Newsletter Manager Plugin For WordPress

The Newsletter Manager plugin for WordPress allows you to manage newsletter subscription forms on your site.

It is widget-driven, and plays best with widget-driven themes such as the Semiologic theme, especially when combined with the Inline Widgets plugin.

The plugin plays well with aweber, getresponse, 1shoppingcart, majordomo, and other list managers that can service a list-subscribe@domain.com email.

Placing a Subscription Form in a panel/in a sidebar

It's short and simple:

  1. Browse Appearance / Widgets
  2. Open the panel of your choice (or sidebar, if not using the Semiologic theme)
  3. Place a "Newsletter Widget" in that panel/sidebar
  4. Configure that newsletter widget as needed

Usually, no configuration will be required beyond entering the email of your list.

Common places to insert a form automatically include:

  • To the top/middle right of your site in a sidebar. Users commonly swipe their mouse to the top right corner of their screen, and eyeballs generally look for it in that area once they're done reading.
  • After your post's content ("Entry: Content" widget in the "Each Entry" panel), provided of course that your content is read to the very end.
  • After all posts ("After The Entries" panel.)

Embedding a subscription form in a static page

You'll frequently want a subscription form directly in the content of key pages on your site:

  1. Open the Inline Widgets panel, under Appearance / Widgets
  2. Place and configure a Newsletter Widget
  3. Create or edit your pages as needed; note the "Widgets" drop down menu
  4. Select your newly configured newsletter widget in the "Widgets" drop down menu to insert it where your mouse cursor is at

Google Analytics integration

Combining this plugin with the Google Analytics (GA) plugin adds an interesting bonus. Specifically, form subscription usage gets tracked as page events. In addition, newly subscribed users are segmented automatically.

Download

This package is part of Semiologic Pro, and is access-restricted.

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Frequently Asked Questions

HELP ME!!!

The Semiologic forum is the best place to report issues.

Why Should I Use A 3rd-Party Mailing List Manager Rather Than A WordPress Plugin

Because php-based mailing lists translate to unreliability.

On paper, you can create a proper mailing list manager with php, and some do. In practice, key problems include:

  • The php script is terminated by Apache (e.g. maximum execution time reached) before the email is sent to your entire list.
  • The php script makes your site unavailable as a result of bulk sending emails.
  • Your host notices the script because it hogs resources, identifies it as a spam script, and shuts down your account.
  • Some recipients never receive your emails, because they're using an ISP (e.g., AOL) that marks any email sent by Apache's built-in mail function as spam.

Why Should I Use Hosted Commercial Software To Run My Mailing List?

There is a very strong case for using commercial software such as aweber rather than something you host yourself.

Bonus features such as stats and autoresponders are arguably worth mentionning, but the key reason, once again, has everything to do with reliability.

Some recipients mark your emails as spam in spite of subscription confirmation procedures. Typically, this will occur because a genuine subscriber decides it is easier to unsubscribe by filtering you as spam than it it to follow the instructions that you include in each of your emails. Upon getting marked as a spam, your server's IP is put on a Real Black List (RBL). RBLs are used by anti-spam filters around the world. Your list goes downhill from there.

It's a nightmare to be removed from a RBL. It takes time, resources, more time, more resources. When you use a hosted commercial software such as aweber, someone worries about this for you.

How Should I Configure My Mailing List?

If you decide to use a free tool such as Majordomo, you'll typically want to configure your list as follows:

  • Message moderation should be turned on (do not forget to add yourself to the moderators).
  • Posts from addresses other than moderators should be rejected.
  • Administrative requests should be serviced (the plugin won't work if you disable this).

Can You Install My Mailing List?

This would usually be work for your host, but sure.

Simply send the pertaining details to sales @ semiologic.com. You'll be charged by the time spent on it — a $100 budget would be typical.

Change Log

Version 5.2

  • Use minified javascript file
  • Code refactoring
  • WP 3.9 compat

Version 5.1.1

  • WP 3.8 compat

Version 5.1

  • WP 3.6 compat
  • PHP 5.4 compat

Version 5.0.1

  • WP 3.5 compat
  • Added default text for typical Name field

Version 2.0.1

  • Pot file tweak

Version 2.0

  • Complete rewrite
  • WP_Widget class
  • Localization
  • Code enhancements and optimizations