How to Send Your Newsletter Subscribers A Welcome Message

On The Confident Man Project, I wanted to send my new newsletter subscribers a Welcome message including a link to a bonus audio download that I promised them in the subscription box.

There are two ways to do this:

Using an Autoresponder

Create an autoresponder triggered by new newsletter subscriptions, and attach your welcome email to it. With this approach, the subscriber gets both a confirmation email, and a welcome email.

Here are the steps:

On the WordPress dashboard click Mails → Autoresponders

Add an Autoresponder Named newsletter, Slug newsletter, Description New newsletter subscriber. Make sure you select Active, and choose the Event Subscription activated. Then click Add Autoresponder.

Now go to Mails → Add New and write the Welcome email that you would like to send. For the recipient, under All choose one of the Newsletters. At the bottom of the page, look for Autoresponders, and Link to: autoresponder newsletter. Leave the schedule settings at 0,0,0,0,0. Click Add. Don't worry that nothing seems to happen yet.

Save the email as a draft. Notice at the bottom that the autoresponder you added has been saved. Don't hit the Send button, or you'll send it to all your existing subscribers. Emails linked to autoresponders only ever exist as drafts. They get sent automatically when the autoresponder triggers.

If you have disabled background wp-cron, in MailPress 5.1.1 your Welcome message will be sent the next time your cron task runs, instead of immediately that the person subscribes. This may confuse you during testing, but they'll get the email soon enough.

Editing Your Template

With this approach, you edit your MailPress template to include your Welcome message in the confirmation email. I prefer this solution since the subscriber only has to deal with one email instead of two. The downside is that you have to hack some simple PHP in your template.

Using a text editor, open confirmed.php in your active template.

Replace the text in the Subject: line in the comment at the top of the file, with the text you'd like to send in the email Subject:. Don't worry that it looks like a comment; MailPress will find it.

Replace the contents of $_the_content with the content of the email you want to send. You can use HTML markup, but be careful to quote “ with a backslash. If you get it wrong, the link in the please confirm email will give a blank page and the confirmation email won't get sent.

For example, if you want to email a link you'll need to say:

$_the_content = "Here is <a href=\"http://buildyourblog.net/bonus.mp3\">your bonus</a>";

You can make the string as long as you like. Include line breaks with <br />.

If you get stuck, simplify the string and keep re-testing by deactivating your test user on the MailPress Users list, and clicking the activate link again until you get something that works, and gives you the result you want.

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About Graham

I'm the creator of BuildYourBlog.net.
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10 Responses to How to Send Your Newsletter Subscribers A Welcome Message

  1. Ovidiu says:

    Hi Graham,

    how would one schedule or delay the automated welcome email?
    I'd love to only send it out say 1 day after the activation, with some teasers...

    Not sure what exactly the timer does when linking an autoresponder to a draft, is that the right place to "time" things?

  2. Elena Anne says:

    Informative post. Newsletters are a great way of keeping up that contact with your readers, your on the search and your doing the work you need to do to make your business money.

  3. Berlin says:

    Really an nice article Thanks for the tips Graham. I don't try to get subscribers for my niche sites. But I am about to launch a more general purpose health blog that is more aimed at repeat readers, so I'm trying to find an easy way to incorporate this.

  4. Stefan says:

    I'm definitely more partial to the idea of editing the template as opposed to creating yet more automated mail. As a web user I tend to get bothered to sites I subscribe to flooding my inbox with automated messages, so I'd prefer to keep the mail I sent out to a minimum. Changing the mailpress template seems like a really good idea, and I'll be sure to try it. Thanks.

  5. sohan says:

    Very essential article for Bloggers, SEO experts and Internet marketing consultants. Thanks for sharing this type of tricks with us.

  6. ella says:

    Do u always ask to confirm a subscription? b/c I've heard different opinions about that

  7. Duy says:

    Thanks Graham for this nice tip.

    I tried building a list once before. And although I failed short, I learned many interesting things from the lesson. One of them is how to use the autoresponder service lol! And you're right, the first auto-letter is very important as it engages the subscribers instantly and tell them what to do next.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

  8. Mike says:

    Thanks for the tips Graham. I don't try to get subscribers for my niche sites. But I am about to launch a more general purpose health blog that is more aimed at repeat readers, so I'm trying to find an easy way to incorporate this.

    I just subscribed to your site, I noticed that my name and email were pre-populated in the sign up form. I just had to click a button, that was super easy. Is that a plugin that does that?

    • Graham says:

      Hey Mike. I'm not sure to be honest; it might be because you've left a comment on another WordPress site. Or it could be a feature of CommentLuv Premium, which I recommend you install anyway because you'll get better visitor engagement, more hits, and ultimately a higher search ranking. Cheers, Graham

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