How to Build Relationships with a WordPress Comment Plugin
If you have a blog that allows comments from readers, you need to have a WordPress comment plugin that sends notifications to your readers to let them know when you have responded to their comments.
In my opinion this is an absolute must! Otherwise a reader may forget all about the comment he left on your blog post and may never return to your blog to see if you responded.
If this person is already a follower of your blog, this may not be detrimental. But what if this person just stumbled upon an article you wrote?
What if that person liked what they read, commented on your post and then left to work on something else?
How are you going to turn that one time reader into a follower?
This actually happened to me recently.
How I went from being a one-time reader to being a follower
I discovered a post from Kevin from Be A Better Blogger called “Is your shirtless man in a cape costing you blog readers.”
The title caught my attention.
I read and enjoyed the post and even felt compelled to comment. However, he did not have a comment notification plugin.
The next day I remembered the post and I wondered if Kevin had responded to my comment, but I did not remember the name of his blog. I knew it was something about blogging, but that wasn’t much help.
Luckily I knew whose Facebook page I saw the link on and could return to his blog that way. In fact, in was Catherine from right here at Blogging Tips 101 who had shared the link that I saw on Facebook. (Thanks again, Catherine!)
So I returned to his post, which was about things bloggers do to scare away readers, and saw that he had replied to my comment. That’s when I realized he took a lot of time to thoroughly respond to my comment, and I almost missed it because he didn’t have a comment plugin to remind me to come back.
I commented back to him on that same post to highly recommend he add a WordPress comment plugin to notify readers about responses to their comments (and only their own comments).
He agreed with my suggestion and went so far as to write about it in his email newsletter. (That’s right, I joined his email list after seeing how much thought he put into responding to my comments)
Here is what Kevin had to say:
“Reader Dawn mentioned I needed to let readers be notified when someone has responded to one of their comments. Dawn was absolutely right — that is something I should have made available to my readers. It’s been added. Now, if you leave a comment on a post at Be A Better Blogger, you will automatically receive email notifications when someone replies to your comment. If you don’t want to be notified, you can opt out.”
Jet Pack is Not Good Enough for Comment Notifications
Simply having a WordPress comment plugin may not be enough. If you use the comment option that comes with the popular WordPress Jet Pack plugin, I would venture to say you need a better comment plugin.
The Jet Pack plugin gives readers the option to select to receive notifications before they publish a comment on your blog post. With this plugin, readers can either subscribe to follow comments on that particular blog post or to follow the blog and receive updates when a new blog post has been published.
The problem with this is if the reader chooses to follow the comments of that blog post, he will get a notification every single time anyone publishes a comment on that post. In some cases this may be useful. However, most times the reader will just want to know if anyone responds to his own comment and nothing more.
For a popular blog that gets lots of comments on each post, it can be very annoying to get email notifications about every comment all other readers publish on that blog post when the reader only wants to know if/when the blogger responds to his own comment.
There are a lot of WordPress comment plugins, but not all of them will give the reader the option to only get a response to his own comment.
WordPress Comment Plugins that Bring Readers Back
I use a free WordPress comment plugin simply called Comment Reply Notification by denishua. I like this plugin because it really only sends a notification to the reader when someone responds to that reader’s comment only.
This plugin also has some flexibility to decide if a notification will be sent automatically or if the reader gets to choose whether or not to receive a notification. I always like to make sure the reader has the choice about receiving a notification. This will also keep you from getting in trouble with laws related to spam.
You can also decide to have the comment plugin default to being checked or unchecked. I set the default to be checked, but the reader can always uncheck the box if he really doesn’t want to receive a notification of a comment response.
Kevin told me “I do use a different plugin than the one you use, though. I use the Send email only on Reply to My Comment plugin by Yasir. The reason is it’s been updated more recently, and because it’s been recommended by sites such as WP-Beginner.”
I personally have tried this plugin and it does work at allowing the reader to only get a notification for a response to his comment. It uses a drop down box rather than a check box for the reader to select what type of notifications he wants to receive. (At the time I just preferred the look of the check box.)
It doesn’t matter what WordPress comment plugin you choose as long as you give your readers a way to know that you are responding to their comments so you can build that relationship and possibly gain those readers as followers.
Do you have a WordPress comment plugin for your blog?