Integrating a newsletter functionality into your WordPress-based site
Despite the exploding popularity of social media as a trust-building marketing channel, email campaigns do remain a key method for turning one-time visitors into returning customers and for prompting conversions.
If you are using WordPress as a technological basis for your web hosting store, you could take advantage of one of the many newsletter plugins available.
To help you with your choice, we recommend that you go with the MailChimp email campaign application in particular.
Why choose the MailChimp email campaign application?
MailChimp offers a simple interface for designing and sharing email campaigns, for managing subscriber lists and for tracking results, even if you’ve never done this before.
They have a free plan, which allows you to send 12,000 emails per month to a list of up to 2,000 subscribers. This is a great way to jump into email marketing at no cost, while offering your customers an up-to-all-standards, responsive and eye-pleasing email experience.
Here are some of the features included in the MailChimp free plan:
- A/B testing
- email beamer
- email designer
- email templates
- multi-user accounts
- RSS to email
- custom forms
- segmentation and groups
- social sharing
If you want to make use of some extra email campaign features (like auto-responders and anti-spam diagnostics) and remove the MailChimp badge from your campaign footer, you can always upgrade to one of their paid plans starting from 10 USD/month.
How to get started with MailChimp?
First, you will need to set up an account with MailChimp. After you go through the signup process, you will be asked to fill in some extra details for compliance with international spam policies. When done, you’ll be directed to your account dashboard from where you can quickly start configuring your MailChimp.
From here, you will have to create your first mailing list (from the Lists menu on the left and then click on the Create List button on the top right), selecting a name of the list, a “from” email address, and a Sender’s name, so that they will know that the email is from you. You may also explain why your subscribers are receiving the email in the description box, to avoid any potential opt-outs from suspicious users.
Next, you will have to create your API key that will help you integrate MailChimp into your WordPress store later on.
From the Account Settings menu, select Extras and click on API keys in the drop-down menu. Then scroll down and click on the Create A Key button – your API key will be generated for you automatically.
How to setup MailChimp on your WordPress store?
With the help of the MailChimp plugin for WordPress, you can integrate your mailing list setup into your store very quickly.
Now simply add the MailChimp plugin for WordPress to your store and activate it.
In the MailChimp for WP area in your WordPress menu, enter the API Key that you have created in your MailChimp account and click the Save button:
Finally, go to the Forms submenu of the MailChimp for WP area and copy the Shortcode for the newsletter subscription form.
Here is an example of how a newsletter subscription popup for a hosting store looks like:
How to create and manage your email campaigns?
MailChimp have a great set of video tutorials on how to create and manage your email campaigns using the application. Through the Campaign Builder, you can select a campaign type, add recipients, choose a template design, and add your custom content, with a click of the mouse.
On the site you can find a great step-by-step video tutorial on how to create your first email campaign, using a custom theme of your choice:
If you haven’t yet set up your WordPress-based hosting store, take a look at the fully-customizable free reseller hosting themes that we have designed for you:The Free Reseller Program.