How to use Mailchimp with WordPress – Easy to follow tutorial

Email marketing is one of the best ways to sell to your customers, considering they have already subscribed to your mail list and are interested in the content you create. In this post we’ll show you the step by step on how to use Mailchimp, connect and configure your wordpress website and also how to set up contact forms to start collecting email to your online business list.

Why using email marketing

The main goal of using email marketing is to target people who you know for sure is interested in your niche and already gave you their email in exchange for relevant content or free stuff like an e-book or an online course.

There are several companies that provides you with email marketing lists management, but the most famous are Mailchimp and AWeber. In this tutorial we’ll cover Mailchimp because it is the company i currently use and is free to use until you reach 2 thousand subscribers, after that you have to migrate for a paid version. But you can also have the same functions with AWeber, click here for a free 30 day trial.

How to set up Mailchimp

The first step if you want to follow this step by step tutorial is to have a running wordpress website, if you still do not have a website, check out our free tutorial to learn how to create one. The next step will be to create your account at Mailchimp, so click here if you still do not have an account and create one for free.

After you click in the Sign Up Free button, you’ll then be redirected to a screen to input your email, a username and a password for your account at Mailchimp as image below.

Make sure you use a valid email address, because after you click to create your account, an email will be sent to you so you confirm that the email is yours and you activate the account.

How to use Mailchimp tutorial 2 - Print screen from sign up page

When you click in the sign up button you’ll receive an email to confirm and activate you account, and it should look like the one in the image below.

How to use Mailchimp tutorial 3 - email to activate account

After you click in the activate account button in the email from Mailchimp, you’ll be taken back to a Mailchimp internet tab to confirm you’re a human and not a robot. After you verify that, you’ll be taken to the following screen, with all plans available for you to choose from.

If you’re short on budget you can start with the free plan and remain with it untill your email list reaches 2 thousand contacts. It is really nice that Mailchimp offers this free plan so you can try out their servicers, and if you like it, after passing the free limit you can choose another plan from the image above to work with.

After choosing the plan and clicking on complete, you’ll be redirected to a screen to input the name of your business, if you have a website, if you already have contacts to import, and most important, your address. The address must be filled in with a real location where you can recieve mails, because of the international anti-spam law. If you have a business address, you can use it, otherwise, I would not recommend you to put your home address, instead, you could get a P.O. Box and use it as your business address.

I’m not going to put all print screens here because there are too many, but just keep on filling them out untill you reach your dashboard in Mailchimp, that should look like the image below.

How to use Mailchimp tutorial 5 - MAilchimp dashboard print screen

How to use Mailchimp

By now you should have your account up and running, but how to actually use Mailchimp? To get you started let’s set up your first contact form and start collecting your potencial customers’ emails so you can stay in touch with them by setting up an email marketing campaign.

In order to create your first contact form, you need to click on the left upper corner in the create section just like indicated in the image below. From there you can see the option Signup form, where you can create embedded forms, pop-ups and signup landing pages. No worries with the names, we’ll go through them in a minute.

How to use Mailchimp tutorial 6 - Create a signup form screen shot

After you click in the signup form button as showed above, a pop-up will appear for you to choose between Embedded form, a Pop-up form or a signup landing page, as well as the audience you want to set up this form to. If you’re using the free version, you’ll only be able to have one audience in your settings, but if you have the premium version you can create other audiences so you can segregate the signup forms so they fall into different lists.

So what are embedded, pop-up and landing page forms?

  • Embedded forms: This is a type of form that will look more natural and organic within your website. By simply copying and pasting a line of coding provided by Mailchimp to your website the form will be part of your page, as a normal block that you would create with a drag and drop page builder. Your audience would not have to leave your website to sign up for your newsletter for example.
  • Pop-up forms: Pop-ups are highly used in several websites and can be set up in different ways. It is basically a window to collect users contact information that shows up after a time you set up, an action of the user like scrolling down the page or trying to leave the page. Just be careful and take into consideration that many people do not like pop-ups and even have pop-up blockers in their computers.
  • Landing pages forms: This is a page outside of your website to collect information about your audience. In this case, you would add a link in your website, like a button to subscribe to the newsletter for example. When the user clicks on it, they’ll be redirected to a Mailchimp landing page where the users can add their information in the form and subscribe. The downside of it is that the users have to leave your website in order to access this form.

Embedded Forms

Let’s choose de embedded form as an example for this tutorial. When you click in embedded form and choose the audience list you want, you’ll then reach the following screen, where you can manage the form and get the code to place in your website. No worries, I’ll show you how to deal with the coding and put it in your website.

How to use Mailchimp tutorial 7 - Create an embedded form screen shot.

The first step to create your embedded form is to choose its style, and Mailchimp offers them in the classic style, condensed, horizontal and unstyled as the images below. There ir also an advanced option using custom CSS and API, which I’ll explain later.

Classic

Condensed

Horizontal

Unstyled

The second step is to customize your embedded form, so for this example we chose the Classic style and by clicking in the hyperlink “the form builder” represented by the number 2 in the image above, you’ll reach a screen where you can add or remove the fields within the form, and it should look like the image below.

How to use Mailchimp tutorial 8 - Build and design your contact form print screen.

From this page you’re able to edit your form by adding or removing any field you see fit for your business model. In my case I like to leave only firs and last name and e-mail, but in some cases it is important to collect address and telefone number, and you can include all that from this screen.

You basically need to click in the field you want to edit and on the side it will show up what changes and customizations can be made in the field you’ve selected.

The third step is choosing if you’ll enable or not the GDPR fields. If you’re wondering what is that, GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It is a law created for the European Union, but I would suggest you to be compliant with it because you could get traffic in your pages from all over the world.

The GDPR field in a contact form we are doing right now is basically a unchecked box that the customer needs to check saying that he or she are compliant with the website privacy and cookies policy and the usage and storage of their personal data.

When you click in the GDPR settings, you’ll see the following screen where you’ll be able to edit and customize all the options your customers can check in this field. But the main point is that they have at least one check box and the legal text sayingthey accpet the privacy policy and are ok on how you manage their data.

How to use Mailchimp tutorial 9 - GDPR fields in contact form page screen shot.

After customizing the form the way you want, it is time to copy the code and paste into your website. It might sound a bit technical, but I assure to you that you don’t need coding experience, it is simply copying and pasting. The code should appear as we showed to you previously, but you can see it wodn belo also.

Howe to use Mailchimp tutorial 10 - copying the form code to put into website.

Placing an embedded form into your WordPress Website

IF you followed our previous tutorials, we tecach how to create websites using WordPress and also to use drag and drop page builders like Brizy. For this example that is exactly the settings we’ll use.

When you jump to your WordPress dashboard, select the page you want to edi, and click to edit with Brizy. After you’ve done that, select the place in the page you want to add the form, cliclck on add elements and drag the Embedded icon to the place you want in your page, like image below.

When you get the embedded function in your page, you can simply click on top of it, and it will show the Brizy tool bar for that item, and you just need to click on the embedded icon and a window will show up so you can paste the code that we’ve taken from the Mailchimp account.

Right after you paste the code into the embedded section you’ll be able to see the contact form that we’ve created in Mailchimp, as image below. And guess what, it will already be functional up and running, so when your viewers fill it up and click in the Subscribe button, all their information will be sent and stored in your Mailchimp account.

Creating your first campaign

Now that you know how to use Mailchimp to create a contact form and store your audience emails, it is time to learn how to set up your first campaign and start sending them emails.

To get started, you could either click on the top left corner under Campaign or on the right side of your main dashboard screen in the create a campaign button, as you can see in the image below.

How to use Mailchimp tutorial 14 - Creating a campaign

After clicking in the create a campaign button, you will face with a pop up showing you all the possibilities to create a campaign, as listed down below:

  • Email
  • Ad
  • Landing page
  • Survey
  • Social post
  • Signup form
  • Postcard

For this example we’ll create a campaign for an Email. So after you select the email, you’ll then have three options to choose from, Regular Email, Automated Email or Plain Text Email. Let’s go into some details here.

Both Regular and Plain Text emails are self explanatory, the regular email you can send better looking emails in HTML formats, so you can add images and make its design look more appealing for your readers, and the plain text is simple text without any HTML or images on it.

For the Automated section, Mailchimp provides us a lot of options, as detailed below:

Featured – Automation email

  • Email subscriber when they’re tagged: send an email to a subscriber when you tag them.
  • Welcome new subscriber: Introduce yourself to people when they sign up for your audience.
  • Say ‘happy birthday’: Celebrate with an exclusive offer or cheerful message that sends based on the birthday field in your audience.
  • Share blog updates: Help contacts keep up with your blog by sending new posts straight to their inboxes.

Tags – Automation email

  • Email subscriber when they’re tagged: send an email to a subscriber when you tag them.

Subscriber activity – Automation email

  • Welcome new subscriber: Introduce yourself to people when they sign up for your audience.
  • Respond to subscriber updates: Send an email when subscriber an audience group, or if their information changes.
  • Thank pop-up form subscribers: Send a warm welcome o people who join your audience from a Mailchimp pop-up form.

E-Commerce – Automation email

  • Thank first time customers: Say thanks with some kind, heartfelt words (or kind, heartfelt GIFs) when someone makes their first purchase.
  • Reward your best customers: Share super-secret offers with customers once they’ve bought a couple things.
  • Retarget site visitors: Email a reminder to people about the cool stuff they saw on your website.
  • Turn on an abandoned cart email: Send a friendly reminder to people who leave your store without checking out.
  • Enable order notifications: Beautify your recipients and shipping updates, and add in some product recommendations while you’re at it.
  • Follow up on purchases: Ask customers to review a product they bought recently, or recommend other stuff they might like.
  • Win back lapsed customers: Reach out to customers who haven’t bought anything in the past few months.

Date based – Automation email

  • Audience added date: Send an email based on when a subscriber joined your audience.
  • Say ‘happy birthday’: Celebrate with an exclusive offer or cheerful message that sends based on the birthday field in your audience.
  • Specific date: Send a one-time message based on an individual date field, like an appointment.
  • Recurring dates: Remind people to renew a membership or celebrate a special day each year, like an anniversary.

API – Automation email

  • API 3.0: Trigger an email series with an API call, if you’ve got a developer on hand.
  • Event API: Trigger an email series when a specific event happens in your app.

This might take you some time to go through and see how exactly all of them work, but to not get so extended in this post, will choose the Featured automation of blog post updates as our example.

After choosing the blog post updates, you’ll be asked to name the campaign and select te audience. Again, if you’re using the free version you can only have one audience, so just select that and click begin. After that you’ll reach the following screen.

How to use Mailchimp tutorial 15 - Email automation for blog post updates.

hen you reach this screen you’ll need to place you RSS feed URL, if you do not know what it is, just place the URL of your blog and Mailchimp will find it for you. You should also choose when the automation would happen, so choose frequency and time of the emails and click on the next button.

The next screen will ask you if you want to send this automation emails to your entire audience, a segment or tag or to a group or new segment that you can create right away.

For this example we slected the entire audience, and after choosing it, the next step is to set the campaign info, such as the email subject, preview text and the email address you want it to be sent from, like the image below.

How to use Mailchimp tutorial 16 - Campaign info for automation screen shot

Try to use the option to personalize the “to” field as in the image below, so people feel more interested in the title to open your emails because it is more personal and it will also help you not falling into a spam folder.

In the same screen, when you scroll down, you’ll see options for tracking, so choose the ones that best fits your needs and click in the next button.

After that step you’ll then choose a template, which I won’t go into details because it is much of personal taste, so just pick one and click on next.

After choosing the template you’ll jump to the design page, as below, where you can drag and drop elements from the right sidebar to your template and customize the way you want it.

After you’ve designed the email the way you want, you can click next and you’ll come across the confirmation screen that will also give you check boxes showing to you if there is still something missing into your automation and that you need to fix it. After all is ok you can then click under start RSS, like image below.

After clicking Start RSS a pop-up will show up just to confirm you want to launch the campaign and you’re all set for your blog automation emails!

I hope this was helpful for you guys, and that by now you know how to use Mailchimp at least on a basic level and how to integrate it to your website through a contact form, that I’ll also show some more options on my future posts.

Photo by Phil Goodwin on Unsplash