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How to add a MailChimp newsletter signup form to your WordPress website

mailchimp

MailChimp isn’t the only email mailing list provider out there by any means, but it is the one that practically all the entrepreneurs I meet are using – probably because it’s free up until 2,000 subscribers.  So in this post I’ll tell you how you can easily start collecting subscribers for your MailChimp email list.

First, obviously, you’ll need a MailChimp account.  Click over to www.mailchimp.com and sign up for a free account; you’ll need to click a button in an email to activate your account, and then fill in quite a lot of information before your account goes live – MailChimp needs your address in order for the emails you send to be compliant with spam prevention rules.

Then you need to create a list.  Of course, there are many other customizations you’ll want to make before actually sending out a newsletter, and you may also want to customize your signup forms and the confirmation emails your subscribers will receive (to do this, click the name of the list you’ve just created, then go to Settings > List Name & Defaults and click the “list forms designer” link next to “Send Final Welcome Email” – you can now choose from the dropdown menu which item you want to customise).

But you don’t actually need to do anything else on the MailChimp site, if you don’t want to, before you can begin collecting email addresses from your website visitors – it will work right away with the settings just as they are.

Next, you need to put a signup form on your site.  You can embed a form directly into your web page using the code that they give you, but it’s most likely you’ll want to put the form in your sidebar, and for this you’ll need a plugin.  From within the admin area of your WordPress site, go to Plugins > Add New and search for “MailChimp.”  A list of plugins will appear, but the one you want is the one at the top of the list MailChimp List Subscribe Form by MailChimp and CrowdFavorite – this is the official plugin, and the easiest to configure (although, as you see, there are many others as well – go ahead and try out these ones out if you want to).

Once you have the plugin installed and activated, go to Settings > MailChimp Setup.  Choose the list you’ve just created, and type the wording you want to appear on the form.  You can also fiddle around with the appearance of the signup form, but you’ll need to get it set up before you do this, so you can see how it looks.  If you scroll a little further down the page, you can choose whether you want people to have to include their names when they sign up, or not – it’s your call.

Now, go to Appearance > Widgets and drag the MailChimp Widget into the sidebar.  You’re all set to start collecting email addresses.

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    theomnivorist
    20th April 2015 at 8:07 am

    Hi there, thanks for the helpful post. How about adding sign-up forms elsewhere, such as at the bottom of a post or as a pop-up? Does the same plugin provide that functionality?

    • Reply
      Alannah Moore
      20th April 2015 at 8:20 am

      Hi, no, unfortunately it doesn’t. For this you need another plugin such as the one I am using, PopupAlly. There’s a free version that gives you two basic layouts, and a premium version that gives you all kinds of possibilities, change of fonts and everything else. It allows you to embed forms at the end of posts, as you can see above, or at the top of pages, as well as creating popups. The PopupAlly website is here: http://ambitionally.com/popupally-pro/

      Hope that helps.
      Alannah

  • Reply
    Paul
    20th April 2015 at 11:01 am

    Thanks so much for posting this. You did talk about it at the workshop but I hadn’t got as far as actually doing it. No excuse now! 😉 Thanks, Paul.

  • Reply
    Stephanie
    20th April 2015 at 11:02 am

    I haven’t started yet, but it does look quite useful. Do you do skype consulting or something like that in case I muck it up? Yes, WordPress and Mailchimp are pretty user-friendly and your instructions are spot-on, but sometimes a little handholding is nice too! Thanks, Stephanie

    • Reply
      Alannah Moore
      20th April 2015 at 12:27 pm

      Hi Stephanie, you won’t muck it up, the official plugin is dead simple. But yes, if you do need handholding, just send me an email and we can have a Skype session – we can share screens and I’ll show you what to do no problem. Good luck! 🙂

  • Reply
    ruben
    20th April 2015 at 12:19 pm

    Very harmonized and crispy blog and thank you for all your help..

    • Reply
      Alannah Moore
      20th April 2015 at 12:28 pm

      Thanks Ruben and Paul – you’re most welcome. Nice to meet you both at the workshops.

    What do you think? Anything to add, or any questions?