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Plugins That Integrate MailChimp With WordPress

Avatar for John Locke

John Locke is a SEO consultant from Sacramento, CA. He helps manufacturing businesses rank higher through his web agency, Lockedown SEO.

Over the last couple of posts, we’ve talked about why having an email list is important and how to start building a list for free with MailChimp.

Today, I’d like to show you a couple of plugins that will help you integrate MailChimp with WordPress, and potentially add even more subscribers to your list.

MailChimp For WordPress

MailChimp For WordPress is a plugin that lets you create signup forms for your website, and enables you to add newsletter opt-ins to other forms — like comments or contact forms.

After you install and activate this plugin, go to MailChimp For WP > MailChimp Settings in the admin navigation. (This is usually near the bottom).

You’ll be prompted for your MailChimp API key. There’s a link that takes you to your MailChimp account.

MailChimp For WP Settings

To find your API keys in your MailChimp Dashboard, go to Extras > API Keys

MailChimp > Extras > API Keys” title=”MailChimp > Extras > API Keys” /></p>
<p>If you already have an API key, it will be displayed here. If you don’t have one, create a new one. Enter your API key into your MailChimp for WordPress settings. Once connected, you should see info for your MailChimp email list.</p>
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Go to MailChimp For WP > Forms, and you can create signup forms, which you can embed by copy-pasting the HTML, or via a shortcode.

MailChimp For WP Form Settings

If you want to add a shortcode to a WordPress PHP template file, you can do so like this:

/*Example of do_shortcode() */
<?php echo do_shortcode( [your_shortcode] ); ?>

One cool feature that MailChimp For WP has is the ability to have people sign up to your newsletter when they leave a comment. Go to MailChimp For WP > Checkboxes. Choose which newsletter list you will be adding subscribers to, and decide whether to pre-check the subscription box.

MailChimp For WP Checkbox Settings

Though you can bypass double opt-in with these add-on checkboxes, I don’t recommend you do that. If you bypass the confirmation email for subscribing to your list, it communicates that you only value access to a customer, and not a relationship with them.

One downside I need to mention with adding a Subscribe checkbox to your comment form is that you will get spambots who sign up for your newsletter. There isn’t a easy way to automate booting them off your list — you’ll have to do it manually.

Legitimate signups will list the the Signup Source as Hosted Signup Form in the MailChimp Dashboard. Spambots will have email addresses that appear to be random letters and their Signup Source will be Generic API. You’ll have to decide whether this extra time spent screening is worth the ease of commenters subscribing to your list.

MailChimp Signup Source API Generic

MailChimp Add-On For Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms is a premium plugin for making WordPress forms. It is one of the most popular premium plugins, because of it’s versatility and value.

Gravity Forms has a MailChimp Add-On that is available at no additional charge when you purchase a Business or Developer license. You can activate this add-on under Forms > Add-Ons.

Gravity Forms MailChimp Add-On

On your form, add a field that allows people to opt-in, if thy choose. For this example, we’ll use a radio button. Save the form.

Gravity Form Setup Question

MailChimp settings are managed on each separate form through Forms > [The individual form] > Form Settings > MailChimp. (This is a drop down navigation that appears when you hover over Form Settings.)

On the same form you added the radio button to, go to Form Settings > Mailchimp. Choose a newsletter to connect to your form. Map which Gravity form fields correspond to your MailChimp subscriber data (usually Name and Email). Check the box marked Opt-in Condition. This works like Gravity Form’s conditional logic.

You’ll see the conditions under which a contact form gets sent to your MailChimp newsletter. Find your opt-in question in the drop-down. In this example, I set their info to be sent to the MailChimp list if they marked the Yes radio button. I also recommend keeping double opt-in and the welcome email enabled.

Gravity Forms MailChimp Integrations

One last thing you’ll need to configure that is specific to Gravity Forms, separate from the Add-Ons. I wrote before how Gmail often views contact form submissions as spam.

Go into your form under Notifications and set Send To to {admin_email}. This is the email you set up WordPress with.

General notifications from your site come from the admin email or [email protected]. Gmail doesn’t trust these and usually sends them to your Spam folder. What I did to get around this is create a special email account for my domain, just for contact form submissions. Any contact forms on my website send from this email address. Add this email to the From Email field and add this to your address book on Gmail.

Gravity Forms Notifications

Publish your contact form, and anyone who contacts you through this can now sign up for your MailChimp newsletter at the same time.

Wrapping Up

While there are a myriad of ways to integrate newsletter signups with your regular contact forms, these are just a few. I hope this has given you some new ideas to think about when it comes to building your email list.

More from this series:

Part One: Why You Need To Build An Email List — Today.

Part Two: Using MailChimp To Build An Email List.

Avatar for John Locke

John Locke is a SEO consultant from Sacramento, CA. He helps manufacturing businesses rank higher through his web agency, Lockedown SEO.

2 comments on “Plugins That Integrate MailChimp With WordPress

  1. Hi John
    I seem to be having a problem with my website. The squeeze page has an opt in form for page 2 Thank you page. I can’t seem to get them to link together.
    I installed the API key in WP & in mailchimp I put in Signup “Thank you” page – I put in the URL to send subscribers to my Thank you page (pg 2) of my website.
    I put in [wc4wp_form] code in WP.
    I know I need to do something else for the Mailchimp to link to WP.
    What do I do next.

    Please let me know.

    Here is my website squeeze page
    Here is theThank you page
    Here is download page

    Warmest regards

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