3 Free Tools For Growining your Mailchimp List

23 October 2015

Sometimes I still hear people saying "Who does use newsletters anymore?!". It's easy to think at newsletters as something obsolete, yet if you only have a look around the internet world, you might start seeing that a lot of websites (and blogs too) are starting building their mailing list and keeping in touch with their followers via emails.

Why? Just think that people check their inboxes everyday, several times per day actually! Also, a mailing list, oppositely to any other social media where you can gain a certain following, is a guarantee: building your Twitter, Instagram or Facebook following is very important to get noticed online and keep in touch with your followers, but at the end of the day, if any of those website would ever shut down, what will you be left with? Your following will be all gone. A mailing list is yours and personal, made of emails of all the people who decided to trust you and that will always be available to listen to you.

To us, building a mailing list has been essential in the last few months, and we do realize how complicated it can be to start from scratch, especially if you already have an established following somewhere else. We've found a couple of tools that are helping us bringing a consistent amount of new subscribers per month, and that are completely free, and today we're sharing them with you!

We've started building our mailing list only in May, but haven't really made an effort to see it grow consistently. You can see how people have quickly lost interest in subscribing when we didn't really took too much care of our list from June to August. However, back in September, we decided it was about time to start being serious about our list, and we've started adopting the methods listed in this post to help us growing it, and, as a result, we're having a decent and consistent amount of new subscribers every month, and people seem to be interested in joining us in our journey now.

Building a mailing list requires time and most of the times isn't free. There're some great leads generation tools you can install on your blog or website nowadays, but we've really struggled to find some free solutions so far. But here we've gathered up three tools that are completely free and can be used by anyone to gain new subscribers to their Mailchimp lists!

1. Twitter Cards

Let's say you have built a nice following on Twitter, which you think is truly interested in what you do and have to say, and you want to invite it over to join your mailing list so you can keep in touch via email as well, Twitter Cards allow you to do just that: promoting your mailing list in a simple essential way on Twitter!

All you have to do is connect your Mailchimp account so that it works in your Twitter Cards (you can follow this simple step by step guide here) and start creating your cards to grab your followers attention and gain new subscribers. Once the card is created, you can tweet it or schedule some tweets containing it, which allows you to add a message in your very own style.

Twitter Cards can be great to promote mailing-list-only offers or any free content you'd like to offer to anyone who subscribes.

2. Popups

Popups are by any means the best tool to grab users attention, whether they're returning or first time visitors. Especially if you have an offer going on, there's no best way to promote it than make it as visible as possible on your own website. I know, I used to think popups are annoying too, but think at it this way: if a visitor is coming to your website, it means something brought him there, which means there's an interest in what you do. Why not proposing what you have to offer? If he is not interested, it's not because you have a popup on your website, but because it's not your ideal client/user. There's really nothing to loose!

We've found a bit of a difficulty to find the right plugin for our popups, but were are using Popups WordPress Plugin for a while now and we totally approve it! We wanted a popup that we could be fully customize and a plugin that allowed us to create a lot of different types of popups based on our needs, and this one ticks all the boxes at once. It allows you to create popups that are shown only on certain pages of your website (nice if you don't want to be too intrusive) and also add a referrer, so you can target the popup for all the visitors that comes from a certain external website.

Of course you can add your Mailchimp sign up form in it too, as it works like a classic HTML page. In Mailchimp go to Signup Forms > Embedded Forms, pick your favourite and grab the HTML code, then simply paste it into your popup HTML!

3. Zapier

Most times the best way to acquire users trust and consequently gain mailing list subscribers is giving something away, being it a discount code or even some free products or content. You offer something, and your ideal readerships/clients who are interested in that something, will be more than happy to exchange that with their email address. This way you build a consistent, focused mailing list of people who truly believe in what you do.

Yes but, how do I offer my free content? How do I send it to new subscribers?
Those have been my most frequent questions when typing a blog post and wanting to include a free download for my subscribers, or when trying to promote our shop's discount codes. There are a lot of automation alternatives online, but I haven't found anything free before Zapier. My only alternative was to create new Mailchimp lists for every free download and attach it to the list's welcome email - which wasn't exactly an easy and quick fix!

Zapier allows you to create "zaps", tasks that link together two different apps and two different actions inside those apps. So let's say you have a fancy discount code you want to promote on your website and offer only to your mailing list subscribers. You will give a link to your Mailchimp signup form or insert it into your website, and then, once someone who is interested subscribes to the mailing list, you'll need to actually provide the discount code to them. With Zapier you can link together your Mailchimp mailing list and Gmail (for example) account, tell him to send an email with your Gmail whenever there's a new subscribers to your Mailchimp list, and all that's left is simply setting up your email HTML. Zapier will take care of the rest!


We'd love to know what are your tools for growing a mailing list as we're always on the lookout for new ones! Let us know!

Giada Correale brand e web designer donna per business al femminile
Bonjour, hello!

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In this article:
Giada Correale brand e web designer donna per business al femminile
Bonjour, hello!

I'm Giada Correale, brand and web designer of Miel Cafè Design graphic studio. I design intentional and editorial brand identities and web designs for heartfelt women-owned businesses. 

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A creative atelier curating brand and web designs for women-owned businesses.
I design and curate intentional brand designs and websites to cultivate your idea and bring your value out there.