September 13, 2023: New revenue-focused features for Newsletters

This week’s releases bring new revenue-focused features to the Newspack Newsletters plugin. Of particular note:

Tracking opens and clicks for sent newsletters

Newsletter content sent via the Newsletters plugin will now include a tracking pixel which will keep track of “opens” and “clicks” metrics and display them in the WordPress dashboard:

The list of newsletters in the WP dashboard can also be sorted by opens and clicks.

Note that the “opens” metric depends on email recipients allowing images to render in their email client, so it won’t be a 100% accurate metric. It should provide a good idea about the relative performance of different newsletters, however, and can be a useful metric to cross-reference with metrics tracked by your ESP.

Clicks should be nearly 100% accurate, since all links in newsletter content (even those leading to other sites) will route through your site to capture the click.

Overhauling newsletter ads

Newsletter ads have seen a major overhaul. They will now track impressions and clicks through the same tracking pixel mechanism as the newsletters themselves, and can be placed precisely into newsletter content using the new Newsletter Ad block.

Ads and newsletters can also now optionally be associated with advertisers, so that you can designate newsletters to display only ads from specific advertisers.

Premium newsletters

The Newsletters plugin is now integrated with WooCommerce Memberships so that you can associate newsletter lists with membership plans. This will let you, for example, offer certain newsletter lists only to paying members, readers with free accounts, or any other restrictions supported by WooCommerce Memberships.

Once associated with a membership plan, newsletter lists will appear as a signup option only to readers who meet the membership plan’s requirements. This affects newsletter signup options in the following contexts:

  • Newsletter Subscription Form blocks
  • Reader Registration blocks
  • New account registration within the Reader Activation login component
  • Newsletter subscription management in the “My Account” dashboard

Sponsored content in newsletters

Posts that are assigned to sponsors or sponsored categories using the Newspack Sponsors plugin will now be displayed in Posts Inserter blocks with sponsor styles and attributions, just like they are on the site.

The Posts Inserter block now has a new option to hide sponsored content, so that you have greater control over whether sponsored posts appear in your newsletters.

Other Newsletters improvements

  • Newsletter campaign names can now also be customized separately from the email’s subject line. This is an optional feature to help editors better organize their newsletters in Newspack as well as the connected ESP.
  • A more robust “Send” tool will let you preview newsletter content, manage ad insertion behavior, and send test emails all from one place before sending to your subscribers.
  • A new “Preview email” button will also let you preview the newsletter content as a reader would see it from within the newsletter editor. All previews now show the newsletter ads that will appear to readers, whether or not they’re inserted automatically or via the new Newsletter Ad block, so you can see exactly which ads will appear and where.

Internationalization for Newspack Listings event dates

The Event Dates block in the Newspack Listings plugin now supports any date format, not just the Month DD, YYYY format most common in the US. It will now use the date and time formats you have set in WordPress’s General Settings page. Event Dates will now also respect the site language as selected in General Settings.

Content gating for multiple membership plans

For advanced users of content gating features, our integration with WooCommerce Memberships now supports the use of hard-paywalled site sections by category or tag separately from other articles, even when articles are already access-controlled by a metered content gate. A new option in the Reader Activation wizard will let you specify the behavior of content gating when more than one membership plan applies to the same content:

The most common use case scenario for this is a “premium” or “plus” category of articles that should be available only to paying members, while all other articles are offered for free up to a certain point before requiring a free account registration and/or newsletter signup. Please talk to your TAM if you’ve been considering a revenue strategy like this for your site.

Next release cycle

Our next release is scheduled for the week of September 25. Until next time,

– The Newspack Product team