Newsletter Locked Content

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Locked Content is a powerful feature of Newsletter made to hide specific blog contents for users that are not subscribed (and, of course, unlock them for subscribed users). This technique can be applied to any content of your blog you consider “premium content” something that worth a subscription to be read.

To lock a content you should simply surround the part of the post you want to hide with a short code (do not use inner spaces on real usage):

[ newsletter_lock]
 ...content...
[ /newsletter_lock]

When a visitor is reading a post with those short codes, the content inside them is replaced with a message you can configure on Newsletter main configuration panel. That message, other than explain why the content is hidden, should invite the user to subscriber to the newsletter.

A subscription form can be embedded using the short code [ newsletter_form ] (without inner spaces) which produces a subscription form similar to the regular one.

You can even lock out a full set of posts just indicating on configuration a tag or category name or id: all posts within that tag or category will be completely hidden, leaving visible only the title and the replacement message.

How is the content unlocked?

Once the user subscribes and confirms his subscription, you can send him an unlock link, created by Newsletter with a special tag: {unlock_url}. That tag can be used on welcome email and on welcome page (see the subscription configuration panel).

Following the unlock url, the user is redirected to the page you configure on Newsletter main configuration which can be the post with locked content (if only one) or a list of posts with locked content.

Good practices

The destination URL for unlocked content should usually be a category or tag page on your site and those category or tag should list all the posts locked out for non subscribers.

So this is I use the content locking feature:

  • I have a tag named “reserved” added to all post which is locked out (fully or partially)
  • On some of those post I use the short code to lock out only part of the content: the presence of the short code has priority over the tag/category configuration.
  • I set the “reserved” tag as the one for which I want the post locked out on Newsletter configuration, so if I forgot to use the short code to hide part of the content, all the content will be hidden.
  • I set as destination for the unlock URL to the tag page, so the user will have the full list of contents he can access being a confirmed subscribers
  • Of course I add the {unlock_url} on welcome email inviting the subscriber to click it to access the premium contents.
  • Always advice the subscriber to keep a copy of that welcome email, since it’s the only way to recover the unlocking URL if needed

The content locking feature works with cookies, so visitors must have them enabled.