I did a sponsored video the other week explaining how to build a paid subscription newsletter using WordPress (we did it on WordPress.com but it could be hosted anywhere), MailPoet (a plugin to visually author the emails, as well as send them), and WooCommerce (to manage the payments and subscriptions).
I published the video here and there is a landing page for the whole concept here.
I spent a lot of time on it! I feel personally compelled by the idea because I’m pretty big on having a website you control be the home base for your business. If a paid newsletter is part of your business, awesome, might as well use your own website to do it.
If you’d like to be more slowly guided through the process, watch that video above. I literally do the entire thing from start to finish in that video. But I know some folks like a more rapid-fire explanation, so allow me to do that quick.
1. Have a WordPress site
Self-hosted works. You can also use WordPress.com so long as you’re on the Business or eCommerce plan, because you’ll need to install plugins.
2. Install WooCommerce & WooCommerce Subscriptions on it.
These are two separate plugins. WooCommerce is free. WooCommerce Subscriptions is $199/year.
3) Install MailPoet
MailPoet is a plugin. On WordPress.com, you might even be prompted to install it while installing the WooCommerce plugins. But if not, you can install it anytime.
4) Create a product that is a subscription
This is straightforward stuff in WooCommerce. Add a product and set the type to “Simple subscription.”
5. Craft an awesome newsletter in MailPoet
This is what MailPoet excels at. It’s a visual email builder right in your WordPress admin. It has excellent templates to start you started.
6. Send the newsletter only to people with an active subscription.
The trick is to make a “segment” of a list that is specifically created from WooCommerce customers that have an active subscription.
That’s it, really. You should know that MailPoet is an email sending service as well, and you’ll probably want to use that, since it’s free up to 1,000 subscribers anyway, is very easy to hook up, and will provide you with analytics data on the sends. But you can also wire it up to other email sending services as well.
Again, the beauty of all this is that it all happens from your website — meaning you could also be sending out a non-subscription newsletter with the same system. You could publish the newsletters on your website as an SEO play. You could sell other products and services since you have 100% of the infrastructure to do that now. You’re really in good hands here with a lot of power and flexibility.