Many bloggers consider their email lists as the most important assets they own. Even if you wouldn’t go quite to that extent, as a savvy blogger, you know that the money is in the list. In other words, the more high quality email subscribers you have, the greater an income you can generate through your online business – and these free MailChimp WordPress plugins are a great place to start.
There are a number of great email subscription providers available online, but this post will focus on MailChimp – a widely used email marketing tool with solid features to help build, grow, and maintain a mailing list for your blog. It’s free for lists up to 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month; beyond that, MailChimp offers subscription plans that grow with your business.
Setup is easy and with a WordPress website, activating MailChimp plugins can increase the number of email opt-ins received daily. With that in mind, in this article we’ve listed the best free WordPress MailChimp plugins that will enable you to grow your email list. Let’s get cracking!
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MailChimp for WordPress
MailChimp for WordPress is a free plugin created by ibericode. Once you activate the plugin and grab your API key from MailChimp, your MailChimp data will be available within the plugin’s settings screen. I find this convenient because there’s a table for each email list that includes all of the fields and even the number of subscribers in each group. With this information, you can determine how many fields you want to include in your opt-in form.
This plugin gives you multiple display options. For example, with the top bar opt-in form, you select your email list from a dropdown menu, and then customize it. The bar, button, and email placeholder text can all be filled in with your copy. You can also position the bar on the top or bottom of the page, change its color, and specify the button and text color – all wonderful tools to help you stick with your blog’s color scheme. Alter the look and feel of the sign up box further with the premium version.
Larger opt-in forms can be placed anywhere using shortcodes. Redirect URL options are available, enabling you to point new subscribers to the “Opt-in Success” page of your choosing.
Finally, MailChimp for WordPress also offers checkbox settings. Visitors who leave a comment or register to your website can also opt in to your email list by ticking a box.
MailChimp Forms by MailMunch
What I love about MailChimp Forms by MailMunch is that you have a little more freedom customizing opt-in forms without upgrading to their premium plan. This plugin easily syncs with your MailChimp account, and you can create as many forms as you want. So if you offer content upgrades with each blog post, you could create a separate form for each one if you wanted to. This plugin offers five form types: popover, embedded, top bar, scroll box, and sidebar.
The screenshot above is an example of a popover opt-in form. Its animated options include: rubber band, bounce in down, swing, fly in, tada, and wobble. This is quite a selection for a free MailChimp WordPress plugin. You can also choose whether you want this form to pop in on page load and/or exit. If you don’t want frequent visitors annoyed by popup forms, simply alter the frequency of showing this form to the same visitor.
Regardless of which form type you choose, you can selectively publish it using display rules. MailMunch enables you to display forms on specific URLS within your website. This plugin offers lots of options; the only caveat is that if you want to conduct A/B tests, you’d need to upgrade to one of their paid plans.
MailChimp Forms by Optin Cat
Another free WordPress MailChimp plugin is MailChimp Forms by Optin Cat. With this plugin you can incorporate embedded forms, popups, and sidebar widgets into your web pages. You can also adjust the frequency of each popup’s visibility and redirect new subscribers to any page on your website after sign up.
Their analytics feature comes standard with the free version of their plugin, but customization options are somewhat limited unless you upgrade your account. Change button, border, and text colors with all three form types. With MailChimp Forms by Optin Cat, you can create an unlimited number of forms for promotions, content upgrades, e-courses, or another creative need making it one of our favorite free MailChimp WordPress plugins.
Easy Forms for MailChimp
It took more time for me to get acclimated to Easy Forms for MailChimp by Yikes, but they did record a video tutorial to help with initial setup.
After connecting your MailChimp API, associate any of your email lists with a new signup form. They can be embedded in pages, posts, or widget areas using shortcode. An alternative approach is to enter into a new or existing post or page, click the Easy Forms icon, and then select which opt-in form you’d like to display. See the example below:
Site visitors can opt in to your email list when leaving a comment or registering for your website with this plugin as well. Account settings display the number of new subscribers, unsubscribes, and average subscription rate.
This is the least customizable plugin we’ve covered in this post thus far but if it fits your needs, it’s worth a try. With over 20,000 active installs and frequent updates, this plugin has worked for many and might be a good fit for your website.
Chimpy Lite – MailChimp WordPress Plugin
Chimpy Lite has a fewer number of active installs (a little over 4,000) and was last updated a year ago, but its ease of setup, integration, and low learning curve makes it an attractive option. Only one opt-in form can be created with the free version of this plugin, but if your website is new or you only need one opt-in option, Chimpy Lite is a straightforward MailChimp plugin that offers a basic solution for those becoming familiar with WordPress.
Similar to the plugins mentioned above, Chimpy Lite responsive and users can opt-in to your list on pages, posts, side bars, and beneath comment forms.
MailChimp User Sync
If you allow users to register on your WordPress site, you may want to capture their email addresses and other key information at the same time. This makes it possible to add them to an email list and target them with content and promotions. If you plan to market to user email addresses in this manner, the MailChimp User Sync plugin may be just what you need.
This plugin synchronizes your list of registered WordPress users with any email list you choose in MailChimp. That way, you won’t have to manually copy each new user’s information from one platform to the other. This is perfect for A/B Testing, as well as for targeting specific audiences.
MailChimp User Sync also enables you to automatically subscribe new users, sync any changes they make to their profiles (including their email addresses), and even remove contacts from your email list if their WordPress accounts are deleted for any reason. This saves you a lot of time and effort, and keeps your subscription list up-to-date at all times. The plugin is free, although you will need to install the MailChimp for WordPress plugin first. Fortunately, that plugin won’t cost you anything either (it’s mentioned earlier on our list of free MailChimp WordPress plugins), although it does offer a premium version.
MailChimp Top Bar
Unlike some of the options we’ve covered, which are more comprehensive in nature, the MailChimp Top Bar plugin has a very specific purpose. It will add a customizable sign-up bar at the top or bottom of your site, so your subscription CTA is more visible and prominent to users. Instead of hiding your sign-up form away in a sidebar or on a contact page, this tool gets it in front of visitors as soon as possible.
What’s more, the sign-up bar includes a variety of options and is easy to customize. You can edit the text, colors, and locations, and even use code to add in extra fields. What’s more, you can pre-select what list people who interact with the bar will be subscribed to, in case you have more than one.
The opt-in bar is easy to install and set up. You simply choose a list, and you’re good to go. Alternately, you can edit the text and colors so they match your branding, or use contrasting colors so this crucial CTA stands out. On the front end, the bar is simple and unobtrusive, and visitors are able to dismiss it if they’d like. Finally, it’s worth noting that as with MailChimp User Sync, you will need to install MailChimp for WordPress before adding this plugin.
Contact Form 7 MailChimp Extension
If you haven’t tried Contact Form 7 yet, it’s a WordPress plugin well worth checking out. This popular tool makes it easy to create and customize forms of all kinds, then add them to your site. If you are using this plugin alongside MailChimp, then you may want to add Contact Form 7 MailChimp Extension to the list.
This plugin enables you to capture email addresses in your Contact 7 Forms, and add them to your chosen MailChimp list automatically. This technique lets you create highly customized forms, add them to your site, and then integrate them with your email marketing campaigns. Since it supports multiple mailing lists, you can seamlessly use a different one for each form, which means you can create targeted CTAs and build segmented lists.
Aside from being easy to use, this extension is highly customizable. You can choose whether or not to send a confirmation email to subscribers, include an opt-in checkbox, and add in custom fields. Plus, the plugin is constantly updated and includes email support through the MailChimp Extension developer. To use it, you will need to have Contact Form 7 installed first.
Next up, we have another integration tool. If you’ve spent much time in the WordPress community, there’s no doubt you’ve heard of WooCommerce. It’s the most popular tool for adding an e-commerce store you your website. Of course, if you run a storefront you’ll probably want to add your customers to an email list for marketing products.
WooCommerce MailChimp enables your WooCommerce customers to subscribe to your marketing list right from your website. You have the option to capture this information in one of three ways: after an order has been created, once it has been processed, or after it’s completed. This is a great way to gather emails from an already engaged audience and use them in your campaigns. The plugin also provides several consent options, to keep you compliant with international opt-in laws.
There is a caveat with this plugin that’s worth mentioning. While the overall ratings are high, and it boasts more than twenty thousand active installations, the latest reviews are somewhat mixed. Many users love it, but some have expressed issues with getting it to work correctly. We recommend that you test this plugin fully on a staging site, to see if it suits your needs before you commit to using it.
N-Media MailChimp Subscription
Finally, the N-Media MailChimp Subscription plugin is all about enabling you to customize your subscription lists for maximum effect. It pulls all of your MailChimp lists from your account, and lets you create targeted forms based on list variables and interest groups.
What makes this plugin really stand out, however, is how customizable it is. Not only does it include a visual form designer, but you can also create your styling using CSS if you’re so inclined. N-Media MailChimp Subscription also enables you to build unlimited forms using its handy wizard tool, and create popups for your opt-ins.
This plugin doesn’t have as many active users as some of the others discussed on this list, but it boasts positive reviews and is a tool well worth checking out. As with any plugin, give it a test to see if it suits your needs before you deploy it to your live site. While the base plugin is free, you may also be interested to know that the developers offer a premium version for $35.
Free MailChimp WordPress plugins are a great way to increase email opt-ins on your website. Along with useful content, any one of these plugins can support your mission to build your blog into a business.
If you haven’t already, sign up for a MailChimp account, create a list, and then download and activate one of the plugins above that best fits your needs. It may take some time to determine the best form type, placement, and design that’ll work for your website, but that’s part of the process. Over time, you’ll get an idea of your site visitors’ preferences.
So have you activated any free MailChimp WordPress plugins on your WordPress website? Have you noticed a difference in the number of email opt-ins? Let us know in the comments section below!