This tutorial will walk you step-by-step through setting your email subscribe form using MailChimp and the Genesis eNews Extended Widget.
There are many email service providers, both free and paid. Do not go with a free service – many of the paid services are free up until a certain list size.
I personally use MailChimp and highly recommend them for their easy to use interface, how-to video tutorials, and live chat. Plus, they give you a lot more control over how you manage and segment your lists. As your list grows, that becomes very important. You want to be able to move people from one list to another or add them to a new interest group that you just created.
Set Up Your MailChimp Account
If you do not have a MailChimp account, Sign Up Here
It’s free up to 2000 subscribers and very reasonable after that. If your list doesn’t more than pay for itself, you’re doing something wrong.
Create A Subscriber List
The next step is to actually configure your list.
Import Existing Subscribers To Your List
Create A Sign Up Form
Next, create a basic signup form that has only first name and email address (you can make it fancy later).
Embed Your Email Subscribe Form On Your Blog
There are several ways to add a signup form to your blog. In this example, we’ll show you how to use the Genesis eNews Extended widget to add an email subscribe form to the sidebar.
Create the subscribe form as described above and select Embedded Forms
Get the code snippet
- First choose the Naked Tab.
- Second copy/paste the code snippet, which has the components you need to plugin into the Genesis eNews Extended Plugin.
NOTE: You can only copy ALL of the code. It’s not possible select just a few words, so I just paste the code into a text editor and copy only what I need from there – the Form Action URL (highlighted in green below).
Add the eNews Extended Widget
- In your blog dashboard, go to Appearance –> Widgets
- Drag the Genesis – eNewsExtended Widget into the Widget area you want it displayed in.
Fill in the required options
- Fill in the Title for your email subscribe form
- (optional) Add any text that you want to include above and below the form. I normally tell them why they should subscribe above the form and how to unsubscribe below the form.
- Paste the Form Action URL from the snippet you copied in MailChimp. Remember this is only the URL of the form action, NOT all of the code. i.e. – <form action = “only copy this part between the quotes…“> it will look something like http://yourblog.us2.list-manage.com/subscribe/post?u=982374982475984375;id=29834758724
- Enter EMAIL into the E-Mail field and FNAME in the First Name field.
- (optional) Change the button text.
- Click the Save Button
Now you have an email list subscribe form
Launch Your RSS Campaign
Now that you have a list, and a subscribe form, let’s actually set up the RSS email campaign that will automatically send blog updates to your subscribera.
You will need your blog’s RSS feed address.
We’ve already set this up for you. It will be your blog address with “/feed/ at the end of it. (e.g. – http://myblog.theblogpress.com/feed/)
Don’t forget to subscribe to your own email list so that you can see what your readers are seeing!
NOTE: RSS emails will not go out unless a new post has been published since the last send date. (this one gets me all the time so I thought I would share…)