Don’t Use Email Subscription WordPress Plugins!
If you’re running a WordPress site and considering doing email marketing, be careful about using WordPress plugins to subscribe to posts. There’s tons of plugins that will allow you to do this. The most common and popular one is JetPack, which is a pretty awesome plugin. There’s tons of reasons why you should avoid this and go for something better. Here’s why.
WordPress Generated Emails Can Appear Spammy
This is especially true if you do a lot of blogging. With most WordPress plugins, the email is automatically sent every time a new post is published. If you publish multiple posts in a day, all your subscribers will receive a new email for each post.
If you’re not posting too frequently, this isn’t much of a problem. If you’re blogging daily, like I do, this is a major concern. You don’t want to spam your recipients.
Jetpack / WordPress Emails Are Not Customizable
Jetpack, and most the other plugins that are used for subscribing to a blog, are all automated. You’ve got no control over the content being sent out. These plugins will simply take the post and convert it into email form. If your subscribers want to receive every new post in this format, there’s not much of an issue. Most recipients would rather see a weekly or monthly newsletter with highlighted articles, opposed to getting spammed with each new post.
WordPress Subscriber Plugins Don’t Provide Analytics
Using Jetpack as an example again, as it’ the most popular plugin, the only metrics you’re able to get are the users subscribed to your blog. That is garbage when compared to the robust reporting that a lot of email marketing solutions provide.
You can’t even see the opens, clicks, unsubscribes, and so on. Those are the most basic metrics that basically every single email marketing platform provides. Others go as far as to display geo-information using reverse IP-lookup, sync with the website to integrate web-based analytics into the reporting and much, much more.
There’s really no competition between WordPress and an email marketing platform when it comes to campaign analytics.
WordPress Plugins Have Horrible List / Subscriber Management
When compared to any of the legit email marketing services, WordPress content management is horrible. Your marketing list is your most valuable asset. You’ll want this list to be as data-rich and complete as possible. With most WordPress subscription plugins, the only data you’ll get is the email addresses and number of subscribers. This is not good.
You also will not be able to access any metrics on the individual recipients. This makes it difficult to remove inactive ones (improves deliverability) and to segment your list based on data or campaign interactions.
Can’t Design and Send Actual Email Campaigns
Most WordPress email plugins only blast the new blog posts to the subscribers. They do not allow you to design your own email newsletter. This is a major, major flaw. Every email marketing platform will have a template library, allow you to save your own custom templates and includes robust and easy to use email designers. This is way better than sending through WordPress.
Cant Segment Recipients
List segmentation is a great way to only send the emails to the people interested in receiving them. Segmentation is an important best practice in email marketing. This is especially true if you’re running a very broad WordPress site with tons of different categories and pieces of content. Someone might only be interested in content from one specific category.
Failure to properly segment a list can lead to lower open and click rates, while raising the number of unsubscribes and spam complaints. Poor user statistics not only decreases the sales generated from email marketing, but actually lowers the deliverability of your emails. ISPs and email clients look at these user-metrics as a way of separating the spammers from the quality senders.
WordPress Plugins Don’t Allow For Personalization
Email personalization is a tried and true method for increasing opens, reads and clicks. This is especially true when it’s used in the headlines an in much more robust ways than simple data-merges / mail-merges. WordPress plugins don’t allow you to personalize anything that gets sent out. They’re all just blog posts transformed into email newsletters.
Pretty much every single email marketing suite offers some form of personalization. Some are as basic as data-merges, while others allow for concepts known as “Conditional Content”, “Variable Content” or “Dynamic Content” (It’s all the same concept). With this, you can use data from the mailing list to determine whether specific sections of the email are visible to a recipient or not. This is personalization on steroids and is insanely effective.
Using Up Server Resources and Your Own IP Address
When you send emails using the WordPress subscription function, you are using your own server resources and your own IP address. If the site is on a basic hosting plan, this is a much bigger issue than something dedicated.
When you send emails using a legit email marketing platform, your using their servers and IP addresses. This saves resources on your own server (don’t want your website getting shut down) and helps manage your own IP reputation. The IP reputation part is huge, as the auto-generated WordPress emails are somewhat spammy in nature. If people are hitting the spam button on the emails, this will drastically hurt the deliverability of your emails.
It’s also worth noting that some hosting providers limit the number of emails that can be sent through the web hosting. If you’ve got a lot of subscribers, this also becomes an issue.
WordPress Alternatives For Email Marketing
If you’re running a WordPress site and want to get started with email marketing, please use an email marketing platform. It’s much more robust and will be much more effective than simple blog subscriptions. Linked-to below is our email comparison table. It’ll make it easy to compare the different email marketing platforms side-by-side and choose the solution that’s right for you.
Learn More: List of Email Marketing Services