How to Create and Manage a Mailing List with WordPress
Talk to anyone who has managed a website or a blog, someone who has grasped marketing basics of how to successfully run an online practice. Even if the website does not generate profit of any kind, there is one thing they will always recommend: a clearly visible newsletter subscription throughout the website.
Having a Mailing List is more than just an opportunity to sell, sell, sell. It’s your chance to build a relationship with your audience and the great thing is, it’s extremely easy to have one on your WordPress website. Literally as simple as 1, 2, 3 clicks!
Why Have a Website Mailing List
Where to start? For one thing, yes, having a mailing list allows you to send your subscribed audience offers, promotions and flash sales in a bid to increase purchases or readership.
This audience is quite probably your market since they clearly have an interest in what you offer, having signed their emails up themselves. However, having a mailing list should not be limited to a shout out every once in a while simply because your wares are on sale.
Your newsletters and emails should be more personal, a conversation of sorts with your readers/clients.
A freebie every once in a while accompanied by a personal note to thank your most loyal customers is an unexpected touch, sure to win you the appreciation of your followers.
This is also why it is quite important (but sadly often overlooked) to address your subscribers by their given name and not by a generic “Dear customer”. That small change is your ticket to more brownie points, we promise. Just make sure you ask for at least a first name in the initial subscription form.
Building a relationship with your followers becomes ten times easier when you can “talk” to them in the privacy of their inbox, so to speak, rather than an open message on your website.
How to manage an email list with WordPress?
Trust us, we all love WordPress for the very same reason. Which is why we’re very pleased to let you know that adding a newsletter subscription field on your website is extremely simple too. We’re going to look at a couple of popular plugin examples for your WordPress site.
MailChimp: Email Marketing Platform
MailChimp is perhaps one of the most popular e-mail marketing services around.
Its basic yet comprehensive suite of features (not to mention the fact that it’s free for the first 2000 subscribers) makes it a favourite among marketers.
If you wish to opt for the MailChimp plugin, you would first need to create an account on MailChimp.com. This is easy and should not take more than a minute. Once that’s done, head over to your Plugins section in your WordPress menu, click on New Plugins and search for MailChimp for WordPress, clicking “Install Now” once the search comes up. After you activate the plugin, insert the MailChimp API Key (you find this in your MailChimp.com Account) in the plugin settings.
Voila! You’re good to go.
Now you can start creating Forms and get signing up more subscribers faster than ever before. Integration with your MailChimp account is seamless – so you can send out your mailshot from MailChimp.com without having to import subscribers from your website. Forms are mobile-friendly and entirely customisable, with a single or double opt-in option. You’re in total control.
MailPoet plays pretty much the same game as MailChimp but goes one step further. With MailPoet, there’s no need to create any other account, everything is handled directly from your own WordPress website.
Everything is editable from your WordPress website, including the newsletter you wish to send. You can even set an automated newsletter, which goes out, say every week or month with your latest posts! Once again, to download this plugin, simply search for MailPoet on New Plugins and click on “Install Now”.
Mailing List Analytics
Sending newsletters is only one side of the coin, however.
Analytics, Click-Through-Rates (CTR), Open Rates etc should not be ignored once you’ve started sending out newsletters.
Almost all plugins come with their own analytics section, which allows you extensive insights into what works best for your newsletters: at what time are your followers opening your emails?
Which are the buttons they click the most?
Which subject line grips their attention?
The answers to these questions are all found here, and making good use of this information can see your open and click rate soar. Segment your lists according to preferences, open rate, interests and target each list with a separate newsletter. You can never go wrong with an extra dosage of personalisation.
With myriad options of possible newsletter plugins to choose from, you really are spoilt for choice. They all follow the same procedure however: Search, Install, Activate. If you have trouble downloading or integrating a plugin, the particular plugin’s forum is usually a great place to start to get your answers and if not, many plugins have a great customer support system. Just drop them a line and they’ll be sure to help.
So go on, get started building a followers’ mailing list and reap the benefits which go with building a solid relationship with your audience.