WordPress is among the most frequently used content management systems for blogs, forums and other online publishing platforms. With one million users its popularity means that it is also a hive for criminal activity with hackers scanning websites for possible weak areas. The only way to prevent hackers from gaining back door access is by taking adequate safety precautions.
Even in the age of Facebook, Twitter, etc. newsletters are still an effective tool for sharing current information with customers and followers. Newsletters and e-mail marketing form an important component of online marketing campaigns, and help to retain customers in the long-term. However, before they can receive the newsletter service, customers must first register a valid e-mail address. To help with this, there are many useful WordPress plugins that include registration forms for newsletters. Some of these WordPress newsletter plugins also provide the opportunity to create and manage newsletters, should users prefer not to use separate software or an external service.
Finding the right WordPress newsletter plugin
WordPress is a very popular content management system, above all for the vast choice of different plugins available. This trend continues when it comes to WordPress subscription plugins for newsletters. The official WordPress website offers over 500 different extensions for adding newsletter functions. In order to simplify the decision-making process, we’ve compiled a selection criteria for the most popular options available:
- Function: Several plugins only integrate registration forms into a WordPress project and have to be combined with separate newsletter software. Other extensions are all-encompassing, allowing you to integrate and manage an e-mail newsletter via the plugin directly.
- Presentation: If the newsletter is supposed to be an optional offer to inform users, then it’s best to avoid installing flashy pop-up newsletters. It’s important to check how the sign-up function can be integrated.
- Compatibility: Regardless of the type of plugin, it is crucial to ensure that it is compatible with your version of WordPress.
- Cost: Plugins fall into different price categories and use varying cost models. Many subscription extensions offer the basics for free but then require payment to unlock all the features.
Below is a collection of popular WordPress newsletter plugins. Some are fully-functioning, independent plugins, while others connect WordPress to an external newsletter service.
Chimpy links the e-mail marketing system MailChimp to WordPress. This allows users to send up to 12,000 e-mail newsletters to 2,000 subscribers for free each month. In order to integrate the newsletter service into WordPress via Chimpy, it’s necessary to first acquire a MailChimp API key (obtained when registering) and then enter it into the plugin. Chimpy enables you to add several sign-up boxes with different settings and positions inside of one WordPress project. One useful option allows site visitors to hide the forms, which is particularly recommended for pop-up registration boxes. Lastly, the plugin allows you to easily synch all contact details for your existing WordPress users with MailChimp. Chimpy requires WordPress version 3.5 or higher.
MailPoet Newsletters offers users the complete WordPress newsletter package. MailPoet features both a free version and various premium versions, catered to bloggers, freelancers, and agencies. The free version allows unlimited e-mails to up to 2,000 recipients. The newsletter editor features over 50 templates to choose from, and a simple drag-and-drop tool for building newsletters from scratch. It is also easy to import and export an existing user e-mail list in CSV-file format. Additionally, MailPoet provides detailed information about how many subscribers open newsletters and click on the featured links. MailPoet’s WordPress newsletter plugin requires version 3.3 or higher.
Like Chimpy, CleverReach Newsletter is a plugin that operates as the middleman between WordPress and an external service. Connecting this software to WordPress requires an API key that is issued upon registration of a CleverReach account. You will receive confirmation after the software has been successfully integrated and will be able to configure the newsletter sign-up box easily in the admin section. The free version of CleverReach Newsletter allows you to send 1,000 e-mails to a maximum of 250 recipients. For larger readerships (CleverReach can facilitate up to 100,000 recipients), a monthly subscription is available. The plugin requires WordPress version 3.9 or higher.
The Newsletter Plugin
The Newsletter Plugin provides all the necessary functions for building and operating a WordPress newsletter. All you have to do is download the tool, open it in the WordPress plugin folder and activate the new plugin in WordPress (version 3.4 or higher). The free version contains a visual design editor for your e-mail newsletter and allows you to send unlimited e-mails to an unlimited readership. Premium packages, tailored to both bloggers and agencies, are also available. This WordPress newsletter plugin offers prioritised support for premium account holders as well as access to further extensions, such as detailed statistics about recipient responses, and a pop-up tool.
The WordPress Newsletter Plug-in MyMail also works without an additional newsletter tool. In the typical WordPress manner, campaigns can be created with pre-existing templates. These templates can also be modified just as easily as creating a blog entry. Newsletters are optimised for mobile devices and can be automatically sent to recipients. This enables you to set an exact time for delivery or to coordinate the e-mail newsletter with the release of a new WordPress entry. MyMail imports existing WordPress user entries; alternatively, it’s possible to import a recipient list as a CSV file. MyMail requires WordPress 3.5 or higher and a subscription charge for each website.
Table of WordPress newsletter plugins
|Chimpy & MailChimp||MailPoet Newsletters||CleverReach Newsletter & CleverReach|
|No. of recipients||2,000||2,000||2,000||unlimited||250||100,000|
|No. of e-mails (per month)||12,000||unlimited||no||no||1,000||unlimited|
|Syncing of WordPress contacts||yes||yes||no||no||yes||yes|
|Statistics on opening rate||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Statistics on click rate||yes||yes||no||yes||yes||yes|
|Mobile device optimisation||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|The Newsletter Plugin||MyMail|
|No. of recipients||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited|
|No. of e-mails (per month)||unlimited||unlimited||no||no|
|Syncing of WordPress contacts||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Statistics on opening rate||no||yes||yes||yes|
|Statistics on click rate||no||yes||yes||yes|
|Mobile device optimisation||no||no||yes||yes|