email list setup

How to setup a free email newsletter for success

Do you run a band or a business?

Then you need to be building your email list. Email is the best way to directly communicate to your fans (customers).

But you can’t just collect email addresses into your contact app on your phone and email them all individually. You need an email marketing service.

I know that might sound a little scary, but that’s why I’m here. In this article I’m going to walk you through, step by step, showing you how to setup a free email newsletter for your band or small business.

Choosing an email marketing service

There are a lot of options available for email marketing services, and everyone has their favorite.

So do I. For this how-to, we’ll be using Mailchimp is great for several reasons.

It’s free. OK, only up to a point, but their free service will get you a long way down the road.

It’s easy. Yes, even for non-technical sorts. And I’m making it easier for you right here.

It’s fun. Sending mail with mailchimp isn’t a chore, it’s fun. The company has a sense of humor and their product reflects that. You’ll enjoy using their service.

It’s effective. Mailchimp does its job. It let’s you send better email to your fans/customers, and track what happens so you can send even better email the next time around.

So let’s get started!

1. Sign up

So keep this tab open, but open this link in a new tab.

Now, click either of the big buttons that say “Sign up free”.

Enter the email address you want notifications sent to.

Be sure to create a secure and memorable password using my password system.

Once you click the “Create my account” button, you’ll need to check your email. Confirm your email address by clicking the link they sent you and following the instructions.

Fill in the account info: organization size, mailing address, etc. This address will be appended to the end of all the emails you send out. So unless you want all your crazy fans showing up at your house, I suggest using a P.O. Box for your address.

Also, be sure to select the correct industry. For our purposes that would be “Music and Musicians”. This will provide helpful metrics later as you compare your email campaigns with the industry average for opens and click throughs.

Upload a profile photo of yourself (if you are a solo artist), the band, or the company logo, as appropriate.

2. Set up your account

Now it’s time to adjust some settings for your account.

Navigate to your account settings by clicking the down arrow next to your user name in the upper right of the screen, and selecting “Account”.

account settings

Once you get to the Account Settings, go to Account Security.

account security

In Account security, you’ll want to set up two factor authentication. Just follow the directions they provide. You will need a smart phone handy for this step. Enabling this will make your account more secure, and get you a 10% discount if you grow your list large enough to need a paid account (2,000 subscribers).

Make sure you require the two factor authentication on your admin user account. (screen shot)

two factor authentication

Next, set up Account verification via sms or a security question, whichever you prefer.

That’s it! Your account is set up and ready to go.

Well almost…

3. Set up your list

Your account is ready, but now you need to create a mailing list.

Select “Lists” from the menu in the upper left of the screen.

create a list

Click the “Create List” button in the upper right.

create list

Simply fill in your list details. Make sure you use an email account you’re OK with all your fans having access to. You might want to create an email account just for this purpose, but someone needs to be checking it regularly.

Be sure to customize the message reminding people how they got on your email list. This will show up at the bottom of all the emails you send from this account. You might want to put something like this:

You are receiving this email because you opted in to receive *YOUR BAND NAME GOES HERE*  monthly newsletter packed with exclusive content, behind the scenes greatness, advance notice of new products, and our monthly show calendar.

Next, click on Settings, and select “Publicity settings”. (screen shot)

publicity settings

If you are following the recommendations in my ebook, then you’ll want to make your list private, to be seen only by your subscribers.

Now your list is set up. On to step 4!

4. Create your form

You’ve got a shiny new email list, but there’s one big glaring problem at this point. It’s empty!

The final step is to create a form so people can join your list.

Select Signup Forms from the mid-page menu. (screen shot)

signup forms

For our purposes we’re going to select the second option down, Embedded Forms.

embedded forms

If you know a little bit about web design and css, then select the Naked option and style the form yourself. Otherwise select Super Slim.


Change the form title or omit it.

Copy and past the code into your website, were you want the form to show up.

Another option if you are using WordPress for your website, is to install the Mailchimp Lite plugin and set up your form that way.

And you’re done!

Now that wasn’t so hard was it? You’ve now got an email marketing list setup and an opt-in form on your website.

In my next article I’ll give you some helpful tips on how to create a landing page for that opt-in form. And then we’ll talk about how to create email campaigns and start marketing to this new list of yours. Stay tuned!

Avatar for Brance

About Brance

I’m a self-learner eager to empower others in their efforts to make life easier with do-it-yourself tips and tricks. I've worked in the music business as an audio engineer, video producer, and writer. Along the way I've picked up a few special modifications that will help you get the most out of your tools, your time, and your life. Find out more!

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