How to Offer Email Subscriptions in WordPress with Jetpack

Allowing email subscriptions to new posts and comments in a blog or website is a way to retain visitors. It enables you to make a previously interested website visitor come back for more. To be a subscriber, a person has to enter their email on your website and confirm the subscription via email. Based on the subscription management tool that is being used, subscribers are notified as you make new blog posts or if new comments are made to the discussion thread.

There are many email subscription tools that can be integrated to a WordPress powered website. But the simplest one is a feature provided by the built-in Jetpack plugin. The module is called Subscriptions and once enabled; it displays the option to follow your blog or a particular comment thread.

The two options to subscribe are displayed in the form of check boxes right below the comment box. This creates the opportunity for commenters to subscribe using the same email that they’re commenting with. You can also place a Jetpack subscription widget on the sidebar to allow people to directly subscribe without having to comment. The emails handled by WordPress.com.

Enabling the Subscription Module of Jetpack

Subscription Module in Jetpack

  • Access Jetpack inside WordPress administration from the dedicated link on the left.
  • Click See all other 25 Jetpack features.
  • Find the module that says Subscriptions and hover over it to activate it.

Configuring the Subscription Module

Like with other Jetpack modules there aren’t a lot of configurations that you need to do. The only two options available are to enable or disable post and comment subscriptions.

To Access Options

  • Hover over the Subscriptions module in Jetpack and click on Configure, or
  • From the admin links navigate to Settings > Discussion and find the option that says Jetpack Subscriptions Settings.

Two Options

  • Follow Blog: Allows the subscribers to receive an instant email when a new blog post is made.
  • Follow Comments: Allows the subscribers to receive an instant email when a new comment is made to the thread that they are subscribed to. Follow comments is useful to notify the commenters about the responses they get.

Placing Subscription Widget on the Sidebar or Footer

Depending upon your theme’s design, you will be able to place a subscription box in its widget area. The box can go anywhere—in the sidebar(s) or in the footer. It asks for readers to enter their email and confirms it so that they may receive instant new post notifications via email.

To add the Subscription Widget

Dragging Subscription Widget

  • Go to Appearance > Widgets.
  • Drag the widget titled Blog Subscriptions (Jetpack) to the widget area and put it in the exact location that you want.

Options/Settings for the Widgets

  • Widget title: Something like Subscribe for Free.
  • Optional text: To describe to and encourage people to subscribe.
  • Also change the Subscribe Placeholder text for the input box, Subscribe Button text and Success Message Text as per your preference.
  • Hit Save and you have a subscription widget up and running.