Time! 🙂

  36. I have a million excuses for not building my email list, and one of them is that I can’t decide between MailChimp and Aweber. $25 to spend on MailChimp would break the standoff and could actually make 2015 the Year It Happens. Thanks for the contest.

  37. I’ve been using the basic plan from Mailchimp for a few months now and I LOVE it! I have the RSS feed set up and it makes things so easy. I’d love to upgrade so that I can send out automated emails and try out the other cool features. Thanks for putting this together, Regina!

  38. I prefer using Aweber but have heard a lot about mailchimp. The best thing is they give basic stuff for free and for pro plan you need to pay only. Thanks Regina for putting up here. Thank you so much. Keep writing such good stuff.

  39. Kismet. I’m in the midst of creating templates via Mail Chimp. Although, I think i’ve created the “thank you for subscribing” template or not…I’m learning trail by error. Thanks for this share. Btw, I LOVE Maxwell!

  40. Haha Regina, your posts seriously crack me up! I already have MailChimp so can’t sign up, but wanted to say thanks for the tips. A few of them I didn’t know about.

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  43. This is so timely. I just upgraded from the free MC account to the pay as you go for automation. I see a lot of the features that you’ve mentioned, but haven’t taken the time to figure out what they are and how to use them. I’ve also been struggling with what to say in my newsletters. I’m taking a break from posting, but still want to send out newsletters once or twice monthly to let my subscribers know I’m still alive and what I’m working on. Thanks for putting this together.

  44. omg yes!! Thank you so much for publishing this Regina. I’ve been looking to the answer for the RSS feed for weeks – not realising it was as simple as using mail chimp. Life saver. I’m doing a happy dance right now 🙂

    • Haha. Yay Hope. I’m glad to hear that. Thank you for letting me know. I shall join you in your happy dance w/ Justin Timberlake as my musical choice.

  45. Phew! Finally an explanation of how mail chimp works. I feeling slightly dumb but now I’ll totally sound all expert-y

  46. Oh god, I haven’t been so excited after discovering a new blog in a while.
    I’ve been using MailChimp for few months now and upgraded to their paid plan just for the automation feature (it’s sooo soo worth the price).

    I had to contact their customer service twice and they’ve been really nice and helpful both times. That’s the main reason I want to stay with them.

    I just have a question for you and all Mailchimp users out there. I like to have nice looking newsletters with some simple styling and one image but it has been pointed out to me (by colleagues) that the emails end up in the promotion tab on Gmail. I changed the formatting to make it as simple as I can recently but nothing changed, still promo tab. Do any of you have this problem as well?
    For now my answer has been that promo tab or not we have pretty good open and click rates so we shouldn’t stress out too much. I’m still curious about it though.

    As for the features I also like the ability to schedule the newsletter for optimal time sending (something Mailchimp measures). And I’ve recently purchases the pro version of an independent Mailchimp plugin for WordPress. I absolutely love it as I’m able to design my own subscription boxes now.

  47. WOW! Thank you Regina for this informative post! I totally agree with Rach…finally an explanation about how to use the awesomeness of MailChimp! I’m printing it out so I can put this tool to work!

  48. Your posts are always good, but this one is fantastic! I’ve been a big fan of Mailchimp for a long time (though I’ve never used a paid account) and you named a fair number of free features I didn’t know about at all! It’s really a fantastic tool, and I swear by it. I even create and delete campaigns and templates sometimes just for the sake of using their drag-and-drop designer to generate code for me to slice and dice and use elsewhere. 😛 Thanks for the great post!

  49. New reader to your blog and I’m already hooked! Thanks so much for all of your great information here, you’re helping me better my newly developed blog already. I can’t wait to read more 🙂 Thank you for doing what you do and doing it so well.

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  51. Great info! I actually just signed up for mail chimp a few days ago & am looking forward to using it in the future.

  52. Oh goodie. I am on the right track! I still need to check out some of these new things you taught me today, but at least I have a few under my belt for once!

  53. Such a resourceful post! Thanks so much Regina. I was already using MailChimp, but not the RSS function of it. I just got done setting it up, and I love that it can be personalized. There’s really just so much you can do with MailChimp…loving it!

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  55. Hi Regina,
    Interesting post! Thanks 🙂
    The email delivery based on the timezone it’s pretty cool, shame that it doesn’t work with the RSS campaign.

  56. Like you, we’re huge fans of mailchimp. So much so we actually built a tool to grow our own mailchimp list and now offer it free to others looking to convert more website traffic into mailchimp subscribers. You can give it a test drive at Enjoy!

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  59. whoah this blog is excellent i love studying your articles.
    Keep up the great work! You recognize, lots of people are hunting around
    for this information, you could help them greatly.

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  62. This is by far the most conclusive and ultimate tip trick guide that I have read on mail-chimp, I personally like this e-mail handler and after going through this “level” of tips and tricks, now I feel like a mail-chimp ninja.

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  64. Oh this is making it so hard on me. I switched from MailChimp, mainly because they don’t de-dupe. I wish so hard that they’d add that… I don’t deal with the whole one list, multiple segments thing, very well. I don’t understand it. :/

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  68. Well. I consider myself a semi-expert mailchimp user but even I didn’t know about some of those features. Awesome, Dawson!

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  70. Hi, Regina,
    I have just started using mailchimp as a tool to drive my visitors back on site, but still got some questions about RSS driven campaigns. Actually for me it looks kinda ugly, usually I try to send newsletters manual/hand made using one design template. Is there any design selection or you must code yourself?
    By the way this post is great review of mailchimp, thumbs up.

    • I saw this comment and wanted to jump in. MailChimp’s templates are really pretty, but heavy HTML sometimes has a bad habit of ending up in spam folders, filters or the promo tab in Gmail. I started coding my own to keep things simple. I noticed that all the influencers use light coded emails too!

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  73. sings “have I told you lately that I love you….” why of course I have. Regina this is the best thang I’ve seen written on Mailchimp ever. I couldn’t quite get A/B testing and your post made perfect sense. Why would I not take advantage of this feature. I will incorporate the RSS Feed and I didn’t know about the app to collect emails when away from my computer. I just got my whole life. I’m about to go read this again!! Thank You Regina you are the dopest Ninja I know. 😉

  74. I like the valuable info you provide to your articles. I will bookmark your blog and take a
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  75. Thank you so much! You have so many helpful posts. I just signed up for your newsletter too. Your blog planner looks great too!

    I think I may be a bit confused about MailChimp and RSS. I use MailChimp for my newsletter. I use the RSS that came with WP. I’ve been hesitating to export my RSS to MailChimp because I love that I can include the read more feature and when people get my email post, I get pageviews. I also like that my images are shown.

    When I send out my newsletter, I am uploading those images and linking to any posts they may want to read.

    I find I get a log more pageviews from the people who sign up for my RSS and even though I have a lot more newsletter subscribers, I don’t see much traffic from my monthly newsletter on the day it posts like I do from my RSS email.

    So my question is, can I include the RSS campaign feature for my newsletter and drop it in the theme as you pictured above…or does choosing the RSS campaign make it so they automatically receive every blog post? Since my newsletter subscribers are receiving a “monthly newsletter” can I include an RSS campaign without transferring my RSS list subscribers from WP to Mailchimp?

    As you can see, I’m a bit confused.

    Thank you!

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  78. Okay this is getting really scary…in a good way of course because I don’t like being scared.

    But seriously, I am sitting here in my PJ’s sipping my second cup of coffee and thinking…HMMM how can my new favorite e-mail provider help me to up my game…I bet Regina has something written about this.

    (can you hear the low intense music playing in the background?)

    You did it again Regina and your anticipation of looking for this is spot on girl.

    Okay back to task at hand just had to share my epiphany.

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  80. Thank you so much for this awesome list! I am a new blogger and really appreciate you sharing this rockin’ knowledge with us!

  81. Wow, this was so great to read! I’ve just started to tinker with mailchimp. Although, truth be told, my email list isn’t even big enough for me to really worry too much about sending out emails at this point. But this helped me find some great motivation to get serious about it.
    Side note: I’ve been quietly reading your blog for about 6 months now and just bought the Epic Blog editorial the other day. I really love it! It’s so clear how much effort you put into developing it. My one wish is that it was spiral ring.

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  83. That was a great article! thanks!

    I came across it as I am looking for a way to add the birthday field to my sign up from but through Squarespace – does anyone know if this is possible to do it this way? Or can I only embed the form from Mailchimp using the code to get the birthday field?

    I’d love some help!

  84. Hi,

    Assigning points to visitors as they interact with your brand is critical in order to segment your customers list and email them based on their classification into cold prospects, warms or leads. Also targeting customers with drip emails is implemented based on lead scoring. The main target is to convert your customers into loyal guests and increase sales.

    Similar to what mail chimp offers, Vbout is a marketing automation platform that allows businesses to target their customers with drip emails and use lead scoring to classify them based on their behaviors and engagement with your brand.

  85. Thank you for this! I’ve been wanting to set up a mail chimp account. Totally blogger newbie here and it answered a lot of my questions.

  86. Heya this is somewhat of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.
    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get advice from someone with
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  88. Hi Regina,

    Thanks for sharing the great information here.

    I (@MDanurag) am owner of new startup and frankly speaking, I am very lazy for digital marketing. This Mailchip can be really very helpful for people like me.

    Definitely, I am going to try this today.

    Thanks again for sharing this great information.

    Keep sharing such great information


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  92. I have mailchimp. I just want to be able to make a little pop-up subscribe form that ONLY pops up when someone clicks to get my free content upgrade. I want to do this without paying $29 a month for ConvertKit or $49 a month (gag!) for SumoMe Pro!

    I hate the way the “general form” on mailchimp looks, and it won’t let me change what the button says. I really don’t want to take readers to a whole other page in a new tab, either.

    I have no money. I have a family to take care of. We are barely getting our bills paid and I can’t keep shelling out tons of $$$ to all of these things. I want to do many of these things in the future, but I need to grow my business so that I can afford the stuff!

    HELP! Any suggestions?

  93. Loving the RSS to email tip! I was just thinking about how to integrate that today as a separate list.

    Will be implementing.

    Thanks Regina!

    NK //

  94. Hello!! I’ve read your post and definetely learned a few new things, but I still have one question: how do I do so evereytime someone subscribes to one of my MailChimp lists, an email that I have designed gets automatically sent to them? Is it possible? I have the free plan, and when someone subscribes they just get the confirmation email but nothing more. I designed a welcome email and I’d love to manage to set things up so it gets sent automatically to new subscribers. Thank tou very much!!

    • Marina, to my knowledge, you can only make edits to the confirmation email people get, but if you want to set up a completely separate automated Welcome email, I believe only their paid plans support that. You might try MailerLite if you want different options within the free plan. I used MailChimp’s paid plan for years and enjoyed it, but I’d also recommend checking out and

  95. My vendor has informed me that Mailchimp will not allow the import of a specific commercial email mail list due to spam laws.
    I am just starting up a new Domain venture, and have no email list to start with. (The vendor I have in mind will Include two email Broadcasts. (Includes broadcast, set-up, delivery and real-time tracking).
    Is this a typical practice? (Their price and data acquisition parameters fit my needs.) Or is there a way to import a list of respondents from the initial Broadcasts?

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  97. I’ve just set up my blog and signed up for MailChimp. I found this post just at the right time! Thank you for sharing these tips/tricks/bits of info, it really helped!

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