MailChimp is an amazing service – and it is free for those who don’t have a huge list yet – but it can be freakin’ confusing!
Here is your complete, step-by-step guide to setting up your freebie on your blog and navigating MailChimp for the first time!
How to Offer a Freebie on Your Blog + a MailChimp Tutorial for Beginners #blogging101 Click To Tweet
Upload your freebie to your wordpress.org site
In the dashboard of your wordpress site, go to the Media section (where you upload pictures).
Click “Add New”
Upload your freebie – if it is a downloadable pdf. or ebook.
(If your freebie is a video series, webinar, course, or some other form of media, you just need the link that directs you to the content.)
Once uploaded, click on the image of your freebie in the Media Library.
Copy the URL address that directs you to your freebie. You will need this later but test it by pasting the URL in your web browser. Anyone with this link can now access your freebie.
Set up MailChimp to collect emails
Create a MailChimp account if you don’t already have one.
Click “Lists” in the top menu bar.
Then click “Create List” on the right hand side. This is where you will hold all those wonderful email addresses once they start rolling in.
Give your List a name and fill in the details on the form (your email address, the name subscribers will see when they get your email, a short message to subscribers, a business address, and if you want email notifications about who joins and leaves your list).
On the next screen, click “Signup Forms”
Select “General Forms”
Here is where you will create your landing or opt-in page, your thank you page, confirmation email, and welcome email (the one where you actually send the freebie).
The first form you will see is the “Signup Form”
I actually recommend creating a page on your blog as your opt in page instead of using a MailChimp page. You can see mine HERE. More on setting up this page later…
But you can certainly set this page up in MailChimp for now and use the URL MailChimp provides if you don’t have your website ready.
Next, click the drop down below “Forms and Response Emails” and click “Signup Thank You Page”
You can direct subscribers to a Thank You page right on your website instead of using this MailChimp form (just create a new page in wordpress.org and copy and paste the URL into MailChimp.)
This is a good place to invite your new subscriber to your free Facebook community, share a video, or offer some tid bit of valuable information – keep it short and simple again since they are still waiting on that email with the freebie! You can see my Thank You page HERE.
Next, click the drop down menu again and click “Opt-in Confirmation Email”
This is the first email a new subscriber will receive after signing up and they need to confirm their email address. Customize this any way you want. I’d make it personal but keep it short and simple.
Next click the drop down menu again and click “Confirmation Thank You Page”
This is the page a new subscriber will be directed to once they confirm their email.
Like the “Signup Thank You Page”, you can create a customized page on your blog and link the URL into wordpress OR you can just use this form.
Click the drop down menu again and click “Final Welcome Email”
Click the box next to “Send a Final Welcome Email”
Change the From, Reply-to, or Subject fields if you like.
Create your nice welcome email and provide the link to your freebie (copy and paste it into the body of the MailChimp email).
Create your opt-in page on your blog
Like I mentioned earlier, you have the option to create an opt-in page right there on your blog instead of using a MailChimp URL. But, you need to embed a sign up form on your blog page so people can sign up right then and there.
In MailChimp, click “Signup Forms” at the top pf the page again.
Select “Embedded Forms”
Customize this sign up form (usually just an email address and first name suffice) and then copy the HTML code.
Go to your WordPress dashboard and click Pages in the menu bar.
Click “Create New”
Click on the “Text” tab on the top right of the page and paste the MailChimp HTML code.
Click the “Visual” tab on the top right and customize the sign up form (center it, bold it, etc.) and create your copy for the page.
Publish your opt-in page and test the whole process.
Create a popup for your site
Install the WordPress Popup plug in.
Once the plug in is uploaded to your site, click “Add New” at the top of the “Popups” plug in page.
Name your popup.
Use the same HTML code from MailChimp that you used in the above step and paste it into the “Text” portion of the popup page.
If you skipped the above step and want to create a popup, you will need to go create an embedded form in MailChimp and then paste the HTML code into the popup page.
Scroll to the bottom on the Popup page and customize it.
In the “Popup Display Rule”, you can decide if you want to show on every page, for every user, etc.
In the “Display Options”, you can specify how long after someone id on the page that the pop up pops up.
Scroll back to the top and click “Publish”
Open a new tab and test the pop up on your site.
How to start sending emails to your list in MailChimp
Once you have your landing page published, MailChimp all set up, and your emails start rolling in – you will want to be sure to keep in touch with your list by sending them emails!
To send your list an email in MailChimp, click the “Campaigns” tab in the top or the “Create Campaign” button on the right if you see it on you screen.
Click “Create Campaign” on the right.
Choose a campaign name and then choose the list you want to send it to – you probably only have one list right now, but you do have the capability to create multiple lists (if you have different freebies).
Fill in the fields and create your email form here!
Did you find this helpful?
Can I answer any other questions for you!?
Hey, love the post. I have actually created my own freebie and I have the link to collect emails posted on my Instagram but I was wondering if you have any great fitness freebie ideas that I can make 🙂
Hey Jessica – is there a question you get asked often? Make a freebie around that. Or “5 things I wish I knew when ____.” If you are looking to sell something eventually on your blog, your freebie should appeal to your ideal clients and provide lots of value to them so they can see how awesome you are.
There is so much great information in here I needed to know, thanks! I’m going to be working on an opt-in soon and I needed to know how to do it. I also wondered how to get a pop-up for people to sign up for it.
Those are fabulous and very helpful tips! I have mail chimp but not sure I have taken advantage of all of these steps yet. Pinned for later
I need to do this especially since people like freebies!