Lists

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In this page you’ll learn what are the lists and how to use them on specific situations.

Newsletter plugin has only one list made of unique email addresses. A physical subscriber is unique as it is exclusively his or her email address. So, when a subscriber does not want to be contacted from your blog he or she can cancel the subscription. When they want to be contacted, you can offer them a selection of some preferences. Sending them only what they want to receive.

Preferences you offer to the subscriber should reflect topics you can cover with your newsletters.

When you send an email, that email should answer the question: What’s inside for the subscriber? Is it something their interested in? Letting the subscriber tell you their  preferences is a perfect way to know what to send them.

While the subscriber can use the preferences to express their interests, you will have those preferences on hand when you want to send emails. It’s like you are creating channels. Let me to make some examples.

On product oriented blog, you can set up three preferences:

  1. product updates
  2. developer channel
  3. tutorial and use cases

To users with preference #1 you’ll send everything related to updates, bug fixes (ready to be installed), new features and so on. To those set  to preference #2 you’ll send technical information.  For those who use the product as a developer they should have technical skills to understand the content. To users with preference #3 you’ll send examples to get the best from your product.

When you need to promote something related to your product, for example a promo code or a complementary product, you can mail to every subscribers without distinction (since everyone is potentially interested). No need to create a fourth list merging the first three.

Subscribers can modify their preferences on the profile edit page. On every message you should care to add a {profile_url} tag (then converted on a link to the profile page) inviting the receiver to modify their profile if needed.

When you create a new preference

If you create a new preference because you find there is something specific you can email with consistency, you can simple mail you subscribers (all) and invite them to add their preferences on their profile page, if they are interested. No need to create a different list or to subscribe a second time, they are already subscribed!

Private preferences

If a preference is marked as Disabled/Private it means  the subscriber cannot control it, they cannot activate or deactivate that preference. But the preference itself is “usable” by the administrator and he or she can associate users to that preference and use it as an internal users classification. Private preferences are available on newsletter composers as well, so you can create specific communication for users with those preferences active.

An example of  a use of private preferences is when you can identify a special group of subscribers (usually managed by hand). Activating them as private preferences you can later send them private content and no other subscribers will be able to change their profile to enter that group.

Public preferences

A preference is considered public when the subscriber can activate and deactivate it by themself. There are two options here: present a preference on the subscription form or present it only on the profile editing form.

You can invent many combinations, for example:

  1. Force the activation of a public preference during subscription (see below) but make it changeable on the profile editing panel
  2. Show those preference even during the subscription process (configuring them adequately) so the user can activate them (but the subscription form becomes more complex)
  3. Setting the preferences modifiable only on subscriber profile page to make the subscription form simpler and show the profile editing form on the welcome page, just after the subscriber confirms their subscription (inviting them to select what they want to receive)

Can I automatically add some preferences to new subscribers?

Yes, on subscription configuration panel, after you created some preferences, you can set a few of them to be automatically added on subscription. It doesn’t matter if they are private or not, those selected on the subscription configuration will always be forced on the first subscription.

Can I set/uset massively a preference?

Yes, just use the “massive actions” on subscribers management panel: here there are a lot of operation you can; unset a preference, set a preference, “move” users between preferences and so on.

Can I have more than 20 preferences?

Yes, but actually in a static configuration you should put use wp-config.php. The code to add it is:

define('NEWSLETTER_LIST_MAX', 30);

or a different number. After doing that modifications, immediately go to the diagnostic panel and force an upgrade. Do not add too many preferences, since they are added as new data columns on subscriber database table and too many columns make the user data bigger and management slower.