mailbag

Mailbag is not a new plugin but it’s one of those convenient tools you’ll want to bookmark if you build WordPress sites that require email subscription forms. The plugin makes it easy to add a MailChimp or Campaign Monitor email form to posts or pages using a shortcode.

I only recently came across it while reviewing the Politics theme, which prominently features an email signup form powered by Mailbag.

politics-screenshot

If you have your Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor API key handy, then you can add your email subscription form in under a minute. Paste in the key, select your list, and customize your button text. (Your API keys must be saved before you can select a list to add subscribers.) Once these settings are saved, you can place the shortcode anywhere within your content.

mailbag-settings

The flexibility for styling the forms is what sets this plugin apart. You can opt to use the built-in minimal Mailbag styling or allow your theme to dictate the style. If you choose to disable the default style, the usage tab on the plugin’s settings page outlines the CSS classes you will want to customize.

.mailbag-wrap { /* Wraps entire form */ }

.mailbag-wrap label { /* Label styles */ }

.mailbag-wrap input[type="text"] { /* Name and email input styles */ }

.mailbag-wrap input[type="submit"] { /* Submit button styles */ }

Mailbag was created by the folks at Array for use with Transmit, a landing page theme that features an email subscription form. Array built it to be compatible with any theme (not just their own) and made the plugin freely available on WordPress.org

transmit-mailbag

If you’re a theme developer and your theme requires an email subscription form, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel or bloat your theme with extra functionality. It’s much easier to select professionally supported plugins from WordPress.org and present the user with plugin recommendations using a tool like TGM Plugin Activation. You can design around your recommended plugins without having to support and maintain them.

Mailbag is easy for users to configure, publicly distributed on WordPress.org, and doesn’t take a heavy hand to styling. If you want a solid, simple plugin to use and recommend, this is a handy one to tuck into your toolbag.

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