I have two blog categories on my site for two different audiences. I wanted the Mail Chimp signup form for my Genesis site to allow users to select to receive update notices from either or both blogs. This is how I went about setting that up.
Setting Up the Subscriber Groups
First, I created a three-person list on Mail Chimp with my own email addresses so I could work on setting up the subscriber signup form for the two blog categories.
Then I added two groups to my Mail Chimp subscriber list (Mail Chimp has a good explanation about how to do this.) Here are my two groups:
Next I added one test subscriber to each group and my third test subscriber to both groups. Mail Chimp has a good explanation of how to do this as well.
The instructions on Mail Chimp cited above mention an “Actions” menu. This menu will not appear until you check a subscriber name. Once I had added each subscriber to the appropriate groups, my list looked like this:
Setting Up the Mail Chimp Sign Up Form
The next step is to set up my Subscriber Sign Up Form on my site so that I can solicit readers to give me their name and email address and to then select which blog they want to be notified about.
So Mail Chimp lets you create a signup form on their site that you can import into your site. The tools to do this are found on the same page as above, if you scroll up a bit. Click “Sign Up Forms.”
I have to give Mail Chimp an email address where I can receive emails from my subscribers. This email address is included in the outgoing emails to the subscriber list. So I used an email address from my site.
Mail Chimp sends a verification email to the email address you enter to ensure you have rights to use that email. So make sure you have rights to use that email.
Once you have a valid email address entered, you can fill out the rest of the information for the form. The next step is to select the form type. I selected “Embedded Forms.”
Then on the next selection choice, I selected “Naked” forms because this creates HTML code I will need, but it is without the Mail Chimp formatting. I am going to use the formatting that comes with the signup form plug in from Genesis.
As you can see, the form has three input fields plus two check boxes that allow users to check either both or one blog. I am not sure what happens if they check neither. I will probably be able to set up a default somewhere, but I won’t worry about that now.
So I grabbed the HTML by selecting everything in the area I have circled in the picture below and copying it to the clipboard. (I have blanked out info that is pertinent only to my site.)
I pasted this into Notepad.
Setting up the Mail Chimp Form on Genesis
Next I went over to my site and opened my footer widget where I wanted to install my Mail Chimp signup form. I dragged the Genesis eNews Extended Plugin into the widget. (This plug in was installed when I installed my theme, but you can install it any time.)
I opened the plugin widget and filled out the needed info, which included a title and text to show before the form.
I didn’t add anything in the next part of the form.
In this next part of the form, in the field called “Form Action,” I am going to put some HTML code from the code I have stored in Notepad (remember when I pasted that into Notepad above?). Note, I have blanked out info you don’t need to know.
The code I put in this Form Action area is found here in the HTML code circled in red. Include everything inside the quotation marks, but don’t include the quotation marks.
In the next pane on the eNews widget you have to put the names that Mail Chimp uses for these fields. These are the names that I use below and probably haven’t changed, but you can always check the HTML code to make sure. For the E-Mail Field, I used “EMAIL.” For the First Name Field, I used “FNAME.” And for the Last Name Field, I used “LNAME.”
If you were to close and save the widget info now, you would have a form that had fill in blanks for first name, last name, and email address. But I want to also have the little check boxes so subscribers can check which blog they want. So this information is going to go in the “Hidden Fields” text box.
As you can see, I have inserted some HTML code in the field. I got this code from the HTML still stored on Notepad (some info is blanked out in the picture).
The last fields in the eNews widget let you set the information the subscriber sees in the boxes and on the button.
Now when we look at the signup form, it is formatted with the formats from my theme and it has the checkboxes I wanted.
There is one more step after this. That is to set up the emails that I want to go out to the subscribers. I will cover that in the next post.
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