One of the most important things you can do with your website and blog is to collect your fan’s email address. As they say in the blogosphere, “your email list is like gold”. At some point in your blog career you are going to want to send out newsletters and updates to your fandom and solicit them to buy products or subscriptions. Most likely you are going to use a 3rd party resource to manage your email list. In most cases that resource will be MailChimp; an automation marketing platform and email marketing service.
As part of setting up your WordPress website to integrate with MailChimp you will need to collect some information from your MailChimp account and configure that information into your MailChimp for WordPress plugin, and possibly in other places on your site as well.
To configure your plugin you will need the MailChimp API Key, and the Audience ID (list ID).
Here is how to find the API Key.
- Login to http://mailchimp.com. If you don’t have an account create one and then login with that account.
- In the upper right corner of the MailChimp website click the down arrow next to your name, and click Account from the drop-down menu.
- On the account webpage click the down arrow next to Extras.
- Click API Keys.
- Click the Create A Key button (if you have already created an API key it will be listed on the page).
- Copy the API key into your buffer to paste in your WordPress Plugin (Windows = CTRL-C, MAC = Command-C).
Here is how to find the Audience ID (sometimes called the List ID).
- Login to MailChimp.
- From the main MailChimp menu click Audience.
- Click the down arrow next to Manage Audience.
- Click Settings from the manage audience menu.
- Click Audience name and Champaign defaults.
- Copy the Audience ID into your buffer to paste in your WordPress Plugin (to the left of the title you will see the Audience ID).
If you are using the MailChimp for WordPress plugin to connect your site to MailChimp, do the following. If you notice as you found the API Key and the Audience ID the 6th step above was to save them to the buffer (make sure you do these one at a time. Find the API Key put it in the buffer and then paste it into the WordPress plugin, then go find the Audience ID and come back to your site and paste the Audience ID into the WordPress plugin, then save your settings on your site).
- Login to your sites wp-admin dashboard (ex. http://yoursite.com/wp-admin).
- Find the MailChimp for WP menu item in the left hand side navigation menu.
- In General Settings paste the API key in the correct location, and paste the Audience ID (List ID) into the correct field and save your settings.
If you are using some other plugin or form generation application in your site other then the MailChimp for WP plugin, you will have to connect that app or plugin to MailChimp. All other software that connects to and uses MailChimp to collect user data will need to be setup with an API Key and Audience ID to connect to MailChimp.