If you’ve been following our articles on the Aweber and GetResponse autoresponders, then you should probably know by now the advantages of combining one of them with a WordPress website. In this guide you will learn about a popular alternative to the autoresponders mentioned above; it is the MailChimp autoresponder. As you are about to read in the following paragraphs, Mailchimp can provide you with a top-notch autoresponder and e-mail management service. It’s not only the quality of service of Mailchimp that will surprise you, though. The Mailchimp service comes packed with another surprise you will surely love. Please be a bit patient, and you will surely be rewarded. Before we delve into what Mailchimp has to offer, however, let’s make a quick recap of what an autoresponder service has to offer to you. Please feel free to skip the following paragraph if you are already familiar with the pros of using an autoresponder.

What is autoresponder? Why do I need it for my WordPress website?

Autoresponders are services or pieces of software that allow you to manage your e-mail lists efficiently. Simply put, an autoresponder provides you with the ability to setup series of e-mails that can be sent to your e-mail list followers 100% automatically, saving you tons of time and letting you focus on more important matters of your work. In other words, once a visitor joins your list, they will receive an e-mail or a series of e-mails you’ve written on autopilot.  You just have to write the messages that will be sent to your list members and configure the time they will receive it.

Why choose MailChimp as my autoresponder?

“But wait! Aren’t Aweber and GetResponse two autoresponders of the highest caliber?” you might be wondering. Of course, they are! They are not one thing, however. Can you guess what it is that makes the Mailchimp service more elegant than the other two for a significant number of people? Well, it is, ………. wait for it, FREE! YES! You’ve read it well! The MailChimp autoresponder is provided to you 100% free. No strings attached, at least for your first 2000 subscribers and your 12000 monthly e-mails.

“OK! I’m convinced. MailChimp is for me! Tell me more.”

Apart from its free basic plan, MailChimp can provide you with an easy setup process, as well as state of the art forms. Let’s see how you can register for a free MailChimp plan and create your first E-mail form.

Step 1: Open your favorite browser and navigate to https://login.mailchimp.com/signup
You should see the following screen:

Step 2: Click on the “Sign Up Free” button.

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Step 3: Setup your free account by filling your e-mail, desired username, and password in the relevant fields as shown below:

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Step 4: When you click “Get started!” on the screen above, you are taken to a series of personalization settings for your account. Let’s look into what each screen contains. This is a pretty straightforward process; just be a little patient. Your first email campaign is on its way. First, fill in your first and last names in the appropriate fields. Hit the “Continue” button.

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Step 5: On the next screen, fill in the necessary information about your business and website, as shown below, and then click on the “Continue” button.

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Step 6: On the next screen fill in your address details. Unfortunately, providing your address is inevitable if you want your campaign to comply with the international anti-spam laws. When finished, click “Continue.”

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Step 7: Finally, you will have to provide MailChimp with some necessary data about the nature of your website, especially if you’re selling or planning to sell anything on it. This will help MailChimp provide you with more options for your campaigns. Don’t worry if you can’t make up your mind right now. You can always change these fields in the future.

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Step 8: OK! Let’s Create your first list now! As soon as you finish with the above steps, you’re ready to dive into the world of email lists and autoresponders. Click on the “Create a list” button in the following screen.

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Step 9: Fill in the necessary details regarding your list. These are the list name, default email address, default email name, and the message your subscribers will get each time they receive an email from you. Save your options when you are ready.

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Step 10: In the following screen you will be informed about the success of your list creation. Let’s create your first signup form now. This will be the form your site uses to gather subscriber emails. Click on the “Signup forms” tab.mailchimp_10 Step 11: While MailChimp is no match for Aweber and GetResponse when it comes to templates for your signup forms, it’s still a great source for form templates and customization options. Let’s see how you can create a simple email signup form you can embed to your site. Click on the “Embedded forms” button.

sign_up_formStep 12: As you can see, MailChimp people have done all the hard work for you, providing you with a basic signup form asking for the email address, first name, and last name of your subscribers. You can change the message at the top of your form or change the fields your form will include. Feel free to experiment with the options and templates that exist (click on the super slim, horizontal, naked, and advanced tabs for more options). When you finish customizing your form, grab the relevant HTML code from the box at the lower right of your screen (use Ctrl-C) to copy it.

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Step 13: Log in to your WordPress dashboard and paste the copied code where you want your signup form to appear. A widget area or a page should be perfect for now. Voila! You’re ready to start gathering your visitors’ and potential customers emails. Congratulations.

Migrating from one autoresponder to another. What should I know before choosing one?

One word of notice before deciding which autoresponder you will use for your e-mail campaigns.
Now that you know the pros and cons of the three most popular autoresponders available, it will be easy for you to choose amongst them. What happens, however, should you decide to change the autoresponder you use in the future? Is it easy to change your autoresponder? Well even if changing autoresponders is not a very tough process, you might, however, encounter some problems during the migration from one autoresponder to another. Changing your autoresponder will require from you to notify your current followers about this change via e-mail, and then ask them to agree to join your new autoresponder service. While this process is not very complicated, and many auto responding services like Aweber might offer this service for free, it’s also true that you might lose some followers in the process. This could be bad for your marketing efforts, don’t you think?
So, our sincere advice is to examine what the benefits of choosing an autoresponder over another are, and then stick to that autoresponder. Make sure you re-read our guides on Aweber and GetResponse to help you make your decision.

Final Thoughts

This concludes our guide on how to setup a new MailChimp account to use this powerful and free autoresponder service to boost your marketing campaigns and to gather more loyal visitors to your sites. We’ve also examined what it would take to migrate from one autoresponder to another and what costs may occur in the process. This should be our last guide on autoresponders unless a new auto responding service appears. We hope that our guides will help you choose the best autoresponder for you. Clearly, if you are a newcomer in the world of autoresponders, MailChimp is a solid choice for you, given that it provides you with a ton of customization options as well as a free plan for you to start your email marketing quest. Your thoughts?

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