Many web owners still want to send their users emails – it can serve as a nudge to bring them back to the site, to advise the of new options etc. Sometimes part of the web product may be an email of content which is not available on the website, like a newsletter. Often the need is simply to notify interested parties that there is more information available.
Sometimes web owners wish to make these emails more personal. There are varying opinions and schools of thoughts on this.
There are many different ways that people want to record their user detatils and then to email out to them. Following are some notes (in progress) about ways of doing this in wordpress.
Factors that affect the decision:
- Amount of data wanted to capture – tradeoff – try for to much, users won’t subscribe.
- Ability to select or isolate user groups eg: by roles or member types.
- Confidence in email delivery and receipt – spam a big issue, and false positive’s happen. This is a big problem even with the large scale dedicated email services (see below). Aweber say that they have a relationship with many large hosts and so can offer a better success rate for email delivery
- Whether you want to involve a third party – yet another place the web owner has to login to manage their members or subscribers
- Degree on interaction required between other plugins such as role managers or membership software.
- Whether you just want the posts to gout by email, or whether you also want to be able to send custom emails that do not go on the website.
- Ability to save such custom emails (not as posts, or else you use the rss to email options!)
If you have a lower volume and want to keep costs down:
MailChimp (2017 update)
- bit complicated to setup, but a robust reliable option
- free, $40 upgrade to get html on the broadcast “mail subscribers”
- aimed at a “quick” subscriber to encourage users, therefore no capture of details beyond email address
- no personalisation, as many subscribers will not even have entered a username
- allows users to subscribe by category and to specify html or text
- apparently came from a similar base as Subscribe2
- has similar functionality
- lots of configuration options, may suit an experienced wordpress user. Remember features = complexity which can = hard to implement.
- sends mail to user groups based on roles
- plugin link does not work, no screenshots – don’t bother
- relatively new – maybe wait a bit and see how the feedback goes re bugs etc
Your Responder from Cambridge new media (Your Members plugin)
- looks like it will be a good option
- can save emails for re-use
- can select users by member type
- still in beta mode with a few annoying bugs
- Aimed at quick informal internal staff communication, not suitable for customers
- syntax error in latest version loaded – testing??
- Can personalise?
- No screenshots, so you’d have to install to see more
- Can create custom lists too?
- Limited info, no screenshots, link to plugin page does not work – don’t bother.
Large volume and don’t mind spending more:
- Aweber – well regarded, and popular,
- Pro autoresponder,
- Auto response plus (an installed version)
Just want to convert the RSS Feed to an email
- subscribe 2 or post notification as per above
- feedburner – bought by google, sometimes unrealiable – or is that the nature of emails these days!