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How to Export Email Addresses from WordPress Comments

Do you want to export email address from your WordPress comments?

The people who comment on your site are already engaged with your content, and that makes them the perfect audience for email marketing or retargeting ads. As long as you get the right permissions, you can target these users by exporting their contact information.

In this article, we will show you how you can export email addresses from the WordPress comment section.

How to export email addresses from WordPress comments

Why Export Email Addresses From WordPress Comments?

There are a few different reasons why you may want to export email addresses from WordPress comments but the most common is to build an email list.

However, according to digital privacy guidelines, you must have permission to contact the people who comment on your website. The default WordPress comment form doesn’t give users a way to opt into your email updates, which means you can’t simply add these people to your mailing list. One easy fix is to add custom fields to the comment form in WordPress so that anyone who leaves a comment can opt into getting emails from you.

The following screenshot shows an example of how this might look on your website.

An example of a custom comment form

When the person posts their comment, their response is added as comment meta data. You can then export the meta data along with the email address, and see whether you have permission to email that person.

In the following image, you can see an example of a spreadsheet containing one comment author who has opted into getting email updates and one author who doesn’t want to receive any messages from you.

A list of exported email addresses

This allows you to build a mailing list without breaking important privacy rules such as GDPR.

There may also be some sites where you already have permission to email anyone who comments on your content. This often includes private WordPress blogs such as a classroom website or a family blog. In this case, simply exporting the list of email addresses may be easier than asking every single person for their contact information.

With that in mind, let’s see how you can export email addresses from WordPress comments.

How to Export Email Addresses from WordPress Comments

The easiest way to export email addresses from your WordPress comments is by using WordPress Comments Import & Export.

This plugin lets you export different information from the WordPress comment section including email addresses and any meta data that was added via a custom field.

To begin, you’ll need to install and activate the plugin. If you need help, then please see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, go to Comments » Comments Im-Ex.

The WordPress Comments Import & Export plugin

By default, the plugin will export data from all the comments that people have posted across your website.

Depending on your site, this might be a lot of information for you to read through.

With that being said, you may want to filter the comments that the plugin exports. One option is to only export comments that were posted within a particular timeframe.

To set a time limit, scroll to the ‘Date’ section. You can then click on each date field and then choose a start and end date from the calendar popup.

Filtering the WordPress comments export

You can also export comments from a specific post only. For example, you might be running a giveaway or contest where everyone who comments on a particular post gets entered into a prize draw.

You can then export the email addresses from this post and pick your winner.

To limit the export to a specific page, click on the box next to ‘Articles’ and then select any post from the list.

Filtering the WordPress comment export

Once you’ve done that, scroll to the ‘Columns’ section which lists all the information you can include in the export.

By default, the plugin exports all the data from each comment, so you’ll typically want to uncheck the information you don’t need. For example, if you’re not interested in the author’s IP address then you can click to uncheck the comment_author_ip box.

Building the comment form export

You can check or uncheck any boxes you want. However, since we want to export a list of email addresses it’s important to check the comment_author_email box.

Did you add a custom opt in field to the comment form? Then make sure you check the comment_meta box so you can see whether the author opted into receiving email updates.

Exporting custom meta data from WordPress comments

When you’re happy with how the export is set up, go ahead and click on the Export Comments button.

The plugin will now export all the email addresses and you can download that CSV file.

Next, open the file using any app or program that supports the CSV format, such as Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, as you can see below.

How to export email addresses from WordPress comments

You can now filter the comments based on whether these people opted into receiving emails.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Exported Email Addresses

After exporting the email addresses from your WordPress comments, there are a few different ways that you can use them.

If the comment author opted into getting email updates from you, then you might add them to your email newsletter. You can then send these people news, tips, and updates about your business or website.

Another use for your exported email addresses is for Facebook retargeting ads. Facebook lets you upload a list of email address so you can target only those users with your ad campaign.

We hope this article helped you learn how to export email addresses from WordPress comments. You may also want to check out our guide on how to allow user registration on your WordPress site and the best contact form plugins.

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3 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Thank you for the article and tips. Good reminder not to add email addresses automatically to a mailing list, given the Canada Anti-Spam Legislation that just took effect this summer.

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