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This is a tip for all my artist and entrepreneur friends. If you plan to do anything in your future and invite people to donate/attend/up vote/whatever…the highest converting method is an email. Not Twitter, not Facebook, not an ice bucket. Sending personalized email to people who know and like you will help you accomplish your goals. Do this pre work now and reap the rewards for years.

If you use Gmail (free but well worth $50/year to upgrade) & MailChimp (free up to 2,000 subscribers), Zapier will turn anyone who emails you into an email subscriber in 2 clicks (free up to 100 times per month). Just to clarify that math for you, if you’re a small brand looking to build an audience, ALL these tools are free until you get bigger. And when you do get big, shelling out less than $50 a month on these tools combined will be the most effective marketing dollars you spend.

1. Sign Up For Free Accounts

If you haven’t already, create accounts on the following services (I get a free monkey on Tuesdays if you sign up using these referral links):

2. Set Up Your Email Lists & Groups in MailChimp

Do a little thinking about why you might email people to support you in the future. If you don’t have particular projects on the horizon, maybe you dump everyone into one list. If you have a company (Women Grow in my case) and web design services, you probably want to be able to email groups of people separately for those topics. Just note that this method only allows you to put people in one group at a time. (You can’t add the same person to company list & web design services at the same time, so don’t make too many categories.)

In MailChimp got to Lists > Create Lists and create your large master list (you can even call it master list if you like). If you only have one group of folks to email, then you’re done. If you have multiple topics and want to group subscribers, go to Manage Subscribers > Groups > Create Groups. Create some logical topics for your group names like:

I’m interested in…

  • Women Grow
  • Web Design Services

3. Set Up Your Gmail Account

In your Gmail account you’re going to create labels that are easy for you to remember which ones refer to the MailChimp groups you’ve already made. Go to the Settings gear in the upper left > labels > create new label. You can name these whatever you like but I start mine with periods so that they’re always at the top of the label list when it comes to applying them to emails.

Creating Labels in Gmail for Your Email List Groups

Creating Labels in Gmail for Your Email List Groups

4. Set Up The Zapier “Zaps”

Zapier is a service that connects data between tons of different web services. Sign into your account and verify your email with them. Then go to Make a Zap. For some reason sometimes connecting the services to your account can error out so just try it at least 5 times before giving up. Follow the screen shots below.



Ok you’ve got your Gmail account and MailChimp account connected. Let’s setup the mail list add now.



If you have more required fields (like last name), you’ll need to put some data in there or the form will error out. I put the same name in first and last name to get this working.

Hit Continue & Test the Zap!

  1. Send a new email to yourself (preferably using an email address that isn’t already on your list).
  2. Label that email with the label that corresponds to the email list you want to add them to. Test_for_Zapier_Setup_-_jazmin_womengrow_com_-_Women_Grow_Mail
  3. Click Ok, I did this.
  4. Click Get Threads to test it worked. (If it fails, try going in and re-applying the label to your email and returning to your inbox to make sure the label is saved.)
  5. Click All done.


Now you’ll need to repeat this step and create a new Zap for each mailing group you want to have.

5. Test It!!

Send yourself another email from an account not already on your mailing list. Open the email you sent and apply your label. Wait about 10 minutes and check in with your Zapier account to see if the Zap is picking up their data. (There’s a 5 minute delay for free accounts.) You should see a little number next to the Zap that is working.


Enjoy building your email list easily and quickly without leaving Gmail.