Last week I posted MadMimi vs MailChimp. In which I discussed how to use MadMimi. MadMimi is SO much easier to use than MailChimp (I think). However, I wound up switching to MailChimp a couple months ago because MadMimi didn’t do everything I need it to do.
This was supposed to only be two parts, but MailChimp turned out to be more complicated to explain than I thought it would. So MailChimp gets another section or two. Today we’ll talk about how to set up an RSS email campaign.
How to Set Up an RSS Email in MailChimp
Just like with MadMimi, we have to create an RSS email. To do that, you create a new Campaign. If you want it to auto-send every time you post, it needs to be RSS-Driven.
1. So you go to Campaigns and Create a Campaign (in the top right-hand corner, it’s a dark grey button).
2. Clicking that button will take you to a second page where you’ll choose RSS-Driven, at the bottom. Click Select.
3. I’m probably going to do a lot of complaining about how difficult MailChimp is to use if you’ve never done an email campaign before. But this is one of the nice things about it: the next page it takes you to will prompt you to enter to the URL of your RSS feed. Don’t know where it is? Just type in your blog’s URL and MailChimp will find it for you.
4. After you type in your URL, select how often you want the campaign sent. (With RSS-Driven, no matter what you choose, it will only send an email once after every new post goes up.) Click the Next button. Which, as always, is hidden in what looks like a footer.
You’ll then pick a list to send to, which is why I spent Tuesday talking about how to add a contact list.
You will also pick a name and subject line for your list. I usually keep the first set of RSS coding and change the text to, “New post from.” And I delete the date. But you can do it however you want!
5. And now…for the design! Pick a template (for simplicity’s sake, I’ll go with 1-column) and we’re off!
6. All you do here is drag and drop what you want, where you want it, and edit as you go. It’s really easy! All I’m going to show you now is how to remove your home address from the emails.
Always test your campaigns to make sure everything looks the way you want it to before it gets sent out to your mailing list. Do this by going to Preview and Test and then Send a Test Email. You’ll type in your email address when prompted and click Send.
7. Once you’re finished editing your template, you’ll click on Next to confirm.
It will take you to a page that shows you what problems your RSS email might have. If you were happy with the test email, though, then you can ignore most of these.
Removing your address from emails:
Remember on Tuesday when I told you your address is automatically included in your RSS emails? There is a lot of debate about whether or not it needs to stay that way. When I asked MailChimp’s staff about it, they sent me a link to something they wrote about how musicians who don’t want people knowing their home addresses just use their record company’s address. So I elected to use my host’s address.
However, you can delete the address altogether if you want.
1. On the page where you edit your template, scroll down. On the left side, you’ll see a bunch of RSS nonsense and then this phrase near the bottom, “Our mailing address is.”
All you have to do is delete that.
2. Hover over it and click on the Edit button (the one that looks like a pencil). Highlight the area you don’t want and delete it (LEAVE THE UNSUBSCRIBE STUFF. You have to leave that in for legal reasons. If you don’t, you will be considered a spammer).
That’s it! That’s all you do to remove the address.
Every single time I log in to MailChimp (especially since I don’t need to do it very often), I have to relearn it. Because of this, if MadMimi were to suddenly decide to let me have multiple email feeds on my account for free, I would switch back in a heartbeat. MailChimp is way too complicated, and that’s mostly because finding anything on it is a pain. Do you know it took me about 20 minutes to remember where I needed to go just to change my subscription page? And I’m actually pretty good with technology.
MailChimp is great for custom design (or at least better at it than MadMimi) and provides more information about my readers…but in the end, I find it to be too much work.
My recommendation if you only have one blog is to go with MadMimi. But if you already have MailChimp and you’ve finally grown accustomed to it, more power to you.
Next Tuesday, I’ll show you how to make a sign up form. This is, once again, becoming too long to do it today. 😛
Do you make your own campaigns using MailChimp? I’d love to see what they look like! Take a screenshot and upload it to my Facebook page!