Forums/Integrations/WordPress

Using the dotMailer WordPress sign-up form plugin v2

Neal Goldsmith
posted this on February 26, 2013 17:12

Contents

What is the dotMailer WordPress sign-up form plugin v2?
What's new in v2?
How do I install it?
How do I set it up?
'API credentials'
'My address books'
Making use of ‘Visible?’ and ‘Change label’ options
But hang on, why would I hide a chosen address book?
Reordering address books
‘My contact data fields’
‘Messages’
How do I add it to my site?
What happens if I drag and drop the widget but
haven’t customised the form yet?
What should I do if I’m receiving an error about the
‘SoapClient’ not being found?

What is the dotMailer WordPress sign-up form plugin v2?

It is the easy way to convert your WordPress blog or website visitors into sign-ups for your newsletter and email marketing campaigns. The plugin will ensure your new subscribers will be added to your dotMailer address books.

Please note: this plugin can only be uploaded to the self-hosted version of WordPress (WordPress.org), not the hosted version. If you would like further information on this, please read WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org.

What’s new in v2?

New features in v2 include:

  • Putting addresses into multiple address books
  • Capturing additional information to store in your contact data fields
  • Reordering address books and contact data fields
  • A new look: native WordPress design with tabbed navigation
  • The plugin is now shown as ‘dotMailer’ in the WordPress left-hand menu
  • Unsubscribed contacts can now re-subscribe

How do I install it?

Installation is easy. If you already have v1 installed, a message will pop up in the admin area of your WordPress account informing you that a new version is available. Simply update from there.

If you don’t already have v1, log into your WordPress account and follow these steps:

    1. Go to ‘Plugins’ in the left-hand menu
    2. Select ‘Add New’
    3. Search for ‘dotMailer Sign Up Widget’
    4. Click on ‘Install Now’
    5. When installed, click on ‘Activate Plugin’

The plugin will appear as ‘dotMailer’ in your left-hand menu.

dotmailer.png

How do I set it up?

When clicking on ‘dotMailer’ in your left-hand menu, you will have access to tabs which include ‘API credentials’, ‘My address books’, ‘My contact data fields’ and ‘Messages’.

‘API credentials’

The plugin integrates via our API, so you’ll need your dotMailer API key. If you already know this, fill in your API username and API password in this tab, then click on ‘Save Changes’. This will be followed by a summary of the account details, allowing you to confirm that the form is connected to the correct account.

If you don’t know your API key, then the first few paragraphs of Introduction to the API outline how you can obtain it.

Please note: your API credentials will not be stored if you deactivate the plugin at any point. If you deactivate it, you will need to re-enter them upon reactivation.

‘My address books’

This is where you can select which of your dotMailer address books your visitors are added to when they sign up. A selection is made by ticking the checkbox to the left of the address book name. You may want to select one address book or multiple address books, depending upon your requirements.

myaddbooks.png

Making use of ‘Visible?’ and ‘Change label’ options

On the far right-hand side is a checkbox for selecting the visibility of a selected address book on your sign-up form. Upon ticking this, the ‘Change label’ field becomes active. This allows you to change the name of your address book so it looks visitor-friendly on your site. For instance, your address book may be called ‘Offer sign-ups Autumn-Winter’, containing all your sign-ups for that period based on subscription to your weekly offer email. To ensure this is more user-facing however, you can change the label to read ‘Weekly offers during Autumn and Winter’. This is how it will then appear on your sign-up form, next to a checkbox.

But hang on, why would I hide a chosen address book?

Let’s say you have an account full of address books, including one called ‘Newsletter subscribers’, another called ‘Monthly offer subscribers’ and a new one you’ve just created called ‘Website sign-ups’. You want your new plugin to populate not only your users’ separate subscription choices but also the ‘Website sign-ups’ address book, however you don’t want your users to see them all or change them. In which case you would make ‘Newsletter subscribers’ and ‘Monthly offer subscribers’ visible, changing the label to ‘Newsletter’ and ‘Monthly offers’ respectively, leaving ‘Website sign-ups’ invisible.

whyhide.png

Reordering address books

You can reorder the display of your address books, meaning your sign-up form isn’t dictated by the fixed order they are in in your dotMailer account. Simply move over the address book of your choice. It will highlight in pink and a drag-and-drop handle will appear on the far left-hand side of the row. Move over to it and simply drag and drop the row to the new position you require. The other rows will shift up or down accordingly.

reordering.png

To save your selections and edits, click on ‘Save Changes’ at the foot of the page.

'My contact data fields'

This is where you choose which of your dotMailer contact data fields your visitor fills in upon signing up. This gives you the chance to enrich your contact data. This section works in much the same way as ‘My address books’. The data fields you select will display on the sign-up form but you can change their label to make it a visitor-friendly prompt. For instance, LASTNAME can be changed to ‘Please enter your last name’. On the far right-hand side you can tick to make the field a required field, which will mark it with an asterisk on your sign-up form. Again, you can change the display order of your contact data fields, meaning your sign-up form display is not dictated by the fixed order of your contact data fields in your dotMailer account. This functions in the same way as in ‘My address books’.

To save your selections and edits, click on ‘Save Changes’ at the foot of the page.

'Messages'

This allows you to customise your sign-up form messages to suit your requirements. For instance, if you don’t send out a newsletter but are asking your visitors to sign up to something else instead, you won’t want the form header default message to read ‘Subscribe to our newsletter’! There are seven fields for you to customise – the form header, invalid email error message, required field missing error message, submission success message, submission failure message, no newsletter selected message and form subscribe button.

To save your customised messages, click on ‘Save Changes’ at the foot of the page. 

How do I add it to my site?

You’ve installed and configured the plugin – now you want it up on your site! In the WordPress left-hand menu, just select ‘Appearance’ and then ‘Widgets’. This will display all of your available widgets. Simply drag and drop the ‘dotMailer sign-up form’ widget to your desired location in one of the widget areas on the right-hand side…and you’re done! It will now be available on your site for your visitors to use.

addform.png

If dragging and dropping the widget from this area is not working for you, there is an alternative way. Click on 'Screen Options' in the top right-hand corner and select 'Enable accessibility mode' which appears over to the left.

screenoptions.pngaccessibility.png

'Add' links will appear on inactive widgets and 'Edit' links will appear on active ones. Clicking on 'Add' will allow you to choose where you want to place the widget on your page.

What happens if I drag and drop the widget but haven’t customised the form yet?

By doing this, you’ll be attempting to activate the widget when it isn’t ready to be activated yet. You’ll be prevented from doing so, with a message informing you to use your settings in ‘Messages’ to customise your form first.

What should I do if I’m receiving an error about the ‘SoapClient’ not being found?

This is easily solved. The plugin cannot run without enabling the PHP SOAP extension. The answer is to enable the SOAP extension in the php.ini file (your installed PHP configuration file). This is typically done by uncommenting the following line:

extension=php_soap.dll

Depending on your host, you may not have access to this file. If you don't, contact your host to ask them to do this for you.

If you'd like further information regarding this, please read Accessing the API using PHP.