After agreeing in Episode 103 that email was still a major player in online marketing, we decided to come back and do an entire episode on it. (Well, John and Jonathan decided; I just went along for the ride.) In WP-Tonic Episode 117, Jonathan Denwood, John Locke, Jackie D’Elia, Kim Shivler and I talked about integrating your email marketing with WordPress.
Looking at it as people who receive email newsletters (as we all do), we agreed that daily is usually too frequent; any daily email newsletters we stay subscribed to are very short. But your email newsletter, like your podcast, should be as long as it is interesting. Publishing on a regular and predictable schedule is a big help.
In terms of email service providers, most of us like MailChimp, especially for those who can use its free plan. Sallie takes a “kill it with fire” approach to Constant Contact, but lots of people do use it. Kim now uses GetResponse after less-than-happy experiences with Active Campaign and Infusionsoft. You can use the free Mailpoet plugin to send email newsletters from your WordPress site, but use a transactional email service like SendGrid or Mailgun for deliverability and to avoid penalties from your hosting company or ISP. (Let’s face it,
wp_mail just isn’t that reliable.)
Email sign-up form embeds are miserable to style. It’s easier to use something like Gravity Forms, OptinMonster, Welcome Mat by SumoMe, or Elegant Themes’ Bloom. We all prefer exit-intent popups to popups that appear before you even have a chance to decide whether you like the content.