How to install a signup form – using MailChimp

If your website seems to be attracting a fair amount of traffic, you might want to connect with some of these people. One of the most logic ways of doing this is by gathering names and addresses.

I’ve decided to use MailChimp for this project. My main reason is that it is an easy program to use and quite honestly.

In this instance, I am going to focus on embedding a MailChimp form into a self-hosted website because that’s what I have.

Step #1 – The Dashboard

I have signed into my MailChimp Account and as you can see in the screenshot it is rather easy (!) to navigate. The Dashboard is uncluttered and simple to understand. Across the top you will see the following: A happy Chimp (because we don’t want an angry one showing us around), and options for Campaigns, Templates, Lists, Reports and Automation.

The option labeled Lists is where we want to go. If you just mouse over it, you will see additional hints as to why we would go there as the tiny floating box that appears says “Create lists, add subscribers, create sign up forms.” Since I want a sign up form for WordPress, I’m going to click on Lists.

Step 2 – Create A List

As you can see in the second Screenshot, I don’t have a list. Remember me saying this is all new to me? Well, there’s your proof. As you can see, off to the right of the screen is a button labeled “Create List” with a floating blue torpedo that actually is animated and moves up and down slightly to get my attention that I need to go there next. I’m going to take the hint.

The next Screenshot shows the top half of the Create List page where I will load in the information I need to build this specific list. Remind people that they signed up your WordPress site – use the title and URL The bottom half of the Create List Page confirms some minor details about me and asks how much notification I would like.

Once you fill out all of this information you hit the ‘Save’ button on the bottom of the page and move on.

Step 3 – Choose Your Weapon

After hitting the Save button I get this screen which gives me the choices of what kind of sign up form I want to put on my website. The choices are General Forms, Embedded Forms or Subscriber pop-up. Further down the list are Form integrations with Facebook Form and Tablet Form as additional options.

Since I’m trying to do this the easy way – well, easy for me at least – I’m opting for an Embedded Form and will click the Select button to the far right of that choice because I just want the HTML code so I can drop it onto a WordPress page / post or widget.

Step 4 – Personalization

In the Embedded Forms Dashboard I get to tweak my form in several ways. There are different designs to choose from (Classic, Super Slim, Horizontal, Naked and Advanced). Once I choose one of those the Preview pane lets me see what it will look like before I use it. At this point in the game I’ll give it the tweaks I want to make it fit into my WordPress theme.

I’ve chosen Super Slim, as shown in the final Screenshot. I intend to keep it simple so I’ll leave it as it appears in the Preview pane and copy the code provided below into my webpage. I should have a spot already picked out and just have to paste the code from the MailChimp final page into a text widget, or the text tab of a post/page.

Step 5 – Watch Your E-Mail

All I do now is monitor my e-mail for regular notifications of people signing up through my website for my awesome newsletter or whatever offer I’ve attached the sign up form to.