Mastering-Mailchimp-largeRecently, I’ve been researching and testing out new things to build my brand – and one of the things was a newsletter service.

Before, I used Constant Contact, but that was back in 2011 – Sadly, I haven’t used another newsletter service since, and I knew I needed to, which is what led me to MailChimp.

I’ve heard of it before, but was so stuck on what my newsletter would be because I didn’t want it to be about me – So I decided to use it for My Church NotesI have a lot of people ordering them, but with how I had it setup it wasn’t working with mailing physical copies consistently, so I now have e-versions, and send notes from that message every week (outside of what’s in my book).

My first one was called A Newsletter You Didn’t Sign Up For (But One That You May Enjoy) and I sent it to everyone in my contact list from friends, family, the industry and people I have worked with or interviewed, to people I haven’t talked to in years. The reason I wanted to do this was to have something inspirational to start off everyone’s week. Anyway, here’s everything you need to know about MailChimp, and why you should be using it.

1. It’s Free – The service is free with up to 2,000 subscribers  and 12,000 messages per month. It’s called the Forever Free Plan.

2. You can see who’s opening your newsletter – One of my favorite things about this is that I can see who exactly is opening my newsletter,  what time they opened it, who’s forwarding it, etc.

3.  They have default templates – No need to worry about creating your own template, they have them for you. I usually go with the 1 column template. I love the templates because you can add photos and links easily.

4. Lists – I divided my lists into family, friends, industry, people who ordered My Church Notes, requests from social media to be added to my list, etc. I like the lists because you can keep track of who’s really liking the newsletter and who isn’t – but the one thing I didn’t like about MailChimp is that you can’t send it to all your lists at once, and have to create different “campaigns” each time. I recommend having the least amount of lists as possible.

Those are the main things you need to know about MailChimp, so I hope that you think of a newsletter to send because there is literally no reason not to. It’s free, easy and it shows you who is really paying attention to your work.