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Ultimate Guide to Using MailChimp and WordPress

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Ultimate Guide to Using MailChimp and WordPress

Are you looking to build an email list? Want to send email updates to your subscribers when you publish a new blog post? MailChimp is one of the world’s leading email service provider, and it is extremely easy to use. In this guide, we will show you how to use MailChimp and WordPress to get more subscribers.

MailChimp and WordPress

Why Build an Email List?

More than 70% of users who abandon your website will probably never come back unless they buy something from you, or you successfully get them to subscribe to your email list.

Email is private, personal, and by far the most direct form of communication on the internet. Most people check their inbox more than their social media streams. An email will stay in the inbox unless a user takes action on it. On social media, your message will get buried into user’s timeline.

See our guide on why you should start building your email list right away.

Why Use MailChimp with Your WordPress Site?

Over the years, we have found MailChimp to be one of the most beginner friendly email marketing service. Why? Because it’s very easy to use and has tons of WordPress integrations.

It is also by far the most affordable for beginners because it is free as long as you send less than 12000 emails per month or have less than 2000 subscribers. This means you can get started right away without paying anything.

Now as your subscribers grow (more than 2000), you will be asked to upgrade your account to paid plan.

Aside from just capturing and sending emails, some other cool features of MailChimp allows you to setup RSS to email subscriptions, design beautiful email templates, set up auto-responders, and monitor the performance of your email campaigns with comprehensive analytics reports.

Getting Started with MailChimp

To connect MailChimp to your WordPress site, the first thing you will need is a MailChimp account.

Visit the MailChimp website and click on the ‘Signup Free’ button.

Fill in your email and create a username / password for your account.

MailChimp Sign up

Once you are signed in, you will be redirected to your MailChimp dashboard.

Creating Your First Email List

The first thing you need to do in your MailChimp account is setup an email list. On your MailChimp dashboard, click on ‘Create A List’ button.

Creating an email list in MailChimp

You will be asked to provide information like the name for your email list, an email address where users can reply to, a reminder for people how they got on your list, etc. Fill the form and click on the Save button.

That’s all, you have successfully created your first email list. Now you need to connect your email list to your WordPress, so your website visitors can subscribe.

Adding MailChimp Email Signup Forms in WordPress

MailChimp comes with a built-in basic subscription form. All you need to do is go to the Lists page in your MailChimp account. Next click on the downward arrow button next to your email list and select sign up forms.

Getting signup form code from MailChimp

On the next page, you will see some of the form types you can generate. You need to click on the select button next to Embedded Forms.

Select embedded forms

You will be taken to a settings page where you can choose what fields you want to show in your form, adjust form width and other options. When you are done, simply copy the embed code.

Copy the signup form embed code from MailChimp

Now you need to visit your WordPress admin dashboard and click on Appearance » Widgets. Add a Text widget to a WordPress sidebar and paste the signup form code inside it.

Adding signup form code in widgets

That’s all. You can now visit your site and see the MailChimp signup form in action.

MailChimp email signup form

Adding Beautiful Signup Forms Using OptinMonster

While adding a basic MailChimp signup form in WordPress is quite easy, but getting people to join your email list is not. At WPBeginner, we use OptinMonster to build our email list. You can read all about it in this case study where we increased our email subscribers by 600% using OptinMonster.

OptinMonster (@optinmonster) allows you to add different kind of signup forms such as lightbox popup, floating footer bar, after post forms, sidebar forms, slide-in forms, and more.

You can do A/B testing, page-level targeting, choose from many different templates, and even use exit-intent.

Exit popup in OptinMonster

We built OptinMonster because we needed a WordPress lead generation solution that is easy to use and deliver results.

OptinMonster works with all major email marketing providers including MailChimp.

Setting up WordPress RSS Feed Newsletter in MailChimp

Now that you have visitors subscribing to your email list, it is important that you send them regular updates.

You can always login to your MailChimp account and manually send an email to your subscribers, but with MailChimp you can also setup automated campaigns that send your latest blog posts via email. This is called a RSS newsletter. (See our guide on RSS Feeds in WordPress.)

If you have been using FeedBurner to send emails to your RSS subscribers, then you need to read why you should stop using FeedBurner and move to Feedburner alternatives. It also shows how to move your FeedBurner subscribers to MailChimp.

To setup an RSS to Email campaign, first you need to login to your MailChimp account and then click on Campaigns » Create Campaign.

Creating campaigns in MailChimp

On the next page, MailChimp will show you different type of campaigns you can create. You need to choose RSS-Driven Campaign.

Creating RSS campaign in MailChimp

Enter your RSS feed URL and select when you want to send the automated email. You can send daily, weekly, or even monthly emails. You can also choose the time for your email. When you have picked your settings, click on the Next button at the bottom right corner of the screen to continue.

Enter your RSS feed URL and select email time and frequency

MailChimp will now ask you to select a list. Select your list and click on the next button to continue to the campaign info.

First you need to provide a name for your campaign. After that you will notice that MailChimp has automatically filled in most of the fields for you. These default settings would work for most websites. However feel free to customize it to fit your needs. Click on the Next button to continue.

RSS Email campaign setup

In the next step, you will need to choose a template for your email. MailChimp comes with many different options for that. Choose the one that best suits you by clicking on the select button next to it.

Choosing MailChimp RSS newsletter campaign template

MailChimp will allow you to fine-tune your email design. You can add your logo, a header image, change the text to your own site’s requirements. Mainly you need to add RSS Header and RSS Items box to your email template.

Design RSS Email

Click on the next button when you are done. Lastly click on Save and exit at the top right corner of the screen.

That’s all you have successfully created your WordPress RSS Feed Newsletter with MailChimp.

We hope this article helped you learn how to use MailChimp with WordPress. Now that you have started building your email list, you may want to take a look at our guide on how to grow your email list.

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Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi. Page maintained by Syed Balkhi.

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  1. Marcel says:

    Good Tutorial. I have one problem though:

    I have the double opt-in option enabled but when clicking the opt in link in the email the subscription is not directly confirmed but the user has the prove he is human. How can I disable that?

    Many Thanks.

  2. Tracy says:

    Great tutorial, as always!

    I am the process of starting to use Mailchimp but was a little concerned that currently, my new blog posts are automatically sent out by Jetpack. Do I need to disable this to ensure there is no duplication?

  3. Constance Sohodski says:

    This is a great tutorial, but I have a question it doesn’t answer. I am in the process of creating my account. MailChimp warns me against using a gmail account, and I understand why. However, I can’t figure out how to set up an email account associated with my wordpress site. Can anyone help?

  4. April G says:

    Hi. I’m using Mailchimp to write a newsletter and I looked up how to embed a link to a website withtin text. But when I click on the text it doesn’t take me to the website in my code. Do you know what could be the problem?

  5. Angela Dvorak says:

    I used this article successfully to set up my RSS email campaign, but then it just stopped working. The feed URL appeared to be bad. I validated it using an RSS validator and it works, but Mail Chimp is still saying its not valid. Any ideas on why that might be? I checked for typos and syntax and just not finding the source of the issue.

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      We are not sure what could be causing this issue. Try disabling all your plugins and switching to a default theme. After that try to add your RSS in MailChimp. If the issue is revolved then this mean that a plugin or theme on your website is causing the issue. Alternately, you can also rechout to MailChimp support and see what they have to say.

  6. Saeful says:

    Thanks for the tutorial
    very helpful especially for me as a beginner blogger

  7. Melinda says:

    I am following the instructions for setting up the embedded form but I’m not getting any kind of link to paste…I’ve tried several times using the set up as shown in the tutorial. What do I need to do to see this code to use on my WP site?

  8. Pat Mingarelli says:

    Is there way to send an RSS email from MailChimp that shows a partial post and the featured image?


    Pat M

  9. Florine says:

    Hey, I have the same problem as Kate Armstrong and the suggested solutions did not work. I tried using a different form (slim/ naked) and also to disable Javaskript, still it only shows plain text or code, no subscribe button. Do you have any idea what the problem might be and how to solve it?

  10. Kamran says:

    Sir i configure it as per your instructions , but post is not showing in the mail box , there are only facebook , twitter i cons are shown but Post is not , plz help what is the problem

  11. Kathryn says:

    This post was so helpful! I’d been sending out blank emails because I wasn’t sure how the actual RSS heading and text was supposed to go into my campaign (total newbie), and this step-by-step was just what I needed.

  12. Emily says:

    Hi! Thank you for such a helpful post! I have the mailchimp add-on and have made one form with it but now when i click through the tab (gravity forms: Mailchimp) it gives me the following error message:
    You do not have sufficient permissions to access this page.
    I am logged on as administrator of the wordpress page. Is this something that is typical?
    Thanks again for sharing your knowledge with us!

  13. wiziwiz says:

    How to set up daily and weekly option to subscribers?

  14. Zaida Picazo says:


    Great post!! Thank you!!

    I have a question before set it up. Will the email sent all the post are in the RSS feed or it will know which ones were sent before and it won’t send them?
    I have the doubt about if mailchimp will know which post were sent already and it doesn’t have to add them in the mail.

    Hope you can reply me.

    Thank uou very much in advance,

  15. Jamil says:

    I am just missing the text fields showing on the blog being able to enter the words in them. Every other step has worked. This for, running on the intergalactic theme. Anything that may need to be edited in the code? Thank you so much!

  16. John Campbell says:

    I have two different websites that I own and manage, and am thinking about creating two more.
    Do I need a Mailchimp account for each one? Or will one account do? The two that I own a very niche content oriented, and don’t drive a lot of traffic, but I want to implement a consistent email campaign to change that, by not letting visitors leave the site without at least subscribing, and then keeping in touch with them on a weekly, or monthly basis.

    So…Do I just need just one master account, and then separate my target recipients by website addresses? Or does each website need its own mailchimp account?

  17. Jan says:

    Help! I am a total newbie trying to set up an e-mail responder via mailchimp with an RSS feed. I can follow your instructions until I get through the RSS info above. Then the instructions say to click NEXT in the bottom corner. There is no NEXT in any bottom corner. I have a “Save and Exit” drop down box at the right top of the screen, but the dropdown box takes me somewhere totally different than your tutorial. Can you please update your tutorial so I can follow it? Yours is the best tutorial I’ve found until this frustration & I’ve spent hours already trying to get past this step. Why is it what I see never matches the screen shots in tutorials? :(

  18. Regina says:

    I am having a similar problem as Kate Armstrong. I manage to remove the code, but the box/es to sign up in don’t appear. All you get is the text.
    I’m using the Edin theme. Please help, we’re about to launch!

    Love your site, it has helped a lot!

  19. Tarun Jagwani says:

    Thank you for this post, been struggling with the RSS feed.
    Still had a question though
    I have managed to get my rss feed working, but i want to send an entire blog post (with image) to the reader and am unable to to this?
    For some reason on the excerpt is showing.
    *|RSSITEM:CONTENT_FULL|* is the code that i am using.
    Have I missed something?

    Thank you for your help in advance.

  20. Ruben Martinez says:

    A M A Z I N G tutorial,
    Congrats, i can follow step by step with no problems. You are winning a new subscribers. Congrats again.

  21. Diana says:

    Thanks for this article, great info. I’ve been working with the templates in MailChimp and testing the WordPress RSS feature to generate an email to subscribers when I have a new post.

    Am I right to assume I’d have to always login to MailChimp and customize a different template if I want to show more post content than what the RSS description will display?

    I was using the Newsletter WP plugin and decided I’d better work on building a mail list and decided to install Mailchimp for WordPress. I just want to show more copy from my post when I generate the email to subscribers.

    Thanks in advance!

  22. Kate armstrong says:

    Getting a problem with this: copying and pasting the html into the text widget results in seeing the html code on my website, not seeing the sign up form. Really grateful for help!!!

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      You shouldn’t have this issue. Can you switch to a default theme for testing and then add the form to a text widget? If that does not work try removing all unnecessary fields from form, disable JavaScript.

      • Robert Kezer says:

        I am having the same problem as Kate Armstrong. I copy the code over and get html showing not a signup link.

        I have tried this with both my lists, and same results. Also with different forms and with java enabled and disabled. I have a basic default page. You can see the problem on right side at robertakezer (dot) com.

        Thanks for the help!

      • Todd Mictchell says:

        I am having the same problem as Kate and Robert. Any help with clarifying this would be appreciated.

        Thank you!

  23. Brooke says:

    Is it possible to add mailchimp to a .com site? I’ve tried and researched with no success… Seems like it only works with .org


  24. Lara says:

    My blog posts come in different templates – some have a single image while some have blocks of image groups. Do I have to design a permanent template for my RSS email send-outs and can’t each blog post be sent out just as they look?

  25. Vicki says:

    We have been using Constant Contact for several years now. However, it usually goes into the promotional tab for a gmail accounts. I have been considering a switch to MailChimp. Do you think the switch is worth a new learning curve or would you suggest remaining with Constant Contact?

    • WPBeginner Support says:

      You can try reaching out to their support and see if there is something you can do. Otherwise you can always switch. We don’t think that learning curve will be a big issue.

    • Timothy Marsh says:

      To Vicki, I am trying out Mailchimp at the moment, and it also went into the gmail promotions tab.

      Error: I tried copy and pasting as instructed and nothing shows. So I created a second text widget and put in some basic HTML to check it and the test text widget appeared fine. I also have a twitter widget working fine.

      Any idea why the mailchimp code fails? I used all default settings.

  26. Daniel says:

    with reference to follow new Posts using the JetPack plugin . Do we argument this with say MailChimp emails . Dow we need both features enabled on a blog. I can’t make up my mind whether I need both.

  27. Mike Foate says:

    I think Mailchimp is pretty good. I have used it for awhile and have under 100 subscribers.

    I use the rrs feed to email feature.

    One thing I do not care for is I can not tell which Mailchimp email templates are responsive. It seems to make sense to send responsive email in today’s world. I wish Mailchimp would either make all the email templates responsive or at least categorize them.

    I also like the feature where you can have your email campaign automatically published to your Facebook page.

    Happy trails, cowboy Mike

  28. Jeff says:

    Thanks for the tutorial. You had everything I needed until it got to the RSS sending out either daily, weekly, or monthly. I was hoping there was a way to have the email sent immediately whenever I publish a new post. I imagine there must be.

  29. Lisa says:

    Is there anyway I can import my MailChimp templates to WordPress so that I can email from there with my contacts lists?

  30. abhishek says:

    Thank man I was looking for this guide for so long and finally you posted a tutorial thanx very much and keep the work going on

  31. Howard Lee Harkness says:

    While MailChimp claims in their TOS that some affiliate marketing is permissible with their service, I have discovered that they will INSTANTLY and automatically shut down your account if you include a link in your email that they consider “spammy” — and they are the sole judge of what is spammy. I got my account locked for including a link to a product which I gave as an example of something I did not consider worth buying.

    I am planning to move to a different email service provider.

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