Giving away a free eBook or Guide is one of the fastest ways to build your email subscriber list.
There’s no doubt Aweber & MailChimp do a superb job at this however some of us may not be able to afford a premium email marketing service or prefer an easier solution.
This WordPress autoresoponder plugin offers both a free and premium version.
Free Autoresponder Plugin for WordPress
WP Autoresponder is a free WordPress plugin which is easy to setup to use as an autoresponder or newsletter subscription service.
If you’re only needing an email subscription service for your new blog posts and don’t need an autoresponder i suggest you use Google Feedburner.
There’s about 3 decent autoresponder plugins for WordPress which are free and this is the best in my opinion.
Setup & Confirmation
Once you have installed the WP Autoresponder plugin, the first step is to create a subscription form which connects to the form widget.
For testing purposes, i added some html with a link to an ebook image. Here’s what it look like on the test site.
Looks pretty good considering its free
You could also edit the plugin files and edit the css for styling if you wish.
Create a Newsletter
Simply fill in your details to create different newsletter lists
Create a Subscription Form
You’ll find all the WP Autoresponder settings under your settings tab in a new tab named Newsletter.
Click on the Subscription Forms link and start creating your form.
Newsletter – You’ll also need to create a newletter for the subscribers using the sign up form will be added to.
Return URL – You can create a custom page your subscribers will be sent to after they submit their name and email address.
An example could be a Please Confirm Your E-Mail Address Reminder.
Blog Subscription – Here you can specify which posts your subscribers will receive. Either all posts or specific posts from a category.
Follow Up Subscription – Here you can select what content should follow-up a successful subscription. Either an Autoresponder you have created or Post Series.
The confirmation email confirms they are the real subscriber and double opts them in.
You can customize the subject and message body text to your liking. Html won’t work here which is probably a good thing as this should increase your inbox delivery rate.
Subscription Confirmation E-Mail
Here you can also customize the text and add a text link if you want for a zip file or url to a download page for your eBook or Guide.
Once you have finished creating your form and customizing your confirmation emails, click the Create Form button and navigate to your widgets page to configure your subscription form widget.
You could also copy and paste the form code and paste it into a popup form which will help increase you subscription conversions.
Subscription Form Widget
To Activate the subscription form in any of your themes widget areas, simply drag the widget into your widget sidebar.
To add an image to your subscription form, simply paste some html into the text field as seen in this screenshot.
Select the subscription form from the drop down and click the Save button.
Importing/Exporting Subscriber Lists
You can easily import subscribers into different newsletter lists from a CSV file.
Once you have created a newsletter, click on the Newsletter link under Settings and you’ll arrive at this screen.
Then click the Manage Leans button
Here you can either import or export subscribers to and from your newsletter lists.
If instead of using your server’s mail server that has a hourly limit on the number of outgoing e-mails you wish to use an external SMTP server that can send all of your e-mails out very quickly enter the connection information here.
SMTP relay services are provided by websites like SMTP.com. These have a very high limit on the number of emails that can be sent in an hour. Source WP Autoresponder
Actions – Automatic Subscriber Transfer
Here you can define rules such that if someone subscribes to newsletter B, they will be automatically unsubscribed from Newsletter A.
If you have used Aweber, you’ll like this feature.
With post series you can use your blog posts as follow up autoresponder emails.
To do so:
- Create a new category using the Posts > Categories link (say ‘Email Marketing Series’).
- Either edit the previous posts that are part of the post series and mark them under this category or if you are yet to add the posts, add the new posts and mark the new posts under this category while publishing.
- Create a new Post series using the “Create” button below. Select the category from step 2.
- Now create a new subscription form. Select the follow up series to the post series you just selected. Each subscriber subscribing using that form will receive the posts in the post series in the order they were published. Source WP Autoresponder
Here you can send out both a text and HTML email message.
The free version comes with 2 free html templates and you can also buy premium templates if you want or create your own using the WYSIWYG editor.
That’s it folks. There’s a few other features that may interest you which you can take a look at after you install the plugin.
What do you think of the WP Autoresponder plugin?
Its got a bit of Aweber and MailChimp in it as well as plenty of WordPress.
Thank you for this article. I am actually using WP Auto-responder. I find it pretty could. The only problem, there is no attachment option. Did you find some ways to attach documents with it?
You have done a good job, Brad. Keep up the good work.
Brad Dalton says
The best place to get support for that plugin is from the plugin Developer.
They understand all the ins and outs of their plugin better than anyone else.
I don’t use that plugin because i use the Genesis e-News Extended plugin with Feedburner.
I also use MailChimp which includes an auto responder which connects with the Genesis e-News Extended plugin.
Yea, it’s a free wp autoresponder and one of the best as what many says. But what I can say is that, It really did not work on me and same as well with some whom I know. Though I follow all needed steps and configuration without any mistake. I spent 1 day for this figuring out why it’s not working on my blog. I use mandrill service for me to use their api and supported port smtp 587. But it did not work. I knew I I haven’t done any mistakes in setting up this plugin in my blogs. I also contacted my hosting provider about the smtp port they supported and I confirmed that they support 587. All steps were followed, all settings and configurations were setup the way it should be but it’s totally not working.
If you have any tips for me about this, I would really appreciate it. Maybe I did something wrong, you can sent me some messages in my email I use here… Thanks
Brad Dalton says
I would ask the plugin author whats going on and why it doesn’t work.
When i tested it, it works without any problems so maybe its simply a minor setting change or something like that but the Developed would have the most experience trouble shooting problems.
Good luck and i hope you figure it out.
This is a great plugin, thanks so much for giving so much information on how to use it!
Brad Dalton says
Its one of the best free autoresponder plugins for WordPress.
Its useful if you want to give away an ebook or other download to build your email list without paying for a premium service like Aweber or MailChimp.
Thanks for the comment