Knowing how to use MailChimp for WordPress will change the way you market to your audience forever.
MailChimp is my absolute favourite email marketing tool, especially from a design perspective. It has wayyyy more creative control than any other platform I’ve used and once you get the hang of how it works, it makes creating new emails a breeze!
In this post, we’re going to be telling you exactly how to use mailchimp for WordPress in a step by step format.
The Basics of MailChimp
MailChimp is an online platform that can send automatic or custom emails to your subscribers. We love it because we can set it up to send an email every week, fortnight, month, whatever with all your latest Blog Posts, Services, or Products that have been added to your site. All of this happens automatically by the way – there’s nothing extra you need to do other than setting up your intial template.
It’s free for users with up to 2,000 subscribers to their account (once you reach that point, there’s paid options that you can choose), and it’s all online based so you don’t need to download anything. Added bonus – you can download an app to track everything while you’re on the run.
Your chosen Theme through The Mothers Co will come standard with MailChimp integration, so you should already have an account by this point if you’re a Member. If you don’t, you can create one here.
Campaigns are the actual emails that are sent out to your chosen subscribers. Campaigns are made up of a Template (email design) and a List (subscribers).
It’s kind of silly that this is the first link in the MailChimp Navigation Bar, because it’s actually the last step so we’ll come back to it in a little bit.
Start With Your Template
Alright, this is the fun, pretty stuff right here. Every Campaign you send with use a Template for its entire design.
MailChimp has a great range of d Themes you can choose and modify to match your colours, fonts, logo, etc. Or you can start from scratch with a Layout if you’re cool with drag and drop design.
Click on Templates > Create
Give your Template a name will make sense to you – you’re the only one that will see it and as you create more, it might get confusing about which Template to use for what Campaign. I usually have one called Standard which I use as the base for all other Templates in the future.
Pimp The General Design
Each element within the template or layout will have it’s own Design settings but to save you time, jump straight into the main Design settings and get the basics set up in here. Have a good play around and get things looking how you want them before you start adding or changing the actual content.
Showoff Your Logo & Images
Just like we explained in How To Make Your Blog Posts Sponsor Worthy, make sure with each image you have it named appropriately, use Keywords in the Alt Text, and link all images back to your Website.
Add Your Own Content
Adding your content is as simple as clicking on the element you want to add into the design, dragging and dropping it where you want it. There’s a whole heap to choose from so you can add almost anything you want to wherever you want.
Don’t forget the links
You need to link back to your website as much as you can through your content & images, but you also want to link through to your Social Media profiles to drive activity there.
Leave This Content As Is
This very boring and somewhat ugly stuff at the bottom here is actually kinda important. It ensures that your marketing is legal and ethical so it’s best to not freaking touch it!!!!!!
Create your list
Lists in MailChimp refer to collections of your subscribers and you can have basically as many lists as you like. Each list can store contacts from a particular source, and respond with different emails.
For now, I only have two set up for The mothers Co – my standard List for subscribers who want updates from our main site, and one for subscriptions that come through our Demo Theme sites who will receive a confirmation email, asking them to join our main List instead.
For most businesses, one list will be enough but you may want one for Leads and Clients for example. Have a think about what you’ll be delivering to who, and go from there.
Click on create list
Enter all the details on this page by following the prompts and you’ll be fine – this is all pretty straight forward stuff.
This will be the next page you see, but if you’re a Member of The Mothers Co, you won’t need to worry about this section as we set it all up for you. If you do want to add contacts from elsewhere to this list, you can either manually add them or do a bulk import. Just make sure you have permission to use peoples information in this way!
For most of us, we won’t need to use what’s in here so I’m going to skip over it. If you’d like some help with anything in this section, hit us up and we’ll give you a hand.
Back To Campaigns
Okay, now that we have our Template and our List, we’re good to start on our Campaign! Click on Campaign, and ignore everything except the Email option.
Create An Email
We have four different options here.
Regular is for a manual email that you want sent to your list. You build it once, send it once.
Automatic is as the name suggests – an email that is automatically sent. Build it once, send it many.
Share Blog Updates
This is the gold we want. This option will send an automatic email to our chosen list with our recent Blog Posts. Give your Campaign a name, and choose your List.
RSS Feed & Send Timing
The RSS feed for your site is just your URL. Go to your site, copy, and paste it in that top field so you can be sure you get the https:// jargon. If you have trouble with it connecting, add /feed to the end of your URL like this: http://www.themothersco.com/feed and it should work fine for you.
Choose a time to send your email that will suite your audience. When are they going to have a spare 10 minutes to sit down and read it properly?
Click on Entire List, then Next.
Follow the prompts to fill in all the relevant Capmaign Info such as the email subject, a little preview text, who it’s sent from and which email address it will come from.
There’s more options here to track different engagement (through paid accounts) and you can even opt to have this Campaign post to your Facebook Page but I prefer not to.
Select A Template
This is where we select our Template that we created earlier by clicking on Saved Templates.
Click next. If you click on the Template, you’ll be taken back into editing it, which we don’t want to do at this point.
Install Featured Images In RSS Plugin
Annoyingly, there’s no out-of-the-box way to display your images in the RSS feed. Thankfully, there’s a nifty little plugin that’s free and stoopid simple to use. If you’re a Member of The Mothers Co, we’ve already installed and activated this. If you’re running your own site, you can easily install it.
Insert An RSS Item
Click and drag the RSS Item into your Template, then make any design and content changes you want. You can leave it as is, select from the drop down options, or you can create your own custom layout which is the one I prefer.
You can also add you own RSS Merge Tags by copying and pasting from this article into your Template.
Preview & Send A Test Email
Always, always do this before you save or schedule a campaign. The option for this is up on the right hand side and it takes only second to do, but can save massive amounts of embarrassment.
Click Start RSS > Create
Congratulations Mumma – you’ve just created your first Aumotmated MailChimp Blog Post Campaign.
Pretty easy huh?
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