If WordPress is your CMS of choice, there’s no shortage of ways to connect your content to MailChimp. No matter what your needs are (from templates to opt-in forms to analytics), there’s probably an integration that makes sense for you. Since listing every one of the options would make for an incredibly long post, I’ll just share a few WordPress plugins that may have slipped under your radar.
If you’re still working on generating content for a website but you want to gauge interest, Launch Effect might be a good fit. This theme helps you make a landing page to collect interested subscribers.
With minimal setup, you can have a professional and customizable landing page set up and ready to start gathering subscribers. To connect the Launch Effect plugin with MailChimp, all you need is your MailChimp API Key and a list in your account. Visitors to your site will see your Launch Effect landing page and have the option to subscribe to your list. Then, when you’re ready to fully launch your new site, you can make an announcement to all your interested subscribers with a MailChimp campaign.
With MailChimp, you can automatically pull content from an RSS feed and send it at a given interval. But for some people, sending an email as soon as a post is published is vital to getting the word out. In those instances, AutoChimp for WordPress is a great option.
With AutoChimp, you can have your posts immediately sent to all of your subscribers, or a specific group of subscribers, as soon as you publish them. Specify which templates from your MailChimp account you want to use, and you can even drill down to specific categories in WordPress. So if posts categorized as "Breaking News" need to go to subscribers immediately, you can set those updates to send as soon as they’re published. You could also let your subscribers decide if they want to receive posts as soon as they’re published during the signup process. Then all you have to do is set AutoChimp to send to that group rather than your whole list.
MailChimp Campaign Boards
If you want to feature past campaigns on your WordPress site, you’ve got a few options. MailChimp’s campaign archive feature will generate a list of links to campaigns that you’ve placed in a specific folder in your MailChimp account. But, if you want to show off the look and feel of your campaigns, you can use the MailChimp Boards plugin. This plugin is designed to give your subscribers a visual representation of your recent campaigns so they immediately have a feel for what they’ll see in their inbox if they subscribe.
The plugin dynamically adds images of campaigns and lets viewers click specific images to view those campaigns in full.
Download MailChimp Campaign Boards — Unfortunately this plugin has been removed.
MailChimp List Subscribe Form
Created by Crowd Favorite, MailChimp’s official plugin for WordPress makes quick work of adding a signup form to your website. There are a few ways to do this. The most popular option is to add the form as a widget in a sidebar. The plugin also offers shortcodes, which can be embedded in the body of a post, or directly within the site’s theme as a PHP snippet.
Configure this plugin by going to Settings and choosing MailChimp Setup. While it does include some basic styling options for customizing the design, advanced design would require editing the CSS of the theme itself. This plugin limits users to a single list in the connected MailChimp account.
MailChimp does offer some native options for adding a signup form to WordPress via our embedded form and the abovementioned official WordPress plugin, but there are some alternatives. The MailChimp Widget, written by James Lafferty, is another popular option. One of the unique features this plugin offers is that, similar to MailChimp’s "evil popup" mode, the widget will only appear for those subscribers who aren’t already subscribed.
Once a subscriber adds an address and submits the form, they’ll never see the form again.
This plugin also allows you to have more than one signup form per page. You can configure the widget on a per-instance basis. So if you wanted to have a signup form for one list in the sidebar, and a signup form for another in the footer, you’d simply configure the settings for each individual widget.
You can fully customize either signup plugin with some advanced CSS wizardry, but it requires diving into your theme’s CSS file(s). If you’re not familiar with CSS, it might be best to hire someone or stick with the basic look. You can also use our embedded form.
Thanks to our friends at Crowd Favorite, MailChimp has an official plugin that allows you to keep track of your site’s Google Analytics performance from within your WordPress dashboard. This WordPress Analytics360 plugin makes it easy to see when blog posts were added, when MailChimp campaigns were sent, and how those actions impact traffic to your WordPress site.
The plugin includes some Google Analytics stalwarts like referrals, popular pages, and the geographical heatmap, and it throws some new features into the Analytics fold too—like allowing you to track your list growth over time.
MailChimp Comment Opt-In
If your blog posts generate a lot of discussion and you have engaged commenters, you may want to give those people an easy way to opt in to your MailChimp list. The MailChimp Comment Opt-In plugin displays an opt-in checkbox right in the comment form. Commenters can opt-in at the same time they’re crafting their witty replies. This plugin also queries your list to determine if a commenter is already subscribed or pending a confirmation. If they’re already subscribed, the plugin lets them know. Of course this query could take some time if you have a large list, so the option can also be disabled. MailChimp won’t import duplicate addresses, regardless of whether this option is enabled or disabled.
NOTE: If you’re using MailChimp’s Social plugin, commenters who signed in through a social media account won’t be subscribed.
So Many Options
By no means is this list comprehensive. Due to WordPress’s popularity and wide range of use cases, it’d be nearly impossible to go over all of the available plugins. Our Connect Directory and the WordPress Plugin Directory have an ever-increasing number of available plugins with user-submitted reviews to help guide you. Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least mention our other two plugins: the recently updated Social plugin which allows you to aggregate social-network mentions and responses within your blog, and wpMandrill, for all of your transactional email needs.
Happy WordPressing, and we’ll see you at WordCamp Atlanta!