ITS Digital Services will remove the MailPoet plugin from WordPress on June 1.
Why we are removing MailPoet
MailPoet was initially added so that content creators could make it easy for visitors to subscribe to content on their websites and send small newsletters. Over time, and in the absence of a better option, MailPoet has become the default email marketing tool. MailPoet was not designed to handle the sheer size of lists that are being utilized. In addition to painfully slow delivery intervals, it also affects the performance on websites as a whole. We have reached a point where the plugin chronically breaks, negatively affects other aspects of a website, and has compatibility issues with other plugins. Going forward, we will no longer be able to offer or support this plugin on our network.
How to replace MailPoet functionality
In preparation for removing MailPoet, we initiated conversations within ITS to better understand and offer options. A few things to consider:
Whitelist third-party email providers
Unlike in the past when communicators were discouraged from utilizing third-party providers, the process to whitelist an email marketing service is now both permitted and straightforward. We now offer documentation on how to send an email from a vendor-hosted application using a UNC custom domain. This means if you prefer to use a service like MailChimp or ConstantContact, you can get those IP addresses approved to send to campus emails.
As you look to identify a replacement email tool, a good FYI is that iContact (founded by a Carolina grad!) offers free accounts to non-profits based in North Carolina. You can learn more about how to activate those free accounts by visiting their pricing for nonprofits.
Integration plugins for major email marketing providers
Digital Services will add plugins on request via Gravity Forms for any of the major email marketing tools. There will be no cost to the requester for adding the plugin for the platform that they need. These plugins will help maintain some of the integrations, such as subscription forms, that you may use with MailPoet. In fact, in some cases they may provide more options.
We will host a workshop on Monday, March 26, at 10am in the Graduate Student Center that will go over how to take care of exporting lists from MailPoet and options for archiving your old newsletters.
We recognize this presents an inconvenience to the individuals that currently use MailPoet, but keeping the plugin will only exacerbate the issues and potentially cause issues moving forward as users attempt to grow their lists and marketing needs.