There are many new website owners are limited by budget at the start so they may not willing to invest in third-party email program. If you are one of them and yet you still want to collect emails of your website visitors for future correspondence, there is a solution! You still can do it manually using a simple newsletter signup form and the information collected will be email to you directly.
Here are the steps to set up a simple newsletter signup form using a WordPress plugin called Contact Form 7.
Step 1: Install the Form Plugin into your Website
- Log into your WordPress site.
- At the dashboard, click on “Plugin” at the left hand panel.
- Click on “Add New” and look for “Contact Form 7” by Takayuki Miyoshi & install it.
- Once it is installed, you will see a new option – “Contact” appears at the left hand panel.
Step 2: Creating a Signup Form
- Click on “Contact” and “Add New” to start creating a signup form.
- When you are in the “Add New Contact Form”, click on “Untitled” to give the form a name for e.g. Signup-Form and click on the green button “Save” to save.
(Once you’ve saved, you will see a code appear below it, this is necessary when you are going to add the form to the sidebar later).
- The default form box has already four fields in it, you can remove the “Subject” and “Your Message” & leave “your-name”, “your-email” and “Submit” button.
- Once you are done, move to the “Mail” section and insert your email in the “To:” field and you may want to change the “Subject:” to Meet Your New Subscriber! as shown below.
- Next, in the “Message body”, add in the following text in the box as shown in the screen above.
Subject: Meet Your New Subscriber!
The following person has just signed up your Mailing List!
- You have now finished creating the form and the next step is to add the form to your sidebar.
Step 3: Add Signup form to Sidebar
- Still at the form screen, scroll to the top of the form and copy the code.
- Go the left hand panel and hover on “Appearance” and “Widgets”.
- Drag a “Text” widget into your “Widget Area”.
- Give the “Title”of the Widget a title e.g. “Sign Up Now to Get Free Tips!”.
- Paste the code into box and click “Save” to save.
- Now refresh your browser and view your website, you can see a signup form is added to your panel.
You can try enter your name and email address to test out how it works. The data entered is email directly to you as a normal email. Unlike using a third-party email program like Aweber which will automate this step, you will have to copy the individual emails & names and paste them into a spreadsheet manually.
When you accumulated enough email address and budget one day, you can signup a third-party email program as it has more features to manage your subscribers more efficiently.