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Making great looking websites is becoming easier than ever. With website creation tools like WordPress and email delivery sites like MailChimp, any individual or business owner can create useful, interactive websites. While these platforms can be used independently of one another, using them together offers the most opportunities, and quite a few advantages for reaching people and staying connected to them. Not only that, but for users who are willing to wade in just a little deeper than the basic subscriptions offered by these two companies, your power for web creation increases exponentially.

Joining Forces

If you are already using MailChimp, then you have probably either created at least one list already, or you have imported your list from another site. We’ll assume this is where you are right now and go from there. You may have noticed that MailChimp offers several types of ways to integrate MailChimp with your WordPress site. The first is basic email subscriptions. For this you will become familiar with widgets and plugins, which you can use to gather information. The second type of integration involves more plugins as well as the incorporation of themes, adding commenter options and using new post notifications. You’ll also get a chance to look at the numbers with the analytics options.

Installation and Integration

If you’re ready to join the two great platforms of MailChimp and WordPress together then it’s time to download the MailChimp for WordPress plugin. This plugin allows for many options in customization and gives you a lot of control over the look and feel of your web pages. Once you’ve downloaded and installed the plugin, you will need to enter the applications programming interface, or API, into the MailChimp’s Settings tab. You will be offered a series of options in the form of checkboxes. The first set of options is pretty basic, but next you’ll be asked to choose options for HTML customization.

This plugin is widely considered the best option for integrating MailChimp into your WordPress website, but there is a free plugin available that will do the job too. The official MailChimp plugin is pretty buggy, however, so you may want to avoid those headaches and stay away from that low rated one, opting for MailChimp for WordPress instead.

Not Plugged In? Not a Problem

If you are a web designer or developer, you may forego the ease with which you can integrate plugins into your site and opt for the classic installation process. To do this, you’ll need to use the Embedded Forms tab located in the Signup Forms section. Here you’ll be given some code to play with. When you are happy with the HTML code you’ve created, paste it into any section of your website.

New Post Notifications Options

The Autochimp plugin enables you to notify your email list when a new post goes live without requiring you to login to your account to do so. You also have options of customization that will allow you send notifications to a select number of recipients or to everyone.

Using the MailChimp for WordPress Subscription Form

You can also notify the subscribers on your list using the MailChimp for WordPress plugin and creating a new list and by using your site’s RSS feed to create an RSS campaign. This allows you to deliver the post to their inbox directly and not just with a notification.

One Step Further

For a quick, basic integration setup, Launch Effect lets you create a landing page in WordPress that features MailChimp. Using Launch Effect will allow you to build your list while you build your site. There is a free version of Launch Effect that should help you with all your needs, but a paid version exists as well.

Commenter to Subscriber

The MailChimp Comment Optin is a great tool to convert somewhat passive commenters into registered subscribers. This option will not add duplicate subscribers who are already on your list, but who may also create a comment.

Under the Hood

It’s all about the numbers. MailChimp lets you look inside these numbers and link analytics options to your account. Track the success of your campaign so you can learn what’s working well and what isn’t. Analytics360 is just the plugin you need to link up your Google Analytics account with MailChimp.

Tried and True

Email is a great marketing tool. It’s still one of the best ways to stay in touch with your subscribers and MailChimp for WordPress is a great way to integrate and utilize the best features of both software applications.