BLANTERSWIFT101

How to Send New Post Notifications with WordPress

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Want to send emails to subscribers every time you publish a post?

There’s one thing most people don’t know…

If you use a regular WordPress plugin for this, your web host will be used to deliver the emails. Why is this a problem?

Because your website’s server is configured to host a website not send email broadcasts. Don’t worry about the technical details, you just need to know that you’ll experience the following problems if you send emails with your site:

  • Your host will enforce an emails/hour limit that will delay your emails
  • Many of your emails will go straight to spam folders
  • Many of your emails won’t get delivered

These are pretty much the biggest problems you can have when sending email. So what do you do instead?

You use a service designed for sending emails.

3 Types of Email Delivery Services

I’m going to present three ways to deliver new post notification emails.

Each one of these methods can be used to reliably send emails to a list of subscribers every time you publish a post, so pick whichever one you think will fit your needs best.

1. Email Marketing Software

You’ve probably heard of these popular email marketing and list management products. Some of the best and most popular options are:

Pros:

  • Can manage large lists of contacts
  • Segmentation, autoresponders, and other features
  • Will grow with your site
  • Reliable email delivery
  • No sending limits

Cons:

  • Learning curve
  • Limited number of free subscribers

How to Collect Emails

If you choose to use email marketing software, you will use a plugin to collect emails on your site.

For instance, the MailChimp for WordPress plugin makes it easy to add stylish forms to your site. Visitors who submit their email address will be added automatically to a list that you manage in the MailChimp dashboard.

How to Send New Post Notifications

You have forms to collect emails, and a growing list of subscribers. Now you just need a way to send them emails when a new post is published.

For this, you can use an RSS monitoring service that comes with your email marketing software. At Compete Themes, I use MailChimp’s RSS to Email functionality to do this. It checks for new posts at 10am every morning, and sends an email to my blog subscriber list if one is found.

If you received an email for this post, that’s where it came from!

2. Transactional Email Services

Transactional email services are used specifically for the delivery of emails. Keep reading and you’ll understand exactly how this works.

While I use MailChimp’s RSS to Email, this site uses Mandrill, a transactional email service by MailChimp, for sending all other emails (account creation, purchase receipts, etc).

Pros:

  • Fast & reliable email delivery
  • Easy setup

Cons:

  • Sending limits

How to Collect Emails

Since a service like Mandrill will only deliver the emails, you need a few other products. First, you need a plugin to collect emails on your site.

You can use any plugin you’d like for collecting email addresses, but I recommend using either MailPoet or the Email Subscribers plugin. Both of them make it easy to add a subscription form to your site

How to Send New Post Notifications

Once you have your form setup, you’ll need a way to configure and send an email every time a post is published. Either of the two plugins mentioned above can do this as well.

Now, as mentioned previously, sending emails from your site is problematic. That’s where Mandrill comes in. The official wpMandrill plugin takes a couple minutes to setup, and will fix this problem.

The Mandrill plugin automatically reroutes all your emails through their service. This will get your delivery speed down to a few seconds and hugely increase the reliability of your emails reaching inboxes instead of spam folders.

The one caveat with Mandrill is that there is still an hourly sending limit. This is why I prefer to use MailChimp for sending post notifications, and Mandrill to handle emails from contact forms and purchase receipts.

The most important takeway is that a transactional email service like Mandrill will send the emails for you, so you don’t use your site’s hosting for emailing.

3. Jetpack Subscriptions

The last method for sending new post notifications is to use Jetpack.

The Subscriptions module in the Jetpack plugin can be used to collect emails, send notifications, and effectively acts as a transactional email service too.

Pros:

  • Fast & reliable email delivery
  • Easy setup (if you already have Jetpack)
  • Has it’s own signup form
  • Comment form checkbox to assist signups

Cons:

  • Annoying to setup (if you don’t already have Jetpack)
  • Limited control over email style/contents
  • Limited subscriber management

How to Collect Emails

Jetpack does this really well.

You can easily add a subscription widget to any of the widget areas on your site. There’s also a shortcode for the signup form making it easy to add it anywhere in a Post or Page.

On top of that, a checkbox will also be added below the comment form that will automatically subscribe commenters if checked. It’s a nice touch to prompt more visitors to signup for your mailing list.

How to Send New Post Notifications

With the Subscriptions module activated, Jetpack will automatically email your subscribers when you publish a new post. It couldn’t be easier to setup.

Similar to how Mandrill reroutes your emails, Jetpack makes use of the wordpress.com servers to send your emails. This means your emails will be sent quickly and reliably. It’s a great service to receive for free.

Start Sending Post Notifications

Hopefully, that wasn’t too overwhelming! Preparing your site to send new post notifications takes some work and research.

With the methods above, you learned three different ways to:

  • Collect email addresses
  • Automate delivery of new post notification emails
  • Send your email notifications quickly and reliably

Now you can weigh out the pros and cons for each, and pick the method that is best for your site. Once the setup is complete, you can enjoy your automated notification system without any further effort.



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