Relevant For: Bloggers, Non-Disqus users, Internet Entrepreneurs

Read Time: 5 minutes

The more times a user sees your name or has a positive interaction with you the better. It’s a fundamental thought behind marketing but in the evolution of the game we see today, we need to be unique, customizable, non-envasive, and of course, efficient in how we reach users. The WordPress plugin Comment Relish allows bloggers all of these things.

Summary: Comment Relish, a gem of a WordPress plugin sends automatic customized e-mails to FIRST time commenters. Why it’s important, how to get it (it’s not listed at WordPress.com), and how to make it more human below. Note: Does not work with Disqus, I’m in search of a solution to that. Shucks.

Comment Relish is a tool for follow up, or repetitive impression. The more times someone catches your name, your brand, your tagline, the more likely they are to think of you or use you.

I still remember who taught me about it several months ago when I noticed it being used. (Jun Loayza of Become a Young Successful Entrepreneur and Live the Startup Life) The WordPress plugin sends FIRST time commenters an automatic immediate e-mail you can customize in the WordPress blogging system backend. I picked up on the fact that it was generated, but it also caused me to e-mail the author back and look at his site more. I’ve seen tremendous gain from using it and regard it as a great impression tool. Read below on how to make it more human but a little less automated for bonus business power.


The Plugin

The Comment Relish plugin by Justin Shattuck and is available at his site and this direct download link (not the WordPress site). It’s rather old and as far as I can tell unknown, but still valuable and functional. It installs as any other plugin does and creates a simple page for creating your automated e-mail for first time only commenters. It includes variables to try and add a bit of personality. You’ll mostly just want to make sure this message is as “relaxed” and non sale-sy as possible.

Should You Use It?

It’s a tough line to dance when building influence online when deciding how “pushy” to be. Have you ever been to www.menshealth.com … if you surf through a few articles you’ll actually get an add FLY OUT at you. I disgust this, I leave immediately. I enjoy the magazine, hate the website. How about those sites that wait 30 seconds and then ask you to join their newsletter? Sometimes I think, okay, other times I haven’t really taken in the site and find it annoying.

As with any first impression you need to be careful, think about your audience and the payout. The average content provider looking to make a unique connection with a user has a lot to gain from this plugin and seeing as how it’s not a public plugin listed on WordPress’s website this plugin is still fairly unique. Comment Rellish I believe sneaks under the radar as non annoying in most cases, but completely customizable, efficient and effective. How things should be.


Make it More Human

You may not like the automated immediate part. I don’t either and there’s no way to give it an “automated” time delay at this point, but there is a nice work around.

You can make a very simple tweak to the comment code and have the automated message send to YOU instead of the commenter. How does this help? You can program the e-mail to include the users e-mail address and post comment, and of course your template e-mail. Now you have a pre-made response ready to go with the users comment ready to scan and comment back on. It will take minimal time as far as sincerely personal messages go and still make a big impact.

How To Do It

Login to your WordPress backend, on the left under plugins, click “Editor”, select the Comment Relish (after you’ve installed it of course) plugin from the drop down on the right.

Search for, “mail($email” and replace “$email” with your e-mail address in inverted commas, like this:”example@example.com”. That’s it.

The Technical Details

The function call that sends the email is the native PHP mail() function. It takes a number of parameters (separated by commas), and you just need to replace the first one with your email address, making sure to wrap it in inverted commas.


I hope you found this useful and a unique way to engage with your users. Wan’t More? Sign up for exclusive information in the sidebar, or drop me an e-mail, I’ll be glad to solve any entrepreneur tech problem you have.