I’ve previously written a guide to using the AWeber WordPress plugin. Last week, AWeber announced a new feature in the plugin that lets your blog commenters subscribe to one of your lists without filling out a separate form.
Specifically, this feature adds a simple checkbox to your blog comment form. If a commenter checks the box, the commenter is treated the same as someone who fills out your AWeber subscription form: They will receive a confirmation email message asking them to click a link to complete their subscription.
Want to see it in action? It’s on this very post! If you’re reading this in a feed reader or in your email, swing by the original blog post to see my shiny new checkbox.
It’s super-simple to activate on your own blog, and I’ll show you how in a minute.
Commenters can subscribe with one click
I activated the new feature as soon as I heard about it, because I figure if someone is interested enough in my blog to leave a comment, and they’re not already subscribed to my Weekly Web Tips, I might as well give them a really easy way to subscribe without filling out another form or clicking through to another page.
Here’s how to activate this feature on your blog:
First, navigate to Settings –> AWeber Web Form in your WordPress dashboard. Assuming you’ve been able to connect your AWeber account to your installed plugin as described in my instructions for configuring the AWeber WordPress plugin, here’s what your plugin settings now look like:
You just need to do three quick things here:
- Select a list from the dropdown (if you only have one list in AWeber, that will be pretty easy).
- Edit the “Promotion text” to accurately reflect the list you’re asking your commenters to sign up to.
- Don’t forget to click the blue “Save” button!
The two checkboxes here are checked by default. The “Allow subscriptions when visitors comment” is the important one here. Leave it checked to give commenters the option to subscribe.
A note about blog registrations
The second checkbox, “Allow subscriptions when visitors register to your blog,” is irrelevant for most of us, because you shouldn’t even be allowing registrations to your blog unless you have a good reason, such as a membership site. To check this setting on your site, visit Settings –> General in your WordPress dashboard, and verify that there is no check in the box labeled “Anyone can register.”
On the other hand, if you do have a membership site and you want to add your members to an email list at the same time they sign up, this is a super-simple way to do it. In this case, you’d want to UNcheck the first box, so that only new registrations to your blog, and not blog commenters, are added to the membership email list.
Remember that you can’t autosubscribe people, though, so you will almost certainly have members who register but don’t bother to check the box and thus don’t receive your emails. So you’ll want to have a backup method to ask those members to subscribe.
Anyway, here’s a shot of my saved settings for the AWeber WordPress plugin after I chose my list and edited my promotion text (the very same text you’ll see next to the checkbos on the comment form of this post…infinite meta loop alert!):
As you can see, it’s quick and easy to add a subscription checkbox to your comment form with the addition of this new feature to the AWeber WordPress plugin.
Limitations of the AWeber WordPress plugin “Subscribe by Commenting” feature
The plugin only allows you to connect one AWeber list with your comment form, so if you have more than one list, make sure you choose the one most relevant to your blog commenters sitewide to add to your comment form. You can switch lists and re-save after you’ve selected one in the drop-down menu, but remember that the new list will now apply to all your comment forms. There’s no way to let commenters on different posts subscribe to different lists.
There’s also no way to let commenters subscribe to one list and blog registrations to another — both checkboxes are connected to the same list. So if you are contemplating the membership-site option, you won’t be able to also use this plugin to add newsletter subscribers from your comment form.
Even with these small limitations, the new “Subscribe by Commenting” feature is a welcome addition to the AWeber WordPress plugin.