Another of the great questions I got in response to my newsletter is regarding how to add an email subscription box to your website or blog. So I’m going to look at two methods, Feedburner and AWeber.
Feedburner is a service where it makes it easy for people to subscribe to your feed, and tracks all your subscribers in one location. They also provide an email subscription service, where subscribers will receive a daily email containing all your blog posts for that day (no posts = no email, 10 posts = 1 email).
1. Log in/sign-up to Feedburner (to sign-up you’ll need your blog’s RSS feed which will be something like this http://www.your domain name.com/feed/).
2. Once logged in or set-up, click on your Feed name to go to your Feed Stats Dashboard.
3. Then click the Publicize tab – See the image below.
4. In the left hand column you will see an option called Email Subscriptions, click this.
5. Choose how you want your email to be delivered. For now we’ll choose Feedburner.
6. Click Activate to begin the service.
7. You will now be presented with the form code to put on your site. Scroll down past the AWeber instructions to read how to put this on your blog.
AWeber is a professional email newsletter and autoresponder sequence service. I’ve been a member of over a month now and have been thoroughly impressed with their service. From the quick technical support, to the flexibility of their autoresponder and newsletter broadcasts, if you don’t mind paying for a great solution then I would definitely recommend giving their 30 day risk free membership a go (note this isn’t free, just risk-free meaning you can get a refund within 30 days).
To create a sign up form, simply sign into your account:
1. Go to List Settings > Web Form. If you have not set up you list you will be asked to enter certain details before being able to proceed.
2. Press the Create Web Form button.
3. On the form details tab enter:
Form Name: Your unique name for the form
Type: In this example we’re just doing the in-line form, we can experiment with others later (like the Pop-over/Hover that appears on my Contact page for new visitors).
Thank You Page: We can customise this later, for now we can leave it as AWeber‘s default page.
Ad tracking: You can give you form a name here so if you have multiple forms you can see which one a subscriber used to sign up.
4. The Design Form window will appear. I like to keep the form short and simple, maybe adding the Name box like I have. Just hover over it with your mouse and press the green + button when it appears. You can also add a headline to your form, and change the name of the submit button. You can always change the form options later.
Adding the code to your blog
If you have signed up for Feedburner, or AWeber, then the act of putting the code onto your blog is essentially the same. Here I will show you how to simply add the code to the sidebar of your WordPress blog (version 2.5+) and am assuming your theme is widget enabled.
1. In another window or tab, open your blog. You will need your email code window still open, so don’t close that just yet.
2. Go to your WordPress blog’s management dashboard.
3. Select Design, then Widgets.
4. If you see no widgets here then your theme may not be widget enabled and you will have to add the code directly to your theme files. Please contact me if this is so and I can talk you through the options.
5. On the left hand side, find Text Widget and press Add to add it to your sidebar on the right hand side.
6. Once added on the right hand side, press Edit to open the widget. At the top of the widget you can give the widget a title, such as “Subscribe to Email Updates”.
8. Once you have the widget title and code in place, remember to press Change to close the Text widget box, and then press Save Changes.
Your subscription box should now appear on your website. In a later tutorial I’ll show you how to change the styling of this. You can re-order your sidebar widgets by dropping and dragging them up and down your sidebar. Just remember to press Save Changes in order to see the results on your website.
You can also put this code in the body of a blog post too, like my newsletter sign up box below! Any questions, or problems please let me know.