For those of you who know me, I’m all for empowering people to do it themselves.  And setting up your Mail Chimp account is no exception.  It’s so easy, that you may want to fire me as your Website Developer!

The trick is knowing where to go and what to do.  So what I’m going to walk you through today is how to set up your Mailchimp Account, get an API key (don’t worry – it’ll all make sense) and configure your emails so they’ll look pretty and sound nice when your new tribe members sign up on your website.

I’ve taken screen shots from one of my accounts (and blacked out the private stuff) so you can see where you need to go.


Create an Account (or Sign in)

Go to www.mailchimp.com and either Login (with an account that you may have already) or create a new account.

If you have already entered your details into Mailchimp go to the next step.  For those who haven’t, enter your email username and unique password to create an account.  You will be guided to enter in your business/personal details.  You will be ready now to create your first list.

Create a List

In order for any website to connect to Mailchimp, you will first need to create a “List”.  A list is where all subscribers are stored.  Click on the menu item “Lists” (see below).


You will be taken to a drop down where Mailchimp will ask you to Create a List.  Click on the button and you will be taken to a page that has these fields.


Fill them in. Make sure in the email field you enter an email address that is from your own domain such as hello@yourdomain.com.   Sending from a Gmail account will probably end up having your mail-outs end up in the Junk folder.

Click Create and move onto the next step – Creating your welcome emails.

Create your Welcome Emails

When you’re in your List window click on the “Stats” button on the far right side of your list name (see below).  You will see a dropdown menu which has a number of options to help with managing your List(s).  To set up your emails you will need to click on “Signup Forms” (see below).



When you click on SignUp Forms you will be taken to a window where you can configure all of your forms and response emails (see below).

For the purpose of setting up our emails select General Forms.

As you can see, you can build forms from Mailchimp itself, but I never really do.  I use Mailchimp’s API to connect plugins in WordPress sites so they can talk to each other and people who subscribe will go straight onto your Mailchimp list.  Usually WordPress, Magneto, Shopify and other large CMS & ECommerce solutions will use Mailchimps API to connect.  I’ll show you that down the page.

screenshot_signupformsSo once you select  General Forms you will be taken to a page where you can configure ALL of your forms and response emails from your Thank You’s to your Unsubscribe Page (see below).   Can you see where you need to click.  Usually I configure an Opt-in Confirmation Email, Confirmation Thank You Page, Final Welcome Email (for double opt-ins which I endorse), Unsubscribe Form & Goodbye Email.  The other options are usually taken care of my plugins in WordPress and I don’t need to configure them here.  When you click on any of these dropdown menu items you will see it’s quite easy to make changes and enter the information you wish.

If you choose Opt-in Confirmation Email you will get this page (see below) and all you have to do is click on the fields, write the copy you want and save it.  Super Easy!

So what will happen is when someone subscribes, these emails you have just configured will automatically be sent to them.   To configure other emails, go to the respective dropdown menu item and click on it. It’s all pretty intuitive.

Hopefully now you have made a List & Configured your emails!


Getting an API Key

Argghhh! What is an API Key you may ask?

It’s not really that complicated (it sounds it but its not for this purpose).

Put simply an API Key allows Mailchimp to connect with other web applications, such as Woocommerce, MailChimp ready WordPress Plugins, Shopify Plugins etc…  You will need an API key to connect your Mailchimp to your website unless you have built your own HTML forms in Mailchimp itself.  That’s not what we’re doing here though.

To get an API Key you need to click on the top right corner and click on your username and you will see a dropdown menu.  Select Account (see below).  You will be taken to another page where you configure all your secret account details.


Click on API keys and follow the prompts to create one (see screenshots below).  An API key will be a string of letters and numbers.  You will need to copy and paste this key where it is asked for and it will usually respond with a tick (or something like that) to show that it’s connected.




This is a screenshot from my Bloom Plugin (that provides the pop-ups, footer forms and sidebar forms you may have seen) when I create a new email account.

As you can see they are asking you to enter in your email provider (Mailchimp), Your Account name and your API key.  This is where you cut (Ctrl-V or Command V on Mac) from Mailchimp where you created your key and paste it in the desired field.


THERE THAT’S IT!  All you need to do now is come out with your beautiful authentic self and shine shine shine!



Was that easy or confusing for you? Leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you.  To receive updates on the the “Where to Start?” series, enter your email in the sidebar on this page.  Let me know how you go with this and anything you would like to find out more on.

Karla Pizzica x


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