Email is one of the most efficient forms of marketing on the Internet. It’s often an inexpensive way to engage a vast audience in a very short amount of time. However, sending these digital messages doesn’t mean much if there isn’t a list of recipients.
Today, we’re going to show you several ways to create a WordPress email list and how to get the most out of the experience.
Why Email Lists Are Important
Email is one of the most common forms of communication on the Internet. Thanks to integrating apps in smartphones, these messages can be sent to virtually anyone regardless of where they are. This means you have greater potential to keep users informed regarding any aspect of the website or business.
Sending people email does more than just give you a way to inform others. It also can play a role in marketing products and increasing revenues. For example, it wouldn’t take much to offer a 20 percent discount on select items from those who opt into an eCommerce mailing list.
A single message can be sent en mass to thousands of recipients. Of course this is dependent on how many people are actually in the list, but the point is you can engage them all with just one email.
Using WordPress User Registrations
Perhaps one of the easiest methods to build a WordPress email list is to make it part of the registration process. Using plugins such as Profile Builder, users must activate their profiles through email confirmation. This helps verify the address is correct and active.
To set Profile Builder for email confirmation:
Go to the plugins area of WordPress and click the button to, “Add New.”
Search for, install and activate Profile Builder.
You will see a new function in the WordPress admin panel on the left labeled, “Profile Builder.” Click this link to open its settings.
Click the link for General Settings under Profile Builder.
You will see a drop down window to the right of “Email Confirmation” Activated. Make sure it is set to, “Yes.”
Click “Save Changes” on the bottom of the screen.
You now can start creating a list of addresses based on those who register with your website. It’s a good idea to inform people prior to registering that the email address may be used to send messages. This will help reduce the risk of being seen as spam.
Profile Builder also comes with a WordPress widget that is placed in the sidebar for user logins.
Using Jetpack for Follower Subscriptions
Jetpack is an amazing plugin, especially for beginners. It comes with more than 20 common tools to help any website developer. These tools include the module called, “Subscriptions.” This allows visitors to subscribe to the website or comment section of any post. It will also help develop an email list accessible through the WordPress.com interface.
To enable Subscriptions in Jetpack:
Install and activate the plugin, “Jetpack” if it’s not already in your WordPress tools.
This places a function near the top of the right panel of the WordPress admin screen labeled, “Jetpack.” Click this to open its settings.
Under Jetpack, click the link for, “Settings.”
In the settings screen, you’ll see an area with five sections: General, Engagement, Security, Appearance and Writing. Click the link for, “Engagement.”
Scroll down and find the module for, “Subscriptions.”
On the right side of the module, there will be a switch. If it’s greyed out, click it to turn it blue. This activates Subscriptions.
NOTE: You will need to create a free account at WordPress.com to use this tool to its fullest.
Expand Subscriptions by clicking the downward arrow next to the switch.
Using the check boxes, select whether to show follow blog and follow comments in the comment form itself.
If you made any changes, click the “Save Settings” button within the Subscriptions module.
Go to the appearance area of the WordPress admin panel and access your widgets.
Locate the widget for, “Blog Subscriptions (Jetpack)” and drag it to your sidebar.
Set the preferences in the widget such as title, optional text and even the success message text.
Click the save button on the widget.
Go to settings within your WordPress admin panel and click the function for, “Reading.”
Scroll down until you see “Follower Settings.”
Adjust the text that is sent to new subscribers. This can be done for both the site itself and the comment section. These are introduction texts only and are seen the one time by recipients. So, you want to make it catchy.
Click the button on the bottom to, “Save Changes.”
Your website will now collect subscribers whether they choose to do so from the sidebar or while leaving a comment. Jetpack will automatically inform these users when new comments are added or any time a new post is created.
The email list for Jetpack can be accessed by going into the modules settings and clicking the link. This will take you WordPress.com and show you the list of registered accounts.
Using the Knews Plugin
If you want to create your own rich, HTML-based newsletters right from WordPress, Knews has a lot of great features. Not only can it be set up to create a WordPress email list, but the layout of the messages can be controlled as well. From choosing what content to send to the graphics and links within, Knews may be an excellent choice for marketing.
To use Knews:
Install and activate the plugin, “Knews.”
You will see a new function on the left admin panel labeled, “K-news.” Click this to open its settings.
On first entry, you’ll see a message to go to the configuration page. It’s advisable that you click this link and customize your newsletter. This includes everything from sender name and email address to the automated options for including new posts in the message.
Once you’ve made your selections while setting up Knews, go to the appearance area of WordPress and access your widgets.
Find the “Knews Subscription Form Widget” and drag it to your sidebar.
Select your options for the widget. This is a subscription form that can be customized with CSS as well as including custom messages during the registration process.
Once your preferences have been made, click the save button on the widget.
Knews will keep track of all subscribers while giving you the option to send confirmation requests or simply activating the users automatically. You can also set the system to create more than one mailing list for specific purposes.
One of the more engaging aspects of Knews is the ability to create lavish emails. Once you select the template and the purpose, you are provided with a WYSIWYG editor with a drag-and-drop interface. If you buy the premium version, you can also create messages optimized for mobile devices.
Benefits of Using Email Campaign Applications
WordPress isn’t the only platform that can help distribute your messages. In fact, there are a number of email marketing campaign services available that offer incredible incentives beyond the power of your website. These are methods that can bolster any business marketing campaign.
Most of these will include easy-to-use message builders and in-depth reports based on user actions. They offer information regarding various aspects such as how often messages are opened and whether a recipient has clicked on any links within the text.
One of the more engaging features of these systems is that the entire process is capable of being automated. This means all you need is a list of addresses and the system will do the rest. Some may also include personalization templates so that each recipient reads his or her name in the message.
Sending email has been an activity millions of people have used before the Internet developed into the platform we know and love today. It’s a cost efficient platform that will help you engage customers on a grand scale. Start building your lists today. With so many options available that are free to use, you have nothing to lose but a bit of time.
What kind of additions do you use on your site to engage your visitors after they leave? How many visitors have subscribed to your website?
Author: Chris Racicot
Chris is the Support Manager at GreenGeeks and has been with the company since 2010. He has a passion for gaming, scripting and WordPress. When he’s not enjoying his sleep, he’s working on his guitar skills and fiddling with 3d printing.