Mailchimp – Why you should use it
What is an Email Marketing Service provider?
An email marketing service provider (ESP) is a system that allows you to centralize all of your email newsletter efforts. It also allows you a centralized place to securely manage your contact address book.
How it works
An ESP is a system that you log into online. Within the system you have your address book ( which can be easily imported from any Excel spreadsheet ) and a visual designer to help you design your newsletters. You design your template once and then you can reuse it over and over at the click of a mouse. Newsletter sends can be scheduled and will arrive to in box’s in a seamless manner.
Managing your newsletter effort whilst using an ESP can help you quickly reproduce your newsletter. It also allows you a place to store the contacts who need to receive the newsletter and you can easily manage/remove/add anyone at anytime. By doing this there is no more worrying about a harddrive crash and you loosing years of your newsletter efforts. It's all setup safe inside the secure online portal.
Another advantage of using an ESP is the ability to change the design fairly quickly. For example if it's Christmas you can quickly add Christmas graphics to the design.
When using an ESP you are essentially allowing them to manage your email list of contacts. Contacts will not be able to see who you send to, therefore maintaining a high level of privacy.
Set up requirements
To setup the system you'll need to go to www.mailchimp.com and sign up for an account. You'll need a name, address and phone # to assign to the account. You'll also need to upload a .csv Excel file of all the contacts you wish to add to your system. This can easily done by using a 3 column spreadsheet that contains First name, Last name and Email Address all in their own column.
Next you'll need a header graphic that is approx. 600 pixels wide by 200 pixels high. There are several online programs to create these quickly such as Canva.com. Once you have a header graphic you can view the templates within the system and choose one that works best for your design.
You'll also need to setup your first list by following the list setup wizard.
The ongoing management of the system is very minimal. You'll need to log in to remove any names that should no longer receive your messages. You'll also need to log in to add any new contact records. Readers also have the option to 'unsubscribe' at anytime.
You'll need to log in and add content to your newsletters. You will also need to schedule the message. The newsletters are stored within the system, there is no need to download and keep on your hard drive.