“If you are looking to grow your business, then building an effective email list should be your top priority.” – This is the advice I received a few years ago, when I first started blogging. And it is still valuable to this day.
Many of you may already understand why it is a valuable advice. When you have a growing list of trusted subscribers, it’s easier to drive traffic and get more social shares to your latest blog posts. Not only that, you can also make a good money by sending special offers to your list.
In this article, I am going to share some of the best free and premium list building plugins for WordPress that will help you generate more subscribers with less traffic. I have also included a couple free plugins in the list, for those who are just getting started with blogging or don’t have extra money to spend.
To grow your email list you need to focus on lead generation – and MailOptin does just that. This plugin includes a powerful form builder that you can use to create a variety of optins for your site. Customize your optin form design, text, fields, animations, and even define the display rules (such as an exit intent trigger, or after a set amount of time on your site). With options for lightboxes, notification bars, in content (before/after or embedded inline) plus more it’s easy to create an optin form that’s right for your audience. And since there is built-in analytics and support for A/B split test, you can really optimize your strategy to grow your email list faster.
But that’s not all – MailOptin offers integrations for just about every email service and CRM you can think of. You can easily link your optin forms to MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, aWeber, GetResponse, SendinBlue, MailPoet, and more. MailOptin also works seamlessly with Google Analytics and popular translation plugins, Polylang and Weglot. While there is a free MailOptin Lite version available on WordPress.org, you do need the premium version to unlock all of the plugin’s awesome features.
- Optin styles: lightbox, notification bar, sidebar widget, slide-in, before/after, inline
- Triggers: exit, time on site, pageviews, scroll, click launch, device targeting
- Conversion actions with the options to redirect users to a specific url
- A/B split testing for optins
- Ad block detection
- Smart Honeypot spam protection
- Integration with popular email providers, CRMS, translation plugins and Google Analytics
- Newsletter management (including automation, scheduling and more)
- Review of MailOptin: Simple & Impressive Optin Forms
- Leverage MaipOptin to get more Subscribers from your Posts
Price: Starting at $79/yr
Thrive Leads is the list building plugin created by the developers at Thrive Themes. This plugin packs a punch and comes with pretty much every type of opt-in forms you can think of: you can create popups, slide-in forms, ribbon-style forms that appear at the top or bottom of your screen, 2-step opt-in links or buttons, screen-filling forms, the “Scroll Mat” form which is similar to SumoMe’s welcome mat, you can insert opt-in forms at the bottom of posts, in widget areas or anywhere in your content.
The wide selection of forms and the included drag-and-drop editor gives means a lot of flexibility for creating and showing opt-in forms on your site. However, the main features advertised by Thrive Leads all have to do with conversion optimization. Advanced A/B testing and detailed reporting are built into the plugin. Another highlight is the fact that you can automatically hide opt-in forms for visitors who already subscribed to your list and you can even show alternate content to existing subscribers, instead of the usual opt-in forms.
- Dozens of pre-designed templates + drag-and-drop template builder
- Every opt-in form type you can think of
- Backup and export function for your subscriber list
- A/B test different opt-in forms, different offers, different form types and let the plugin choose a winner automatically
- Display different content to existing subscribers
- Exit intent, SmartExit, scroll triggers, click triggers, timed triggers, etc.
- Many, many animation options
- Case studies: how real Thrive Leads users increase their conversions.
- Stop asking your subscribers to subscribe: how to use the SmartLinks feature.
Price: Starting at $59/yr
The SumoMe by AppSumo is a handy plugin for showing simple popups, which won’t cost you a single dime. It comes a ton of great features that you will normally find in premium plugin such as OptinMonster or Ninja Popups.
This is perfect plugin for a beginner blogger or someone doesn’t want to spend any money, as it can be easily integrated with Mailchimp, a free autoresponder service (for up to 2000 subscribers). Though the emails are limited to 12,000 per month. Mailchimp has been in the market for so long and has a reputation for quality service. In fact, AJ is using the same autoresponder for this site.
Note: It does require for you to sign up for an account at the SumoMe website.
- Asynchronous loading that won’t affect page load speed
- Smart Email popover timing (like Exit Monitor)
- Set your own popover timing
- Full HTML control of popover content
- View email subscription statistics for all time
- How to Install and Setup SumoMe: A Free Opt-in Signup Form and Twitter Tool
- How I Used SumoMe to Increase My Email List By 10x Overnight
WP Email Capture
WP Email Capture is created by my good friend Rhys Wynne. The plugin a great solution for those who don’t want to use auto responder services for collecting emails. It adds a 2 field form (Name & Email) for capturing emails.
The big difference with this plugin is that you don’t have to spend money on third party services (Aweber or GetResponse), everything is done directly from the Settings page within WordPress. The free version has a limited functionality, which might be useful if you want to test-drive the plugin before purchasing.
- Easily Export your list to major autoresponder services
- Uses WordPress internal wp_mail function for sending emails.
- Double optin for verification
- Create Multiple lists for your site
- Track the Visitors to your site and where your sign ups come from.
- Support for custom post types
Price: Free (with limited features)
OptinMonster is another powerful plugin that makes it very easy to add stylish popup forms. It also lets you add custom forms below posts, sidebar widgets, pages, bottom of the site, and slide-in form. It can easily be described as All-in-one list building plugin for WordPress, but this is not for everyone (at least not for those who are just starting out), as it is quite expensive compared to other plugins in this segment.
For example – most of the popup plugins available in the market doesn’t cost more than $50, one such plugin is Ninja Popups, I have used it my own site for 6 months, and I never ran into any trouble. But price is not the only thing that sets OptinMonster apart from other plugins, it also comes with an Exit-Intent technology, which detects visitor behavior and prompts them with a targeted campaign at the precise moment they are about to leave. I think the main reason why the plugin is so expensive, is because it comes with an exit intent technology, something that previously you could only find in Bounce Exchange.
- Beautiful Optin Form Designs
- Easily test different content, headlines, layouts and styles with A/B Testing module
- Exit Intent Technology
- Analyze clicks, views and overall conversion rates with our built-in analytics.
- OptinMonster Review & How-To Guide: WordPress Popup & Lead Generation Plugin
- The Evolution of OptinMonster for WordPress: Fixes, Updates, and Changes
Hello Bar lets you create beautiful notification bars that are highlighted at the top of the screen to your website visitors. You can use the bar to generate new leads either via a sales funnel or a custom optin form.
It generates custom code that can be added through a WordPress plugin, or if you don’t want to use a plugin, you can manually insert the code in your theme. It is currently limited to 4 major auto responder services – Aweber, Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, and Contast Contact.
- Built-in Analytics
- Well Designed Optin Forms
- Self Generated WordPress plgin
There is also a premium version for $4.95/month available with additional features – SSL support, no branding, RSS & Twitter Feeds, and up to 100 clicks.
Price: Free up to 10 clicks
OptimizePress is my favorite WordPress plugin when it comes to creating professional looking landing pages. It is not just for creating landing pages and sales funnels; OptimizePress can also be used for creating membership portals.
It has drag and drop editor that’s extremely easy to use, but you can also create landing pages without having to dive into all the options.
One big advantage of OP – it comes with two options, a plugin and a theme. You can use the plugin version if you want to keep your current blog design.
- Drag & Drop Editor
- Shortcodes support
- Simple Autoresponder Integration
- Easy to Follow Tutorials & Training
- Integrated SEO Features
- Over 30 Templates to Choose From
So there you have it – 5 surefire ways to boost your email list subscribers. If you’ve used any of these plugins let us know your thoughts in the comments section. Or if you have a plugin recommendation we should add, let us know what it is and why!