“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.
Disclaimer: WPExplorer is an affiliate for one or more products listed below. If you click a link and complete a purchase we could make a commission.
A huge part of growing your email list is marketing it. With Growmatik you can create popups, plus customize emails and landing pages to help streamline your marketing efforts and boost your reader engagement. Best of all – you can get started for FREE. That’s right, the plugin and the Growmatik Basic Plan are completely free for up to 10,000 visitors and 2,000 subscribers.
So what can Growmatik do for you? Because the plugin is able to collect subscriber at each point in the the signup process (landing page > popups > targeted emails) you’ll have access to data not possible with other email marketing plugins. Growmatik is able to segment your audience based on over 50+ behaviors including language, country, city, timezone, time of day, visited pages, device used and more. It even integrates with WooCommerce so you can use buying/browsing behavior for even better segmentation. With this info you can create better pages, popups and emails to really drive up engagement and conversions.
- Preset automation for building email lists
- Ability to personalize pages, products, popups and emails
- 50+ User behaviors for segmentation
- Option to define custom user attributes
- Automated page redirects
- Built-in popup maker
- Ready to use email templates
- Integration with popular page & form builders
- Built-in analytics
- WooCommerce integration
- Free for up to 2000 subscribers, 15,000 emails and 10,000 site visits
- Premium plans available for added resources
Price: Free, with a scalable premium plan starting at $12/mo
Brave is one of the top WordPress plugins to build your email list for a reason. It’s easy, effective, and packs in everything you need to manage your lead generation campaigns. For starters there are a number of optin form styles and layouts. This includes fullscreen, slide-ins, popups, sticky header/footer bars, inline, content lock and more, along with more than 200+ ready to use designs.
Brave offers a number of lead generation features, including which you can use to really boost conversions. This includes effective features like 1-click optin (integrated with Facebook, Google or LinkedIn) that makes signups easy, A/B split testing to see which of your optins offer higher conversions, exit intent popups to capture leads before they leave your site, and more. Plus Brave offers detailed analytics for subscribers’ location, device, trigger page and success rate so you can further fine tune your marketing campaigns.
- Unlimited forms & fields
- Unlimited campaigns
- Drag & drop builder
- 200+ Pre-styled widgets
- A/B testing
- Submission tracking
- Lead generation automation
- Save leads locally
- Quizzes & surveys
- WooCommerce integration
- Social integration (signup, share, chat, follow, optin)
- Custom welcome emails
Price: Free, with premium plans starting at $59
Great for both beginners and seasoned pros, Getsitecontrol is a comprehensive popup, optin form, survey and call to action plugin designed to help you grow your email list fast. With all of the built-in features you can design the perfect popup or form for your individual needs (even a cookie notice).
Getsitecontrol offers easy to use widget templates so you can create optin forms quickly. Just select the template you’d like to use and tweak the colors, text, animations and even element positions. Or you can design your own form using custom CSS. You can also import images from Instagram, add survey elements (checkboxes, radio buttons, rating scales) or use the API to add advanced functionality to your forms – like displaying personalized messages to visitors. When you’re done with your widget simply insert it on your WordPress site via the plugin!
But what’s makes Getsitecontrol a standout tool to grow you list is the fact that it’s integrated with 29 different marketing platforms. This includes Google Analytics, Convertkit, Drip, Hubspot, MailCHimp, Sendinblue, VerticalResponse and more. And for developers, there are also a couple of webhooks you can use to see real-time data for your Getsitecontrol widgets.
- Step-by-step form builder
- Customization options
- Template gallery with pre-made layouts
- Exit intent monitoring to capture leads before they leave
- A/B split testing for up to 5 variations
- Real time stats plus Google Analytics integration
- Ability to share subscription forms via direct link
Price: Plans start at $9/mo
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)
Price: Starting at $79/yr
5. Thrive Leads
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
Price: Starting at $59/yr
The Sumo 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.
Note: It does require for you to sign up for an account at the Sumo 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
7. 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.
9. Hello Bar
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 Constant Contact.
- Built-in Analytics
- Well Designed Optin Forms
- Self Generated WordPress plugin
Price: Free up to 10 clicks
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.
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
11. Email Subscribers & Newsletters
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 and add single and double opt-in methods.
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.
- Keep your data on your server
- Create unlimited forms, email templates and notifications
- GDPR ready
- Automatic welcome email
- Easy to use HTML editor
12. Ninja Forms
Ninja Forms Lite is strictly a form builder, but it does include its own premium subscriber list integration in the form of MailChimp, an add-on that starts at $29.
Once you’ve set up MailChimp with Ninja forms, this extension allows you to create forms for your MailChimp account, using the power and flexibility provided by Ninja Forms.
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.
- Customizable subscription forms
- Pre-built templates
- Drag & drop form builder
- Group subscribers
- Multiple MailChimp subscriptions per form
- Option to import/export your subscriber list
Price: $29 (for the MailChimp add-on – Ninja Forms itself is free)
Last on our list is Jetpack – 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.
- Quick setup (especially if you’re already using Jetpack on your site)
- Easy “subscribe to site” & “Subscribe to comments” options
- Subscription form widget
- Shortcode to add form to posts and pages
Why Building an Email List Is Crucial
An email (or newsletter) 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.
Luckily with one or two pf these plugins you’re sure 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!