How to Offer a Daily or Weekly Subscription Option in MailChimp

I don’t usually blog about blogging, but I had to share how I finally figured out how to offer a daily or weekly subscription option in MailChimp*.

If you aren’t a blogger, I apologize.  I promise this blog will get back to all the DIY you love, but I’m hoping that more blogs will start to have this option.  It was a really difficult process for me, but I realized that it didn’t have to be.

How to offer weekly subscription option in mail chimp

When I first started blogging I used Feedburner, but could never really determine if my list was really growing cause my stats seemed a bit unpredictable.  When I realized that MailChimp was free until you hit 2,000 subscribers I switched and love the flexibility it gives me to make my emails the way I want them, and I can see how many people actually open them.

An overview of the process:  You are going to be creating 2 email campaigns each sending to a different segment of your list.  One segment for those subscribers that want to receive an email each time a post is published (daily subscribers,) and one segment for those that want one email per week (weekly subscribers.)  The problem that I ran into when I first set this up was that I created groups.  The problem  was that when people signed up they didn’t all check a box and so they ended up receiving nothing.  Having segments lets you make selecting “daily” or “weekly” a required field in your signup form.  So I did a lot of untangling to undo all of my mistakes and I’m hoping that you can just do it right the first time.  And finding a tutorial that walks you through each step was really hard to find, so I’m going to do my best here to explain how I did it.

So here we go!

First you will need a MailChimp account*.  You can create an account and it will be completely free until you reach 2,000 subscribers.

(*The link above is an affiliate link.  If you sign up through my link you will receive $30 in your account to help you out once your account becomes a paid account.  I get $30 too 🙂 )

If you are just now setting this up, you will need to import your subscriber list first.

Log into your MailChimp dashboard.

Mail Chimp Tutorial: How to give weekly email option

1. Go to Lists and click on your subscriber list.

Mail Chimp Tutorial: How to give weekly email option

2. Then click sign up form, and select which ever type of form you have and open your form.

Mail Chimp Tutorial: How to give weekly email option

3. Click “Radio Buttons” on the right menu.

Mail Chimp Tutorial: How to give weekly email option

4. Fill in the “field label.”  I made mine into a question so that it was clear on the form.

5. Check the box for “required field.”

6. Click “visible.”

7. Then add your options.  I explained my options in detail because many of my subscribers are not bloggers.

8. Click “save field.”

Mail Chimp Tutorial: How to give weekly email option

Now your form should look something like this.

Time to create your segments.

Now go back to “Lists” (on the left)

Mail Chimp Tutorial: How to give weekly email option

9. Click “manage subscribers”

10. Click “segments.”

11. Click “create a new segment.”

IMPORTANT:  Make sure to check the box for “auto-update” when creating a new segment.  This will ensure that anyone that has made changes or been added to the segment will be on the correct list before the next campaign is sent out.

Mail Chimp Tutorial: How to give weekly email option

You are going to create 2 segments.  One for those who want to receive an email each time a post is published (daily campaign) and one for those who want one email each week with links to all of your posts from that week (weekly campaign.)

12. (You will do this step twice, once for each segment.)  When you name your segments, they don’t have to match your signup form.  Only you will see the names of each segment.  I used “daily” and “weekly” to keep it simple.

Mail Chimp Tutorial: How to Offer Weekly Email Option to Subscribers

When you are done creating your segments go back to your Lists and you should see your “field label” show up as a category.  (But the space underneath will be blank.)

Mail Chimp Tutorial: How to Offer Weekly Email Option to Subscribers

Now for the slightly terrible part.  (You may want to find a good Pandora station and put in your ear buds for this part cause it could take awhile, depending on how many subscribers you have.)  And by the way, there may be an easier way to do this, but I was on live chat with 4 different MailChimp people and this was the best option of the ones given to me.

You need to assign each person in your list to a segment.  In order to set up your campaigns (later in the tutorial) you will need to have at least one person in each segment.  So I assigned everyone on my list to the “daily” segment so that they would continue to get emails like they do now, and assigned myself to the “weekly” campaign so that I had someone in there.  (Then when I was done I sent an email to my entire list letting them know that they had a new option…more on that later.)

To assign each subscriber to a segment…(You are still on your “List” page)

13.  Click on the email address of the first subscriber in your list and a new window with all of that subscribers info will appear (see above photo.)  Click “edit” next to “subscriber details” and select the segment you want to put that subscriber in.  (Again, I put all of mine into the daily segment.  Your subscribers can change their preference themselves at any time.)

14. Use the next button in the top right corner to quickly get to the next subscriber.  (Remember that Pandora station I told you to get going….yeah…this could take awhile.)

Once everyone is assigned a segment you are ready to set up your campaigns.

Setting up Campaigns in Mail Chimp

If you have already been using MailChimp for your emails that go out each time you have a new post you can continue to use that campaign,  you will just need to go in and select the  “daily” segment that you just created in the recipients section.  (*Remember that in order to edit a campaign you have to pause the campaign.)

RSS Campaign in Mail Chimp

This is what my campaign looks like.  After adding my header, the only content I have is the merge tag  *|RSS:POSTS_HTML|*

Inserting this tells MailChimp to grab my most recent post to send.  My emails are delivered with the feature photo and the first 100 words. (That is decided on your blog platform’s dashboard.)

(**Wordpress does not automatically grab your featured image into your RSS feed.  You can test this by looking at your blog’s Bloglovin’ feed.  If there is no image next to your posts you can add the plugin “Add featured image to RSS feed” and that will force your feed to grab an image.  If you want your emails to include an image you will need this.)

Setting Up an Automatic Weekly Campaign in MailChimp

For your weekly campaign you will need to start a new RSS to Email campaign and send it out to the  “weekly” segment of your list.

1.  Decide which day of the week and what time you want it sent.

2. This time select “send to a saved segment…weekly”

3. Fill in the campaign info.

4. Design your campaign.

RSS Campaign in Mail Chimp

My weekly campaign looks just like my daily campaign.  Using this merge tag *|RSS:POSTS_HTML|* in the content of your campaign will tell MailChimp to automatically grab all posts since the last campaign was sent out.  So for your daily campaign that will just be one post, but for your weekly campaign it will include all posts from that week.

However, it will not grab all of those posts if you don’t have your RSS set up to display more than one post.  (You are probably like “huh?’)  So you will need to open a new window and go to your blog’s dashboard.  I’m on wordpress, so I’ll show you there.

Mail Chimp Tutorial

On your dashboard menu on the left go to “settings” then “reading.”  In the field “Syndication feeds show the most recent” select how ever many posts you typically do in a week.  I selected 5 even though I usually only post 3-4 times per week.  Remember MailChimp will only grab posts that it has not grabbed before so if your number is 10, but you only posted 3 times since the last weekly email, it will only grab those 3. What a smart monkey!

You will also want to select “summary” so that the email isn’t too long.  Each post will automatically include a “read more” as well as have a clickable title so that your readers can click to your site to read the full post.

Now go back to MailChimp and finish setting up your campaign.  And remember to always do a test send.  (Multiple posts may not show up on your test send, because there was no weekly email last week to start from.)

Are your eyes bugging out of your head yet?

One last thing.  (I waited until I got my weekly email to make sure I liked the way it was set up before I did this part.)

Let your readers know that they now have the option to get emails just once a week!

I did this by setting up a regular ol’ campaign that I sent to my entire list letting them know.

It looked like this.

15

See how the word “here” is a hot link.  You will want to give them a place to go to change their preferences.

This tutorial from MailChimp will explain how to do that.

Ok.  I hope you were able to get everything set up.  This was a really long tutorial, but I hope it helped you get through MailChimp’s set up a bit easier.

This is my first tutorial like this, so let me know if you have any questions, or run into any bumps.

Have a great day!

How to offer weekly subscription option in mail chimp

 

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About Corey

Corey is the creative behind Hey There, Home where she shares easy-to-follow and beautiful home decor and entertaining ideas. Her mission? To make home decor accessible to everyone, even if you don’t consider yourself crafty, and to empower people to decorate their homes in a way that they can actually be lived in, not just looked at.

40 thoughts on “How to Offer a Daily or Weekly Subscription Option in MailChimp

  1. I just wanted to give a heartfelt thanks for this easy tutorial. I just did a survey of my readership, and they were split down the middle between emails when a new recipe comes out and a weekly digest. This option lets me make all of my readers happy.

  2. Thank you so much for this! I see you wrote this a while back – there are no updates from Mailchimp since then? This is basically the only way to do Daily/Weekly Newsletters at this time correct?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Manny. I believe that this is still the way to go. Unfortunately I’ve since moved from mailchimp to another provider now that I’m needing even more flexibility with segmenting my list.

  3. Hi Corey,

    Thank you so much for this, it was really helpful!

    I do have one question though — I’m currently using the SumoMe plugin for my signup bar and corner popup, but there’s no option to include my radio buttons with that. Do you know of a plugin or an easy way to embed the forms? I tried copying and pasting the code into a text widget and that didn’t work. I’m using WordPress.

    Thanks! Hope you’re having a great new year so far 🙂 I should add, I’m also using your blog planner! As a newbie, I found that really useful too. Thank you so much!

    1. Hello. Unfortunately I don’t have an answer for you. I don’t use SumoMe. I no longer use Mailchimp but if I recall copying and pasting the code into a widget should work. I know that if you contact their support, they are pretty helpful. Sorry I’m not more help. I would typically log in and dig around so that I could give you a better answer, but I don’t even have account there anymore.

  4. I can’t even begin to tell you how happy I am that you wrote up a tutorial for this. I could just hug you. I never would have been able to figure that out on my own and now I’m all set up after just a few hours!!! Such a relief. #virtualhug

    1. Thank you so much Emily! Hugs to you too and I’m happy it helped. It took me so long to figure out and so I just had to share to make it easier for others!

  5. Erin says:

    Love this! I have a question though. I noticed that you have a few areas with options to sign up for a newsletter, but there isn’t a box to check for the option of daily or weekly. When I clicked on the button it redirected me to your page where you could check the box you want. How did you do that? I’m wanting a smaller version of the sign up on my side bar but I’d like it to redirect them to my page with all the options.

    Thanks so much!

  6. Thank you for this Corey! I am now ready to plug my ears-haha…maybe I will finish up wiht clicking each subscriber by the school bus gets here in the morning:-)I wish I did this when I only had so much on my list….XXOO

  7. Thank you so much for this! I’m stuck at “field forms” because my “save fields” keeps disappearing but I’m sure I’ll eventually figure it out. Just wanted to drop in and tell you how much I appreciate this. Thanks again!!!

    1. You are so welcome! Hope you figured it out. If not, let me know if you have a question and I’ll try my best to help.

    2. It turned out to be an error on the mail chimp side. They apologized and said they were working on it. That “save fields” kept getting pushed down below the web page. I’m a coder too so I knew it had to do with the height field at their end. I was able to get it to work but thank you so much for your offer! And even though I’m a food blogger, my husband and I are DIY’s too. Your site is great! Have a great week!

  8. Thank you for the tutorial! We are new to blogging, just a few months in and this was very helpful in setting up our email list.

    1. You are so welcome. I’m glad I helped someone out cause it took me forever (and sending out an email to all of my subscribers that was wrong) to get it right!

  9. Hey Corey, this is a very helpful tutorial. Thanks for taking the time to do this. No doubt you saved me many hours of labour trying to figure it out on my own!

    1. It took me forever to figure out so I’m so glad that it helped you save some time!

  10. Thank you for this! Lauren from The Thinking Closet directed me to your post. It was incredibly helpful in moving from feedburner to Mailchimp! I am glad I did it now with only 125 subscribers, so it didn’t take me too long to add each person to a segment. 🙂

  11. This is great, Corey! I actually added the option for my subscribers to sign up for daily or weekly emails, as well, but I have them divided into groups, not segments (I think) so I’m guessing that’s why I have to manually pick a group for those who don’t pick anything. Anyway, I’m going to carefully re-read this when I’m firing on all cylinders in the morning, but thanks so much for sharing the thorough step by step. Now I know where to direct people when they ask me how to do it! Also, you indirectly helped me get my featured photo to show up in bloglovin’ and MailChimp! Jamie from So Much Better With Age shared that plug-in that you shared with her…so thanks for that, too! Your new title: Ms. Helpful!

  12. THANK YOU TIMES A MILLION!!! (yes I just screamed that) I have been so frustrated that I don’t have a featured image in my daily emails and then my bloglovin image is my face every day! How embarrassing? Im adding the plugin now!

  13. I just implemented MailChimp & the daily/weekly option using your tutorial and I’m sure you saved me HOURS! Thank you so much for sharing this!

  14. Thank you for sharing this! I have only been blogging 3 months but this is something I really wanted to look at doing. I currently have feedburner but I hate how it displays messages. I also noticed that my stats were not updating at all. I even had a friend test and nothing.

    1. No problem! I would switch as soon as you can. It is way better! Let me know if you have any questions when you get to it. Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Thank you so much for sharing. This has been on my to-do list for ever. I even set up an account with them. Then I never had the time to figure it out. With this, finally setting up a newsletter/subscription is a goal for March. Thanks!

    1. No worries Maggie! I hope it saves you some time to have the instructions right there in front of you. Thanks for stopping by!

  16. Great tutorial! This is something I have on my to-do list. I’ve pinned it so I can reference later when I’m ready.
    Thank you for sharing this at Brag About It Link Party on VMG206.
    ~ Megin of VMG206

    1. You are so welcome Megin! Hope it helps when you get to it. Hope you are having a great week!

  17. Thanks for posting this. I really need to do this. Pinned to my blogging board.

    1. You are welcome. Feel free to shoot me any questions you may have. Thanks for stopping by!

  18. Wow – thank you so much! First for reminding me to get off my butt and actually set up a mailing list and secondly for making sure I did this right from the off. This post rocks!

  19. Great tutorial. Thank you for sharing! I’m going to PIN this so I remember to do it all later.

  20. AWESOME! I actually use Mad Mimi but I def find that people LOVE a weekly newsletter instead of getting daily blog posts so this is really good information!

  21. I’ve been wanting to do this but hadn’t had the time to ‘figure it out’….thank you for doing all the hard work!! This is great info! 🙂

    Marti

    1. You are so welcome! I got really mixed up and thought I’d save my fellow bloggers the headache 🙂 Have a great week!

  22. Thank you sooooo much for this tutorial. I am newer to blogging and this is on my future to do list

  23. Good stuff, Corey! Thanks for sharing your secrets! Mail chimp is tricky!!

  24. So pinning this for later use! Great tutorial.

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