Learn how to use an email marketing plugin to control your entire email marketing campaign from inside the WordPress dashboard.
Today, WordPress is more than just a blogging platform: our favorite CMS is actually capable of handling all aspects of an online business.
eCommerce stores can track their orders, freelancers can invoice their clients directly, and bloggers can track their on-site metrics -- all from within the WordPress dashboard. By handling everything from one place, it's much easier to stay on top of your most important tasks.
MyMail is a powerful, all-in-one, email marketing plugin. It lets you control your entire email marketing campaign from inside the WordPress dashboard. Here's a quick snapshot of some of the plugin's main features:
Let's take a closer look at MyMail's functionality and usage.
Want to know the best thing about MyMail? It offers all the functionality you'd usually find in premium autoresponder services like AWeber and MailChimp but without the subscription costs -- this can save you huge amounts of money.
To prove this, let's compare the costs of using MyMail against the most popular autoresponder service, AWeber.
If your list is 500 strong, AWeber will cost you $19/month. Over one year, that's a staggering $209 (after factoring in the first month's free trial). If your list grows to 2,000 subscribers, your yearly cost using AWeber is $319.
Compare this to MyMail, which will set you back a one-time fee of $39, regardless of list size.
Yep, there's a clear winner: MyMail.
Sold on the cost? Good, now let me show you how easy MyMail is to use.
Now, before you can send your first newsletter, you need to create a list. Let's start by going to Newsletters > Lists > Add New.
Give your new list a name and description, then hit Save.
If you already have a list, you can import it into MyMail in CSV format -- don't worry: all major autoresponder services allow you to export your list in CSV format.
When you have your CSV file, simply head over to Newsletters > Manage Subscribers. You can drag-and-drop your CSV file into place, or you can copy and paste directly from the spreadsheet.
After the list has been processed, you're able to choose which list you want your subscribers adding to. If you've just created a new list, select it now, then click Import Contacts.
You probably want more subscribers, though, right? MyMail supports a built-in signup widget, which you can add to your sidebar.
Simply head to Appearance > Widgets then drag the Newsletter Signup Form into the widget area you want.
It's a relatively basic signup form, but it does the trick. The live widget will look something like this:
So far, so good.
Now it's time to build your first newsletter campaign. From the WordPress dashboard, click Newsletter > New Campaign to get started.
Start by giving your new campaign a title.
Now give your email a subject title, as well as writing a short pre-header. The pre-header is the short line of text that receivers will see when they preview the email (think of it like the meta description in the SERPs).
Next, specify the sender's name and email address, plus the email address you want any responses directed to.
Done? Now it's time to test out MyMail's main feature: the fantastic WYSIWYG drag-and-drop builder. It's found in the Template section, and allows you to build stunning, custom layouts for your emails.
Before you start, you'll see the default template featuring a logo, email subject, and a footer area with four social sharing buttons.
You can easily change the logo for your own by selecting it from your WordPress media library. You can swap the social sharing buttons around, too, with a choice of 40 networks to choose from. The buttons can be configured to point at your personal social media profiles.
With the basics configured, you can start adding content to the email. MyMail supports 13 modules, which you can use to add text, images, and columns to your emails -- modules are added from the top right of the editor.
The page builder is incredibly intuitive to work with, and lets you build stylish, professional templates in minutes. You can add as many modules as you like, and moving them around is effortless thanks to the drag-and-drop interface.
After adding a few modules, you're probably ready to see what your email looks like. This is as easy as hitting the Preview button at the top of the Template.
Want to see what mine looked like? Here's a screenshot:
If you like the template you've built and want to use it again, make sure you save it using the Save Template button.
MyMail also supports comprehensive customization. There are 28 different background textures to choose from, and you can configure your color scheme from a choice of infinite colors. This is done using the Options meta box to the right of the Template.
If you like the color scheme you've just created, be sure to save it down for future use.
Having spent some time polishing up my email, this is how it looked:
Pretty cool, huh?
The next step is to click the Send Test button. Email services are becoming increasingly stringent when it comes to spam, so this Test feature is a great way to confirm your email passes spam-blockers.
Now you know your email works, it's time to schedule the email. This is done via the Delivery meta box on the right-hand side of the screen. MyMail gives you two options:
It's really easy to schedule your email: confirm the type of delivery you want by ticking a checkbox, then use drop-down menus and the visual calendar to work out the finer details.
Finally, you need to select the list your email will be sent to -- this is done from the Receive meta box. You can send your email to multiple lists if you want, and MyMail will automatically calculate the total number of subscribers the email is scheduled to send to.
When you're happy with everything, all that's left to do is hit the Save button.
MyMail lets you deal with all aspects of an email marketing campaign from within the WordPress dashboard – this includes performance tracking. The plugin provides stats for:
You can access stats for your entire list by going to Newsletter > Lists then clicking the list you want.
Alternatively, you can view the stats for an individual email by clicking Newsletter > All Campaigns and clicking the email you want to track.
For an even quicker overview, MyMail supports a dashboard widget, giving you a snapshot of your newsletter's performance the moment you login to WordPress. The dashboard widget allows you to quickly visualize number of signups, opens, clicks, unsubscribes, and bounces.
If you're looking to run your email marketing campaigns from one convenient location, MyMail fits the bill perfectly: you can control everything from within the WordPress dashboard.
Then there's the cost savings to consider: MyMail costs a flat $38 for a lifetime's usage, which can save you hundreds of dollars in autoresponder subscriptions.
But MyMail is far more than the 'convenient' or 'economic' option. MyMail allows you to grow your email list, build visually stunning emails, and gives you complete control over scheduling. It's a powerful plugin in its own right, and a worthy alternative to the top autoresponder services like AWeber and MailChimp.
I also found it to be impressively user friendly -- it took me just minutes to get to grips with the plugin and build my first newsletter (which looks pretty fantastic, might I add!). If you have problems, MyMail ships with extensive documentation, guiding new users through the plugin's many features and functions.
If you're not completely satisfied with your autoresponder service, MyMail could be the alternative you're looking for!
Are you using MyMail? Share your experiences in the comments section here! Grab the MyMail WordPress plugin.