Today, I will be walking you through every single point you need to be aware of about using MailChimp for WordPress.
This article is almost 4,314 words; I tried to compile all the information about MailChimp and how to use it for your email marketing campaigns.
I will extensively explain to you how to start building your mailing list using MailChimp for wordpress, Create your first campaign, and automate your first welcome email.
I will also further explain advanced techniques on how to integrate MailChimp with your online blog to collect email addresses. I will tell you how to set a freebie to be sent automatically to the subscriber upon signing up for your email newsletter!
As for now, Let’s take it from the beginning.
MailChimp Pros and Cons?
Here’s why I consider MailChimp one of the reliable Email Marketing solutions you may work with:
- It’s Free & you pay after reaching 2,000 Email Addresses on your list!
- Available in my country, your country, and many other countries worldwide.
- It provides better, enhanced, and easy-to-understand reports on your list behavior.
- It’s having a clean design for those who care about User Experience [ I’m on of those! ].
- Integrate your campaigns with a great suite of add-ons; PayPal, WordPress, Facebook, and more!
- Automate your Welcome Email, and set auto-responders with ease.
- & more.
The most important reason, Why I’m using MailChimp for WordPress? It’s Free; Who don’t like freebies! If you’re just starting up and you do not have that much email addresses within your list.
You can depend on MailChimp for Free until you reach 2,000 Addresses or send out 12,000 Email Messages per month!
I see it as a very good starting point especially when you’re a newbie blogger just getting started. After a while, you may consider upgrading to a service like ConvertKit for more advanced email marketing strategies.
FYI, MailChimp doesn’t at all store or need your credit card to launch your free account with them. When you feel like you want to upgrade your account, You put in your billing details and upgrade.
How Does MailChimp Work?
First, you need to register your free account with MailChimp. It will ask you for several details about your name, email, password, ..etc.
Then it will instantly create your account and send you an activation link via email. Congratulations, you’ve just created your free account over there in less than a minute.
Again let me reassure you that It’s a forever free package until you reach over 2,000 Email Addresses within your list, or until you send out more than 12,000 Email Messages per month.
Create a List & Add your First Subscriber:
Since you just created your account, You now need to create a list because you do not have any yet. This will be the list where email addresses for your subscribers will be added to.
So, when you want to send an email to them you just choose the list from the drop down menu and email should be sent to every single email under this chosen list.
To create your list, Head to your account Dashboard after you log in then scroll down, you shall find a link says Create a list.
It will as you to provide more details and information about your new list like List Name, From Email, From Name, Contact Information, Notifications, ..etc.
Once these data are added, hit Save and now you successfully created your first List on your newly created MailChimp Account.
Now, You’ve created your list. It says clearly you do not yet have any subscribers, so let’s add our first subscriber to this new list. You shall find on the top list Add Subscribers drop down Menu.
Once clicked, it will show down two more options:
- Add a Subscriber: It will allow you to add a single subscriber at a time by putting in Name, & Email.
- Import Subscribers: This tool will help you to import a list of subscribers in forms of (.csv, .txt, .xls, .xlsx, Google Contacts, ZenDesk, SalesForce, Highrise, …etc).
Create MailChimp Sign Up Form:
Now that we already created our first list, we need also to create a sign-up form and put its code on our website. This should work as the opt-in form where your visitor got to enter his name and email address to sign up.
Using MailChimp for WordPress is super easy. It offers many ways to design your Sign Up forms, but before extensively talking about that let’s do the following:
- Head to Lists in the top navigation bar menu.
- Click on the drop-down arrow on the right side of the current just created list, and choose Signup Forms.
After that, You will be redirected to a page similar to the dashboard but with different ways on how you may want to build your sign up forms, let’s further talk about each option and explain in details.
It will provide you a sign-up form which shall be displayed on the web browser instead of implementing it in your website page. It will give you a fixed URL which is directing to this created sign up form page.
You can attach this link along with your emails, messages, or you can also create a QR Code that users can scan to their phones and use to get to your signup page directly.
To create your first sign up form using this method, you will go through three steps so far (Build It, Design It, Translate It).
The form is already pre-built by default, but you still can edit, add, delete fields upon how you want to customize your own sign-up form.
You will find the form pre-built with simple data like Email Address, First Email, Last Email and you have a variety of additional custom fields which you can add and customize into your form.
To Add an additional field, all you have to do is to choose the custom field from the right long menu and click on it, It will be added to your form and the right menu will load the customization panel for that custom field ou just added up into your field.
You want more people to sign up onto your list. I would advise request as little information as possible. the ess required fields, the more users to subscribe to your list.
You can further work and customize your list using the two other tabs up there, Design it and Translate it.
- Design It Tab will allow you to choose the colors, background, text fonts, ..etc.
- Translate it Tab will help you to translate your list into other languages other than English in order to be able to use it whatever the language you and your subscribers are using!
Unlike the General Forms technique, In Embedded Forms, you’re creating a compliant, up-to-date HTML Code for your sign up form which you can directly use onto your blog.
So, your visitors do not have to be redirected to another URL to sign up for your list but you can put this sign-up form directly into your sidebar directly.
It doesn’t have many features to customize your form, however; It gives you the minimal options you may need to add. You tick on and off some other options until you’re satisfied with your form.
Then you copy the HTML Code and paste in your site sidebar or widget upon your convenience.
Embedded Forms gives you four styles for your pre-built form as follows:
- Super Slim ( Collects only email address and its working perfectly for small functioning spaces ).
It’s very innovative and widespread way to collect emails as designing your form via this particular tool will get your form to appear as an embedded pop up on your page.
You can enhance this code by adding some conditions to increase and trigger better conversion.
If the visitor closed the page then the email sign up form will pop up asking whether you need to get more data directly to your inbox, then subscribe to our newsletter or any other similar way to re-magnet the subscriber instead of leaving your site just like that.
Using MailChimp For WordPress:
Integrations will help you to easily collect emails and customize your form automatically based on the software or the platform you’re using. Here, I will make sure to cover Using MailChimp for WordPress.
You may need to check it yourself for further details on how to use and deploying it to your site upon MailChimp‘s Instructions as it always differs from a platform to another.
OptinCat WP Plugin,
MailChimp Sign Up Form For WordPress:
Although you got many different features using Mailchimp for WordPress, I always recommend using this particular WordPress plugin to use with your WordPress blog. It gives you many features to building a beautiful Signup forms.
Here is why I recommend Optin Cat Plugin:
- Clean and Responsive Form Designs.
- Post Boxes can be added as a shortcode or automatically at the bottom of post/page.
- Lots of Customization Options.
- It takes no time to build, and add your list to your WP Site.
- & It’s Free!
[irp posts=”2583″ name=”How to Create an Inline Email Optin Form with Bloom?”]
In order to install this plugin head to the Plugins section on the left menu of your WP Control Panel, and click on Add New. Search the plugin by name and install it automatically.
Once installed and activated, you’re all set and few clicks away to get your list created and ready to collect emails!
Now, Head to Optin Cat menu in your WP Control Panel, and hit Add New. This tool will allow you to add and create a new list using OptinCat Plugin. It has three options available for your list out there:
- Sidebar Widgets: Building a Signup form that fit for the sidebar.
- Post Boxes: Building a Signup form to put at the bottom of your page/post.
- Popups: Building a Signup form that works as a pop up on your site.
Choose whatever fits your purpose, and click on it. You will be redirected to the customization page where you can customize your form, choose which fields you’re going to use and which you’re going to delete, choose the colors, backgrounds, ..etc.
Once done with customizing your form, scroll down and you should come to the very important stage of the story which is setting up your API Code to link your MailChimp List with this Form.
Okay, now we know what is that API Code is for, but how to grab mine? It’s very simple, following the below-mentioned steps one by one will get yours easily:
- Head to this Link: After logging in > Profile > Extras > API Keys
- Scroll Down to Your API Keys Section, Then Click on Create A Key.
- It will be automatically created, Now copy it and paste it within your WP OptinCat Plugin Page, and then Hit Save.
You’re now all set with setting up your first signup forms using OptinCat Plugin. It will allow you to using MailChimp for WordPress way easier. You need to add this newly created signup form to your WordPress sidebar for example.
You can easily do so by going to Appearance > Widgets. After that, Put OptinCat Widget to the functioning widgets and choose the signup form from the drop-down menu accordingly, hit save, and that’s it.
Create your First Campaign:
Since your signup form is now so far ready to get in subscribers direct to your list, you should be able now to message all of your subscribers or a segment of them with just a few clicks. Now, Login to your MailChimp Account, and within the top navigation bar hit Campaigns.
It will clearly tell you ” You haven’t sent any campaigns “, so now we’re going to create our very first campaign to be sent to our subscribers.
On the top right side of your page, you will find a gray button saying “Create Campaign“. Click on the drop down arrow and you should see a list of the campaign types you can create..
Let’s talk about each one in details:
- Regular Campaign: This tool will actually help you to design your emailing campaign in HTML and CSS using colors, backgrounds, images, links, ..etc to match your website environment.
- Plain-Text Campaign: This one will help you to create a plain-text emailing newsletter but no images, much of colors, or rich content in general (I always prefer using this one for simplicity but its always having downsides as well).
- A/B Testing Campaign: It will help you to create two different styled campaigns in for a promotion or offer and test whether Campaign A or Campaign B will drive more interaction or more conversion from the subscribers?
- RSS-Driven Campaign: It usually grabs new posts and stories from your blog and scheduling them to be sent automatically to your subscribers without the need to send a campaign manually each time you got new stories in your blog.
- Inbox Inspection: Inbox Inspection tool lets you see your campaign in your subscribers’ favorite email clients to help you ensure it appears pixel perfect and avoids spam filters.
Now, let’s proceed with (for example) sending out a campaign, then click on that gray button “Create Campaign“. It will ask you on the next page which campaign type you want to create your email on?
You will be choosing one of the 5 types mentioned above.
Let’s (for a trial) choose Regular Campaign then Hit Next.
It will then ask you “To which list shall we send?“. Here you may choose whether you want to send your campaign to all subscribers or a segment of them. Choose what you prefer then hit Next.
On the next page, It will ask you to start adding information related to this particular campaign like Campaign Name, From Name, From Email, Email Subject, ..etc.
Then, It will take you in few more steps to choose the preferred template for your campaign, and then It will give you a rich content editor to fully customize and design your campaign email.
Via this editor tool, you should be able to choose colors, upload images, customize header, and personalize the content according to your preference.
I will not talk much about that and I will let you figure this content editor yourself. After finalizing your campaign design, Hit Next.
After that, a checklist page will be loaded up and it will tell you whether some more items are missing or need your attention or you’re ready to send out your campaign email to the subscribers.
Now, After reviewing your campaigns checklist and you’re happy with it, go ahead and click send (It’s your moment of glory).
It will be a very good idea to send a test email to your personal email address to check how it will be looking like in your email inbox before sending the email out to the subscribers.
How To Automate RSS Feed Newsletter:
Now, You got visitors to your online site/blog and they are subscribing to your email newsletter. You may need to send them regular updates and feeds about what’s happening within your blog whether there are new posts or topics you’re discussing.
You can manually log in to your account and start customizing a campaign. But the question why manually do it every few days or a week while you can automate an RSS Feed Newsletter campaign to be automatically sent to your subscribers when there is a new post in your blog without having to manually do it yourself every once and while!
Here I will show you how to create an RSS Feed and Automate it for your subscribers in order for them to receive regular updates regarding new posts in your blog.
First, We will need to head to Campaigns section again from the Dashboard and hit Create Campaign, and from the drop down menu choose RSS-Driven Campaign. Once you’re there, It will be asking you several questions regarding your campaign you want to establish as follows:
- RSS Feed URL: Is the place where you’ll be adding your blog feed UR. In WordPress you should be fine with using http://www.yourblog.com/feed/. This link is what will guide MailChimp to choose the latest article and include them onto your campaign email.
- When should we send?: You will need to set the exact timing to send out the regular feeds email as well as whether it will be on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
- Send only on these days: You are able to use this option to send in particular days like for example Saturday and Sunday only every week. This means MailChimp will send one email by Saturday and another email on Sunday for your reference.
Upon finishing setting up the above-mentioned option, Click Next.
Then, You will be asked to add more details about the list to whom you’ll be sending the campaign email, then It will further ask you about setup information and tracking methods as follows:
- Name your campaign: Here you will be required to put a name for your campaign for internal use only, which means to be used within your MailChimp Dashboard. This will not be displayed to your subscribers by any means.
- Email Subject: This is where to put the campaign email headline or the email subject line. I would recommend using ” * | RSSFEED:TITLE | * – Your Blog Name ” This RSS code will set the campaign email subject to be the subject of your latest blog post. Choosing a good headline for your articles will help here as your subscribers will be more interested to read more about that interesting subject!
- From Name: The Name which will be displayed as From in your email heading.
- From Email: The Email which is supposed to be sending out this email, and as a result any replies or comments will be delivered back to this email address.
- Personalize the “To” Field: I will strongly recommend ticking on this option, It will allow you to use your personal name as the sender when you send out and email to your subscribers and followers, and also if someone will reply back to your email, It will show your name as the one this subscriber is replying to.
- Tracking: Here, I will let you figure these options out and adjust each of them upon your preference. A sufficient explanation is available below each tracking option of those to help you further understand each option and decide whether you want to ticking it on or not.
After finishing the above-mentioned fields, scroll down to the black bar there and hit “Next“. In the next step, you will need to choose a template for your RSS-Driven Emailing Campaign. Many options are available out there.
But I will always recommend using “Simple – RSS” Template since it’s a plain text one, with fewer lines to easily customize, and still will do an excellent job delivering the content right to your follower’s inbox.
After choosing your preferred template, MailChimp will ask you on the next step to design your email template according to your preferences and what you want your subscribers to receive. You will get a list of different options which should help you to design your email perfectly as you like.
You can add your logo, edit text, change header text or add images, add links, add RSS items and so much more as shown in the next snapshot.
After you finish fine tuning your email, then hit Next and congratulations, you’re done with building up your RSS-Driven emailing Newsletter now! It will be sent according to the previously defined dates every time you got a new blog post on your site.
Automate Your First Welcome Email:
By Automation I mentioned in the title above I mean setting up mailchimp autoresponder and newsletter. Before further dive into that, let me clarify what auto responders mean?
Well, It simply means that there’s a particular responding email is being sent only when an action or a set of actions happen. In order to make it clear. let’s see how MailChimp works for Auto Responding and Emails Automation:
- You Sign up with your email address for an email newsletter sign up form (Hopefully ours in this blog).
- You will receive a confirmation email to your inbox asking you to confirm subscription.
- After confirming your subscription, You will receive an autoresponder with the eBook or the Coupon or whatever has been promised you will receive for free upon subscribing for that email newsletter.
Then, Now you received an action email with the ebook which is called the autoresponder email upon confirming your subscription for that newsletter. This way you won’t be required manually to send a single email message to each new subscriber to your newsletter.
You just setup and automate everything and let it run. Fortunately, You can set all that up with MailChimp the Free Package. Let me show you how to perform this in details.
First head to the “Lists” link in the top navigation bar, then click on “Signup Forms” within the associated list. Once loaded up, You should be able now to choose which form you want to create/edit, click on the drop down menu and choose ” Opt-In Confirmation Email “.
You will now get access to create, and edit this email which will be automatically sent to the subscriber once he subscribed up for your email newsletter as follows. You can simply see what happens and how it looks like by “Subscribing To Our List Here” !
After few seconds, It will say in a green bar “Email header information has been saved ” or whatever you just edited, cleared, or added up has been saved.
Then the next step is that the subscriber will receive a thank you for subscribing email which we can edit by heading up again to the drop down menu and clicking on “ Confirmation “thank you” page “.
upon clicking on it, MailChimp will allow you to edit it accordingly as follows:
Okay! That’s very fine for now, but how about the freebie the subscriber has been promised to receive upon subscribing to the list? It will be arrived automatically after the thank you email we just curated above.
Let me show you how to edit it’s content to include this freebie we just mentioned. Again, Head to the drop down menu on the top and choose ” Final “welcome” email “.
You will be able here to curate and customize this final welcome email according to your preference including your free eBook or any other related freebies you promised your subscribers to receive upon subscribing to your newsletter.
You now got an autoresponder with a first automated welcome email set according to your preferences as shown above.
If you want to set up a list of automated emails to be sent out every few days or so, this can be done via the Automation part but it will be only included within your premium MailChimp membership instead, However; I will be covering this automation section later.
Now, you’ve got your campaign set using MailChimp for WordPress. you’ve created your first list, you added a sign-up form to your site. You’ve got your first welcome email automated upon signing up with an optional freebie to offer.
At that point, we almost covered a huge percentage of using MailChimp for WordPress. There are still more options and advanced tools to be discussed but I will make sure to cover them up for another post.
Thanks for reading!
See you in the comments below.