In order to begin building a list of emails for your newsletter list, we first have to begin collecting those emails. List building is hugely important when you’re first starting your website because you have control over your newsletter list when social media decides to change algorithms and affect your sales and how you reach your customers.
There are many list building companies out there, but I typically recommend MailChimp and Convert Kit depending on the level you’re at or what you’re wanting to offer through your list. If you’re just starting your site and you just need the basics to get started, MailChimp is the way to go! MailChimp is incredibly user friendly and is free up to 2000 subscribers which is really wonderful when just starting out. If you’re needing something a bit more robust, Convert Kit may be for you, so you’re welcome to read the 5 reasons we made the switch from MailChimp to Convert Kit earlier this year and then you’ll want to see this tutorial on syncing Convert Kit with your site.
I will do another blog post in the future on ways to grow your list, but in this post we are going to talk about getting your MailChimp account set up and then getting it synced up with the Genesis Enews Extended plugin, which is used in all of our themes, in order to start collecting those emails!
Let’s get started!
Sign up for a free MailChimp account
The first thing we need is to actually have a Mailchimp account established. It’s completely free to sign up, so go here and create your account. Once you’ve entered your details and hit Get Started, you will get an email at the email address you provided and you’ll need to Activate your Account through that email.
Once you activate your account it will take you through a series of questions to complete your account creation.
SETUP AN AUDIENCE
When you create a Mailchimp account, they will use your setup details to automatically generate an audience for you. You can edit the default information for your audience if you need to, or immediately start adding contacts.
Let’s get your form embed code
Now that the audience is created, you can capture the code needed to setup the Genesis eNews widget. In the Audience section, click on Manage Audience on the right. From the drop down, select signup forms. A new window will open where you can select the embedded forms option. Once there, choose the Unstyled form option.
Now you’ll see the code that you need in the bottom right of the screen.
Copy all this code paste it into Notepad (if you’re on a PC) or Notes (if you’re on a Mac). Look through this file for the section of code that looks like this:
<form action=”//restored316designs.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe/post?u=32fc950bd3e70f0d5a6ebc957&id=7761724301” method=”post” id=”mc-embedded-subscribe-form” name=”mc-embedded-subscribe-form” class=”validate” target=”_blank” novalidate>
The link I have highlighted in bold above is what you’ll need for the next step.
Sync your list with the Genesis Enews Extended plugin
First you’ll want to download the Genesis eNews Extended Plugin. Once this plugin is installed and activated, you will now have an extra widget in your Appearance > Widgets panel. Drag this widget into whichever space you are needing to place your newsletter sign up form.
In the Form Action field you’ll enter the link from the last step that is in bold above.
Make sure that the link is preceded with https: and that there are no quotations at the beginning or end of the link.
Next, make sure that your Email, First Name, and Last Name fields match the screenshot above.
Save your widget!
Make sure it’s working
Now go visit your site and do a test on your new form to make sure all is well! If something isn’t working, see the steps above again or leave a comment below!
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