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Step 34: How to Create a Free Email Newsletter

In the last step, we added an RSS feed to our site.  In this step we are going to add a free email newsletter to our site.  There are several large, paid email newsletter services available.  But what about those of us just starting out?  Maybe we don’t have the budget for paid services.  Is there anything “free” we can use?  Yes there is.  Remember the Google Feedburner account we set up?  Google Feedburner will allow us to create a free email newsletter in addition to the RSS feed we set up.  For a new site, free is good.  Some folks don’t read RSS feeds, but still want to subscribe to a website.  Often they will choose to subscribe to an email newsletter.  Many marketers believe that email newsletters are still a very effective way to engage readers.

Sign into your Google Feedburner account.  Click on your Feed Title.

Google Feedburner Feed Title

Click on the “Publicize” tab then click on “Email Subscriptions”.

Google Feedburner Publicize

In the right column, scroll down to the bottom and click the “Activate” button.

Google Feedburner Email Activate

After activation, scroll down the right column and look for the “Preview Subscription Link”.  Copy this link.

Google Feedburner Email Newsletter Link

Next we’ll set some delivery options.  On the left side, click “Delivery Options”.  In the box to the right you can set your preferred delivery time and timezone.  Don’t forget to click “Save” (or “Activate” if this isn’t already active).

Google Feedburner Email Newsletter Delivery Options

Just like we used an icon for our RSS feed, we are going to use an icon for our email newsletter.  We will add the email newsletter icon to the same sidebar widget as the RSS icon.  If you didn’t already do so, upload an email icon to your WordPress Media Library.

Now, from the WordPress Dashboard, go to Appearance -> Widgets.  Click the arrow on the “Subscribe and Follow” widget.

WordPress Sidbar Widgets

The Subscribe and Follow widget will open up and allow us to enter HTML code to display our email icon.

WordPress Free Email Newsletter Widget

Remember the “Preview and Subscription Link” I asked you to copy above?  You will need the code from that to add to your site.  The code I used is shown below.

<a href=";loc=en_US"><img src=" 
content/uploads/thrifty_zizel_email.png" class="alignleft image-margin1" width="32" height="32" title="Subscribe to Thrifty Zizel Email Newsletter" alt="Subscribe to Thrifty Zizel Email Newsletter" target="_blank"></a>

When a visitor signs up for your email newsletter they will be presented with a confirmation screen from Google Feedburner.  Subscribers will need to enter their email address and a captcha code.  They will also receive an email from Feedburner asking them to click a link to confirm their email address.  Only after they confirm their email address will they start receiving your newsletter.

Email Subscription Signup

Awesome!  Our site now has an email newsletter subscription option for our visitors.

Email Newsletter Icon Display

About the author: I’m a techie, a gadget geek, a former programmer, and all-around technology nut. Currently I’m a business analyst for a technology company. I love what technology can do for us. I love smartphones and apps for everything. Building sites with Thesis 2.0 and WordPress help me to reconnect with the feeling of building something tangible.

I’m on: Google+ and Twitter

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • search engine optimization December 31, 2013, 4:40 PM

    This post will help the internet viewers for
    building up new blog or even a blog from start to end.

  • mukesh joshi April 28, 2014, 11:25 PM

    Thanks i was searching for installing newsletter service to my new blog.But got paid service thanks to you for Google feed.

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