WP Email Capture is a free WordPress plugin that helps users build email lists and distribute digital products. It’s got a four star rating in the WordPress Plugin Directory and with some recent updates (last month) it looks like they’re keeping it simple and “well oiled”. Attributes I find incredibly attractive when it comes to a plugin because frankly, I’m a little tired at the moment of monster plugins with seemingly hundreds of features and settings. Needless to say WP Email Capture peaked my interest and so of course I had to take the plugin for a test drive and write-up the experience for everyone here at WPHub.
Installing WP Email Capture
As usual the first step is downloading the WP Email Capture plugin from the WordPress.org Plugin Directory. Once you’ve got the zipped file, go to your WordPress Admin > Plugins > Add New > Upload and install the plugin.
Upon activation you’ll notice a new option under your Settings menu in the Admin sidebar. Click on WP Email Capture to get started.
Configuring WP Email Capture
Right away you’ll notice that it’s asking your to create two new pages on your website. The first page is the page a user sees immediately after signing up for your email list and the second page is the one they see after they have successfully confirmed their email address (via the email WP Email Capture automatically sends to them upon signup).
So go ahead and go to Pages > Add New and create the first page. Since this is the page that a person will see immediately after signing up, I decided on something like the page below. Obviously, across the board here (in my images) I’m using very generic copy and you should probably spend time crafting a more meaningful message. This is just so you can get the idea.
Now this second page is what a person will see after they’ve confirmed their email address. When they click the link that confirms them they will immediately be redirected to the page you create here. Since the description of WP Email Capture talks about distributing digital products I thought this page might be a good page to say thank you to my sign ups and offer them a free download.
Ok, now that you have created and published your two new pages you will need to copy their links and paste them into the first two fields of the WP Email Capture Options. After that just keep filling out the fields as required. You’ll need to enter the email address you want the confirmation email to appear from, the name you want it to be sent from, the email’s subject line, and even the email body itself. When you’ve completed all of the requirements go ahead and click Save Changes and you’re ready to go.
Something I really liked here was the simplicity. Fill in six fields and it’s all ready to go. And it doesn’t lack in user experience either since you’re able to personalize both the confirmation email (especially using the %NAME% tag) and the pages that they will land on after signup and confirmation are complete.
Of course if you want any signups at all you’ll need to include a WP Email Capture form on your site somewhere. There are three ways of doing this: You can add their widget to your side bar (see below; this was what I did), you can include the shortcode [wp_email_capture_form] within a post or page, or you can include a snippet of php they provide directly into your site’s template.
How Does WordPress Email Capture Work In Action?
After setting up my form via the widget my sidebar will now include this attractive yet simple form.
When someone submits their name and email to me they are immediately brought to this page, reminding them that they should go check their email and confirm their email address before collecting a free download.
After the email address is confirmed, they are brought to this page, where if I had a free download for my example here, they would be able to download it as a reward/thank you for signing up. Pretty cool, right?!
Final Thoughts on WordPress Email Capture
I really enjoyed this plugin. As I stated above, it’s simple – elegant even – and does exactly what it’s supposed to. What’s more, they don’t try to do too much. Which to me at least is a big deal. Instead of trying to compete with already excellent services like MailChimp or Aweber they simply recommend that you use them to send mail to the email list WP Email Capture just helped you create. It’s a great plugin, it’s free, and if you think something like this could help you then I’d recommend downloading it today.