Learn how to use our Wordpress sign-up form plugin.
The Dotdigital WordPress sign-up form plugin is the easy way to convert your WordPress blog or website visitors into sign-ups for your newsletter and email marketing campaigns. The plugin will ensure your new subscribers will be added to your Dotdigital address books.
Before you start
Things you need to know:
- The plugin can only be uploaded to the self-hosted version of WordPress (WordPress.org), not the hosted version. If you would like further information on this, please read WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org.
- The plugin is only compatible with PHP 7.4 or lower. It is not compatible with PHP 8.0 or later versions.
New features include:
- Putting addresses into multiple address books
- Capturing additional information to store in your contact data fields
- Reordering address books and contact data fields
- A new look: native WordPress design with tabbed navigation
- The plugin is now shown as ‘Dotdigital’ in the WordPress left-hand menu
- Unsubscribed contacts can now re-subscribe
How do I install it?
Installation is easy. If you already have v1 installed, a message will pop up in the admin area of your WordPress account informing you that a new version is available. Simply update from there.
If you don’t already have v1, log into your WordPress account and follow these steps:
- Go to Plugins in the left-hand menu.
- Select the magnifying glass icon.
- Search for ‘Dotdigital' Sign-up Form Widget’.
- Select Install.
- When installed, select Activate Plugin.
The plugin will appear as Dotdigital in your left-hand menu.
How do I set it up?
The plugin integrates via our API, so you’ll need your Dotdigital API key. If you already know this, fill in your API username and API password in this tab, then select Save Changes. This will be followed by a summary of the account details, allowing you to confirm that the form is connected to the correct account.
If you don’t have API user credentials, then Setting up your API user on our developer hub outlines how you can create them.
Please note: that your API credentials will not be stored if you deactivate the plugin at any point. If you deactivate it, you will need to re-enter them upon reactivation.
My address books
This is where you can select which of your Dotdigital address books your visitors are added to when they sign up. A selection is made by ticking the checkbox to the left of the address book name. You may want to select one address book or multiple address books, depending upon your requirements.
Making use of ‘Visible?’ and ‘Change label’ options
On the far right-hand side is a checkbox for selecting the visibility of a selected address book on your sign-up form. Upon ticking this, the ‘Change label’ field becomes active. This allows you to change the name of your address book so it looks visitor-friendly on your site. For instance, your address book may be called ‘Offer sign-ups Autumn-Winter’, containing all your sign-ups for that period based on your subscription to your weekly offer email. However, to ensure this is more user-facing, you can change the label to read ‘Weekly offers during Autumn and Winter’. This is how it will then appear on your sign-up form, next to a checkbox.
Why hide a chosen address book?
Let’s say you have an account full of address books, including one called ‘Newsletter subscribers’, another called ‘Monthly offer subscribers’ and a new one you’ve just created called Website sign-ups. You want your new plugin to populate your users’ separate subscription choices and the Website sign-ups address book; however, you don’t want your users to see them all or change them. In which case, you would make Newsletter subscribers and Monthly offer subscribers visible, changing the label to Newsletter and Monthly offers, respectively, leaving Website sign-ups invisible.
Reordering address books
You can reorder the display of your address books, meaning your sign-up form isn't dictated by the fixed order they are in in your Dotdigital account. Move over to the address book of your choice. It will highlight in pink, and a drag-and-drop handle will appear on the far left-hand side of the row. Move over to it and simply drag and drop the row to the new position you require. The other rows will shift up or down accordingly.
To save your selections and edits, select Save Changes at the bottom of the page.
My contact data fields
This is where you choose which of your Dotdigital contact data fields your visitor fills in upon signing up. This gives you the chance to enrich your contact data. This section works in much the same way as ‘Address books’. The data fields you select will display on the sign-up form, but you can change their label to make it a visitor-friendly prompt. For instance, LASTNAME can be changed to ‘Please enter your last name’. On the far right-hand side, you can tick to make the field a required field, which will mark it with an asterisk on your sign-up form. Again, you can change the display order of your contact data fields, meaning your sign-up form display is not dictated by the fixed order of your contact data fields in your Dotdigital account. This functions in the same way as in ‘Address books’.
To save your selections and edits, click on ‘Save Changes’ at the foot of the page.
This allows you to customise your sign-up form messages to suit your requirements. For instance, if you don’t send out a newsletter but are asking your visitors to sign up for something else instead, you won’t want the form header default message to read ‘Subscribe to our newsletter’ There are seven fields for you to customise – the form header, invalid email error message, required field missing error message, submission success message, submission failure message, no newsletter selected message and form subscribe button.
To save your customised messages, click on ‘Save Changes’ at the foot of the page.
How do I add it to my site?
You’ve installed and configured the plugin – now you want it up on your site! In the WordPress left-hand menu, select Appearance and then Widgets. This will display all of your available widgets. Drag and drop the Dotdigital sign-up form widget to your desired location in one of the widget areas on the right-hand side…and you’re done! It will now be available on your site for your visitors to use.
Alternatively, you can select Add block from the top left of the screen and select dotdigital Signup Form from the list to insert it.
What happens if I drag and drop the widget but haven’t customised the form yet?
By doing this, you’ll be attempting to activate the widget when it isn’t ready to be activated yet. You’ll be prevented from doing so with a message informing you to use your settings in Messages to customise your form first.
How can I insert the Dotdigital form into my posts and pages?
From plugin v3.3, you can use the [Dotdigital-signup] shortcode to show the form inside the post's content. The shortcode parameters are:
- showtitle=0 - hides the title of the widget
- showdesc=0 - hides the description under the title
- redirection=[URL] - redirects the user to a custom URL after successful submission. The value of this attribute will override the default redirection settings in the plugin dashboard.
[dotdigital-signup showtitle=0 showdesc=0 redirection="http://www.example.com"]
This will show the form without a title and description and will redirect the user to www.example.com upon success.
Can I send the user to a custom 'thank you' page after subscription?
From plugin v3.4 it is possible. You can find the redirection options under the 'Redirections' tab in the plugin dashboard. Here you can set up three options:
- No redirection (default) - the user will stay on the same page where a short message will be displayed about the result of the subscription
- Local page - you can select a page from your website that will be your Dotdigital 'thank you' page
- Custom URL - with this option, you can redirect your user wherever you want to. If you choose this option, please use a valid URL starting with