When you create a list in MailChimp, we automatically generate a series of signup forms and response emails. You can use the tools on the Create Forms page to customize the Unsubscribe sequence, Update Profile sequence, and other list forms and emails that make up our double opt-in process. MailChimp forms are mobile responsive too. So potential subscribers can easily view and submit their information from a smart phone or other mobile device.

Once you've completed your design you can use the share link we provide to direct people to the signup form. Below we'll walk you through getting started creating and customizing your forms.

In this article:

Build Your Forms

  1. Navigate to the Lists page.
  2. Click on the list drop down menu and select Signup forms.
    List drop-down, signup forms
  3. Click the Select button under the General forms option.
    Select general forms
  4. Make sure you're on the build it tab and select Signup form from the forms and response emails drop down menu.

All forms start out with three default fields: Email Address, First Name, and Last Name. To add extra fields choose a field type from the add a field tab on the right side of the page.

Add a field tab

Choose a field type from among the choices on the add a field tab and your field settings will appear on the right. Set your preferences for the field and click the Save Field button. We offer the following field options:

  • Text
    General words and plain text, good for general questions.
  • Number
    Any number, such as age or an ID #. When segmenting, you can segment based on "greater than" or "less than" a specified number. Not recommended for zip codes.
  • Radio Buttons
    Allows your subscribers to choose only one of a predefined set of options. We provide presets for gender, age, country, U.S. State and days of the week.
  • Check Boxes
    Use the check boxes field if you want to quickly add Groups for segmenting to your signup form and list.
  • Drop Down
    Use the drop down field if you want subscribers to choose from a predefined selection of options.
  • Date
    Allows subscribers to specify a date, including month, day and year. You can select the formatting (U.S. or international) for validation of the date entered. This field can be used to trigger automation workflows.
  • Birthday
    This date field doesn't require a value for year and you can choose from a Month/Day format or a Day/Month format.
  • Address
    Collects a full address, including country, in one field. If you have each line of the address in separate fields for a list you're importing, use a text field instead. More information on setting up address fields for import can be found here.
  • Zip Code
    Collect your subscribers' zip codes to segment by zip code or a radius around a zip code if you don't want to use an address field. The zip code field only supports 5-digit zip codes and no letters. If you have a lot of international subscribers, consider an address field or use a text field to collect just postal codes.
  • Phone
    Allows subscribers to provide a ten digit phone number. When importing phone numbers to your list, use the format 555-555-5555, with no spaces, parentheses or dots. If you have international subscribers, phone numbers in a different format, or need to store phone numbers of a different length, you'll want to use a text field instead of the phone number field.
  • Website
    Have your recipients provide a full URL for a website. This can be used to personalize campaigns and will output HTML code for a link (including the <a> tag). If you prefer to customize the link, then use a "text" field, since the website field type can't be used inside an href attribute without errors.
  • Image
    Have your recipients provide a URL in the signup form that displays their own image, avatar, key, etc.

If you change your mind and don't want to add the field, just click Delete under the field settings tab. You can also select the field on the form itself and click the minus icon below the field to remove it.

Deleting a form field also deletes all info in your list associated with it. Make sure that this is what you really want to do before deleting. If you want to keep the field in your list but not make it visible to your subscribers, you can hide a field on your signup form.

Each form is unique to the list it is tied to. Copying a form design from one list to a new list is easily done by using the replicate link in the List page. Replicating a list will copy the form design, form fields, and list settings into a the new list. 

Design and Customize Your Forms

To the right of the Build it tab, use the Design it tab to choose the colors, styles, and fonts for the form or response email you've selected. It's important to be aware that style changes are made universally and not form by form. When you edit or make a change to any element of the form we apply the same change to each of the other forms and response emails for your list.

On the Design it tab there are a few different ways to customize the submit button on your signup form, including the text color, button color, and text on the button. If you want to change the shape or placement of the submit button, or have more control over the button style, you would want to use advanced forms or host your own signup form.

The Style Designer works the same way for signup forms as it does for campaigns. If you're at Lists > forms > design it, you'll see options for which part of the signup process you want to customize, translation options, and options to change the colors and text styles of your signup form.

Use the translate it tab to enable or customize translations for your list's forms and response emails in any of the more than 40 supported languages. Also use this tab to modify the text displayed on the form to better fit your brand. Customize the subscribe button and other form text by typing your changes in each field, then click the "Save translations settings" button when you're done.

Customize response emails

When you customize the forms and response emails in the double opt-in confirmation process you can use our merge tags to personalize your responses. The merge tags work in all steps of the confirmation process, beginning with the Signup "Thank You" page. Below we'll walk you through how to add and test the tags.

If you want to add conditional merge tags to the double opt-in process, they will also work in all steps beginning with the Signup "Thank You" page. So if a new subscriber selects one of the offered Group options when signing up for your list, you can send them a targeted coupon in the final welcome email based on their selected preference.

In order to test the merge tags you've added to the forms and response emails you'll have to go through the double-opt in process. You'll find the link to your signup form under the share it tab on the Forms page.

Share your form

Once you've create a list and built your form, you probably want to share your form with fans and customers. To find sharing options for your sign up form, follow the steps below.

  1. Navigate to the Lists page.
  2. Click on the list drop down menu and select Signup forms.
    List drop-down menu, signup forms
  3. Click the Select button under General forms.
    General forms select button

On this page you'll see some sharing options just above the form designer. We provide a direct URL to your signup form, ways to share your form on Twitter and Facebook, as well as a QR code option that makes it easy for folks to sign up on their smartphones.

Create forms signup form URL

Check out this article for more information about form sharing options.

Tips for customizing your forms and response emails


MailChimp offers a reCAPTCHA field on our hosted signup forms.

  1. Click the drop-down menu for the list you want to edit, and choose Signup forms.
  2. Select Hosted forms.
  3. From the Forms and response emails drop-down menu, choose Signup form.
  4. Click the Protect your signup form with reCAPTCHA checkbox.  

Forward to a Friend

When you're editing the Forward to a Friend Form, you can customize the colors, styles, and fonts. However, it's not possible to edit the underlying code of the Forward to a Friend Form. Unfortunately, this makes it impossible to customize the Forward to a Friend Form in Advanced Mode.

Landing pages

While MailChimp doesn't have the ability to assist with creating landing pages, we offer an integration with Unbounce that allows you to do just that. Unbounce is a an application that allows you to easily add a signup form to your landing pages. They offer specific instructions on how the integration works on their webpage. You can take a look at our blog for some more examples of how this integration works with our application!

What to do next

Now that you've created a list and designed its signup form, it's time to share your signup form so that people can opt in to receive emails from you.


Want more customization? You can use CoffeeCup's Web Form Builder or Wufoo to create your form and link it to MailChimp. Or code everything from scratch in Advanced Mode.

This feature is limited to certain user levels. You can see your user level on the Users & Account Details page and this article explains what each level can access in the account.

Was this article helpful?
What can we do to improve your experience with articles like this?
Thanks for submitting your feedback!
At this time, we are unable to reply to any responses,but we'll use this information to keep the site up-to-date.
Sorry, we were unable to submit your feedback. Please try again later.Thank you for your patience.

Related Articles