Setting up an email list isn’t part of every author’s platform but for those who are looking to set up, you have a number of them to choose from:
….and so on…
Today, I’d like to talk a bit about MailChimp and show you how easy it is to get started. (It is free for your first 2,000 subscribers)
First, go to www.mailchimp.com and set up an account.
When creating a password, be sure you have a password using at least one capital letter, a number, and a special character:
Example_1 is an example of what would be accepted. If you don’t have at least one number, capital letter and special character it won’t let you go on.
After you set everything up, check your email and activate your account.
Here is where you enter your name and the name of your business.
Next, you are going to have to add a physical address. This is because of anti-spam laws. Learn more about that HERE. But you can always come back to this page to change it later.
I would recommend your first and last name and the city, state, and zip in place of Do Not Contact. It looks more professional.
Your City, State, Zip
Remember, a street address is optional so you don’t really need that and also remember that you can change this later.
This is your dashboard. When you start sending emails you will see your campaign here, your data and so forth.
Now for the fun part. It’s time to get started. First, you need to create a List. Click on the List tab.
Go ahead and create list.
List Name > The Name of Your Newsletter
Default from email > Your Business Email
Default Name > I highly recommend using a name people are familiar with already, such as your name. I started with Literary Korner Publishing but then switched to Yecheilyah and my open rates have increased tremendously since then. For your default name, I recommend using your name.
Remind people why they signed up > Wherever people could have accessed your form, put that here “You are receiving this email because…”
Scroll down and check the address for this list. If you want to change it from when you first set up, do that now.
Scroll down. Now that Mailchimp has changed to offer Single Opt-In, you can decide if you want to continue with a double opt in or not. Double Opt-In means once people sign up to your list they will have to confirm again before they are added, like always. Single Opt-In means they are automatically signed up when they first fill out your form. No checking emails and confirmations. They will be automatically added.
If you want Single Opt-In, leave this as is. If you want double opt-in, click on it.
Now, move on to notifications and check all that apply. It’s just asking how often you’d like to be emailed on activity with this list.
Next, you’ll see this page. Until someone is subscribed to your list, you’re done.
Or, you can manually add subscribers you have been given permission to add.
You can also import contacts from your email, assuming you’ve been given permission from those people to be added.
In any event, you won’t be able to send a Campaign or email until you have subscribers to the list.
To manually add subscribers, click add contacts and go from there. In the meantime, let’s move on to how to send emails.
(Reaching out to people to ask if they would like to join your list and if you can add them manually is another great way to increase your number of subscribers. Everyone doesn’t have to sign up, sometimes you can get creative and just ask around (Text messages, Facebook Messages, DM Twitter and IG Messages) All that matters is that you have their permission to sign them up.)
I added myself so that I can show you how to create a Campaign. Click on the campaign tab to get started. This page will come up with the floating arrow to show you where to click.
Click on Create Email
Name your campaign. Whatever your email is about.
The next page is self-explanatory. Just complete the fields based on your list. The To field will ask what list you are wanting this email sent to. Choose the list (you’ll just have one list if you just started), save and proceed to the other fields.
When you get to Design Email, you’ll see a page come up that looks like this. Choose the template of your choice. I am going to go with the follow-up.
This is where you design your email. It’s super easy. Just drag, drop and enter text wherever you want. I am not going to bore you with a step-by-step with this. At least not yet, maybe in another post. However, I would like to caution about one thing….
When I first started my email list I had colors and pictures and it was just going all the way on. While I can only offer suggestions (not guaranteed solutions), I would advise against this. As much as we want to showcase our personality, it helps if our email design is plain and simple. I know, that sounds boring but it’s easier on your audience.
Your email list is really not about you, it’s about the people who read them. Everything, from your subject line to your content and even your design is about making it easier on your subscribers. Therefore, I would say to stay away from too many colors, lots of widgets and pictures, and super long emails.
Personally, I love using my Cartoon Bitmoji as well as my Banner. Aside from these basics, I have taken everything else away. Here’s a snapshot of my real email list to give you an example:
At the top I have my banner (which can be your logo) and a display of my social media buttons. I WOULDN’T PUT MY SOCIAL BUTTONS ALL THE WAY AT THE BOTTOM. I would put them at the top and at the bottom.
The body of my emails have gotten a makeover since I first started. Black letters or gray against a white background. That’s it. Plain, simple, and easy to read.
My bitmoji cartoon takes us on out with a reminder to add me to your address book (so my emails don’t go to your spam), check your Spam and Junk Folders (in case my emails go to spam), and a reminder that Gmail emails from Mailchimp tend to go into the promotions folder.
Very Bottom / Signature
Under the reminders is another look at my social widgets and my links.
OK, we’ve had enough Mailchimp for today. Just make sure your emails are clean, easy on the eyes (colors that are not too light or dark), easy to navigate and to the point.
Yecheilyah (e-see-lee-yah) is an Author, Blogger, and Poet of nine published works including work in progress and short inspirational guide “Keep Yourself Full.” Learn more by exploring Yecheilyah’s writing on this blog and her website at yecheilyahysrayl.com. Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One) is her latest novel and is available now on Amazon.com.
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