Probably if you read any tutorial about using blogs as a way to communicate with the audience you already know that you should engage with your readers in a conversation and not a one way flow of information. You start the initial communication by writing a post and your followers can participate by commenting. To have a real conversation the cycle of writing a post and having comments is missing an important bit: replying back to the commenters in a way you can make sure they got your reply.
Chances are that if you reply to your commenters with another comment they will not get your reply unless they come back to the exact post and read the comments thread. What if you could send them your replies by email automatically and have them posted in the comments thread as well? You can do this very easily with the help of the CommentMailer WordPress plugin by Thariq Huda: “Comment Mailer is a WordPress plugin that helps you maintaining the discussion on your blog by letting the commenter know that you have replied their comments on the comment section of your post. Every time you post a comment to answer previous comments from your visitors, you’ll be given an option to send a notification email to a specific commenters. It’s simple and easy.” Here is how it works exactly: I have some comments on a post and I would like to reply to them. I login in the dasboard as the WordPress administrator, and when I go to the page with the comments I can add my comment and select from the list who is going to receive an email with my reply:
How to use the CommentMailer plugin:
Download the package from here and unzip it. Upload the file named commentmailer.php to your /wp-content/plugins/ directory. Put it directly inside /plugins/, not in a subdirectory of it. Go to your Plugin activation section and activate the plugin:
Once the plugin is activated you don’t really need to do any settings and let it run with the default, but if you like to customize the email the commenter is getting, in the left menu, click on settings and then on CommentMailer:
Once the settings interface is open there are a few settings you could do very easy:
– Sender e-mail: If empty, your email address in your user profile will be used instead – Sender name: you will probably want to change this to the blog name so the commenters can recognize where the email is coming from – Subject: If you haven’t customized the sender name, you can customize the subject of the email with the name of the blog – E-mail composition: here you can customize the email the commenter will get. There are some tags that will be replaced with the related content from the post/comment
%previousmessage%, %currentreply%, %signature%, %separator% and %notes% but you can customize the rest of the text. - Automatically insert a list menu and Sort commenters handle the way the list of commenters looks when you are logged in as admin. Probably you don’t need to change anything here.
Testing the Comment Mailer WordPress plugin
Probably it’s a good idea to test the Comment Mailer plugin and check the email the commenters get. To test, logout from admin and write a test comment on one of the posts using a real email address (not the admin one) to get the emails. Then login to the WordPress daashboard, approve the comment and open go to the blog front-end to the post where you added the comment.
You should be able to see the test comment and you can add a reply comment and select your test comment from the list to also send the email:
Here is what the commenter gets:
Make sure you delete the test comments and your done! Now you can be sure the commenters will get your replies and further engage in the discussion!