8 Best WordPress Mailing List Plugins For List Building Magic
You need to build an email list.
Thousands of businesses are crying out after investing millions in building their fan base on Facebook.
That’s a big mistake.
Never build on rented land.
Building an email list is the way to go.
The simple truth is that the way to do this is to make it incredibly easy for your readers to subscribe.
This means adding opt-in forms to key locations on your site.
Just using what comes with a mailing list provider like AWeber won’t help you any more – these don’t perform.
You need a plugin that makes it super easy to add opt-in forms and collect email addresses from your readers.
I’ve tested countless plugins over the years, it’s cost me a lot of money, both in buying tools that suck and the value of the subscribers that I could have had with better list building plugins.
The plugins below will help you save time, save money, grow your list faster and in turn make even more money:
Top mailing list plugins for WordPress
Thrive Leads – Top Pick
Thrive Leads is without a doubt, the most impressive list building plugin on the market.
The plugin comes with every feature you’ll need to rapidly grow your list of email subscribers.
You get ability to add a variety of opt-in form types covering everything from popovers and scroll boxes.
Each opt-in form type has a great selection of templates and you can use the drag & drop editor to customize them to look exactly how you want them to.
You can create as many opt-in forms as you like and select which pages/categories/tags you’d like to display them on.
Split testing & reporting is super easy, and you can even split test different opt-in form types against each other. So if you want to find out whether a ribbon form or scroll box will convert better, now you can!
What I love about Thrive is that they are continuously rolling out new features.
Two of which are game changers.
- Smart Links – This feature allows you to show a different call to action to your existing subscribers. Now they’ve signed up, you could display a link to a product or something else.
- Digital Asset Delivery – Have you ever wanted an easy way to send your new subscribers a PDF or free download for signing up? Thrive Leads will do that too!
- 30 + Opt-in form templates
- Drag and drop editor makes for easy form customization
- Add opt-in forms to key locations on your blog
- Various popover triggers such as Exit Intent
- Advanced opt-in form targeting options
- Advanced split testing functionality
- Actionable reporting/statistics
- Supports any email provider that uses HTML forms
- Supports 2 step opt-in forms
- Supports shortcode placement
- Supports multiple form fields, radio forms, check boxes and drop downs
Price: $67 (includes 1 year of support and lifetime updates – awesome!).
OptinMonster is a fantastic list building tool that works well.
The guys behind this plugin really know what they are doing – Syed Balkhi (founder of WP Beginner) and Thomas Griffin (creator of the Soliloquy slider plugin) have put something together that is very special.
The plugin started it’s life out as a WordPress plugin but it has evolved into so much more.
OptinMonster is now a cloud based app so all of your opt-in forms will be managed from a central location – giving you a great overview.
You can then quickly roll out split tests and make tweaks without logging into different WordPress installations.
With this plugin now being a cloud app, you can use it with any HTML based sites, not just WordPress.
- Exit intent feature
- Easy to customize
- Supports multiple email marketing platforms and autoresponders
- Ability to add custom CSS
- Support for shortcode placement
- Multiple opt-in form types (Popover, slide-in, sidebar, after post, canvas and footer)
- Page level targeting
- A/B split testing
Price: Starts from $9/month
This plugin is used by over 50,000+ websites.
Popup Domination supports just one type of opt-in form – popovers (or popups).
But, that being said it does the job incredibly well.
The great thing about this plugin is that you can either install it as a WordPress plugin, or install to any website with the standalone version.
With this plugin you will get 1 year of support but unlimited updates.
Note: themes aren’t mobile responsive.
- 24 design templates
- Comes as WordPress plugin or standalone software
- Easy customization
- Supports all major email marketing platforms
- Built in analytics
- A/B split testing
- Forced subscription to protect content
- Page level targeting
- Exit intent
Let me start off by saying that while LeadPages comes with a WordPress plugin, you are getting an entire platform from which to build your list.
The above image is taken from a landing page I recently made in around 5 minutes.
LeadPages will help you grow your list by doing the following:
- Allowing you to create high converting landing pages within minutes.
- Create your own 2-step opt-ins with LeadBoxes. These allow you to turn any link on any website into a link that displays a popover when clicked (can increase conversion rates by 30%).
- Generate a ‘LeadLink’ which allows subscribes to join your list, sub-list or subscribe to a webinar with a single click.
I use LeadPages to handle the delivery of digital assets and then use 2-step opt-ins to offer exclusive content to my subscribers.
By doing this I have been able to triple my conversion rates.
- 70+ Landing page templates (sortable by conversion rate)
- Unlimited landing pages
- Unlimited domains
- No traffic limitation
- Mobile friendly templates
- Built in split testing
- Built in analytics
- WordPress plugin
- Complete hosting of your landing pages
- Digital asset delivery
- Supports all major mailing list providers
- Incredible support
OptinLinks gives you the ability to display a 2 step opt-in form, similar to how LeadPages does. But it goes a step further and protects subscriber-only content.
All at a fraction of the cost while providing some incredible features guaranteed to skyrocket your opt-ins like nothing you have seen before.
There are some differences here.
It’s not a hosted system, OptinLinks runs from your own server.
Despite this, you can still use the links this plugin generates elsewhere on the web with the professional version.
There are a few things here that make this plugin simply incredible.
One of the issues I have had with the likes of LeadPages, is that they have no way of ensuring someone confirms (when using double opt-in) after they subscribe.
OptinLinks has a nifty solution for this – the plugin will show a ‘waiting for confirmation’ notification to prompt subscribers to confirm.
The plugin will then remember that the user has subscribed and then allow you to restrict access to particular pages for none-subscribers.
In fact, when anyone tries to access the secured page, they’ll be prompted to opt-in.
Your subscriber exclusive content actually stays exclusive.
Ultimately this plugin solves a purpose but it’s not as robust as LeadPages.
- Multiple templates
- Fully responsive
- Easy placement via shortcode
- Subscribe leads to multiple lists
- Confirm your leads in real time
- Save leads to a database
- Available for HTML sites
- Links work anywhere on the web
- Built in split testing
- Client management portal (in professional version)
- Impressive built in analytics
- Protect your subscriber exclusive content
- Supports all major email marketing providers
Plugmatter – Feature Box
Feature Boxes are an incredible way to build your list.
Plenty of list building experts all over the web have cited that they get incredible conversions when using these.
The problem has always been that there was never a decent plugin for adding them.
The Feature Box plugin from Plugmatter makes this easy while complementing other email marketing plugins very well.
- A/B split testing
- Page level targeting
- Target returning users
- 6+ premium templates
- Support for multiple email providers
- Ability to turn off for existing subscribers
Optimize Press 2.0
We talked a bit about LeadPages earlier, which enables you to create high converting opt-in forms in minutes.
The limitation with LeadPages is customization.
One of the differences here is that Optimize Press has a drag and drop page editor that allows you to customize your landing pages and make them look exactly how you want them to.
Optimize Press recently released a feature called the Overlay Optimizer; this allows you to utilize 2 step opt-ins similar to how LeadPages does.
With Optimize Press you have full control over your content and an impressive array of features.
- Over 30 themes to choose from
- Over 40 page elements to utilize
- Comes with theme and plugin versions
- Comes with a membership plugin (could save you $100-$300)
- Create sales pages
- Create landing pages
- Create launch funnels
- Create membership portals
- Mobile optimized
- Overlay optimizer (2 step opt-in)
- Works with all email marketing platforms
- Works with major membership systems like Wishlist, DAP, MemberMouse etc
Optin Architect is a cloud based tool that allows you to create high converting opt-in forms on the fly.
You won’t get a specific WordPress plugin here, but I wanted to include it since it does support WordPress (and all major content management systems).
The great thing here is that if you manage a large number of sites and want to monitor your conversions from a single dashboard – this is incredible.
- Large selection of templates
- Opt-in types include popovers, sidebars and site-wide opt-ins
- Detailed analytics dashboard
- Turn any link into a form
- Exit intent
- Unlimited forms
- Embed on any website
- GoToWebinar integration
- Facebook integration
- Supports major mailing list providers
- Supports all major CMS and ecommerce platforms
The reality about email marketing plugins
I’ve tested countless mailing list plugins.
And that includes the free ones.
There are some lessons that I have learned the hard way.
- Most free list building plugins cost more in the long run – some require you to purchase add-ons that push the cost above a premium plugin, they lack important features or provide little to no support. All meaning that you end up wasting time and money when you didn’t have to.
- Customization options are important – this is more of a personal preference.
- You need a good all round list building plugin that can display opt-in forms in the right places.
How to pick the perfect list building plugin for you
There are a lot of different situations where certain plugins work better than others.
It’s important to understand exactly what you want to accomplish.
Below I have put together some motivations and scenarios together and which list building plugin/platform works best:
Value for money
Thrive Leads – on a feature to cost ratio, Thrive Leads wins here. You get incredible features and a form editor that allows you to customise every detail quickly.
What makes this even better is that you get lifetime updates on whichever plan you choose.
A great all round list building plugin
In my opinion, Thrive Leads is the best all round list building plugin due to value for money, features and customization options.
OptinMonster comes in a close second. Yes, it’s now a cloud app rather than just a WordPress plugin but it has all the features you need and it’s reliable.
A feature intensive mailing list plugin
Thrive Leads is the most feature intensive plugin when it comes to adding opt-in forms, customization and testing. It even has game changing features like Smart Links.
Optimize Press is a great candidate here too if you want to create landing pages that get results. The features are incredible. It comes with a theme and plugin version as well as a membership plugin.
A light weight plugin that covers multiple opt-in types
OptinMonster is very light weight but it’s now only available at a monthly or annual cost.
Thrive Leads is a great option here, includes plenty of features and is designed with speed in mind. You also get lifetime updates whichever price plan you go for.
To promote exclusive content and encourage people to click on your confirmation links
OptinLinks – This plugin will allow you to secure pages and restrict access to those who have opted in.
Users that aren’t subscribed will be urged to subscribe to gain access and once someone enters their email address they will be shown a ‘waiting for confirmation’ notification to encourage them to click the confirmation link if you’re using a double opt-in process.
While this is a VERY helpful plugin, the main attraction is the price. If you want a more robust solution, I would recommend going with LeadPages and using their LeadBoxes feature. This is what I use here on Blogging Wizard and the results are extremely impressive.
A plugin to display high converting popovers
OptinMonster is a great option but you really need the exit intent feature which is only available on $199/year or $29/month plans – I do like the benefits of it being a cloud app though. It’s handy if you have multiple sites.
Popup Domination has exit intent available on the entry level plan ($49) and is a solid popover plugin but you can’t add any other opt-in form types.
Thrive Leads is my winner here, it gives you the full set of features in their entry level plan ($49) so you can add popovers using the exit intent feature along with any other major oopt-in form types.
A plugin to easily allow you to add a Feature Box
Feature Box by Plugmatter is specifically designed to do this and has the documentation to help you get it done easily. No other plugin seems to make it all that easy to do this unless you have a widget area to add the opt-in form.
Manage opt-in forms for multiple sites
OptinMonster is my my top pick here, it’s a more robust platform and has more features. Monthly payment options are available too.
To build high converting landing pages
I use LeadPages and Optimize Press, but they both fit more specific requirements.
When I need a hosted solution or the ability to roll out tested and proven landing pages fast, I use LeadPages.
When I need a much more in depth level of customization, I use Optimize Press.
Your chance to get more email subscribers starts here
With the mailing list plugins listed above, you will be able to make it incredibly easy for your readers to subscribe to your list.
That’s the mistake that 90% of people make and by taking the first step today you will be putting yourself at a huge advantage over them.
You are in the driver’s seat.
Identify what you need, look at the options, grab the plugin and start building your list right now.
You will be glad you did.
About Adam Connell
Adam Connell is the founder of Blogging Wizard, a training hub for bloggers who want to accelerate their blog's growth. Adam's background is in marketing and used to manage a team of budding marketers at a UK based agency. Adam also co-founded Purcus.com, a blog that helps solopreneurs and bloggers to streamline their online business. When not blogging, Adam loves to eat Chinese food while watching re-runs of Firefly.