MailPoet Newsletters is a freemium Wordpress plugin which can be used for managing email subscriptions and sending newsletters. Whether it is email marketing via newsletter campaigns or it is post notifications, these can be set up and managed with ease, all within the Wordpress Dashboard.
The main feature that sets MailPoet apart from other similar plugging is that the subscriptions and newsletters can be managed from within the Wordpress Dashboard.
They have various plans ranging from free to premium. The limit is 2000 subscribers, but unlimited mails for the free plan.
With a Pro plan, there is no limit on the mails or the number of subscribers. In addition, there are more advanced features like Google Analytics integration, advanced statistics about the number of opens and clicks of the delivered mails, premium themes and reputations management features like spam score and bounce management.
##Installing and Activating MailPoet
Log into your Wordpress Admin panel and go to Add Plugins. In the search box enter MailPoet and hit search. On the results, click Install Now next to MailPoet.
Go to Installed Plugins from the left navbar. Click on Activate below MailPoet to activate the plugin.
##Creating a Newsletter for Post Notifications
Choose MailPoet from the left navbar and then choose Newsletters from the options.
Click on Create a new email.
On the first step of the setup screen choose the Automatic newsletter option.
A new option Automatically sent ** will drop down. There are three dropdowns against it. Under the first dropdown choose **When there's new content.
The other options available are When someone subscribes to the list and When a new Wordpress user is added to your site. These options can be used when you want to create welcome newsletters to new subscribers.
The next two drop-down boxes are for choosing the frequency and time that the emails will be sent.
Specify the Subject line. The subject can have a static component like the name of your blog. It can also have an automatically generated component specific to your post, like the post title or the post number or the number of posts. The automatically generated components are specified using the format [newsletter:post_title] or [newsletter:number] or [newsletter:total]
You can also specify the list to which this newsletter is to be sent. The available lists are displayed on screen. After this, click on Next Step.
The next screen is where the post format can be designed.
The screen design is facilitated with a drag and drop format. On the top right hand side, there are four tabs - Content, Images, Styles and Themes. Drag the widgets from here to the post design area.
You can drag Titles and text and drop it on top to have the title and specific text on top of every newsletter. Then, automatic latest content widget can be added. In fact, this is already done, by default. Dividers and social bookmarks are other features that can be added. Let us look at them in detail.
Drag Titles and text at the top of the design area. An editable area appears.
Type the name of your blog or any text that you want to go with every post notification that you send. Adjust the font type, size, colour. Add links if you so wish.
You can also drag and drop Automatic latest content widget. When you do so, a popup screen for Selection Options appears as below. Choose the post type from the dropdown box containing Posts or Pages. Choose the maximum number of posts to show, if it is a digest. Choose 1 if you are setting up post notification newsletter.
You can also specify the Categories or Tags. The existing tags and categories on your blog will appear in the dropdown box.
Click on Show display options link. There are more options to be set. You can leave most of the options to default. You can set the image width to be smaller if you want.
In addition, if you want the author or categories of the post to be displayed, choose the appropriate radio box as shown in red in the image. Leave the rest of them as they are and click on Done.
If you want to add social bookmarks, drag this block and drop it below. Another popup appears where you can give the links to the social media profiles.
Now, having designed the newsletter format's content, move on to the images tab. Click on Add images. A popup appears, using which you can upload images or use images from your already sent newsletters or from the Wordpress posts.
Use the Styles tab to change the font style, if you so wish.
The last tab is Themes. There a single default theme available for the free version. If you upgrade to the Pro version, you will have more themes to choose from.
The main content's format is done. Go on to the footer area and make any required edits. After you are done, try sending a preview to your email id by specifying your email in the input box provided. Click on Next step.
The final step in creating the newsletter is to verify the settings.
Choose the subscribers list that you want the newsletter to be sent to.
Specify the Sender and Reply-to email ids. The email newsletter will be sent from the Sender id specified here. Send a preview to yourself, if required. Click on Activate to activate the newsletter.
You can verify if your newsletter has been created by clicking on MailPoet on the left navbar and then choosing Newsletters. You will see a screen similar to the one below.
Now that you have successfully created automatic email newsletters, take a look at your subscribers list. Click on MailPoet on the left navbar and then choose subscribers.
All the lists are displayed. You can add subscribers, import or export, add lists or edit lists.
##Setting up gmail
The last step in our effort is to setup gmail so as to send these newsletters from the gmail id.
Click on MailPoet on the left navbar and choose Settings.
The first tab is Basics. Type in your company's address in the area shown in black. This will be used in the footer of the newsletter.
You can also specify whether you will get notified of subscriptions by email. Also specify if you want to allow subscription while commenting on a post.
Click on the tab Send With.
Choose Third party.
Enter smtp.gmail.com against SMTP Hostname. Specify your gmail login id and password.
Enter 587 against SMTP port. Choose TLS for Secure Connection.
At the end of the screen there is an input box where you can type any email id to test if you are able to send emails with this configuration. Test it out and save these settings.
Congratulations! You have successfully set up gmail to work with MailPoet for sending email newsletters and notifications on your Wordpress blog.