Using Squarespace & MailChimp to Create Effective Email Campaigns

Email Marketing

Well designed and effectively targeted email campaigns can be a very effective tool for your internet marketing toolkit. Email campaigns work well for keeping in touch with customers that are interested in your brand, while at the same time allowing you to drive traffic to your site or promote your products.  However the Achilles heel of email campaigns is often bad design, poor contact management or worse – both!

Luckily if you run your website using Squarespace – there is hope. Squarespace is a service that provides website hosting and content management which is easy to use, yet fully featured. This is achieved through the use of drag and drop and WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editing. Squarespace has a fantastic form builder that can be easily implemented on your website, the real power however comes from the ability to have data collected from your Squarespace form fed into a service called Mail Chimp.

What you will need

  1. A Mail Chimp account
  2. A Squarespace Website - you need to be on either the Unlimited or Business plans for MailChimp integration to be enabled.

Creating a MailChimp Account

When I made the decision to start email marketing over at my blog Guide 2 Coffee, I made the choice to use Mail Chimp to help me with this. Mail chimp offers a range of templates that you can customise to suit your needs and make it straight forward to put together a stunning newsletter.

Sign up is easy and requires an email, username & password. Once you have created an account the main features available to you are the content creation tools, list and contact management tools as well as the reporting tools. The drag and drop interface for the newsletter creation makes set up a breeze and I was able to create a newsletter that kept my branding consistent in no time at all.

If you have a database of contact information that you have previously gathered you are able to upload this to Mail Chimp giving you a list of existing contacts, you also have the option by following the guide below to have mail chimp automatically updated with subscribers as they sign up.

To begin I selected the free account which allows lists of up to 2000 subscribers, you can chose to upgrade to a paid service if you have bigger lists or wish to remove the Mail Chimp badge from your emails. Monkey Rewards are a referral based reward which you can choose to receive if you leave the Mail Chimp badge enabled on your emails – a nice option if you are looking at ways to monetise your website.

Create a Subscription List

In order to link your MailChimp account with Squarespace it is necessary for you to have at least one List created. Once logged into MailChimp you can do this by navigating to Lists, and selecting Create to create a new list.  If you have an existing contact list of you can import these into your newly created list here.

Connect SquareSpace with Mail Chimp

Storage Options within Squarespace

This is where the magic happens and you can forget about manually updating contact lists from this point on.  Head over to your website, it is here that you will create a form using the Form builder block on a subscription page of your website. Click here to view our subscription page.

It is beneficial here to gather demographic information about your subscriber such as name, website or country. This will allow you to tailor future email campaigns to specific customers. Squarespace allows you to define if a field is required or not allowing the subscriber to decide if they wish to provide certain information.  The important thing to remember is that if you add a field on your website form, the field must also be added in your Mail Chimp List so the information has somewhere to go.

When you have finished the form, click on the storage option of your form.  You have three options: Email Results, Mail Chimp or Google Docs. Select Mail Chimp to launch the connection wizard that will take you through the steps to link your Squarespace form with your Mail Chimp list.

Connect Squarespace with MailChimp

Connect Squarespace with MailChimp

Make it Known

Now...you need subscribers! This involves strategically placing links around your website inviting your visitors to subscribe. You will notice on our site we place a link in the sidebar, this includes the offering ‘Get Free tips via Email’ and a call to action ‘Subscribe’. You can promote this in other ways on your website of course, if you have an effective way of encouraging visitors to subscribe to your page we would love to hear about it in the comments.