Podcast Episode

A Review of MailPoet


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Countdown Timer – Widget Countdown is a plugin that will allow website owners to create a nice and functional timer in just a few minutes. The timer can be used on posts/pages and widgets.

A Review of MailPoet

In today’s show, Dustin discusses MailPoet, an email newsletter plugin for WordPress. He shares his experience with various email marketing services and introduces the features and pricing options of MailPoet. Dustin highlights the plugin’s integration with WordPress and its ability to send emails directly from the dashboard.

Topics Covered:

  • Introduction to MailPoet and its various features
  • Pricing tiers and plans offered by MailPoet, including a free plan and paid plans based on the number of subscribers
  • Features of MailPoet, such as email newsletters, last post notifications, welcome emails, contact forms, and advanced segmentation
  • Ability to remove inactive subscribers and utilize dedicated lists for WordPress users
  • Automation options for WooCommerce, including abandoned cart emails
  • Integration with WordPress and use of MailPoet’s email-sending infrastructure

Full Transcript

Business Transcription is provided by GMR Transcription.

[00:00:00] **Dustin:** On today's episode, we are going to talk about MailPoet, the email newsletter plugin that I've got on your website engineer to send out mass emails right here on your website Engineer podcast, episode number 531.

Hello, and welcome to another episode of your website engineer podcast. My name is Dustin Hartzler and I'm excited to be here today because today we're gonna be talking about newsletters and sending newsletters through WordPress and through the WordPress interface. I'll talk all about that in just a few minutes.

I do have a couple announcements and a plugin to share. The first announcement is that the WordPress Themes team has released something called Stacks, a community theme for building slide decks, and this is something that. Probably most of us haven't needed for a long time, especially when we're talking about WordCamps, because we haven't been to a lot of WordCamps.

There hasn't been a lot of WordCamps around. I'm constantly refreshing that WordCamp page to see what else is around in the United States. There's a lot happening overseas and outside of North America, but not too many happening here in the States this year. But anyways, getting back to [00:01:00] this thing, the block theme called Stacks.

It's a theme that you can use to create slide decks that can be used for a presentation. And so when you install the theme, it will generate five slides already for you so you can kind of see how it works, and you can build it all in the WordPress, a full site editor, and you can create different backgrounds and different styles and all that kind of stuff.

The other cool part is like, so you can host this on a a WordPress site. You can, you know, put it online somewhere so you can see it. And then the other cool part is if you are doing a presentation saying you're doing a presentation for a large group of people, you can tell them, you can go to this link and it will show the slide deck on their mobile phone or on their computer themselves.

If they're not in a seat that they can see the screen very well or they just wanna see something a little bit bigger, take screenshots or things like that, that is a really, really cool thing. And so that is something maybe I'll look at the next time. I'm trying to get into a, a speaking role this year at at WordCamp somewhere.

And I'm interested in seeing how this works. I've been a big fan of a, a plugin called Deck Set and I've used for years, and that is one that you just write Markdown, [00:02:00] and then those turn into slides, which is a kind of a cool concept too, but it's not an online thing. And of course it's not a WordPress thing.

And so I wanted to point this out and there's a link in the show notes for episode number 531 where you can see all about this.

The other thing in the news today, I should have said this one with the community theme stacks, but there's also an article that's saying that WordPress and the the community team is going to start to retire older WordPress default themes. Now, these aren't the older themes in general, like every old theme is now n no longer being worked on.

No, that's not the case. It is a problem that they are trying to support and develop and fix things for thirteen, different themes. That's basically the whole 20 series, you know, 20 10, 20 11, 20 12, 20 13, all of those things. And so they're gonna try to knock down some of those. So they're not gonna do quite as many, it sounds like they're gonna work on 20 17, 20 19, 20 20.

And then some of the newer block level themes. Take that number from 13 to six. The drawback is that it will affect about 730,000 users who [00:03:00] will no longer get maintenance on their themes. So the themes will not be updated for maintenance, but they will have security patches if there are security things that are happening.

So if you are using one of those older themes, it may be time to start thinking about a new block theme or just remember that you won't be seeing any new features or new themes coming through the pipeline for those themes.

In the e-commerce side of things, WooCommerce 7.7 brings in multi-channel marketing out of beta. So this is a feature that was in beta for quite a while, but it now allows users to connect additional sales channels such as Google, Amazon, and. eBay and that automatically manages all the inventory across your storefronts.

This is one of the hard parts about running an online store, especially if you have things listed in different places. Like how do you manage, you know, if somebody buys something that you have listed on eBay, now do you have to manually go to your site and say, oh, one less than that. Well now this is going to end up working.

All in cohesion together. This is not a free service from what I understand. It is there is a page component to this to get all the APIs and all the things talking to one [00:04:00] another, but it's something that you could see and you can see a little bit more about. There again, there's an article in the show notes to tell you how this works.

Lastly in the news in the world of who got acquired is Case Proof. The makers of Member Press has acquired wishlist Products, the Parent Company of wishlist member and Course Cure the wishlist team. With the exception of the founder, Tracy Childers will be continuing to support and develop the product under the leadership of case Proof founder Blair Williams.

It's been 14 years since Wishlist Members started, and I remember that was one of the first things that I was researching when creating a membership site and setting things up and, and it was just like, oh, this is an expensive way to do this, this, that was my mindset back then.

It was $150 to $250 per year for the license. And I thought, oh man, this is so expensive to get into this market. Is there any other cheaper alternatives? And I think even for a while I experimented with it and tried to figure it out and it just didn't work for me. But it was one of those things that, I mean, if you're making a membership site, you should be making more than what [00:05:00] it costs for the plugin for the year.

Right. But, That is one of the things when it comes to this wishlist products, it, it is a very well designed plugin and I'm sure that they'll continue the support and continue to keep making it what it is. Maybe someday they'll kind of merge the, the, the two together wishlist member and member press.

Maybe they'll be some features that they'll share and then they'll kind of, kind of all roll 'em in. But it sounds like that everything is gonna stay separate. Very similar to most of these acquisitions we hear about that. We hear, okay, this happened and this happened. They're gonna separate and they're gonna be two separate entities for a while.

So that is the last news item that I wanted to share today.

I did find a plugin this week, and it is a cool one. It's a block level plugin, but it is called Countdown Timer. Widget Countdown. And it is a, a plugin that'll allow website owners to create nice and functional timers in just a few minutes.

It's the best way to create beautiful timers on your own. You can use them on poster pages and widgets basically, cuz it's a block. You can put it anywhere. There's free version and there's a pro version, the free version you can find on the, [00:06:00] the wordpress.org repo. And there's a link to their demo page and it shows not only this plugin, but some of the other ones that WP Dev art are the, the makers of.

This plugin has 10,000 active installs. It's recently been updated, and it is a really nice way to add a countdown. Maybe you're running a conference or maybe you have a countdown to a certain event, maybe a WordCamp that you're speaking at, or whatever the case may be. Even if you're building a, a launch page and you can count down to the day that the site's gonna launch or the store's gonna open or whatever, it has the ability, you can create unlimited timers, you can customize the colors.

You can say that if you want to have the hour, day, minute field, or seconds field, you can say what happens once the timer expires. All of those things you have with this free plugin on the WordPress repository. So if you're interested, I recommend a checking that out.

All right. Let's go ahead and talk about email newsletter platforms or, I mean, we're gonna talk about MailPoets today, but I have a long history of using many different services for running email campaigns and email marketing [00:07:00] and things like that with your website engineer.com. I started the, the site back in 2010 and I know that I started uh, with a free MailChimp, which is different than MailPoet, and we'll talk about MailChimp a little bit, but we, I started with MailChimp and then I believe I went to.

Benchmark email for a while. Then I got some lifetime deal, or our yearly subscription at ConvertKit, and I used ConvertKit for a while, and then I went to MailPoet for a while and then I went back to ConvertKit and now I'm back to MailPoet. So a long kind of a long story and a long journey and, and moving, moving back and forth is not the easiest thing in the world and there's a lot of things that you have to update and fix and whatnot.

Today I wanna talk about MailPoet and some of the really cool features of using MailPoet to run your email campaigns right through your own website. So I do wanna share that they do have a couple different pricing strategies, pricing tiers.

It's based on the number of subscribers that you have. You can estimate your price, but basically it. It, it kind of goes up and the more subscribers you have, the more that it costs, right? It, it does cost money to send emails through an [00:08:00] SMTP server, but you can get started for free. With the starter plan, it does include 1000 subscribers and you can send up to 5,000 emails per month.

And so that gives you the ability to have, you know, maybe five emails, one per week, and you can do that on the free plan.

When you jump into the paid plans, it's going to start around $20 per month. It says 20 euro here on the page, but it is about $20 or so for 1000 subscribers, or that goes up to 1500 subscribers, I guess, excuse me. And that feature gives you the ability to send unlimited emails per month.

You can remove the MailPoet branding, you get priority support, subscriber segmentation and advanced analytics. And this is the plan that I'm on, that I'm using for your website engineer.com, if you're part of the email newsletter list, you got one last week, one of the first email messages that I sent out in the last probably two years maybe.

I'm trying to get better at, you know, creating regular content, of course getting back into the podcast thing working on the YouTube videos and things like that. But I wanted to get and send and kind of figure [00:09:00] out how this whole thing works so I could share about it on this podcast. And so there are a ton of features that a lot of the different email newsletter services has that MailPoet has as well.

You can do email newsletters, you can do a last post notification, so you can automatically alert your subscribers when you have a new post, which is pretty cool. So every time you post it can, you can set up a template. And it'll go and it'll grab all the information from your post and will automatically send out.

You can do welcome emails so when somebody signs up for your newsletter, they automatically get a warm welcome. You can use any of the 50 pre-designed templates that come in with the MailPoet plugin. You also have the ability to build out your contact forms in those popup lists. I was working on this today just to kind of figure out how it works, and it basically is like building a block.

You pick a template and then you can swap out images. You can ask for email address only, or you can say first name, last name, and email address. You can get all of that information and then you can say which list they go to. So maybe if they're on a, a special landing page, they go to [00:10:00] a segmented list.

Maybe if I was selling a brand new plugin, I would say, come sign up and I'll notify you if you are interested in learning when I'm ready to release, lease this plugin or release this service or sell my book, or whatever. Like you can have this advanced segmentation so people can sign up for your list and they can be part of your main newsletter list, or they can be part of your segmented list or they could be part of both.

It also has a ability to unengaged or like get rid of inactive subscribers. So this basically removes subscribers from your list who haven't done anything within six months. Like if you send email messages regularly every six months and nope, and they're never open, they're just going to remove that person because you're paying for the number of people on your site or on your list.

It also has the, there's a dedicated list for your WordPress users itself that's automatically created. So if you have a membership site, you can send out messages right through MailPoet, right through your own dashboard to all the members on your site, which is kind of cool. You also have lots of automation when it comes to [00:11:00] Woo Commerce as well.

Like, so you can customize WooCommerce emails, you can do abandoned cart emails. So like if somebody comes and they try to purchase something and they don't actually go all the way through, you can send a message automat. Dramatically, like it's really, really integrated with WordPress and that's what I really like.

Some of these other services, like one of my wife's websites that we send abandoned cart newsletters. Like you have to kind of, you know, you have to figure out the abandoned cart and then you have to send it to over to ConvertKit, and then you have to do all these puzzle pieces, whereas, For me, this site is pretty basic and pretty easy, and we can just do everything inside the WordPress dashboard.

They also have a email sending infrastructure, so you don't have to send with your mail server. You can use their server and you can send immediately right through there. As we go into the dashboard and look at MailPoet, there's a few different menu items here. We can look at our emails, we can look at automation.

So there's some automations that we'll talk about. There's forms, subscribers, list, and settings. So if we go into the email section, this looks like you're creating a new blog post. It looks like you're creating a new, you know, a page inside [00:12:00] a WordPress. It lists all your previous newsletters. You can have welcome emails, you can see your post notifications.

The other cool part in your listed, also has like your statistics. So I can see that. The email newsletter that I sent out on Sunday, I have a let's see, a 19% open rate and a 4% click rate. A lot of people were clicking the unsubscribed link, but that's either neither here nor there. So we've got all of that in the in there, if we create a brand new email, it gives us some options to do a newsletter, a welcome email, a latest post notification or a re-engagement email. So you can set all of these up. You can also do the WooCommerce ones, the abandoned shopping cart, the first purchase purchase in this category and purchase in this product.

And when you create the newsletter, you create a brand new one. You can create a recently saved one, or you can pick one from one of the templates that are out there and you have the ability to go in and you can select which template that you want, and then you're just basically grabbing information from your WordPress site.

If you wanted to [00:13:00] add a section that has your latest content, you can go ahead and click that and drag it right into your, into your site, and that's going to show your latest 1, 2, 3. And you can say how many blog posts. So if you're doing a weekly newsletter, but you do daily post, you can just do one drag and you pull in all the latest content of your site, you can say, I wanna show a max of five, include categories and tags, and it's got a link to do the read more. And it's got the preview all within the WordPress dashboard itself. It's really pretty slick.

Some of the automations that are included are things like a welcome series for new subscribers. So you can onboard people, they can send multiple emails all in a row. You can do a welcome series for new WordPress users. So if you have a membership site and people are signing in, then they can get email messages sent directly from them.

You can celebrate a first time buyers is another template that you can use. And so again, it's all really, really integrated with the, with WordPress, the things that are happening in WordPress, the things that are happening in your WooCommerce store, and in your site itself and you're managing it all in one place.

There's a form [00:14:00] section. Forms are pretty self-explanatory. These, you can build multiple of these. You can build these that are popups or slide ins or a, a banner across the top. You don't need a third party plugin to, to create these. You can do all right here, and then you can say, you can just embed these as blocks in your posts or in your pages and, and give all the details there.

You do have a list here that you can see all your subscribers, and so you can see how many subscribers are in your plan. You can see how many unsubscribed, you can see how many messages have bounced recently, and you can look at all of those different things. As people get more and more email messages.

Then there'll be a score and you can see like how engaged these people actually are with your content. That's the subscribers. Then you can see the list. So I can have two different mailing lists. I could have one for just the people that are subscribed. I can have the WordPress users. I can do a segment for different things.

And creating segments are pretty simple. You just basically say, you can say a, that they could be WordPress user role of a subscriber. Or I can say that if somebody has an engagement score higher than 50%, I wanna send them this. I [00:15:00] want to see that let's see if somebody clicked on a specific email, then I can send them, I can put them as part of a segment.

So maybe for example, like if I had an email message that said like, Hey, I'm interested in helping beginners and I'm interested in helping people develop their code skills. Which one are you? And they could click on one or the other, and that would put them in a segmented list that then I could send out two different separate emails, one for more beginner basic things, and one more for more advanced like code level type email newsletter.

So the segmentation is really cool and I'm excited to play and set those things up. And then the last feature here in the last a part of the setup and is these settings, and you can set up your signup confirmation, basically who your email messages come from. You can have people sign, subscribe in the comments.

So if somebody like wants to follow your conversation in the comments, they can click a button . You can subscribe in a registration form. You can manage the subscription page so that the link to take them to like unsubscribe is a page within your WordPress site and your unsubscribed page is [00:16:00] all there.

You can see the stats, you can see all that kind of thing. And you can also like be G D P R compliant if that needs to be something with you. And so that is kind of an overarching view of MailPoet. I don't think it's the best thing out there. I don't think it's the worst thing out there.

I actually think it's really, really good. And it's really good for folks that just want to manage everything within one spot. They don't want to have different. Things, and they're regularly creating content that they're posting about and sending people to read. They'll automatically like send them the excerpt or they could edit what the excerpt is.

It's, it's, it's a rel it's a good service, and I think it's really, really well done. It feels like it's part of WordPress. It's not one of those extra plugins where you add in all the settings panels are like non-WordPress and all. Kind of, you know, you could tell it's something that's just kind of shoehorned in there.

No, this is something that's built for specifically WordPress and I really like that about that. If you haven't checked it out, head on over to your website engineer.com and there will be a, some sort of form that you'll see on the homepage, whether it's a popup or a [00:17:00] slide in or something that you'll see like just a form and I created it with MailPoet and you can sign up and then you can see when the next email comes out, what a MailPoet email looks like.

So that's all I've got to share with you. Take care and we'll talk again soon. Bye-bye. For more great WordPress information, head on over to your website engineer.com.