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Step by Step Instructions Mailchimp 101
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Integrating MailChimp to WordPress
Integrating MailChimp to WordPress

Install the Plugin

To install the MailChimp Widget plugin, from the WordPress dashboard go to "Plugins" and click on "Add New." In the search box, type in "MailChimp" and submit the search. Click "Install" for the MailChimp for WordPress plugin and follow any necessary prompts on screen, then click "Return to Plugin Installer."

To check that the plugin is installed and activated, from the WordPress dashboard go to "Plugins" and click on "Installed Plugins."

Installed Plugins

Connecting to MailChimp

After ensuring the plugin was installed, select "activate" to begin using the new plugin. This will add a new entry titled, "MailChimp for WP," into the navigation menu on the sidebar. Click "MailChimp for WP" setup the plugin.

To connect your MailChimp account you will need to enter your API keys into the necessary field. The plugin provides a convenient link, below the field, which will direct you to the API key in your MailChimp account. You must be logged in to your MailChimp account for the link to work as expected.


Once the API key is added and the changes saved, your list information will populate in the "MailChimp Data" area. This will give you a break down of each list and the fields associated with them.

List data

Configuring the Plugin

The plugin offers two different options for collecting subscribers. One option is to add a subscription checkbox to the comment and/or registration forms which would allow visitors to subscribe to your list during the commenting or registering prcess. The other option is to build a signup form to add to any or all of your website's pages.

Within the MailChimp for WP sidebar menu, choosing "Checkboxes" will allow you to configure the checkboxes used for signups. In this area, you can choose which lists subscribers are added to, double opt-in settings, and additional styling elements.


Under the "Forms" menu, you can create and customize the HTML for the signup form to place within your Wordpress site. By default, the form will be setup for an email field. To add additional fields to the form use the "Select MailChimp field" drop-down under the "Add a new field" area. Before adding the additional fields, you have the ability to edit the field's properties. For example, you can add in a default value for a form field and mark a field as required.


Under "MailChimp Settings," you can customize the signup options for the form, such as double opt-in, and the ability to send a welcome email. Finally, in the "Form Settings & Messages" area you can adjust messages shown when a form submission is complete as well as any error messaging.

Additional settings

Publish the Form

Once you've finished customizing your form, you can publish it to your Wordpress site. To add the form to one of your Wordpress pages, either copy the HTML generated under "Form mark-up" or copy the shortcode provided below the code. Click to edit the Wordpress page or menu you wish to use and paste in the code where desired.

MailChimp Training Course:
Customize Sign Up Forms

How to Customise MailChimp Signup Forms

Login to MailChimp and go to Lists. When you start with MailChimp, having a list is the first thing that they’re going to prompt you to create. If you’ve been using MailChimp for a while, then you’ll have a list ready to go.

  • Select your List
  • Go to Sign up forms, then General forms
  • Select Sign Up Form (default in the dropdown box)

If you’re planning on using the generic MailChimp sign up form (rather than a Pop Up or embedding the sign up into your website), then you want to change most of the layout and design of this section.

Change & format the headline

Change the headline title to give people a good idea of what they’re signing up for, rather than a generic ‘list’. You can also add some more text underneath the headline and by providing a bit more information, then people know what they’re signing up for and they’re going to be more comfortable in giving you their email address.

Change the background & button colour

The generic MailChimp background looks very extremely boring. I don’t know about you but the grey makes me feel pretty sad, and I certainly don’t feel special. You can also change the button colour as well, which is a good idea, because I find that if I know I’m signing up to something that just looks like it’s from MailChimp, it doesn’t make me very excited to sign up. Simply by changing the button and background colours your form will start to look a little bit more interesting but that’s only the first part of the story.

To change the background & button colour

  • Select Design It
  • Body > Change the Background colour
  • Forms > Change the Button colour

Customise Mail Chimp Background Colour

Customise the welcome emails & confirmation pages

Finally, to make people feel super special you need to customise all the sign up forms, welcome emails and confirmation pages.

Select these from the dropdown box:

Customise Mail Chimp Welcome Emails

Sign up forms with alerts: there’s not much you can do about this, you can change the alert color if you really felt the need to.

Sign up Thank You page: First of all, you can create a different page, which could be a page on your website and you can direct people to that, using the input box above your MailChimp form. Now the Thank You page is, again, a pretty standard experience for a lot of people but it’s another opportunity for you to give people some love. You might want to give them the link to download your lead magnet immediately or put in a teaser that will entice them to open up the confirmation email. If you do that, all of a sudden you’re giving them a reason to actually open that email that they’re receiving.

Another option you can add in here is links to your social media accounts. It’s just another opportunity to connect with people and then they can find out more about you, particularly if they’re coming in from a Facebook Ad.

Opt in confirmation email: This is THE place where you want to start to make people feel really welcome. We’ve all signed up to emails that say, Please Confirm Subscription in the email subject box and I don’t know about you but it makes me feel very unwelcome. Imagine you’ve just spent money on running Facebook Ads to encourage people to join your mailing list,  then you  really want to make a good first impression. You want to make sure that you Edit the email subject line and the content. If you haven’t already changed your button colour, do this now too.

 Confirmation thank you page: The more custom you make it, the better the people are going to feel like you actually care about them and that you’re not going to be spamming them but actually giving them quality information that they care about. And by custom you might want to add an image saying ‘Thank you’ or links to your social media. Whatever you do, just change something! If you update these emails, you don’t need to thank people for subscribing on the Confirmation page as they already feel welcome.

Final Welcome Email: I really hate seeing your subscription to this list has been confirmed. Make it fun, make it cheeky, make it sound like your brand. This is where they will receive your lead magnet if you’ve promised them.

You can also link out to some upcoming workshop dates, maybe you have a blog post that will be useful to people who have just subscribed. Use this as an opportunity to love your customers even more!

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Advanced Email Marketing Campaign Tips: Must Watch!
Advanced Email Marketing Campaign Tips: Must Watch!

Learn more from Josh Ochs

Design your email for a mobile device

Ensure that you’re using an email system that is mobile responsive. This means that the size of the font stays constant and the width of the email can adjust to the size of the desktop or phone that it’s being viewed on. I would highly suggest that you design all of your campaigns to be mobile friendly. You’ll see in this video that I look at the email campaign mostly on mobile in the vertical mode, then I also test it in horizontal mode.

Create a clear call to action above the fold

Always ask “What do we want people to do after this email?” Or, you can ask “What’s next?” Then, take that goal and create a call to action link (or phone number) and put that above the fold in the email.
In this email I removed the social media share buttons because people were more inclined to forward to a friend and have their friends click the button.
If you are hosting an event, consider having people click to register. Also, you can request that people “forward this email to a friend and have them register here.” In man cases they are happy to do so (especially when the event is free and a lot of fun for the whole family).

Keep your images to a bare minimum

In some of our newer email tests, we are removing all images. However, in this video you will see that I include one simple image at the top of the email that shows how fun the event can be. The image shows the benefit of the email (not selling features). Make sure your header quickly answers WHY one might consider forwarding your email onto other people.

Remove columns and make it focused on one message

Try to remove any sidebars or columns that might get in the way of the single call to action. Those sidebars look great on websites, but in an email your open rate and click rate will drastically improve if you remove them. Columns never look good on a mobile device (and might make the email too long) so try and remove them if possible.

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