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Emergency Plugin Update v2.16.8

The previous Magic Action Box plugin update – v2.16.7 – added built-in support for Constant Contact. Unfortunately, I forgot to take into account that the Constant Contact API v2 PHP Library requires at least PHP v5.3 because it uses namespaces.

Our updates are normally received quietly with probably just a nod (and a yawn) but this one has got me on my feet for the last 24 hours with an unusually high number of update related support tickets.

It was frustrating trying to figure out why some of our users were getting fatal errors and that we could not duplicate the issue on our own sites.

Our break came when one user posted the following error message:

Parse error: syntax error, unexpected T_STRING, expecting T_CONSTANT_ENCAPSED_STRING or '(' in /home/ed1/domains/ on line 3

He turned on the lightbulb for me. How could I have missed this?! Namespaces support was only introduced in PHP version 5.3. So users still hosted below PHP version 5.2 got a white screen when they updated Magic Action Box.

Anyhow, as of now we’ve temporarily removed Constant Contact built-in integration from Magic Action Box. If you are using this feature, let us know and we’ll work with you.

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How to Automatically Add Subscribers to a MailChimp Group on Signup


  • Magic Action Box version 2.16+
  • MailChimp groups already created in your MailChimp account

Starting with version 2.16, you can now specify a MailChimp group for users to get added to when they sign up using the built-in MailChimp optin form. MailChimp groups allow you to easily segment your subscribers based on their interests and allow you to send targeted email campaigns.

To start, you need to connect your MailChimp account with Magic Action Box. You will also need to create interest groups in your MailChimp list. Here’s the official how-to from MailChimp.

Once you’ve done that, create a new action box and choose Optin Form as your action box type. Or you can edit an existing one.

You should be taken to the action box edit screen. In the Opt In Form Settings section, look for the Select Mailing List Provider dropdown and select MailChimp.

MailChimp Selected in Mailing List Provider

Next, go to the List dropdown and choose the mailing list that has interest groups added to it. The MailChimp Group setting box should update and now show the different interest groups you created in MailChimp.

MailChimp Interest Groups

Choose the interest group that you want users who sign up with this opt-in form to be added into.

Now, when you deploy this opt-in form, users will automatically be added to the group you specified when they sign up. You will of course probably want to create multiple opt-in forms with different groups assigned to them and add the different forms to targeted pages.

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How to Create a Postmatic Signup Form


  • Postmatic plugin installed and activated
  • Magic Action Box plugin version 2.16+

Postmatic is an ingenious way to “engage your readers at their own pace with 100% email-based commenting”. What I like about Postmatic is, well, everything can be done in your inbox. You receive the latest comment replies in your inbox. You can reply right back from your inbox without ever leaving your email client. Blog posts can also be delivered to a subscriber’s inbox when it is published.

Magic Action Box works with Postmatic to create intelligent signup forms that you can use to send leads to your Postmatic list.

Anyway, back to our how-to. You just need to have Postmatic enabled and activated on your website. After that, everything is easy.

Create a New Action Box

Go to Magic Action Box → New Action Box and select Optin Form.

Add New Action Box ScreenAfter filling up the Title field and choosing your Action Box Style – which you can change out later by the way – head on down to the Opt-In Form Settings section. Under Select Mailing List Provider dropdown, choose Postmatic.

Opt in form settings - Select Mailing List Provider

This is basically it.

You can also choose to enable other settings that are optional like showing the Unsubscribe Link – which allows users to unsubscribe. If you want to grab their names too, you can enable the Name field and even make it required. The email field is always required.

Optional Settings

After you are done, click Save.

You can now add your Postmatic sign up form to your sidebar by adding the Magic Action Box widget to your sidebar area or after your post content.

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How to Track Subscriber Signup Source With MailChimp


  • You must be using MailChimp (because this only works for MailChimp)
  • Magic Action Box version 2.15.3+

When users sign up for your mailing list, you will often want to know which form they signed up from. Did they sign up from the form in the header? Did they sign up from the form on the sidebar? Was it from the form in the About page? From the form in the footer? With MailChimp and Magic Action Box plugin, this is very easy to do.


First, you will need to create a hidden field in MailChimp. MailChimp already has an awesome guide on how to do this. Since you will also be using Magic Action Box, you will only need to follow the first part of the guide – “add a hidden field and grab form code” section.

Add a hidden field in MailChimp guide


Next, we will set up the tracking code for your MailChimp action box. Select MailChimp as your Mailing List Provider. Select the List users will be signed up to. Below that should be the Track Signup Location fields.

Signup Location Field


Assuming you followed the MailChimp guide above to the letter and used SIGNUP as your field tag (or merge tag), enter the text “SIGNUP” (without the quotes) into the Field Tag field.

Next, we identify this particular form. Assuming you are using this opt in form action box to be displayed after blog posts, enter the text “after_post” (again without the quotes) into the Form Identifier field.

That’s it. Now, when you check your list in MailChimp, you should now see a new column named SIGNUP and users who signed up through the form we created should have the text “after_post” for that column.

You can also create another sign up form and track it differently. Use the same Field TagSIGNUP – but use a different Form Identifier i.e. sidebar_form

Now, when you check your list in MailChimp, you should now be able to see the users who signed up through your sidebar and who signed up after the blog post and group them as you like.

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FaceBook Like Button Popup

How to Create A Popup With FB Like Button

fb like popupHere are the steps to create a popup with a FaceBook Like button.


Note: You actually only need Magic Action Popup Add-on if you want the FB Like button to be shown as a popup to visitors. You can just use Magic Action Box without the add-on and display the FB Like button within your content pages just like any other action box.

Alright, let’s get started.

Get your FB Like Button Code from FaceBook

Go to the FB Like Button Code Generator and fill out the URL to Like field. The other settings on the page are optional. I would also suggest to leave the Width field blank – unless you know what that will do when you add the code to Magic Action Box. Then click on the Get Code button.

FB Like Button Generator

You will be presented with two boxes of code. The first one is the code for the JavaScript SDK.

The second one is the code you use to indicate where you want the FB Like buttons to show up.

Copy both sets of code into a text file so we can use it later with Magic Action Box.

Copy FB Code

Note: Make sure you only load the JavaScript SDK once. Ideally, you would add this code right after the opening <body> tag. If you know how to do this, then copy only the code from the second box.

Now that you have the code from FaceBook, it is now time to

Create an Action Box

Log in to your WordPress Admin backend, then, go to Magic Action Box → New Action Box. You will be presented with the screen to select the action box type. Choose Optin Form.

Choose Action Box Type

On the next screen, fill in the name for your new action box, and choose an action box style. You can also change this later.

Edit Screen 1

Next, move down to the Opt In Form Settings section and in the Select Mailing List Provider option, choose Other (Copy & Paste) from the dropdown.

Select Mailing List Provider

Next, go down a bit to the Processed Opt In Form Code field below the Process Code button. This is where you paste in the code from FaceBook.

Note: There is also an Opt In Form Code field (without the Processed word). Leave this field blank. You never need to click Process Code button.

Paste FB Code

The next bit we will do is only done because we are loading the action box via popup. Popups are created on the page dynamically – after the page has been rendered. And if we do not do the next part, then the FB Like buttons won’t get loaded.

After you have pasted in the code from FaceBook, type the following code right below the pasted code:


Type additional code

That’s it for getting the Like Box to show up.

You’ll also want to add some heading text to your action box. Move down to the Opt In Copy section and fill in the Main Heading and Sub Heading fields. You don’t have to though.


Now, Save your action box.

At this point, you can actually start using this action box and add it before or after the content of your blog posts and pages, just like any other action box.

But, to show the FB Like button as a pop-up though, we’ll need the Magic Action Popup Add-on. Once you have the popup add-on installed, we can now

Create a Popup

In your WP Admin backend, go to Magic Action Popup → Create Popup. Make a descriptive name for your popup, and in the Select Action Box to Use In Popup dropdown, choose the FB Like action box that we created earlier. Also, make sure to Activate the popup.


Save/Publish the popup.

You can now assign the popup to specific posts and pages. Edit the blog post or page you want to add the popup to and look for the Magic Action Popup Settings section. Choose the popup we just created in the dropdown.


Or, you can also assign the popup to your front page, to all your blog posts or pages, or to specific categories. To view the options available, go to Magic Action Popup → Popup Settings and go through the tab options available.

Here’s What It Looks Like

fb like popup

Comments ( 12 )

Wysija: Making Newsletters Within WordPress Easy & Fun

There is no denying it that adding a newsletter service to your blog is one of the best [if not “the” best] ways for building a relationship with your users. If you’re not sure if a newsletter service is right for your blog, here are a few compelling reasons that should sway your mind.

Now there are a lot of newsletter service providers out there like Aweber, Constant Contact and InfusionSoft, to mention some popular options, but, they all charge money. Which may suck if you are just starting out or you don’t have a lot of subscribers [yet] to make paying for a service worthwhile.

Enter Wysija.

Wysija is a fairly new WordPress plugin – launched November 2011 – that aims to make creating and sending newsletters easy and fun. All from within your WordPress web site. Talk about awesome 🙂

Here are some of the features available with the plugin:

  • Up to 2,000 subscribers for the free version
  • Drag and drop visual editor
  • Newsletter sequencing [autoresponder]
  • Newsletter scheduling
  • Dozens of themes [with Photoshop files!]
  • Newsletter statistics
  • Subscription form sidebar widget
  • Shortcodes and Iframe
  • Import/Export subscribers
  • Single and Double Opt In
  • No ads in footer!

There are a few more features I haven’t mentioned – and a few more coming up on the roadmap – but essentially, the free [but still awesome] version has pretty much everything most users would ever need to run their own newsletter.


Magic Action Box integrates with Wysija. Just install both plugins, select Opt In action box type and you should find Wysija in the list of newsletter service providers.

Comments ( 4 )

Quick Start Guide

Updated: April 24, 2015

This guide will walk you through setting up an action box using the html code from your email opt-in provider i.e. MailChimp, Aweber… This guide should work with any provider as long as they provide a html code for you to copy and paste to your website.

Built-in integration

Magic Action Box also has built-in integration with some of the most popular email list services and form plugins. If you want to use Magic Action Box with built-in integration, follow this guide.

After installing Magic Action Box (or MAB for short), you should see two new menu items in your WordPress Dashboard – Magic Action Box.

So, what we’re going to do is to add an opt-in box at the bottom of your blog post. If you’re wondering why the bottom of your blog post is the best place to put your opt-in box, check out this article for the reasons why.

Quick start guide to add an action box under your blog posts:

1. Get the HTML Form Code

Log in to your email list service provider and grab the HTML form code. Some providers like MailChimp and Aweber also provide a javascript version. Do not select this.

What it looks like in MailChimp

What it looks like in Aweber

Make sure you select the HTML option and not the JavaScript one.

2. Create a new action box

Back to your WordPress dashboard, go to Magic Action BoxNew Action Box

You should see a screen that looks something like this:

Choose Optin Form.

There are different types of action boxes and you cannot change the type of an action box once you have chosen it’s type.

3. Set up the action box

In the next screen, set name for your action box. Right below that, you’ll see the Action Box: General Settings section. Skip that for now and look for the Select Mailing List Provider dropdown in the next section.

Choose Other (Copy & Paste).

Now paste the raw HTML form code that you copied from your email list service provider in Step #1 into the Opt In Form Code field.

Then click on the Process Code button.

We do this because each email list provider has their own way of setting up their opt in form code. But MAB cannot create a style for each email list provider. So, what we do instead is to process the opt-in form code from your email list provider and mold it into something that MAB can style and use.

Tip: If you want to change the submit button text, do this before clicking on the Process Code button. And yes, you can process the code any time.

Next, style your action box. Go back up and look for the Action Box Style drop down select box and choose a style.

And add in the headings and other text you want the action box to have. You can also show an image to go along with your action box.

4. Save

Now save your action box by hitting the Publish button.

5. Add your action box to a blog post or page

Head on over to the blog post (or page) where you want the opt in box (action box) to appear.

Edit the post/page and look for the Select Action Box dropdown. Select the action box that you created in steps 2 and 3.

You can also choose to show the opt in box before the blog post or after it.

6. Save the blog post

That’s it. View your blog post and you should see the action box show up below the content (if you chose the After Content option).

If you are getting problems, go to our support site at and create a ticket. We’ll get in touch within 24 hours.

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Fixing Action Box Styles After Upgrading to Version 2.8

So, you’ve bought Magic Action Box Pro since the first public release and have been upgrading your plugin with no apparent mishaps. Now, you just heard about our latest and biggest update so far, and you, being the excited owner of MAB, log in to your WordPress website to upgrade your purchased plugin and see what goodies we have for you this time. Upgrading is painless. Then you check out the pages where your action boxes are and instead of seeing your action box styles that you’ve spent 5 hours creating

 You instead see this ugly pile of unstyled text.

Come to think of it, it doesn't really look like an ugly pile of text. Tell you what, just take our word for it.

Now, before you hit our support page and tell us how we screwed up this update, read the little blurb below about one teeny, tiny issue about the action box styles.

Who needs this fix

The blurb below applies to users who

  • have been using Magic Action Box Pro prior to version 2.8 and
  • like to design their own action box styles and now find that their action boxes looks ugly (unstyled) after upgrading to version 2.8.

If the two criteria above applies to you, then know this, you can fix this. Read on how.

Basically, the issue is the result of an improvement to the way you create action box styles. Where previously any styles you created apply only to that one action box you created it in, now, styles are created globally and can now be applied to multiple action boxes.

So, where previously, if you had 15 different action boxes and you wanted all 15 action boxes to have the same style – a style you proudly came up with – you had to go through each action box and set each action box style settings. One by one. All 15 of them.

But with version 2.8+ you just create one style that you assign to all 15 action boxes and avoid getting Carpal Tunnel Syndrome as an added benefit. Lovely.

“But I’m still seeing this ugly pile of text!”, you say.

Not for long. MAB Update Tool to the rescue.

The Fix

Simply 1) Install,  2) Activate, 3) Find under Magic Action Box Settings › Update Tool and you’ll get something like this

What this tool does is it takes the styles you’ve created prior to upgrading to version 2.8+ and saves it as a global style – hence the button Globalize Style. Red indicates action boxes where you are using your own created styles and you haven’t converted the style yet.

After clicking on the Globalize Style button, visit Magic Action Box SettingsStyles and Buttons to make sure that the style you created previously has been converted to a global style.

Next, edit each action box that need to use the style that you just converted and assign that style to the action box.

Save. And you’re done. Ugly pile of text gone.

If you’re still seeing the problem, try using the Clear Cache button found under Magic Action Box Settings › Main Settings › Other Settings Section. If that still doesn’t solve it, that’s the right time to tell us about it.

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Magic Action Box 2.8 Available Now

The latest version of Magic Action Box (MAB) Pro is now available for download in the members area.

This is the third major release since we launched MAB and while most of the big improvements have been made “under the hood” – we refactored a lot of code to make way for the features we are planning for future releases – we also have some treats for our users.

New Action Box Type – Share Box

Share Box is the latest action box type added to MAB. It’s essentially an Opt In Form action box + social sharing, adding more opportunities for your content to go viral! Check out the Share Box below styled with one of our new styles – Purity.

Share This Awesome Post!

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Shortcode and Template Tag

We have improved the shortcode and template tag function You can now show any action box using the shortcode:

[magicactionbox id="ACTIONBOX_ID"]

or if you you’re comfortable tinkering with your php template files, use the template tag:

mab_get_actionbox( ACTIONBOX_ID );

Global Styles

If you like to unleash the creative inside you and creating your own action box styles, you will welcome the switch to Global Styles.

Where previously the action box style only applied to the action box it was created in, now styles are created separately and can be assigned to multiple action boxes.

**Note: If you have previously created styles, you will need to use the MAB Update Tool to convert your styles to global ones. This tool will extract the styles you’ve created for your action box previously and save it as a global style under Magic Action Box Settings › Styles & Buttons menu.

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