[Part 2 Email Marketing Series] WordPress and Mailchimp Tutorial

Kristen Leigh | WordPress Web Design Studio | Email Opt-In Forms | Best Places to Add Email Opt Ins on Your Website

WordPress and Mailchimp Tutorial [Part 2 Email Marketing Series]

Welcome to part two of the email marketing series! In part one I walked through how to add email opt-in forms to your WordPress website if you’re using MailerLite as your email service provider.

In part two, Mailchimp users are in luck! If you don’t use MailerLite or Mailchimp, stick around for parts three and four where I walk you through ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign.

Check back over the next two weeks to see the newest tutorial – I’ll update this post with links to the other tutorials as they go live!

[Part 1 Email Marketing Series] WordPress and MailterLite Tutorial

[Part 3 Email Marketing Series] WordPress and ConvertKit Tutorial

[Part 4 Email Marketing Series] WordPress and ActiveCampaign Tutorial


Odds are if you ever did a Google search for email marketing platforms, Mailchimp was one you came across in your search. Mailchimp is an extremely popular email service provider and has been around for a long time. The little monkey is very well known!

While Mailchimp is popular, I still much prefer MailerLite and actually switched FROM Mailchimp TO MailerLite.

Pros of Mailchimp


Like MailerLite, Mailchimp is a platform you want to use if you’re just starting out with email marketing. When you don’t yet have a plan for sending out consistent emails, segmenting subscribers, etc. Mailchimp is perfect because it’s free up to 2,000 subscribers!

While you’re growing your list to 2,000 subscribers you have the flexibility (and peace of mind) to play around and learn the capabilities of the platform before you have to start paying and the pressure is really on to make money through your list.

Drag and Drop Template Builder

Mailchimp templates are super easy to build because of their drag and drop builder. This allows you to easily build an email template that incorporates your branding and style. You won’t have to worry about your emails looking consistent and having to design a new template for each email.

I do find that the drag and drop template builder can be limiting at times but if you know code, there is always the options to add code to a drag and drop template or design a template using only code.


Since Mailchimp has been around for so long it integrates without a third-party tool with almost every single thing you would need in your business. Forget using Zapier to integrate Mailchimp with your WordPress or SquareSpace website. With just a click of a button Mailchimp can be integrated with both (along with a bunch of other programs and tools, too!).

Cons of Mailchimp

Learning Curve

Mailchimp can come with a steep learning curve if you’re brand new to email marketing. The best way to understand Mailchimp is to sit down and watch tutorial videos or read blog post tutorials (like this one) before you try to set anything up. If you’re more of the click-buttons-until-you-figure-it-out person (I feel ya), just be prepared to do things and then re-do things.

Not Intuitive

This is mainly because Mailchimp’s interface isn’t intuitive. At a glance, it’s super easy to set up certain types of opt-in forms but embedded forms? You have to click more links (some quite hidden) than I’ve ever seen to actually edit the branding of the opt-in form and emails that go along with it.


That brings me to automations… talk about confusing. Setting up automations in Mailchimp isn’t intuitive at all! It’s possible of course but I recommend watching videos or reading blogs to learn how to do before even attempting to add your contacts to an automation.


If you’ve decided to move forward with Mailchimp (and I didn’t scare you away), great! Now you need some opt-in forms on your website to start growing your list.

Get started by logging into your Mailchimp account and click the “Create” button in the top right-hand corner.

Kristen Leigh | WordPress Web Design Studio |  Create Button



1. First let’s create a pop-up email opt-in form by selecting “Signup form” in the menu.

Kristen Leigh | WordPress Web Design Studio |  Signup Form Button

2. At the top you’ll see 3 different options: “Embedded form,” “Pop-up form,” and “signup landing page.” Select “Pop-up form” (obviously).

Kristen Leigh | WordPress Web Design Studio |  Popup Form

3. Select the audience you want people to be added to when they opt into your list through this popup form and click “Begin.”

P.S. “Audience” in Mailchimp is just a fancy way of saying “List.”


1. Now we’re going to move right into designing the pop-up opt-in form by selecting “Modal,” “Slide,” or “Fixed” in the right-hand menu. If you select “Modal” you will have a pop-up opt-in form that appears right in the middle of the page. With “Slide” you will have a pop-up opt-in form that slides in from the right-hand side of the screen. And with “Fixed” you will have a pop-up opt-in form that fixes itself to the bottom of the page.

Kristen Leigh | WordPress Web Design Studio |  Pop-up Opt-in Form Format

2. Regardless of what option you choose, next you need to decide when the opt-in form is going to appear. Do you want it to appear immediately upon landing on your website? Or would you prefer it to be delayed by 5 or 20 seconds? You can even choose to have it appear when someone has scrolled halfway down the page, all the way down the page, or when they’re exiting your website. (I personally recommend using 5 or 20 seconds.)

3. If you’ve chosen Modal or Slide, select where you want the image to appear in the box.

4. Update the fonts, colors, and sizes as well as write your button copy.

5. If you have the upgraded version of Mailchimp, remove the Mailchimp branding so that your visitors aren’t distracted by who you’re using as an email service provider. If you don’t have the upgraded version, just remember to remove the branding when you upgrade!


1. Now click on “Fields” in the top menu to select what information you will collect from your subscribers. (My suggestion? Asking for someone’s first name and email address is perfect. Asking for more information than this might make people feel like they’re giving away too much personal information. By asking for just their first name and email address you’re not asking for their whole life story but you’re also asking for enough where it feels like you’re getting to know them a bit. It won’t feel intrusive but it also will feel like they’re more than just another email address on your list.)

Kristen Leigh | WordPress Web Design Studio |  Pop-up Opt-in Field Options


1. Click on “Content” in the top menu to upload an image, edit the text, and add a footer about their information being safe with you!

2. When you’re done click “Publish”

Embed the Pop-Up Form into Your Website

1. Connect your WordPress or Squarespace website to your Mailchimp account by following these steps.

2. Once your pop-up opt in form is ready and you’ve connected your website to your account, it’s time to embed it into your website by copying the code they provide.

3. Paste the code into the < head > of each page you want the pop-up form to appear on.


Next let’s create a landing page for your freebie!


1. After clicking the “Create” button, select “Landing Page” in the new popup that appears

Kristen Leigh | WordPress Web Design Studio |  Landing Page

2. Give your landing page a name that is easy to understand such as the name of your freebie

3. Select the audience you want people to be added to when they subscribe via this landing page and click “Begin”


1. Select a template from the options. You’ll notice that some templates say “accept payments” or “lead generation” so be sure to select the one that makes sense for what you’re doing. If you’re designing a landing page for a freebie, I would recommend selecting one of the “lead generation” templates such as Wild Country or Gardenhause.

2. Update the design to include your copy, brand colors, logo, etc.

3. To edit the actual form, click on that module and you’ll see different options appear in the menu on the right. Select whether you want people to enter their name, update the GDPR settings, change the button text, and then choose where people get sent after they subscribe (are they going to a custom thank you page or do you just want a thank you message to appear?).

Kristen Leigh | WordPress Web Design Studio |  Click on the Email Opt-in Form

4. You can also update the style of the opt-in form itself by clicking on the “Style” and “Settings” tabs.

Kristen Leigh | WordPress Web Design Studio |  Edit the Design of the Opt-In Form

5. When you’re done editing the design and setting the correct functionality, click the “Save and Close” button.

Landing Page Settings & Tracking

1. Give the page a title such as “Your Business Name | Name of Freebie Here.”

2. If you have the paid version of Mailchimp you can set a custom URL. If you’re still on the free plan, just set a custom slug (the end of the URL, after the slash) or let it randomly generate one for you.

3. Click “Edit” next to Settings & Tracking to expand the options.

4. Decide whether or not you want to track data using Mailchimp, Facebook Pixel, and Google Analytics (you need Facebook Pixel or Google Analytics set up if you want to use either of those tracking methods).

5. Click “Save.”

6. Once everything has been updated correctly, you will notice that the “Publish” button at the top becomes active. Click this button to continue.

Test and Set it Live!

1. Now that your landing page is complete, copy the link and add it to your social media bios or publish it in Facebook groups to start growing your email list!


Last but not least, let’s add an embedded form onto your website.


1. After clicking “Create” in the top left hand corner of your Mailchimp dashboard, click on “Signup form.”

2. Select “Embedded form”

3. Choose the audience (list) you want your subscribers to be added to and click “Begin”


1. The page you’re currently on controls the basic structure of the opt-in form but it isn’t very in-depth. To really edit the design and structure, click “the form builder” button.

Kristen Leigh | WordPress Web Design Studio |  Embedded Opt-In Form Editor

2. The first thing you’ll see is a drop-down with a ton of selections. Start on the “Signup form” option.

Kristen Leigh | WordPress Web Design Studio |  Embedded Opt-In Form Editor Drop-Down

3. Edit the style of the signup form by dragging in fields you want from the right-hand menu.

Kristen Leigh | WordPress Web Design Studio | Embedded Opt-In Form Right-Hand Field Menu

4. Remove fields you don’t want by clicking on “Field settings,” clicking on the field you want to remove, clicking the minus button, typing in DELETE, and clicking “Delete.” (Phew, you get that? A lot of steps to remove a field, right?)

Kristen Leigh | WordPress Web Design Studio | Embedded Opt-In Form Field Settings to Delete a Field

Kristen Leigh | WordPress Web Design Studio | Embedded Opt-In Form Delete a Field

5. Head over to the “Design it” button to edit the colors and fonts. Be sure to click all of the tabs.

Kristen Leigh | WordPress Web Design Studio | Embedded Opt-In Form Editor Design It

Page: Background, Header, Outer wrapper

Body: Foreground, Default text, Link style

Forms: Buttons, Buttons hovered, Field labels, Field text, Required, Required legend, Help text, Errors


6. Now you’re finished editing one piece of the opt-in so it’s time to move to the next option in the drop-down, Signup form with alerts.

7. Follow the same steps for everything in the drop-down menu to fully setup and design your email opt-in form.

Embed the Form

1. Click “Signup forms” in the top menu.

2. Click “Select” next to Embedded form.

Kristen Leigh | WordPress Web Design Studio | Embedded Opt-In Form Find Code

3. Locate which form style you want: Classic, Condensed, Horizontal, or Unstyled.

4. Copy the code under “Copy/paste onto your site”.

5. Paste the code wherever you want to see the form on your WordPress website using a code block.

There you have it! The pros and cons of using Mailchimp as well as how to create three different types of opt-in forms. If you don’t have an email list yet, get started with Mailchimp here! 


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