Explode Your E-Mail List With Pre-Filled Subscription Form
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You all probably know that it’s important to build a list (of e-mails that is). Well, I’ve had an interesting idea.
Every time you leave a comment on some blog – you might notice that when you return – the “E-mail” filed is pre-filled for you (your name too). What if it was possible to take that information and use it in your “Subscribe” box.
I’ve started digging WordPress internals and found out how to do it, implemented it on my own blog and now I present it to you. Exploding your email list with pre-filled subscription form is one of the best ways to increase your subscribers base, especially subscribers based on email alone.
Before implementing this tutorial it is recommended to take a backup of blog files, though it is not highly necessary, but still nothing wrong in doing it. Below you can see the simple tutorial to exploding!
Step 1. Get “Shortcode Exec PHP” plugin.
Login to your WordPress Dashboard, click “Plugins“, “Add new“, fill in “shortcode exec php” (without quotes), look for it, press “Install” and then “Activate“.
Step 2. Create Shortcode.
Now find “Shortcode Exec PHP” in “Settings” in WordPress Dashboard (in the left column, near bottom). Click it!
Put a checkbox near “Execute shortcodes in (sidebar) widgets” if your subscription form is in a widget.
You will find two forms, one for “hello_world”, second one empty. Type “comment_email” into smaller input field (without quotes), type this:
$commenter = wp_get_current_commenter(); return $commenter['comment_author_email'];
into big field.
Step 2a. (Optional) If you need the Name of the user, there’s a little more to do. Create another shortcode (follow the steps in “Step 2”, but fill yet another empty form), this time fill with name “comment_author” (without quotes) and big field:
$commenter = wp_get_current_commenter(); return preg_replace('#@.*#', '', $commenter['comment_author_email']);
Explanation of second line (optional to understand):
The weird symbols I’ve added will help to remove KeywordLuv from the Name.
Often people write their names into comment form as “Slava @ WhitePosts”, where “Slava” is my name and “WhitePosts” is the name of the site. So, if you don’t remove the “@ WhitePosts” part – you will be sending out e-mails to your list, that look like this:
“Hello, Slava @ WhitePosts!” <– very wrong!
Instead that second line removes “@ thing” and you get a normal “Hello, Slava!“.
Step 3. Find your subscription form.
E-mail: <input type="text" name="email">
or like this:
E-mail: <input type="text" name="email" value="firstname.lastname@example.org">
It might look a lot different, the main idea is to locate something that starts with “<input” and that refers to “email”. Inside of that tag there might be or might be missing construct of “value=“. If it’s missing – just add it.
You need to add it like so:
E-mail: <input type="text" name="email" value="[comment_email]">
If there was already value=”something”, just replace the inside contents with “[comment_email]”.
See the value=”[comment_email]” – that’s where the money is!
Now every time someone fills out your comment form – your subscription form will have their name pre-filled (even if that visitor returns many days later).
If you also need visitor name – make sure you’ve done Step 2a, then do the same thing as in Step 3, but this time locate <input> that refers to the Name and update it to include value=”[comment_author]”, like this:
Your name: <input type="text" name="email" value="[comment_author]">
P.S. If your subscription form is actually embedded into theme, you might skip all above steps and replace the HTML code with
<?php $commenter = wp_get_current_commenter(); $name = $commenter['comment_author_email']; ?> <input type="text" name="email" value="<?php print htmlspecialchars($name); ?>">
If you want to see how it works – you might leave a comment on any post on my blog and see how the e-mail subscription form pre-fills itself right after your first comment.
This guest article is written by Slava, the developer of WhitePosts service that let’s you do DIY promotion of your blog. If you want to write a guest article here, check this out.
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