I believe I installed the Subscribe to Comments plugin around three years ago. If you are not familiar with the plugin, it basically allows people posting comments on your site to subscribe to new comments via email. In order words, if they do choose to subscribe (by clicking on a check-box) they will receive an email every time a new comment is made on that particular post.
As you can see using this plugin has some advantages. First of all it encourages community participation and increases the number of comments your posts will get, because readers who post one comment become engaged in the conversation. It might also increase your traffic slightly, because readers will be coming back to your site more often.
That being said the plugin also has some drawbacks. The first one is the volume of emails that your readers might inadvertently get from your site. Suppose one of your posts become viral and comments start piling up. This means that for each new comment one email will be sent to the readers who subscribed to that post.
Second, some readers forget that they subscribed to the comments of a particular post on your blog, and once your emails start arriving he might flag them as spam. One reader doing this wouldn’t be a problem, but dozens of them certainly would.
The drawbacks I mentioned are particularly important if you have email subscribers, an email list, or plan to do email marketing on your site. That is because the spam complaints might affect the overall credibility of your domain name.
Weighting the pros and cons I concluded that the cons were winning on my case, and today I decided to remove the plugin. I visited some other popular blogs to see whether or not they were still using the plugin, and most weren’t either.
What about you, do you use the plugin? Have you ever received complaints from readers about it?