If you were an email subscriber for my publication, you may have noticed that we discontinued the newsletter. My partner on that is UpRipple and Adam is actually doing a ton of refactoring of the platform and integrating some other tools with it, including a CRM.
The beauty of my newsletter was that I didn’t actually have to build anything – the system just grabbed my latest posts, my podcast feed, and some integrated some other details into a well-designed email. I don’t have any site sponsors and I’m quite selective of the ads that I place on the site to ensure I keep my readers engaged. As a result, I don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars to deploy an email newsletter.
Jetpack Subscribe to Site
You may not realize it, but Jetpack (even the free version) includes email subscriptions. It’s not a well-promoted feature, though, so you’ll have to enable it.
- Sign up for Jetpack.
- Upload the Jetpack plugin to your site.
- Connect your site to your WordPress account.
- Enable Subscriptions by navigating to Jetpack → Settings → Discussion.
The service produces a beautiful, responsive email that instantly sends the post to your site’s subscribers. Here’s a view of my most recent newsletter:
It’s not a perfect system, and has some noticeable limitations:
- I’m not able to migrate any of my old subscribers because their invitation system only allows 10 email addresses at a time.
- The emails don’t include the featured image. I’ve spoken to their support team and that’s not a feature they’re likely to add (I wish they would). They only take the author, the date, the title, and the body of the article.
- The author photo is pulled from Gravatar, even if you have your own author image on the site. Since I have a lot of submissions for my authors, I typically have to manage this locally and can’t get folks to register for Gravatar.
- While a beautiful, responsive email, some of the formatting of elements is a little off, like embedded Tweets and embedded videos that don’t always show a thumbnail. It would be nice if they embedded a play button on the video stills as well.
- I’m not able to customize the reply email address. Everything comes from firstname.lastname@example.org. It would be nice if I were able to add a reply email address to these emails, even if they did come from WordPress.
- I’m surprised that the subject line doesn’t include the publication name. It’s just [New post] with the article title. I wish it were [Martech Zone] with the article title but there’s no means of customizing it. The reply name does have the site name.
That said, it’s still a great means of sending your subscribers your latest posts in a nice email.
Disclosure: I’m an affiliate for Jetpack and I’m using my link in this article.