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Creating & Managing Mailchimp Bulletins & Newsletters:

Note: To allow use of visual content editing tools, templates must be programmed using the MailChimp Template Language - templates designed with third-party tools should be avoided.

To get started with Mailchimp, click the Create Campaign button from the Dashboard or Campaigns tab, and choose “Regular Ol’ Campaigns”. To create a series of automated emails, see Mailchimp site docs.

Additional MailChimp guides and documentation are available here:

Before You Start - Standardise Your Content:

Text Content Standardisation:

ALL of the text that you enter into the email should ONLY be entered as plain text: The text should not include any font codes such as, bold, colour, bullet points, tables or similar layout formatting.

When importing text that should be displayed as bullet points, simply enter each point on a separate line and select/format using the MailChimp edit tools.

For headings, MailChimp should automatically format the text using the correct font size, colour and capitalisation.

All text should be entered as Plain Text - Do NOT copy and paste blocks of text or images straight out of MSWord, Web pages, MSPublisher, Adobe or any other pre-formatted documents types.

If working in MSWindows, create a new 'MS Notepad' (or NoteTab or similar), file and copy all of your items into that.

For Mac OSX, use TextEdit or similar instead of Notepad. Most Wikis provide text that can be copied and pasted without worrying about formatting.

In case you prefer to ignore the above advices, then press the 'Remove code' button in any affected Mailchimp edit box before saving your content.

In case you accidentally delete a heading, copy and past another, similar heading from within Mailchimp into the box, and then edit that - rather than entering unformatted text and then trying to re-style the heading from scratch.

Image Standardisation:

All commercial advertisers require content to be submitted in the correct format.

In general, all images should be sized to a modern, wide-screen aspect ratio.

All images submitted for inclusion in your newsletter should be standardised on no more than four or five image sizes. These sizes should be sufficient to meet all of the needs for all of the images required for any Mailchimp campaign.

In general, the width and aspect ratio are the two most important things to configure.

  • Email Banner Image: 600 x 80 (pixels wide x deep). Because email does not render background images, any text must be edited directly onto the image. Have a half-dozen or so pre-configured banner images so that they can be rotated on demand.
  • Images for (narrow) right hand sidebar: 192 x (height depends on 'aspect ratio')
  • Images for left or right hand side half-page-width columns: 280 (height depends on aspect ratio). This is the size that should be used for Card sized advertisements
  • Images for full page width (spans double column): 590 x (depends on aspect ratio). For half-page advertisements, images must be 590 x FIXME
  • Images for full page, 'splash pages' and/or full page, double-column advertisements must be 590 x FIXME

In all cases, images MUST be sized as by the procedure outlined below. This is required to ensure that otherwise normal images do not display people/things as fat pancakes or skinny sticks and to ensure file sizes are optimised (minimised) for delivery via the web.

Image Resizing Procedure:

Always start with images larger than you need - a few pixels larger or many thousand pixels larger doesn't matter).

  1. Re-size over-sized image(s) to new versions having the approximate dimensions (making sure to retain the original image proportions or 'aspect ratio').
  2. Select 'Crop' and select '16:9' by clicking on right '>' arrow (WARNING: each double-click will rotate image by 90 degrees - portrait::landscape::portrait).
  3. Note the round markers that appear at each corner when crop-editing - Clicking on a round marker will display height and width in a floating black box. Drag the markers until you obtain wanted image size. Usually it is sufficient to select the correct width and ignore the height.
  4. For an image to be placed in right-hand-side-column. make the width 192 pixels
  5. For an image to be placed in left-hand-side-column. make a full-width image 590 pixels wide, or each half-column image 280 pixels wide.
  6. Click 'Apply' when done.

Don't forget to save changes as you go and save the latest version of a customised template before creating a new campaign. Check the 'File Manager' to find copies of both original and re-sized images.

Creating & Managing Campaigns:

Campaign Setup:

In the Setup step, enter a name for the campaign (this will not be visible in the sent campaign) and enter general information like the email subject, From name, and From email address.

NOTE: The optional Conversations feature may be used to manage replies and personalisation of the To: field of the campaign through the use of merge tags.

If an email address list associated with a campaign contains the names of subscribers, checking the “Personalize the To: field” feature will use merge tags to help personalize each email.

For example, *|FNAME|* *|LNAME|* would display as “To: John Smith” instead of To:john.smith@domain.com.”

Choosing A Template:

Select a campaign template from Saved Templates, or reuse layouts from drafted and recently sent Campaigns, or upload a template/paste in a new, custom design.

Themes are pre-designed, preconfigured, fixed-style templates that don’t require/allow any programming or design knowledge. Pick a theme, plug in your content. Themes come in two varieties: “drag and drop” and “classic.” Drag and drop themes offer the most functionality. The template type will be displayed below each theme.

First select a campaign template, then proceed to the email Design step and add, rearrange, duplicate, and delete content blocks to create a unique campaign. Optionally (not normally requird), modify and style the content for a specific content block by using the Content, Style, and Settings tabs in the editor.

In each content block, optionally add and format text, upload images, link to files, and customise the layout using the editor toolbar. Most blocks can be dragged vertically or horizontally within the template to mix up the layout and design. Click the upper left-hand corner of a block to drag it up, down, or sideways as needed.

Multiple Simultaneous Editors/Contributors:

Authorised Mailchimp editors can edit copy and make design changes in real-time. The combined changes automatically appear on the screen of each editor with no refresh required. Multiple simultaneous editors may also send test emails, solicit feedback, and leave comments right in the editor.

Merge Tags and Email Content Personalisation:

In the campaign Setup step, optionally (not usually required), use merge tags to personalize the “To:” field of the emai to add a personal touch to response emails, automation workflows, and regular campaigns. Merge tags are designed to pull in personalized or dynamic data from your list or MailChimp account and can be used for an array of different tasks

Once you're satisfied with the styles changes, click Save to apply your changes.

Preview and test your campaign:

The Preview and Test menu houses all in-app campaign testing features. Preview Mode, provides a guide to how the campaign will render on desktop and mobile. Note: Any merge tags will be replaced with placeholder text (not the final email text) when viewing the campaign in Preview Mode.

From the Preview and Test menu, send test emails to any email address, preview the mobile version of a campaign directly from your mobile device, use the Link Checker to make sure that all links entered in your campaign email are valid.

In the Preview and Test menu use Inbox Inspector to automate the email testing process and view the campaign emails as they will appear across multiple popular email clients.

Sending a campaign after completing the campaign design:

Navigate to the Confirm page (the final step of the campaign building process). Scan the campaign to make sure that all of the previous steps have been properly completed and provide alerts about anything that might need attention before sending.

Optionally peview both the HTML version and the automatically generated plain-text copy of the campaign one last time, run a final Inbox Inspection, or send one last test email to make sure everything is just right.

When ready to send, select one of the available delivery methods. Optionally choose to send the campaign immediately or to schedule it for a specific date and time.

Miscellaneous Hints, Tricks & Resources

Common Mistakes

Some common mistakes to be avoided, include:

  • Lists: Sending to inactive, stale, or non-permission-based lists
  • Formatting: Avoid ALL CAPS, crazy colours, and too many exclamation points!!!
  • Design1: Do not use clip-art: Instead, almost always prefer good quality images
  • Design2: Whenever possible, use images of similar quality, composition & aspect ratio
  • Images: Avoid large images not properly optimised or formatted
  • Overkill: Too many images, or one single image with no text to balance it out
  • Background Images: Email readers DO NOT display background images (also see 'alt text')
  • Data: Large files that chew up mobile data plans or are slow to download.
  • Code: Sloppy code, extra tags,or content pasted from applications like Microsoft Word
  • Copyright: Do not use copyrighted content. Provide attribution if required.
  • Most email clients will not display videos - but if you must: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KaNHd0BI5Pk


Click the Reports tab and then select the desired campaign


Use lots of white space and use it wisely.

To provide 'eye candy', always use good quality, copyright free images from sites such as http://pixabay.com/

Always add alt text (a text description of an image attached to its embed code). When uploading a new image, type in a short image description in the Alt text field on the Image Properties screen of the Mailchimp File Manager. Most email programs turn off images in HTML emails by default. If a recipient does not choose to display images when they receive your campaign, they'll see the alt text instead of the image itself.

Assistive screen readers use alt text to describe images for disabled users. Many countries and certain industries in the US are required by law to ensure their websites meet accessibility standards.

  • There are two ways to prevent out-of-office replies messages from cluttering your inbox: set up a filter in your email account or create a new email account to use for MailChimp.

When you import a new list of email addresses, MailChimp scans the file and will automatically remove any duplicate email addresses from the import. When new members are added to an existing list, Mailchimp scans for duplicates, bounces, and unsubscribes that are already stored in the list you're importing to. NOTE: Mailchimp cannot detect duplicates, bounces, or unsubscribes across multiple lists, because all lists in MailChimp are independent of each other

Mailchimp automatically removes bounce backs and unsubscribes from your address list, as long as you are importing to the same list in your account. If you are creating a new list in the account, information from old lists will not carry over to any new lists in the account. This is why we encourage adding to your old list instead of uploading a new list. You can export in your list.

What are cleaned email addresses? Cleaned addresses are email addresses that bounced too many times, and have been removed from your subscriber list. Mailchimp factors in past subscriber activity when determining how many hard or soft bounces it takes to “clean” the address from your list. Cleaned addresses help keep unengaged subscribers and spam traps off your list. You can view or delete any cleaned addresses from your List or Reports page, but only one address at a time - no bulk/multiple actions are available.

Can I export a list of all the bounce reasons? Bounce reasons must be viewed individually for each bounce on a campaign. Because each bounce reason is kept as a separate text file in your MailChimp account, bundling these text files together in a single export would strain MailChimp’s system and severely deteriorate the speed of the app. For this reason, it's not possible to export a full list of all the bounce reasons for a campaign. Bounce statistics, can be viewed, shared, or exported from the campaign report.

Mailchimp Built-in Tools

Don't forget that Mailchimp built-in tools can be used to add various features such as 'Merge Fields' (to provide personalised messages), a 'Table of Contents' and to replace, correctly re-size and upload new images via the edit boxes.

Sundry Specialised Tools

Tools for management, distribution and work-flow for distributed, shared information:

Example Calendar with Google cover page:

wkhtmltopdf cover "http://www.google.com.au/" \
  &direction=forward" wps-calendar-1.pdf

Text to Speech


howtos/mailchimp.txt · Last modified: 16/03/2017/ 11:51 by