MailChimp WD is a plugin by Web Dorado, launched in late 2016 that aims to make it easier to integrate MailChimp into your website.
MailChimp, as you’re probably aware, is one of the most popular email marketing services around. MailChimp is free for basic accounts and provides tools to add an email signup form to your website, design and send marketing emails, and view analytics measuring open rates, clicks, and more.
To integrate MailChimp into your WordPress website you normally have to copy and paste a provided snippet of code and paste it into your site or add it as a widget.
Now MailChimp WD provides an easier way to use MailChimp on WordPress websites with a drag and drop form builder and other useful features.
MailChimp WD Features
This plugin is designed to give you full control over your MailChimp forms and manage your subscribers and lists directly from the WordPress dashboard. Everything is customizable and easy to edit, making it a simple task to create attractive forms that will help you to increase signups and grow your mailing list.
- Drag and drop form builder
- Create unlimited subscribe/unsubscribe forms
- Manage subscribers and lists from the WordPress dashboard
- Combine fields from several lists on your MailChimp account into one form
- Custom CSS editor
- Three types of CAPTCHA
- Add MailChimp form as a widget or embed into posts or pages
- Export lists as CSV or XML
- Comprehensive analytics for each form
- Block/unblock IP addresses
- Integrates native MailChimp email options such as double opt-in
- Mobile-friendly design
- Customizable message after form submission
The basic version of the plugin is free but you can also choose to upgrade to the pro version for some additional features:
- Multiple display options for forms including pop-up, top bar, and scroll boxes
- 13 customizable themes provided
- Custom fields editor
- PayPal integration
- Customizable animated form header
- Custom emails
- Full support and updates
MailChimp WD Plans and Pricing
The basic MailChimp WD plugin is free with the features listed above. No developer support is provided and updates are provided for bug fixes only.
There are also three options of pro account if you’d like access to the additional features and extra support and updates:
- Personal – $30 for 6 months and support for 1 domain
- Business – $45 for 1 year and support for 3 domains
- Developer – $60 for 1 year and support for unlimited domains
Web Dorado also offer a theme bundle that gives you the MailChimp WD Pro plugin plus 26 other pro WordPress plugins from $99.
You can read more about the different packages and buy directly from the Web Dorado website.
MailChimp WD Installation and Setup Guide
The following instructions are for the free version of the plugin. Most of the setup is the same in the Pro version but the installation is slightly different and there are some additional features – see the next section for more details.
1. Install the plugin
Go to “Plugins” in your WordPress dashboard menu and click the “Add new” button. Search for MailChimp WD.
You should see the plugin indicated in the above image as your first result – click the “Install Now” button. Once the installation is complete (it should only take a few seconds) the button will change into “Activate”, which you should go ahead and click.
After activating the plugin you’ll be taken back to your main plugins screen and you should have a new “MailChimp WD” entry in your main menu:
2. Initialize MailChimp WD plugin
Click the link for the plugin in your main menu to start the setup process.
You’ll first see a screen asking for your permission to collect usage data. This is completely up to you and won’t affect the rest of the setup:
After getting past this screen you’ll see a welcome screen with a list of the main features provided by the plugin and tabbed links to the user guide, deals for other premium WordPress plugins by Web Dorado, support, submit your idea to improve the plugin, and forum. The forum can be helpful to get support for any problems you have with the plugin if you’re using the free version and don’t have access to developer support.
You’ll also notice that the MailChimp WD menu item has expanded to show several different categories and you’ll go through each of these to complete the setup of the plugin.
3. Connect the plugin to MailChimp
You first need to enter your MailChimp API key to connect the plugin to your MailChimp account. To do this, click the first item in the submenu – “MailChimp WD” and you’ll be taken to a page that has a link that will take you where you need to go on the MailChimp site to get your API Key.
On the MailChimp site click “Create Key” and a new key will be generated, which you can then paste into the plugin and click the “Connect to Mailchimp” button.
If all goes well, you’ll be taken to a summary screen showing details of your MailChimp account:
If you want to, you can change your API key from this screen later and you can also see any existing lists you’ve set up, with a link to manage them.
4. Manage MailChimp Lists
The next step is to either click the button that says “Manage lists” from the summary screen, or click the “Lists” menu link. You should see your existing MailChimp lists on this screen. If you haven’t created any yet, you can go back to MailChimp and setup a new list and then click the refresh icon on the MailChimp WD dashboard to see the list.
A list in MailChimp is simply a way of organizing your subscribers. You might have a separate list for each website or multiple lists for a single site for people who have signed up for different types of emails.
If you click on the view icon, you can see information about each list including the number of subscribers, creation date, and the form that is used to signup to the list:
5. Creating Forms
Click on “Forms” in the menu and you’ll be taken to a screen where you can add new signup forms or edit existing ones.
Lets take a look at setting up a new form. Click the “Add New” button. You’ll then be taken to a form builder screen where you can get started with creating your first form:
Enter a title for your theme and choose whether you want it to inherit the style from your website theme or one of the MailChimp WD themes (these are greyed out in the free version of the plugin.
Choose a list to link the form to and add the form field you wish by clicking on them. Only the Email Address field is mandatory.
If you want more fields apart from the default First Name and Last name, you’ll have to go back to MailChimp to create them first. Clicking the link that says “Need more fields?” will open a popup with a link to the right page on the MailChimp site to do this and a button to refresh the dashboard once you’ve made the changes.
6. Editing Form Options
Choose the form action from the dropdown box in the section on the right. The default actions are subscribe or unsubscribe. You can also gain access to more options by clicking the link that says “More MailChimp options?” – this will take you to a screen where you can edit the default MailChimp form options (you can also access this screen by clicking the “Form Options” button at the top of the forms screen):
You’ll start out on the MailChimp Options tag where you can change the following options:
- Form type (subscribe/unsubscribe)
- Email type (HTML/plain text)
- Double opt-in on or off
- Update existing subscribers on or off
- Replace interest groups on or off
General options include:
- Publish or un-publish the form
- Save the form data to database or not
- Form theme (there’s a preview button here so you can see how it looks)
- Hide labels on or off
- Required fields mark
Custom messages allows you to change the message that is displayed to users on subscription, unsubscription, update, error, invalid email, already subscribed, required field, not subscribed, and empty submit. The first two messages can also be styled and you can insert images using the WordPress WYSIWYG editor.
Actions after submission allows you to change what happens when the user submits the form:
- Hide form
- Stay on form
- Redirect to a post
- Redirect to a page
- Redirect to an URL
Conditional fields allows you to show or hide form fields depending on the previous inputs of the form.
Once you’ve finished editing your form options on this screen, remember to click apply and save your form and you’ll be taken back to the general form options screen.
7. Finish Designing Form
You can also allow the user to choose the form option (subscribe or unsubscribe) and choose the list they are added to by clicking the “Form Action” and “List Choice” buttons. This will bring up a pop-up with advanced form customizations for these options.
If you want to add a CAPTCHA or custom fields (pro version only), you can do this by clicking the relevant buttons. You can choose from simple CAPTCHA, arithmetic CAPTCHA or recaptcha and make adjustments to the form setup and appearance on this screen.
Finally you can use the drag and drop functionality to design the form the way you want it to look. You can drag form fields around to change their order or move them into columns. You can also delete, edit, and copy form fields directly from the form builder by clicking the appropriate icon buttons:
If you’re not sure what any of the icon buttons do, hover over them for a tooltip.
8. View Form Submissions
Clicking “Submissions” in the menu will allow you to view information including the date, IP, username and email address for all form submissions.
You can also see your total number of views and entries and conversion rate on this screen and block or unblock IPs.
You can export your submissions as .csv or .xml by clicking the relevant buttons.
9. Add and Edit Themes
The “Themes” section in the menu allows you to create and edit themes for your form. With the free version of the plugin you’ll only have one preset theme available:
If you click the edit button you’ll be taken to the visual form editor:
Here you can add custom CSS to change the look of the form. You can also change the appearance of paginated forms to steps or a percentage. The other appearance settings are unavailable in the free version of the plugin. All changes you make here are displayed in real-time, making it easy for you to get the form looking exactly how you want it.
10. Set Global Options
Global options in the menu allows you to enter public and private keys for Recaptcha if you are using this option.
11. Block IPs
If you wish to block any IPs from submitting forms, you can add them from this screen. You can also block IPs directly from the form submissions screen.
12. Publishing Your Form
Once you’ve set up your form to your liking, you can insert it onto your site either as a shortcode or widget.
You can find the shortcode on the main forms screen in the menu:
Just paste this shortcode where you want the form to appear on a post or page.
You can also add your form as a widget. Look for “MailChimp WD” in your list of widgets and drag it to the sidebar where you want it to appear on your site. In the widget settings you can add a title and choose the form you want to appear.
If you need more detailed information on any of these steps or you’re not sure what a setting does, there is a detailed user guide on the Web Dorado site.
Installing MailChimp WD Pro and Additional Settings
If you’ve purchased the pro version of the plugin, you won’t be able to install it directly from the repository.
Instead you can install it from your WordPress dashboard or via FTP.
To install via the dashboard, go to Plugins < Add New and click the “upload plugin” button. Browse to the location where you saved the plugin zip file and click “install now”. Then click the “activate plugin” button.
To install via FTP, unzip the installation folder and upload it to /wp-content/plugins.
Then go to Plugins in your WordPress dashboard and activate the plugin
Once you’ve installed the pro version of the plugin you’ll have access to some additional features and settings there weren’t available in the free version:
1. Form Display Options
When you edit or create a new form, click the “display options” button at the top of the Forms screen to choose a display type for your form.
You can choose from:
After you’ve selected an option you can also edit setting such as animation effects, location, and which posts and pages the form will be displayed on.
2. Custom header
The header section on the forms option screen allows you to add a custom header with text image, and optional animation to your form:
3. Email Options
The pro version of the plugin gives you access to your MailChimp global email options from the WordPress dashboard. You can find these settings by clicking the “Form Options” button when you’re in the form settings page and choosing the “Email Options” tab.
Here you can change setting including the from email, from name, email subject, and edit the content of your opt-in confirmation and welcome email.
You can also setup emails that are sent to the administrator with each new submission.
4. PayPal Option
If you want to integrate PayPal into your form, you can activate this option from the “PayPal Options” tab in “Form Options”.
Here you can choose a checkout mode, set your PayPal email, choose a currency, and add tax.
In the pro plugin you’ll have access to 13 built-in templates that you can choose from the dropdown box on the forms option screen. You can preview each of these themes to see what your form will look like:
You can also edit these templates directly from this screen or from the Themes menu option to create your own custom theme.
On the edit screen as well as having the option to add custom CSS, you can also easily change options such as font, colors, images, margins, and other styling options. These styling options are available by clicking the different categories:
- Global Parameters
- Input box
- Choices (Single and Multiple)
- General Buttons
- Close (Minimize) Button
- Minimize Text
These settings give you full control over the look of your form without the need for any manual CSS coding.
6. Custom Fields
If you want to add custom fields to your form, you can do this by clicking the “custom fields” button on the form edit screen.
Custom fields can be used to extend the functionality of your form by adding additional inputs, text areas, and option selections. You have full control over the settings for each field.
You can choose from:
- Custom HTML
- Text input (simple, email, send copy to submitter, password, text area, address, number, or hidden)
- Multiple choice
- Single choice
- Survey tools (star rating, scale rating, spinner, slider, range, grading, matrix)
- Time and date
- Select box
- File upload
- Section break
- Page break
- PayPal form fields
- Custom buttons.
Example Forms Created with MailChimp WD
If you’d like to have a play around and see what kind of forms you can create with the MailChimp WD plugin, there’s a fully functional demo on the Web Dorado site that allows you log into the WordPress dashboard and create as many forms as you like.
Here are some examples of forms created with the plugin:
Subscription form with Recaptcha
Paged signup form with PayPal integration
There are a few MailChimp plugins around for WordPress but MailChimp WD is definitely a contender for being one of the most powerful and easy to use.
I particularly liked the helpful links on every page that provide further instructions for settings and send you to the right place on the MailChimp site when you need something from there – it’s much easier than switching back and forth between multiple tabs and trying to look up functionality in a totally separate instruction manual.
The drag and drop form builder makes it really easy to get your forms looking the way you want without any coding skills. If you’re comfortable using CSS it’s also possible to customize the style of any form to your heart’s content.
For those who want PayPal integration for their forms, the flexibility of custom fields, or the additional convenience of pre-built themes and easy styling options, it’s worth upgrading to the pro version. For everyone else, the free version of MailChimp WD is definitely worth checking out and will suit the needs of many website owners.
You can download the free version of MailChimp WD from the WordPress repository.