Pre.S. Wondering which email marketing software is right for you and your biz?

Check out my post Here’s when to use MailChimp or ConvertKit (based on your stage of business).

And if you want to know my two cents, and which email marketing platform I ultimately went with, you can find all those details in Why I chose ConvertKit for my email marketing over MailChimp, Squarespace Campaigns, etc. 

Alrightie, Mailchimpers!

Now that you’ve got that weighty decision out of the way (seriously, you do not want to take choosing your email marketing platform lightly, and here’s why) let’s get you and your Squarespace website set up for email marketing success!

Getting started with your Mailchimp account

Starting your free trial

First things, first! If you don’t yet have an account, head to Mailchimp.com and click Sign Up Free. Enter your preferred login deets to create your account and you’re off!

No credit card info needed. Phewf!

Then, Mailchimp will ask you a series of questions that will help them properly set up your account (ie. will you be connecting your mailchimp account to your online shop? Do you already have a list of contacts? Etc.)

Oh, and P.S. when Mailchimp asks you for your address here, be sure to give your business address, not your personal one.

They use this info to build out the fine print section at the bottom of every email you send to help keep you complaint with anti-spam laws, and you probs don’t want your personal address on there for just anyone who opts into your list to see.

Do I need to upgrade my Mailchimp account to a paid tier?

If you’re in the baby beginner stages of building your email list, you likely won’t need to upgrade your Mailchimp account to a paid subscription for a while, since you can have up to 2000 contacts on the free plan.

But heads up! With Mailchimp, you are paying per contact, not subscriber. What’s the difference?

Say for example, someone enters their email address while purchasing a product or service in your online store. They are now a contact, but they never actually subscribed to your email list, so they won’t be receiving your newsletters or sales emails. Mailchimp calls this a non-subscribed contact, and you better believe they count towards your limit!

What if someone on your contact list who was subscribed decides to unsubscribe? Yup! Still a contact. And still counts towards your plan’s monthly cap.

Depending on how people wind up on your list, and whether they stay there, you could be paying for a whole lot of contacts you ain’t usin’ each month (unless you want to be in there manually archiving unsubscribes on the daily).

So, paying per contact may seem like a pretty sweet deal when you are just getting started and only have 10 people (including your mom) on your email list, but unfortunately Mailchimp math doesn’t work like that.

If budget is a the main concern here, you may want to check out this post to see how Mailchimp stacks up next to other popular email marketing platforms as your business grows and you need to make room in your software for more subscribers.

Choosing an email marketing software that fits your future business goals is veryyyy important, because switching over all those subscribers and their data down the road is going to be a major pain in the you know what.

How do I connect my Mailchimp account to my Squarespace website?

Now that you’ve created your Mailchimp account, you’re ready to connect it to Squarespace!

Connecting your squarespace site to your mailchimp account

Now it’s time to make sure your email marketing software and your site are talking to each other.

Step 1: Select Squarespace from the integrations menu

To do this, select connect your store > view all integrations. Then scroll down and select Squarespace (you may have to click view more integrations to get it to appear).



Step 2: Paste in your website’s URL.

Then, select the default audience that Mailchimp created for you when you started your account (you can create new custom audiences later to help you organize who is receiving your emails) and then press get code.


Step 3: Inject your Mailchimp Code into Squarespace

Copy that code, and head into the backend of your Squarespace site!

Go to settings > advanced > code injection, and then paste that bad boy into the header area and press save.




Step 4: Check your connection

Ready to make sure they are communicating as they should? Head back into Mailchimp and press the check connection button!

Squarepace Mailchimp Integration 101: creating a form and embedding it on your site

how to set up an email opt-in form in Mailchimp

Ready to start collecting those emails and building your list? You’re going to need an email opt-in form! Oh, and something worth opting in for…

For more on creating an opt-in gift your audience can’t wait to subscribe for, check out this post.


To create your first form in Mailchimp, head under audience in the main navigation.

From there, select manage audiences and select sign up forms from the drop down menu.

If you have yet to set up your first audience, and your form and campaign default settings, Mailchimp will ask you to do so before moving on.

(ie. how your name appears when an email is sent, and what the reply-to email should be when subscribers hit reply, etc.)

Mailchimp form settings to know

The double opt-in

A double opt-in is when someone signs up for your freebie, they receive a confirmation email that asks them to confirm their subscription prior to downloading their freebie.

Even though it feels like an unnecessary added step, and mayyy result in someone changing their mind about trading access to their inbox for your freebie, the double opt-in can actually be pretty beneficial.

Enabling a double-opt in cuts down on the disinterested parties on your list who are simply never going to open your emails and therefore tank your email open rate.

Why should you care about your email open rate? Subscriber engagement has a pretty big effect on email deliverability. Meaning, the tiny robots that run people’s inboxes are more likely to get your email where it needs to go if they see that you are well-trusted by other email users. If you have a poor email open rate, this tells those same robots to send your email straight to the spam folder.

ReCAPTCHA

ReCAPTCHA is that little box that you have to click to let the internet know you are indeed a real human, and not just some bot racking up a bunch of random email addresses on someone’s subscriber list.

There’s no one opening emails on the other side of those fake email addresses, you definitely don’t want them clogging up your list and messing with your email open rates.

Preparing a mailchimp form to deliver your freebie opt-in gift

Head back into your sign-up form window (audience > manage audience > sign-up form) and select form builder.

Now you could use Mailchimp’s form builder to actually build and (somewhat) customize your form, but there’s a way to do it right in Squarespace that is going to make your form so much more on brand which I’ll show you later in this post.

So don’t worry about which fields or styles are currently appearing in your form for now.

Instead, click the dropdown and select final welcome email.


This is the email you will use to actually deliver your opt-in gift that they are signing up for, so make sure that send final welcome email is checked!

Enter your name and email in the from and reply-to fields if they are different from the form defaults you created earlier, then enter in your catchy subject that subscribers will see when they get your email…something that makes them want to open it and actually download the free gift, since that is how they will be confirming their subscription!

You’ll need to include a way for them to access the freebie straight from this email. So write your little welcome/thank you note, and link the bit of text you want to use to deliver the file or take them to the URL once clicked.



To link a file from a Mailchimp email:

Click on the link button, and select file from the drop down menu.

Mailchimp will take you to your file library where you can upload a new file, or select a previously used file to attach to the words you’ve linked!

Now your form is ready to embed! Here are those next steps!

Embedding A mailchimp form on your squarespace site

Ready to display that opt-in form on a page on your site? In the backend of Squarespace, go to the page you want the form to appear on and start by adding a newsletter block.

Use the display tab to fill out the details of your form.



Now it’s time to tell Squarespace where to store the info you collect in the form.

Under the storage tab, click to connect your Mailchimp account. It will require you to sign in the first time, but after than all it will take to connect forms is one click!

Then, select the Mailchimp form you want to use from the drop down.

POST SUBmit Settings FOR YOUR SQUARESPACE MAILCHIMP FORM

The last step to consider in your Mailchimp Squarespace opt-in delivery workflow is where you will send subscribers the moment they sign up. You have two options:


Option 1:

You draft up a quick little thank you message under the Post Submit tab in your newsletter form block settings.

Option 2:

Under the Post Submit tab, enter in a URL to re-direct uesrs to a custom thank-you page you build in Squarespace.

Here’s a quick peek at a thank you page I use after opt-in!

(Hint: you can reuse the same thank you page for every freebie you create to keep your site from getting cluttered!)


Styling your Squarespace newsletter form block

In version 7.0

To play around with the design of your newsletter form block in Squarespace, head to design > site styles and then use the search bar to find the newsletter block settings.


A few other settings which can be tweaked in the site styles panel that will affect how your newsletter form block looks:

Headers: affects the header font type used in your newsletter forms

Body: affects the rest of the text appearing in your newsletter forms

Buttons: buttons will have the same appearance as buttons on the rest of your site based on your button site style settings

Remember, the changes you make in your site styles panel are going to be site-wide. So the settings you decide on here will be how your newsletter block will appear throughout your site!

And if you do make changes to your headers, body, or buttons, it will affect those elements everywhere they are included, not just newsletter forms.


In version 7.1

Once again, head into your site styles, this time going to design > fonts and then click on your site’s font pack.

Click advanced and then scroll down to the newsletter block section and open up each option to see all your option for styling the text in your newsletter block.

To make changes to your newsletter block’s colors, head to design > colors, and select a color theme to edit.

Don’t forget the last step, which is to assign that color theme you just finished editing to the section your block appears in! To do this, click on the pencil icon for that section, and head under the colors tab. Then select the theme you just finished editing.


And again, the changes you make to your site styles will be site-wide, or anywhere that color theme is used on your site.

Oh and btw, the newsletter block section will only appear as an option in font or color site style settings once you have added at least one newsletter block to your site!

Looking for more info on font packs, and site customization through the use of site styles? Check out: Squarespace basics: using site styles.

How to add a Mailchimp pop-up to your Squarespace site

What’s the difference between a pop-up and a regular Mailchimp email opt-in form? The regular form lives only on those pages or blog posts where you’ve manually embedded it.

So in order for someone to see that form and opt-in, they would have to visit that specific page. And since the attention span of most site visitors is rather short, you need a way to get your freebie in front of their eyeballs, no matter what page of your site they land on!

Designing your mailchimp pop-up

To create your Mailchimp pop-up, head back under your audience > manage audience > sign up forms and then select subscriber pop-up from the list of forms.



Then use design, fields, and content tabs in the pop-up form editor to tell Mailchimp:

  • what to include in your pop up

  • where in the browser to display it

  • the layout of the image and text in your pop-up

  • how soon you want it to appear after a visitor lands on a page

Scroll down in the design tab to find all your options for font type, colors, and text size and alignment.

Pro-tip: Be sure to make use of the pop-up form builder’s desktop and mobile view so that your pop-up can convert no matter what device your visitor is using!

Adding the Mailchimp pop-up to your Squarespace site

You already took the time to connect Mailchimp to Squarespace site earlier in this post, so if you’re liking the way your pop-up form looks in the builder, all that is needed for it to start appearing on your Squarespace site is to hit publish!

Not seeing your pop-up?

You can also grab the code for that pop-up by clicking view code right next to that publish button. Simply copy and paste that code into the header of your Squarespace site like you did when connecting Mailchimp and Squarespace earlier in this post (that’s settings > advanced > code injection, if you need a refresher)

And that’s it! Now your pop-up is ready to start collecting alllll the emails!

Mailchimp email marketing basics

WHAT TO SEND Your EMAIL subscriber LIST

Now that your forms are busy bringing in email subscribers on the daily, it’s time to start showing up in your email list’s inbox!

Wondering what to send your subscribers?

This post gives a whole bunch of ideas of what to do with your email list before you have your passive income product ready. (These ideas still apply if the thing you will be selling is your services, btw!)

How to send a newsletter Email using Mailchimp

First, head under campaigns, and click create campaign. The type of campaign you’ll be creating is an email (in case that wasn’t super obvious).


Select regular email, and the go ahead and name your campaign something you’ll be able to recognize it by like “May Newsletter 2020”. (Don’t worry, your subscribers won’t see this.)

Next, you’ll tell Mailchimp who to send your newsletter to. When you are first getting started, you will likely have just one audience (that’s all that’s allowed on the free tier anyway), so you probably won’t have to edit the recipients.

As your list grows, and you introduce more ways to opt-in (more freebies), you will start to segment and organize your subscribers into separate lists, based on which topic or aspect of your business they are most interested in. This will help you to be very specific about who you are sending emails to, increasing your email open rate, and general subscriber satisfaction.


Make sure to fill in who the newsletter is from, as well as your subject and preview text before clicking edit on the next step, which is building your content.

Mailchimp will give you handful of pre-built options or templates for you to use when building your newsletters, or feel free to custom design your own! You can make edits to any layout once inside the content editor so don’t worry about whether or not you’ve pick the right starting point.


Like Squarespace, Mailchimp uses blocks to build their email layouts and designs, so go ahead and play around with dragging and dropping the different types of content blocks into your email body.

Click on each individual block in your email body to edit it’s content or settings.

Then, use the options under the style tab to make tweaks to fonts, colors, sizing, layout, and appearance of your content.

Looking for personalized email fields like subscriber’s first name? Those are called Dynamic content in Mailchimp, and if you want access to those, you’ll need to pay to upgrade to the Standard Plan.

For a complete list of Mailchimp plans and pricing head here.


Ready to hit send?

You have the option to send your newsletter right now, or to schedule it for a later date. You will have to upgrade if you want to be able to schedule emails, but if your email happens to be time sensitive (ie. a sales email where the cart is closing at a specific deadline) then you don’t have to hover over the send button when it’s time for that email to go out.

How to tag & Organize email subscribers in Mailchimp

Need to get a little more specific about who you’re sending to? You’ll want to start adding tags to your subscribers!

Tags are the most specific way to organize your contact list. They are very helpful for keeping track of how someone has opted in, if there is a certain topic they have opted out of hearing about in the future, and general information about purchases made, or other ways they’ve interacted with your business.

For example, if Sally enrolls in my Square Secrets online Squarespace course, I’d want to set it up to where she is automatically tagged as “Student: Square Secrets.”

Then, when I go to sell my courses to my list in the future, I would be sure to exclude people with that tag from my recipients, so I’m not trying to sell to someone who has already purchased the course.

It’s best to automate the these right from the get go, where your subscribers are automatically tagged the moment they opt-in, but unfortunately automatic tagging is only available through the use of Mailchimp landing pages…not super helpful when you want to make everything super custom, and keep hosting all your sign-ups on your own Squarespace site.

You can however manually add and delete tags from subscribers as needed, but again, not terribly convenient, as it means an added step for you.

Here’s how that’s done!

How to manually tag subscribers in mailchimp

Head into audience > view contacts to view all your subscribers. To add a tag, simply check the boxes beside the subscriber’s name and click add or remove tag.



If you want to search for a tag you’ve already created, start typing it in and select it from the dropdown when it appears.

If you need to create a new tag, just type it exactly as you want it to appear and hit enter and a tag will be automatically created, as well as added to the subscribers you had selected.

You can add several tags to a subscriber to help you organize your list.

Why tag your subscribers in Mailchimp?

Say for example I want to offer two freebie opt in gifts on my site: my free Start Squarespace Workbook, and my Squarespace Pre-Design Workbook & Checklist (those are actual freebies btw, if you wanted to take advantage!)

If Sally opts in to either of those freebies, that tells me she is interested in the topic of Squarespace, and therefore could be interested in hearing about my online Squarespace course, Square Secrets in the future.


If I’m getting ready to open enrollment for my course, I’d want to make sure I’m sending emails to only the people who are most likely to be interested, so my first step would be to create a tag based on how people opted in (ie. “Opted in: Start Squarespace”) and apply it to anyone who signed up using that freebie’s opt-in form

P.S. you can tell which form people opted into based on the source column in your contact list.

Creating a custom Mailchimp segment with your tags

If I have several freebies that relate to the same topic (ie. Squarespace), I might want to create what’s called a segment, or a group of tags, to make it easier to send email campaigns to all people interested in that topic (without having to send a new campaign to each tag.)

To create your segment from your contacts page, go to manage contacts > segments > create new segment.

Using the dropdown menus in the segment editor, I want to tell Mailchimp to create a segment that includes only the contacts that match the conditions I set.

In the example below, I’ve created a segment that will only include anyone who has opted into at least one of my two Squarespace related freebies.


Once I’ve added all the filters for who to include in my segment, I would then press preview segment to pull up a list of people who match those conditions.

I’d finish by naming my segment something like “Interested in: Squarespace.”

Next time you go to send a campaign email, you’ll find your newly created custom segment waiting for you as an option in your recipient field.

Just select it from the dropdown, and presto! You’re on your way to sending super niche, customized content to your email list!


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