Email Lists in Word Press – Contact Commenters Plugin

Quite a few people just received an email from me, the title read: “What is your web effect [NAME]?” – and yes – unfortunately it said exactly that. I’d intended for [NAME] to be replaced with the recipient’s name, sadly that didn’t happen.

Let me wind the story back for a minute – This is something I’ve been contemplating for a while, but I’ve never sat down to actually try to find a solution – how can I email everyone that’s ever made a comment on my blog?

I’ve been collecting email addresses of people that connected with the content on my blog enough to gave their details freely, and added their comments on an article I’ve written. Some of these people might be interested in future articles, and from a marketing perspective it would be great if I could email these people regularly.

I wanted to email people who have commented on my wordpress blog in the past, and I wanted a plugin to handle my email lists.

The solution came from an obscure wordpress plugin called Contact Commenters – it’s so obscure it’s only ever been downloaded 1,695 times! – This, compared to the All in One SEO Pack which has been downloaded 4.8 million times in total, and already 3,480 times just today!

The download and install is the same as any other wordpress plugin – download, unzip, and upload into the wp-content/plugins directory. Activate the plugin from the plugins page in your wordpress admin… voila….

In the tools menu you’ll see a Contact Commenter’s sub-menu – it takes you to this page:

contact-commenters-1

As you can see in the image above, Contact Commenters wordpress plugin allows you several list options:

1 – Email all commenter’s
2 – Email all commenter’s who haven’t been active in the past 7 days
3 – Email all commenter’s who commented within a date range
4 – Email everyone who commented on a post
5 – Email your top 10 commenter’s from the past X days
6 – Email all new commenter’s from the past X days
7 – Email up to 5 email addresses you enter manually

That’s pretty comprehensive if you ask me – and kinda cool! Emailing new commenter’s is a great way to welcome people to your blog and introduce them to your other content. Emailing inactive commenters is a great way to bring people back to your blog, and emailing everyone who commented on a particular post lets you notify people of updates or related posts.

All very cool!

Clicking through to Step 2 Contact Commenter’s Plugin allows you to remove people from your list and compose your email.

contact-commenters-2

I sent an email to a selection of 135 commenter’s – I tried to make the most of the [NAME] tag, which will be replaced by the commenters name, in both the email title and email body – I later discovered this was only replaced with the commenter’s name in the email body – possibly a simple oversight but one which resulted in 135 people receiving very obviously impersonal emails from me – sorry about that…

You can send unique emails to all people, or you can BCC everyone to the same email – for deliverability purposes I chose to email everyone individually.

I clicked “Send Mails” and the waited…

contact-commenters-3

It took about 3 minutes for the page to finish loading – it would have been nice to receive a notification letting me know all emails had been sent – but apparently they were anyway.

Within seconds I had an email in my inbox from myself – as you can see the [NAME] tag wasn’t replaced in the title, but it was replaced in the email body.

contact-commenters-4

All in all I would recommend this plugin – use it judiciously and don’t spam your readers, but also make the most of the tools at your disposal.

The Contact Commenters Plugin for WordPress is a new alternative to auto-responder list building that come with some extra barriers to list building. I also recommend adding a little line into the theme code below the comment form “We may send you emails once in a while, by submitting your comment you consent to receive these emails” – it shouldn’t be necessary but better safe than sorry :-)

UPDATE:

I’ve just had an email from Ajith – the developer of the Contact Commenters plugin:

Vince,

I appreciate your review and feedback. I have extended the [NAME] tag support for subject line as well.

Best Regards,
Ajith Edassery

Awesome!

9 thoughts on “Email Lists in Word Press – Contact Commenters Plugin

  1. Received your email, seems like a good idea to keep in touch with those that previously commented on your blog.
    Good plugin!

  2. Hi Vince,
    Just looked at my Inbox, got the email, read it then, straight over here to leave a comment about the plugin, very good find. Any Ideas if this can be tied into Disqus?

    Hugh

  3. Hey Vince,

    very cool. If used correctly, this plug-in can be very effective for marketers.

    You may wanna test the plug-in on a ‘test’ WP blog
    with one comment (by yourself)

    Thanks for the info

    Cheers

    Chris

  4. It’s a great way to build engagement on your blog by thanking those that have left comments and taken the time to interact, and also to remind them of new content every so often if they’re not subscribed to your feed.

  5. Vince,
    Thank you very much for your review and feedback. The [NAME] tag issue has been extended for the email subject as well. Please download the new version and test (as per Chris Arts’ reco). Also, another bug related to duplicate mails getting sent, has been fixed as well.

    Any social communication mechanism can backfire on you if not used carefully :) I personally, use this plugin only three to four times a year to wish my commenters for Chrismas/New Year etc and also to market exceptional offers/deals. And it really works to retain long lost readers and in selective internet marketing.

    Best Regards,
    Ajith Edassery

  6. Chris – Subtle hint noted ;-) You are completely right, best practice is to test the plugin in a way which doesn’t result in users receiving an email with [NAME] in the title…

    Speaking of which – how awesome is Ajith! Sorting out that issue within 12 hours! Pretty bloody cool if you ask me!

  7. joe h on

    Vince brilliant way of using the thousands of email addresses we all have but don’t use. I’ll head over there right now and download it!

  8. This is definitely a powerful plugin, when used correctly. I’ve a had think – at first I dismissed it. I have commented on so many blogs over the last couple of years and the thought some of them start emailing me (say if it was 10% of them) my inbox will explode and I will waste a lot of time sorting it out.

    However I think it can be used cleverly. For example I am planning to use it one of my sites where I have ran competitions. Next time I run one I will send an email to all people who have commented on previous comps, its highly targetted and I can explain to them very quickly why they are receiving the email.

    I also think it should be required that if you use the plugin it has to state on your sites comment section that you may receive emails in the future, and if so how often. Personally if I comment on a blog and from then on I start receiving emails from them regularly, it is going to annoy me a lot, especially if I wasn’t told. So I will email them to stop it and I will also never visit their blog again.

    So although a powerful plugin, I think all webmasters have to use it responsibly, and make it clear to their commentors they may receive emails in the future and if they don’t want to then they can take action to stop them (be it an unsubscribe link, checkbox in the comment form etc).

  9. Update: I’ve just seen now below the comment box it says:

    “We may send you emails once in a while, by submitting your comment you consent to receive these emails”

    Good start, now a checkbox for people to tick if they don’t want them and that would be perfect :)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>