The Subscription

The full subscription process is made of three main steps: submission of email address, activation of a subscription and the welcome message. That is the way you interact with the subscriber of your newsletter.

Subscription

A subscription starts where there is a subscription form. A subscription form just shows some fields (at minimum the email field) and a submit button.

Use a dedicated page

The Newsletter plugin uses a dedicated WordPress page to show messages. That page is even a general subscription page and conains only the shortcode [newsletter]. You can create other pages where to show a subscription form, for example one or more landing pages.

On those page you’ll use the shortcode [newsletter_form] which accepts few parameter to customize the displayed form. See the Newsletter shortcode documentation page for more examples.

Use the widget

The simpler way to add a subscription form to your site is to add a Newsletter widget to your sidebar.

The newsletter widget will show a subscription form following the rules you set on form fields configuration (see later about this topic). You can even recall your custom forms instead of the standard one, using the tag {subscription_form_N} (new tag of version 3), where N goes from 1 to 10 or make the standard widget form appear where you want inside the configurable text using the tag {subscription_form}.

Those tags work only if used in the Newsletter widget text!

Note that the subscription form generate by the widget is aesthetically different from the one generate on other pages (to be more compact).

Inside posts

If you want to have the subscription form inside every post (for example on bottom of them) you can use a plugin like Header and Footer and configure it to inject the short code in every post.

The subscription form on external sites

This activity require some HTML skills.

The subscription form is simply a piece of HTML. A special panel of the Subscription Module gives you the full code created using the rules set on form fields panel: you can copy it as is or changing the HTML structure as you need. Just remember: the fields names must be reserved.

Privacy note checkbox

Subscription form can have the privacy notice acceptance text or mandatory checkbox. You should just enable it. Read more about the privacy checkbox and notice.

Technical notes

The subscription forms send the data to a special URL managed by Newsletter which starts the subscription flow:

http://www.domain.tld/?na=s

The subscription flow is automatic, no manual action are required, and you can tune it on your needs as explained below. It’s important to ave that URL working, but sometime it may be blocked by security plugins or file permissions errors or other odd technical problem. Since the wide variety of installations we met, the next paragraph is dedicated to solve this special problem.

Single and double opt-in: what’s that?

Single opt-in and double opt-in are two different subscription processes: the first simple collect the email and gives a welcome message, the second pretends that email to be real and owned by the subscriber: it requires the user to confirm that.

The confirmation is obtained sending a special activation email to the subscriber with a link he must click to complete the subscription.

Double opt-in, other than a good practice, is a law requirement in many countries and of many hosting providers.

Lists and Preset lists

If you want initially add every new subscriber to one or more lists, you can set them as pre-assigned. Lists can be offered for selection to the subscriber configuring the subscription form as well. Different lists can be associated to different forms, if you want to publish few subscription forms with different offers. Check out the newsletter lists documentation page.

The subscription messages

After the email submission, the Newsletter plugin shows a message (a confirmation request message or a welcome messages, it depends on your opt-in mode choice).

Those message, if not elsewhere configured, are shown on a simple and blank page. To have a real blog page dedicated to show those messages (and the unsubscription sequence messages as well), you can create a page, put in it only the [newsletter] short code and set it on subscription panel.

That panel has a button that creates the page automatically for your convenience.

This page, if opened directly, shows a standard subscription form, so it can be used even as landing page for subscriptions starting point.

Repeated subscriptions

Changed on version 3.9.

When a user attempt to subscribe with an already stored email, the subscription proceeds as a normal subscription but the collected data (for example the name or the preferences) is stored in a temporary area. When the confirmation is activated by the subscriber (from the confirmation email), that data is merged with the original subscription.

That simplify a lot the multiple subscriptions which are useful to offer different landing pages where the same subscriber could land at different times. It solves even the problem of subscriber which sign up for a giveaway or a gift and after sometime they resubscribe because they forgot to be already registered of because they lost your gift (for example an e-book).

Activation

If you chose, as you should, the double opt-in, you should configure few messages that help the subscriber to activate his registration.

The activation message is shown to the user after the data submission and should contain a notice about the activation email he should find in his mailbox. Remember to remind to check the spam folder when looking for that email.

You should even prepare the activation email, a simple message with a link to complete the activation. That link, created by Newsletter, is represented by a tag: {subscription_confirm_url}.

subscription-confirmation

Welcome page and email

When the single opt-in is active or when the user activates his subscription, he lands on the welcome page and receives a welcome message via email.

Welcome email can be disable setting the subject to blank.

If the subscription to the newsletter is promoted with a give-back (for example a discount code or a link to a free ebook), those should be exposed on welcome page and welcome message: with double opt-in you’re sure you have a real and owned address in your database.

With single opt-in, the bonus should be inserted only on the welcome email, since that forces the subscriber to insert an address he can read.

Conversion tracking

If you are running campaings to get subscribers, you could have a conversion tracking code that need to be added in the so called “thank you page”. In our case this page is the welcome page.

The code, usually an image or a snippet of javascript can be added by Newsletter in the welcome page, just paste your code in the conversion tracking code field.

Note: if you specified an alternative welcome page URL, your tracking code must be added in that custom page, it won’t be possible for Newsletter to deal with that injection.

Profile edit link

On welcome email is recommended to add the profile edit link (using {profile_url}) so the subscriber can eventually change/complete his data.

Change the default message template

There is a message template panel where you can edit the template used by Newsletter to send the “service message” (activation, welcome, goodbye). The old email.php and email-alternative.php are deprecated and no more supported in future versions.

Read more about messages template.

Cancellation

Cancellation is the process to unsubscribe. Read more about cancellation and the different options available.

The profile edit page

If you use a complex subscriber profile (with preferences and profiles), you may want a subscriber to be able to change them. The special tag {profile_url} that you can add on every emails (and even on welcome email), drives he to a page with a form where to edit his data.

The email can never be changed.

The profile page is configurable on Subscription Module panels and must contain the {profile_form} tag with eventually other text. That tag is replaced with the profile form automatically generated by Newsletter.

That tag can be used even on welcome page, so you can thank you the user for the subscription and propose to complete his profile: usually it’s better than asking a lot of information on subscription moment.

Other sources of subscription

It’s available the subscription during the WordPress registration process, while a readers leave a comment, during a purchas or while filling a contact form can be activated using the Newsletter plugin extensions.