Ever wondered how some websites or online businesses can build such a strong relationship with their customers? The key to achieving this is email newsletters.
These are emails containing updates about your brand and everything that is related to it. Customers tend to like newsletters better than sales-driven emails since they are more informational and cater to their needs.
With email newsletters, you have a bigger chance to connect with your clients, which can lead to an increase in sales. A 2017 study shows that two of three millennials affected their purchase decision after reading newsletters.
It’s clear to see how newsletters can benefit your own business!
In this article, you will learn how to add a newsletter service to your website. Let’s get started!
Newsletters are Not Dead Yet
Social media has become one of the most used means of communication, especially for young people. However, email newsletters remain one of the most effective online marketing strategies – it is the preferred communication media for 86% of business professionals and 73% of millennials.
But that is not the only reason why sending newsletters is beneficial to you. Email is 40 times more efficient than social media for acquiring new customers. Plus, the click-through rate of an email is six times larger than a social media post.
If you are a small business owner or a new blogger, using an email newsletter service is a good investment. The average return on investment of email marketing is 3,800%, meaning that you make $38 for every $1 spent. That is how your revenue can increase quickly over time.
How to Add a Newsletter Service to Your Website
Don’t know how to add a newsletter service to your website? No worries! I’ll guide you through the process.
1. Pick a Newsletter Service
First of all, you need to pick the right newsletter service.
There are a couple of ways an email marketing service can be helpful. First of all, it will help you collect an email list. Secondly, it has plenty of useful features and tools to make your job easier.
I always recommend using Mailchimp.
This email marketing service provider has been around since 2001 and has around 11 million users as of today. But that is not the only number to show how popular the service is – today, MailChimp owns over 60% of the market share.
Apart from that, Mailchimp has a free plan and is easy to use. With their free plan, users can:
- Choose between five email templates
- Reach up to seven seven marketing channels
- Use Mailchimp’s marketing customer relationship management (CRM) tools.
- One-click automation feature
Without further ado, let me explain how to sign up for Mailchimp:
- Head to Mailchimp.com and click on the Sign Up Free button on the upper right corner. You will then be asked to choose a plan. Get the free one and proceed.
- Enter your email address. By default, the website generates a random password after you entered the email address. Nonetheless, you may use your own.
- Mailchimp will send you an email to confirm your identity.
- After that, you will need to fill in some information for the setup process – your name, website URL, address, and social media accounts. Once this is finished, your Mailchimp account is ready to use.
2. Get Your API Keys
Great, you have a Mailchimp account! But that are still a few steps left ahead of us.
At this point, your task is to connect your website to Mailchimp using its API (application programming interface) key. It is a token that the software uses to grant permission to users. Apart from that, the API key also prevents other parties from using your account.
To receive this token, click here and follow these steps:
- Scroll down to find Your API Keys section, then click Create a Key.
- Scroll down again, and you will see that your key is already generated. We will leave it here until you finish the next step.
3. Install the Mailchimp Plugin
The next step is to install the Mailchimp plugin on the back end of your website. Please note that I use WordPress in this tutorial.
- If you do not know where to find Mailchimp for WordPress plugin, go to Plugins -> Add New from your WordPress dashboard.
- Search for the plugin by typing its name in the search bar. Click Install Now, and then activate the plugin.
- Now that the plugin is installed, you can connect both services. Go back to your Mailchimp account and copy your API key.
- Then, find Mailchimp for WP on the left side of your dashboard and click on it.
- Paste your API key into the space below the Status section.
- After clicking on Save Changes, your Mailchimp account should already be connected to WordPress.
4. Create the Signup Form
Since you want to get visitors’ email address, let’s try to make a signup form:
1. Click on Mailchimp for WP -> Form. Then fill in the name of the form and click Add New Form.
2. In the next page, you can see that there are four tabs – Fields, Messages, Settings, and Appearance. To create your form, press the Fields tab.
3. Scroll down, and you will find the Form builder window, which consists of the Form code on the left, and the Form preview on the right.
4. By default, your form should look like the screenshot above. You can customize your signup form to your liking – adding a message that will attract visitors to subscribe, for example.
5. In addition, you can add more fields to your form. The section above the editor shows the types of fields you can add. Clicking on any them will show an additional settings window for the respective field.
6. You can decide whether a specific field is required to be filled out, in order for visitors to submit their email address. When you are all done, click Add to Form.
You can also modify the signup form’s appearance:
1. Go to the Appearance tab and click on Form Style. You can choose from a few different default colors or let the form itself adjust its style to the WordPress theme that you are currently using.
2. Once you are done, click Save Changes.
However, that does not mean your form is displayed on your website yet. You can add it to your Sidebar, Footer, or Posts by following these steps:
- From your dashboard, go to Appearance -> Widgets.
- In this page, you will see a list of widgets you can put on either the sidebar or footer of your website. Find Mailchimp Signup Form and drag it to the box on the right side of the screen. Next, enter the title of the form and click Done. For this tutorial, I use WordPress’ 2018 theme, which shows my widgets on the sidebar, like in the screenshot below.
- WordPress allows you to use shortcodes to insert elements into pages and posts. Because of that, you can put the form on selected posts. To get the shortcode, click on Mailchimp for WP -> Form and copy it. The code is available below the form title.
- Simply paste the shortcode to a post, and your form will show up.
Encouraging site visitors to subscribe to your newsletter is only the first step to attract them. After creating the form, your next step is to focus on sending out regular content.
Once again, you can depend on Mailchimp for this task. The service allows its users to effortlessly design good-looking email templates. This feature is especially beneficial for those who have no technical knowledge.
Mailchimp is also an email automation service. Thus, you can set the conditions when certain campaigns are sent.
Let’s try to create a welcome mail for new subscribers:
- Log in to Mailchimp’s website, then click Campaigns in the menu. This will lead you to your campaign list.
- Click the Create Campaign button on the upper right side of the page.
- Select Email from the Campaign type selection.
- Click Automated and select Welcome New Subscribers.
- Enter your campaign’s title and click Begin.
- Before creating your welcome email, there are three aspects that you can modify – who to send to; your displayed name and email address; the subject line and preview text. When you are done, click Edit Design to begin building a template for your campaign.
- To add content to a template, you only need to drag the boxes (from the right side) to the editor (to the left side). You can also change how certain content boxes look like by hovering on them and clicking the pencil icon. When you are finished, click Save and Continue.
- Click Start Sending. Now your welcome email is ready.
Apart from designing email campaigns, Mailchimp also allows you to manage your templates, audience, multimedia content, and reports. You can access all of these through the menu above the dashboard at any time.
Email Newsletter Best Practices for Beginners
We learned that adding a newsletter service to a website is easy, isn’t it? But there are other things you should remember when creating email templates. Here are a few examples:
- Quality Content. Do not just ramble and blindly sell your brand or products when creating content. Ideally, newsletters should provide information that pinpoints customers’ concerns and tries to solve them.
- Formatting. The quality of your email campaign’s design doesn’t solely rely on images only, but its text and formatting are just as important. Make your written content easily readable.
- Consistency. Always make sure to inform your subscribers how often you’ll be sending out newsletters and be consistent with it. Also, always leave the option to easily unsubscribe.
- A/B Testing. To be sure which template design works best, you need some sort of a way to test it out. Mailchimp’s A/B testing feature allows you to do just that.
- Google Analytics. Google Analytics is one of the most powerful data analysis tools on the market. The good thing is, you can integrate it with Mailchimp. To learn more about it, Mailchimp has a written guide on Google Analytics.
Even though social media became the number one platform for conversations, email services are still a very reliable solution when it comes to professional and business matters.
That is why automated mail newsletters still have a crucial role in keeping customers engaged.
Yet, before sending them out, you need a way to collect email addresses of your visitors. Here’s a recap of what we’ve learned so far:
- Register to an email marketing service like Mailchimp.
- Get Mailchimp’s API key to connect it with your website.
- Install the Mailchimp for WP plugin and enter the API key in the settings.
- Design the form and embed it into your widgets list or posts.
To create your newsletter and other email campaigns in Mailchimp, follow these steps:
- Click Create Campaign on your Mailchimp dashboard and choose Email in the campaign type selection.
- Select the type of email template that you want to make.
- Choose who to send the newsletter to, modify the subject line and email preview.
- Design your newsletter as you wish, then click Start Sending.
If you have any more questions, do not hesitate to leave a comment below!