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Janet Roberts

Keep Subscribers at Your Site with These Forms
By Janet Roberts

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We didn't get any responses to our reader's query for a form to create a pop-up box that allows readers to sign up for multiple subscriptions at one time, unless you count the people who said, "Don't encourage pop-ups!"

(See that request here)

However, if you want to create a multiple-subscription sign-up page that won't kick subscribers off to a third-party site, you have some options.

Here are two worth checking out for free newsletters, both written by people who, not coincidentally, are ezine publishers:

  • The old reliable in the field is William Bontrager's Master Subscriber PRO (a "Lite" version is available for single-ezine subscriptions).

  • Former Ezine-Tips writer Brian Alt reviewed this script in an older Tip.

    You can see this script and review technical details here.

  • Yahoo/Topica Subscriber is a similar form, developed by Web-software designer Ravi Jayagopal. Unlike the Master Subscriber tools, this program runs on any PHP-enabled Web server, which means it'll run on a Macintosh. See it here.

Both forms can be customized to include several other functions, such as unsubscribing, requesting a sample or contacting the publisher. You can list your own ezines, those of your co-registration partners or advertising clients, or just ones you think would interest your readers.

Both also include tech support. Here's how Ravi describes his tech-support philosophy, which he calls "'Fanatic'nical:" "This means that I won't go to bed until you can get my script(s) to work on your site."

These are handy devices if you host with a third party, such as Yahoo! Groups or Topica, that gives you a sign-up box for your Web site. They're formatted to take readers to their own registration pages, however.

Both of these forms keep your readers on your own pages, where they belong.

Also, both are priced right for limited budgets. Master Subscriber Pro is $35 (runs on Linux/Unix platforms with Perl and Sendmail or qmail); Yahoo/Topica Subscriber is $9.95.

Ezine-Tips for September 20, 2002

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