In this post I will make a review of one really useful and easy to use WordPress plugin. It is called SendPress and its purpose is to allow you to create wonderful newsletters and to send them to your subscribers. This plugin also aids you in gaining new subscribers as well.
Let’s begin by installing and activating SendPress!
Then head to the WordPress Dashboard and seek the SendPress menu. It has several items in:
If you just click on the main SendPress menu you will be redirected to the Overview page. There you will be asked to adjust your settings before you start using SendPress. So either go to the Settings tab or click on the “information” link in the warning notice.
In the Settings tab you have different sections. The first one is the Sending section.
There you need to write the name of the sender (again this might be your own name or your brand) and the email address of the sender. Fill these out and save them. Then scroll down a little to configure the email server/service that you will be using in order to send your newsletters via SendPress.
Here you can choose between:
- Gmail – you can either use your own account or create a dedicated one. Remember – you are limited to 500 emails per day if you choose this option;
- WP Email Delivery (API Sending) – I really recommend you to use this option for various reasons but the most important ones are that this is the creation of the same crew that stands behind SendPress so it is quite obvious that everything will simply work flawless. Also this service is fast and secure and all you need to do to use it with SendPress is to enter your License Key. However if you have read the WP Email Delivery review in TheCMSPlace then you already know how to configure this service in order to be the default for your WordPress website (i.e. to override the wp_mail () function). If you have done this then you can skip re-entering your License Key in the SendPress settings and leave the default option that is:
- Your Website – here you can use the default email server/service which in case you have set up WP Email Delivery will be the latter or you can use any other service/server that is set to be default including wp_mail ();
Once you have this set up you can send a test email by entering the address in the beginning of the Sending section of the Settings tab.
Here is the result:
Like any modern newsletter service SendPress allows you to provide Single And Double Opt-In confirmation options. All of these can be configured in the Confirmation tab.
There you can choose on which page to redirect the subscribers and what to happen in order to get their confirmation correctly.
Then go to the Permissions section.
There you can manage which user role on your WordPress website can:
- create/edit/delete or send emails;
- receive access to reports;
- receive access to the subscribers’ data;
- adjust settings;
- see and manage the email queue;
- install add-ons;
Needless to say that you should limit these permissions to the most reliable team members or simply for yourselves.
Then there is the Notifications section.
This SendPress Settings’ section allows you to send email notifications to a specified address or you can do this to all WordPress administrators on your website. The notifications can be instant, daily, weekly or monthly and they are two types – when a user subscribes or when a user decides that they do not want to read your newsletter and unsubscribes. You can also enable HipChat notification by entering a HipChat API key.
Now to the Forms section.
Here you can manage your subscription forms. SendPress allows you to create two types of forms – Signup and Manage subscriptions form.
Next is the Advanced section where you tweak the functionality of SendPress.
Here you can adjust:
- Database repair options;
- Tracking options;
- Usage of Shortcodes in widgets;
- System limits;
- Optional settings;
You can also receive Table Information regarding your database and then choose to install the missing tables (if any), repair the event tables or check the templates.
In the Styles section you can design the style of your newsletters.
There are plenty of options: background, body text color, body link color, header styles, etc. So basically you have everything needed to design the most suitable newsletters for your subscribers.
Next is the Emails tab.
Here you create your emails, manage your templates, adjust social icons and other options in the different sections. Some of them are available for the Pro version of SendPress only.
Then there is the Reports tab where you get data about your newsletters.
Next is the Subscribers tab which allows you to manage your subscribers.
In the Queue tab you see the email queue and you can manage the emails per day – you can pause the sending or to send everything now.
You are presented with the active queue, the stuck emails, the send history and the send errors.
In the Help tab you receive Debug information for your WordPress website and you also get to use the SendPress support system.The Pro tab presents SendPress Pro and you can buy this version and enter your key.
The Pro features of the plugin are also described on the official website sendpress.com.
Let’s review them as well:
- API Sending for different email services like Mandrill, Sendgrid, Mailgun and Elastic Email;
- Automated handling of Bounces;
- Receive advanced insights in the Reports tab – for example you get to see subscriber details and on which links they have clicked on;
- Custom HTML Templates – this feature unleashes your true creativity and provides you with the ability to create astonishing newsletters;
- Campaign Tracking: Google Analytics, KissMetrics, etc… – after all you want to know what is happening when the newsletter is sent;
- Check your spam score ( Spamassasin )
- And probably the most important feature – you get 1 year of updates and Premium Support;
So that’s all friends. The SendPress free plugin is powerful enough for any WordPress beginner, blogger or small business. However for bigger websites/projects you might consider the SendPress Pro version in order to achieve your goals.
What do you think? Will you use SendPress for your WordPress? Share your thoughts, questions and feedback in the comments bellow.
Also you can watch this presentation video in order to get familiar with SendPress:
See you soon, friends!