Email subscription for WordPress site

Introduction

Even after the advent of social media, emails remain the best way to communicate with your customers on your blog. Adding an email subscription on your blog helps in making a user base, which you can use to share recent posts, products, new arrivals, etc or to send promotional emails. If you are new to blogging, I would suggest you first have a look at how to start a blog. And if you are one of those geeky minds who want to build stuff on their own, then refer to my post Build your own email subscription platform. There are many email subscription providers in the market, but the best in business is Mailchimp. Here we will discuss step by step, how to add Mailchimp email subscription for WordPress site.

Step 1. Mailchimp account and Plans

The first step to have a Mailchimp email subscription for WordPress site is to create an account with Mailchimp. It’s a very standard procedure to create an account. Similar to what you would have done multiple times on other sites. There are a few questions like your address, site details, business type, etc. Fill them up and your account will be ready.

Mailchimp redirects you to plan the selection page, to begin with. They offer a free plan and three types of paid plans. Basically the plans have varying options with limits on the number of contacts and number of emails sent. The free plan itself offers a contact limit of 2000 and 10000 emails per month, which is more than enough in beginning. Once you grow, based on the need you can upgrade the plan. So, for now, select the free plan and click “Complete”.

Step 2. Campaign and Subscription form

To do anything in Mailchimp you always need to create a campaign first. Once you are done with your plan selection, in the new window, at the top right corner find the “Create Campaign” button and click it. It opens a selection window like this:-

Mailchimp offers you lot of campaign type to choose from. These options shows you vast amount of activities that you can do as a digital marketer. Let’s hold on the temptation to explore all these options for now and focus on the option “Signup form”. This is the option we need to collect subscribers and build up our audience(mailing list). select it and proceed.

In the next window, there are options to select from different types of user signup forms:-

  • Embedded forms are used to collect user details like email address, name, dob, etc. They become part of your page or post. It can be added as a widget. It’s a very simple and easy to use signup form and a good option for a beginner.
  • Pop-up forms are the signup forms which are not part of your webpage but is shown as a pop-up when the page loads. Developers can customize the form look and feel as they like if they are aware of HTML & CSS.
  • Signup landing page are the kind of signup forms which can be used if you want to gives something to the user if they signup. It’s good for transactional signups. Like, allowing the user to download a pdf file only if they sign up.

For sake of simplicity, we will be going ahead with Embedded forms.

Step 3. Create Embedded form and HTML code

After you are done with selecting “Embedded forms” in step 2, you land up at a page to create an “Embedded form”.

There are five different options to choose for embedded forms. Classic, Condensed, Horizontal, Unstyled, and Advanced. These options basically determine the layout of the form. Explore each option and see in the preview which one would fit best with your blog theme and design. Let’s go with the classic for now. Select options “Show only required fields” in the left panel in Form options, as we don’t want to scare users by showing a lot of fields to be entered, even though they are optional.

Scroll down to the section “Copy/Paste onto your site”. As it says, copy this code. If you want you can modify the background color, font, etc in the code so that it matches to look and feel of your theme. Find these options in “mc_embed_signup”. Copy this code for further reference.

step 4. Add form to blog and verify subscription

Go to your WordPress dashboard and open “Appearence->widget”. Choose the “Custom HTML” widget offered by default and drag and drop it to any location offered by your theme where you want to present subscription form to the user. For example, I am choosing to display it in the sidebar, so I dropped the widget there. Open the widget, fill up the “Title” and paste the code copied in step 3 in “content”. Don’t forget to save it.

Let’s see if we can subscribe

Now its time to see the subscription in action. Open your blog in the browser and check the sidebar. The email subscription field is shown there. Add some email id like contact@digitalbetel.com to the field and click “Subscribe”

Lets check if the email address is collected in Mailchimp or not. Go to Mailchimp dashboard and click on “Audience” from menu. It shows number of contacts. Click on the number and verify the email id in the list:-

As we can see our email address is present in the list and status is “Subscribed”. This is how we can add an email subscription for the WordPress site and build a user base for our blog. Further, you can use Mailchimp’s free service to send customized professional-looking emails to your audience to let them know about new posts, products, new arrivals, or whatever marketing you want to do. If you like the article, feel free to share it or comment.

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