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7 Best Email List Building Plugins for WordPress

by Mar 19
email list building plugins for wordPress compared

Are you looking for a proven way to boost site engagement, conversions, and sales?

If you are, look no further than your email list.

An email list can have a profound effect on your website, whether you run a blog, online business, or recently launched an eCommerce shop. In fact, an email list full of the addresses of people that have shown interest in your brand offers you the perfect way to stay in touch with them long after they’ve left your site.

Of course, you’ll need to collect some email addresses before you can start sending out your email campaigns.

The good news is, however, that cultivating an email list may be easier than you think. All you need is the right email list building plugin to help your visitors subscribe to your list quickly and effortlessly.

Today we’re going to take a look at the top WordPress email list building plugins in the market. But first, let’s dive into why email is the top marketing channel.

Why Stick with Email Marketing?

Many people will tell you that email is dead and not worth the effort. What’s more, they’ll try to convince you that social media and blog content are the best ways to improve traffic numbers, increase conversions, and keep site engagement at an all-time high.

Of course, building a strong social media presence and publishing valuable content are always going to be important. But when you take a look at the benefits that email marketing provides, there’s really no excuse not to build a bigger email list.

Take a look:

  • Save Money: email continues to have one of the highest ROIs out of any marketing strategy. According to Campaign Monitor, for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an ROI of $44.
  • Increase Repeat Visits: 96% of people who come to your website aren’t ready to buy on their first visit. If you can get them to subscribe to your email list before they leave, you have additional opportunities to reach out to them and encourage them to come back and make a purchase.
  • Boost Sales: for 73% of people, email continues to be their preferred marketing channel, over channels like text, messenger apps like Facebook Messenger, face-to-face interactions, web banners, and yes, even social media.
  • Establish Long-Term Relationships: someone that subscribes to your email list is hoping you’ll send out campaigns that bring them back to your site. Whether it be new blog content, discounts, deals, or new products, they want what you’re offering. As a result, solid email marketing helps you establish relationships with people that continue to come back to your site over and again.

So, now that you know why you should invest in an email marketing strategy, let’s take a look at some of the best email list building plugins for WordPress.

Best Email List Building Plugins for WordPress

1. Thrive Leads

thrive leads

Thrive Leads might just be the best WordPress list building plugins out there. It comes with every feature you could possibly need to grow an email list with highly qualified subscribers, and offers site owners plenty of design and customization options for seamless branding.

You can choose from a variety of opt-in form types such as a lightbox popup, widget opt-in, in-content form, slide-ins, content lock, and even a screen filler.

thrive leads form creation

From there, you can target your site visitors in a way that will boost conversions. For instance, display specific opt-in forms based on category or tag or on certain posts or pages. More so, reveal certain opt-in boxes to return visitors and new visitors so they get the offers they want.

Additional features include:

  • Stunning pre-made templates
  • 20+ opt-in box animations
  • Drag-and-drop editor for easy form creation
  • 2-Step Opt-in Forms
  • A/B Testing and detailed analytics
  • Integration with popular (and lesser-known) email service providers
  • 4 trigger actions: exit intent, time delay, scroll, and element clicks

Thrive Leads can be purchased for a one-time payment of $67 for use on a single WordPress site. If you want the best value for your money, however, you might consider signing up for a Thrive Themes Membership ($19/month) so you can access all of their themes and plugins on up to 25 websites.

Pros:

  • Great one-time pricing with 1 year of support and lifetime updates
  • Easy to use dashboard within WordPress site
  • Plenty of opt-in form types to choose from
  • Best value for your money if you like other Thrive Theme products and sign up for a membership

Cons

  • No referral source or cookie retargeting
  • Some template designs are outdated
  • Steep learning curve due to wealth of features

2. OptinMonster

optinmonster

OptinMonster is another full-featured solution that fits right in with our roundup of email list building plugins for WordPress. That said, OptinMonster is not so much as a plugin as it is a web application that works seamlessly with all platforms, not just WordPress.

Check out our real-life Wix examples and stunning Squarespace examples if you’re on the fence about which platform to use.

Use the drag & drop builder to easily create any number of opt-in forms (complete with pre-designed templates) – fullscreen welcome mats, inline forms, floating bars, and even countdown timers – and encourage site visitors to subscribe the minute they arrive on your site.

optinmonster form creation

In addition, define the following types of trigger actions, all based on user behavior: exit intent, 2-step optins (click a link or image), scroll trigger, timed display, campaign schedules, and inactivity.

Need some more help getting people to convert? Target users based on geographic location, referral source, and page or post so they see the right message at the right time. Additionally, target users based on cookies, device type, and whether they’re brand new to your site or returning visitors.

Additional features include:

  • Mobile-friendly popups
  • Custom success messages
  • List segmentation
  • Easy to use OptinMonster dashboard
  • A/B testing
  • Real-time personalization
  • Coupon wheels

You can get OptinMonster (and a limited set of features) for $9/month. If you want to unlock the best features, however, you’ll have to move up the pricing tiers, which are $19, $29, and, $49/month.

Pros:

  • Exceptional documentation and support
  • Advanced targeting rules for boosting conversions
  • Beautiful templates to choose from
  • Detailed trigger actions, including the popular exit intent functionality

Cons:

  • Very expensive to take advantage of the best list building features (no one-time payment either)
  • Off-site dashboard for campaign and analytics management
  • A/B testing doesn’t yield an automatic winner

3. Bloom

bloom

Bloom is another one of those email list building plugins for WordPress you just can’t pass up. It comes with 6 helpful form types – popup, fly-in, inline, below content, widget area, and content lock – to get your site visitors interested in subscribing without ruining the user experience.

When it comes to the templates (over 100 of them), you can expect all of them to render beautifully on your website. The modern, material design creates a visual appeal no site visitor could ignore.

bloom form creation

And the best part is, Bloom not only comes with standard trigger actions like after inactivity, scrolling, or when a user gets to the bottom of a post. It also has triggers for those times after people comment or make a purchase, which allows Bloom to stand out from the competition.

Additional features include:

  • Integration with 19 of the most popular email marketing services such as AWeber, MailChimp, and Campaign Monitor
  • Detailed form customizations – orientations, borders, and color schemes
  • 100% responsive design and mobile-friendly
  • Targeting rules for post types, categories, and post/page levels
  • Stunning dashboard for management of optins, campaigns, A/B tests, and more
  • Multiple email account tracking
  • Easy import/export functionality

Bloom can be purchased as part of a package, which includes the Divi and Extra themes, as well as Monarch (a social share plugin) for $89/year. Or, you can make a one-time payment of $249 to receive the same products, plus hundreds of website packs (for easier site creation), unlimited site usage, and lifetime support and updates.

Pros:

  • Easy and intuitive form creation
  • Tons of stunning templates
  • Unique trigger actions
  • Track all data in the Bloom dashboard (including email stats)

Cons:

  • Lacks exit intent trigger action
  • No WYSIWYG editor (must click Preview button)
  • No drag & drop functionality

4. Sumo

sumo

Sumo is part of a suite of tools designed to help you automate site growth and increase business. But don’t let that get you thinking it isn’t worth being on this roundup, because it comes with its fair share of features.

This list building plugin is easy to set up on your website. It comes with all the basic features you need to grow your list such as email opt-in forms that are fully customizable and one-off or drip email campaigns (e.g., welcome emails for new subscribers).

sumo form creation

Not to mention, you can easily connect your WooCommerce shop, provide customers with discount codes, and track analytics right in the WordPress dashboard.

Additional features include:

  • Social media share capability
  • Site visitor targeting
  • Unlimited subscribers
  • 10,000 emails campaigns per month
  • Email integrations such as MailChimp, AWeber, and Constant Contact
  • One-on-one onboarding help
  • Video embed option
  • Smart bar and welcome mat opt-in forms

Sumo is one of the most affordable email list building plugins for WordPress because it’s free. That said, if you upgrade to the pro version for $39/month, you can unlock features like A/B testing, removal of Sumo branding, unlimited email campaigns, and specialty eCommerce design templates.

Pros:

  • Free to use, which is great for those on a tight budget
  • Unlimited email subscribers
  • More than an email list building tool for growing your business
  • Easy to use interface

Cons:

  • Free version has Sumo branding
  • Premium plan is expensive and value isn’t as great as other solutions
  • Must create off-site account, even with free version

5. Optin Forms

optin forms

Optin Forms is a list building solution for those that think popup opt-in forms are super annoying for their site visitors. Instead, this plugin lets you create forms that display above, below, or in the middle of your site content. There are 5 great forms designs to pick from, each of them fully customizable in the backend of your WordPress site.

Best of all, Optin Forms is super simple to use. Once you install and activate the plugin on your website, just follow the dropdown menus in order to create your form from start to finish.

optin forms form creation

Pick a form design, style your form, hide whatever elements you don’t want appearing on your form, configure whether to open your opt-ins in a new form or not, and decide where to place your forms. You can even exclude specific posts and pages if you want. And while you make changes to your opt-in form, all changes are seen in the preview section, so you know your form looks just the way you want it to.

Additional features include:

  • Integrates with AWeber, MailChimp, iContact, GetResponse, MadMimi, Interspire Email Marketer, ConvertKit, and MailerLite
  • Ability to change font style, colors, form fields, and buttons
  • Open Source Software (with contributions from WPKube and FancyThemes)
  • Translation ready for reaching your global audience

Optin Forms is 100% free to use and can be found in the WordPress Repository.

Pros:

  • Stunning forms designs to pick from
  • Easy to use and no need to leave your WordPress site
  • Automatic form placement after settings configurations
  • No need for any design or coding experience

Cons:

  • No advanced targeting or trigger actions (including the popular exit intent functionality)
  • Limited to inline form placement, which is only helpful for those reading your content

6. Popup Domination

popup domination

If you love the idea of popup opt-in forms, Popup Domination is one of the best email list building plugins for WordPress around.

This list building plugin is packed with features. To start, you have your choice or collecting emails, redirecting site visitors to affiliate pages, creating a countdown timer, and enabling exit intent functionality to grab emails from those about to leave your website.

popup domination form

You can also configure your popups to appear based on a time delay, the number of pages viewed, the content people are reading, and even after scrolling.

Additional features include:

  • Integration with all email service providers
  • GDPR friendly forms
  • A/B testing for boosting conversions
  • Detailed analytics (including Google Analytics events)
  • Responsive templates that are easily customizable
  • Referral source and geolocation targeting

Popup Domination gives you a free 14-day trial. After that, if you want to stick with the Starter Plan, it’ll be $9/month. If you need more popup views, you’ll have to invest in the higher priced plans, which are $19 and $29 a month.

Pros:

  • Unlimited popup creation
  • Lots of trigger actions and targeting rules
  • Split testing to find which forms convert the highest
  • Core plugin analytics and Google Analytics tracking

Cons:

  • Interface is a bit tough to get used at first
  • Limited to popup campaign types
  • The only difference with each plan is the number of popup views, which means there’s not a lot of added value

7. WP Subscribe

wp subscribe

WP Subscribe is an all-in-one email list building plugin that supports MailChimp, FeedBurner, Get Response, and AWeber. It’s built with optimized code so your site’s speed and performance will never falter.

And since, it’s a widget, you can place it anywhere on your site that is widgetized so site visitors always see it, but aren’t interrupted. For example, add it to a sidebar or the bottom of your content.

wp subscribe form creation

If you need more features, there is a premium version, called WP Subscribe Pro, that offers features like:

  • Popup animation and trigger actions (e.g., exit intent)
  • Ability to show related articles in popups
  • Additional email service providers (e.g., MailerLite and Mad Mimi)
  • Unlimited color schemes (create your perfect color palette here!)
  • Cookie expiration settings
  • Exclude posts or pages

WP Subscribe is a free email list building plugin for WordPress. If you want the premium version, you’ll have to shell out a minimal $29, but you’ll get lifetime support, which is almost unheard of in the WordPress landscape.

Which WordPress Email List Plugin is Best For You?

Since every site owner has different needs, we’ve narrowed it down a bit here to help you choose the right fit.

Thrive Leads is widely considered one of the best list building plugins for WordPress users. It gives you all the necessary features, the best value for your money, and comes with regular updates. Moreover, if you’re not sure yet what you want to do with popups or forms for your site, Thrive Leads is best, because it’s so comprehensive.

Bloom is a great deal because you get so much value for your money (they include other plugins and themes in the package in the price). Another advantage Bloom comes with is access to some cutting-edge features such as trigger actions like after commenting and purchasing, which isn’t seen with other list building plugins.

If you’re interested in unique features, OptinMonster could be right for you. For example, you can set up a popup to display based on how someone has interacted with a product or service you’re offering. OptinMonster is also ideal if you have more than one website to manage, or if you’re looking for a lightweight plugin.

If you’re looking for something quick, simple, and easy, download the free version of WP Subscribe. And for those wanting to avoid popup opt-in forms at all costs, Optin Forms is the most affordable, customizable, and popup-free option on the list.

Wrapping Up

Before we leave you to your decision, here’s one word of advice:

Each of these plugins provides you with plenty of options for your popups and/or opt-in forms (no hurting for choice here!). The trick is to experiment with different form types to see which type of opt-in form produces the highest conversion rates for you.

Then, you can stick with what works best and watch your email list grow like it never has before.

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