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Simple Tools to Build Your Newsletter Subscriber List with WordPress

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If you’re looking to build a successful website, it’s a smart idea to first create a subscriber list. The larger your recurring visitor base is, the faster your site will grow – and the more money you’ll potentially make.

Considering how important this task is, it’s no surprise that there are a vast number of solutions available. With a little research, it isn’t hard to select the right mailing list builder, one that not only adheres to your requirements but also plays nicely with WordPress.

In this article, you’ll learn what a subscriber list is and why it’s important. Then we’ll show you five simple tools you can use to build your own list. Let’s get started!

Why Building a Subscriber List Is Crucial

WPExplorer Newsletter Signup Form

We like to keep it simple here at WPExplorer, choosing to use a sidebar signup form to generate subscribers.

A subscription list is exactly what it sounds like – a list of customers or clients who have chosen to receive marketing emails from you. Have you ever received newsletters or special offers from your favourite store via email? If you have, that’s probably because you’re part of their subscription list.

While these emails can seem like a nuisance when you receive too many of them, from a business perspective they are a handy tool. With a subscriber list, you’ll be able to:

  • Generate more conversions and sales. The more people who see your offers and calls to action, the more purchases and signups you should attract. Take Amazon for example: one way they get you to keep buying products is by emailing offers on a regular basis.
  • Increase traffic. Whenever you publish a new post or update your site with important information, you can immediately notify your subscribers. This should help increase repeat traffic and keep your audience engaged with your content.

The nice thing about a subscriber list is that it puts you in direct contact with your audience. There’s no middleman involved, and you don’t have to make sure you’re sticking to the various rules and guidelines of social media platforms. You’re in control of your list, and you can use it in whatever way is best for you and your subscribers. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some tools you may need to create your email list.

5 Simple Tools for Building a Subscriber List in WordPress

If you want to build a subscription list, you’ll first need to provide a form where people can sign up for it. Fortunately, WordPress makes this an easy task. The following are five plugins that can help you easily create subscription forms.

1. Jetpack (Freemium)

Jetpack WordPress Plugin

Jetpack was developed by Automattic, the same company behind WordPress. Its Subscriptions module enables visitors to sign up to email updates right from your blog. Your subscribers will be updated when there are new blog posts, and when new comments are added to a post they’re following.

There’s no way to export your entire subscriber list using Jetpack, but you can export the information of those who signed up using their email addresses rather than their WordPress account. If you like the prospect of your subscriptions being handled for you, Jetpack could be ideal. Plus, its ease of use and breadth of subscription options alone make it a valuable plugin, and there’s a premium version with even more features.

2. MailChimp for WordPress (Freemium)

Screenshot of Mailchimp for WordPress plugin.

MailChimp for WordPress is among the most popular free plugins on the WordPress marketplace, and for good reason. With this plugin, you’ll be able to create simple opt-in forms with ease. What’s more, the premium version comes with additional tools, such as:

  • Complete e-commerce integration for WooCommerce. This feature allows you to track visitors and other demographics from your email campaigns and send it all to MailChimp, enabling you to create powerful list segments.
  • Methods to counter fake subscriptions. The double opt-in feature requires subscribers to confirm their subscriptions via email. To further secure the integrity of your list, MailChimp sends out a reCAPTCHA checkbox to fend off spambots.

With MailChimp for WordPress, you know exactly what you’re getting – a tool for building intriguing forms to entice potential subscribers, coupled with the functionality to maintain your current list.

3. Ninja Forms (Freemium)

Screenshot of Ninja Forms plugin.

Ninja Forms Lite is strictly a form builder, but it does include its own subscriber list integration in the form of MailChimp, an add-on that starts at $29. However, this is not the same as MailChimp For WordPress. This extension allows you to create forms for your MailChimp account, using the power and flexibility provided by Ninja Forms.

Once you’ve set up MailChimp with Ninja forms, you’ll have access to a host of features, including:

  • The ability to group subscribers
  • Multiple MailChimp subscriptions per form
  • An option to export your entire subscriber list

You need the add-on to set up a subscriber list using this plugin, but the features it provides are worth the reasonable cost. Plus, Ninja Forms’ own functionality enables you to create eye-catching subscription forms, via its powerful drag-and-drop form creator.

4. Email Subscribers & Newsletters (Free)

Screenshot of Email Subscribers and Newsletters plugin.

Email Subscribers & Newsletters is a free email, newsletter and lead generation plugin. While not as customizable this is a great, easy option to send newsletters with WordPress (though we do recommend checking out this article on newsletter WordPress plugins for more options). With this plugins you can:

  • Send article notifications
  • Build a subscriber list
  • Add single and double opt-in methods
  • And more!

While not the most outwardly customizable, this plugin is a great option to get started if you don’t want to use a platform like MailChimp or MadMimi.

5. Thrive Leads (From $19/month)

Screenshot of Thrive Leads plugin.

If you’re looking for a state-of-the-art email list builder and don’t mind paying for a premium option, check out Thrive Leads. This plugin is ideal if you’re looking to achieve higher conversion rates, and it’s very user-friendly. It also offers a variety of ways to display your forms, including as a pop-up lightbox, ribbon, widget, footer, and more.

If the many templates Thrive Leads provides aren’t enough for you, the drag-and-drop page builder makes designing your own custom forms simple. It also includes handy features such as:

  • An A/B testing engine
  • Two-step opt-in forms
  • Advanced targeting based on your readers’ on-site behavior

Particularly if you’re looking to increase conversions and sales, Thrive Leads is a solid option for creating your subscriber list.

Maintaining an email list is important, since it enables you to communicate with your audience and can also provide a needed traffic boost. Fortunately, many developers understand the importance of subscriber lists. This has resulted in an abundance of free and premium plugins that can get you started.

Which subscriber list builder caught your attention, and why? Let us know in the comments section below!

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1 comment

  1. Shreyash

    This is a great article. Helped me to configure and build up my list. Appreciate the tips!

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