How to Send A WordPress Post Notification Email

Illustration by BaloO Japanese style illustration of cranes

What if you were able to automatically email your subscribers to let them know about your WordPress blog post, immediately after publishing it?

No logging into an email platform, creating a campaign, selecting your email list, and hitting “send.” Just simply hitting “publish” from the WordPress admin, and automatically sending an alert to all your subscribers. No extra clicks required!

We’ll compare our solution against the others:

  • MailPoet, with post notifications
  • Jetpack, the Subscription feature
  • Mailchimp, with RSS to email

Whether you’re a small business owner or blogger publishing with WordPress, email marketing is a tried and tested method to build loyalty and increase your bottom line.

Then again, email marketing requires time. In today’s gig economy, we’re either billed or paid (or both) — by the hour. From Fortune 500 CEOs to freelancers, every minute saved is a minute earned. Because time is money.

In this post, you’ll learn how to use the MailPoet newsletter plugin to set up a simple email marketing automation campaign that will email new post notifications to your subscribers — immediately after your posts are published.

Table of contents:

  1. MailPoet vs Jetpack vs Mailchimp
  2. The basics of MailPoet to get started
  3. How to create blog post notification emails in WordPress
  4. Monitoring post notifications campaigns in MailPoet
  5. Getting creative with post notification campaigns

1. MailPoet vs Jetpack vs Mailchimp

Let’s start with a quick primer on the fundamentals of email marketing, then I’ll walk you through how to create a post notification email campaign and monitor its stats. Finally, we’ll explore some common use cases for this type of email campaign.

Before we get started, it’s important to note that there are other newsletter plugins out there, such as Jetpack and Mailchimp, that can help you send automated email post notifications. However, both these services have their own set of limitations.

Let’s quickly review the advantages of MailPoet over the competition.

MailPoet vs Jetpack

The Jetpack plugin can send post notification emails to people who subscribe to your newsletter via a typical signup form or via the comment form underneath your blog posts. The comment subscription form looks something like this:

subscribing to newsletters via comment form in jetpack
Subscribing to newsletters via the Jetpack comment from.

Although Jetpack is easy to setup, you cannot customize the notification emails.

This isn’t a good choice if you want to design your emails to match your site’s colour palette or branding. With Jetpack, all email post notification emails look like this in your subscribers inboxes:

example of post notification email in jetpack by wordpress
Post notification email sent with Jetpack. Hint: they all look the same

Of course, with MailPoet, that’s not the case. You get to customize your newsletter with a drag-and-drop email builder, as you’ll see later in this post.

MailPoet vs Mailchimp

Mailchimp is undoubtedly one of the leading email marketing companies on the planet. However, when it comes to setting up blog post notification emails, Mailchimp’s process can be a bit… daunting.

You first have to sign up for Mailchimp, verify your domain, configure automated campaigns, design your email… and only then are you able to able to send automated blog post notification emails.

creating post notification email in mailchimp
One of the many steps necessary to create an email blog post notification in Mailchimp.

With MailPoet, things are a lot easier! You can create a new post notification campaign, design your email, and schedule it — all without ever leaving the WordPress dashboard.

Here’s an example of a post notification email designed with MailPoet:

example of post notification email created using mailpoet
Example of a post notification email designed and sent using MailPoet.

Now that you’ve had a sneak peek at what the end result looks like, let’s get started on how to set up automated blog post notification emails.

2. The basics of MailPoet to get started

Lists, signup forms, and emails are the building blocks of an email marketing campaign. If you’re new to the concept, here’s a quick primer:

Email lists

Typically, email lists have two attributes — name and email. You can also create additional attributes — also known as custom attributes — such as first name, last name and phone number.

Good email marketing campaigns are made up of multiple lists (also called segments). For example, most online stores have two email lists:

  1. List of people who sign up to the blog’s newsletter, and
  2. Another list of people who purchase the product (customers).
Default email lists in MailPoet
Default email lists in MailPoet

Upon installing the MailPoet plugin, you’re presented with three lists, as shown above.

  1. My First List: This is a default list created by MailPoet.
  2. WooCommerce Customers: If we have WooCommerce installed, MailPoet automatically imports your existing customers to this list.
  3. WordPress UsersThis is a list of your WordPress users.

Fun fact! MailPoet allows you to create unlimited lists! So you can segment away to your heart’s content.

For the purpose of this tutorial, I’ll rename My First List to Instant Post Updates and use it to send Post Notification emails. I’ve also imported a couple of subscribers to this list for testing purposes.

Note: If you have an existing email list, you could import the CSV file it to the Instant Post Updates list by following this tutorial. If you are using Mailchimp, you can import your existing lists via the Mailchimp API.

Newsletter signup forms

mailpoet newsletter plugin forms 1
Default newsletter signup forms in MailPoet.

Newsletter signup forms work in conjunction with email lists. A typical signup form contains two fields (name and email), which map to the respective attributes of the email list.

Getting subscribers on your list is one of the most important things you can do as a WordPress website owner.

Here’s an example of MailPoet’s signup form:

example of newsletter subscription box mailpoet
MailPoet Newsletter Signup Form

Creating a newsletter signup form using MailPoet

You can create unlimited forms using MailPoet. By default, you get a GDPR friendly form, which is mapped to the default list (My First List). 

mailpoet newsletter plugin form customization
Configuring an email signup form in MailPoet.

For the purposes of this tutorial, I’ll rename this form to Daily Post Updates and link it to the Instant Post Updates list. You can also customize the form by adding text, dividers, or rearranging/adding new fields and styles.

mailpoet newsletter plugin adding subscription widget
Adding a MailPoet newsletter form using a widget in WordPress.

You can place MailPoet forms anywhere in your WordPress site, using widgets, Gutenberg blocks, iFrame, and shortcodes. In the above screenshot, I’ve placed a widget for the Daily Post Updates form in my blog’s sidebar. Here’s what the signup form looks like:

example of newsletter subscription widget created using mailpoet
Example of a signup form created using MailPoet

Now we’re ready to fit the final piece of the puzzle!

Emails & email marketing campaigns

mailpoet newsletter plugin creating new campaign 1
Various types of email campaigns from MaiPoet

A campaign is basically one (or more) emails sent to a list at a particular time. They can also be triggered based on certain events.

One of the most common types of triggers is a time-based trigger. “Send a campaign on Friday the 13th at 2:30 pm”. That’s a scheduled campaign. 

MailPoet offers four types of email marketing campaigns, including newsletters, welcome emails, post notifications, and WooCommerce emails. Let’s discuss the first two.

  1. Newsletter Campaigns: The simplest form of a campaign is called a Newsletter. We create an email, select the list, and hit send. The emails are delivered immediately or schedule it at a later time. Trigger: Manual send or scheduled.
  2. Welcome Emails: Another common type of campaign trigger is when someone subscribes to an email list. In other words, the trigger is fired when a new row (i.e. email address) is added to the list. Such campaigns are called Welcome Emails. Trigger: New addition to list.

So far, we’ve covered 80% of the tutorial. What’s left is how to create a post notification campaign. Can you guess what the trigger is? Let’s find out in the next section!

3. How to create blog post notification emails in WordPress

From what we’ve learned so far, post notification campaigns are triggered when a new post is published in WordPress. Here’s how to create a post notification campaign in WordPress:

mailpoet newsletter plugin creating new post notification campaign 1
Step 1: Create a new Post Notification email campaign in WordPress using MailPoet

Step 1: Head over to the WordPress dashboard > MailPoet > Emails. Select the Post Notifications tab and click Add New.

MailPoet email type selection screen.
Step 2: Select “Latest Post Notifications”

Step 2: Click on Set up under the Latest Post Notifications tab.

mailpoet newsletter plugin creating new post notification campaign 2
Step 3: Set the email frequency

Step 3: Next, set the frequency of our campaign. Since the purpose of this tutorial is to send a post notification email immediately after it’s published, select the Immediately option from the drop-down menu. 

However, remember that in this configuration, if you publish two (or more) posts a day, two (or more) emails will be sent to our subscribers. You probably don’t want that.

A good practice is to match the email frequency with your content calendar or posting frequency. For instance, if you publish every day (like Seth Godin), then you could set the frequency to Once a day at an optimal time.

mailpoet newsletter plugin creating new post notification campaign 3
Step 4: Select a newsletter template

Step 4: MailPoet comes with over 50 pre-built templates for various email campaigns including Newsletter, Welcome Emails, and Post Notifications. 

In this tutorial, we’ve used a Post Notifications template. You can select any template that catches your fancy.

In the following step, we’ll use the Automatic Latest Content content block to create our newsletter.

mailpoet newsletter plugin creating new post notification campaign 4
Step 5: Designing the newsletter

Step 5: MailPoet has an intuitive, drag-and-drop email designer, with various content blocks and styling options, making it super easy to design email campaigns. You can also use MailPoet’s shortcodes to further personalize your newsletter.

The real magic happens in the Automatic Latest Content content block. Drag and drop it in to your email and select the number of posts it should display. For this tutorial, I’ve selected only one, i.e. latest published post.

mailpoet newsletter plugin automatic post selection content block
Customization options in the Automatic Latest Content block.

You can also filter the latest posts by tag and category. Furthermore, you can customize the elements of this content block using various display options, such as text alignment, showing/hiding the featured image, author, “read more” button and more.

Once you’ve designed your email, click Next (in the top-right corner) to proceed to the last step.

mailpoet newsletter plugin creating new post notification campaign 6
Step 6: Final campaign configuration

Step 6: In the final step, select the list you’d like to send your blog post notification email. For this tutorial, I’ve selected the Instant Post Updates list.

Choose a relevant subject line, frequency, and sender info. Once ready, click Activate to start the campaign.

mailpoet newsletter plugin creating new post notification campaign 5
Success message

Our Post Notifications campaign is now active!

4. Monitoring Post Notification campaigns in MailPoet

After activating your first campaign, how do you verify if your post notification emails are actually sending? Head over to the Post Notifications tab in MailPoet. You should see one active campaign called New blog post! 

MailPoet view history link.
List of active Post Notification campaigns in MailPoet.

Whenever a new post is published, you can check the status of sent campaigns by selecting the View history option as shown in the screenshot above.

mailpoet newsletter plugin creating new post notification campaign stats
Monitoring Post Notification campaigns in MailPoet

For instance, in order to verify our tutorial, I published a test blog post to check if the plugin was running as scheduled — and it did, just as it should!

Video tutorial

Bonus: For all you “watch-and-learn” readers, here’s a video tutorial on how to create blog post notification emails with MailPoet.

5. Getting creative with Post Notification campaigns

We can get quite creative with post notification campaigns, especially by playing with the tag and category filter. For example:

Use Case 1: Say you have a SaaS blog where you post relevant content as well as product updates. Since all your customers should get product update emails, you could configure a post notification campaign. Whenever a new post is published under the “Product Updates” category, all customers would receive the notification email.

Use Case 2: A good way to navigate today’s attention economy is to present consumers with simple choices that save them time. Enabling readers to choose between daily, weekly and monthly post notification updates would help solidify your position as a “pro-customer” brand. You could use MailPoet to create three different post notification campaigns to cater to each of these segments.

You want to learn even more? We conjured up an ultimate guide to newsletters in WordPress.

I hope you have found this tutorial helpful. If you have any questions about how to set up post notification, let us know in the comments below!