VIDEO: How to connect your WordPress website to MailChimp and set up a welcome email automation

Want to learn how to connect your WordPress website to MailChimp and create your first automated email campaign to welcome your new subscribers? Watch the video below or scroll down for the full blog post.

Hi lovelies

Unless you’ve been living in a stone hut in the mountains with no internet connection, you must know that growing your mailing list is something you should be doing.

Think about it – when someone visits your website for the first time, it’s unlikely that they’re going to buy from you straight away, especially for businesses selling a service. They simply don’t trust or know you yet.

You need to figure out how to keep in contact with them and nurture that budding relationship so that hopefully they will turn into one of your happy customers or clients.

Getting them onto your mailing list is how you start doing this. But it’s not enough to have a boring sign-up form on your website that asks for their name and email address (they’re unlikely to give it to you). You need to create an incentive (some sort of freebie or offer) in exchange for their email address.

Step 1: Create your freebie

Freebies and offers don’t have to be complicated. In fact, the simplest freebies are usually the most effective. What sort of content related to your industry could you write that would really help your customers?

In the case of online stores, freebies are easy – offer a % or monetary discount off first orders in exchange for an email address. I know I almost always sign up to mailing lists when presented with an offer like this.

Marie Forleo recently published this great post about creating valuable content that could help you think of an awesome freebie offer.

On my website, the freebie I have is a website planning checklist pdf. It’s a simple (and prettily-designed) checklist to help people get clear on what their new website will need, how many pages, what sorts of features etc.

Once you have created your freebie, you need to upload or publish it to your website and copy the link as you will need this when creating your MailChimp email automation.

Step 2: Create your free MailChimp account

If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to create your MailChimp account. It’s free up to your first 2000 subscribers.

Then you need to create an audience. You can create as many audiences as you want in MailChimp, helping you to accurately target your subscribers based on how they joined your mailing list.

To create an audience, go to the audience tab at the top left of your screen. Then, hover over the ‘Manage Audience’ button on the right and select ‘View Audiences’.

On the next screen, you will see the ‘Create Audience’ button. Click to create an audience.

You then need to generate an API key.

An API key is what’s used to connect one app to another and we will be using it to connect your WordPress website to your MailChimp account.

To generate an API from MailChimp, click on the down arrow next to your profile image on the top right-hand side of your dashboard, and select ‘Account’.

On the next screen, click on the down arrow on the ‘Extras’ tab and select ‘API Keys’. On the next screen scroll down and click the ‘Create API’ button. Copy the key.

Step 3: Connect your website to MailChimp using the API you created

Exactly how to do this depends on what theme and/or page builders your are using on your WordPress website.

All the top page builders, including Elementor Pro, Divi and Beaver Builder, offer MailChimp integration. If using one of these page builders, you will be able to connect to your MailChimp account while building the sign-up form. Refer to your theme or page builder documentation to learn how to do this if you are not sure.

There is also a free plugin you can download called MailChimp for WordPress that will allow you to connect using the API key and create mailing list sign-up forms from inside WordPress.

When creating the sign-up form, remember to also connect to the audience, also referred to as a list, you created in step 2.

Step 4: Create your welcome email automation

  • Return to MailChimp and navigate to the ‘Campaigns’ tab.
  • Click on the ‘Create Campaign’ button
  • Select Email campaign
  • Select Automated
  • Select Welcome new subscribers
  • Name your campaign (this is not visible to subscribers) and select an audience (list). Make sure that this is the same audience as what you’ve connected to via your website MailChimp integration in step 3.
  • Now fill in all the fields and move onto designing your emailer. Make sure to add the link to your freebie and save.
  • Make sure to set the ‘Sends to’ trigger. You can set this so that someone is sent the welcome email containing the link to your freebie as soon as they subscribe.
  • Send a test email. If you’re happy then save everything and select the ‘Start Sending’ button.

Bravo! You have successfully connected your WordPress website to your MailChimp account and set up a welcome email automation that will send new subscribers the link to the freebie they signed up for.

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