Product Dev Back to Ghost

How to use MailChimp with your Ghost blog

The following guide outlines how to integrate email subscriptions with your Ghost blog using MailChimp's RSS to Email feature. This feature pushes your blog content to readers who subscribe.

Create a MailChimp Account

To begin, create a free MailChimp account.

Create MailChimp account

Create a subscriber list

Click on "Lists" from the navigation menu on the left of your MailChimp dashboard.

Navigate to Lists

Next, click on the "Create" button in the top right corner of your Dashboard on the "lists" screen.

Create list

Fill out subscriber list details

Next, fill out the subscriber list details form and click "Save" to create your subscriber list.

subscriber list details form

Create an RSS-Driven Campaign

Now that you've created your list, you need to create an RSS-Driven campaign to use with it. To create your campaign, click on "Campaigns" from the navigation menu to the left of your MailChimp Dashboard.

Campaign

Next, in the top right corner of your MailChimp dashboard, click on the arrow next to "Create Campaign" button - this will reveal a list of different campaign options. Select, "RSS-Driven Campaign" from the list.

RSS Campaign

Setup your campaign

Next, type in your blog's RSS feed URL http://yourblog.ghost.io/rss and then set the frequency, day of the week and time you'd like your RSS feed campaign sent.

Configure campaign

When you've finished configuring your campaign, click "Next" in the lower right corner of the screen.

Select a list to use with the campaign

Now that you have created an RSS-Driven campaign, you will need to select a list of recipients to send it to. Select the list you just created earlier and click "Next" in the lower right corner of the screen.

Select a list

Configure your campaign

Next, you will want to configure the details of your campaign (i.e. setup a campaign name, tracking options, etc). Once finished, click "Next" in the lower right corner of the screen.

configure

Select a template

Once your campaign has been configured, you will have the option to select a template for your email and customize your email template. Click "Next" in the lower right corner of the screen to continue through your customization.

select template

Start RSS-Driven Campaign

When you've finished selecting your email template and customizing the look of it, you will be taken to the confirmation screen. This screen displays a list of checklist of items. If all the items are checked off, you can click on the "Start RSS" button at the bottom right of the screen.

start rss

Note:If your screen is showing an issue that needs to be resolved, you will see an "X" next to the item you need to resolve before you can start your campaign.

Collect email subscribers

There are two ways that you can collect email subscribers to your newly created list. You can either embed a subscription form on your Ghost blog, OR you can update the "Subscribe" link on your blog to direct users to a signup landing page. Below are instructions for each.

Embed a Subscription Form

To embed a subscription form, return to the "List" section of your MailChimp account by clicking on "List" from the navigation menu on the left.

Next, click on the arrow to the right of the "Stats" button. This will reveal additional options. From the list that appears, click on "Signup forms."

Sign up forms

Then, select the "Embedded forms" option.

embedded form

Next, copy the form embed script.

embedded script

You can place the form code anywhere you'd like the subscription form to appear on your blog's theme, however if you’d like the form to appear on every page/post of your blog, the default.hbs file may be an ideal location. Regardless of where you place it, you will need to open the file in an HTML editor, and paste the form code into the file where you’d like the form to display. Once placed, you can save your theme files and upload your theme to your blog.

If you'd prefer to update your theme's "Subscribe" button/link, rather than embed a form, you will want to select "General forms" to create a subscription signup page that can easily be linked to.

signup form

Next, select and copy the link contained within the "Signup form URL" field.

Signup link

Next, you will need to open up your theme files, and replace all links within your theme that reference your RSS URL, [email protected]}}/rss/, with your new MailChimp subscription link. In the default Casper theme, you will need to update the navigation.hbs file (found in the partials directory of the theme).

Note:If you want to retain the custom RSS feeds for each tag, you will need to create separate RSS-Driven feeds for each tag, using the tag's specific RSS feed - i.e [email protected]}}/tag/{{tag.slug}}/rss/.

When you've finished editing your theme, save the file(s) and upload your theme to your blog. When finished, your visitors will be able to subscribe to your blog using their email address, and you will be able to manage and see how many people have subscribed to your blog via MailChimp.