How to create a newsletter from your events calendar in WordPress

Do you or clients you’re creating websites for run events?

If so, setting up a newsletter about upcoming events can be the easiest thing to build your audience and keep them engaged.

Fortunately keeping them informed is easy with a plugin I originally custom created for softwarehamilton.com, Event Calendar Newsletter.  Here’s how to use it!

Set Up a Mailing List

Start creating a mailing list in MailChimp, Active Campaign or whatever email marketing software you like.  Ask people to sign up on your website, have attendees at the events leave their business cards or sign a guestbook, and keep them informed of upcoming events.

Don’t let the choice of email marketing software stop you from starting to collect email addresses.  Use Excel, Google Sheets or even a piece of paper and start getting them recorded!

Set Up an Event Calendar on your WordPress site

If you don’t already have an events calendar on your website for visitors to check out your upcoming events, you’ll need to do that first.  You have a few different options to choose from like The Events Calendar and Simple Calendar (aka Google Calendar Events).  Just add the plugin to your site by going to the Plugins menu in your admin area, then choose Add New.  Search for the plugin you like and click Install, then start adding events!

Scroll down to the section on Choices for an Event Calendar and get that set up. Remember, you only need to add one of the plugins to get started.

Set up the Events Calendar Newsletter Plugin

Just go to Plugins, then Add New, and search for Event Calendar Newsletter.

events calendar newsletter wordpress

Then click Install Now.  Once installed and activated, click the Event Calendar Newsletter item in the menu.  Pick your event calendar plugin from the dropdown, choose the length of time in the future you want to fetch events.

If you don’t already have a compatible plugin installed to show an event calendar on your site, scroll down for full instructions on setting one up.

events-calendar-newsletter-wordpress-using

You can customize the template if you’d like but the default works well for most.  Just use the dropdown and click Insert to insert additional details about your event.

Now just click Generate Newsletter Formatted Events to create the newsletter-friendly format of your events calendar.

Copy the result into a new campaign or email to your mailing list!  For example with MailChimp:

mailchimp events calendar newsletter

Save it, send it, and be sure to let everyone know they can join your mailing list to keep up to date with your events!

Have a lot of events or need to filter by category or a specific calendar?  Check out the Event Calendar Newsletter Pro plugin.

Choices for an Event Calendar

The Events Calendar

A very popular plugin by Modern Tribe for adding events right on your site by adding events like you would a new post or a page.  You can specify the start and end times:

events calendar wordpress date

And the location with the option of displaying a Google Map:

events calendar wordpress location

You can add all your upcoming events by going to the Events menu and clicking Add New.

Then, you can add the calendar to your site’s navigation menu by going to Appearance then Menus.  Click Events on the left hand side then check Events, then “View All” and then the Add to Menu button.

events calendar wordpress add to menu

Voila, the events calendar is on your site!  Now when you have new events, all you need to do is add a new event and it will appear in the calendar.

Simple Calendar (aka Google Calendar Events)

The Simple Calendar plugin uses a public Google Calendar to get your events.  So adding events is as simple as updating your Google Calendar using the desktop interface, your phone, or whatever other software you’d like to manage that calendar.

First you’ll want to create a google calendar.  You can link that calendar up with the Calendar app in OSX, Outlook, or just use the Google Calendar web interface to add your new events.

Then, install the Simple Calendar plugin and follow their instructions for creating a Google API key to fetch your events.

You can then go to Calendars and Add New.

simple calendar google calendar events wordpress

Add a title then scroll down to the Calendar Settings area and click the Google Calendar tab.  Follow the instructions for making your calendar public and adding your Calendar ID.  Then publish that calendar.

Finally, copy the shortcode they provide – which is something like the below – into a new Page on your site.

[calendar id="111"]

Your calendar is now ready to go and events you add to your Google Calendar will appear on your site automatically!

Event Calendar

Not to be confused with “The Events Calendar” mentioned above, this used to be called “Ajax Events Calendar.”  While my Events Calendar Newsletter plugin for creating a newsletter from events currently supports this plugin, I don’t recommend it because it doesn’t work well on mobile and it also will not work at all without JavaScript enabled (which a lot of people disable due to issues with vertigo).