New in Labs: Email Subscriptions

writeas

#1

Today I’m excited to release a much-requested feature on Write.as: email subscriptions!

This new feature will let your readers subscribe directly to your blog updates via email and receive new posts in their inbox. It’s available to all Pro users in Write.as Labs.

Note that this is an early beta feature. While the basic functionality is all there, we may be missing design niceties or still have bugs lurking around. That’s where you come in – we’ll be looking for everyone’s feedback on this to help us find any potential issues, so we can fix them as quickly as possible. Please feel free to weigh in here with anything you notice, no matter how small. And we’d also love to hear what you think about the feature in general!

Things will be changing pretty rapidly on this, so you can see what’s included, how to get started, and what’s still planned on the Write.as Letters page.


State of the Development, March 2019
Subscribe by email?
Subscription via email (and maybe option to subscribe to paid content)
unlisted #2

listed #3

#4

Would be nice to have it also at the bottom of every post. But maybe this should be another feature to be able to customize the bottom of every post with informations and subscribing options (social networks, RSS, mail).


#5

Yep, I left it off of individual posts right now to keep it flexible. What I’m thinking is: next there will be some kind of shortcode you could insert in any post to get the subscription box (e.g. <!--email-->). That will let people do things like creating a static “subscription” page just from a normal post.

Then, with the upcoming Post Signature feature that’ll let you add common text at the end of every post, you could just include that shortcode and get the subscription box on every post.


#6

Yes, this is what I’d like. A simple way to make sure that a simple, one line, unobtrusive ‘subscribe to my blog, privately’ option is available. Thanks for making this available!


#7

That would be awesome. Cannot dream of a better solution.


#8

Looks great, Matt! I just added to www.mindyourheadcoop.org, signed up, and got a 404 error. Instant work, or does it need time?


#9

Excellent! It’s working now.


#10

Great! Thanks for letting me know – we just sent that fix out :slight_smile:


#11

Zippy! Thank you, Matt!


#12

One thing I’m trying to figure out is how we can potentially associate any prompt to sign up (e.g. “Subscribe to my blog:”) with the actual sign up form that gets included in a post. That way we can exclude that entire section in certain situations, like when the post gets emailed out. (Since each email contains the entire post.)

One way could be to wrap the prompt in pseudo-HTML tags, like this:

<!--emailsub-->
Subscribe to my blog:
<!--/emailsub-->

And then the signup form would automatically be inserted after that prompt. But this is a little more complicated and requires some explanation. The ideal situation would be just inserting a comment where you want the subscription box:

Subscribe to my blog:
<!--emailsub-->

But then in the email, in place of <!--emailsub-->, we’d probably need to say something like “You’re already subscribed.” And that string would need to be localized in every language, and wouldn’t be flexible, and so on.

Any thoughts / ideas?


#13

Thank you, so much, Matt! I definitely hope you will have a “subscribe” sign-up at the end of each post – especially since the bottom of the page is a place where a subscription section could get lost (since most people are used to a subscribe signup button nearer the top of pages in most blogs and websites). I would rather see a subscribe section or button near the top of the page, but I also know you are working with Write.as design. I definitely love the idea of a sign-up at the bottom of each post. Please! Thank you!


#14

One other thought – Can you include subscribe capability for other pages besides “blog” pages? Would love that capability very much. I love making things easy for readers. Thank you, again.


#15

We’ll be looking for more feedback on the customizations everyone would like to see over time, so this is great input! Thanks.

As for the “other pages,” do you mean static / pinned pages on your blog? Or other websites?


#16

I mean static / pinned pages. Thanks.


#17

Does this pick up anonymous posts that are then added to your blog? Or do you have to ensure the first time you publish the post is direct to your blog?

I sometimes post as anonymous to check the format is correct etc, before making it live to my blog but I have a feeling the email subscription thing doesn’t pick this up in the same way. The entry I posted last night has not been sent to my email (which I used to test the subscription).


#18

Wonderful feature, thanks. I am still testing this too.

  • When I add an scheduled post I am not receiving an e-mail after the post has actually been published. Is this a known ‘bug’?

#19

Are you doing a similar flow to what @digitalgyoza mentioned? That is, publishing an Anonymous post, changing the scheduled time, then moving it to a blog? Because it does look like there’s a bug right now where that flow won’t schedule the post to be emailed (fixing this today).


#20

Yep! Since static / pinned pages are essentially the same as blog posts, you’ll be able to add a subscription box there, too. This is another reason for making it flexible like this: I was imagining people might create a “subscribe” page that just has some text and the subscription box.