In MailChimp terms, each letter you send out is called a campaign. So, log in to your MailChimp account and choose Campaigns from the menu on the top of the window.
Create A Campaign
Click the triangle to the right of the Create Campaign button to see the different options MailChimp offers. You’ll be sending out just a simple e-mail, so choose Regular campaign from the menu.
Send To Entire List
MailChimp wants to know who should receive the email you’re about to send. To keep things simple, let’s use a prayer letter that you can send to your entire list. We’ll talk about segments in a future post. For now, leave the Entire list option checked, and click the Next button at the bottom of the page.
Name Your Campaign
MailChimp now asks for some information about the letter you’re sending. Most of this is filled in for you, based on what you told it earlier when you set up your list.
There are two sections that you’ll want to update, though, before you move on. First is the Campaign name. Your supporters won’t see this, but when you look back at your history of sent emails in MailChimp, this is the name you’ll see. Type something that will help you remember which email this is.
The second thing you’ll want to change is make sure Personalize the “To” field is checked. When you check that, you’ll see a funny-looking *|FNAME|* entry. That strange word is called a merge tag, and it tells MailChimp to use your prayer supporter’s first name in the To: section of the email, rather than just using their email address. This is a good thing. When your prayer supporter’s email client sees the person’s real name in there, it’s far less likely to think that your prayer letter is junk mail.
In most cases, you won’t have to worry about the details of merge tags, so just leave the *|FNAME|* in there.
After you have typed in your Campaign name and made sure Personalize the “To” field is checked, click Next again.
Use Your Template
MailChimp is primarily a marketing tool, so it’s going to encourage you to look through its gallery of templates for your next gotta-have-it advertising email. That’s not the message we’re after, so we’re going to use the same template every time – the one you created last time.
Click the the Saved Templates tab at the top of the page. Now MailChimp shows all the templates you have saved. Find the Edify Hub Ministry Template that you created last time. Click the Select button under that template.
Add Your Prayer Letter
Now you see the details of that template you imported last time. It’s all ready for you to send. But first, you’ll want to put your prayer letter in there.
There’s a section for your letter right in the middle of the screen. You surely don’t want to send that “Heading 1, Heading 2, etc…” text. That would just be weird, and your prayer supporters might begin to wonder about you. When you move your mouse over that section, you’ll notice a little edit button in the upper, right corner. Click that button to change the letter. In the Editable Region that appears in the right-hand side of the window, highlight all the placeholder text and delete it.
Replace that placeholder text with the body of your prayer letter. When you’re done, click the Save & Close button underneath your text. Now, you’ll see your design with your updated prayer letter in it.
Click the Next button on the bottom of the page to move on.
Send (Or Schedule) It
MailChimp summarizes what’s about to happen. Double-check the top three sections to be sure…
For the rest of the sections, just make sure the green checkmark is there. When you’re ready to send your prayer letter, click the Send button at the bottom of the screen.
Are You Sure? Really, Really Sure?
Though I have often wished for an unsend button, email doesn’t really work that way. Once you send that message, there’s no pulling it back. MailChimp makes it clear this is the point of no return.
When you’re really, really sure, go ahead and click Send Now.
The Send Queue
Did you, by chance, include your own email in your subscriber list? Yeah. I did that, too. This is the point where I went to my inbox and hit Refresh a bunch of times, just waiting for my brand new email to show up.
If your email address is with one of the major email providers, you might have to wait longer than you expect.
You probably have several other prayer supporters with email addresses from the same email provider. When these large email providers see several emails from the same sender all coming at once, they start to get suspicious. Not suspicious enough to flag them as junk email quite yet, but enough to slow things down to a more cautious pace.
MailChimp has a few tricks up its sleeve to get your emails delivered as quickly as it can, but when the recipient’s email provider decides to take a long time to deliver from a new source, there’s only so much the sender can do.
After you’ve proven your reputation by sending your prayer letters consistently and keeping your mailing list clean, those big email providers will start to trust you more, and you can get your messages delivered faster.
- Use MailChimp to send your next prayer letter.
- Leave A Reply below to let us know how it went.