In my years of reading about blogging from the pros, I always came across this one simple advice: grow your email subscribers. According to blogging experts, email is the best way to reach out to your audience and keep them coming back to your blog.
It sounds simple enough: get your readers to give their email so they can receive updates and other content related to your blog. However, implementing this strategy may prove to be a challenge. First, you’ll have to figure out which email subscription service to choose. There’s Aweber, Get Response, Sendy to name a few. Then there are other technical things like creating an email subscription form, putting it on your website, making sure it looks good, and other details you might want to deal with.
For me, the challenge was committing to a paid service without knowing if my email subscribers would actually increase over time. As I completed everything and had my paid email subscription set up, I failed at my first attempt to grow my following simply because I lacked the time. I decided I was wasting money on a service I didn’t have time to invest on, so I ended up canceling my account.
Don’t let this happen to you.
This is not to say that growing your email subscribers is not important — it is. However, you have to understand that putting an email subscription feature on your blog requires commitment on your part. You need to follow through by consistently sending content to your readers when they do decide to subscribe. If you’re not sure you can do that, then you can always have a trial run to gauge your ability to follow this strategy.
This is where a free email subscription plugin for WordPress like MailMunch comes in handy. It doesn’t require a lot of time and it’s easy to learn. It’s a plugin that allows you to build email subscription forms, referred to as an “opt-in form“, from within WordPress. There is no coding necessary and it only takes a few minutes to create a professional-looking opt-in form.
MailMunch Review: How to Setup & configure
After installing the Mailmunch plugin, you will get an option on the left menu panel of your WordPress Dashboard. Click on that.
Before creating your Optin Form, you should first sign up for a free MailMunch account. Click on the Sign up button on the right panel of the Mail Munch dashboard.
A popup screen should appear so you can sign up. When done, you’re ready to create your form.
To create your email form, click “Create Your First Optin Form”.
This brings you to a new tab where you can start creating your form.
The first step is for you to choose a form type. There are five choices: Popover, Embedded, Topbar, Scrollbox and Sidebar. These types are clearly illustrated so you know where they appear on your site.
Click on a form type of your choice. In the example below, I chose a Topbar.
The next step is to choose a theme for your form. For all themes, there are two you can use for free and all others are available with a premium account. Click on the theme you want by mousing over it and clicking on “Choose Theme”. Note that if you choose a premium theme, you’ll need to upgrade your account later on.
On the next page, you can customize the appearance of your form by editing the text size and color, as well as the button and background colors.
You can also edit the text itself so you have something different than the default “Join Our Newsletter”. I highly recommend changing this to give your blog a personality.
If you know HTML, there’s a radio button for “Custom HTML” that provides a text box for you to enter your code.
You can also customize a message that shows when a user subscribes.
The last part of this step is an option to remove the MailMunch logo, which requires an upgrade to a premium account. If you don’t want to pay to remove this option, I suggest to just leave it as the logo is not at all intrusive and doesn’t really distract readers from your actual opt-in form.
When you’re done, click “Next Step”.
On the next page, you can configure how and when your opt-in form appears in your site. If you chose a Popover type, you have an option to set a delay (seconds) before the pop-up form appears. You can also set the form to pop up when a user views the second page of your site, not the first. There is also an option to only show the pop-up form when a user is about to leave your site. These are all important features so your pop-up form does not make visitors click out of your blog.
There are different options for each optin form type, so feel free to explore and test them first.
The last step is an option to integrate an email subscription service like GetResponse and Aweber. Again, this is optional, so if you don’t have an account, the plugin still saves your email subscribers in their own database and you can export it as a CSV file. If you want to learn about email subscription services, check out our exclusive guide to email marketing.
If you do have an account with any of the services, then click on the logo to start the integration. You will be asked to log in to your account with that email service and authorize MailMunch to access your information.
You can click “Skip This Step” if you don’t want to integrate a service.
On the next page, you have an option to finish with a free account or upgrade to a premium one. Click on “Finish Setup” when done.
Your optin form should now be activated. Check your site to see if the form is visible and working as configured.
Below is an example of a Topbar type optin form made with MailMunch:
Building your email list shouldn’t be complicated or time-consuming. In fact, you want to be able to complete the technical aspects right away so you can focus creating content for your subscribers and getting more traffic to your blog. MailMunch helps you in terms of getting a form set up so people can subscribe as soon as possible. It takes only a few minutes to do, and most importantly, it’s free.
While I’m talking about growing your email subscribers, here are hand-picked resources which you should read right away:
- What is lead magnet & how to setup within your blog post quickly
- Top 10 email Subscription WordPress plugin to get more email subscribers
- 5 incredible ways to get your first 1000 email subscribers