Video: How to Create and Send a Newsletter with MailPoet

Posted OnFeb 10, 2014     CategoryPlugins, Videos     CommentsNo comment

Audio Transcript

In this tutorial, we’re going to show you how to create and send an email campaign from MailPoet. So we’re starting off in the WordPress dashboard as you can see and actually we are logged in.

On the left hand side, if you’re not already there, you need to click on Wysija and then Newsletters. This is the screen that you will have. When you install MailPoet, it actually comes with this first newsletter here, the 5-Minute User Guide and certainly you’re more than welcome to go through that, but we’re actually going to create our own new email campaign today.

So to get started on that, what you need to do is click Create a New Email at the top. So we’ve got a couple of options here. We can choose to send a standard newsletter or automatically send. So we will just take a look at the automatic emails that you can send out. So as you can see, there are three options there. You can send an email whenever there’s new content, whenever someone subscribes to the list or when a new user is added to your website and here you can see you can choose the frequency of when that happens and the time of day it happens as well.

There are just a few basic tools available there in terms of codes such as newsletter number that you can paste in to show the issue number. But we’re actually going to go ahead with the standard newsletter today and what we first need to define for this is the subject line.

Obviously subject lines are really, really, really important for email campaigns. It’s really all you’ve got to really tempt the person receiving the email to open it. So you should make it as interesting as you possibly can.

But in this, we can actually say, “WPKB Demo,” because we just want to show you how to do that today and before you move further and we get a little bit more in depth with what we’re doing today, we need to choose to which list we want to send this email. We’ve got three options because we have three lists at the moment. I’m going to choose WordPress Users just for now and so I’m happy with what I’ve got here. So it’s time to click on Next Step.

That will bring you through to the interface where you actually make the changes to the layout of your newsletter. As you can see, probably the first and one of the most important things up the top there is you’ve got a link available for people that are viewing it and maybe their mail client doesn’t render it correctly, such as there are often problems with Outlook.com. Gmail and Yahoo often load things in a strange or bizarre way.

Unlike browsers which are reasonably similar, mail clients are not. So it’s really, really important to have that there. The next thing we’ve got is the ability to drop a log into this area. I’m not going to put in a logo for now. But you can very easily put one in there and it just doesn’t say – if you leave that area blank, it won’t actually display when you send the email.

Just to sort of show you what we’ve got here, we’ve got just – it’s kind of like widgets in that you can drag these areas around. Even the images, you can pretty much drag them anywhere you like. The little boxes show up with where they can possibly go.

If you want to change any of the text, all you have to do is click on it. So we will just say, “This is our edited text.” You’ve got the same sort of editing options that you would have much like when you’re editing a post or anything like that.

What we will do is we will just delete a few of these because we don’t really need them. It’s just telling us how we can use it. Even these social media buttons, we don’t really need. We will leave that footer there for the moment anyway and what we will just have a quick look at now is over on the right hand side, we’ve got this area here where you can see there’s Content, Images, Styles and Themes tabs.

These are actually really pretty cool. So we’ve got a little area in here. So what I want to add is titles and text and I will just drag and drop that in there. Right here, we’re going to add, “This is our demo title and text,” and you might want to change that from just a regular paragraph to a H2. That’s cool too. You can align it to the right and if you want, you can actually go and edit the HTML but for most people just using this Front-end Editor, it’s fine.

Let’s just say that we want to feature a post in this newsletter. Over on the right hand side where it says “WordPress Post,” all you need to do is drag that over. Just find a spot where you would like it to go and a new interface actually pops up where we can choose the post that we would like to show in there.

So I’m going to go with the video post we had and the video post is just a YouTube link really. So it’s going to include that in there. Maybe you want to add another post as well. You can just put that wherever you would like.

I think one of the great things about this is that it shows you the title of the excerpt and then a link to go through and read the post. This is very, very handy and the fact that it’s done just automatically is wonderful.

You can add a divider as well. There are some settings available for dividers. You can choose the look and feel of it like this. So we will just choose that one there and we will drag that and we will put that between our two posts.

But note that it does reflect those changes for all of the dividers. So you can’t change dividers without going through and actually editing the HTML.

Finally, we will just take a quick look at social bookmarks and we will drag that in and we will pop that in the footer there because that’s reasonably common place. What we’ve got here is some various options in terms of the logos. Now you can choose whichever ones you would like but there are quite a number of them available. I’m just going to go with these ones here. We’ve currently got medium-sized logos and all you need to do now is just change these links here.

So you just need to make sure that they all reflect your social media accounts. So we put in those and I won’t bother putting in the Google Plus or the LinkedIn for now. You get the idea of how those actually work.

We can also add images to the newsletter very easily. You saw before that we’ve already got this MailPoet mascot available to us. To do that, you can just drag and drop just like that. If you click on Add Images, you get a like box that appears with the usual image uploaded that you saved. You can choose to go through your media library and hey, maybe we want to put this one in there and we can just pop it down there like that.

Then the next thing we can just take a quick look at are the styles. So here you can change the layout and the appearance of everything that appears in the newsletter. So for any heading ones or H1s, they’re currently Arial. You can – maybe you want to change it to Times New Roman. I don’t know why but in case you did, that’s acceptable and you can see that that’s reflected there.

If you want to change the colour of those, you can just click on this colour box and the colour picker will show up. You could say that those are now appearing in pink. That’s an obvious change we’ve made there and similarly, you’ve got all of these options here. You can change the colours for and the text for as well and finally, before we move on, I will just show you the themes. So naturally, this is just the default theme that we’ve got with MailPoet and they do have a large range available. If you click Add More Themes, a like box will once again appear and you can browse through these as you see fit.

There are many, many, many themes available for this great plugin right now. You can find one that suits your needs if you would like. You can also read the guide to create a theme and actually make one if you’re pretty comfortable with HTML and CSS. Designing HTML and CSS newsletters is a whole other game entirely to doing anything else with them, whatsoever.

They also have premium themes available. These are obviously ones you have to buy. But at least you can have those available to you, if you do want to spend a little bit of money on those anyway.

So we’re not going to install any themes and change it over for now. That’s something that we will leave to you to go and explore. So what I want to do now is send a preview of that email.

There we go. So that has been sent to my email and we will just wait for that to come through. That email has come through now. So let’s take a quick look. As you can see, the subject line is just there as we defined earlier and there’s the rest of the email. It looks exactly the same as it did back in the editor there and naturally we’ve got the “unsubscribe” and “edit subscription” links available to us as well.

So once you’re happy with the layout of your email and obviously its appearance as well, you’ve got a nice amount of content in there, it’s not too intense, you can just click on Next Step and this will take you through to where we sort of finish it all off. We’ve got a last minute chance to change the subject line of the email if you would like to do that.

You can change the lists that it’s going to as well and then you can change the sender and the reply-to email name. These are settings that we’ve defined in the actual main settings area of MailPoet but if you want to go and choose something different for a particular email, you don’t want to use the default or whatever you’ve defined. This is the place to do it.

Then we’ve just got sort of two more things here. We can actually choose to schedule the email. So you can choose to send it out on a certain date at a certain time. You can send a final preview as well, just to make sure any changes you’ve made on this particular screen are reflected accordingly.

But otherwise, if you’re happy with your newsletter, it’s good to go. What you need to do is click on Send. It will confirm you do want to send that newsletter. We obviously do. So we just click on OK. There we go. So it says that zero of two emails were sent at the moment. That has a time remaining of about half an hour and this might be strictly due to the amount of traffic your website gets because it only triggers the emails to be sent every so often based on getting page views. But alternatively, you can choose to not wait and send right now.

So I’m going to do that and there we go. So it didn’t find two subscribes in that list but it has been able to send it to lance@example.com which is fantastic.

Really that’s really the end of this video for now anyway. We’ve covered how to set up and modify and make changes to an email campaign in MailPoet and hopefully that should really demystify the process to you. Once you’ve gone through it one or two times, it’s really, really straightforward. The email editor they have is really, really fantastic. There’s a vast range of services available that you can send emails with, not just MailChimp and Campaign Monitor and so on.

But for something that’s a plugin within your WordPress installation, you don’t need an account to manage it externally. It’s a really truly wonderful solution. So if you do need to set up some email marketing campaigns of any kind, I strongly suggest checking it out. But we’re going to wrap it up now and if you have any questions at all, please feel free to ask in the comments below or you can jump over to WPKB.com and click on Ask a Question and if we haven’t answered your question, we will more than happily answer it for you.

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