Do you want to create an email list in WordPress?
Email marketing is the best way to stay in touch with your readers. And it’s much more effective for reaching your audience than social media alone.
In this email marketing guide for beginners, we will show you how to easily build an email list in WordPress.
Because this is a longer article, we put together a table of contents below to navigate each section:
- What Is an Email List?
- Why Is Email Marketing Important?
- How to Get Started Building Your Email List
- Which Email Marketing Service Should You Use?
- Build Your Email List With Email Marketing Software
- Create Your Email List in Constant Contact
- Add Subscribers to Your Email List With WPForms
- Grow Your Email List Faster with OptinMonster
- Interacting With Your Subscribers
What Is an Email List?
An email list is a group of people who have requested to get regular email updates from you. Typically, people get onto your email list by adding their information in an opt-in form on your site.
Building an email list allows you to stay in touch with your readers and customers by using email marketing software.
And because email is a reliable form of communication, you can easily let your readers know about anything coming up, such as new products, sales, or special announcements.
Why Is Email Marketing Important?
Email marketing is important because it provides a cost-effective way to reach your customers and bring them back to your website for more conversions, sales, and page views.
On our websites, email marketing outperforms social media marketing in the number of clicks.
We have tested this repeatedly, and the result is always the same: Emails get us 10 times more clicks than all social media combined.
But why does email perform so well? The answer is simple: email is private and personal.
If this is not a good enough reason to start building your email list, here are some major benefits:
- Guaranteed Reach – When you use X (formerly, Twitter), Facebook, or Instagram, your updates are bound to be missed due to the very nature of social media algorithms. However, people tend to check email more carefully than their social networks.
- Access and Ownership – You don’t own the content you post on social media. Your account can be suspended at any time, and you lose all your followers. Or what if your favorite social media platform goes out of business (Remember MySpace, Google+, Vine)? We are not saying they will, but your email list is something that you own. Second, you are not limited to the rules of the social platform, such as character length or hashtag rules. You set the limits yourself. You can integrate email newsletters within your WordPress blog with more effectiveness than embedding social platforms (we will show you how later in this guide).
- Better Targeting – The best thing about building your email list is that you can use it to target your audience locally (for folks in specific countries, cities, and states). Email is the best way to reach your subscribers if you launch a product in select locations.
- Increase Revenue – The bottom line is when you have guaranteed reach, better targeting, and attention from your users, then you are going to increase revenue.
But isn’t email dead? Haven’t you heard social media is where everyone’s at?
It’s a common misunderstanding about email marketing. If email use was truly dead, then why does every social media platform require you to sign up with an email address?
Email has been the most reliable form of electronic communication for the past three decades, and it hasn’t slowed down. Building an email list is much easier than building a following on social media platforms.
Facebook and Instagram both limit the reach of your profiles to a small percentage of your followers unless you want to pay for ads. Similarly, your tweets only appear for a limited time on a user’s feed.
On the other hand, when you send an email, it reaches all your subscribers and stays in their inbox until they take action.
We are not saying you should abandon social media. These sites are great for building user engagement, but email will bring you more visitors, conversions, and sales.
Lastly, a social media site can disappear or become less popular (remember Myspace?). When they disappear, they will take your followers with them.
On the other hand, email has been around since the dawn of the internet. And it’s still the most popular way people communicate online.
How to Get Started Building Your Email List
The first thing you need is a reliable email service provider.
These companies specialize in email delivery, and you need them to ensure your email reaches the inbox of all your subscribers (instead of having your email marked as spam).
Even though you can use WordPress to send emails, we strongly recommend against that (see why you should never use WordPress to send email newsletters).
These professional email service providers spend a lot of money and resources on their email delivery infrastructure to make sure that your email does not end up in your subscriber’s junk folder.
All major companies like Facebook, Apple, eBay, and Amazon use a third-party email marketing service.
Apart from deliverability, these companies also provide email marketing tools you’ll need to make your emails more effective.
Which Email Marketing Service Should You Use?
There are many great email marketing providers out there.
It’s a very competitive industry, which means companies are always trying to keep their costs low while offering many features.
Below are some of the providers we have worked with and highly recommend.
Build Your Email List With Email Marketing Software
It lets you send emails, manage subscribers, track emails, view analytics, set up autoresponders, create beautiful email templates, target subscribers, and split-test your campaigns.
This software lets you capture email addresses, works efficiently with WordPress, and has integrations for all the top WordPress plugins and tools.
The best part is that Constant Contact comes with a two-month free trial. This gives you enough time to set up your email list and start capturing email addresses.
By the end of the trial, your list will be paying for itself. Sign up for FREE!
For the sake of this guide, we will show you how to set up an email list using Constant Contact. However, the process is similar regardless of your chosen email service.
Create Your Email List in Constant Contact
Let’s set up your email list. This is simply a list where you will store the contact information of all users who sign up for your email newsletter.
Go to the Constant Contact website and click on ‘sign up for free’, and then fill out your information.
After signing up, you need to click on the ‘Contacts’ button at the top of your Constant Contact dashboard.
Now, you’ll see the contacts page. On this screen, click on the blue ‘Create List’ button.
At this step, it’s time to name your email list. It can be whatever you want, but we’ll call it ‘My Email List’ for this example.
Click the Create button, and Constant Contact will create an empty contacts list for you.
The next step is to add an email subscription form to your WordPress website where your readers can sign up.
For more details on setting up your email list, see our guide on how to add email subscriptions to your WordPress blog.
Add Subscribers to Your Email List With WPForms
While Constant Contact comes with an email signup form builder, the fastest way to get started is to use the WPForms. It integrates seamlessly with Constant Contact to set up an optin form easily.
Note: There is also a free version called WPForms Lite, which includes Constant Contact support but has limited features.
Upon activation, head to the WPForms » Add New page and select the ‘Newsletter Signup Form’ template.
You’ll see a sample newsletter signup form inside the form builder interface.
On the next page, you’ll get a notice to connect your email marketing service in the marketing tab. More on that in a second.
Make sure to change the name of your form by clicking on the title. For this example, we called it ‘Subscribe For Regular Updates’, but you can name it whatever you want.
Click on the orange ‘SAVE’ button. Now, you’ll want to set up your confirmation message. Click on ‘Confirmations’ on the left under ‘General’, and we will update that.
You’ll see this:
The default confirmation message reads, “Thanks for contacting us! We will be in touch with you shortly.” but you can put anything here you want. This is the message your readers will see after they subscribe to your newsletter.
Now, click the Marketing tab on the left:
Now, you’ll see the ‘Constant Contact’ button.
Click that to connect your new email list to the form we’ve created.
For the next step, click on the ‘Add New Connection’ button, and you’ll see a popup that asks you to name your connection. We’ve named it ‘My Newsletter Form,’ but you can name it anything you wish.
After that, you’ll see this:
Click on the ‘Click here to register with Constant Contact’ link to enter your Constant Contact details. Now, you’ll see a message that asks you to let WPForms access your account. Click on the ‘Allow’ button to continue.
You’ll be given a long authorization code to register your form.
Enter your code, along with the account nickname (make sure it’s familiar), into those fields. Click ‘Connect,’ and you are done.
On the next screen, you can select the fields you want to pass from your WPForm to your Constant Contact list. We chose ’email’ and ‘full name’, but you can select as many as you want.
Just be sure those two fields are on your optin form.
Click the big orange ‘Save’ button when you are done.
Your form is set up, and it’s time to place it on our WordPress website. For this example, we will put it in the sidebar.
If you are using a block theme, then you can go to the Appearance » Editor page to launch the site editor.
Select the template where you want to add the signup form. After that, then add the WPForm Block to the area where you want to display it.
From the block dropdown menu, select the newsletter sign-up form you created earlier.
WPForms will then load the form and show you a live preview of how it will look on your site.
Don’t forget to click the ‘Save’ button to save your changes.
On the other hand, if you are using a classic theme, you can go to the Appearance » Widgets page to add the WPForms block to your sidebar.
After adding the block, select your newsletter form from the dropdown menu. Don’t forget to click on the ‘Update’ button to save your settings.
Want to add the newsletter form to your WordPress posts and pages? You can simply edit the post or page and add the WPForms block where you want to display the form.
Your newsletter sign-up form is now ready. Any time someone inputs their name and email into your form, they’ll be added to your email list.
Grow Your Email List Faster with OptinMonster
Did you know that over 70% of your website visitors will never revisit it? The Internet is just too big, with tons of websites, and competition is fierce in most industries.
You get a few seconds to convince a website visitor to stay and look around.
This is where OptinMonster comes in. It is the best conversion optimization software in the world and allows you to convert website visitors into subscribers and customers easily.
This optin software lets you set up welcome mats, exit-intent popups, slide-in forms, floating bars, and more optin styles to capture the most email subscribers possible.
From there, you can customize your form in style and use smart targeting rules to display it at the precise time and location.
You can use multiple opportunities to nudge visitors into joining your email list.
Here’s an example of a subtle and polite slide-in form used on the OptinMonster blog:
One thing here is key: user experience. At WPBeginner, we have successfully used this lightbox popup and noticed a 600% increase in our subscribers without affecting the user experience or seeing any decrease in pageviews.
OptinMonster comes with a 14-day money-back guarantee, so if you use it and don’t see an increase in your subscribers, then you can get a full refund.
Interacting With Your Subscribers
Once you’ve started building your email list, it’s crucial that you engage with your subscribers.
Ideally, you’ll make it a habit to send them regular emails, whether it’s weekly or monthly.
Not every email has to be promotional. You can send emails requesting feedback, providing helpful tips, or letting them know about new content you’ve created.
We hope this article helped you learn how to build an email list in WordPress. You may also like our list of tested and easy ways to grow your email list faster and our expert picks for the best push notification software to further engage with your readers.