How to create your first email list with Mailchimp

By Jessica Craddock | Marketing 101

how to set up an email list in mail chimp

We've talked about why you need an email list. Now, I'm going to show you exactly how to go about setting up your first email list using Mailchimp. If you don't have one yet, I highly encourage you to just do it. Right now. Follow along with me, I'll show you how. It's easy!

Related: Why You Absolutely Must Have an Email List

Disclaimer, I don't use MailChimp anymore, but when I first started out it was the perfect option for me. I wanted to grow my list without spending a dime. It is easy and free (up to 2000 subscribers), which is why I've chosen to highlight this service. I do not receive any compensation for doing so. 

Don't worry, you can always switch providers if you decide MailChimp is not the service for you! Most services will import your old list for you free of charge - so let's get started!

If You Don't Have a MailChimp Account

Getting Started with Mailchimp

mailchimp sign up free
  1. Go to Mailchimp's website and click "Sign up free" in the top right-hand corner.
  2. Enter an email, username and password. Make sure the password has at least one lowercase letter, one uppercase letter, one number, one special character and an eight character minimum.
  3. Click "Get Started!".
  4. Look for an email in your inbox to verify your account. Click on the provided link.

Set up Your MailChimp Profile

how to create a mail chimp account
  1. Enter your first and last name. Click "Continue".
  2. Enter the name of your business and your website if you have one. If you do not have a business name, enter "(Your Name) Art" ​or something similar. You can change this later. Ignore the "I'm an Agency" checkbox unless you will be managing others' email lists as well. Click "Continue".
  3. MailChimp will want your business address. If you do not have an off-site studio or PO Box, you will want to put your home address in these fields.
  4. If you have an online store already created, you will want to choose "yes" here. If you are just starting out, choose "no". You can always alter this later. 
  5. For our purposes, we are focusing on quickly opening an account. If you would like to connect your social media now, go for it. Otherwise, just choose "no". You can connect them later on. 
  6. Choose the button, "Create a list".

How to Set up Your List in MailChimp

how to create a new list with mail chimp

Once you have created a list, MailChimp will ask you for some details. I have written out answers to help you in case you get stuck.

  • List Name: (Your Name) Art Newsletter
  • Default From email address​: Use your most official sounding email address. If you don't have one, I would recommend setting up a new address like yournameart@gmail.com. If you have a website, consider using G Suite. They charge $5/mo to create a yourname@yourwebsite.com email address. 
  • Default From Name: If you've named your art business, use that name here. Otherwise, I recommend "(Your Name) Art". 
  • Remind people how they signed up to your list: {Copy & Paste, but change (parenthesis text)}: "In the past, you visited (yourwebsite.com) and signed up for our mailing list via (a value adding opt-in). Occasionally, you will receive emails about my new events and/or artwork. Please stick around to reap the benefits! Don't worry. We won't, and haven't, shared your email address with anyone."
  • Contact information for this list: This will be filled out according to the address you gave when you set up the account. If you wish to make changes, just hit the "edit" button right below this field.
  • Notifications: I choose to be notified of new subscribers daily. I don't need any more emails in my inbox, but it does motivate me to keep up the hard work!

Congratulations! You now have an email list ready to start accepting subscribers. In the next lesson, I will show you how to set up a landing page in Squarespace so people can sign up!

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