Email marketing is one of the most powerful tools today to take your blogs and businesses to the next level. Once you’ve setup your WordPress website, added the needed content, it is time to start getting subscribers!
At the core of any successful blogger-reader or company-customer relationship is maintaining a strong, transparent, one-to-one communication; and that’s where email newsletters come in handy. So how do you go about building these newsletters and more importantly, how do you check whether they are effective or not?
Here’s a look at the five best newsletter plugins for WordPress that can help you build a comprehensive newsletter, mail it to all your subscribers and furthermore keep a close eye on it. With a multitude of functionalities like dual subscription options, autoresponders, easy import/export of contacts, checking the spam score so that your mail does not land in the subscriber’s spam folder and more, these plugins make life much easier!
By far the most popular newsletter plugin on WordPress, Newsletter, true to its name, helps you create email newsletters, send and track them without a hiccup. Some of the main features of this plugin are as follows:
- Unlimited subscribers and emails.
- Compatibility with several SMTP platforms like Postman, WP Mail, Easy WP and Mail Bank.
- Excellent documentation and online support.
- Popup extension for subscription widgets.
- Fully customizable widgets, themes, pages and contact forms.
- Text and HTML versions of emails available.
- Automated newsletter generation for latest blog posts and events.
The plugin provides premium extensions for Amazon SES, Sendgrid, Mailjet, Mandrill and WooCommerce integration.
2. MailPoet Newsletters
Formerly known as WYSIJA Newsletters (an acronym for What You Send Is Just Awesome), MailPoet Newsletters has grown to have over 3.6 million downloads and 200,000+ active installs. Unlike external email management systems like MailChimp or AWeber, MailPoet lets you control all newsletter and email settings from the admin panel itself.
It has a host of other features too, some of which are listed below:
- Drag and Drop options for creating newsletters.
- User-friendly interface and straightforward widget, theme and form customization.
- Publishing of automated newsletters on uploading new posts.
- Autoresponders enabled for new subscriber or WordPress user addition.
- Easy listing and categorizing of subscribers.
- Easy import of contacts using CSV file uploads. Contacts can be exported to MS Excel sheets too. This enables backing up of data off-site in case of a security breach.
- Detailed tracking statistics and info such as whether the newsletter was clicked, opened bounced and unsubscribed.
- Scheduling of newsletters on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.
The premium version includes various extended functionalities like exclusive themes, spam score checker, in-depth statistical analysis, automated bounce handling and priority support options. It also has an unlimited subscriber membership option as opposed to a limited 2000 subscribers for the free version.
One of the drawbacks of the MailPoet is that it does not automatically add updated posts to a previously created newsletter which is why one has to add them either after they’re completely done or overhaul the newsletter.
Minor issues aside, MailPoet is a great option for newsletter building. The Premium version costs about €75 per year for one site, €189 per year for 4 sites and €299 per year for an unlimited number of sites.
3. ALO EasyMail Newsletter
One of the best multilingual plugins for WordPress to create and send newsletters, ALO EasyMail helps build a clean newsletter within no time. Available in over 20 languages, it is the quintessential plugin for a multi-translatable newsletter.
ALO EasyMail also has other unique features, some of which we’ll see as follows:
- Unlimited number of subscribers.
- Custom post type newsletters, which can be edited like posts or pages on WordPress.
- Batch sending of emails can be enabled. This constitutes sending emails at regular intervals till all the recipients in the subscriber list are completed.
- Integrated functionality to view the number of times the newsletter has been opened and the links therein accessed.
- Easy management of user roles and capabilities for restricted access.
- Option for automatically unsubscribing email addresses wherefrom the emails have bounced.
- Easy import of contacts from CSV files.
ALO EasyMail Newsletter is a completely free plugin with no paid versions. It has customized support for long subscriber lists and if you are any coder, there are plenty of tweakable themes and action hooks for you to add any of your own developments.
4. SendPress Newsletters
SendPress Newsletters is a fully responsive, easy-to-use newsletter plugin that focuses on simple creation and effective scheduling. One of the main advantages of this plugin is that it has numerous newsletter templates that are completely customizable which ensures that your newsletter is unique in every aspect.
Some of the other features that SendPress offers are:
- Unlimited number of subscribers.
- Single and Double opt-in confirmation enabled. The first is direct subscription, while the second requires a secondary confirmation (like an e-mail confirmation) from the subscriber.
- Customizing and managing user roles possible. Restricted access or specific permissions can be enabled.
- Newsletter Editor is similar to the WordPress Editor and plenty of formatting and editing options are available.
- Both Text and HTML versions of the newsletter can be viewed.
The Pro version includes all of the above features and then some. These are:
- Advanced statistics reports of who opened the email, on what device and which links therein were clicked on.
- One-click spam testing by SpamAssassin so that your emails never bounce.
- API integration for Mandrill, Sendgrid, Elastic Email, Mailgun and Amazon Web Services.
The price here is slightly steep as compared to the other plugins. SendPress Newsletters costs $99 per year for 1 site, $199 per year for 3 sites and $399 per year for an unlimited number of sites.
5. Tribulant Newsletters
Developed by Tribulant Software, the Tribulant Newsletters plugin for WordPress is completely equipped with solutions to all subscriber, email, newsletter and marketing requirements in its arsenal. Satisfying both personal and professional needs, the plugin has quite a few unique features, listed below:
- Off-site subscription forms are enabled. This implies that one can subscribe to your WordPress site via external, third-party websites like Facebook or Twitter too.
- Posts can be sent as newsletters.
- Enables a user to subscribe to the latest posts on the website.
- A large number of newsletter templates are available and new ones can be added and customized.
- Apart from individual listings, group listings of subscribers can be created.
- Statistical, chart-based analysis of the number of emails sent, subscriber growth, bounces and unsubscribes can be done for any given period of time.
- Creation of custom fields on the subscription form such as name, address, gender, etc. is enabled.
- Integrated Gravity Forms and Embedded Images are available.
The plugin also has several extensions available for WooCommerce, Contact Form 7, Google Analytics and hooks for third-party plugins. Quite reasonable cost-wise, it is for $64.99 per year for a single user and $194.97 per year for an unlimited number of sites.
Each of these newsletter plugins has distinct features that make it stand apart from the rest. If you are an independent blogger and easy handling is what you are looking for, MailPoet Newsletters is the way to go. If a highly creative and customizable newsletter is your cup of tea, Tribulant Newsletters is a good option.
That said, there is always a bit of security risk involved with plugins hosted directly on WordPress, so if you have a large subscribership or email management on a huge scale, you might want to consider external email management systems like MailChimp or AWeber.
However, these newsletter plugins have a host of great functionalities that support all the requirements of individual bloggers and small-scale businesses. So choose the one that you think suits your needs best and start getting your subscribers!
Are there any other plugins that you think should be included here? Let us know in the comments section below!