This purpose of this lesson is to provide a conceptual overview of how MailChimp works and to define the major terms it uses. The next series of Easy Peasy lessons will go over each of the following steps in greater detail and will include videos where I show you the mechanics of what to do to get your newsletter off the ground.

Once you have an account there are three steps:

  1. Create a list
  2. Design a sign-up form for your list (with a link to it or code to add it to your website)
  3. Create an email campaign


You will need to create a mailing list which is a database that stores all of the names and e-mails that give you permission to email to them.


You can add names and emails to your MailChimp list by hand, one by one. You may need to do this once in a while but the best way to get people on your list is to have them sign up to your list by entering their information into a form that is associated with that particular list. This means if you have several completely different lists, you would need to create a separate form for each of your lists.

Note: If the separate lists are subsets of a larger list, then it is better to add these subsets as “groups” on your main list. That way if someone unsubscribes to your list, they do not keep getting mail from you. If they were on several lists and unsubscribed from one, they will be very angry to keep getting mail from you since they don’t know they are on multiple lists.


MailChimp calls each individual newsletter that you create a “Campaign”. You can create a campaign and, if you are happy with the template and format of the email, you can simply replicate it for the next campaign and only have to change the name, data and content.

how mailchimp works

Next: Creating A Mailing List

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