This post shows in some detail how to create (find is really more accurate) the email opt-in HTML code within your email marketing service (MailChimp is used in this example), and how to embed that code into your WordPress website.
NOTE: To enlarge any of the images below, double click within the image
Step 1: Create or Find the HTML Code for the Embedded Form
Every email marketing service has a similar function and while this example shows the detail only for Mailchimp, the concept is the same for all of them. You’ve created a list, and somewhere in your email marketing account you have the ability to create lists, and opt-in forms are associated with your lists.
In MailChimp you find the HTML code by navigating as follows: Lists -> Choose the Target List -> Signup Forms -> Embedded forms (Select button on the right of the screen). At this point you have a few options, but independent of which options you select, you’ll find the HTML code you need to copy, then paste into the website.
Step 2: Embed the HTML Code Into a Sidebar Text Widget
Within your WordPress website you navigate to this via Appearance -> Widgets. You then find the Widget Area for the sidebar, move a Text widget into that widget areaand paste the HTML code into that widget area. Don’t forget to select Save when you’re done.
Step 3: Confirm the Sidebar Opt-In Form Looks Right
You do this by looking at the blog (or a single blog post) and verifying the form looks right. You should also test the form to verify your contact information is properly entered onto the email list.
Step 4: Create a WordPress Page Containing the Email Opt-In Form
Create a new WordPress page, give it a name that is something like “Join our Mailing List” (or whatever works for you) and using the Text view within the WordPress editor, paste the HTML code for the email list opt-in box onto the WordPress page.
Step 5: Verify the Email Opt-In Form Displays Properly in the Visual Tab of the WordPress Editor
Before publishing the page and leaving the WordPress editor, switch to the Visual tab of the WordPress editor and verify the opt-in form displays properly within the WordPress page.
Step 6: View the Page with the Form on Your WordPress Website
Open the WordPress page containing the email list opt-in form from “outside” your website to verify that it both looks right, and works. For the image below, ignore that there is one opt-in form on the page and another opt-in form in the sidebar. On your live website you won’t do that, but for this tutorial it’s fine.
Step 7: Create a Button that Loads that Page When Selected
How you do this on your WordPress site will vary. Maybe your theme has a good way of creating buttons. Maybe you use a WordPress plugin. The screenshot below shows a button that has been created with the MaxButtons WordPress plugin.
The main idea here is at appropriate places on your website (maybe at the end of blog posts, maybe on landing pages) you place a visually obvious button in which you suggest to people that they join your email list.
When they select the button, the page you built containing the email opt-in form loads.
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