MailChimp Killer? WPMU DEV’s new WordPress email newsletter plugin does it all!

We’ve been in the business of releasing WordPress email plugins for a while now, but nothing comes close to this… introducing the all new e-Newsletter, we think you are going to love it.

We’ve put everything we can into this to provide you with a truly professional email newsletter setup, including pretty much everything you could require:

  • Super easy setup and configuration
  • Beautiful, fully customizable templates
  • Along with a great template builder
  • Powerful user management (including import)
  • User groups & group management
  • Detailed informative reports
  • Cracking widget interface and behavior
  • SMTP much improved
  • Add user data to newsletters
  • Display emails in browser
  • Shortcodes galore
  • New hooks to integrate with other plugins
  • And much, much more
  • With amazing support and usage docs, if you need them

And of course as it’s a WPMU DEV plugin it’s guaranteed to work, guaranteed to be updated and comes with guaranteed support.

Not bad huh :) Let’s take a look under the hood…

The template builder is just like editing a theme in WordPress, in fact it’s identical :)

Couldn’t be easier to build an email template, right in WordPress

And of course the plugin comes with a bunch of pre-built, gorgeous templates for you pleasure, for example:

A nice clean minimal template
A dark background, for you hackers out there ;)

And here’s one of my personal favorite features, adding and managing users and groups:

Easily add and manage and import individual and batches of email

And of course logged in users (for example, on Multisite or BuddyPress installations) can easily manage their email subscriptions via the widget, yum:
Users can easily manage their subscriptions

And there is so, so much more… in fact here’s that video again if you missed it the first time round, 60 seconds and you’ll be convinced.

We’ve been working on email functionality for WordPress for years, for example there’s Subscribe by Email, Mass Email (old skool MU!), BuddyPress Group Email and Automessage (drip email), but we reckon this is the best of the lot, by a long way.

Download e-Newsletter here, woohoo!

Photo credit: Today is a good day

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Comments (29)

  1. This looks fabulous James
    Do I still need a separate source to build my list or is the list building included?
    I’m still using Feedburner at the moment but have been thinking of going over to Mailchimp.

    Would this be an alternative or would I still need Mailchimp to manage my list?

  2. It sounds like you folks have been busy, which is cool. What would make this a killer application would be the following:

    A/B split testing.

    Unlimited auto-responders & tracks.

    History tracking of what’s been sent to whom and how they’ve responded.

    Triggered events based on custom field content. (Automatically send a personalized birthday note to someone on their birthday.)

    • Nice list John, A/B testing would definitely be nice for sure.

      As a member of WPMU DEV you also get http://premium.wpmudev.org/project/automatic-follow-up-emails-for-new-users/ – which should take care of all your autoresponder needs.

      And you can review user and campaign records at length in the plugin already… we’re totally taking care of that (and will be improving it too)

      Triggered events sounds sweet… as with all WPMU DEV products we’re v keen on meeting our users needs so please do hear over to http://premium.wpmudev.org/qanda/ and pop in a request!

      • Thanks for the link to automatic follow-up.

        However, that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of what I have in mind.

        With a full featured system, I can maintain separate lists and can then segment those lists into sub-parts. I can set up triggers for each different list and segment based on specific criteria and can “move” people from one list or segment to another automatically based on their actions.

        In other words, I can have automatic follow-ups that are highly targeted and specific based on the criteria that someone meets – including their actions – virtually any criteria – because it is all based on *my* data from custom fields and advanced history of the actions and behaviors from my subscribers.

        Don’t get me wrong – I’m not diminishing what you’ve done here – just understand that I can’t begin to use it for my clients because there are “must have” features that are critical to them that this solution does not yet provide.

        However, for a very basic user, I imagine this could work…

  3. This looks great but … why? when there are so many newsletter apps out there and they work fine… why develop your own?

    What am I missing? What’s the killer feature wpmu has?

    Thanks for the reply; your response will mean whether I spend the time to try this.

    • The killer feature is you don’t need to pay for it every month, and you can manage it from right inside your WP site.

      That’s the killer feature for WordPress really, you are in control (not some third party service).

  4. I’d like to know whether this plugin can handle 3k-5k subscriber lists? And how it interacts with average WP hosting?

    For example, can the plugin send out a 5k email on shared hosting from Godaddy?

  5. Can I use my own template? No offense, but I’m not a huge fan of any of the bundled templates. I’d really like to be able to use a responsive template I bought from Themeforest. Is that possible?

    All negativity aside, this looks like a GREAT improvement, and I can’t wait to test it out. Yet again another outstanding plugin from WPMU dev!

    • You can absolutely build your own template… obviously you’d need to do some work with Themeforest ones, but if you submit it back to us there’s every chance we’ll bundle it with the next release and support it for ya!

  6. I’m not seeing anything about the primary reason people who know what they’re doing us third-party apps like MailChimp and Constant contact – they hit inboxes more often because the webmail providers know and trust mail coming from those IP addresses. When you send mail out, it gets staggered and sent from multiple IP addresses so your mail is less likely to be pegged as spam.

    Unless you address that, this isn’t worth even testing, especially with MailChimp being free for most, working just fine and really affordable otherwise. If you addressed this issue, I’d very much be interested… I’d MUCH rather use what appears to be an email theming engine that would be easier to use than MailChimp and Constant Contact – neither of which are very good.

    • This issue you mention in your first paragraph can be overcome by using a 3rd party MTA to send the Email. There are several out there that can take the request and then manage sending Email through their “high quality” IP addresses.

      This typically results in much higher deliverability than by sending via a php mail directly.

      For example, I believe the Amazon Simple Email Service includes a free plan for EC2 users which offers 2000 emails a day…

      SendGrid is quite good and there’s also MailGun.

      Even better – put an spf record in your Email DNS for the MTA – it will boost deliverability even further.

    • Our plugin will support staggered sending (batches) through WP Cron, this can limit the sending per hour, day or month. If you sent around 100 or so, you should be good.

      Each spam list have their own criteria for listing IPs, for example some rely on users reporting, some have trap boxes, and other measures.

      I had an issue on one of my servers where an old client was somehow sending 200 emails every hour, it would have been more if the server didn’t restrict. His computer was the issue ultimately.

      Anyway, because of that I had to spend some time getting the relevant IP delisted as it affected the whole mail server.

      Providing you’re running double opt-in, so that subscriptions need to be confirmed then you should be fine because if they don’t confirm, you don’t keep emailing them. Spam lists usually monitor the flow of emails coming out as part of the criteria, and/or what information is within the headers. I think some even do content comparisons too.

      We also have a feature for handling bounced email addresses, some spam traps will send out “Not address found” type error messages, or “Permanently gone away”, our bounce will detect that and remove them from your list. If you were to keep mailing those addresses, that would get you listed for sure. Our bounce management will stop you from constantly emailing those types of fails.

      You can also connect to any SMTP, including Google.

      • The big problem with “connecting with any SMTP including Google” is that most *major* hosts have terms of service where they ban the use of using their Email servers for the sending of bulk mail.

        They reserve the right to halt your account *even if* you are under their sending limits threshold. So throttling Email isn’t always a good answer.

        The pattern detection of bulk Email sending by Email hosts is becoming more sophisticated and most quality Email hosts monitor outbound activity to make sure their systems aren’t being abused. This has the benefit of protecting the quality of sending IP addresses but it is at the expense of marketers – even legitimate ones.

        For the above reasons, this is why we recommend using a bulk service MTA since they are optimized and specifically designed for this task.

        In addition, sending throttled Email can take a very long time if you have several thousand people on your list. An MTA can send several thousand messages in a matter of seconds.

  7. (Note: Sorry for the double post. I received a white screen of death that the system was unavailable. I hit the back button, slightly changed my content and resubmitted. Did not mean to make you endure me twice…)

    • Thanks for taking the time to compare two of our plugins. :)

      Sure, and if you don’t have the resources and/or wish to leave it for a company experienced in the market then this is true. They specialise in email and they’re still our favourite 3rd party service. :)

      If however you want to handle your own campaigns from your own server, then e-newsletter is a great alternative to give you that control. And our plugin can handle both small and large lists.

      Some people would argue about managing your own blog, why do it when you can have a free or premium one on WordPress.com or why bother with any system when there are options like Wix, leave it to the pros. Well, the answer is simple, because people want too, and it can give them greater control or that they prefer to keep it in house, amongst other reasoning of course. :)

  8. I own a gym and wanted to be able to update list by simply importing a csv file with all updated info for each user…

    Some user won’t change and others will move from being a prospect to and lead to other stages in our initial communication
    filter… A few questions….

    1) can i add custom meta data to users ?

    2) can the meta data automatically move users from 1 list to another ?

    3) I would love to simply create a sub site for this purpose alone which allows front desk personal to once a week simple hit send to a few groups and avoid manually updating and or moving users from 1 list to another…

    4) once an email is sent to users it will not be resent ( perhaps after email is opened or clicked on it then logs that data as meta and moves user to new preformatted list )

    5) will csv import overwrite existing data and update new?

    Be nice if i was a api guru and could simply sync my current system but this plugin almost seems like it would or could do the trick and i could ask anyone to simply hit send ….

  9. I really like this. Thanks!

    So two questions… I have a list of 200+ people and need to find the board members. Is there a way to search? Also multiple select for adding to a group.

    And, I can’t find where to make my own themes.

    Keep up the good work!

    Len

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