It’s important to communicate with your online audience, and a fantastic way of doing so is with an email newsletter. It can be challenging to figure out the best method for creating and sending that newsletter, however, with so many possible options.
As is so often the case, the answer is WordPress. While it might seem counterintuitive to use a website-building platform for your newsletter, WordPress is also a fully-featured Content Management System (CMS). This enables you to use it to create and send regular newsletters easily.
In this post, I’ll discuss the benefits of using WordPress for your newsletter. I’ll also show you how you can do this easily, with the help of the Jackmail plugin. Let’s get started!
The benefits of creating a newsletter
Chances are high that email newsletters are not new to you. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that you’ve signed up to at least a few in your time. Newsletters have been a staple of the internet ever since its inception, and remain a powerful tool in most marketers’ arsenals.
Despite the name, a newsletter doesn’t necessarily have to be a source of news. While it’s certainly a common way to keep your subscribers informed of the latest happenings and updates, you can also create many other types of email campaigns.
For instance, you could send automated emails at key points, such as when a customer makes a purchase or creates an account. You could also provide information about upcoming events, current sales, and much more.
Regardless of how you decide to use your newsletters, they can offer a wide range of benefits. Just to name a few, a newsletter helps you to:
- Increase traffic, engagement, and revenue. Email marketing can be a very effective way to drive more people to your site. In turn, you can make those visitors aware of offers, deals, and products they may be interested in.
- Connect directly with your users. By speaking directly to your audience, you can help boost interest in your products or services in an organic way.
- Control your message. By enabling you to inform your users directly about news and other important information, newsletters give you more control over how they perceive your brand. It also guarantees they’ll learn about news and other events through you first.
The best part is that these days, creating and sending a newsletter is easier than it ever has been. Let’s look at one of the best methods for doing so now.
Why you should send your newsletter using WordPress
Once you’ve decided what you’ll be using your newsletter for, you still need to find the right tools to use. There are a lot of dedicated email marketing services out there, such as the very popular MailChimp, so finding the right one can be challenging.
While a service like MailChimp certainly has its advantages, it requires you to rely on a third-party solution. A more efficient route is to use a tool that slots right into your site, so you don’t have to leave it in order to manage your email campaigns.
If you’re using WordPress, this becomes incredibly simple, as you can add almost any functionality to your site by using a plugin. This is one of the reasons the platform currently runs nearly a third of all websites on the internet, after all. You can use plugins to install new features on your site in a matter of seconds.
Implementing newsletter functionality directly into your WordPress site via a plugin is a smart idea. It enables you to manage everything related to your site from the same location. However, even if you just want to run a newsletter (and not a website), you might find that WordPress’ ease-of-use makes it a solid choice from which to host and send your emails anyway.
When it comes to newsletter plugins, you also have an abundance of choice. However, let’s take a closer look at one of the top options.
Introducing the Jackmail plugin
When it comes to creating and managing a newsletter via WordPress, one of the best tools for the job is Jackmail. This is one of the most fully-featured newsletter plugins for the platform. It’s easy to pick up and use, even for beginners. Plus, its free plan will work well for many smaller campaigns, as it enables you to send 100 daily emails.
What sets Jackmail apart from many other newsletter plugins is how it combines the advantages of an external tool (a dedicated SMTP email server) with that of a WordPress-specific solution (easy integration and centralized management). With most other services, you have to choose one or the other, but Jackmail provides both.
- It works smoothly with many popular plugins, such as WooCommerce and Ninja Forms.
- It enables you to schedule emails in advance or send them automatically when you post new content.
- It comes with an intuitive email builder included, which you can use to create your campaigns.
- It provides extensive statistics for your campaigns.
Pricing: Jackmail is a free plugin, but it also offers premium plans with additional features. These start at $5 per month.
How to use WordPress to create a newsletter (in 3 steps)
Now, let’s finish up by taking a quick look at how you can get your WordPress newsletter off the ground. We’ll be using the Jackmail plugin, along with a basic email template. I recommend that you refer to the plugin’s official documentation for more information about its features.
1. Install the Jackmail plugin
Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin, you’ll see a new option in your admin dashboard menu labeled Jackmail:
Clicking on this opens the Jackmail settings, where you can create and manage your email campaigns. At the moment, this will obviously be empty. You’ll also see several sub-pages, such as the Statistics section, where you’ll eventually see information about your sent emails:
You can also configure the plugin by going to its Settings page:
I recommend leaving these settings at their defaults for now, however. Instead, let’s look at how to create a list of contacts.
2. Build a contact list
In order to create an email campaign, you’ll need some email addresses first. In newsletter terms, this is simply referred to as your ‘list,’ and contains your subscribers, coworkers, personal contacts, or whoever else will be receiving your emails.
You can create multiple lists for different purposes as well. For instance, you could use various lists to segment your market, sending specialized emails to target specific parts of your audience.
To view and create lists in WordPress, go to Jackmail > Lists:
As you can see, the page already contains an entry. This first list was automatically created when you installed the plugin, and contains all the users on your site.
To set up a new entry, click on Create new list. You’ll be asked to name your list, and then you can choose how you want to populate it:
Select the option you want to use, whether that’s manually adding contacts, importing them, or using an API connector. Then, you can start adding names and addresses! When you’re done, don’t forget to save your list.
3. Create your first campaign
Now that you have some recipients, it’s time to actually set up your first newsletter. To help you do this, Jackmail includes a series of free templates you can use.
You can also create a new template from scratch, but using a pre-existing option and tweaking it to meet your needs will save you a lot of time. Simply choose the template you want, and the email builder will open up.
Here you can customize the template, add your own content, and configure the layout as you please. When you’re happy with the result, you can save the template and use it to send a campaign. You’ll be able to select the list you want to use.
You can then customize the specific email, including its subject line. Finally, you can send the campaign itself.
With that, you’ve successfully created and sent a newsletter using WordPress!
There should be no doubt that a quality newsletter can bring with it plenty of benefits. Not only does it let you connect directly with your users, but it can even lead to increased conversions and engagement. The key is knowing the best way to set up and send your newsletter.
In this article, we’ve discussed how you can use the Jackmail plugin to create a newsletter straight from your WordPress site. All you need is to follow these steps:
Do you have any questions about setting up a newsletter in WordPress? Let me know in the comments section below!