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SL MailChimp Subscribe

Automatically add new members to MailChimp mailing lists.

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Not to worry, there are detailed instructions below to help get you up and running.


ZIP file iconDownload SL MailChimp Subscribe, v1.1.2 (ZIP, 53KB)

SL MailChimp Subscribe makes it easy to subscribe new members of your ExpressionEngine-powered website to one or more MailChimp mailing lists.

Here are a few of the highlights:

Simply enter your MailChimp API key, configure your mailing lists, and the extension does the rest.


SL MailChimp Subscribe requires that the “jQuery for the Control Panel” extension be installed and enabled in order to function correctly.

“jQuery for the Control Panel” is installed (but disabled) by default on ExpressionEngine version 1.6.5 and up. You can also download it directly from the ExpressionEngine website.

SL MailChimp Subscribe also makes use of Leevi Graham’s LG Addon Updater extension to keep you informed about updates and bug fixes, but will function perfectly well without it.

Installation and Upgrading

The SL MailChimp Subscribe ZIP file contains an extensions folder, a language folder, and a themes folder. Here’s how to install the extension:

  1. Extract the ZIP file.
  2. Copy the extensions/ext.sl_mailchimp_subscribe.php file to your /system/extensions/ directory.
  3. Copy the extensions/sl_mailchimp_subscribe folder to your /system/extensions/ directory.
  4. Copy the language/english/lang.sl_mailchimp_subscribe.php file to your /system/languages/english/ directory.
  5. SL MailChimp Subscribe can keep a log of any errors it encounters when subscribing new site members to your MailChimp mailing lists. To enable this, you’ll need to set the permissions on the /system/extensions/sl_mailchimp_subscribe/log/ directory to 755.
  6. If you’re installing SL MailChimp Subscribe for the first time, open the Extensions Manager, and enable the extension.


Retrieving and configuring your MailChimp mailing lists is a 2 step process:

  1. Enter your MailChimp API key, and click the “Get clients” link. The extension includes a quick link to retrieve your MailChimp API key, in case you haven’t got it to hand.
  2. Select the mailing lists to which you wish to subscribe newly activated members, by ticking the checkbox next to the list name. If required, you can also select an “opt-in trigger” (see below), and map MailChimp Interest Groups and Merge Variables to custom ExpressionEngine member profile fields.

Trigger fields

A “trigger” field is a custom ExpressionEngine member profile field that must contain a specific value in order for the mailing list subscription to be processed.

For example, you may have a “Special Offers” mailing list, which new members must opt-in to. Here’s how to implement this:

  1. Create a new custom EE member profile field, and give it an appropriate field name (for example, “subscribe-offers”) and label (for example, “Receive our special offers newsletter?”). Specify Drop-down list as the field type, and add the options Yes and No.
  2. Open the SL MailChimp Subscribe extension settings page. Tick the checkbox for the “Special Offers” mailing list, select the member profile field you just created from the “Trigger field” drop-down, and set the “Trigger value” to Yes.


Once the extension is installed and configured, it will automatically subscribe newly registered users to the specified MailChimp mailing lists.

If you’ve specified “Self-activation via email” in your ExpressionEngine Membership Preferences, mailing list subscriptions will not be processed until the member has confirmed his registration.

The extension works best with “single opt-in” MailChimp lists.


Support is provided via this thread on the ExpressionEngine forums.


SL MailChimp Subscribe is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

  • Fixed minor bug caused by the foolish assumption that an array key will always exist (thanks to @methnen for spotting my deliberate mistake).
  • Updated the MailChimp-supplied API wrapper to the latest version, in anticipation of upcoming changes to the API endpoint URLs.
  • Implemented user_register_end hook, to accommodate “no activation required” sites utilising the User module.
  • Tidied up code.
  • Improved inline help text.
  • Initial release.

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