Do you want to create an email newsletter in WordPress?

If you’ve got an email list, don’t sit on it! You could be skyrocketing your sales by engaging your leads and inviting them back to your website through email marketing.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you exactly how to create an email newsletter so you can start growing your business online.

Why Do You Need a Newsletter?

Newsletters play an important role as a lead nurturing strategy. If you’re making all that effort into producing value-driven content on your site, it deserves to be read by your subscribers. Newsletters make sure that the right audience is finding your posts through email.

So if you want to ensure that your blog and site content is drawing recurring traffic, don’t ignore sending newsletters to your subscribers.

How Do You Create a Successful Newsletter?

Asking yourself how do I make my newsletter stand out? There are countless email marketing guides out there that have tons of great details on how to make a successful newsletter.

Getting people to subscribe to your newsletter is just the beginning. You’ll want to do a little planning before you make your first successful newsletter.

Here are a few basic tips to get you started:

  • Define Your Audience — Ask yourself who your target audience is and what their needs are. If you don’t know yet, consider creating a survey form to find out.
  • Set Your Goals — Do you simply want more traffic? To engage readers? Are you gearing up for a seasonal sale? Once you decide what you want to get out of your email campaigns, you’ll be able to decide on what kind of content to create and send.
  • Choose the Frequency — Marketing emails can be annoying if sent too often. Decide how often you’ll be emailing your list, be it weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.
  • Gather Your Best Content — You don’t have to start from scratch with your newsletter. Make a list of your most helpful content from your site and build an editorial calendar around those posts to win over readers with your great advice.
  • Use Emojis in Subject Lines — If it matches your tone, try using emojis in your subject lines. Subject lines heavily impact your open rate, so give them a lot of love and research.
  • Write with Care — Regardless of if your email recipients are new leads or existing customers, your newsletter needs to be a well-crafted piece of content. Check for typos and use a conversational tone.
  • Use Calls to Action — Make sure your emails include Calls to Action. Meaning, ask the reader to do something such as clicking a link or button that says ‘Click here to get more details. CTAs are how you’ll convert readers into customers and bring them back to your website.

So now that you’ve got an idea of how to create a successful newsletter, let’s dive into our tutorial on how to create an email newsletter.

How to Create an Email Newsletter (Step by Step)

There are a bunch of different newsletter plugins available for WordPress. For this tutorial, we’ll use The Newsletter Plugin, which is one of the most popular ways to create a newsletter for small businesses and bloggers in WordPress.

Step 1: Install and Setup Newsletter Plugin

On your WordPress dashboard, click on Plugins » Add New. Then type in “newsletter plugin” within the search field. You can choose any newsletter plugin of your choice, but we’re going to install Newsletter as shown below.

Install newsletter plugin

After the plugin has installed, the Install Now button will change to Activate. Press it to activate the plugin, which will then take you to the Newsletter setup wizard. You can also manually launch the setup by clicking on Newsletter » Welcome.

Then, click on Next to start the setup.

Newsletter setup

The first thing you’ll need to do is provide your sender name and email address. We’ve used an email address at a subdomain, but you can use your standard email address here. Click Next  when you’ve entered the sender information.

Newsletter Sender

On the next screen, you can  use the toggle switches to choose what you’d like to include your subscription form (besides the email address). Press Next when you’re done.

newsletter subscription form configuration

Newsletter will now automatically create a subscription page on your site, containing a form with the fields you chose in the above step. Forms created with The Newsletter Plugin are extremely basic and customizing them isn’t as easy as it is with some form builders.

If you’d like more customization options when editing your forms, WPForms is a much better solution. In fact, you can integrate WPForms with The Newsletter Plugin if you upgrade the latter to the premium.

In the next step, you can perform some tests to make sure emails are sending properly from your site. Provide  test email address and click on Send a test message.

You’ll get a browser prompt confirming message delivery. Press Next to continue.

Note: It might take a few minutes for the test email to arrive in your inbox.

Newsletter test email

When you’ve received the email, it’s time to start creating your newsletter.

Step 2: Create a Newsletter

Now, click on Newsletter » Dashboard. From this screen, hover your mouse over the Newsletters tab and press Create newsletter.

Create newsletter

Now, you’ll see different newsletter templates. Pick one that matches your newsletter goals the best. We’re going to use the Last news from your blog template.

Newsletter templates

On the next screen, you can edit your actual newsletter using an easy drag and drop interface. You can write the email subject and add elements like social icons, recent blog posts, call to actions, images, and a lot more by placing blocks within the editor.

When your newsletter looks the way you want it to, click on Next on the bottom right of the screen.

Customize newsletter

On this screen, you can use sending options to choose the email list (if you have multiple) you want to send the newsletter to and also traget your subscribers based on gender. The Advanced provides some additional options like choosing whether you want to track email opens and clicks and change sender email or name.

When you’ve reviewed the settings, click on Send Now if you want to immediatley send the newsletter. You can also press the Schedule button if you want to send it at a later time.Send Newsletter

When the newsletter has been sent, the status will read Sent.

Newsletter sent

Next, we’ll see how to view the open and clickthrough rate of your newsletter.

Step 3: Track Email Statistics

Go to Newsletter » Dashboard and under the Newsletter section, click on the bar chart icon next to the newsletter whose statistics you want to see.

Newsletter bar chart icon

On this screen, you’ll find data for:

  • Reach: The number of people who received the newsletter
  • Opens: The ratio of recipients that opened your newsletter
  • Clicks: The ratio of recipients that clicked your newsletter.

Newsletter tracking

With this data, you can monitor how well different newsletters with different subject lines are actually performing. This is great for experimenting with and improving your subject lines for better open and clickthrough rates.

While The Newsletter Plugin is great for tracking your newsletter emails, it can’t track other types of emails (such as order emails) that you’re sending from your WordPress site.

If you want to track your emails across all sources on your WordPress site, see the steps below to learn how.

WP Mail SMTP for Email Tracking

WP Mail SMTP for email tracking

WP Mail SMTP is an email plugin that fixes your WordPress email deliverability issues. Even better, the Pro version allows you to keep a log of all of your outgoing WordPress emails (including newsletters), and it also tracks opens and clicks for all emails.

So if you want to track emails across all of your WordPress plugins and view statistics in a single dashboard, WP Mail SMTP is the best solution.

Install WP Mail SMTP

To get email tracking with WP Mail SMTP,  your first need a WP Mail SMTP Pro license or higher. This is because the email tracking feature is not supported on lower level plans.


When you’ve purchased the plan, go ahead and install WP Mail SMTP on your site. If you need help setting it up, see these instructions for installing WP Mail SMTP.

When you’ve installed WP Mail SMTP and activated it on your site, you’ll be taken to the setup wizard. For help with configuring the plugin, please see this doc on how to use WP Mail SMTP setup wizard. It will help you connect your site to a mailer like SendLayer.

When WP Mail SMTP is successfully installed and configured on your site, move to the next step.

Enable Email Logging, Open Tracking, & Click Tracking

Once you’ve installed WP Mail SMTP on your site, you can enable email tracking to monitor clicks and opens for every email newsletter you’ve sent to your subscribers.

To enable email tracking, go to WP Mail SMTP » Settings.

WP Mail SMTP Settings

Then click on the Email Log tab on the navigation menu under the WP Mail SMTP logo.

SMTP email log settings

On this screen, click on Enable Log to expand the list of tracking options.

Enable WP Mail logging

Now scroll down and make sure both these settings are enabled:

  • Open Email Tracking: With this tracking feature, you can see how many times your email newsletters were opened by recipients.
  • Click Link Tracking: Enable this to see which links within your newsletters were clicked by users.

Email tracking

Click on Save Settings after enabling these features.

In order to see the open and click stats for your newsletters, click on WP Mail SMTP » Email Reports.

Email reports wp mail smtp

You will now see a dashboard displaying all of your emails by subject lines along with the open and click counts for each.

WP Mail SMTP email report

This is what makes WP Mail SMTP so special because whether you’re sending out newsletters, order confirmation emails, any other automated messages, or all of these, it can track all of your sent emails.

What’s more, you can also view additional details for each newsletter such as the recipient and whether they opened it, delivery status, number of attachments, and more.

Email stats with WP Mail SMTP

In the next, step we’ll see how to resend emails that failed delivery.

Resend Newsletters in WordPress

Now that you’re able to track the status of each of your newsletters, you can easily find out if your newsletter failed delivery to some recipients.

In that case, WP Mail SMTP lets you resend your newsletter with a single click.

To do this, first go to WP Mail SMTP » Email Log.

Email logs

Now, hover your mouse over the email you want to resend and click on View Log.

View email log

Now, click on Resend.

Resend button wp mail smtp

You will now get a prompt where you can edit the email address before confirming the resend. It’s a good idea to check the email address because a wrong email address is one of the main causes of failed newsletter deliveries.

When you’ve checked everything and are satisfied, click on Yes to resend your newsletter.

Resend email

WP Mail SMTP will now attempt a second delivery. If the email address is correct and you’ve set up everything correctly, it should instantly reach your desired recipient.

WP Mail SMTP is excellent for fixing deliverability issues generally across your WordPress site. For instance, if you’re having trouble with WooCommerce, you can count on WP Mail SMTP to resolve WooCommerce email sending issues.

And there you have it! You can now create email newsletters in WordPress and track clicks to get better insight into your email campaigns!


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