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If you search Food Network’s website for “slow cooker recipes,” you’ll discover more than 650 recipes from brisket to brownies. In other words, people love slow cookers. But you already knew that, right?
You also understand why people love these modern marvels of the kitchen: they make life easier. I can throw a frozen pork loin, sliced up potatoes and onions, a couple of cups of water, and a packet of seasoning, and head off to work without a second thought about dinner. When I arrive home at the end of the day, the whole house is filled with the aroma of a meal that took hours of work.
Just not my work.
Let’s face it. Most everything is better when it’s automated. One of the advantages of the modern era is that complicated, time-consuming tasks can be done efficiently without my oversight. That leaves more time for cuddling with the kids, taking up a hobby, or snuggling up with a good book.
WordPress is as popular as it is – at least in part – due to its capacity for customization and automation. With the right plugins, your WordPress blog can do way more than provide a platform for your favorite slow cooker recipes. It can actually help you build, manage, and protect your audience via a slew of email automation apps.
Let’s start here. WP Postman replaces WordPress’ native SMTP library and PHP Mailer with the powerful Zend/Mail. Why does that matter? While PHP bypasses mail servers to quickly deliver mail directly to recipients’ computers, it’s common for emails sent from web forms using PHP to get lost along the way or directed into recipients’ Spam or Junk folders.
Zend/Mail prevents this from happening, making WP Postman a more reliable mail delivery system. Reliable delivery should be the first consideration when automating your WordPress email because all the fancy email plugins in the world don’t matter if the email never gets where it’s going.
Alright. You’ve got a powerful mail delivery system in place, so let’s get to mailing! Comment Mail is a plugin that enables your audience to subscribe to comments on a particular post, then receive an automated email whenever there’s an update to the discussion.
This is perfect if you’re building a community of readers and you want to encourage them to interact with one another. It also ensures that readers are updated when you’ve taken time to answer a question or provide encouragement in your comment section.
Comment Mail has a Lite version that provides all the basic functionality at no cost, or you can invest in a pro version that provides additional functionality, such as allowing readers to post a comment reply by simply responding to the email notification they receive.
Deliver newsletters directly from your WordPress blog with MailPoet. This plugin allows food bloggers to develop beautifully styled newsletters without the need for any HTML knowledge. It’s drag-and-drop-and-send simplicity.
The plugin offers autoresponder options, audience segmentation, and stats-tracking without ever having to leave your blog. You can even send your latest post automatically via MailPoet, meaning that your audience doesn’t have to come to you – you can go directly to their inboxes!
Let’s end with a lesson in hospitality. While there’s no substitute for a genuine, personal note of welcome, that’s not always practical, especially as your audience grows. Thank Me Later is a simple plugin that allows you to auto-generate a little more warmth to your audience via customized emails that thank visitors for commenting.
And by the way, thank you for taking the time to comment! We’d love to hear what tools you use to make your blogging life simpler. (Or you could share a great slow cooker recipe if you’d prefer. We won’t complain.)