Enable Email Subscription with Feedburner

Not all visitors to your WordPress blog will be familiar with RSS feeds or how they work, while some other visitors just don’t want to mess with using a feed reader. RSS isn’t the only push-delivery method out there: email subscription is another great service to offer to your visitors.

First you’ll need an email subscription service that’ll send out the emails for you. The service I recommend is Feedburner. Check out my email subscription form in the sidebar to see how it looks and works.

First setup a Feedburner feed if you don’t have one already. Then follow these steps:

  1. Go to Feedburner.com and login
  2. Click “My Feeds” in the upper-left-hand corner
  3. Select your feed from the list
  4. Click the “Publicize” tab
  5. Click “Email Subscriptions” on the left
  6. Make sure “Feedburner” is selected, and click “Activate”
  7. Copy the HTML code in the box
  8. Login to your WordPress blog’s administration area
  9. Go to the “Appearance” section (a.k.a. “Design,” “Presentation,” or “Themes” in versions prior to 2.7)
  10. If you’re using Widgets in your sidebar, click the “Widgets” sub-tab. Add a “Text” widget to the sidebar you want, and paste the HTML code in the configuration section. Save your changes, and that’s it!
  11. If you’re not using widgets, you’ll need to have basic knowledge of HTML. First click the “Editor” or “Theme Editor” subpanel, and select “Sidebar” from the list. Usually sidebar modules go between <li></li> tags; some other themes use <div>. Paste the code in your sidebar between the appropriate set of tags in the location you want, click Save, and you’re done!

115 Comments

  1. Aswani

    Great information !!

  2. Thanks John – that was just what I needed to know – and really well written.

    Cheers – Robin

  3. i love it!!! i’ve been trying for so long. i tried to search for keywords…opt-in…before finally landing here. You have no idea how much you have made my day.

  4. Thanks for your comments! Glad I could be of help. :-)

  5. Wow – really great directions. I have been to many sites & blogs, and I must say yours was the esiest to follow and most helpful. Thank you!

  6. Hay thanx, it seems to be so easy for newbies. :-) I was looking for it and you explained it in pretty easy manner.

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  8. Nome

    that is really nice ! thanks for sharing !

  9. I think Feed Burner is the best place to advertise you Blog with, thanks for the help about Email subscribtion, I’ve use it with my site feed

  10. Ed

    Thanks a lot for this!:) It’s just crazy how I was about to give up on my theme since I didn’t think my sidebar worked properly plus my learning curve for adding widgets was kind of slow haha Good thing I found this and my feedburner is up! Nice!

  11. Thanks..just what i wanted.

  12. Very useful , i just added it to my website

    thnx :)

  13. Thanks a lot for the tutorial.

    Cheers,
    Sam

  14. WhamBam

    Perfect. Thanks.

  15. Hey,

    thanks for pointing that out – it saved my webspace about 1.5mb for a plugin.

  16. Fiona

    Thanks. I dugg it!

  17. I’m a novice blogger, and have been fiddling with how to get a Feedburner box on my site for a while now – your post saved me more fiddling, and made the process easy as pie. Thanks!

  18. Just what I neede to understand how to edit my WP template so that it will work (it came ready with email option, but I didn’t know how to make it mine…)

    Thanks!

  19. Brian N. Hewlett

    John:

    You are a life saver. I was looking for an easy tutorial on this and you hit the spot.

  20. PERFECT!! – that was just what I needed to know – and really well written.

    Thanks Bro

  21. Tom Moy

    Thanks John. I was looking for an easy set of instructions.

  22. Lee

    wow, thanks… that was really useful

  23. It’s as simple as that! I have been trying for days how to make email subscription work. Thanks for this great info!

  24. Excellent instructions! Thanks so much!

  25. Thank you. What I was looking for. Muchas Gracias.

  26. phpgeek1982

    This is awesome!! One of the best well directed tutorial, thank you!!

  27. thnx a lot for such a nice and easy explaination.

  28. I echo the other comments about how perfect these instructions were. Thanks.

  29. Can you help me!? I did this a few weeks ago and the emails going to subscribers are a day behind my current post. Any ideas?

    • @WaistingTime: Try logging into your Feedburner admin and adjust the “delivery time” so that it is after the time of day when you typically publish your posts. What’s probably happening is that you usually publish your posts at, for example, 9 am, but FeedBurner is set to deliver your emails at 7 am, so it waits until the next day to send them out. Try setting FeedBurner’s delivery time to something like 3 pm for example.

  30. Excellent Post, got my email up and running in 10 min! thanks!

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  32. excellent instructions..had it working in a few minuets

  33. Thank you so much. I had been playing around with how to do this for way too long. Following your instructions it only took me a few minutes. Awesome.

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  35. Al Ferreira

    Thanks for the clear and simple explanation.

  36. I know you’ve posted this over 2 years ago, but I found it through Google, and thank you! Thanks to you, I now am able to get email subscriptions through Feedburner!

  37. For some reason when I paste the code into the WordPress text widget it deletes part of it and I’m not sure why – I should have:

    Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

    but I’m getting

    Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

    after I press save? Any ideas why

  38. Thanks for the comments, everyone. I’m glad the tutorial is helpful for so many people.

  39. Will

    I just wanted to double check because I am a little confused, I read this article in the FeedBurner help section http://www.google.com/support/feedburner/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=78978

    it says “If you’re using WordPress.com to publish your blog, you will not be able to add the subscription form for FeedBurner Email Subscriptions service to your sidebar. Drat. Double-drat”

    Why does it say that?

    It offers a solution “you can offer email subscriptions to your biggest fans by placing a simple “Get {Your Site Here} delivered by email” link in your WordPress.com blog sidebar instead of the standard form”. This seems to work, would you recommend doing this?

    I’m new to all this and I don’t know what to make of it. I added the subscription form and it seems to work but I get errors when I check the site using http://validator.w3.org/ should I be concerned about them?

    There were two main errors that cropped up:

    1)there is no attribute “target”

    2) document type does not allow element “input” here; missing one of “p”, “h1″, “h2″, “h3″, “h4″, “h5″, “h6″, “div”, “pre”, “address”, “fieldset”, “ins”, “del” start-tag

    Look forward to hearing from you,

    Thank you

    Will

    • @Will: The FeedBurner documentation is referring to WordPress.com (the hosted service), not WordPress.org (the software). If you use self-hosted WordPress then you will be able to add the form.

      Those particular validation errors aren’t a cause for concern. They shouldn’t give search engines or browsers any trouble.

  40. sam123

    Nice and easy explanation. Thanks for the tips.

  41. They have two options one of it is typepad. But that code works just fine on WordPress!

  42. Will

    Hi John,

    thank you for the reply. FYI to get rid of the validation error I got rid of the attribute “target”, and modified “onsubmit” so that it reads:

    onsubmit=”this.target=’pop';window.open(”,’pop’,’scrollbars=yes,width=550,height=520′);return true;”>

    Thanks

    Will

  43. Stupid question – I pasted the html code into the text widget box and all the html code appears on my website. What did I do wrong?

    Thanks,
    Stacy

  44. Email Subscription is a must have for any blog to build user base.

  45. I must have tried half a dozen searches and a whole bunch of things that didn’t work for my site.

    Then I found this, followed the steps and bingo! Shiny new subscribe button in my sidebar! Thank you sooo much!

  46. Thank you! I’m so grateful for this information. It worked seamlessly.

  47. Jan

    Thank you !! This is the only page I found that actually made sense on the first reading!!

  48. Have done all you said and email subscription is up and running…except no one is getting emails, including me. Just trying to troubleshoot and would love some tips.

  49. Cheers for your post, I’ve been struggling with other widgets for hours now! This really helped a lot.

  50. akshay

    hey man, thanks for this! i have searched almost a 1000 times to obtain a detailed article like this.

  51. Thanks for this information. I use google feed burner for the first time and my themes has feed burner built-in but I don’t how to activate it. I read this information searched by Google and Finally, I was able to use it now. Thanks.

  52. Hello,

    I really like the two check box options you have below your comments. Could you please tell me what code or plugin you used to implement this? Thanks!

  53. Grace

    Thank you very much for the directions you gave!

  54. Sweet. Thanks for the info. I will be setting up feedburner soon!

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  56. Courtney Rundell

    I know I don’t know you, but I love you! I’m a novice blogger trying to set-up my blog all by myself and I’ve been looking for a Plug-in to do this to no avail. Your directions were PERFECT and to the point. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! Courtney

  57. Evgeny

    Thank you so very much for your simple & straight to the point explanation

    In appreciation, Evgeny :)

  58. Does Feedburner email enable us to have the email addresses of subscribers or does the data go strictly to feedburner? Thanks.

  59. You have been very helpful! Thanks!

  60. rajendra

    I really like two check box option you have below your comments. Could you please tell me what code or plugin you used to implement this? Thanks!

  61. Thank You very much for your direction John, very usefulllll ;)

  62. tonns of thanx for this information…
    can you also help me out with one more proble..?
    my google chrome readers are not able to subscribe to my rss feeds..can you please provide some solution to this ?

  63. Question: The emails that my subscribers are receiving via Google Feedburner Email Subscription do not look right. There are no spaces for paragraphs, and text is appearing on the same line as photos – it doesn’t look this way on the WordPress blog itself when I post. My subscribers are getting something in their inbox that looks awful and is hard to read. Any suggestions on formatting or a work-around?

  64. Will do – thank you!!

  65. Thank you so much John. I had been trying to figure this out for a while, and this page made it so easy. Now I’m not so frustrated with feedburner!

  66. Thank you so much for this great info! It was clear and helpful. I didn’t understand feedburner, and didn’t know I needed to set up and account and activate it in order to enable folks to subscribe by email. Thank you!!

  67. Thank you so much for this tip! I was wracking my brains trying to figure out how to do it. Followed your directions and presto! It worked. Awesome.

  68. Vitra

    this was extremely helpful–just wanted to say thanks!

  69. Can we customize the design of this plugin by css or it is impossible. I’d like to make it like in sosnovskij . ru You can see at right top of that site. Thanks for useful advises

  70. Wow John over 3 years later and it still works like a charm! Thank you very easy to follow!

    Joshua the ZamuraiBlogger

  71. I get as far as step 10, but when I post the HTML there are FORM tags that are removed when I click save.

    WordPress doesn’t like something…

  72. Hi John, I really struggled with this (hence past 1am) until I stumbled over your post. Thanks so much for the perfect explanation, my email subscription is beautifully set up now.

  73. Hi,
    I am totally new to blogging and trying to figure some things out. I installed a widget called subscription options “subscription options” and am trying to add email subscription through freeburner. The widget asks for the freeburner email service URL and I can’t figure out how to find that. Do you have any idea what that is or how I find it? Please explain very basically if you do as I’m just getting started. I appreciate any help you can give.

    thanks, RT.

    • Actually… never mind I figured it out. For anyone else that’s curious. Go to myfeeds/publicize/email subscriptions/preview subscription links/right click on pop up page (or ctrl click for mac) see page source = feedburner email service url.

  74. Thank you so much for this tip! I have implemented on my site.

    Thanks again.

  75. Neil

    Thanks for the helpful info, John. I’ve just moved from Blogger to WordPress and changed the name of my blog. I’ve got a question. Sorry, it’s a little convoluted – I’ll explain as best I can.

    I couldn’t get the FB Subscription Form Code to work right. I paste it in and then when I click “save,” everything disappears except:
    Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner.

    I checked, and I am listed as an administrator, so I don’t know what that’s about, but the upshot is that I’m using the Subscription Link Code instead. That’s working fine, and the link text says “Subscribe to “new name of blog” by email,” but when somebody goes to the subscribe page, the message says “FeedBurner activates your subscription to “OLD name of blog” once you respond to this verification message.” I can’t figure out how to change that. I’ve changed the name in the FB “edit feed details” section, but the old name is still hanging around someplace. If I need to use the Subscription Link Code instead of the Subscription Form code, it would be awesome if the message on the subscribe page had the current name of the blog. Any idea where/how to change that?

    Thanks very much!

    • Neil

      I got the name thing figured out; it was under Feedburner’s “Email Branding” settings. But if you have a suggestion about how I might be able to use the form code instead of the link code, I’m all ears.

      Thanks again!

      • @Neil: Are you using WordPress.com or WordPress.org? It sounds like you’re using WordPress.com, since they don’t allow form code. Unfortunately there’s not much you can do about it, as far as I know. Self-hosted WordPress.org installations on the other hand should let administrators add form code, so if you’re using WordPress.org with an admin account and it’s still removing the code, then it’s probably a plugin or theme that’s removing it, so I’d try disabling all plugins and reverting to the default theme to see if that’s causing it.

        • Neil

          Thanks for the reply. You’re right, I’m using wordpress.com. If I wanted to use wordpress.org, I’d have to purchase my own domain and pay for hosting somewhere, right?

  76. Hi John,
    I recently installed Feedburner and some of my subscribers are having issues activating their subsciptions. I have several “unverified” subscribers, one being my sister, and she said she entered her email address but never got an email to confirm the subscription. I fear that others are having that same issue. Any advice?

    • Toria

      Hi John and Sonia,

      I am having the exact same problem with some of my subscribers. I have feedburner activated on my Weebly Blog and I have about 20% of subscribers who have not been able to activate their subscriptions. I have contacted a few of them an they said they never got an activation email?? Help! What can be done here? Is there a way for me to activate them? I have even tried deleting their email from my subscription list, re-entering it myself – hoping they would receive an email – but no, nothing at all. (And not in spam folders either)
      Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  77. john u r doing good job.i am searching this Widgets for my blog.2 month ago i was get wordpress plugin but its not properly work.now i am very happy to using.through your help i say you a lot of thanks
    God bless you

  78. Thank you so much! This was the most helpful bit of advice I’ve found all night. It made perfect sense and worked beautifully. Thank you!!

  79. Thank you for the helpful information! It worked!

  80. Henrik

    Hi!
    When I paste the code in Joomla 2.5 with plain text-editor and then save, half of the code disappeared, and the form doesn´t work.
    The code will be this:

    Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

    insted of:

    Enter your email address:Delivered by FeedBurner

    Way?
    //Henrik

  81. thanks for the tutorial .. it worked for me in one minute .. thanks alot for simple steps…

  82. Thnkyou very much! It worked… Some people on the internet are showing very difficult ways. Although its very easy. Thanks again for your great tutorial! Now my blog has this email subscription thing because of you

  83. Sam

    Im glad to have found this! Thank you.. Saved so much time.

  84. Joni Bishop

    Thank you so much for this information! It was spot on and so easy :)

  85. Thanks! I’m a blogging newbie using a broad-themed blog to get my feet wet with the intention of launching two niche blogs soon. I just googled how to do exactly this, and your instructions were perfect. Now I’m going to go sift through your old articles and see what I can discover.

  86. emmanuel enoch

    this was really helpful. thanks a lot

  87. Bob Byer

    I’m using blogger.com how do I enable email subscription using Feedburner like you have on WordPress, thanks for your help.

  88. victor ombaki

    Am happy to discover this.

  89. Andrea

    Brilliant! That is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!

  90. Thanks. I successfully set burner on my WordPress site.

  91. I just wanted to say this really helped me out setting up a subscribe to feed widget on my wordpress blog thank you

  92. Satyenhacks

    hey,

    Thanks for the simple solution. I got the msg email feed not activated while doing the things. This article clarified the whole things.

  93. Hey, thank you so much. Just got it up and functioning!

  94. Thanks for the tips.I have already implemented before on my blog but i don’t know about “Email Subscriptions” “Activate” option. Your post give me a clear idea and i have activate my blog Email Subscriptions now.

  95. Mark Marino

    Awesome! Thanks for the easy-to-follow steps and awesome article here. I used the widgets/HTML option and that was super easy.

  96. jon

    well done sir. I could not figure out why the email thingy would not work on the feedburner. your instructions were perfect.

  97. Hey
    I have a problem with this feedburner subscription form. in a standard way of subscribing through the rss feed icon, all works fine. but when I try to use a designed form that is connected to feedburner, it does not, and takes me to a page that says that feedburner’s subscription via email has not been enabled. but it has been…

  98. I feel I’ve tried all of this. I have a text widget on the sidebar. I’ve copied the code from feedburner. I was with my host’s tech support for over an hour, there’s a follow button on my site, and I STILL get a message that the email subscription is not enabled. Where is the disconnection?

  99. Helen Johnson

    Hi John,

    Eventhough you offer such a clear step-by-step explanation of how to offer an e-mail subscription service to a site, and it all seemed to be working up until adding an a-mailadress and getting the confirmation that this address was properly submitted, I never got the freed burner e-mail with the link to activate the service. (Nor did it land in my junk). I even posted a new blog article, to check whether I would get a notice sent by feed burner, but that of course didn’t happen ’cause I didn’t properly activate my subscription. Do you know what could have gone wrong or what I need to change?

    Sorry to bother you with such an individual problem :-)

    Hoping to hear from you, thanks a lot in advance!
    Helen

  100. Thank! Its really helped me setting up a subscribe to feed on my blog.

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