The importance of newsletter on websites is growing and majority of the online players, these days, are coming up with this idea to increase their number of subscribers. Having a weekly email newsletter brings a professional touch in the management of your emails and your list of subscribers into your WordPress admin interface.
WordPress provides its users better options to use email newsletters, which is a fantastic way to keep in touch with their customers and subscribers through emails. When you create an email newsletter, you are providing your visitors a way to subscribe to your website in order to receive emails from you which summarize the activities and news your website had gone through. Owing to its benefits and significance, more and more website owners are opting for this service thus having a way to communicate with their audience on a more personal level. You can always keep your visitors informed what you are up to and what you are doing for them. It’s just like receiving an email from somebody that makes it effective to such a great extent to make someone take a kind of action.
In this post, we are focusing on the method through which you can create an email newsletter on your website. We are using WordPress and FeedBurner ( https://feedburner.google.com/migration/selectLegacyClaim.action ) with some few plugins to create a simple newsletter service on your website. The performance of your newsletter can be evaluated on the basis of the number of subscribers you have and the number of clicks you receive.
1. Create a New Category
To begin with, you need to set up a new category for your posts in WordPress. To create a category, first go to Posts>categories tab within your dashboard. You can assign name to the category anything as per your choice. Here, we can call it E-newsletter, just as an example.
While going through the process, make sure you note the category ID you have created recently. It’s only the category ID which will be used throughout the tutorial. Here I am replacing the parameter with your category ID and where ever you see the tag simply replace it with the name of the category.
This is how you can see the name of the category. Go to Posts>categories. Now, hover your mouse over the recently created category and you’ll see a status bar.
2. Remove Category from the List
Here, in this step we are going to the exclude the category of our email newsletter from all the category list. This way, we can only show the category from the viewers who have subscribed to our newsletters. Now, go to the template and see if the category list is located at sidebar.php. The code will look like this:
<?php wp_list_categories('&title_li=<h2>Categories</h2>'); ?>
Now, replace the above mentioned code with the following one:
<?php wp_list_categories('exclude=[Replace with your Category Id]&title_li=<h2>Categories</h2>'); ?>
In the code above, you’ll need to add the category ID. There are themes which have their code available in some other files. So, you must check where the actual code is located and replace it accordingly.
3. Excluding Post from the Newsletter Category
Up to this point you cannot be sure that the newsletter category is only viewed by those who have subscribed for it. In fact, there are a lot more chances that it could be viewed by all the users including those who haven’t subscribed for it. They could see it through RSS feeds, search pages, Homepages, and Archives. So, to make sure that the category is only viewed by the subscribers, instead of adding code to each file, you could use the plugin called Advanced Category Excluder (https://wordpress.org/plugins/advanced-category-excluder/) to make the process easier and faster for the WordPress users.
After installing the plugin, go to its settings page and check for newsletter category in all the boxes except for Single Posts.
The only code which you need to alter in your template is placed in single.php file. If it is located in the theme then look for the code and replace it with the below mentioned code:
<div class="navigation"><div class="alignleft"><?php previous_post_link('« %link', '%title', FALSE, '10') ?></div><div class="alignright"><?php next_post_link('» %link', '%title', FALSE, '10') ?></div></div>
4. Adding a New Feed Within FeedBurner
The ID you have created for yourself has its own code. For those who are using an SEO friendly structure, will see a URL like this:
For those who use a default URL structure, will see a URL like this:
http://www.xyzwebsite.com/?feed=rss2&cat=[put your Category ID here]
Once you are done with creating your own URL, the next task you have is creating a FeedBurner. If you don’t have an exciting account, create it and insert the URL in the provided field.
5. Activating Email Newsletter
After setting up the feedburner, just on the button “publicize” tab and select “email subscription” to enable it. After enabling it, just add the below mentioned code in your theme file to display the newsletter to your subscribers.
<form style="border:1px solid #ccc;padding:3px;text-align:center;" action="https://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify" method="post" target="popupwindow" onsubmit="window.open('https://feedburner.google.com/fb/a/mailverify?uri=mysite.com/newsletter', 'popupwindow', 'scrollbars=yes,width=550,height=520');return true"><p>Enter your email address:</p><p><input type="text" style="width:140px" name="email"/></p><input type="hidden" value="mysite.com/newsletter" name="uri"/><input type="hidden" name="loc" value="en_US"/><input type="submit" value="Subscribe" /><p>Delivered by <a href="https://feedburner.google.com" target="_blank">FeedBurner</a></p></form>
You may choose to style your form as per the personality of your website and place it anywhere you like.
6. Send Newsletters to Customers
In the last step, you can send a newsletter to your subscribers by publishing a post in the new category ID. After this, your WordPress blog will then report it to the FeedBurner, and an email will be sent to all the viewers. To specify the time you want the article to be sent to your customers, go to the admin area of FeedBurner>Publicize tab>Email Subscription>Delivery options.
You can broadcast the email at any time, with the ability to schedule it’s delivery time but make sure you send and schedule it wisely.
I hope every beginner who is interested in creating their own email newsletter would find this post useful. Now, you have no excuse for not to start an email newsletter, because whatever the process you need to know is explained right here.
7. Adding Full Text Feeds
Before moving further, I want you to understand the importance of text settings to keep your customers happy. In WordPress, there is a setting wherein you can allow full text in your RSS feeds, so that instead of an excerpt a full article is provided to your readers. To do this, go to Settings>Reading within the dashboard and select Full Text instead of Summary.
About the Author:
Edward Jones is a web developer cum professional blogger. Currently, he is working with OSSMedia Ltd.- WordPress web development company. If you want to hire wordpress programmers then simply get in touch with Edward.He holds an impressive amount of expertise in major CMS platforms including Drupal, WordPress, Joomla and Magento. You can go through his write-ups for gathering a greater insight into the popular CMSs available today.