MailPoet, the newsletter plugin for WordPress
Are you looking for a quality and easy to use plugin to send newsletters directly from your WordPress website interface? We are going to introduce you to one of them: MailPoet. Launched in 2011, MailPoet is used on nearly 300,000 websites worldwide. How to install it? How to use it? What are its advantages and disadvantages? Discover our test & review of MailPoet.
Brief history of MailPoet
Launched in 2011, initially under the name Wysija (What You Send Is Just Awesome), MailPoet is a WordPress newsletter management plugin existing in both free and premium versions. It has been downloaded nearly 4 million times and is currently active on nearly 300,000 WordPress sites. On the WordPress.org website, MailPoet is constantly in the top 3 plug-ins on the newsletter query.
MailPoet allows you to create newsletter registration forms, manage your mailing lists and send your newsletters directly in the WordPress interface, without the need to use a third-party tool like MailChimp for example.
Although initially focused on managing newsletters, MailPoet has gradually become a complete email marketing platform, managing automatic emails as well.
2017 is the year of the release of MailPoet V3. It is this version that we will test.
MailPoet offers three plans:
- Free – Free, up to 2,000 subscribers. The free plan gives you access to 30 templates, email editor, form editor, notification system and support (chat, email) in exchange for a MailPoet ad in the footer of the site.
- Premium – $99 per year, with an unlimited number of subscribers. With this plan, the emailing is managed by your emailing platform or by your hosting company. This package allows you to benefit from priority support, to remove the MailPoet ad in the footer, to access the analytics tool and to integrate with WooCommerce.
- Premium + Sending – price proportional to the number of subscribers. This plan, the most expensive, allows you to benefit from MailPoet’s email sending platform.
- New free plan planned for May with Premium features but for 1000 subscribers or less.
How to install MailPoet on WordPress?
To install MailPoet on your website, you must first download the plugin from the WordPress.org page. You can also (and this is the easiest solution, the one we recommend) install MailPoet by going to the “Extensions” menu in your WordPress account and typing “MailPoet” in the search bar.
Once installed and activated, the extension appears in your WordPress menu
The installation is done in a few minutes, like all WordPress extensions.
The MailPoet team has also put together this demo which we think is very relevant and practical for those who would like to test without installing everything.
The main features of MailPoet
Here are the main features of MailPoet.
An email editor: newsletters, welcome, article notifications
MailPoet is first and foremost an email editing solution. The extension allows you to create your emails directly from the WordPress interface. The previous version of MailPoet only allowed you to create newsletter type emails. With V3, you can create :
- Your newsletters.
- Your welcome emails.
- Your item notifications.
- Your WooCommerce order confirmation emails (Premium).
We were really pleasantly surprised by the quality of the email templates offered by MailPoet. The extension offers about fifty templates for newsletters
A dozen welcome email templates. These are automatic emails sent: when a visitor subscribes to your list OR when a new WordPress user is added.
And about ten templates of notification emails of recent articles. This type of email allows you to automate the sending of your newsletters. You can define the period of sending: daily, weekly, monthly the/each by specifying the precise time of sending.
Note that you can create emails from scratch, using an empty template with 1 column. You can also import your own templates if you have any.
When you select an email template, a video is launched to explain how to use the editor. It is important to underline the quality of MailPoet’s support, with a contact form available 24 hours a day where you will get a quick answer.
The editor is very easy to use, intuitive and really complete. If you have already used an emailing solution such as MailChimp or SendinBlue, you will not be disoriented.
To edit the content of the email, simply drag the type of content (text, image, button, etc.) you want to add from the menu on the right and drop it in the desired location in the email (drag & drop). You can then edit each piece of content directly on the email. This is a really nice WYSIWIG visual editor.
You can add empty spaces between sections by choosing the “Spacing” item. What is also very interesting is that you can add new sections composed of 1, 2 or 3 blocks:
You can test the email rendering by sending it to your email address(es):
In short, this is an email editor that clearly holds its own, with a really clean interface. Once the email is edited, you are invited to create the subject, select the mailing list, choose the sender name and email as well as the email on which the replies sent by your subscribers will land. MailPoet also allows you to plan the date of the campaign sending.
An opt-in form editor
MailPoet offers a tool to create your forms and distribute them on your website to collect subscribers. MailPoet offers a default GDPR-compliant form template:
There is nothing particularly original in this form editor. But the main thing is :
- You can choose the list to which people who sign up will be added.
- You can customize what happens after the form is submitted: display a personalized thank you message OR redirect to a landing page.
- You can embed the form on your website via the WordPress widget menu OR by copying and pasting a shortcode OR by using PHP or iFrame code.
- You can customize all the fields of the form and add as many as you want (be careful, if you want to collect subscribers, better not to use too many fields!).
- You can customize the style/design of the form by modifying the CSS.
On the other hand, we can regret the fact that the style of the form takes by default the style of the WordPress theme of your website. Despite the possibility of touching the CSS (after all, we are on WordPress, it’s normal), we are quite limited in terms of customizing the design of forms. However, we know that this is an important factor in conversion.
A subscriber & mailing list manager
You can access the list of all your subscribers, i.e. the list of all the people who have subscribed to a mailing list by filling in a form. This menu allows you to add, import, sort or export in a few clicks your subscribers and contact databases (in .csv or .xls).
MailPoet allows you to manage your different mailing lists. You can create as many lists as you want. To create a list, you just have to give it a name and a short description (for personal use).
In short, the classic features of contact list management are present. Here again, nothing original but we appreciate the fact that we can manage our lists directly in WordPress.
The difference between free MailPoet and MailPoet Premium
What does MailPoet Premium (paid) add to the free version? We have already talked about it above. First of all, the free version limits you to a maximum of 2,000 subscribers. If you have more than 2,000 subscribers or if you plan to exceed them quickly, you should opt for the Premium version right away. The Premium version allows you to have an unlimited number of subscribers.
The Premium version also adds some additional features:
- An analytics tool to study the statistics of your campaigns.
- The possible integration with Google Analytics (impossible with the free version).
- Optimized deliverability of your emails, thanks to the availability of the MailPoet dedicated sending system.
- An automatic contact cleaning tool. Speaking of cleaning, let’s mention that MailPoet has a strict anti-spam policy towards users who wish to use the dedicated sending system. MailPoet reserves the right to cancel any sending plan if the bounce rate is higher than 5%. You want to use MailPoet’s sending service? Remember to clean up your file before importing it!
- Priority support.
Conclusion – Our opinion on MailPoet
Obviously, MailPoet is intended for users with relatively simple, if not basic, needs. If you want to do advanced segmentation, create marketing automation scenarios, do A/B tests or set up advanced reporting features, solutions like MailChimp (US) or SendinBlue (FR) are a better choice. Similarly, if you have lists consisting of tens of thousands of contacts, MailPoet may not be the right solution for you – although some users seem to have lists of 100,000 or more.
MailPoet also has the downside of its upside: the fact that all your contacts are stored directly on your WordPress server can carry risks, even though SaaS emailing solutions are not immune to hacking. To remove this security risk, consider setting up regular backups of your site. Your subscriber base is a valuable asset.
No solution is perfect. However, we can regret the impossibility of distributing forms in pop-up format or the relatively basic side of the analytics tool. But overall MailPoet is a very good emailing solution and a complete solution, which can manage the creation of campaigns & their sending, the creation of forms and the management of lists, the management of automatic emails, etc. We really appreciated the quality of the editor, really intuitive, and the quality of the templates proposed.
If you need a simple, intuitive and professional solution, MailPoet is clearly a solution that we recommend. It is not popular for nothing. You can test it by yourself, by trying the free version or by doing the very intuitive demo they offer. You’ll make up your own mind.