WordPress Plugin – MailPoet

MailPoet

I have just recently started using MailPoet and it appears that I am way behind the times as there have been over half a million downloads.  I learned about MailPoet at the Phoenix WordCamp 2014 this year.  After seeing a presentation where it was being used, I thought I better look into it.  Particular after I discovered that it was free for the first 2000 subscribers. As I have just documented how to use it for my clients, I thought I would just go ahead write a blog regarding it.

Installing MailPoet

The easiest way that I found to find MailPoet is to go to WordPress.org plugins and do a plugin search for “MailPoet”.  You will get a list of about 10 items regarding MailPoet.  Look down through the list and find “MailPoet Newsletters (formerly Wysija)”. From here just click on the link and perform a normal plugin installation.

Adjusting Your Settings

To get started you will need to set your MailPoet settings.   The setup screen is broken down into 5 tabs.

  • Basics – For settings that affect the application in general. These include; the companies email address, user settings, unsubscribe button text, etc.
  • Forms – You can create new newsletter forms from this tab, what subscribers list the subscribers should be added to, and the wording of the opt-in confirmation.
  • Signup Confirmation – Here you can enable/disable email subscription confirmations.
  • Send With… – This tab is where you setup your mail servers.  This one gave me the most difficulties as I wanted to use either Mandrill or Gmail but my web hosting company blocks the ports they use.  (For additional fees, they would have given me a dedicated IP and unblocked the ports). I ended up getting email accounts at my web hosting company and using their servers.
  • Advanced – In the Advance tab you can set the privileges as to who can create newsletters and manage the subscribers.  It is also here where you set the reply name and address.
  • Premium – And if you like what you have but want more, just click on any item in the Premium list. These are paid features.

Subscribers

MailPoet gives you the ability to create a subscriber distribution list and then add subscribers to that list.  It includes an import/export to/from cvs file capability.  This is handy when you have a large list of subscribers to import.  After your subscribers have been entered you have list with the names of the lists that they have been assigned to and their status as to Subscribed, Unconfirmed, or Unsubscribed.

Creating the Newsletter

When creating the newsletter, you can start by clicking on the button “Create a new email” and this will give you a 5 step guide on setting up a new newsletter.  Personally I have found it easier to create a blank draft newsletter set the way I like and then duplicate it. The newsletter is broken down into a header, blocks of texts, and a footer.  You can add and delete blocks as you see fit to create your email.  Entering text  is very similar to entering text data into a post.

When satisfied with your newsletter, clicking on “Next step” will take you to screen to enter the email subject line and the lists of subscribers that you want emailed.  After clicking “Send” the email is now placed in a sending queue.  Here you have the option of sending immediately or waiting until the next send cycle.

Tweaking the Newsletter

To help layout the newsletter, there are four tabs with various capabilities.

  • Content – This a tab contains drag and drop modules for building up your newsletter.  Included is Titles & text, WordPress post (will bring a previously written post), Divider (numerous types of dividers), and Social media icons with links.
  • Images – Here you bring in images similar to bringing images into the media library.
  • Styles – This is where you set your text, h1, h2, h3 styles, link colors, and background colors.
  • Themes – There is download library of about 50 themes that you can choose from to tailor your newsletter.  There is also a guide one how to create your own theme.

Summary

MailPoet allows you to create very nice looking newsletters and meets the requirements for opt-in and opt-out email.  I have written up a training course that goes through each of the steps in preparing a newsletter in detail.  To access, click Here.

Chuck at AinsworthEtc.com 

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