Whether you are blogging for the sheer fun of it or want to turn your passion into a business via blogging, lead generation is going to be a major part of your success. It is never too early to think about building an email list from your blog subscribers and visitors, even if you don’t have a product or service yet to sell.
WordPress offers a number of plugin solutions to create custom forms for bloggers wanting to gather important subscriber information or just an email. Some premium themes include built-in solutions that can be easily customized. These solutions can be integrated with today’s most popular newsletter services. MailChimp is one of these services and for beginners is perfect with its free price point for users. Send up to 12,000 emails a month for accounts with a total of emails under 2,000. Other features include templates to create a polished newsletter email or an editor to create your own. Plus you can understand your reader base by analyzing the MailChimp Site Analytics 360 reports.
There are under a hundred MailChimp plugins available when you search WordPress.org. The most common one is MailChimp List Subscribe Form.
Installation of MailChimp List Subscribe Form
Search for MailChimp List Subscribe Form in the Add Plugins dashboard. Install and activate according to the installation directions in the WordPress details window.
Setup MailChimp List Subscribe Form Login
The MailChimp List Setup panel requires data input of the username and password. To create a Signup Form you select the desired list that is visible after the Login Info is entered and saved.
Configuring a Signup Form
The Subscribe Form Widget Settings give you an area to add Header content, Submit Button text and set Custom Styling features. HTML markup is allowed including image links. Custom Styling features include choosing the border’s width and color, and also choosing a text and background color to match your WordPress blog theme. There is an area to select which fields are required. Once the form is created you can add it to your blog’s sidebar.
Using MailChimp’s API Key
Some themes or specialty plugins may allow integration to MailChimp directly via the API Key without the use of the MailChimp List Subscribe Form. In the MailChimp account dashboard under Extras you can find the MailChimp API Keys & Authorized Apps area. This is where you can create custom keys to link a specific plugin or theme directly to MailChimp. When using an API Key, you might also have to input a Unique ID for the desired list. A list’s Unique ID can be found when you visit Lists in the MailChimp Dashboard and click on the Settings drop down for a list. See the List ID to the left of the Settings panel or at the bottom of the page if you click List Settings and Unique ID.
If there is something in particular you need to do find MailChimp’s list of plugins for your site (in the API Keys & Authorized Apps area of your MailChimp account dashboard) which includes a list of the most popular MailChimp plugin options for WordPress.
Remember, don’t wait until you have a product or service to promote. Build your email list now!