Content marketing is a set of marketing strategies whose main objective is to get leads by producing content that is interesting for the reader/viewer. One of the important strategies in content marketing is the production of the newsletter with which you can disseminate news, articles and content often associated with offers, discounts or benefits of your products. The longer the list of subscribers to your newsletter, the more likely it is that your customer list will grow.
In this post we will see what alternatives you have for creating, managing and sending newsletters to your subscribers from your WordPress website.
What Do I Need To Send Newsletters?
First of all, we must understand the different components or functionalities that are combined to build and send a newsletter to a set of subscribers. These are the following basic components:
- Subscriber list: list or database of contacts with the names and their email addresses to which you will send the newsletter.
- Contact forms, through which you can add email addresses to the previous list and which should comply with the GDPR.
- Campaign editor: a software with which you can create the newsletter campaigns you want to send.
- Mail server to send the newsletter to your subscriber list.
- Monitoring reports with statistics on the results of the campaigns sent.
Additionally, we can find systems for sending newsletters that include other options such as integration with social networks, with e-commerce stores and other applications, the option of creating ads, various automation options, the chance to create A/B tests, etc.
The first question we have is: can I create an email marketing system directly in WordPress? Well, natively, WordPress only allows you to send transactional emails, that is, they are sent to a specific recipient to confirm an action or notify an event (report a new comment on one of your posts, reset a user’s password, confirm an order, etc). These emails are sent through via your hosting provider’s servers. They are ugly and cold and easily end up in your recipient’s spam folder. In addition, you may find that the server applies restrictions on sending or that emails get lost on the server or, even when leaving the server, they do not reach the recipient.
Conclusion: WordPress, by default, is not prepared for sending newsletters, but you have different alternatives that will help you send wonderful newsletters.
Create And Send Newsletters Without Leaving WordPress
One of the interesting alternatives to create and send newsletters is to use a plugin that allows you to create and manage lists of subscribers, create and edit newsletters, send and manage them, all from within WordPress.
The great advantage of this type of plugins is that it is very convenient and, in principle, you don’t have to worry about compatibility problems with external tools. The list of subscribers is saved in your WordPress. They include editors of contact forms and newsletters fully integrated in WordPress. However, for sending emails and not encountering the problems mentioned above, they allow you to send emails using an SMTP email server (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail…).
For example, three of the most popular plugins are the following.
Nelio A/B Testing
I was very impressed by the quality of this plugin, how easy it was to set up, and the outstanding support Nelio provides. I highly recommend Nelio A/B Testing.
Newsletter is a free WordPress plugin (other prices: Blogger US$ 65, Agency US$ 249) with more than 300,000 active installs that puts no restrictions on the number of subscribers or emails. Newsletter presents an easy to use interface that includes a newsletter editor with many options to customize the look and feel of the newsletter. It includes dual opt-in subscription features to make sure you are GDPR compliant. It also includes email tracking features and easy targeting of your mailing list.
The premium versions include auto-reply functionality, lead forms, integrates with Contact Form 7, Ninja Forms, WP Forms and you can add geolocation parameters.
MailPoet is a free plugin for up to 1,000 subscribers that allows your website visitors to subscribe to your newsletters. You can set up automated welcome emails for the new members on your list, create the newsletter you want to send directly from your WordPress dashboard (you have a large assortment of templates) and send notifications automatically every time you publish new posts. All this under the GDPR.
Below is a video with which you can get a clear idea of how MailPoet Newsletter works.
EMail Subscribers & Newsletters
Email Subscribers & Newsletters is a plugin that provides everything you need to create and manage a list and send newsletters, without the need for a third party connection.
It allows you to add contact forms on your site to add email addresses to your list, send newsletters manually or automatically, receive notifications when new subscribers register, and send automated welcome emails.
Email Subscribers & Newsletters uses its own server to send emails, so it does not require any third-party subscription or additional tools.
There is a free version and a premium level starting at $9 per month. This version provides additional features such as email templates, built-in spam filter, and the option to test newsletters.
Use External Email Marketing Tools
One of the main problems with fully integrated WordPress email marketing plugins is that they can consume a large number of resources, which can greatly increase the price of the hosting plan you are using. In addition, not all hosting plans can support sending a certain load of emails per hour and not all mail servers are prepared to prevent you from getting blacklisted for spam.
The alternative to avoid these problems is to use a specialized email marketing tool that you integrate with your WordPress. In this way, the prospects or leads that you get on your website will increase the list of subscribers and the contents of your website can be shared automatically to all your followers.
The vast majority of these tools have a free plan up to a certain volume of subscribers and number of mailings. From there you have different plans that are adapted to your needs.
Two of the most popular email marketing tools are the following.
MailChimp is the most popular email marketing tool for small businesses, estimated to have more than 15 million users.
The free plan allows you to have up to 2000 users in the database and send up to 12,000 emails every month. The unlimited plan starts at $20 per month.
MailChimp integrates with WordPress easily and also with other tools, such as Google Analytics or social networks. It also stands out for its analytics, which show comparisons with your previous campaigns and with the averages of your sector. You can also see that there is a large wide directory of tools that integrate with Mailchimp.
Sendinblue is an all-in-one platform for marketing and transactional emails and SMS. It is adapted to all types of users, beginners and experts, and provides all the necessary featuress to fully manage your strategy for sending emails and newsletters.
SendinBlue includes an adaptive layout editor and pre-made templates, to easily create professional newsletters that fit all devices. The platform allows you to effectively segment your contacts, optimize email delivery and analyze statistics in real time.
It has a free plan to send up to 9000 free emails per month, and the payment plans start at 19€ for 40,000 emails per month or 15.20€ with the annual plan. SendinBlue provides customer service in six languages.
Use Tools To Capture Leads
In the case of using an external tool for your email marketing, you will still need to have contact forms that integrate with your email marketing tool in order to expand your list of subscribers.
To do this, you have a wide variety of contact form plugins and in this post David explains how to create them. But if you are not looking to create a simple contact form but to capture the maximum number of leads, in this post we discuss various elements that you could create (called lead magnets) so that your visitors want to contact you or subscribe to your newsletter.
For example, two of the most popular lead capture tools are the following.
OptinMonster is a plugin to connect with the OptinMonster App with which you can create various types of visually impressive forms: popups, slide-ins, sidebar widgets and more. To create them, it includes a very complete and easy-to-use visual editor and it also allows you to create A/B tests of forms.
Its monthly price (that of the App) with a single annual payment is Basic (US$ 9), Plus (US$ 19), Pro (US$ 29), and Growth (US$ 49). And it integrates with most email marketing tools.
Thrive Leads is one of the most popular plugins to increase the number of subscribers to your website. You won’t find it in the WordPress directory, as it does not have any free version. You can get it on the Thrive Themes website, and you can choose between a single payment of US$ 67, with which you get a license for a single website; US$ 97 for up to 5 licenses; and with US$ 147, 15 licenses. All three plans include unlimited updates and one year of support.
You can create a wide variety of forms or opt-ins. You have specific pre-designed form templates for different sectors. You can customize the design of the forms. You have several form triggers. You can perform A/B tests of the forms and check which ones work best. You can segment the display of a form depending on various criteria and it is easily integrated with a large set of email marketing and social media services: MailChimp, MailRelay, Mail Poet, SendGrid, Sendinblue, Sendy, GetResponse, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
To create a system for capturing leads and send newsletters, what WordPress offers by default is not enough. We have already seen that you have the option of installing a plugin with which you can comfortably manage everything without leaving WordPress or using an external email marketing tool. The advantage of the latter is that you can more easily control the payment of the mail service separately from your hosting service.
We have chosen to use Mailchimp service and Thrive Leads to create some forms. What about you? What implementation for sending newsletters have you created on your website?