Just because we can, doesn’t mean we have to.
I remember looking at the Eventbrite WordPress theme when it came out and thinking it looked good.
And prompted by a post that included a tip about linking to Mailchimp that TT of OneCoolSiteBloggingTips put up today, I decided to go hunting for a new theme.
That was because the graphic I wanted to use to link the Mailchimp signup form was rendering at quite a small size in the theme I was using (TwentyEleven).
TwentyEleven is a great theme and one of the things I particularly like about it is that individual posts are shown without the distraction of the sidebar.
But… one of the new aims of writing this blog is to get email subscribers to the Flying Twigs newsletter. So if you look to the right in the sidebar, the Flying Twigs Newsletter signup form should be there.
In her post, TT explains that we cannot incorporate plugins in WordPress.com sites, but that there is a way to link to the Mailchimp signup form.
She explains how to do it, and I followed the instructions to get the link URL.
I decided, however, that instead of a text link I would make a graphic that looks similar to the Mailchimp form.
I did this for visual continuity. When you click the ‘subscribe’ button here you are taken to the Mailchimp signup form itself and, importantly, it looks similar to this graphic.
As you can see from the wording in the signup form, I am upfront about the benefit to us as well as to people who sign up to the newsletter. I think that’s important.
Push versus Pull
You may be wondering what the big deal is about newsletters… after all, they are really just nicely-styled emails.
But that’s the thing… they are sent out to a list of people who sign up to receive them.
In other words, they are what is called a ‘push’ notification.
That is, they go out and appear in front of the reader when the sender has something to say.
That’s different from a blog post or an RSS feed for example. With an RSS feed, the recipients see it when they look in their chosen Reader, which might be too late or simply never.
With a blog post, the reader sees it when the reader decides to look at the blog.
So for time-sensitive information such as special offers, email newsletters are great. It’s a win-win for interested people and for the sender.
Of course, WordPress.com offers the ability to receive email notifications of new blog posts… and thank you WordPress.com for implementing that because it’s great.
And it works both ways. I am signed up to get email notifications of new posts from several blogs straight away.
Reinforcing the message
You may have noticed that the button in the signup form is the same as the colour of the header. I did this to reinforce the continuity between the newsletter signup and the rest of this site.
It’s quite simple to do… just one single band of the same colour as the ‘Subscribe’ button.
So, back to the Eventbrite theme. It’s free (always a good thing) and it’s big and bold. And I can link it to an Eventbrite event… (that may never happen).
The point being that it’s a great theme and it doesn’t have to be linked to Eventbrite. So if you are in the mood to experiment, don’t let the ‘Eventbrite’ connection put you off a great theme.
I am no longer using the Eventbrite theme.