Online marketing is getting a bit harder these days as traditional and even newer methods of selling yourself online are becoming saturated and over used. It’s getting more and more unpredictable whether people will find your blog posts or see your Facebook & Twitter stuff as more and more businesses and competitors clamor to be heard online among a pile of junk and ads..
I’ve always liked Newsletters. They have been around for longer than social media marketing but may have taken a back seat in recent times but they remain an effective marketing tool. For example, top companies with massive mailing lists know they’ll make millions just by sending out a Newsletter with latest products etc..
Here are some of the advantages of using a Newsletter system that we shouldn’t forget:
- Users can sign up to your list automatically,
- Marketing material is sent directly to a persons inbox,
- People can chose to read at a time that suits without having to bookmark,
- People can unsubscribe (requirement),
- Minimum marketing effort, maximum reach,
- Full control over design and action links,
- Open/Read analytics.
I’ve been using an excellent WordPress Newsletter plugin on this website for a few years now with some success. It can take subscribers automatically from the front end and I can write a nicely formatted and designed newsletter with all the required “view in browser” and “unsubscribe” links to send out to them all from within the WordPress admin. I can also generate offsite code to show the subscription form across the rest of my personal websites and places like my Facebook Page.
Get in touch if you’d like help setting up a Newsletter on your website.
Here’s an example of how a typical Newsletter looks. NB – don’t make them too long!:
My favourite WordPress plugin development company Tribulant have recently added a number of extensions for their popular commercial plugins to extend their functionality and integrate with other well known WordPress plugins. One that caught my eye and one I’ve been using for a while now is the Gravity Forms extension for their excellent Newsletter plugin.
Basically it adds new options to the best WordPress Forms plugin, “Gravity Forms“, that allow you to add a Newsletter Subscription box to any form you create on your site. And I’ve added it to all of mine!
Here’s some features:
- Simple activation through the existing Newsletter Configuration screen,
- Seamless integration with the Gravity Form builder,
- Adds a “Newsletters” field under “Advanced Fields” in the Gravity Form builder (see below),
- Auto check option,
- Choose Mailing List option,
- Routing/Custom Field options to grab the Name and Email fields from the Gravity Form.
Here’s a screenshot of the settings screen:
Check out my Contact page to see it in action.
Get the extension from Tribulant.com now.
For me, one of the most important plugins you can have for your wordpress powered Blog or Website is a good Newsletter/Mailing List system. Recently, I’ve researched and tested out quite a few both free and paid for and this one is the best I’ve come across so far.
Its called “WordPress Mailing List Plugin” and is available for $54.99 dollars for a single installation ($274.95 for a developer/multi site licence) from Tribulant Software. After having a good look at their online demo, I paid my fee and installed it on my own VPS server. It’s a much smaller (file size) plugin than some of the others I have used but packs quite a rich feature list in. Installation was fine on wordpress 3.0 despite the presence of a ton of other plugins on my blog including one other newsletter plugin.
- GENERATE OFFSITE CODE! (add the sign up form to Facebook, etc..),
- Multiple Different Mailing Lists,
- Email Queueing,
- Publish newsletter as a post and vice versa,
- Paid subscriptions (Paypal & 2CheckOut),
- Email Tracking,
- Add Subscription Checkbox to WordPress comment form,
- Integrates (via extension) with the excellent Gravity Forms plugin,
- Integrates with Tribulant’s Banner Rotator plugin,
- Timed Newsletters/Autoresponders,
- Subscriber deletion on bounce,
- Developer licence version which allows me to use this plugin on as many of my clients sites as I want!
- See full feature list here..
- Double Opt In Auto Subscriptions,
- Full management from the WordPress Admin,
- Sidebar and Post/Page Subscribe Form,
- Add Attachments,
- Import/Export Subscribers,
- Newsletter Templates,
- Professional Newsletter Themes,
- Bounce Email Management,
- Automated Latest Posts Subscription,
- Insert Single or Multiple blog posts into Newsletters,
- Insert Newsletter History into Newsletters,
- Send Newsletter depending on custom field conditions,
- qTranslate Support,
- Ajax Features,
- Unlimited Subscribers, Newsletters and Emails,
- WordPress 3.0 compatible,
- Bit.ly short link tracking,
- IP Subscriber logging,
- Auto-updating via WordPress Admin,
- Register Newsletter subscribers as WordPress users,
- Notification Email template editing,
- Different Admin email per mailing list,
- Export Newsletter History.
The KILLER feature is probably the ability to generate ‘offsite’ code which allows you to embed the newsletter signup on any other non-wordpress site including Facebook Pages. I have it on my own one here – Facebook.com/ReverbStudiosDesign.
Of particular issue to me was the Import/Export functions. I needed to port my existing list from my previous plugin and this was a pretty simple procedure except for a slight complication caused by the old system.
Creating new Lists and Emails/Newsletters is a breeze and sending them out was error free.
If you need a comprehensive email newsletter solution that covers all bases but is easy enough to use, paying for this is well worth it!
Demos, Documentation and Support.
Buy it at – Tribulant.com/products/view/1/wordpress-mailing-list-plugin/.