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
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.
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.