Now don’t get me wrong here. I love MailChimp and have used it for my partner, Judy’s (or ‘J’ as she will be affectionately known here in future) Work from Home Wisdom website.
So I thought it would be a good idea to transfer my own newsletter fans from the Outlook distribution lists I have used up to now.
The benefits of adding your email list to MailChimp
1. It’s much easier to manage your list in MailChimp as your data is automatically converted into specific fields (E.g. first name, last name, email address etc.) and duplicate entries get deleted.
2. It takes all the grunt work out of manually adding people to the list.
3. Great statistics to see if anyone is actually reading your newsletter and where they are clicking through to on your site.
4. Management of bounced emails is much simpler – I don’t get the hassle of amending my list every time I send it out when I’m notified of undeliverables, full inboxes etc.
5. MailChimp now gives you up to 2000 subscribers for free which is pretty much enough for any small business until they start to grow and can therefore afford to pay for bigger campaigns.
6. Ability to send emails to many people at once (over 700 in my case) rather than in batches of 50 because of restrictions on bulk email from my account.
What was driving me bananas was attempting to import my 15 distribution lists on Outlook into a MailChimp list. After some research it looked like I was going to have to do it manually. However I found a solution that will save you time in the future.
How to transfer contacts from Outlook to MailChimp the easy way
1. Open up your distribution list in Outlook
2. Save it as a text file (on your desktop is easiest)
3. Edit the text file to clean the data. Take out headings and notes and check that the first and second names have a comma between them so that when you open it in Excel the email, first and second names come up in separate fields. Also strip out any duplicate emails for each person – if you have someone on the distribution list who is also in your contacts you might have an extra email next to their name enclosed in brackets
4. Open the text file in Excel – navigate to the text file and choose file of type as ‘All Files’
5. Follow instructions to import text – yours will be a ‘Delimited file’. Click to put a tick in the Tab and Comma delimiter fields. (There will be a preview of how your data will appear)
6. Click ‘Finish’ and check data is all in order
7. Go to MailChimp and choose option to copy and paste from Excel
8. Follow instructions to check list headings
Congratulations. Your distribution list is now on MailChimp and you can reward yourself with a banana!
I know this Info is a bit ‘micro niche’ but you might need this process for other data you wish to export and import.
What do you think of MailChimp as a newsletter service?