Take Charge of your Email Subscribers

How to take charge of your email subscribers by moving your RSS feed to MailChimp | www.chalkandapplesdesign.com
With all of the recent changes in Facebook & Pinterest algorithms and the way our business posts are being shown (or not shown) to our followers, there's been a push in teacher-blogger circles lately to use email lists more effectively. Moving away from the standard RSS feed is the first step. Here's how...

I have a "Subscribe by Email" widget. Is that all I need?

Many bloggers have a widget on their sidebar that says "subscribe by email," but most of us haven't done anything with it since we stuck it out there. If this is you, your subscribers are getting a plain jane RSS feed email from Feedburner. It's ok, I guess, but we can certainly do better! I'm not going to go into why, but you can read about  it here. My favorite reason to switch to MailChimp is the easy stats tracking and industry comparisons they provide so you can see exactly how many people you're reaching.

Today's the day you take charge! I personally am using MailChimp to do this, but there are plenty of other options. This tutorial will be specific to Blogger & MailChimp. I'm going to try to keep it short & sweet, while also being thorough enough that anyone can follow it. Here goes...

How to Move your Email List to MailChimp

Go to feedburner.google.com and log in, if you aren't automatically logged in with your Google account. (Mine was the same as the email/password I use for Blogger). You should see a screen like this with your blog name and subscribers (Notice how FEW they are using Feedburner... Our subscribers on both blogs have increased dramatically since we switched to MailChimp & added a new signup button!)

Click on your blog name. Click "See more about your subscribers."
Scroll to the bottom, and click "FeedBurner Email Subscriptions." Then Click the "Manage Email Subscribers" link that appears.

Again, scroll to the bottom of the screen. You will see a list of your email subscribers at the bottom of the screen. (I have cropped the emails off for privacy.) Just above the email list is an option to export to CSV. Click it!

Save this file. The first column includes all of the email addresses you will need to import into MailChimp.

Part 2 - Set up your MailChimp mailing list

Log in to MailChimp.com, or create a free account (free for up to 2,000 subscribers). Click on "lists" in the menu bar at the top of the page. Then click the "create a list" button.

Fill in your list name (no one but you sees this), the from email (I just use my blog email address), and the from name (you might consider including your blog name here). Click save.

Now you're ready to import your email subscribers from Feedburner. Click "import subscribers."

Click "import from a CSV file" and select the file you downloaded and saved from Feedburner. Click Upload. Now you'll need to match the columns from your uploaded file to the categories used in MailChimp. This is pretty easy because the email address should be selected automatically, and the other two can be removed. Just click "skip" for the date and status columns. Then click the "complete import" button at the very bottom. (You will have to scroll down past all of the email addresses.)

That's it! Your email subscribers are all moved over to MailChimp and ready for your RSS feed or newsletter.

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