You can easily add an email signup form to your blog or website with plugins for WordPress.org. Having a free WordPress.com blog is limiting in regards to amazing plugins available for that platform, but hey ho, who says you can’t find a way around that?! Here’s a quick quick tutorial to setup your MailChimp account for free and manually put a signup form in your widget area and start building your email list with MailChimp:
Why Mail Chimp for me?
- It’s Free. With your free MailChimp plan, you get to have 0-2,000 subscribers and send 0-12,000 emails.
- Create newsletters and send off to my email subscribers at once
- Integrate my blog’s signup form on my Facebook Business Page
- I also get tweet trends data and I know which of my followers are my subscribers…and many other features I am still discovering
Sign up for a free account on MailChimp⇒ Click ‘activate’ in the email sent to you⇒ Confirm you’re human, it will take you to a ‘Let’s Get Started’ page⇒ Fill in the details⇒ Save. It will take you to your Dashboard! Yipee- You’ve crossed the first hurdle!
Before doing this step, check that you have a list of email-only followers on your blog to import to MailChimp. How to do that: Dashboard⇒ Site Stats⇒ Total Followers & Shares⇒ Under Followers click ‘Blog’⇒ Email-only followers⇒ Download all email-only followers as CSV. It will open as an Excel document. Save it where you would find it easily.
If you ticked no list to import, your dashboard will look like this, so go ahead and click ‘Create a list’⇒ Fill out the information and save!
Or, if you ticked that you have lists to import, your dashboard will look like this. Click ‘Import your list’⇒ Fill out form⇒ Create list and go to import.
Note: You can only import lists of people who sign up at your website. No third party lists, prospects, lists that you scraped from websites, chambers of commerce lists, etc. I tried Google contacts but there was this warning- “Make sure everyone on your list actually signed up for it and granted you permission to email them”.- so , in order for me not to be a spammer and be a good citizen, I use email list from my WordPress email subscribers!
List⇒ Add Subscribers⇒ Import from a CSV or TXT file⇒ Browse⇒ Upload List and Bobs your uncle!
Now lets create that Sign-up Form! Dashboard⇒ Lists⇒ Click on the List you created (Mine is theDesignBender Newsletter) and I got to the page as seen below.
Click Sign-up forms⇒ Select General forms (this is the only option for your WordPress.com free blog).
MailChip offers the double opt-in confirmation process. This is a great defense against spambots and fake signups.
In the ‘Create Form’ section, you can ‘Build it!’ -On the right hand corner, you can add extra fields to your form like Website, Birthdays, Addresses, Phone Numbers e.t.c. ‘Design It!’ -Change text format, foreground color e.t.c. or ‘Translate it!’ -Set default language e.t.c. Or you can just leave it at that. You want to customize it and maybe add your logo to the sign-up form? Then:
Click ‘clickto add message’⇒ Type the message you want your subscribers to see when they click subscribe⇒ Add image (My image was 554px wide)⇒ Browse⇒ Upload (click ‘show image style options’ to set image border, align or set margin).
And this is how it looks like! Pretty cool isn’t it.
Once you’ve designed it as you like it, copy and paste the URL from MailChimp into your image widget on WordPress. Now your image is linked to the sign up. I explain it further in this ⇒POST. See the image below for where you’ll see your signup form URL.
Why all the trouble to build an email list? That’s the question I asked my self till I did some research and found expert opinion on the matter:
If you haven’t tapped into the power of a good email list, you’re missing opportunities to engage with people who want to hear from you.
So, why is your email list your number 1 asset for community building? The Out:think hits the nail on the head in their blog post “Four reasons why your email list is your most important asset”:
When someone requests that you email them, it is a huge sign of trust. Everybody already gets too much email, so the fact that they are requesting that you be another inbox item is a huge commitment.
People won’t check your website every day (or week) but they check their email every five minutes.
It’s much easier to ignore a status update than a new inbox item.
The people making money online use email marketing. I follow several people online that are “internet marketing gurus”. Despite what you may personally feel about some of these people, they are the ones actually making a lot of money online. And you know what? Every one of them would trade Twitter, Facebook, their blog and any other online asset to keep their email list. They make money off their email list.
And what has email marketing got to do with your relationship with your audience? copyblogger says:
Good email content deepens your relationship with your audience through effective subject line writing (getting your messages opened), your distinctive voice (getting those messages read), and delivering quality, niche specific content your prospect needs and shares with others (inspiring referrals and word-of-mouth) –copyblogger
Download Email Marketing-How to Push Send and Grow your Business ebook from copyblogger to learn how to go about email marketing effectively. I just did!
And while we at it, if you enjoyed this post, subscribe to theDesignBender blog. A portfolio company on a journey of growth, laughter, lot’s of falling, lots of getting ups and lots of victories too! I would love you to be part of the journey! Thank you!
Please let me know if this tutorial helped you in any way.
- 7 experts on why building your email list is so important-campaignmonitor
- How to Get More Subscribers for Your Email List -copyblogger
- MailChimp for Bloggers
- List Building With Social Media: How to Grow Your Email List- socialmediaexaminer
- Why You Should Start Building Your Email List Right Away- wpbeginner