The Easy Way To Start An Email Marketing ListA cornerstone of online marketing is the email mailing list. Everybody who is building an online or real-world business should be building email marketing lists to let their existing customers know about current events that relate to your business, relevant offers and generally to keep in touch with your customer base. All of this will add up to repeat business if not now then further down the line. Starting your fist mailing list might sound like a daunting task, but we’ve come up with this quick guide to help you through your first steps down the road to a successful email marketing strategy.

Sign up for a Mailchimp Email Marketing account

There are many different roads to choose from when you first start off with your list, from fully blown marketing systems like Infusionsoft, Green Rope, HubSpot and the like, to more focussed mass email managers like Aweber and our own personal recommendation – Mailchimp. Apart from it’s ease of use, brilliant support and wide recognition – the best thing about Mailchimp for the beginner is it’s completely free starter tier. Being able to get started without any cost is a real boon for the small business owner. If you need advanced features later on there are of course multiple paid for accounts available.

You can sign up for your free Mailchimp account by visiting this link: Sign Up Free

I’ve Got A Mailchimp Account. Now what?

So the best way to start off with your new email marketing strategy is to add your loyal customers in from your existing email programs. British email marketing law states that you can send email marketing to previous customers as long as you ask their permission and the products you are promoting are related to their previous purchases. You can find out more about current legislation for email marketing here. Don’t worry too much about your obligations to provide easy exit routes from the list – Mailchimp will sort all of that out for you.

You may have your contact’s email addresses in Apple address book, Microsoft Outlook or even your online mail accounts. Wherever they are currently stored there is generally an export ’email addresses as .csv’ option. Follow the instructions provided by your email supplier and you should end up with your list of email addresses all inside one neat file. You can find more information on exporting email addresses for use in Mailchimp by following theses links – just choose the one for your choice of email provider:

Export Gmail contacts as csv file

Mailchimp Apple Address Book Importer

Mailchimp Import from Microsoft Outlook

Other ways of building an email list

Moving forward adding emails from your email program into your Mailchimp account is a cumbersome way of operating, so you’ll need to come up with a way to let new customers be added to your mailing list. If you have a website with us here at Webwalrus ask us to fix this up for you. We can add a sign up form to your website anywhere you like. If you are using an e-commerce setup it might be best to give people an opt-in method as they buy. If you have your own website it might be worth checking out Mailchimp’s list of supported methods for adding people to your lists. You can find that at this link: Best practise for building a Mailchimp list. If you just need to add people on to your list one at a time you can do that via Mailchimp’s website. This process might be suitable if you are running a small club or similar where you don’t get a large amount of signups.

You’re all set up!

So there you have it – all set up and ready to launch your first marketing campaign. Now is the time to think about what you want to say to your customers, develop new and interesting content for them to enjoy or tell them about your latest products. We’ll show you how simple Mailchimp makes it to write an attractive email in our next post. In the meantime – let me know if you have any questions by dropping me a comment below.

Joe Hewes

Joe is head honcho at Webwalrus web design. An avid internet enthusiast he has been building websites since 10 B.C. (Before Chrome).

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