Growing your email list is one of the best strategies for getting more traffic to your blog. Whether you have 10 or 10,000 daily visits to your site, the fact that having an email marketing strategy in place still applies. Of course, you need it more if you only have 10 daily visits.
While starting an email subscription feature on your blog to gain more readership sounds simple enough, a lot of novice bloggers might not be too confident in handling the technical side. There’s also the task of choosing which email subscription service to get and whether to go with a free or premium plan.
In a nutshell, starting an email list for your blog will take a notable amount of time — time which you might not have. If you want your readers to be able to subscribe to an email list right away without having to learn everything or spend a single cent, then a simple WordPress plugin for collecting email subscribers might work great for you.
Mailpoet Plugin Review
This is what the free plugin, MailPoet is designed to do. In addition to adding a subscription form to your website, it also allows you to send emails to your subscribers from within WordPress. No other software, app or web service needed.
Here’s our tutorial on how you can set up an email subscription feature for your blog quickly:
Step 1: Setting up MailPoet Plugin
Download & install the plugin.
On the menu panel, find MailPoet and select Settings.
Fill out all applicable information and options under the Basics tab. This includes the email address used for receiving notifications as well as sending emails to subscribers.
You also need to put in your address, and the name that appears on the “From” field of your emails. Each field has a short description, so you know what the information or option is used for. When done with all the settings, click Save Settings.
Go back to the menu panel and click on Subscribers under the MailPoet options. Click “Add List” on the top part of the screen. This will be the name of your email list.
There is a default called “My first list” already created. Feel free to use this if you don’t want to create a new one.
However, if you want to separate your lists by a category such as a month and a year, then creating different email lists is necessary. Give your list a name and description and click “Add list“.
Step 2: Creating an Email Form
Now it’s time to create your form. Click on the Forms tab next to Basics.
This is where you need to create a new subscription form for your readers to fill in to join your email list. Click on “Create a new form“.
Give your form a name on the header part of the screen. The portion below is a drag-and-drop interface for adding or removing fields on the form.
To add a field from the right, drag it into the form area. You can also change the name of the fields by hovering on them and clicking on “Edit Display“. Next, enter the email list you want to use for the form. You can select more than one.
Lastly, you can edit the message that appears after a user clicks on the Subscribe button.
Click Save to save all settings for your new form. You can now add this form to any widget in your site.
Before adding the form to your site, you need to complete a few other items in Settings.
Go back to the Settings portion of MailPoet, click on the Signup Confirmation tab.
Here, you can customize whether or not a subscriber needs to confirm his subscription. If you enable this option, the user will receive an email from you after he subscribes and he is required to click a confirmation link within that email to complete the subscription process.
You can also edit the email content here, making sure not to delete the shortcodes for the activation link.
Lastly, you can assign the page that opens when a user clicks on the activation link. By default, it’s set to a Mailpoet page. Unless you want to create a new page for this, you may do so. You can create the page first then come back to this option and change it to that.
Otherwise, leave this option untouched. In case you don’t like the way the default page looks, there’s an Edit button that lets you edit the page just like any page in WordPress.
Click Save Settings.
Step 3: Adding the Form to Your Site
To add the form into your website, go to Appearance ->Widgets.
Look for the widget called MailPoet Subscription form. Drag this into the widget area where you want the form to appear. Enter a heading title for your form under “Title” and select the form from the drop down list below.
Now check your site to see if the form displays properly.
Step 4: Sending Emails Using MailPoet
Now that you have your form set up, you can sit back and wait for your first few subscribers. Once you have a few, you can start sending emails to connect with them.
To do this, click “Newsletters” under the MailPoet menu. Click on “Create new email“.
There are two types of emails you can send: Standard, which is an email that you create and send, and Automatic, which is an automated email sent to subscribers when you publish a new post.
Enter the subject for the email and click “Next Step“.
For the Standard email, the next page will let you edit your newsletter by dragging and dropping text, images and even blog posts into the email body.
For Automatic, you can set when an email is sent to a user, including the time of day. You also need to enter a subject for the email.
On the next step, the interface is similar, but there’s an element for “Automatic latest content“. Dragging this into the email body area will open options to customize further which and how posts will be shown.
You can send a test email to yourself before sending it to your list. On the bottom of the email editor, enter your email address and click “Send Preview“.
If you’re happy with the email content, you can go back to the editor and click “Next Step“.
On the next page, you can either click “Activate now” or “Save as draft and close“.
A Note on Sending Emails From Your Webhost
This email plugin lets you use your web host to send emails to your subscribers. The second option is to use a professional SMTP server.
While sending emails from your web host is entirely feasible, there are a few caveats in doing so.
- First, a webhost’s SMTP is not designed to send mass emails.
- Second, there is a limit on the number of emails you can send per day for each web host. Here’s a list.
- Third, even if you send within these limits, there’s a chance it might slow down your server.
This is when you can upgrade and get a more robust email marketing service like MailChimp, AWeber or Get Response. These services are made specifically for sending emails to a large number of users, although their free memberships can have limited features.
MailPoet WordPress plugin gives you an overview of email servers and how they work on their support page. Here, they offer alternative methods so you can send some emails per day without any snags.
MailPoet plugin is a good way to start building an email following without having to spend a lot of time or money. If you’re starting from scratch, this plugin will get the job done in the shortest possible time.
All things considered, MailPoet is a handy plugin to get started and grow your email list when you’re still starting out. It may not have the most advanced features, but it’s a compromise one must be willing to make in exchange for saving time and money.