Email Integrations with Shack Forms: MailChimp, FreshMail, AcyMailing

3 Ways of Creating an Email List with Shack Forms

Are you thinking about creating an email list for your Joomla site visitors but don't know how to? There are 3 ways of creating email lists with Shack Forms, in no particular order:

  1. Create a sign-up form for your Mailchimp email lists.
  2. Create a sign-up form for your FreshMail email lists.
  3. Create a sign-up form for your AcyMailing email lists.

In this blog post, I will give you a guided tour of each of these three options. 

Creating a sign-up form for your email lists using Shack Forms gives you a few significant benefits.

  • Your sign-up form will have all of the cool effects and design themes offered by Shack Forms! For example, you may want to add an icon to your sign-up form. Or you may want to add a cool image to your sign-up form background.
  • You will be able to further direct the form sender to any page on your Joomla site. Let's say, you may want to direct them to a Thank You page. Or you may wish to direct them to a page deeper into your customer funnel. 
  • You will be able to automatically store submitted data in your Google Sheets document. Integrate your sign-up form with Google Sheets and use all the power and flexibility of Google spreadsheets to store and analyze use submitted data.
  • You will be able to track your sign-up form performance and analyze it in Google Analytics.

Option #1. Use Shack Forms to create email lists at Mailchimp

Mailchimp is one of the most user-friendly email marketing service providers. We use it ourselves here at Joomlashack.com.

Let's assume, you would like to use Shack Forms to create a Mailchimp email list sign-up form with three fields:

  1. First Name.
  2. Last Name.
  3. Email Address:

You would like the form to be displayed in a lightbox. You would like it to be displayed when a visitor of your Homepage tries to exit the page. 

For your Shack Forms module to work with your Mailchimp account, you will need to authenticate your site's domain name in Mailchimp.

This authentication is a three-step process:

  1. Under your site control panel, create an email account. 
  2. Configure your desktop or tablet or mobile email client to receive emails sent to this email address.
  3. Verify this email address in your Mailchimp account.

At the end of this process, you should see "Domain successfully verified!" message from your Mailchimp account.

domain successfully verified

Excellent! You just verified your Joomla site domain name in Mailchimp. You are now ready to connect your Shack Forms sign-up form to Mailchimp. 

Your Shack Form integration with Mailchimp starts from connecting the form with your Mailchimp account.

You will do this by setting your Mailchimp API key in your Shack Form.

You will find your Mailchimp API key under your Mailchimp Profile page > Extras > API keys, as you can see on my image below: under extras click api keys

Once you copied your Mailchimp API key, it would be a good time to let your Shack Form know about it.

You would do this under the "Integrations" tab. You will select the Mailchimp from the Choose provider field and copy your Mailchimp API key into the API key field:

select mailchimp provider copy the key

Once you click "Save", you will see the Subscribe to lists field:

click inside the subscribe to list field

Here you can select to what Mailchimp list your Joomla site visitors will be able to sign. As you can see on the image below, for my purposes, I selected all three of my dummy lists:

lists selected

I also clicked Yes for the Double Opt-in parameter:

click yes for double opt in

And I clicked Visible on front and unchecked for the Visibility of lists setting:

click on visible on front and unchecked

That's it. You can click "Save" or "Save & Close" now.

Good job! Your Shack Form is now connected to your Mailchimp account. Next, you will want to configure on what pages and how you wish to display your Mailchimp sign-up form.

For the purpose of my tutorial, I assigned the form's module to the Homepage:

assign the form to the home menu item

I also opted to display the form as a lightbox, flying out when the visitor tries to leave the page:

final result

Visit your site and fill in the form with some dummy data and existing email address.

Once you sent the form, check your inbox. You should see the email marked with the Confirm Subscription button:

confirm subscription

When you open this email, inside the email body, click on the Yes, subscribe me to this list button:

click to confirm your subscription

You will be taken to the Mailchimp's Confirm Humanity page.

Click within the I'm not a robot checkbox (1) and click Subscribe to list:

confirm humanity

You will see the Subscription Confirmed page:

subscription confirmed

When you check your Mailchimp list to which you set your Shack Form, you will see the subscription listed:

subscribed listed


Option #2. Use Shack Forms to create email lists at FreshMail

What if you wish to use Shack Forms to create a sign-up form for your email lists hosted by FreshMail?

Let's assume, you would like to create a FreshMail sign-up form with two fields:

  1. Name.
  2. Email.

The form will be displayed in a lightbox. It will be displayed when a Homepage visitor tries to exit the page. 

Note: for the purpose of this tutorial, I assume you already have an account with FreshMail. I also assume you already created your email lists there.

Let's take a look at how it works.

A Shack Form integration with FreshMail starts from connecting your form with your FreshMail account.

You do this by setting your FreshMail's API key and Secret Key in your Shack Form.

You would log into your FreshMail account. In the top right corner, you would click on the little down error and then click "Settings":

click error click settings

On the next screen, you'd click the burger icon (1), then click "Plugin and API, and then click "Integrations:

click the burger icon and click plugins and api then integration

You will be taken to "Your API keys" screen. Here you will need to copy the "API key" and the "API Secret":

copy your api key and api secret

In your Shack Form, you click on the Integrations tab. You then select Freshmail from the Choose provider field. And finally you copy your FreshMail API key and API Secret into their respective fields and click Save:

paste your freshmail api key and api secret in respective fields

You then click inside the Subscribe to lists field. You will see a drop-down with the lists you created in your FreshMail account:

drop down with your freshmail lists

You then click on the list(s) you would like your site visitors to be able to subscribe to. You will see your audiences appearing inside the Subscribe to lists box with a cross icon next to them. You can click on a list cross icon to deselect the list:

lists selected

As you can see on the image below, I clicked Yes for the "Double Opt-in" parameter. The double opt-in will deter automatic registrations by bots.

click yes for double opt in

You then click Visible on front and unchecked for the Visibility of lists setting. This will allow your subscribers to select what list to subscribe to:

click on visible on front and unchecked

Then optionally, you would enter some text into the Subscribe label box. This text will be displayed on your Shack Forms sign-up form next to each audience/list. For my tutorial, I entered Subscribe to our newsletters:

subscribe to our newsletters label

That's basically it. You can click Save now.

Good job! Your Shack Form is now connected to your FreshMail account.

You can now use your FreshMail sign-up form fields in your Shack Form.

In this last step, you will define on what page(s) and how your Shack Form/FreshMail sign-up form will be displayed.

In the previous example, you have seen the Mailchimp sign-up form displayed as flying out lightbox window. 

Shack Forms is very flexible in this respect. You can display your FreshMail sign-up form in at least 6 ways:

  • Inside a module
  • In a pop-up after clicking a menu item
  • Via a tab on the edge of the browser
  • Based on visitors behavior
  • Inside a Joomla article
  • When a visitor clicks a text link.

Excellent! You connected your sign-up form with your FreshMail account. You also assigned it to required page(s) and defined its effects and design. 

You can now test your form.

When you send the form and check the sender's inbox, you will see the emails with the "Please confirm your newsletter subscription" subject:

three confirmation emails arrived

When you open one of the emails you need to click on the "Yes, I confirm this newsletter subscription" green button:

confirmation button

You will see the "Thank You" webpage:

you will see the thank you screen

Now you visit your FreshMail email lists. You will see your new test subscribers listed:

subscribers listed


Option #3. Use Shack Forms to create email list at your Joomla site with AcyMailing extension

AcyMailing by acyba.com is a leading Joomla extension for creating and managing email list from your Joomla site.

Its integration with Shack Forms is a three-step process:

  1. Create your email lists in AcyMailing.
  2. Create a sign-up form for the AcyMailing lists using Shack Forms.
  3. Connect the form with AcyMailing.

Let's take a look at this process in more detail.

You create email lists in AcyMailing the same way you would create Joomla articles.

As you can see on the image below, I created three lists: 

my test lists in acymailing

Next you would create a sign-up form in Shack Forms. Let's assume, you decided to create a basic form with just two fields: "Name" and "Email":

my basic sign up form

Here is how this sign-up form would look from the frontend:

my basic form from frontend

Excellent! You have your AcyMailing email lists. You also have a sign-up form. Now let's ask our Shack Form to subscribe the form submitters to those email lists.

In your Shack Form, you would go to the "Integrations" tab:

go to integrations tab

You will cocate the "Choose provider" parameter in the "Newsletter" section and set it to "AcyMailing"

set the choose provider to acymailing

You will see the "Subscribe to lists" field drop-down with your AcyMailing email lists.

click on required lists

You then click on "All" to subscribe your visitors to all lists or click on a single list of your choice to subscribe to that particular list or lists. As you can see on the image below, I added all three of my AcyMailing lists:

all lists selected

Set the "Visibility of lists". For my demonstration, I opted for "Visible on front and unchecked".

Optionally, set a custom label for the button of your sign-up form.

You are ready to finish and click "Save" or "Save & Close".

When you test your sign-up form, you will see the new subscribers in the AcyMailing lists. 


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About the author

Born from a Ukrainian mother and Russian father, Alex lives in the United Kingdom. Alex is a self-taught Microsoft Certified Professional. He enjoys learning Joomla and helping web site administrators make the most of it.