There are so many reasons to use the Genesis framework for your WordPress blog and the amazing Genesis plugins are always at the top of people’s lists. One of them is the Genesis eNews Extended plugin. You can use it to create subscription forms and easily edit them to match your theme. In this tutorial, I will explain how to connect the Genesis eNews Extended plugin with MailChimp.
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You can use these steps to integrate it with other newsletter providers like MadMimi or Aweber.
Why you should use the Genesis eNews Extended plugin
There are many MailChimp plugins and you can also create different forms from your MailChimp account, so you are probably wondering why you need another plugin. It’s a very good question.
I love to use the Genesis eNews Extended plugin because it integrates beautifully with Genesis themes. You won’t have an ugly, awkward subscription form in your sidebar, but one that perfectly matches your theme.
It’s also highly customizable if you know a little bit of CSS. So you can have a horizontal form on your homepage and a different one on your sidebar using the same plugin.
Setting up the plugin and the newsletter
You can download the Genesis eNews Extended plugin from the WordPress repository or by going to Plugins > Add New and search for the plugin. Install and activate it.
If you don’t a have a newsletter already, go to MailChimp and create an account. Once you are done setting up your list, you will receive a code that you should copy so you can add it to the subscription widget.
To find your code, go to your MailChimp account, to Lists > Signup Forms > Embedded Forms > Naked.
How to connect the Genesis eNews Extended plugin with MailChimp
Go back to your blog, to Appearance > Widgets and drag and drop the Genesis eNews Extended widget to your sidebar or the area you want to add the form in. This is how the widget looks:
Next, you’ll have to go back to your MailChimp code and insert a part of it under ‘Form Action‘. Look at your MailChimp code and search for ‘form action’. You only need the part of the code that’s between the quotation marks. This part of the code tells the plugin what the people that subscribe will receive.
In the same code, you will see the label for different fields. You need to know the email address of your subscribers and you might want to know their first and last names. In MailChimp, the labels are usually EMAIL, FNAME, and LNAME, but you will need to check your code and enter the exact value.
Add them in the fields for e-mail, first name, and last name. If you don’t want to collect the first or last name of your subscribers, just leave the area empty.
Now that the widget is connected to MailChimp, there are two more areas you can customize. At the top of the widget, you can enter the title of your form and a little description of your newsletter under it. If you scroll down to the bottom of the widget, you can change the text of the email, the name fields, and of the subscribe button.
Don’t forget to save when you are done!
If you want to make changes to the design of the Genesis eNews Extended subscription form, you will have to edit your theme’s stylesheet or check back soon for a few design ideas.
Do you use the Genesis framework? Did you know you could use the Genesis eNews Extended plugin with MailChimp? What newsletter plugin do you use?