How to Dramatically Boost Comments on Your WordPress Blog With Postmatic

Posted on October 4, 2015 by in Tips & Tricks | 40 comments

How to Dramatically Boost Comments on Your WordPress Blog With Postmatic

User engagement is the lifeblood of every successful WordPress blog. We all want readers who are involved and eager to expand the conversation online. You’re looking for an audience who will not only provide thoughtful commentary on your content but also help drive more visitors to your blog.

Beyond writing excellent content, how can you as a WordPress blogger encourage readers to engage? What’s the secret to turning readers into avid followers? Well, a lively and well-maintained comments section is an excellent place to start.

In this article, we’ll be covering Postmatic – a great new plugin which makes posting and reviewing comments on a WordPress blog even easier.

Postmatic allow readers to not only subscribe to your blog but also leave comments from outside WordPress via email. It’s an excellent tool for taking engagement on your site to the next level.

Let’s dig a little deeper.

What is Postmatic?

Postmatic Logo

Postmatic lets your readers subscribe to comments or posts by email.

Postmatic is a new plugin that allows reader to subscribe to your WordPress posts via email. It effectively turns your blog into a newsletter. This is a great way to promote and share your blog (and something every blogger should be doing), but it’s nothing new. What makes Postmatic stand out is the way it allows readers to submit comments to your post via email.

In addition to this, readers can view other people’s comments and respond straight from their inbox. You can also choose to get emails notifying you of new comments and discussions. Installing the plugin gives you a great way of growing conversation on your blog naturally via a source that would otherwise be completely off the table – users’ inboxes.

Postmatic is a lightweight, highly-polished plugin with a great backend and mobile capabilities. It’s easy to install, works with your existing comment and subscription plugins, and – best of all – it’s free.

The advantage of sending your content to a reader’s inbox is obvious. The really standout feature of Postmatic though is how it streamlines the engagement process. Readers are able to comment on your blog and track threads without having to leave their inbox.

The standard version of Postmatic is free but, at the time of writing, a premium version was in pre-launch beta mode with provisional per-site pricing of $9 per month.

The premium version incorporates more advanced features such as fully responsive HTML email templates, premium support and guaranteed email delivery.

Why Is This so Effective?

The philosophy behind Postmatic is so simple you’d wonder why nobody’s done it before.

We are all creatures of habit, especially when it comes to email. People check their inboxes far more frequently than they do their favorite blogs or websites. They even use push notifications on their mobile devices to stay constantly on the alert for messages.

Bringing reader engagement to something as familiar as an email client is a no-brainer. Allowing users to comment on your blog simply by replying to an email removes a huge amount of hurdles. There are no forms, browsers or validation to get in the way for starters.

Postmatic email examples.

Postmatic turns your blogs into beautifully designed emails.

Obviously, since this plugin uses the reader’s native email client, it also works seamlessly across mobile, tablet and desktop environments.

It also saves you the worry of validating new users and weeding out spam as only visitors with valid email addresses (who have visited your site at least once) can post comments.

Installation, comment monitoring and making changes are also all delightfully simple thanks to Postmatic’s headache-free backend. In short, Postmatic brings an awful lot of useful functionality to the table and using it is a no-brainer if you’re running comments on your site.

Let’s look at some of the options available.

Getting Started

Installing Postmatic is as straightforward as installing most WordPress plugins. As long as you have the latest version of WordPress on your website, you can simply add it via the built-in plugin installer by searching for postmatic.

The plugin is also available for download from the Postmatic homepage and the WordPress.org Plugin Directory.

Once you’ve got Postmatic installed, you’ll see a number of simple tools available to help you get up and running.

Postmatic Backend

You can customize emails, settings and more under Postmatic’s configuration menus.

If you have an existing list of subscribers (through services like MailChimp or MailPoet), Postmatic can import those emails automatically or via a simple interface in the plugin. They also promise seamless compatibility with the popular WordPress tool JetPack.

Postmatic also offers you the choice of customizing the look of your emails. The default emails are designed to look great in any format but you can tweak them so they more closely resemble your blog’s look and feel. More advanced customization options are available on the premium plan.

Once installed, you can add a subscription widget to your website to let readers easily sign up. You can also add those ever-popular after-the-post boxes that encourage readers to subscribe after reading or posting a comment. As Postmatic is fully WordPress native, it should work nicely with any other comment plugins you may already have installed.

Monitoring comments is just as easy though full moderation controls are limited to the premium version. You can set Postmatic to send you email notifications when readers reply to your posts and replying can be done straight from your email. You will be able to jump to your dashboard and remove unwanted comments quickly thanks to these timely notifications.

Postmatic have also recently released a separate, completely free comment moderation system called Crowd Control that could be useful if you’re running a busy blog.

How All This Boosts Comments

We’ve mentioned that the best way to encourage user engagement on your WordPress blog is to generate great content. But aside from writing timely and thoughtful posts, there are other ways to encourage user interaction. The key to all of them is constantly keeping readers in the loop.

The internet is a big place. Even if you have devoted followers who love what you blog, there are plenty of websites – looking at you Twitter and Facebook! – that can steal away their attention. That’s okay though, because with Postmatic you can bring them back.

Because Postmatic sends your readers emails whenever you publish a blog, they don’t even have to hit up your website directly. New posts arrive in their inbox, ready to be enjoyed. As RSS and other older formats fade away, you can use Postmatic to maintain a loyal readership via email.

Postmatic Comments

How comments look when emailed via Postmatic.

Postmatic’s ingenious option of sending comments directly through email also eliminates further barriers to user engagement. You may well have readers who are short on time for example. They may be happy to read your post while checking emails on the go but clicking a link to your website, scrolling to the comment box, and typing in all their info just to leave a comment is out of the question. Sending a quick reply direct from their email client though? That’s too easy to pass up.

Sending a comment via email also eliminates problems introduced by mobile devices. Sure, your WordPress site may have the very best theme. It might be perfectly responsive on mobile and tablet formats (guaranteed if you’re using one of our premium themes), but data limitations might hold a reader back. They might even be on an older phone that doesn’t load modern websites very well. A simple tap on the reply button is a huge timesaver for these readers and lets them share their thoughts as quickly as anyone else.

Postmatic also offers the chance for readers to view other visitors’ comments, or to continue an ongoing conversation about a blog post. This further increases the activity of users on your WordPress blog as they move from being static users to a community of peers. All comments will display in an elegantly designed, easy-to-follow email with the option to reply built in.

But Won’t This Decrease Traffic to My Website?

A valid concern for many bloggers – especially those depending on ad revenue to keep their websites profitable – is that allowing readers to comment via email will cause a drop in user traffic. If a reader can just stay within their inbox to engage, surely that risks taking away visits which would otherwise increase your pageviews?

Although this may seem like a problem at first, Postmatic can actually serve to increase traffic to your website. Remember, it’s all about pulling in visitors who don’t regularly visit your blog.

The super fans who have you bookmarked at the top of their browsers – or jump on every link you post on Facebook – will still hit up your website. We’re after the once-in-a-while readers, the people who like your blog but forget to visit every day.

Postmatic will increase their engagement and visits to your website. After commenting on a fresh post, they are more likely to visit your main page to look over older content (this is especially true if you make mention of it in your new posts). Postmatic gives them access to new articles and comments, but not further features your website might offer such as downloads, your online store, or other sections of your content. Think of those emails as an invitation to visit the site.

Leveraging Postmatic to draw the attention of occasional readers will not only increase user engagement but also potentially increase traffic as you turn drive-by visitors into fans.

Conclusion: Postmatic’s Worth a Try

If you’re at all serious about the growth of your WordPress blog, you already know how important user comments are. Any tool that promises to increase user engagement while making life easier for the reader and yourself is simply a must-have.

You have every reason to try out Postmatic. It’s a free, easy-to-install plugin, which plays nicely with the services and tools you already use.

Testing it out for a few weeks or month is painless and, if you have any problems, speedy support is on hand. If you want to kick things up a notch, the upcoming premium version is there for you as an option when the time is right.

Are you thinking of giving Postmatic a whirl? Or are you using it already and have some tips to share? Get in touch via the comments and let us know.

Article thumbnail image by TCmakephoto / shutterstock.com.

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40 Comments

  1. hmm will keep this in mind for the next project that requires commenting .. thanks

  2. How does this plug in fold in with mail chimp? I already use MC to email my blog posts to my list. As I get new MC subscribers (or unsubscribes), does it automatically update the list that Postmatic uses or does postmatic need to be manually updated regularly?

    • Hey Maggie,

      Postmatic would replace Mailchimp for you. It automatically sends new posts to your subscribers as soon as you hit publish.

      First you would install Postmatic, and use our Mailchimp importer to move your list over. Then, publish as you normally do and enjoy all the comments!

      • Hi Jason, would Postmatic replace mailchimp only for the sending of the blogposts or would I use postmatic for all of my newsletters, automation of newsletters… I have just started to set up procedures on mailchimp and don´t want to redo it in in postmatic. But still I would like to have a more interactive commenting plugin. So far I have Jetpack.

        • Hey Elke,

          Post not at this not offer a lot of automation, nor at this time do we do newsletters (that is coming soon though). For those things you may want to stick with mailchimp.

          I sometimes find, though, that the people who want to subscribe to your newsletter or are not necessarily the same people that are going to engage with your content. Some users have had success with running mailchimp alongside Postmatic.

          You can use a number of techniques to create a subscription form which lets users subscribe to either your weekly newsletter, or your posts as they happen. Let them decide. Use Postmatic to send the posts, and mailchimp for the newsletters and automation.

          Finally, if you just want to stick with using Mailchimp for delivering content, you can still just use the commenting features in Postmatic.

  3. This sounds useful, but what is the difference between this and what Jetpack offers ?

    • Replies. Both the free and premium versions of Postmatic make all emails (new posts, new comments) replyable. The free version sends your posts and comments looking much they same as they do with Jetpack.

      The premium versions sends your posts looking more like really nice html newsletters as well as serving up comment notifications with post recaps, conversational context, and more.

  4. Thanks for this timely advice. I’m not soliciting comments presently, but this system seems clean and easy. I’ll give it a try!

  5. hey,
    looks awesome. what about buddypress integration? can registered useres post anyway – whithout giving theire email a second time?
    and does it also work for activity stream content?
    has anyone an experience?

    cheers f

    • Hey Fabian,

      We haven’t done a lot to integrate with Buddypress quite yet. All in all though anywhere in your WP installation in which you are using native comments they will be enhanced by Postmatic. I doubt it works on activity stream content… we have plans though.

  6. Hey Tom,

    Thanks for the incredible piece on Postmatic! We’ve had a fantastic time creating it and it is great to see it so warmly received.

    We have one more plugin that really rounds out our offering which Elegant Themes users might like to know about: Epoch. It’s a free Disqus alternative that uses native comments and integrates with our other products. You can find it in the repo. Just search for Epoch.

    I’ll keep an eye out here if anyone has questions about Postmatic. All ears.

  7. This is a great alternative for bloggers. It’s what http://mobilize.io is doing (more brilliantly than anyone else has) for forums. Getting people to communicate in the one way everyone still communicates — email!

    Very cool!

  8. I installed your postmatic. It seems to be seamless. The only problem is that no one ever comments on my blog….Any suggestions?

    • The first barrier is you require commenters to log in to post a comment. This is a big turn-off for many readers, as it’s an extra hoop to jump through.

  9. Hi Tom,

    Nice write-up of Postmatic. I’ve been using it since beta back in February, and I’ve become a huge fan. Comments have increased by about 270% since installing, but not only comment amounts, but comment quality too (because people feel more comfortable writing in email, so comments are much more natural and thoughtful).

    Their other options – Epoch comments, which is a great solution for native WordPress comments (and includes and awesome front-end moderation option), Opt-Ins (similar to Bloom) – really make Postmatic pretty much all anyone needs when it comes to WordPress comments.

    Just out of curiosity – now that Postmatic has been “recognized” by ET, will we be seeing Bloom integration soon? 😉

    • Bloom integration would be nice.

      At this point, I can only use Postmatic and Epoch to manage the comments for our blog as I use multiple email lists in Mailchimp to manage newsletter subscribers, potential customers and customers who have bought from us.

      Just from my use of the two plugins tonight conversing with you and Jason, I can see just how powerful they are and how fast a conversation can unfold around a post on our website.

      I’m looking forward to putting it to use to grow the community on our website.

      • Hi Sean,

        Sorry for the delayed reply, you can blame Elegant Themes and their lack of any kind of notification system…

        Yep, I hear you. While the Postmatic Optins are nice, I do like some of the extra features Bloom has, based on usage on other sites.

        That being said, I hear the Postmatic team has some cool features coming regarding multiple lists in the next major update, so fingers crossed. 🙂

  10. The free version sounds rather iffy on spam prevention and the premium version at almost $10 a month will be way out of reach of the majority of WordPress website owners. This applies especially to new people just starting out, and thus having absolutely no income to offset their costs.

    • Spam isn’t an issue, on either free or Premium. Like any comment solution, partner it with a solid anti spam plugin and you’re good to go. I’ve been using since February and have little to zero spam. If a blog has a lot of spam comments, that’s down to laziness of blogger when it comes to moderation, as opposed to a comment plugin.

      And, to be honest, if someone is looking to make money with their blog, but isn’t willing to spend $9 per month to help them do that, you have to question if they should be using a blog to make money in the first place.

      • Kudos for making Postmatic compatible with Goodbyecaptcha That’s a life-saver plugin when it comes to spam prevention

        • Thanks! That plugin is The Bomb. We’re continually impressed with it.

          We didn’t have to work at all to make it compatible… since Postmatic just uses native comments we work out of the box with *any* spam plugins.

    • I agree, $9 per month is too expensive for new bloggers. A better model may be to start charging a fee when a blogger reaches a number of users or comments, similar to Mailchimp

      • There’s a perfectly workable free version available for that.

  11. @Danny Brown

    Hi
    Looks interesting i am going to install your post matic. Hope this postmatic will work well.

    Can you suggest me some tips before installation?

    Regards
    Anjali

    • Hi Anjali,

      I find that writing a post about Postmatic (your reasons for changing, how it works, the best way for readers to get the most out of it, etc.) helps. It explains the difference but, more importantly, gets people to try Postmatic out right from that first post. 🙂

  12. One of the reasons I really like Postmatic, and won’t use anything else while they’re an option, is instant notification of comments/replies, and the ability to take part in these via email.

    Compare that to the experience here, where there is no comment notification option (so you have to always come back to the page to see if there are any new comments), as well as the less than satisfactory mobile experience, and Postmatic becomes a no-brainer.

    • Yea, sorry about that, Danny. With how active the Elegant Themes readership is they would do well to add Postmatic to keep these comments really flowing.

      I can see at least 12 different threads in this conversation that would most definitely see more replies if the users knew they had been mentioned!

      • It’s interesting – any blogs I see with Postmatic enabled, the conversation flows, and not just from the author of the post to commenters, but from other commenters to each other.

        I wonder how many of the commenters on this post (or any other on Elegant Themes) remember to come back and check for replies, or new comments, given there’s not even a “Subscribe to Comments Reloaded” option (or similar) active…

  13. This should also improve exposure on Social networks as commenters like to show their friends what they have posted. This in turn will improve search engine results.

    There is still the problem of getting visitors to comment in the first place though. This plugin must be worth a go.

    • Right – we like to think that reaching your subscribers *where they are* makes a huge difference. Send them an awesome looking post. Let them read it on their phone, and reply with a single tap. It’s a nice leg up.

  14. I love the idea of having people comment right from their email. And it seems to me that you can use links in your blog post to encourage them to visit your site.
    Since this would replace Mailchimp, does Postmatic give you the ability to create multiple lists and sublists? Are there analytics?

    • Hey Heather,

      We do a lot in the templates to make it easy for your readers to head back over to your site if they need to.

      No, there currently is not a concept of lists and sublists. It is on our roadmap for the winter but we haven’t gotten there quite yet. We’re working on support for digests first.

      Analytics will be coming this winter as well.

      Best,
      Jason

  15. This looks great. But having recently set bloom to work with mail chimp, can postmatic be configured to keep mail chimp in the loop, that is that all new opt ins on the postmatic subscriber list also automatically appear on the mail chimp list. If not, the advantages of mail chimp will be lost, and they are too numerous to mention.

    • I agree with this! I have just started to set up Mailchimp which took me hours and days. I don´t want to loose all of this but still would like to have great commenting tool like this… What is the solution?

    • Hey Tony, I addressed this in a reply to Elke, up above. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  16. I installed the plugin and I love it. It simplifies the process of staying in touch with readers. I don’t like bombarding readers with emails and this helps to control what they get. I love it.

  17. I have been working my website for over six months however not ready to get expect activity. Be that as it may, I figure I have to take after your procedure. It may convey some positive results to me. You’re the best!

  18. I as wordpress users also often feel annoyed with spam because too many causes us to be hard to find a comment that is really related to the content of our content. I think Akismet quite sophisticated, it’s just for a good result to be paid subscription… but this plugin may also for me to try

  19. $9 / month for that plugin is expensive for new blogger, but if i choose free version of postmatic, what are the limitation ?

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