How to integrate WordPress and MailChimp

How to integrate WordPress and MailChimp

Ben Stevinson's Layout avatar

Email newsletters can be really swanky, especially if you get to use awesome tools to make them.

In this post, we’re going to integrate a WordPress site with MailChimp (and if you’re into Campaign Monitor, you can learn how to integrate WordPress and Campaign Monitor here).

I’d like to introduce you to our fictional test site, a simple WordPress blog hosted on Flywheel. It’s called Monday Morning Mug, and it’s a rocking publication about the latest coffee news. Our posts are fresh, just like our coffee, and we’ve been getting tons of page views. Our readers love our content, but they’re asking us to compress our information into a newsletter that they can read over a cup of joe on — wait for it — Monday mornings.

mmm_homepage

We need to listen to our readers, but trying to use WordPress to send out emails gets complicated and cumbersome quickly. Instead, we’re going to use MailChimp, a killer platform used for managing email campaigns.

Step one

Before we start, you’ll need to sign up for a MailChimp account. If you’re new to email campaigns, check out their great Getting Started Guide. Make sure you also create a default list of your subscribers. I called this one “Monday Morning Mug Readers.”

Before we can send out a newsletter, we need to collect email addresses from our readers.

Step two

We’re going to install the MailChimp for WordPress plugin.

If you’re using the plugin tab on the side of your WordPress administration panel, it will look like this:

MailPlugin

Once we have the plugin installed and activated, we need to tie it into our MailChimp account.

If you take a peek at the MailChimp for WordPress plugin settings, you’ll see a box asking for your API key with a link to MailChimp’s API page.

API Paste

Step three

Click on Get your API key here, go to MailChimp’s API page, and hit Create A Key.

API

Step four

Copy-paste that key back into the Plugin’s API box and the plugin should automatically connect with your MailChimp account and select your default list. If it doesn’t, make sure you check the box indicating the list you’d like to use under the Forms sub-tab below the MailChimp for WordPress tab on the left-hand side of the admin panel:

MMMList

Step five

This plugin installed a widget that we can use to place a subscription form anywhere we’d like on our site. Head over to the Widgets sub-tab under the Appearance tab. On the left, you’ll see a sign-up form. Just drag it to the place you’d like it to appear on your website. In this instance, we’re putting it at the top of our sidebar so our readers can see it first thing.

Sidebar

Now, check out your website, and you’ll see the finished product.

Sidebar_front

Awesome! Now we’re collecting tons of email addresses, and our readers are thrilled that they can get an email from us every Monday.

Need help growing your email list? Follow this guide to strategic opt-in placements. You’ll get new subscribers in no time!

Comments ( 6 )

  1. Norman

    July 17, 2014

    Great article. What I wish for is if there was a way to use mailchimp within wordpress. That is, not having to switch between both platforms

  2. Vineet Gupta

    September 20, 2014

    I want to stop double opt-in

    Whenever visitor enter his name & other details in the form, he has to confirm again in his email that he wants to receive emails from my blog. How to Subscribe the visitor immediately after he has put his name & other details on my blog ??

    I am using MailChimp for my blog - www.vineetgupta.net

    • Ben Stevinson

      September 22, 2014

      Hi Vineet,

      Double opt-ins are actually highly recommended if you'd like to see the most engagement out of your list. In fact, MailChimp did quite a bit of analysis and research in the subject and they found that single opt-ins have significantly higher unsubscribe rates as well as inbox bounce rates. I would encourage anyone using MailChimp or another ESP to utilize double opt-ins.

      If you're interested in reading more about why double opt-ins lead to much better lists, check out this great article: http://blog.mailchimp.com/double-opt-in-vs-single-opt-in-stats/

  3. Christine

    October 26, 2014

    Thanks Ben for a good explanation. My question is can I integrate a wordpress login to check the subscriber exists in Mailchimp and if so grant them access to a page etc?

    All I have found is how to use Wordpress and Mailchimp to create a subscriber.

  4. Jamie

    December 19, 2014

    If you really want to integrate MailChimp with WordPress -- design and send emails from WP using MailChimp templates; send to specific lists and segments; two-way data sync'ing; and much more -- then you might want to check out the plugin we just released via the MailChimp integration fund: http://integralwp.com/plugins/complete-mailchimp-plugin-for-wordpress/

  5. Caro

    January 7, 2015

    I was having such difficulties implementing Mailchimp but this Post did the trick! Many many thanks!!
    Caro

  6. mack

    June 30, 2017

    I like ur articles basically the way u present it Its very interesting n useful

Join the discussion