Newsletters – MailPoet
I spoke about a Websites prime reason for existence being to “communicate”. One of its methods to do that is by sending Newsletters to followers. Lets take a closer look at how we can make that happen.
First we need a Plugin that gives your WordPress site the ability to create and send Newsletters. There are many options to choose from that are both free or paid. I personally would suggest starting with a free plugin before commiting to a commercial one you may later not like.
Most Newsletter plugins can be categorized as “Freemium”. This means they have a free version that can be upgraded to a Premium paid version giving extended functionality. There is a wide difference between plugins vendors as to how much functionality comes in their free versions.
Personally I like MailPoet as a good allround Plugin. It offers a solid selection of options that make its free version versatile and very suitable for most peoples needs. The upgrade to the paid version offers additional templates and MailPoets’ inhouse mail servers for high volume mail outs. That said – the free version works perfectly well using the system we set out in “G Suite-A Tool worth considering”
Download MailPoet here or type it into the search box in Plugins>Add New in your Admin backend.
Select MailPoet version 3…….
Next Activate the Plugin.
Once activated you should see the word MailPoet in the lefthand Admin menu in the backend. All its options and setting are here. Some plugins add an additional Settings entry in the WordPress “Settings” tab in the left manu. MailPoet keeps it all in its own tab.
Click on MailPoet word and it will open. The first time you do this, a helper screen runs through the initial setup.
The first screen opens with your WordPress default information it found in WordPress settings for you. It has your logged in ID and the default email address you set for WordPress to use. This should not need to be changed, click next.
The next step asks you to sign up for their 4-part email course. They are very helpful building your knowledge of how to master the Plugin. Go ahead and add an email address where you would like those sent. It all helps in your learning curve. Here you can choose a different mail address to receive them rather than the website default which your site uses to send mail.
Next they will ask to use data from your usage of their program to help improve their development of the plugin. Its up to you. Most Plugins in the WordPress Directory are reasonably safe in this respect. Any violations and WordPress takes action by removing them from the directory very quickly.
Next you will see this screen, we are in the Email tab, waiting for you to create something new. Your options are – Newsletters, Welcome Emails and Post Notifications. We will come back here in a few moments to get something happening.
But first we still have to set up a few things in Settings which wont take long.
So on the left menu under MailPoet click on Settings.
On the Basics tab the only thing we need to do is place a tick against “Subscribe in comments”. When somebody uses the Comments box at the bottom of any of your Posts – it gives them the option “Yes add me to your Mailing List” . A very good idea.
Now below that – select a list for them to subscribe to. At the moment only one list will show here which is “My First List”. Select it.
The other default settings here are okay. Have a read as it does educate you on other things you can do. Much of this is also covered in the 4 Part email program MailPoet will send you. “Save Settings“
On the next tab “Sign-up Confirmation, is the message your new subscriber will receive. It is good practice to enable it by ticking the radio button. If it is not already ticked by default. The “From”, “Reply-to” and “Email Subject” should have the correct info already.
Next is the default message your subscriber will receive. It should be fine already but you do have the option to edit or change how the message reads. Just be sure to keep the “Shortcode” including the square brackets in your message. These are active content that make it work correctly.
The next tab is “Send With”. This allows you to use the “MailPoet sending Service” or “Other”. If you choose their service it has a free limit at which point you must upgrade to a paid plan. Clicking on on their service will run you through the required steps. In this tutorial we will choose Other. This allows your default sending method or a Hybrid form of sending. Because there are so many plugins or mail services a WordPress user might have enabled on their website, MailPoet tries to interface with all the possibilities. Click Configure.
Don’t let the text message in the box frighten you. I addressed sending issues with our SMTP plugin using G-mail setup to cover these issues they warn about.
If you missed that post you can catch up here. Why Keep Email and Website Hosting Separate?
Send With Settings should be as per the picture.
Method = Your web host/ web server.√
(leave it on this. If you installed and configured the SMTP plugin in the earlier tutorial it is catching all mail output and routing safely using an API Key verification. DO NOT select SMTP from the drop-down list.)
Web host = Not Listed (default)√
Sending Frequency =
I’ll set my own frequency
25 emails every 5 minutes (recommended)√
Okay we are done with Settings so lets skip to something really cool that will start working for us straight away.
Under MailPoet in the left Admin menu go to the Emails tab. Your options are – Newsletters, Welcome Emails and Post Notifications. Choose the Post notification tab.
Mailpoet can automatically send an email with your “last Post” you created on your website. ‘Look Mum – no hands!” Once set up, every time you publish a new post – it triggers MailPoet to send everyone on your mail list a notification that there is new post. It takes very little work to setup and MailPoet will keep doing it till you tell it to stop. But why would you tell it to stop? Its spreading the word without you having to do it.
Click on Post notifications then you want to “Add New”.
This new window opens to make a selection.
Select Latest Posts as highlighted here.
After selecting Latest posts, a new screen.
This allows you to set frequency that mailPoet will send Notification emails for new posts.
You can leave the settings as is or change to your preference.
Next is a screen showing templates.
Select whichever takes your fancy. Each one has a preview you can open to view its full appearance. There are many to choose from so pick something that is a similar theme to your Website appearance for the sake of continuity and Branding. Each can be edited in the next steps. You can always change it later if you feel the need.
Next it will take you to the edit screen.
Here you can change any of the default text and add any of the elements available from the editor to the right.
It is a Drag and Drop interface and very easy to use.
Experiment a bit to see how it works. There is more information in the 4-Part Email tutorials MailPoet will send you.
When finished Click save or next.
Now this is the final screen. HOORAY!!
Pretty much everything here is set as it needs to be. Just one issue to deal with.
MailPoet has the ability to send different mail to different groups (lists) of people.
By default it creates two lists – “My First List” and “WordPress Users”.
In the image here you can see the dropdown lists a third one”Woocommerce Customers”. This is because it saw that Woocommerce is on this test installation of WordPress I use for tutorial images.
To be able to finish and Activate the automatic notification of Blog posts – it needs you to select a list. For the moment Choose “WordPress Users” and “My First List”. You notice that “WordPress Users” list has one person in it. It will be you. You will receive an email about the posts you make. Good way to check that it is working. Next press Activate to finish.
Creating a Newsletter is a very similar process. The steps are the same.
First go to the Newsletters Tab and select Add New.
It takes us to the next screen to select the Newsletter widget.
Next it takes us to select a Template.
Then to the Editor to write our content – add Text – add Images – add elements.
We then save our work and click Next.
Then the final screen where we select the list we wish to send the Newsletter to.
We can send immediately or we can Schedule it to send on a particular date and time.
Same as before but we can Schedule it to send some time in the future. This is great because it allows us to gradually write the Newsletter ahead of time and send it on a specific day and time.
To keep the same appearance on each consecutive Newsletter there is a Duplicate option. In the list of previous Newsletters – hover below the title on the one you want to duplicate.
You will see the word Duplicate. Clicking it will create a duplicate called Copy-Subject in this example. Go into it – Rename it to save confusion – then replace the old content with the new. Save and Schedule. All done.
MailPoet can be set to send to particular lists of subscribers.
You can manually create different lists to group subscribers.
I added an E-commerce store using the Woocommerce Plugin. It may be that I want to send Product Updates or Sales information to only the people that are customers or subscribers to that store. They are on a separate list so I can easily do that.
I think that covers the installation and getting you started.
Use MailPoets resources and Tutorial to further refine your usage.
Soon you will be pumping out amazing regular Newsletters to your followers.