What's more important? Creating great content on your website, marketing your content, or converting visitors in to paying customers?
Can't come up with the answer? That's okay because it was kind of a trick question.
To build a successful website, you have to utilize all 3 of these methods. Not one, not two, but all 3 baby.
So many times I see or run into people who have this particular dilemma. That is, they have visitors to their site and they have content that people seem to like reading, but they have nothing or little to show for it.
My first questions right of that bat is, "Do you have an email campaign setup?". Often times, I find that those who are new the wondrous realms of the online world respond with, "No... What's that?".
My reaction? (*facepalm*)
Quickly, I explain that they need a way to turn one time visitors into returning readers to help build a sense of trust and that will prompt more conversion. Email campaigns are the way to do just that. And the one I often refer people to and use myself is, MailChimp.
Why this service over Aweber or another email marketing service provider?
One, and I won't lie, I just love their mascot, Freddy. On a serious note though, I use them because they're free to use for up to 2,000 subscribers to your list, and they're user friendly. Both are a HUGE plus.
Now the big question. How do you setup and implement MailChimp on your WordPress blog or site? Actually, it's rather simple and won't take you more than 15 minutes to get things going.
With this post, I'll walk your through how to setup up MailChimp and how to get it on your site so that you can start collecting those ever valuable loyal readers and thus, help you boost your site traffic and income.
Sign Up For A MailChimp Account
Setting up your MailChimp account is very easy. Just enter the info that is requested, confirm your account and you're ready for the next step. (Yup. Easy.)
Enter Your Information In The "Let's Get Started" Area
After you confirm your account through the email link that they send you, you'll be directed to the "Let's Get Started" area on MailChimp. (Pictured above)
You'll be asked to fill out areas like your:
- first and last name
- size of your company
- address and contact information
This is all pretty simple stuff, but don't skip it. In order to work in compliance with some international spam laws, you need to make sure all this information is filled out and correct.
This is one of those things that if you don't do, can easily get you in trouble and possibly banned from MailChimp. (Ouch.)
After you've filled out the form here, you can move on to configuring MailChimp to start collecting subscriptions.
Create A List And API Key In MailChimp
Now that you've entered your information, you'll be directed to your account dashboard.
Scroll down the menu to LISTS and select, CREATE LIST.
Next, give your list a name of your choosing, a "from" email address so that your subscribers know that the email is trustworthy, and a "name" so they know that the email is from you.
It's also good to fill out why they're receiving the email in the description box listed. As mentioned before, don't skip these areas that you're asked to fill out or you may find a high bounce rate from your subscribers as they opt out of receiving further emails from you.
A high bounce rate can get your account suspended and fix that is annoyingly time consuming.
Now, go and create your API key. You'll use this key to integrate MailChimp into your site in the next bit.
In order for you to do this, navigate over to your USERNAME, select EXTRAS from the horizontal menu there and click API KEYS.
After that, scroll down and simply click the button that says "+ Create A Key". Your API key will be generated for you to use in a moment.
Okay, you've made it this far. Time to get MailChimp on your site!
Integrating MailChimp Into Your WordPress Site
We've come to out final step! Integrating MailChimp on to your site. (*applause*)
The fastest and easiest way to do this is to use a plugin. The MailChimp for WordPress plugin is my go-to plugin for getting a signup form to the websites that I build.
Add the above plugin to your WordPress website and activate it. After that, the process is a breeze:
- Go the MAILCHIMP FOR WP area in your WordPress menu
- Click on MAILCHIMP SETTINGS
- Grab the API Key that you created in your MailChimp Account, enter it in the settings area and SAVE
- Go back to FORMS
- Copy the Shortcode
- And the Shortcode anywhere you'd like the signup form to show up. I like to keep at least one option to sign up in my sidebar. (see final result below)
But some of you may like another option that doesn't include using a plugin. If that's the case, there are a couple other things you could do, though they will take a bit more time than the one I've mentioned above.
Here are some great articles from the MailChimp blog that outline a couple other ways to get MailChimp to work with your WordPress website:
- Adding A Sign Up Form On My Site – This method allows you to create and use HTML code. You create and then, copy and paste the code into a Text area on your site as your subscription form. This can be nice for those who have a bit of coding knowledge and want to create something a bit more unique.
- Creating a Signup Form – This allows you to create a signup form that is hosted on an independent URL that you can use to direct your viewers to in order for them to sign up.
And that's it. You're good to go!
I hope you guys enjoyed the article. If you have any questions, or ideas for a future post, be sure to leave a comment.