Jetpack is a “Jumbo” WordPress plugin that implements a large set of features. Maybe one of the most useful among them is the “Email subscription” module. This module allows blog readers to subscribe by email to receive an email each time a new post is published in the blog.
This post reviews the procedure to activate and configure the Email subscription functionality, and other aspects of this service.
Of course, the first requisite is to have Jetpack installed in the blog. The procedure to perform the installation and initial configuration of Jetpack can be found in our previous post: “Introduction to Jetpack for WordPress“.
Once Jetpack is installed, we can select “Jetpack > Settings” from the left menu in the administration panel, and activate the “Subscriptions” module by placing the cursor on top of the corresponding entry and clicking on “Activate” . Then, place again the cursor over the “Suscriptions” entry, and click on “Configure” (Alternatively, choose “Settings > Discussion” from the left menu)
With this, the “Discussion Settings” page is displayed. At the bottom of the page appear the configuration options of the Jetpack subscriptions module:
If both options “follow blog” and “follow comments” are ticked, both of them will be displayed under the “Add Comment” form in every page or post where comments are allowed:
As you can see, one drawback of this way of subscribing is that the user is required to enter a comment to subscribe to the blog.
To give the user the option of subscribing to the blog without having to enter a comment, a blog subscription widget can be used instead:
Select “Appearance > Widgets” from the left menu, and place the widget on one of the available positions implemented by the theme used in the blog (usually, on a sidebar):
With this configuration done, we can visit the blog to confirm that the subscription widget is displayed on the sidebar:
Once the subscription widget is in place, any reader of the blog can subscribe by just entering the email address and clicking on “Subscribe”.
On doing so, an email is sent to the email address specified requesting confirmation:
On clicking on “Confirm Follow”, a WordPress subscription management window is opened in the browser. From that window, the user can opt-out of any blog or blog comments currently subscribed:
While the user maintains the subscription, an email with the post content is sent to the subscribed email address each time a new post is published in the blog:
How to obtain a list of active subscribers
If the stats module in the Jetpack plugin has been activated, the list of active subscribers can be accessed clicking on “Jetpack > Site Stats” in the left menu. A summary of the number of subscribers can be found at the bottom of the statistics page displayed:
Clicking on the “Blog” link opens a detail view of the blog subscribers:
As we can see, Jetpack makes a distinction between Email-only followers and WordPress.com Followers. These are followers whose email is associated with a WordPress.com account.
Finally, there is also a link in the detail page to download a CSV file with all the followers of the blog.