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Create Your First Mailing List and Sign Up Form for Drupal 7

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We're keeping this page up as a courtesy to folks who may need to refer to old instructions. We don't plan to update this page.

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Mailing lists are the heart of all things MailChimp. Lists allow us to gather a database of email address, and other additional information, by asking people to subscribe to our list or by doing so automatically based on other actions they take within our application. Once subscribed, and added to a list, these addresses can be sent emails. MailChimp lists allow users to manage their own subscriptions, and to easily opt-out as desired.

In this tutorial we'll look at creating our first list in the MailChimp UI. We'll create one for a weekly newsletter on our site. And then we'll install the MailChimp Signup module and use it to create a simple form that allows users to subscribe to our mailing list.

The MailChimp Signup module can be used to create a page with a sign up form on it by specifying the internal path for the new page and choosing which list, or lists, the sign up form should allow a user to subscribe to. In addition, you can also create a sign up form as a block. These blocks are then available to place into any region on your site via the Drupal block administration screen. This gives you a lot of flexibility when it comes to placing sign up forms. Learn more about placing blocks on your site in the Working with Blocks in Drupal 7 video lesson.

Sign up forms created using the MailChimp Signup module will work equally well for anonymous and authenticated traffic. These are a great substitute for the copy/paste HTML forms that MailChimp gives you, with some distinct advantages, like for example keeping the labels of fields up to date if they change in MailChimp without having the copy/paste a new version of the HTML form.

By the end of this tutorial you should be able to create a MailChimp list and allow people to subscribe to that list via your Drupal site.

Further your learning

  • When you create a list in MailChimp you provide some default configuration for that list. Where do you change those default settings?
  • Which of the MailChimp project's sub-modules are required to be able to create a form that will allow visitors to subscribe to a MailChimp list? (Hint: there are 2 of them).
  • What are the display modes available for a signup form created in Drupal? How do they differ?
  • Further exploration: Can you add an “Interest group" to your MailChimp list and then have it displayed on the subscription form in Drupal?

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