If you use the email subscription feature on Feedburner to deliver your blog posts to your readers, this post is for you.
Feedburner was once a great tool for helping to get your blog content to your readers. While it gets the job done, it’s been rumored for a long time now that Feedburner will be going away. When? No one knows. And will that even happen? Not sure. But, I’m personally not willing to risk getting caught off guard. Not to mention Feedburner is limited in its email functionality. For me, it’s been a long time coming to move my email list to somewhere else. I finally made the move and am sharing how I did it.
Read on for how to migrate from Feedburner to MailChimp.
How to Migrate from Feedburner to MailChimp
There are 2 main things you need to do to move your email list:
- Export your Feedburner email list
- Import your email list to MailChimp
How to Export Your Feedburner Email List
Export from Feedburner
Log into your Feedburner Account.
Go the feed with your email list -> Publicize tab -> Email Subscriptions.
Click View Subscriber Details to expand the details of your list.
Click CSV (to the right of Export:). This should download a .csv file of your email list to your computer.
Remove Non-Active Email Addresses
The list you downloaded will have all email addresses from your account, even the unverified and deactivated. For me, it was important to filter out anything that wasn’t Active. CAN-SPAM rules are no joke. And I didn’t want to send newsletters to anyone who wasn’t confirmed. They likely wouldn’t want the newsletter anyways. I used Google Sheets to do this. Here’s how.
Go to your Google Drive. Note: If you have a gmail account, you have this. You can get to it from the header above when you’re logged into Gmail. If you don’t have Gmail, what are you waiting for? Just kidding, but a Google account (including Gmail, Drive, etc.) really does have a lot of useful functionality.
Click New -> File Upload.
Select the .csv you downloaded earlier and upload it.
This should display a preview. Select the button to open the file in Sheets.
Highlight the header row and select Data -> Filter.
Filter to the Active emails.
Select the filtered list, copy, create a new Sheet, give it a memorable name, and paste the Active list.
Select File -> Download as -> Comma Separated File (.csv). Note where the file is stored or move it somewhere you can get back to later.
Import your email list to MailChimp
There are many great email newsletter tools out there. I’ve personally decided to go with MailChimp. Since you’re reading this post, I’m guessing you’ve already decided on MailChimp too. If you haven’t, I’d recommend googling about the options and making sure MailChimp is a good fit for you too.
Since MailChimp offers so much more functionality, it may be confusing at first to understand all the different areas of the site or what needs to be setup when.
To move your email list into MailChimp, you basically need to do 3 things:
- Create a MailChimp account
- Create a MailChimp List
- Import your Active .csv file to your MailChimp List
Create a MailChimp account
This is pretty straightforward. The good thing with MailChimp is that you can start with a free account and upgrade when you’re ready (when you want more functionality or your email list is big enough).
Create a MailChimp List
Log in to your MailChimp account.
Click List -> Create List.
Fill out the required fields, select the options you prefer (on list notifications), and click Save.
A couple things I want to point out:
- General: This is the main information that will be displayed in your future email newsletters. Publicly. You can edit it later, but I find it’s easier if you get it set up correctly from the beginning.
- From Email: MailChimp may provide feedback on the email you use. I originally set my email newsletter up with a Gmail account. But MailChimp didn’t like this. It said it could hurt the success of my newsletters. It preferred I use an email with my site domain in it. You can use Gmail anyways, but you’ll have to accept the risk associated with it. MailChimp will prompt you for this. Personally, I have 2 lists. I’m using Gmail on one. On the other, I set up a Google account that lets me use Gmail with my own domain in the email address.
- Contact Information: This will display at the bottom of every email you send. You can edit it later, but you should be thinking about what address you really want to put here. Personally, I didn’t feel comfortable using my home address, so I set up a PO Box. There are requirements for the types of addresses you can use, so you should make sure whatever address you use is compliant. MailChimp provides some direction on this.
Import Your Active Email List
I believe if you’re creating your first email list, MailChimp will prompt you to begin adding subscribers, manually or via import. You can always add more or access these options from your main List page.
On your main List screen, click the arrow next to Add subscribers -> Import subscribers.
Select CSV and then click the Next button.
Browse to the file you downloaded from Google Sheets earlier and click Next.
MailChimp will try to automatically match up the fields from your file to the way it stores information. Most likely, it will only import the email address, which is fine. Note above how the two orange columns say “unmatched”.
Make sure the email address field is matching (Column name = Email Address) and click Save >.
On the other fields, you can try to match these up with MailChimp’s data. I selected the Skip link near the top of each field. I was a little sad to lose the original subscribe date, but MailChimp assigned these all the same subscribe date. This would now be the date/time of Import, which was good for me. I like being able to identify which ones came through via Import versus subscribing via MailChimp. Additionally, I still have the Google Sheets file with the original subscribe date/time.
When you’re done, click Next. Follow the steps and Save.
You’re done! Now your Feedburner Active email list is in your MailChimp account and you can start setting up email campaigns. I’m not going to provide detailed next steps here because there are so many options. High level suggestions follow in the next section.
What to do Next
For me it was important to do two things next:
- Provide a way for new subscribers to join my new list
- Start sending email newsletters
If you’d like, I can write some detailed posts about how to do these two things. Let me know. For now, I’ll add some high level info here.
Get New Subscribers
Now that you have your new list set up, you likely will want to provide a way to let new readers join. You can do this by creating a Signup Form. You can do this under the List section. I created an Embedded Form. I added this to the sidebar and footer of my main blog. I also wrote a post explaining the changes to the newsletter so my readers would know what was changing. I also added the form to this post in case anyone who hadn’t yet subscribed wanted to easily do so now.
Start Sending MailChimp Email Newsletters
To send email newsletters, you need to set up what MailChimp calls a Campaign. Campaigns are in a separate section from your Lists. When you set up the campaign, you will specify which list to send it to. Personally, I chose to set up a weekly RSS campaign. This would put my new blog posts into a new email once per week.
What to Do with Feedburner
According to WPBeginner.com, it’s important to *not* delete your old email newsletter list. They explained this really well in their post, so I’ll link to it so you can read. Personally, I’m letting my readers choose what to do with their Feedburner subscriptions. My Feedburner emails went out as posts were published. One by one. My new emails go out with all posts in one weekly email. Some readers may want to see both. I figured they’re savvy enough to manage this on their own. As I mentioned above, I published a post about the new email newsletter list on my blog with more info in case they were curious about the changes.
Using Gmail with an email address that has your blog’s domain in it (free trial, then $5-10 per month)
Hope this post was helpful for you! If it was, be sure to share this post or this blog in general with your fellow blog friends. Thanks for reading!