How to Use MailChimp with WordPress

mailchimp with wordpress

Business website owners know how important it is to maintain consistent and positive communication. Updating your site’s content is important, but that’s seldom enough to get the job done. You may be wondering how to build relationships with current or potential clients as well, and convey more personalized and conversion-generating information.

Mailchimp is an email marketing service that enables you to build subscriber lists, create ongoing campaigns, and more. It can also be used with WordPress seamlessly, further streamlining your email marketing campaigns and enabling you to communicate with your audience.

In this post, we’ll introduce Mailchimp and its various benefits. We’ll then show you how to install the Mailchimp for WordPress plugin, and how to use its many signup form options on your site. Let’s get started!

Why You Should Build an Email List

There are several reasons for starting an email list. First, it’s an excellent form of direct communication that you have complete control over. Unlike social media accounts, you have all the say in how your content appears. When it comes to channels like Facebook and Twitter, you never know when swift changes or legal adjustments may drastically change your content. 

Another reason to build an email list is that it’s a great way to establish communication with anyone who is not a frequent social media user. If you have a lot of customers who just don’t use Instagram or Facebook, establishing an email list and newsletter can be an effective way to keep them up-to-date.

Why Use Mailchimp for WordPress sites?

There are many email marketing services available, including AWeber, Constant Contact, and GetResponse. So why is Mailchimp the ideal choice for WordPress users?

This platform’s many features – such as automation, A/B testing, advanced analytics, and segmentation – make it possible to easily manage effective email campaigns. The Mailchimp interface is also extremely user friendly, letting you easily build gorgeous emails to update your subscribers with. What’s more, Mailchimp offers 24/7 customer support.

Connecting Mailchimp to Your WordPress Site With a Plugin

In order to set up MailChimp with WordPress, you’ll need to spend a little time getting everything set up. You’ll then be able to connect the two systems. Let’s walk through how this process works.

Step 1: Sign Up for a Mailchimp Account

First, you’ll need to head over to Mailchimp and create an account

MailChimp sign up

Once you enter your initial information, you’ll want to access the email address you used in order to confirm your account:

Confirm mailchimp account

After you activate your account, you’ll be able to fill out a couple of short forms. This will help Mailchimp build your account. You’ll start off by providing some optional information about your business:

mailchimp account setup

Once you’ve completed filling out the forms, you can choose a Mailchimp plan. There are several to pick from, including a free option: 

Mailchimp plans

Click on Complete when you’re done. Next, you’ll have the option to connect your social media accounts to Mailchimp. This will enable you to share campaigns directly to certain platforms:

Mailchimp social media connection

You can complete this step or skip it for now. Either way, select Continue to complete the account setup process. 

Step 2: Create an Email List

Now that you’re all set up with a Mailchimp account, you can dive right in and set up your first email list. If you did not designate an existing list in the account creation process, you can easily get started by uploading a file with your contact list information via Import Your Contacts

Create email list in mailchimp

You can also build a list manually by selecting Add a contact and including each entry’s details by hand.

Step 3: Install the Mailchimp WordPress Plugin

While it’s possible to use Mailchimp on your WordPress website without any extra tools, the Mailchimp for WordPress plugin streamlines the process:

mailchimp for wordpress plugin banner

Once the plugin is installed and activated on your website, head to the Mailchimp Settings option within your WordPress dashboard. There, you can connect your Mailchimp account to your website using an API key. This is how you’ll access your lists and forms from your site.

Step 4: Find and Generate an API Key

In a nutshell, an API key connects your site to another service (in this case, Mailchimp). To find your API key, head over to Mailchimp for WP > Mailchimp within WordPress. Below the API Key field, click on Get your API key here:

Mailchimp API key

From there, you’ll be redirected to the Mailchimp website. Select Create a Key, and then copy the code provided. Return to your WordPress website, paste that code into the API Key field, and hit Save Changes.

You now have access to your lists, previously-created forms, and any integrations right in your dashboard. You also have the ability to create new forms by navigating to Mailchimp for WP > Form:

Mailchimp forms in wordpress

Once they’re created, you can add forms to your pages, posts, or widgets using a provided shortcode.

Step 5: Add Mailchimp Forms to Your WordPress Site

Once you’ve installed the Mailchimp plugin on your website, creating and adding signup forms is simple. You can also do this manually on the Mailchimp website, after following Steps 1 and 2 as detailed above.

Adding a Popup Signup

There are several types of forms you can create using Mailchimp. To add a popup form to your website, for example, navigate to Lists > Signup forms > Subscriber pop-up within Mailchimp.

Next, you can customize your popup by choosing a design. This includes formatting and display options. You’ll then choose the Fields you’d like to include, such as ‘name’ and ‘email address’, and add in other content such as background images. You can also preview the popup as you customize it, and make any necessary tweaks throughout the process.

Finally, click on Generate Code at the bottom of the popup form editor, highlight the code, and then copy it:

add signup pop up to wordpress with mailchimp

Next, head over to your WordPress dashboard. You’ll need to add the code to your website’s HTML, which we recommend doing with a child theme in place. This preserves any changes from being wiped out when your theme is updated.

Adding an Inline Signup

An inline signup form enables you to collect subscriber emails, without disrupting the User Experience (UX). To begin the process, go to Lists > Signup forms > Embedded forms within Mailchimp.

You have four design options to choose from when creating your inline signup form: Classic, Super Slim, Horizontal, and Naked. Horizontal is a good choice, as it takes up little space. However, you can choose any style that you feel best fits your needs:

mailchimp signup with wordpress

Once the form is customized to your liking, click on Generate Code. Copy it, head back to WordPress, and navigate to a suitable post or page. In the block editor, you’ll want to choose the Custom HTML block, and then paste in your code. 

Adding a Sidebar Signup

Similar to adding an inline form, adding a sidebar signup form starts by navigating to Lists > Signup forms > Embedded forms within Mailchimp. Then, choose the design option you’d like to use. For a sidebar, we recommend Super Slim or Naked:

mailchimp sidebar signup

You can now customize the form, and once it’s complete, copy the code at the bottom of the page.

Depending on your theme, you may be able to add this code directly to your sidebar using the WordPress Customizer. Alternatively, you can navigate to Appearance > Widgets within WordPress, select the Custom HTML widget, and drag it to the Sidebar column:

add sidebar signup to wordpress with mailchimp

Paste the HTML code directly into the Content field, click on Save, and the form should display on your site!

Styling Mailchimp Signup Forms

While Mailchimp enables you to create a custom style for each signup form, the form will usually inherit your website’s style sheet. This means you may need to make more tweaks down the line. You have two options for doing this: either manually code in the changes, or use the Mailchimp for WordPress plugin.

The latter option gives you the ability to create and add new signup forms to your website, as we’ve seen. By using the free version of the plugin, you can create just one form. However, the premium add-on enables you to create multiple forms.

To style your forms, go to Mailchimp for WordPress > Form within WordPress. You can make changes to each form’s fields, content, and appearance. Once you save your changes, they’ll be automatically applied to any instances of the form on your website.

Marketing Your WordPress Site With Mailchimp

As we highlighted above, you can easily add Mailchimp signup forms to your WordPress website, which is crucial for building a following.

What’s more, Mailchimp can also be used to send newsletters to your subscribers automatically. This lets you keep connected with your readers in a simplified, hassle-free way.

Setting Up an Automatic Newsletter With Mailchimp

An automatic newsletter enables you to instantly email subscribers with any site updates, and the details will be sent to everyone on your list.

To begin, you’ll need your website’s RSS feed URL. Then go to Campaigns > Create Campaign > Create an Email > Automated within Mailchimp. Select Share blog posts, name the campaign as you’d like, and click on Begin:

automatic newsletts with wordpress and mailchimp

The next step requires you to enter your RSS feed URL, select a sending time, and configure any other options as needed:

automated newsletter for wordpress sites

Don’t forget to select your Recipients, and make any necessary Setup changes (for example, to the Subject field). Finally, choose your Template and Design options. Once that’s done, simply click on Confirm and you’re all set!

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