A default install of WordPress.org includes a blogging engine whereby the authors can post updates, news etc.. But by default the blog followers can only get these updates via an RSS feed not email???? Some of you may be asking already what is RSS and what is a “feed” and another day I’ll talk in more detail about RSS and Feed Readers.
Point is the majority of Internet users understand email and the last thing they want is another RSS Reader on top of checking in with their social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn or by following Twitter. If you own/manage/contribute to a blog and people find your blog interesting you want to give them an option to subscribe to your posts/news/updates.
Another way to say this is every time you update your WordPress.org site (either posts-pages or both) an email is sent to your email subscriber base. So how do you collect these email subscribers?
There are numerous plugins available for WordPress.org and external solutions that can be linked into your blog. Today I’ll talk about the most popular solutions chosen by our clients.
Subscribe2 – (Free)
Subscribe2 is a Free plugin to add email user management to your WordPress site. Due to the cost this is a very popular plug-in especially for people getting started with their first blog.
Once you install and activate Subscribe2 your registered users in WordPress are notified of any changes/blog posts moving forward. You can disable notifications for page updates or only send updates for certain categories. There are a number of settings to set future configurations if you add categories etc..
You also have the ability to edit the default subscription/notification and unsubscribe emails. HTML or text emails, send email for every post or a daily/weekly digest.
A common option is to enable the sidebar widget so you can add the “email subscription” widget to your blog. Now people can easily add their name and email address and click subscribe.
To see an example of the widget you can visit: http://LaurieSexton.com
To learn more about Subscribe2 visit: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/subscribe2/
If you need more advanced Double-Opt In email management or you want more control over the look/feel of the HTML notifications keep reading. Otherwise Subscribe2 will take care of your needs for a very good cost!
G-Lock Double Opt-in Manager (Free up to $349)
If you need a more advanced email subscription manager and/or you are looking to do a lot bulk mail G-Lock has a free plugin to manage your email subscribers in WordPress. They also offer a separate program for bulk mailing and there is a free version, Personal version $149.00 and Business Edition $349. Here is the description of the personal version right from the G-Lock website:
You can easily manage opt-in mailing lists for your subscribers, create personalized messages such as HTML newsletters, e-magazines, account statements, reports, statistics, bills to your customers and send them with G-Lock EasyMail in just minutes. G-Lock EasyMail easy-to-use address book provides a convenient place to store the recipient information. You can use the program built-in database to segment your recipients into groups in order to send more relevant targeted emails.
Visit the G-Lock website here: http://www.glockeasymail.com/
To learn more about the WordPress plugin go here: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/g-lock-double-opt-in-manager/
If you are looking to just notify subscribers of blog posts/updates Subscribe2 will take care of your needs. If you need to bulk mail, send newsletters and sync your subscriber info to another program G-Lock is a good solution and one time cost.
aWeber.com (Starts at $19/month)
aWeber is not specifically created or developed for WordPress but it’s very powerful and easy to integrate with any web platform! With aWeber you have a simple “subscribe to” form on your website but your subscriber information is stored at aWeber. Now you can login to aWeber and create amazing newsletters, announcements and more! Plus you configure Blog/RSS to subscribers so anytime you update your WordPress blog you subscribers get an update.
Custom landing/confirmation pages. You can also create custom confirmation landing pages and direct subscribers to specific website URL’s. So when a subscriber enters their email address and name they click submit and are redirected to your custom confirmation page saying thank you then a link to redirect them back to your site.
Custom fields: Do you want to collect a full name? Postal address? phone? or any other questions? You can create custom sign up forms and ask any question you like.
Custom HTML emails: You can edit your HTML formatted emails going to your subscribes to include your colors/logos, links to other sites or information and make it look more like a custom newsletter. There are numerous templates to choose from and edit to fit your needs
You pay a flat monthly fee and you can create multiple subscriber lists, multiple registration forms, multiple HTML templates, multiple RSS to email templates etc…
The theme with aWeber is “multiple.” If you have multiple websites and/or want to manage multiple subscriber lists or maybe you just want one list but you have multiple sites you can copy the same subscriber form to all your websites and collect all your subscribers into one solution at aWeber.
To learn more about aWeber and get a free trial account click here: http://aWeber.com
CyberInnovation.com – Consulting and/or implementation services
We can help your organization with a strategy to drive more people to your website and collect email subscribers for future marketing and updates. Our focus is to help our clients balance form with function which in turn compares price to features. Whether you need a consultant to help you build your solution or our designers/developers to create a solution for you we can help! Contact us today for more information!