Everyone who is anyone in the writing world recommends setting up a mailing list for newsletters to reach readers. Sounds easy, right? I mean, you just download a plugin to your WordPress site and voila! A cute little newsletter signup appears in the corner of your blog like magic and the thousands of adoring fans easily enter their info into a neat little list for your e-mailing convenience.
Welllllllll not exactly. At least not for this writer.
MailChimp and MailerLiter were both recommended for me to try.
MailChimp is a cute name, so I went with that one first (yeah, I also pick sports teams by their colors and how nice the players seem).
I set up an account on MailChimp through their site. It was so easy, I was encouraged!
I downloaded the MailChimp plugin.
This was going so much better than expected. Squee!
And then it asked for the API key. I followed the simple directions to locate it, entered it in, and came to my stalemate.
Invalid API key.
I tried again to the same effect. I asked for a new API key and tried again. Still nothing.
I sent an e-mail to the help site (which is now apparently not offered for non-paying members) and got a high tech speak reply that made no sense.
So, I gave up and decided to try MailerLite.
It downloaded with no problems, showed up with no problems, accepted sample e-mails with no problems.
Then it took those sample e-mails and piffed them into a void of nowhere.
At this point, I confess, I gave up.
Newsletters and me were just not meant to be.
Out of the blue, one of my wonderful friends, Wendy LaCapra (who just released her incredibly wonderful debut, Lady Vice, and knew of my newsletter woes) sent me an e-mail about a new plugin called MailMunch that works in coordination with MailChimp and does not require an API key.
I downloaded the MailMunch plugin, followed the simple directions and just like that, I had a gorgeous new mailing list e-mail collector on my website! It even stored my sample e-mails I entered! And my sample test newsletters delivered without issue!
So, while giving you the step-by-step details on how I downloaded each of these would probably make your head spin with the back and forth confusion – suffice it to say, MailChimp + MailMunch = A win for newsletter installation.
- What I did – set up a MailChimp newsletter on my site with using MailMunch
- How I messed it up/broke it – I had an unfortunate API key, but based on my extensive internet research (ie a sampling of five or so other sites before I got bored) other people had this issue too.
- How I fixed it – I gave up after the tech support was too techie
- What I learned – I hate setting up newsletters.
- What I thought of the process overall – not at all easy.
- My take on the results – It DOES look nice and I’m so glad to finally mark it off my to do list
- What I wish I’d known before I started – About fickle API keys and how fabulous MailMunch is
- Recommendation – If you can’t get this working with MailChimp and MailMunch, just pay someone to do it.
Did anyone else have issues with their newsletter signups? If so, please feel free to share your horror stories or your success stories (Goodness knows I need all the help I can get if I ever need to do this again!)