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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
MAILCHIMP OR MAIL CHIMP SETUP FOR PEOPLE THAT HAVE NO FANS YET. That is, no mailing list.

EDIT Feb 15 2015
Whoa. Hard to believe that it's been a year since I did anything with this. My list has grown significantly since I put this thread up- the workflow is still the same for setting up the list for a first timer, but in addition to this, there's been some great additions on the boards relating to this and I want to get those in here.

In this thread, post #75, Diane Patterson gave some great advice for when your list grows. How to set up your give aways so they go out automatically. She referenced Alexis Shore's thread in KB. Just follow the link:
https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,190478.0.html

Updated Aug. 7, 2018:
The above link no longer works, so here's the MC Knowledge Base article now:
Send a File to New Subscribers: https://eepurl.com/dyimCn

Mark Dawson has a great thread on jumping up your sales here:
https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,193352.0.html
Go to post 20 on how to pump up your invitation. I did it and my list went from about 150 last summer to over 400 now.

The only place I offer free good selling titles for sign up is at the end of a sold book.
March 2017 Addendum: That's changed for me a little.
My reasoning is that the people that sign up at that location are pretty qualified as readers. YMMV though.
Like I said, it's a little diff for me as of March 2017. The difference is that when I do a promo on the book, I add front matter for signups. I drop that in right after the TOC. That way, if I get people looking at the 'Look Inside' feature I have a chance to harvest more readers. It does help.
- I make the necess changes in the MS and upload the new version
- after the promo, after some A/B testing, I keep the request up even after the promo finishes.

Edit: Feb 15 2014: jackcrows, on pg 3 of this thread said:
If your site is a Wordpress site, forget Mail Chimp and use the free newsletter plugin here: http://www.satollo.net/plugins/newsletter

I've been running it on my site for months now, and have sent out enough newsletters to know that it's fantastic. And very easy to use. Plug and play.

I don't know why people insist on muddling about with Mail Chimp. It's so pointlessly convoluted.

It's the first I've heard about those sorts of plugins for blogs, and I feel that it's worth mentioning at the top of this thread. Sure MC has other aspects you can use (as I, and others here on Kboards do) but it might be an easy way to start the ball rolling. Thanks for the tip, JC.

Now... on to the Torres Uberpost!

1.Before You Begin, you'll need:
  • a. An email account of your own for you and Mailchimp can correspond with
  • b. A street address to use in setting up your account. This is to comply with anti-spamming laws in the US and Canada that I'm aware of, and I expect the rest of the world's nations have similar laws.
    I rented a post office box from a local UPS outfit. They charged me just under $100.00 for six months. I'll look into other venues down the road.
  • c. A website. If you don't have a website in your own name, set up a blog. I use Blogger (now owned by Google), but you can use Wordpress, etc. They'll need an website address that's yours, but won't take a Facebook account.

Setting Up Mailchimp:
Here's the wesite address: http://mailchimp.com/
1. Input your email address
2. User name: I just used my email address because I think the user name doesn't allow spaces.
3. Password

When you hit enter, the email account you gave at the top sends you a confirmation email. So go there and follow the link which brings you back to page where you have to type in the stuff that convinces their website you're not a spambot. So input the numbers and hit the button.

Now you fill out the account details

Your Name

Company/ Organization: I just put my name in with the word 'Writer' at the end

Website URL: here's where you put your blog address in.

Your address: this is where you put the address in. NOW LISTEN: this address will be at the bottom of every email you wind up sending using MailChimp, okay? That's pretty much why I rented the PO box.
- Don't forget to specify the correct country!

Industry: I chose Media and Publishing

Timezone: If it doesn't have the correct one, click on the triangle at the right of the shaded box and find the right one for you

Profile photo: Now since I have a blog, Mailchimp grabbed my pic from my blog and brought it over. I wasn't crazy about them doing this w/o my permission--or even askin'! But hey, what can you do?

I also checked the box 'Subscribe to Getting Started Emails' because I love spam. Not really, because I really need all the help I can get.

Save and Get Started: click on this.

DASHBOARD- grrr....

The next page that springs up is the Dashboard page, and here's where I wasted so much time. Once I got this part figured out, everything else flowed pretty smoothly.

The Problem: Before you can go any further... my goal was to get the link that I could slap on the back of my book (and I think that's yours too, right?) also to put on my blog.

Naturally, one would figure that you follow the steps as they appear on this webpage. NOT FOR A FIRST TIME USER YOU DON'T! Nope. And there was nothing--not a doggone thing--that said 'do this first, then this'. When I was doing a webchat w/ an agent from Mailchimp it took him about 45 minutes to figure out what I wanted. Sheesh.

SO: What DO you do next?

You don't 'Create a Campaign'... noooo.... You Create A List (The second item). Whether you click on 'Create A List' or 'Start Building Your Audience' for the first time, you go to the same page that tells you that you don't have a list. On the upper right corner is a sort of bobbing icon pointing to the button 'Create a List'. Click on it.
- Here's where I got all confused. My reasoning was:
  • How the heck can I Create A List when I got no names? I want to use Mailchimp to give me the link for my back matter so I can start harvesting names.
  • I want to use Mailchimp to give me the link for my back matter so I can start harvesting names. It really was counter intuitive for me.
At this point I spent all the time trying to find the place where I can get that doggone link.
As it turns out, the link comes up in the process of creating your list.
Yeah, I know, it was me. But my perspective was different from Mailchimp's at this total novice stage.

New Screen Titled 'Lists', subtitled 'Set Up Your New List'.
  • 1. List Name: I named my first list 'Readers'. Now I may create another list for each book I publish, but for now, my goal is to get all my readers into one list. I'll probably segment them as I go on. But with only one book right now, that will be in the future.
  • 2. Default 'From' name. That's where I put in my author name
  • 3. Default 'From' email. That's where I put in the email account I use for my writing.
  • 4. Default Subject: it says 'optional' but I put in: Here's My Latest News. You can change the subject line for different mailings you do. Mailchimp calls them 'Campaigns'. (once... I get READERS! LOL). If not, I'll ask for help from Mailchimp.
  • 5. Remind people how they got on your list: in here, I wrote this: "Hi- I'm sending you this email because you subscribed to my mailing list at the end of my book, and I have a free offer exclusive to my readers." Because I'll be sending my readers a free short story.
  • 6. Notifications: I chose 'Daily Summary'
  • 7. Email format: I checked the box where people can choose the format, HTML or plain text.
  • 8. Click 'Save' and it brings up a new screen

New Screen: Excellent! You have a brand new list

Now this is the page where you first see the stuff that will help you generate your mailing list signup. It's in the green box at the top that says 'We automatically created a signup form you can use to gather new subscribers'. Click on 'Customize it'. Yay!

New Screen: Lists/ Readers
This is where you're going to create the form that the readers fill out. Let me explain a bit here, because I was pretty confused.

The harvesting of readers is a two stage process. ('Harvesting'... sounds kinda spooky, hunh? ;D)

Stage I: is at the end of your book, you'll ask readers to sign up for your newsletter. When you do, there's a link they click on. This link is right at the top, in the area called 'Signup form URL'. That's an important piece of hypertext there, pilgrim.

Stage II is after they click on that link, they are taken to a webpage where they input the information you request. You can add a whole lot of stuff, and decide if it's mandatory or not. The different boxes are 'Fields' just like a database, and if a field is mandatory, Mailchimp will not process the reader's info if it's left blank. On the other hand, you can ask anything, and if they don't answer a particular question, no big deal if it's not a mandatory one.

This screen's a little busy, but the important things here for me are as follows:
1. Signup form URL: this link is what you're going to put in your eBook
2. The list form area. In bold black you'll see the title of the Mailing List (or 'Campaign') you created in the previous screen. For me, it says 'Readers', but that's the title of my mailing list that my readers will begin to get on. They'll get on there when they fill out this form we're building. this next area has a bunch of fields, and you can add more if you want. Below are the fields I put in. If there's a * next to it in this list, it's a required field.
3. Over to the left of the form's title, you'll see a < symbol. Click on it, and there's a list of other fields you can add to the form. Click on it again to put it back for now. We're going to now create your form that will reside on Mailchimp's servers.

Making the signup form:
1. 'click to add a message'. When you click on it, it brings you to a new screen where you type and format the message at the top of your form.
In here I put the following:​
Thank you for signing up! Rest assured, I will not give away, rent or otherwise distribute your email address to anyone else.
You can jazz the message up a little using the menus at the top. I just used the defaults.

2. Email address: you'll see it's got an star on the right side denoting it's a required field.
3. First Name
4. Last Name
a. I left both as not required using just the default settings.
5. Prefered format. Leave this in.
6. I added a field here. I've seen it on other authors signup pages, and so I'm stealing the idea. I don't know if it's necessary or not, but what the heck. It's a protection against bots. So this is how I added a field:
  • a. Click on the < at the right a menu pops out with a bunch of fields you can add. I made my own from this list, so I chose the one at the top called 'Text'
  • b. Choose 'Text'
  • c. Now a new dialogue box appears so you can lay out this field:
    • i. Field Label: I typed in 'Type in the word BOOK to prove you're a human'.
    • ii. I also clicked on 'Required' button
    • iii. Made sure the radio button 'visible' was a black dot
    • iv. Left everything else blank
    • v. Hit 'Save Field'

Now you have a basic form for your readers to fill out. You can add more fields, you can move the fields around, and you can gussy your form up by adding background colors etc.

Changing colors etc:

  • 1. Above the form you just built, are three menu choices, Build It, Design It, and Translate It. Click on 'Design It'
  • 2. Now under that is a new menu: Page, Body, Forms and Monkey Rewards
    • a. Page: Gives you another menu: background, header, other wrapper
      • i. Background: click on it, and below a colored box appears with another box next to it with letters and symbols. Those letters and symbols are the color code. If you click on them you'll get a color palette from which you can choose a color that you like for the page color. G'head, give it a fresh coat of paint.
      • ii. Header: This is where you can change the font size and margin width. I just left it at the default. Now it says 'Readers' at the top. Maybe I should change that to 'Desmond Torres Newsletter Sign Up'. Hmmm.... If you want to change the title, just double click on the text, and click on the edit button that appears.
      • iii. Outer wrapper: another area of the form you can preetify. I just left it.
    • b. Body: this is in the top menu. You were on 'Page' so now click on 'Body' This brings another set of sub menus:
      • i. Foreground: Again, you can change the color by clicking on the letter/symbol part to bring up the color palette
      • ii. Default Text: you can change the text that's in the form's size and color. I just left it
      • iii. Link style: this is the button at the bottom of the form that says 'Subscribe To List'. I just left it alone.


    • c. Forms: I just left this alone. I'm happy with what I have
    • d. MonkeyRewards: This is the credit to Mailchimp button at the bottom. They give you a couple of options, I just left it at the default.

    Mailchimp automatically saves every 20 seconds, so there's no 'Save' button to hit. Took me a LOT longer than 20 seconds to figure that part out! Sheesh. Just to be on the safe side though, go to the top of the page, on the left hand side and click on the lined box next to the monkey icon to open up another menu to the left, and click on 'Dashboard'. This forces the system to save your work too. You'll go to the main screen and you'll see 'Create A List' now has a strikethrough through it. And they tell you 'Good Job'.
    To which I replied out loud, "No frikkin' thanks to youuuu!!'

    Hey... guess what. Yer done! Finito! The form you just made is the landing page for your subscribers to fill out, and you have the link for your subscribers to click on. You can put the link in your backmatter to your book. This is what my backmatter at the end of my book reads:

    Want to get an email when my next book is released?
    Sign up here: http://eepurl.com/HvC-D
    If you want, you can also create HTML code to embed in your blog. I haven't done that yet, but the links are there.

    Finally if you want to check out your landing form again, the links are as follows:
    Click on Dashboard (That's the lined box up there by Bubbles the monkey. Or is his name Cheethah? I'm not sure... ;D )

    Then click Lists and then click the title of your list. Click on 'Signup Forms' and in the new screen, click on General Forms. (Next to General Forms is the link that will help you make a signup form you can embed in your blog). Clicking on General Forms will bring you to the form you just created.

    You're now started on Mailchimp. Their Knowledgebase looks okay as far as managing the list once you start getting names, and planning out a campaign. But to get going on harvesting the names, this is all you need.

"Okay, Des! I went through this flushlugginer process! Now what?"
First of all, go have two beers. One for you, and one for me.
Then have a second beer for me-- c'mon, you think this was easy to write? :p

Now what you want to do is get that link you created into your book.
"Where, Desmond? At the beginning? Table of contents?
Nope. Right where Zoe York said to in this thread: see the 3rd post:
https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,160352.0.html
That position's worked for her, and it's worked for me. So far I've gotten 25-30 names on my list.

Got any more tips, ideas about Mail Chimp?
Not really, I'm pretty much out of ammo on that topic for now. I have been updating this OP though as posters put up new ideas.
But...
If you want to, do a search in the boards for 'Mailing List' and you'll get lots of hits and lots more ideas. This thread is a great place to start:
https://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,176204.0.html

Finally, if this has helped you, bump the thread by adding a comment. No, my ego's fine- if it pops up every now and then, people such as yourself can have the opportunity to see it too.
 

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Very cool of you to do this!

I haven't gotten a PO Box yet, so I put my street address as The Island of Misfit Toys, Los Angeles. I know it's not kosher, but I've noticed others--even Jeff Goins--doing something similar, so I'm going to let it ride for a little longer. So far, MailChimp doesn't seem to mind.

I'm realizing I might need more than one list... I write both fiction and non, and know that while there is some overlap, most people who read my YA novels aren't going to be interested in the book I'm writing about living (and thriving) with depression. I have seen others, who on their sign up page, have a drop down menu that has options--where a person could sign up for one list, the other, or both. I still haven't figured out how to do that with MailChimp.
 

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Thanks for doing this, Desmond. :) I was getting confused with Mailchimp and really didn't know where to turn (I think a lot of it's counterintuitive too).

Now I can go back to the account I set up (I think I set it up, lol), and ramp it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ChristinaGarner said:
Very cool of you to do this!

I haven't gotten a PO Box yet, so I put my street address as The Island of Misfit Toys, Los Angeles. I know it's not kosher, but I've noticed others--even Jeff Goins--doing something similar, so I'm going to let it ride for a little longer. So far, MailChimp doesn't seem to mind.
It's not Mailchimp you have to worry about, it's fines. I don't know anything about the penalties, or who does the anti spam enforcement. but there is some authority out there that watches over this.

I'm realizing I might need more than one list... I write both fiction and non, and know that while there is some overlap, most people who read my YA novels aren't going to be interested in the book I'm writing about living (and thriving) with depression.
Living with a chronic illness is a cross to bear, developing and maintaining coping strategies is a constant effort. Kudos for not hiding under your bed! ;)

You can run different lists! Go to Dashboard> List> New List and repeat the process. You can use the same form you designed for your first list, the data just goes to a new file (you get a new hyperlink to use) I just created a new list for my book 'JOLT' that I'm releasing in late November. I now have two lists- One for readers of Funny Business, a romance, and one for JOLT, a paranormal adventure.

I have seen others, who on their sign up page, have a drop down menu that has options--where a person could sign up for one list, the other, or both. I still haven't figured out how to do that with MailChimp.
I'm pretty sure this is done by simply creating a second list and dropping the hyperlink for each one in your document.
NB: when you start emailing your readers, that process is called a Campaign, and I haven't done one yet, but I think it'll be easier than the beginning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
cassidycayman said:
Thank you, a million times. I left mailchimp in tears the other night. So, thank you.
You were in tears, and I was sooo dam grouchy three nights ago. I just reformatted the post to make it easier to read. I'm going to send it to Mailchimp with a cover email. They need to know about this. :-\

And I'm glad that I was able to do something that contributed to this dynamite community. I'm getting a charge out of reading the posts on the thread here. Pattin' myself on the back so hard I think I sprained something... :'(
 

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Thanks for the effort, appreciate the give-back!
 

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I had a tough time with Mailchimp starting out too. I think I have things set up now but I didn't know my mailing address will be going out on all emails!?!? Yikes! Thanks for pointing that out.
 

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Desmond X. Torres said:
It's not Mailchimp you have to worry about, it's fines. I don't know anything about the penalties, or who does the anti spam enforcement. but there is some authority out there that watches over this.

Living with a chronic illness is a cross to bear, developing and maintaining coping strategies is a constant effort. Kudos for not hiding under your bed! ;)

You can run different lists! Go to Dashboard> List> New List and repeat the process. You can use the same form you designed for your first list, the data just goes to a new file (you get a new hyperlink to use) I just created a new list for my book 'JOLT' that I'm releasing in late November. I now have two lists- One for readers of Funny Business, a romance, and one for JOLT, a paranormal adventure.

I'm pretty sure this is done by simply creating a second list and dropping the hyperlink for each one in your document.
NB: when you start emailing your readers, that process is called a Campaign, and I haven't done one yet, but I think it'll be easier than the beginning.
You're right about the fines--I've just let it slide for a few months. I plan to get it sorted out by the end of the year.

And THANK YOU for the direction on how to make two lists! I was getting bogged down in the jargon and for the life of me couldn't figure out the dropdown menu. I'll give your directions a shot.

Re: Depression. I still sometimes hide under the bed, lol, but I make better use of my time out of bed now, and the hiding time has lessened ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
ChristinaGarner said:
You're right about the fines--I've just let it slide for a few months. I plan to get it sorted out by the end of the year.
I did a half baked search to see what outfit monitors this anyway, and drew a blank, so you're probably safe enough. (Yeah, famous last words, I know...) :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Mike McIntyre said:
A total newbie Mailchimp question: What do you put in a paperback edition to nudge readers onto your Mailchimp list?
Good question- not so many hyper links in paperbacks. When I start to set up my POD, my plan is to send them to my blog, and there I can have a sign up button on the landing page with some sort of freebie story or something at that point maybe.

Waitaminnit- you're not pulling my leg w/ this question... are ya? 8)
 

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Desmond X. Torres said:
Good question- not so many hyper links in paperbacks. When I start to set up my POD, my plan is to send them to my blog, and there I can have a sign up button on the landing page with some sort of freebie story or something at that point maybe.

Waitaminnit- you're not pulling my leg w/ this question... are ya? 8)
Nope, not pulling your leg. I have avoided this Mailchimp maneuver cuz it looks so complicated, but thanks to your generous step-by-step guide, I will give it a try. One other question: I don't have a blog or web site, so when the Chimp asks for one, can I just supply the URL to my Amazon Author Page?
 
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