Once you’ve launched your WordPress blog, a couple of good next steps are to set up a an automatic email campaign so that a message is sent to your subscribers every time you publish a new post and then add an email subscription plugin to your blog so readers can subscribe to receive those messages.
Several good email marketing service providers are available including MailChimp and AWeber. I chose MailChimp because it is free until you have more than 2,000 subscribers or send more than 12,000 emails in a month. One benefit in using a email marketing service provider is being able to access reports showing how many people open each message and how many click-through to read more of the post.
That said, the title of this post is “How to Use MailChimp to Email Blog Posts to Subscribers” so let’s get it done! I recommend printing this blog post so you can see what needs to be done without clicking back and forth between screens and can cross through the words in each step as you complete them.
_ visit MailChimp and click the Sign Up Free button (if you already have more than 2,000 subscribers then click Pricing to choose another option)
_ enter your information (keep in mind that the address you provide must appear in the footer of every MailChimp message so consider using a post office box)
_ when you submit your information MailChimp will send you an email with a link to confirm your email address and go to the MailChimp Dashboard
_ click Lists > Create List to create a subscriber list (if you have subscribers with another service provider then Google “import addresses from to MailChimp” for information on how to import them)
IMPORTANT: Never add addresses manually–doing so may violate CAN-SPAM regulations. If you think somebody wants to subscribe then ask them to sign-up using the opt-in form which you are about to add to your blog.
_ go to your blog’s administrative dashboard, rest your cursor on Plugins in the menu on the left, and click Add New
_ search for “MailChimp for WordPress” and click the Install Now button for the MailChimp for WordPress plugin
_ after allowing a minute for the plugin to be installed, click Installed Plugins in the menu, scroll to MailChimp for WordPress, and click Settings
_ click the “Click here to get your MailChimp API Key” link, scroll down to click the “Create a Key” button, click “none set” in the Label column in the Your API Keys section and enter “MailChimp for WordPress plugin” in the box
_ select the API Key code, copy it, go back to your blog, click in the MailChimp API Key box on the Settings page for MailChimp for WordPress, paste the key code, and click the “Save Changes” button
_ rest your cursor on Appearance in the menu on the left and click Widgets
_ click the expand down arrow on Sidebar button
_ drag MailChimp Sign-Up Form to the top of the Sidebar and drop it there
_ click the dropdown arrow on the MailChimp Sign-Up Form widget, edit the Title (mine says “Subscribe for free tips on writing, publishing, and marketing your book”), and click Save
_ click the settings link, click the checkbox for the MailChimp subscriber list you created earlier, scroll down, and click Save Changes
_ click the name of your blog at the top left to see how the sign-up form looks
_ go to Create an RSS-Driven Campaign and follow the steps to create a RSS-Driven Campaign on MailChimp
There you have it! Your RSS-Driven Campaign will send a message to your subscribers based on your campaign settings every time you publish a new blog post.
Please let me know if you found this checklist helpful, if anything was confusing or difficult to complete, or if you have any suggestions for ways to make anything easier.
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