Email Marketing: An Introduction to Mailchimp

Mailchimp is a website for creating and managing email campaigns. In this Introduction to Mailchimp, you will learn how to manage email lists and contacts, create campaigns, edit newsletter templates, and access reports and analytics.

Mailchimp is a free service with limitations on the size of the contact list (500), and the number of emails (max 1000 sent per month). The free version is designed for small businesses and people just getting started with email newsletters.

A service like Mailchimp is much easier than sending emails directly to your audience. Most email services, like Google, limit the number of people you can send an individual email to, as well as the total number you send each day. Services like Mailchimp do not have that limitation, within the limits of your plan.

When the exact layout of an email is desired, a mailing list service like Mailchimp is good to use. Formatting in an email client (e.g. Gmail) is not very precise, and you can’t know exactly what the recipient will see. The newsletter editor provides easy design and customization of the content, and you can also preview the emails to see exactly how it will appear to the recipients.

Mailchimp Menu

Mailchimp opens to the Dashboard, where the menu shown below will appear on the left side of the window.


Under All Contacts, you can manage your mailing list.

You can view, edit, add, delete and manage contacts (for example, adding tags) in the mailing list. However, Mailchimp’s free plan has a limitation on the number of groups you can create with your contacts.


A Campaign in Mailchimp is an email sent to an email list.

Under the “Campaigns” section you can manage and schedule the emails your organization wishes to send out.

An Email template is a design of an email that can be used for one or more Campaigns.

Email Template

Email Templates are where you will format and save designs for future use, and this option is located under Content > Email Templates.

When editing an email template, there are a variety of different tools for working with text, images and links.

Pictured above is an overview of the Mailchimp newsletter builder. Here we can see all of the content blocks, located on the left side of the screen.

Each one of these blocks is a drag and drop element where you can design your newsletter directly on the preview that is in the middle of the screen. Here you can add headings, paragraphs, images, dividers, social media links, and much more to your newsletters.

The ability to edit each element directly in the newsletter preview is a feature of MailChimp’s new builder. Previously, in the classic builder, you did not edit directly in the preview .

For example, we dragged an image block in between the SDM news header, and the Melrose Coop Foundation logo. Here we could add an image from our computer or our media library within MailChimp.

Every available content block will have its own formatting options on the left side, which will appear after it is dragged across and/or selected. These formatting options allow you to easily design and brand your emails.


You also have control over both the Desktop, and Mobile view of their newsletter.

You will see the newsletter displayed in the Desktop view, but the newsletter will also scale and format itself into a mobile version.

Within the styles tab on the left side of the main overview you will find options to lay out the newsletter’s format in both viewing styles.

It is important to note that most of the layout options will be in the desktop view while the mobile tab is limited mostly to padding, and text changes.

Lastly the Optimize section identifies broken links or unmerged tags.

Creating a Campaign

Sending an email based on an Email Template to a group of email addresses is a Campaign. The following steps are correct as of time of writing, but they do change from time to time.

To send an email from a template you have designed, follow these steps:

Begin by clicking on Campaigns in the left hand menu (shown previously), then:

Create campaign (in upper right corner)
Design email (on lower left)
Edit the fields as needed
Design Email allows you to choose a Saved Template
Click save and close at bottom
If you want to send it out now, click “send” in the upper right corner
Click “schedule” and set a date and time in you want to send it later

For additional help, please call to make an appointment. There is much more to learn here.


Reports offers data and analytics for each campaign that has been sent. As shown in the image below, analytics shows the number of emails opened and the percentage of users who click on a link in the content.

Under View Report, you will see how many of the emails were delivered, as well as whether any email addresses were undeliverable and why.

This gives an idea of which emails your customers find most helpful. If your email does not contain embedded links, then Clicks is not as important as Opens.

There are also details about which links were followed. These are topics for a more advanced lesson.

Content Studio

The My Files section within Content Studio allows the user to see and manage the files and photos used in their campaigns and templates.

Plans and Pricing

For more serious users of Mailchimp, premium plans are available. The number of subscribers, and the number of emails you can send, determines the price of the plan.

If you need more assistance beyond this Introduction to Mailchimp, then check out the Mailchimp Help Page. And, if you would like to learn more or need help with MailChimp, just call or email.

If you have questions about our services, just call or email. We’re happy to assist you! Feel free to use our contact form to send us a message. Thank you!

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