Want to manage email newsletters from directly inside your WordPress dashboard? No MailChimp, no Campaign Monitor...you just click on a tab and start sending out an email to your subscriber list with a handy drag and drop email design builder?
In this post, I’ll be taking a look at Jackmail Newsletters. It’s a WordPress-specific email service with built-in SMTP and an easy-to-use plugin that lets you send one-off email campaigns or automated newsletters based on your recently published posts.
As always, in this Jackmail Newsletters review, I’ll first give you a snapshot of the features, and then I’ll dig into the plugin on my test site.
Jackmail Newsletters Review: The Feature List
Jackmail Newsletters builds a full email campaign suite into your WordPress dashboard. Here’s everything you can do without leaving your friendly wp-admin area:
- Set up automated newsletters or one-off email campaigns
- Trigger newsletters by criteria like “every week” or “every 5 posts”
- Build emails with a drag and drop builder
- Start from free email templates
- Easily import WordPress posts into email (a big advantage over non-WordPress tools)
- Personalize content
- Manage subscriber lists
- Collect new subscribers with a widget (though it’s very basic)
- View detailed statistics
- Integrate with WooCommerce, Ninja Forms, WPForms + more coming
And finally, Jackmail handles SMTP by itself - so you don’t need to fiddle around with complicated settings to ensure your emails actually get delivered. This is big because normally if you tried to send directly from WordPress, your emails would end up in spam (Jackmail avoids this issue without any complicated setup).
Jackmail goes even further than most SMTP providers by offering a manual check to ensure your emails have the highest deliverability possible.
Hands-on With Jackmail Newsletters
Alright, let’s dig into how this all works in practice.
When you install the Jackmail Newsletters plugin from WordPress.org, you get a new Jackmail tab in your dashboard.
There, you need to complete the 4-step Installation process before you can do anything:
It’s fairly painless. This process consists of:
- Installing EmailBuilder (automatically)
- Synchronizing Jackmail with other plugins so you can use data from those plugins in your newsletters (if supported)
- Creating a Jackmail account. More on pricing later - but generally, you get 1,000 free credits per month to send emails
Once that’s done, the full Jackmail tab is unlocked:
Let’s jump straight into building a list.
Building Your List With Jackmail Newsletters
To create and manage your lists, you’ll need to head to the...Lists tab. No surprise there.
Jackmail Newsletters automatically creates a list based on all of your site’s WordPress users. But you can always add a new one by clicking in the top right:
From there, you’ll give it a name and then choose where to get subscribers from:
- Manually add emails
- Copy/paste them from somewhere else
- Import a CSV, TXT or JSON file
Once you’ve got your list set up, you can collect new email addresses via Jackmail’s built-in widget:
On the front-end, the subscribe widget looks like this with the default Twenty Seventeen theme:
It’s workable...but not especially flexible/eye-catching. A better option would be to use the integrations for WP Forms and Ninja Forms to build an email opt-in with one of them.
This is really my only criticism of Jackmail - I wish they made it easier to create email opt-ins without needing a third-party plugin. The email newsletter part (next up) is dang cool. But building a newsletter subscriber base is just as important.
All in all, that’s definitely not a deal breaker though because you can use third-party list tools like WPForms or Ninja Forms to feed into Jackmail for more optimized list building opt-ins. And Jackmail is also in the process of adding a Zapier integration, which should open up a whole new range of potential integrations.
Sending Newsletter Campaigns With Jackmail
Here’s where things start getting neat. Once you’ve got a list, you can start sending out email newsletters, aka Campaigns.
Jackmail lets you send two types of emails:
- Campaign - think of these like “one-off” manual emails that you send
- Automated workflow - send newsletters automatically based on specific scenarios (you can choose from a couple)
I’ll show you how the automated workflows work because they’re the most complicated.
When you click on that option, you can choose between sending automated emails:
- Every time you publish a post
- Based on specific criteria like “Every time you’ve published 5 posts, send a newsletter with all of those posts”. You can also choose a date range, irrespective of how many posts were published.
Let’s choose the Automated newsletter option:
First, you give it a name, then you choose the Trigger:
The above configuration will send a new newsletter as soon as you’ve published 5 new posts since the last newsletter.
Then, you choose your list and build your email template using the drag and drop Emailbuilder tool.
If you’ve ever used a page builder, you’ll feel right at home here. Just drag things around until you get the template you want - it’s stupid simple:
Importing articles is simple and you can configure which images, buttons, etc. to use.
You can also pick from pre-designed templates, which I’ll show you next.
Once you’ve finished your template, Jackmail gives you a quick checklist to make sure everything looks good and then you’re off to the races:
Using Pre-Designed Templates
While the drag and drop email builder is pretty easy to use, you also have the option of choosing from a number of pre-made templates:
Currently, the library isn’t very big. But given that Jackmail is new, I’m hoping this grows over time.
Viewing Newsletter Statistics
Jackmail gives you a dedicated Statistics tab where you can view how all of your campaigns are doing, including click tracking and more. You can also turn off activity tracking if you’d prefer to fly blind:
(screenshot not from my test site because it’s more helpful to see it with lots of data)
How Much Does Jackmail Newsletters Cost?
Essentially, you pay based on how many emails you need to send per month. Some email marketing services charge by subscribers, others by actual emails sent. The version that makes the most sense for you depends on your specific usage patterns.
So how much does it cost? First off, you get 1,000 emails per month for free. So if you have a small list and/or infrequent newsletters, you might not need to pay a dime.
After that, plans start at $5 per month for up to 2,000 emails. The highest listed plan is $39 per month for up to 50,000 emails, but you can always contact them to set up a custom plan:
Compared to some other services like SendinBlue, Jackmail is a little bit more expensive. But I don’t think exorbitantly so considering they take care of SMTP for you and offer the added human check.
Wrapping Things Up
Jackmail isn’t as full-featured as something like MailChimp or Campaign Monitor, nor is it trying to be (at least right now). Instead, it just wants to be a stellar WordPress-specific tool for sending out newsletters. And it nails that part, in my opinion.
So if you want to send newsletters for your WordPress posts, this is one of the easiest ways I’ve seen. While you can send other types of emails with one-off campaigns, the core of the plugin is built towards keeping your readers engaged with newsletters.
It includes a professional SMTP server, which is nice because you don’t have to fiddle with deliverability yourself. And the only real downside I noted was the lack of variety for built-in opt-in forms (though again, you can integrate with WPForms and Ninja Forms, and the upcoming Zapier integration will add more flexibility).
All in all, if you want an easy way to build stylish newsletter emails and send them from right inside your WordPress dashboard, give Jackmail Newsletters a look.
Set up is super easy and it doesn’t cost you anything until you need to send more than 1,000 emails per month.
[rating itemreviewed="Jackmail" rating="4" reviewer="Colin Newcomer" dtreviewed="2017-06-08" best="5" worst="0"][/rating]