By Desiree Johnson
By 2020, the Internet will have 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, and WordPress makes it easy to create and manage subscription newsletters and send emails with plugins that integrate with just about any WordPress website. 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. Here is a look at five of the best WordPress newsletter plugins for setting up and managing all aspects of your email newsletter.
Why You Need a Newsletter Subscription
For years, marketing gurus have claimed that email is an old-fashioned, cumbersome way to connect with consumers and that companies seeking to expand their reach should direct their marketing dollars toward other avenues, such as social media, content marketing, and paid advertising. But 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.
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 from 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.
Email newsletters are nearly free to produce and send, too – and that can create a substantial return on your investment of time and money. Newsletters can be as simple or as complex as you would like them to be, with content that can include brief notifications of new blog posts on your site, a roundup of recent articles, new information just for your subscriber list, or a special offer.
An email newsletter strategy can help businesses to acquire new customers and retain current ones, and there are a variety of 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 right from the site’s dashboard, with useful WordPress premium plugins, free plugins, or a combination of both.
Choosing Your Newsletter Plugin
With hundreds of WordPress newsletter signup plugins to choose from, it’s important to consider the features you need in order 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.
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. 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. The best WordPress newsletter plugins include an array of options in free and premium combinations for easy customizing and management of your company’s newsletter email marketing campaigns.
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 a highly 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 that offers a complete newsletter solution with features including 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 from 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.
Creating a newsletter may be one of the most effective marketing moves a business can make. Now, the best free and premium newsletter plugins for WordPress make it easy to design and send visually appealing newsletters and email campaigns that capture new customers and keep existing ones coming back for more.
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Desiree Johnson| Content Specialist Desiree Johnson is a Content Specialist at Bluehost where she writes helpful guides and articles, teaches webinars and assists with other marketing and WordPress community work.