How to create an opt-in form in Mailchimp

No matter what type of business you run, your ability to drive sales and revenue depends in part on collecting the email addresses of your potential customers.

Just collecting their email address isn’t enough, though. You also need explicit permission to send them marketing communications. For that, you’ll need an opt-in form. This article covers how to create an opt-in form in Mailchimp, a market leader in email marketing and automation.

Why you need opt-in forms 

There are two main laws that protect people from receiving marketing communications from businesses without their consent — the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). GDPR covers all of Europe, and CCPA covers residents of California. It’s your job as a business owner to stay compliant with these laws, regardless of where you’re located, or you risk exposing your business to fines. 

How to create an opt-in form in Mailchimp with Jotform

We’re highlighting this process in Mailchimp because it’s an incredibly popular, powerful, and easy-to-use email marketing tool. Let’s walk through a step-by-step guide to building a form in Jotform that allows people to opt into your marketing communications sent from Mailchimp.

Step 1: Select Jotform’s Mailchimp integration

The first step to building an opt-in form is to activate Jotform’s Mailchimp integration by clicking Add to Form. You can also take care of this step by selecting Mailchimp from the Integrations section, under Settings, in the Jotform Form Builder. (Here’s a detailed guide on how to integrate Jotform and Mailchimp.) 

mailchimp integration page

“The beautiful thing about Jotform and other tools is that a lot of these companies have integrations already,” says James Pollard, founder of The Advisor Coach. “Jotform has an integration section with everything from PayPal to checkout services, and one of them is Mailchimp. Authenticating Mailchimp is as easy as logging in.”

Step 2: Choose an existing form or build a new form

The Jotform integration page for Mailchimp will send you to the following screen, which allows you to select whether you want to integrate Mailchimp with an existing form or build a new one.

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If you’ve already built a form, you can select it here. If you choose to build a new form, you can do that using a Jotform form template, like this downloadable PDF form template that you can use to offer downloads of PDF files or e-books in exchange for contact information. You can customize templates to meet your needs. 

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Step 3: Edit your form to include an opt-in section

Using the +Add Form Element menu, you’ll then add a field to collect consent. We used the multiple choice question option to allow people to select “yes” or “no” when asked whether they’d like to receive marketing communications.

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“The basic rule of thumb is that people have to know what it is they’re signing up for,” Pollard says. “If Mailchimp gets a lot of reports of spam or abuse, it impacts everyone who uses the service. They need to make sure people don’t complain. 

“You have to be super clear and include language like ‘Yes, I consent to receive marketing emails,’ for example. On the form itself, I explain the frequency (daily, weekly, or monthly) for further clarity.”

Now you’re ready to authenticate the connection to your Mailchimp account. In the Settings tab, select Integrations. Click Authenticate and sign into your Mailchimp account to connect your form.

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Step 4: Publish your form

Once your form is complete, you can publish and share it using a public link, or you can embed it on your website using an embed code or Jotform plugin.

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“Financial advisors, for example, will message people on LinkedIn as a form of permission-based marketing to reach a specific niche,” says Pollard. “They might say something like, ‘Hey, I notice you’re a dentist. I put together this lead magnet on how to sell your dental practice. Are you interested in receiving it?’ 

“When they say yes, the finance advisor will respond with a Jotform form. If they consent, you can send them marketing communications moving forward from that first interaction.” 

The most common way to distribute an opt-in form is by embedding it on a website. Copy the embed code in the Publish tab of the Form Builder, or use Jotform’s WordPress plugin to embed your form on a WordPress site.

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How to provide a better customer experience and protect yourself legally

No one likes to feel like they’re being spammed. Asking people to opt into marketing communications from your business helps you secure more viable leads — and makes it less likely that people will be annoyed to receive communications from your brand. To create an opt-in form in Mailchimp using Jotform, sign up for a free Jotform account today.

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