Getting Started with MailChimp 101 (Guest Post)

MailChimp 140 x 470This updated post on how to get started using MailChimp is geared to Cru staff. 

You may have used TntMPD and Outlook to send emails.  Perhaps you had distribution lists set up in Outlook and sent emails that way.  With the change to Google Mail you may have been thinking, “How am I going to send emails from TntMPD or my distributions list since I’m not using Outlook any longer?”  You can send these emails by using an email service like MailChimp to send your letter.

I did a survey with my ministry partners and found in general that women like to read the printed letter and men prefer to read by email.  (Sending your prayer letter by email should not become the only way you communicate with your ministry partners.  You should continue to send it by mail as well.  Also, using multiple touch points of communication each month enables you to stand out.)

There are several other email services that are available, but MailChimp has a generous free option and is very easy to set up and use.  Here are some of the key features:

  • You can use the TntMPD to MailChimp sync feature built right into TntMPD to create your list.
  • With MailChimp you can personalize each email to your partners using merge tags.  This will make your email stand out.
  • All your text, including pictures and links, are in the body of your email. (People  generally don’t like to open attachments in emails, such as an attached PDF file of your letter).  You can send both text and HTML.
  • MailChimp provides reports for emails sent so you can see who has opened your email and clicked on links.

Here are some tips that will help you get started:

  1. First, sign up for the free version account at  You can have up to 2,000 contacts (12,000 emails sent each month).  Beyond 2,000 contacts there’s a tiered monthly fee that includes a 15% discount for non-profits.
  2. Fill out all the info and get all your settings in place.
  3. Create a list in MailChimp.  Then in MailChimp click on “Account” and under the “Extras” area, click on “API Keys…”  You will then click on “Create or Add a Key.”  You’ll need this API Key for TntMPD.  Click here for instructions on how to add this key to TntMPD and sync your list to MailChimp.
  4. Once you’ve done this, create a campaign and use the new Drag & Drop editor.
  5. Test and send your letter.

Guest Post by Doug Weiss

Doug has been on staff for 18 years and serves as a media producer and digital strategist for The JESUS Film Project.  He  and Karen have been married for 13 years and both enjoy traveling the world with the ministry.  You can find Doug online on Facebook and Twitter and at his blog, Outside The Box Ministry.


  • Read more about MailChimp.
  • Check out this related post: When Do You Use PDF Files for Letters?
  • A summer release of TntMPD will be an even better tool to use with MailChimp. We’ll announce the release here on eQuipping for eMinistry.

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