How to Grow Blog Subscribers via MailChimp Campaign

A blogger in yellow sweater typing on a laptop

Are you looking to grow subscribers for your self-hosted blog via the MailChimp campaign? This guide helps you get there step by step.

If you have a blog and you post fairly regularly, you should allow your site visitors to sign up for the newsletter so they can receive new blog posts via email. This also helps you grow your subscriber list and traffic to your blog.

While there are many tools to grow subscribers, MailChimp is among the top and most widely used platforms for this purpose.

In this guide, we walk you through the detailed process of creating a MailChimp list and setting up a MailChimp campaign for your website.

Before you get started, you want to sign up for a free MailChimp account.

For the sake of convenience, we’ve split the entire process into four segments such as:

  • Using MailChimp Plugin(s) on Your WordPress Site
  • Creating a MailChimp List
  • Adding New Subscribers to Your MailChimp List
  • Setting Up a MailChimp Campaign

Step #1: Install/Activates the Following Plugins

#1: MailChimp Forms by MailMunch (Opt-in Pop-up Form)

This plugin lets you create a pop-up opt-in form and collect the email address of your visitors. This form appears on the first visit so your visitors can enter their email and subscriber to your newsletters.

How to Configure It: Before you install and activate this plugin, visit MailMunch website and sign up to create a profile. Then install and activate the plugin, create a form (the basic form is free) and configure it as per the instructions. Allow the plugin to connect with your MailChimp account.

NOTE: There’s a DOUBLE OPT-in option for you to enable. You might or might not want to enable it depending on whether you want to make the sign-up process simple/complicated for your potential subscribers.

#2: Featured Images in RSS for Mailchimp & Other Email

For some reason, MailChimp fails to show the featured image of your blog posts via email. This plugin is designed to overcome that issue. Simply install/activate this and configure it as per your liking.

#3: MailChimp Subscriber Chiclet for WordPress

If you want to showcase the number of MailChimp subscribers on your blog, this plugin helps you out. Install, activate it and use a shortcode inside your widget.

Step #2: How to Create a List/Audience in MailChimp?

MailChimp has renamed “List” as “Audience”. Therefore, you now create an “Audience” and not a “List”. Login to your MailChimp account and visit this link to create an Audience:

Simply click on the “Create Audience” button to create a new list. Fill out the details and save the list when finished. (Read More)

NOTE: While setting up Audience/List, MailChimp asks/encourages you to enable Double opt-in, GDPR fields and reCAPTCHA. Please, be informed that enabling these options means “extra work” for the visitor who is subscribing to your list. The fewer options you give, the less complicated is the subscription process. Therefore, it’s up to you whether you want to enable these options.

Step#3: Adding Subscribers to MailChimp List

The MailMunch pop-up collects email contacts and stores them in a database which can be accessed via the plugin dashboard.

However, you should manually export them to your PC and then import them to the MailChimp list.

Once you have added the email contacts to your MailChimp list, MailChimp will start sending the new blog posts to the contacts as per the schedule.

NOTE: MailChimp cannot send your campaign if you have zero contacts on your list. Therefore, if you have no contacts on your existing list before setting up a MailChimp RSS campaign (see Step #3), you might want to add an email address to your list manually.

Step #4: How to Set up a MailChimp Campaign with Blog RSS feed

You want your audience to read your blog posts whenever they are published. But your audience doesn’t necessarily visit your blog. However, they’ve left their email address with you via Sign Up form. What you want to do set up a system that automatically sends the latest blog post to their email inbox at a pre-defined time. In order to do that, you need to set up a campaign in MailChimp with the RSS feed embedded in it. Once you have configured the campaign, MailChimp does the rest.

  • Navigate to Campaign
  • Create a New Campaign
  • Click on Email
  • Click on Automated
  • Click on Share Blog Posts
  • Enter Campaign Name and Choose Audience (List)
  • Click on Begin
  • RSS Feed Step (Read More)
NOTE: Tweak Campaign Name and Email Subject (For example, Latest Kitchen Cabinet Tips from *|RSSFEED:TITLE|*)

Hope this guide helps you. If you have any questions, please let us know.