By now, if you are a regular reader of this blog, you will already be aware of how useful email marketing is. And if you have already started with your campaigns you will know that managing them can take a fairly large amount of time.
Today I’m going to show you a simple, uncomplicated way to automate much of this process.
So you can spend a lot of your time creating content, and Mailrelay takes care of much of the work.
How are we going to do it?
It is not really too complicated a process, we will need:
- A subscription form
- Set up an autoresponder
- Set up sending from an RSS
With this we are going to get a process that complies:
- Registration of new subscribers to our blog or website
- The automatic sending an email presentation(or more if we needed it )
- The automatic sending of new publications site
As you can see, it is a process that will save us a lot of time.
Does it seem complicated?
Do not worry, it is not, we will go step by step doing all the necessary configuration. The idea is to make a very simple base but that allows you to learn everything you need to take this much further.
Anyway, here we will only configure an autoresponder email in order to keep the tutorial simple and brief. It will be you who with this base will be able to devise a whole sequence of emails in your autoresponder that add value to your readers.
There are a thousand ways to do it: tricks, mini-courses, a well-organized selection of the best content on your blog, etc., etc., etc.
Believe me, self-power, well used, is one of the most powerful weapons in email marketing.
There are many well-known bloggers like Pat Flynn or Ramit Sethi who have autoresponder sequences with +20 emails in total, and they do that effort for something. And, in addition, Mailrelay is one of the very few email marketing tools that include an autoresponder in its free version.
At this point, let’s stop preludes and get into flour:
1. Create your Mailrelay account
Very easy, you just need to go to Mailrelay.com
You can create your account by clicking on the big orange button “Sign up for free now” or on the small “Create account” at the top right.
Both serve the same purpose and clicking will take you to another page with a short form that you must fill out:
You only need to enter your name and email, the phone is optional.
Fill in your details and submit the form, the account creation process is almost over, just one more step is necessary.
After sending the form, a message will arrive in your email with the subject line «Mailrelay – Activate your account – (accountname) »
Click on the link, it will take you to a screen that will finish creating and configuring your account, it will not take more than a couple of minutes, after which your password and access URL will be indicated (you will also receive them by email).
And we are done with the account creation part.
2. First look at your account and create a newsletter
When accessing your account you will see the general menu of options:
There are many options! But we don’t need all of them now.
For what we have proposed we have to go to the menu “Newsletters” and its option “Create newsletter”:
It is not necessary to give much information here, just a few details:
- Subject: the subject of the email to be sent, such as a welcome email, we can put something like “Welcome to the newsletter of …”
- Groups: for this quick example I am going to use the default group «default», but if you want to use another group you would only have to go to the menu “Subscriber groups”and create it on that screen.
The rest of the parameters are not mandatory, so I am not going to fill them in and I will click directly on “Continue”, which will take us to the editor.
For a welcome message I think it is better not to make an especially complex newsletter, I like it more natural, more human, something like this:
Anyway, if you prefer you can use a more complex template, or use a template that you will find in «Use template».
But hey, for the example we already have a welcome email template that can help us.
What would be the next step?
3. Set up the autoresponder
This will also be very easy to do, we go to the menu “Autoresponder” and sub-option “Autoresponder”:
So that we access the screen where the autoresponders we have configured are listed, and also where we can create a new one:
The autoresponder that we are going to use will be sent immediately, as soon as the user subscribes, the welcome email will be sent to them:
What do we need?
- Name:the name we give to the autoresponder, is something internal, so that we know how to recognize it when we have several.
- Newsletter: weselect the newsletter that we want to be sent, in this case the one that we just created in the previous step «Welcome to the Mailrelay newsletter»
- Send immediately: we mark this option to be sent when the user subscribes
- Groups:which groups this autoresponder affects, in this case, default, but you could have several different autoresponders, each in its own group.
- Include the imported ones: this is optional, if you are going to import subscribers you already have, check it
- Activate: essential if we want it to be running
Finally you just have to click on the “Save” button.
When you save, you will return to the previous screen, but this time you will see the new autoresponder in the list:
Okay, so we already have the autoresponder and the newsletter that is sent.
But we need visitors to be able to subscribe.
4. Create a subscription form and integrate it with WordPress
You can do this from the menu “Subscription form” and sub-menu “Custom forms”:
We will make a new one by clicking on the “Create” button:
Again all you have to do is select a few options:
- Name: is an internal value to distinguish the form
- Group field type: This is whether you want the group selection to be visible or not. I have put it as a hidden field because I do not want it to be seen.
- Groups: for which groups we are building the form, in this case I have indicated the group «default».
You can leave the following three fields empty, they are not mandatory. There are several fields that you can define to direct subscribers to success, error and confirmation pages on your website, instead of using Mailrelay’s default pages.
Below you can see the different fields that you can place in the form, in our example the three would be mandatory, so you have to drag them from the “Available fields” box to “Fields in the form”, so that it looks like the image .
It only remains to click on “Save” and we will see the form in the list:
Now to see and copy the code of the form, select it and click on the button «See code», you will see something like this:
You can paste this code on your website, use it in your subscription plugin, etc. There are many options from which you can choose.
One of the most popular and also completely free subscription plugins that fit very well here is Magic Action Box.
Here you can see on video how the Mailrelay form code would be integrated with this plugin to create a subscription widget in WordPress:
This completes our first automation, that of sending the welcome message to new subscribers.
Now we will continue with the configuration of the RSS newsletter
5. Automating the delivery of content through RSS
This function is also within the «Bulletins» menu:
But this time use the «RSS for newsletter» option, and on the screen we will click on «Create»:
The way to edit an RSS newsletter is very similar, with some of its own parameters:
- URL: the URL of the RSS feed that we are going to use
- Subject: The subject of RSS feeds. If we were to send a single item we could put a label that would be replaced by the title of each item shipped.
- Number of articles: here we can indicate how many articles are going to be sent, for example 2
There are several more fields, but the important ones would be:
- Frequency: how often the newsletter will be sent
- Time: at what time will shipments be made
- Groups: to which groups will the newsletter be sent
Important that you check the option enabled or it will not be sent.
With this it is configured and we can go to the design of the newsletter, I recommend that you use a predefined template, for several reasons:
- It can save you a lot of work
- It can serve as an example to make your own templates
To load a template you just have to click on the «Use template» button:
Although you can use any template found in the system, it is better to work with the templates developed for RSS feeds:
For example I am going to use the Basic 2 template, which would look like this:
With changing the title and the superior image it would be practically worth us, and it would not be necessary to do much more, since it already includes the necessary code to create the newsletter from the RSS source.
If we want to see how it would look we would click on the bulletin and on the «Display» button:
And the truth is that without practically making any changes it looks quite good:
Then it is a matter of adjusting the design to your liking, but in general terms it is ready.
And with this …
6. You already have two very useful automations
That they will save you a lot of work in your email marketing campaigns, allowing you to focus on creating content.
I hope you find it useful!