You want a form on your website, right? The form is to enable members of your community group to sign up to become a member or sign up for a newsletter. Most websites will allow you to embed a form into your website, however WordPress.com has some limitations on embedding codes and only allows code from a few sites to be embedded. One of those sites is Wufoo.
Wufoo is the master of online forms – if you want to create fantastic looking forms then go no further than wufoo, and you can create three forms for free. Wufoo handles the collection of data and has a great range of APIs to link to other web apps.
Mailchimp is the master of email marketing, plus they have fantastic tools for profile and list management that makes it the ideal choice for maintaining your members list for your community group. You can create a custom signup form with all the required details and Members can use the mailchimp forms to update their own details. Oh, and they enable you to do great looking emails to your members, and it’s all for free!
So, you can’t embed a Mailchimp form into your WordPress.com website, but you can put a link on your website to go to the Mailchimp form. You can embed a Wufoo form on your WordPress.com website, and set it up so that every time someone fills in the form, the details automatically get passed across to Mailchimp. This way you have a great looking form, embeded on your website, and the data gets stored in Mailchimp where you can use it for communicating with your members. Sounds great, doesn’t it.
Well, there is just one small catch, and unfortunately it’s a big enough issue for me to not recommend using embeded Wufoo forms on your WordPress.com website. Here’s the deal:
Mailchimp forms have this brilliant feature in-built into them. If someone has already registered and fills in their details again, it recognises that you already have that email address recorded and asks the user if they want to update their details instead. When using the Wufoo form on your website, this smart behaviour doesn’t happen. Therefore if I’m a member, have added my name, address and all my membership details into the Wufoo form, then come along and fill in the form again, this time with only my email address, Wufoo just updates mailchimp with the new details, and therefore deletes my address and membership details. (eg, it could do this if someone entered an incorrect email address and it happened to be the same as a subscriber in Mailchimp already, potentially deleting records you have stored in Mailchimp.
I checked with Wufoo support about this and they said there is no way around this, it’s how the Wufoo to Mailchim integration works. Wufoo’s response was:
Unfortunately, the Wufoo integration with Mailchimp only works in an ‘update’ function. This means that it will only update lists with either new addresses, or current addresses with the new information.
I understand this, and it is one of the limitations of working with APIs, but it’s a bit disappointing. Therefore I will recommend, if you want to put a form on your website to manage members details, then just link to the Mailchimp form from your site, and style the Mailchimp form to look nice, like your website does.
The Wufoo form integration works great for simple forms, like a newsletter signup that can be displayed in a widget on the sidebar.
[…] recommend a simple link to the MailChimp sign-up form or use a Wufoo form (but see the issue with using Wufoo forms and MailChimp that I blogged about […]
[…] mentioned in my talk are Wufoo forms, and I’ve written a post about the minor issues with using Wufoo together with Mailchimp and WordPress, especially for Member details forms. For simple forms like sign up for a newsletter, the […]