How To Keep Track Of New MailChimp Subscribers And Send Them A Free Digital Item Using Zapier And Dropbox

Having an active newsletter is one of the best ways to make sure your customers are engaged with your service. However, incentivizing people to sign up to for an email subscription, keeping track of your subscription rate, and even setting up a sign up form for your site may be a little foreign to you. In this article, we’re going to cover how to do all of these automatically using Zapier and MailChimp.

For this, you’re going to need a MailChimp and a Zapier account. Both are free and easy to join. You’ll also need to be at least a little familiar with your site and how to embed things in it. To incentivize people to sign up for your email list, we suggest giving away a digital good for free. This can be a PDF, video, software sample, discount code, etc. The item will be different depending on what kind of service you are trying to promote. To be able to share the file, you need to have it uploaded online somewhere that allows you to share the file using a link. If you don’t already have the file uploaded somewhere, Dropbox is another simple and free solution that will allow you to upload the file and share it through a link.

Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get into it!

Step 1: Upload Your File To Dropbox

If you already have your file/item uploaded somewhere that allows you to share it, or you’re giving away a discount code, then feel free to skip over this step.

Otherwise, go to the Dropbox website, select “Upload” and then choose “Files”. Then navigate to where those files are on your computer and upload them.

Step 2: Create A List In MailChimp

Once again, if you already have a mailing list in MailChimp, then feel free to skip over this step as well.

Create a list in MailChimp and fill in your company’s information by selecting “Create List”.

Once you’ve created your list, click on it, and then click “Signup Forms”.

After that, choose “Embedded forms”. This will provide you HTML code that you can copy and paste onto your site. Once you have copied it over, a form will appear on your webpage that allows people to subscribe to this mailing list.

Step 3: Create A New Zap In Zapier

Zapier is a website that allows you to create automatons using different services. An automation is just a series of steps that you would normally complete yourself, but instead Zapier will do it for you, saving you time, energy, and all of that other stuff you could be spending on more important things.

On the front page of Zapier is a box that says “What Do You Want to Automate Today?”.

This is where we’ll create the beginnings of your Zap (aka automation). For our purposes, you’re going to want to connect “MailChimp” to “Email by Zapier”. In the left box, type in “MailChimp” and select it when it pops up, and in the right box, type in “Email by Zapier”, selecting it as well when it pops up. Then, just click “Make a Zap!”

Step 4: Create The Trigger For Your Zap

Your Zap’s “Trigger” is just what causes it to start working. In our case, we want our Zap to run every time someone subscribes to our email list. You should see a screen that looks like this:

If “New Subscriber” isn’t selected, select it, and hit “Continue” in the blue box in the bottom right. Next it will ask you to connect your MailChimp account. Click “Connect Account” and login in the tab that it sends you to. This connects your MailChimp account to your Zapier account, so that the two sites can work together. This is what makes Zapier such a useful service.

After you’ve connected your account, click “Continue” and choose the MailChimp list that you have embedded on your website. Click “Continue” again, then click “Continue With Default Sample”, and skip any testing that it asks you to do. You’re welcome to test the Trigger if you want, but it isn’t necessary.

Step 5: Send Outbound Email

This is the step that sends an email to your new subscriber containing your free digital offer. You should be on the second step in your Zap “Send Outbound Email”. There’s only one option, “Send Outbound Email”, so leave it selected and click “Continue”.

Next we’re going to create the email that will be sent to the subscriber. For the “To” field, click the drop-down menu to the right of the field, and click the “Email” option. This will pull the email from the MailChimp trigger and send it to that address.

After you click it, you should see the field filled in with a green bubble that says “Step1: *email address*”.

Fill in the Subject and Body with whatever you like. Keep in mind that this is what your new subscriber will see in their inbox. After you finish typing in your message in the Body field, paste the link for your download. If you uploaded it to Dropbox, go to the file in Dropbox, select “Share”, “Create a link”, and then “Copy link”. Then paste this link into the body of your email.

You can fill in more fields as you like, but this is all you need to do for this step.

Step 6: Append Entry and Schedule Digest

Now we’re going to get into the steps that email you a list of your new subscribers for the week. On the left of the page, select “Add a step”. In the search bar, type in “Digest by Zapier” and click it.

Choose “Append Entry and Schedule Digest” and continue. For the “Title” field, enter something along the lines of “New Email Subscriptions This Week.” The “Entry” field is what will generate your list of subscribers. Once again, click the drop-down menu to the right of the field, and select “Email” from the first step. You can also pull in the variables containing the subscriber’s first and last name, if you want, so that you can associate a name with each subscriber. After you pull in the variables you want, type “<br/>” at the end of the line. This is HTML for creating a line break, and will make your list look like a list as opposed to a bunch of emails running together.

Set the “Frequency” to “Weekly”, the day of the week to “Saturday”, and the time to “Midnight”. Click “Continue”. As before, skip testing, and click “Continue”.

Step 7: Email The Weekly Digest To Yourself

Lastly, we’re going to create the email that will send you the list of new subscribers. Click “Add a Step”, search for “Email by Zapier” and select it. Once again, we’re going to “Send Outbound Email”.

For the “To” field, enter your email address. Label the “Subject” field whatever you would like; something like “New Email Subscribers” is perfect. In the “Body” section, select the drop-down menu, scroll down to “3 Append Entry and Schedule Digest”, click it and select “Current Digest”.

Skip testing, and click “Finish”. You’ll see a pop up asking if you’re ready to turn your Zap on. So long as you are ready to start automating this task, turn it on, and you’ll be all set!


To recap:

  • We uploaded a free good to Dropbox
  • We created an email sign up form on our website using MailChimp
  • We created an automation in Zapier that connects MailChimp to Email by Zapier
  • Each new subscriber will get a welcome email that includes a free downloadable good
  • Each week, on Saturday at midnight, you will receive an email list containing the emails of each new subscriber for that week

This will incentivize potential customers to subscribe to your mailing list, encouraging their participation with your service. Also, by sending yourself an email list of your new subscribers, you can track your growth and effectiveness, and even send out personalized emails to subscribers if you want.

Zapier can be a great tool for growing your business. Definitely check it out and experiment with different kinds of automations. Hopefully you found this helpful as a starting resource for the site.

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