Email newsletter guide
If you want to offer your audience a members-only email newsletter so you can share valuable information and drive revenue for your business—you’re in the right place!
When you combine the marketing automation wizardry of a platform like Mailchimp (or Campaign Monitor, ConvertKit, Drip, or Mailerlite) with a lean, mean member-management machine like Memberful, you can easily create a powerful email newsletter offering.
In this guide, we'll set this up with Mailchimp, but the same steps apply to the other email services we integrate with, so you should be able to adapt these steps to another email integration.
How to build a paid email newsletter
- Sign up for Memberful.
- Integrate your Mailchimp account.
- Create your Plans.
- (Optional) Create a custom landing page.
- (Optional) Promote your membership to existing newsletter contacts.
- Send a basic or targeted campaign.
- Add Memberful account management links to your emails.
- Connect to Stripe.
Some concepts you should be familiar with:
- An active subscription to a Plan is represented as a Mailchimp Group with the name of that Plan.
- You leverage Mailchimp Groups to build custom Segments.
- You may use Mailchimp Automation to send unlimited event-triggered emails to a segment containing your members
Sign up for Memberful
Sign up for Memberful. Then from your Memberful dashboard, upgrade to the Pro plan from Account → Plans and billing. The Pro plan, which is free while you're in test payment mode, is required for email newsletter integrations.
Optional: Install Memberful on your website. For integration instructions, read the article that’s right for you.
Integrate your Mailchimp account
We need to connect your Mailchimp account to Memberful.
Navigate to Settings → Integrate → Services from your Memberful dashboard, and activate the Mailchimp integration. You'll be sent to the Mailchimp website and asked to sign in and confirm permissions for Memberful to add to your mailing list.
You'll then be sent back to Memberful, where we'll ask you to confirm which list you want to synchronize your members to.
When you first connect to Mailchimp, we'll import all members as subscribers. Then, we'll automatically and continuously update your subscriber list by adding new members and updating existing members.
Create your Plans
You'll want to set up some membership plans that people can subscribe to.
Log in to the Memberful dashboard, navigate to the Plans tab, and click New Plan. Fill in the details and settings for your plan and click "Create Plan". Copy the Plan purchase link.
Thinking of selling multiple plans? Learn how to set up Plan Groups.
(Optional) Create a custom landing page
You can sell memberships to your audience without a website by creating a customized landing page hosted by Memberful. To do so, navigate to Customize → Landing page
You can add a title and description to the page, select which plans and downloads will appear on the page, customize their name and description, and add additional content like FAQs or testimonials. If you’re on the Pro or Premium plan, your custom branding will be applied as well.
(Optional) Promote your membership to existing newsletter contacts
You can invite your current subscribers to join your members-only list.
In Mailchimp, prepare an email to send out to your entire list or a segment of your list. Describe the ongoing value your follower will receive when they become a member. Insert a button content block into your message and paste your Memberful Plan purchase link in it.
You can also add a Plan purchase link to your website.
Send a basic or targeted campaign
To send out a newsletter in Mailchimp, create a basic campaign. and use the segments and groups that Memberful added to your Mailchimp account to target the specific folks you'd like to reach.
Memberful creates four default segments for sending campaigns:
- Members with an active subscription: Customers who are currently paid and active on any Plan.
- Members without an active subscription: Customers who either don't have an active Plan, or had one at some point, but chose not to renew it.
- Members who registered for free: Customers who initially registered for free. Heads up: This won't change if they later make a purchase. This is only referring to how they originally signed up.
- Members who signed up buying something: Customers who initially became members by making a purchase. Heads up: This won't change if their subscription later expires. This is only referring to how they originally signed up.
You may use Mailchimp Automation to send unlimited event-triggered emails to a segment containing your members.
Segment your list
We automatically synchronize the member's active subscriptions as Mailchimp Groups. We will not remove members from the mailing list if their subscription expires. If the member's subscription expires, we will remove them from the relevant Mailchimp Groups Groups give you the power to segment your list.
When setting up your email campaign, you can target members who are subscribed to specific Plans. Choose Group or new segment from the Segment dropdown menu, then select Memberful Plans, and finally select the individual Plan(s) you're targeting.
Add Memberful account management links to your emails
Your email newsletter's "unsubscribe" link will not cancel a member's subscription in Memberful.
Because of this, it's a good idea to add a Memberful Account link to your email newsletter template so your members can manage their Memberful profile, plan subscriptions, and credit card details. Replace YOURSITE with your actual site name, which can be found in your Memberful dashboard via Account → Account settings.
If you offer downloads with your plans, you should also add a Downloads link to your email newsletter template to take members directly to their Memberful Downloads (if applicable). Replace YOURSITE with your actual site name, which can be found in your Memberful dashboard via Account → Account settings.
If you’ve integrated Memberful with WordPress, you can add account management links to your menu or add a Memberful profile widget to your site's sidebar. For non-WordPress sites, you can add the account and downloads links directly to your site.
Connect to Stripe
Memberful starts out in test payment mode. When you’re ready to start processing orders, choose your currency and connect to your Stripe account through the Memberful dashboard (Settings→ Payment). Note: We'll automatically delete all your test orders and member accounts when you switch to live payments.
Way to go! 🎉
You now have a paid email newsletter! Next step: Announce your offering to your loyal followers and solicit some feedback. This will get you selling right away. Then, you can think about how to maximize the value of your offering—and promote ongoing membership.
Related help docs:
- Let members choose what they pay.
- Customize your branding.
- Add custom text to the transactional email templates.