The Internet has more than 3 billion email users – and according to a recent study, the majority of these users will prefer getting marketing communications via email than any other way.
An email newsletter is one of the most effective and economical tools in a company’s marketing toolkit. They are a staple of online marketing and are a handy tool for capturing email addresses and staying in touch with potential customers and clients.
WordPress site builders have access to a long list of free and premium plugins that integrate with just about any WordPress website for creating newsletters and sharing them with subscribers.
If you’re wondering whether or not you should use a WordPress newsletter plugin, now is the perfect time to try. Getting started with email marketing is one of the best things you can do to improve your overall marketing strategy.
In this blog, we will look at how to efficiently use a WordPress newsletter plugin and sample five of the best WordPress newsletter plugins for setting up and managing all aspects of your email newsletter.
To begin with, let us see why businesses should send newsletters.
Why send a newsletter?
Research reported by Statista reveals that over 60 percent of people surveyed said that they preferred to get marketing information by email, even as frequently as once a week.
For years, internet marketing experts have told clients that business success begins with building an email subscription mailing list. A key component of many list-building strategies is the newsletter, a regular compilation of content from the website mixed with new information and offers that casual site visitors can’t get unless they sign up with their email addresses.
Newsletters can help businesses stay in touch with interested users, build brand awareness, and promote products and services in a highly targeted way.
Because subscribers use opt-in forms and agree to receive a newsletter when they visit your site, email newsletters are highly targeted to people who want to receive your content. By simply checking their email, these readers can get all the notifications they’re interested in, all in one place, and they choose to opt out of the email if they’d don’t want them to overstuff their inbox.
Because of its flexibility, there is great value in email marketing over other advertising strategies.
Because newsletters have traditionally been a key component of content marketing strategies for businesses and services, a wide range of tools and services are available to help site owners create and distribute them efficiently. This process involves designing the newsletter, managing email lists, and getting the finished product past spam filters and firewalls into a subscriber’s inbox.
An email newsletter strategy can help businesses acquire new customers and retain current ones, and there are various ways to launch a newsletter campaign.
Third-party providers can offer a variety of newsletter-related services, including collecting email addresses, managing subscriber lists, and scheduling mailings. But WordPress users can manage all those functions from the site’s dashboard with useful WordPress premium plugins, free plugins, or a combination of both.
Choosing your newsletter plugin
The best WordPress newsletter plugins are easy-to-install, secure, and scalable to accommodate the needs of a growing website.
Plugins are a core component of WordPress functionality, and users have the choice of many plugins for managing all aspects of newsletter production, created by designers from around the world.
With hundreds of WordPress newsletter signup plugins to choose from, it’s important to consider the features you need to get the most out of your newsletter campaign.
A full-featured newsletter plugin should offer options for collecting email addresses, templates for creating your newsletter, and tools for scheduling, sending, and tracking your mailings.
Some free plugins have the option of paid extensions to get additional features, while others are available by purchase or subscription from third-party developers. Functions include managing content forms and email lists, options for editable newsletter templates, and more.
Depending on your goals for your newsletter marketing campaign, other features to look for might include integration with existing email providers and whether the plugin limits the number of subscribers, you can have at a particular tier of service – typically no more than 2,000 to remain eligible for the free version.
The best WordPress newsletter plugins include an array of free and premium combinations for easy customizing and managing your company’s newsletter email marketing campaigns.
Here’s a sampling of five popular, richly functional plugins that offer a broad range of newsletter creation and mailing options for sites of all kinds.
List of top WordPress plugins
As the name implies, Newsletter is a free, go-to plugin from WordPress itself that places no restrictions on the number of subscribers or emails.
The newsletter features a user-friendly interface, including a responsive, easy-to-use drag-and-drop newsletter composer with many options for customizing your newsletter’s look and style, as well as double opt-in subscription features that ensure that your campaign abides by new anti-spam laws.
Newsletter also includes email tracking features and easy segmentation of your mailing list. You can also use newsletters to help promote your latest blog post or event.
SumoMe is an extremely popular marketing plugin for WordPress that has robust newsletter sign-up and list-building features.
The free version includes basic functions for creating and customizing newsletters, multiple subscribing and opt-in styles, and scheduling mailings to improve your marketing services.
SumoMe’s premium version adds a variety of advanced features, including customizable templates, A/B testing, and analytics.
SendPress is a free WordPress newsletter plugin offering a complete newsletter solution with unlimited subscribers, a WordPress-friendly editor, and detailed tracking.
For more features and ongoing support, users can purchase Pro plans starting at $39 USD per year for one website.
SendPress can be downloaded directly from its developer or the WordPress plugin directory for installation on any compatible WordPress site.
Optin Monster is one of the most popular newsletter plugins for WordPress and other site builders. With a multitude of customization options and detailed analytics, Optin Monster allows users to set actions for every step of the newsletter development process.
Users have the option of installing the Optin Monster plugin for WordPress directly on a compatible WordPress website or creating an account with the hosted version and managing newsletters from the user dashboard there.
The MailChimp plugin is one of the best plugins you can use on your site, and ChimpMate is a MailChimp assistant that allows users to design customized newsletters to be sent with MailChimp.
The ChimpMate plugin comes with essential newsletter building and sending features, including multiple theme templates, an array of sliders, counters, and popup styles, as well as a “subscribe to unlock” feature that allows site owners to offer valuable content in exchange for subscribing.
Chimpmate works with MailChimp’s list management and mailing services to create a seamless newsletter and email marketing campaign.
SendinBlue is a WordPress newsletter plugin free for the first 600 emails. After that, its tiered plans include packages for incrementally larger email lists.
SendinBlue includes handy features such as customized signup forms, detailed reports, and integration with Google Analytics to track and manage email campaigns.
The pros and cons of newsletter plugins
Although WordPress plugins make creating and managing newsletter subscriptions easy, they may not be as efficient or secure as dedicated commercial email marketing services.
Related content: The 13 Best WordPress Plugins
Should you use a newsletter plugin for WordPress to share your content with subscribers? Here’s a look at the pros and cons.
- Low delivery and open rates and spam-blocking filters can limit the effectiveness of newsletters that originate from a WordPress plugin. Newsletter plugins typically rely on standard PHP and WordPress email functions to deliver the email newsletters created with the plugin. But that could trigger leading email providers such as Gmail and Yahoo mail to mark these emails as spam, so they might end up in a recipient’s spam folder rather than the desired inbox.
- Delivery of an email via a WordPress plugin for a newsletter subscription could also be derailed by its IP address. Many WordPress sites use shared web hosting – the most economical option offered by most providers. That means that all sites on a shared server also share an IP address – and any abuses by one site originating from that address can also trigger spam filters and security features for other sites on the server.
- Dedicated email marketing managers such as the popular AWeber and Constant Content aren’t free. However, they are highly specialized and dedicated to observing strict rules on spam and security issues related to email campaigns. Newsletters and other mailings originate from an IP established by these secure providers so that emails are more likely to end up in the intended place – the recipient’s inbox.
- Some plugins offer services such as statistics and analytics, but not all, and usually as part of a premium plan. Though third-party marketing services aren’t free, just about all plans include basic analytics and other features for tracking a campaign’s performance. These services typically offer a full range of tools and templates for managing multiple email lists and campaigns, with unrestricted emailing to unrestricted numbers of subscribers.
Newsletters can boost a brand’s visibility and support relationships with existing customers and potential new ones. To create a newsletter and build an email list, owners of WordPress sites can choose from a long list of WordPress plugins to put newsletter functionality right on the site itself – but a third-party marketing manager may be a better choice for getting those emails into the right inboxes.
Make sure to add a newsletter sign-up on the site to help capture the email addresses.
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