WordPress Plugin Review:
Subscribe To Comments
In today’s Relationship & Recommendation age building relationships by fostering interaction is KEY!
One of the ways we do that is by taking steps that facilitate discussion and interaction on our blogs.
There is a number of elements that go into this on our blogs, such as enabling comment threading, which facilitates natural comment/reply flow.
Another way is by giving visitors & commenters a way to subscribe to the comments to a particular post, allowing them to get an email when others reply or when you reply to their comment.
Not so very long ago, both of these now seemingly simple components were not part of WordPress’ commenting system, or easily added, and that lead to the development of full-featured comment system replacements such as Disqus and IntenseDebate, which for the most part are no longer needed.
Now, both of these are either integrated (as in the case of native comment threading) or available through some very simple and lightweight plugins.
The WordPress plugin “Subscribe To Comments” is a simple, lightweight little plugin that only has one task in life… to allow your commenters to subscribe to a post/page!
“Subscribe To Comments” also is fully compliant with the laws pertaining to minimizing spam… requiring the visitor to opt themselves in and providing an easy to use unsubscribe link in the footer of each and every email. The unsubscribe link actually points to wp-subscription-manager which is part of this plugin and manages all of the posts a person may be subscribed to in one place. All of these are vital pieces to maintaining compliance with the CAN-SPAM act.
This is an incredibly simple to use plugin and I know these screenshots may make it feel overwhelming but I just want to show off some of what it’s doing.
How to Set Up And Use “Subscribe To Comments”
1. Install “Subscribe To Comments”: Dashboard -> Plugins -> Add New -> Search -> Subscribe To Comments -> Install -> Activate.
2. The plugin’s settings look extensive but they simply have a lot of flexibility. I only altered the first two fields, to add my name and email. I don’t suggest touching the rest of them unless you need to.
3. Once you have clicked Update Options, the plugin “appears” on your blog as a check box to subscribe to comments, under the Submit button.
4. The subscriber will receive an “confirm subscription” email asking them to confirm that they wish to receive notifications. This makes it compliant with a double optin system.
5. Now, when the post is replied to, the subscriber will receive an email that looks similar to this one (with your posts contents of course!… this one is from my friends over at WPVeda.com) Note the unsubscribe link that points to wp-subscription-manager.
6. When that link is clicked, it takes them to the subscription manager page, shows them all the threads they are subscribed to and gives them a number of options including unsubscribing, black listing (blocking all notifications) and changing their email address.
That’s all folks! Now your visitors can easily subscribe or unsubscribe to posts and you can maintain compliance with the law all with minimal fuss!
Pro Tip: If you are using the ReplyMe plugin (which I do) to ensure that the reader gets the reply from YOU by email, its suggested that you give them a way to identify this fact. That can be as easy as adding a small note to your keywordluv’s text field or altering the text of this plugin manually. What you don’t want to do is have them subscribe for all comments (which can sometimes suck if a thread is busy) just to hear from you if they do not need to do so.
What other techniques, approaches or plugins are you using to increase reader engagement? Do you take advantage of these plugins yourself when you visit blogs? If you found this information useful, perhaps you know others that might as well and wouldn’t mind sharing it with them! I look forward to your comments below!
PS: I tend to find that personally, as a reader, I prefer a site to have the ReplyMe plugin and usually do not take notice of the subscribe to comments plugin though many readers do. I like not having to sign up to receive 100 random comments in my inbox just to get the one I’m “listening” for if I do not need to.