Postmatic – WordPress Email Plugin That Improves Comments
Have you looked around lately for a WordPress email plugin?
There is a lot going on in that market, I remember just a few years ago you'd be hard-pressed to find 3 free WordPress email plugins, let alone premium ones.
There just weren't any out there.
Not anymore, things have drastically changed since then.
They're about 15 competing premium plugins out there that cater to email marketing, and
The problem with the whole WordPress email plugin scene
To this day the main issue with email marketing is that it has yet to become a first class citizen of WordPress.
This is very much apparent when you take a look at JetPack's (Built by WordPress guys themselves) email plugin.
It's very basic and simple and barely has two features to rub together, forget about customizing your email templates, that's not going to happen.
It's almost as if no one expected email to still be this important, but the data says differently.
In fact email in terms of driving business and sales, email marketing is much more effective
Email isn't going anywhere, anytime soon.
This fact has brought a lot of new premium players into the WordPress email plugin space to fill that void but they're big problems with all these plugins from the research that I've done.
Roughly 90% of these premium email plugin providers are developers that don't know anything about email marketing and even less about marketing.
So the result is the feature war that we now see happening in the space.
When the dust settles we have featured filled overpriced bloated plugins that do all sorts of stuff except the things that make sense in the context of WordPress.
Some of the things that make sense.
- Fully integrated comment forms that acts as a email form as well. (Some plugins are attempting to do this but not in the right way)
- Automatically send the subscriber more content that's related to the one they commented on.
- Subscribe with social accounts, with an additional option to refer their friends from that social platform (viral list building).
- Smart subject lines in emails, basically the plugin would choose the headline from the most popular post from the blog. The logic behind this is simple, if it's the most popular headline on the site then it would be the best choice for the email subject line as well.
Believe me, I could dive deeper than that but there's no need, none of the plugins that are currently out there does any of what I've just suggested.
This is why commercial 3rd party options like Aweber, GetResponse, MailChimp
Which is why' they're so pricey.
So what can be done to fix these WordPress email plugin issues?
This is where Postmatic steps in
Postmatic is very specific with the problem it wants to solve and that is improving the WordPress user commenting experience via the use of email.
That's a good approach and I like the
The core feature of this tool is that subscribers to your blog can now comment on your blog right from within their email simply by clicking reply.
Here's why that's awesome.
It works, this tactic works, it's just that simple. How do I know it works?
Well, Google is already doing it via their Google+ platform, all Gmail users can comment on any Google+ post right from within their Gmail client.
One of the great benefits of this is that your content becomes more viral and the
Pros of Postmatic
- Nice clean responsive email template
- Users can reply directly from their email client (Gmail, yahoo etc.)
- Almost zero configuration required
- Ability to import JetPack and MailPoet subscribers
Cons of Postmatic
- Not enough email template customization
- No option to use email delivery services (Sendgrid, Mandrill, Amazon SES, etc.)
- Limited statistics on subscribers
- No way to send weekly summaries of blog posts made on a blog, sending an email for each post can get spammy very quickly
- No smart subject line feature, like what I explained above
- Unable to send email to registered WordPress users (You have to send them an invite first, this is awful)
Most of these can be resolved by just adding them as features, the only one that concerns
The fact that they are inviting already registered users to join a mailing list – takes away the whole native email plugin context and makes it appear as if they don't understand WordPress as in-depth as they need to, from a user experience point of view at least.
For example, let's say you have a membership website which thousands of people are using WordPress.
You have 60,000+ members, you'd have to email these already registered users to your website and ask them to subscribe to a newsletter?
They already signed up, went to they're emailed to confirm their registration, that's already a double opt-in, why would they need to opt-in again?
That's my biggest issue with the plugin.
Now it's still in Beta so
Is this worth your time?
A part from my personal issues, I still feel it's a great starter email plugin for emailing a few hundred or a couple thousand subscribers.
But to run
Check out PostMatic and see if it's for you.
Thanks for the review. I’d like to answer to a few things you mention.
– Email template customization –
Right, we’re still in beta. We thought it would make sense to focus on one universal template for now, and do so in a way that still makes your posts brandable and customizable but most importantly guarantees compatibility in every email client. We nailed that.
It’s actually been interesting to see how creative our installs have been with customizing the template. Between the customizable header area and support for native widgets (including wysiwyg varieties) people have dreamed up some very cool variants.
Expect an expanded library in the near future.
– Email delivery services –
All posts and comments delivered by Postmatic are delivered via Mailgun or Mandrill. We didn’t want to mess around… as you mention.
– Statistics and analytics –
Right. We have a lot of work to do here. We can get open rates for any of our installations but at this time they are by request. We haven’t baked it into wp-admin. We agree that great analytics are going to be important to Postmatic and are working to make it happen.
– Digests and weekly summaries –
Good idea! And, it’s almost done :). Expect to see it in May.
– Subject lines –
We’ve done a lot of tweaking of subject lines during beta and settled on the system we have in place for the sake of allowing conversation threading in gmail, mailbox, etc. I could see some value though in allowing for custom subjects instead of defaulting to the post title. I’ll run it by the team.
– Forcing registered users to opt in –
There’s no lack of understanding about WordPress here. There is a very keen understanding of spammers, though. They keep me up at night. We built Postmatic to be as bulletproof as possible as to not further contribute to the WordPress spam problem. Under your scenario this would be possible:
1. Install WordPress
2. Purchase email list of 570,000 addresses from shady guy for a few bucks
3. Import those users into the WordPress database
4. Spam away. Using our infrastructure.
We don’t think that registering for a website and opting into the newsletter produced by that site are the same thing at all. They are two very different transactions which should be decided by the user. Our invitation system makes it pleasant and easy.
Again, thanks for the wonderful review and for taking the time to really get under the hood.
I’m one of the other fan of postmatic. Now its easy to subscribe to a particular post’s comments and respond, The ability to receive via email each post as it is published. Pretty amazing is’t it?