(Last Update 7 Oct 2018)
So, you need to build an email list of subscribers.
The easiest way to do this is to make it very easy for your readers to subscribe to your email list.
But, the old optin forms that come with your email service provider may not be enough.
And you might be looking for optin forms that make it easy for your audience to subscribe without annoying them, that can get triggered based on user behavior, and that come with features which can help grow your email list superfast.
Fortunately, there are many wordpress plugins which not only provide you with email opt-in functionality but also blow you away with advance features like
- Page level targeting – You can display highly relevant offers to your visitors based on post that they are interacting which increases your conversion
- Trigger Options – You can choose when and how your opt-in form appears so that you show the opt-in form at the right time to your audience
- Advanced Split test – Split test different Opt-in forms and pick the high converting one based on the test results
- Actionable Insights – Data reports to help you find out which opt-in forms are performing best
The wordpress plugins that I have shared below have been selected based on various parameters like my personal experience, the ease of use, compatibility with leading email marketing providers, value for money, and cutting edge features.
No matter what stage of business you are in, I am confident this article will help you in finding a best list building plugin to get you more email subscribers.
Best WordPress Email Subscription Plugins for List Building in 2018
OptinMonster is a popular plugin developer by WPBeginner Team. OptinMonster helps you to create beautiful high converting opt-in forms to grow your email List, start split test, create popup only for certain pages or category, and monitor your progress through analytics.
OptinMonster is cloud based where you can manage all your opt-in forms created for different websites in one place which is particularly helpful if you are a blogger/affiliate marketer managing multiple sites.
They were one of the first plugins to have exit intent popups.
If you are not aware about exit intent popups. It is a feature which lets you display opt-in forms when a visitor is about to leave your website which is great because you can present an irresistible offer in your pop-up form and convert a visitor who was about to leave your website into a subscriber.
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What’s great about OptinMonster is it’s not only limited to WordPress website, you can use this plugin in any HTML based website or website developed from other platforms.
With OptinMonster you can create upto 8 different opt-in forms which are Lightbox Popup, Full Screen Welcome Mat, Slide in Scroll Box, Floating Bar, Countdown Timer, Sidebar Forms, Inline Forms, Content Locker.
Besides, OptinMonster supports 6 ways to display your Opt-in forms
- Exit Intent Technology: Show your opt-in form when the visitor is about to leave your website.
- Scroll Trigger: Show your opt-in form after passing a defined percentage of your article because once the user scrolls down to read your article chances are high that user is interested in your article and what you are going to offer.
- MonsterLinks™ 2-Step Opt-ins : Show your opt-in form when a user clicks on a link or image so that you show the pop up only when the visitor needs them.
- Inactivity Sensor: Target Inactive visitor’s and convert them into subscribers.
- Timed Display Control: Show your opt-in form after some time so that you don’t annoy the visitor by displaying opt-in forms instantly.
- Campaign Scheduling: Run time sensitive campaigns like holiday promotion to visitor’s during specified date and time.
When you log in to their website and navigate to the dashboard you can find several high-quality opt-in form templates that you can use in your website.
What I like about them is they have made the process of creating Opt-in forms very easy and user friendly. You need not have any design skills or coding knowledge to create beautiful opt-in forms
Some of the best features of this plugin are
- All the opt-in forms designed are responsive and mobile friendly.
- You can create different opt-in forms like basic [opup opt-in, floating bars opt-in, opt-in forms only for mobile, In line Opt-in forms and Opt-in forms at the footer.
- You can easily integrate your opt-in forms with all the leading email Marketing services such as Aweber, Get Response, Mailchimp, Infusionsoft, and so on
- This plugin helps you with advance page level targeting where you can create opt-in forms when people interact with a particular content or collection of contents and then you can create personalized content to those users which again increases your conversion.
- Detailed analytics report to help you make better decision.
- Can be used as a content locker where you show premium content once users enter their email address.
- Create powerful exit intent popups to convert abandoning visitors.
- Helps you to do A/B testing without much difficulty and confusion.
- You can create time based opt-in forms where you can display opt-in form only after a certain point of time or based on how much content the user has consumed.
Unfortunately, the plugin doesn’t come with free version.
Paid plan starts with $9 per month. If you are just starting out you can go with the basic plan where you can use for 1 site and upgrade the license according to your need. Note that with basic plan you can create only one type of form which is Lightbox opt-in form
You can see different plan options available in OptinMonster in the below image
Should you go with OptinMonster plugin?
If you are a serious blogger, marketer, or an online business owner who believes in investing in your business before you get returns on it, then OptinMonster is a great choice as it offers host of features that make it easy for you to acquire new leads and customers.
Sumo is a powerful plugin which has a collection of apps to boost your website performance. Some of the apps that come with Sumo plugin are List builder, On Site Analytics, Heat maps, Social Media Share button.
Sumo’s List builder app helps you to collect email address from your audience through opt-informs. The fact that list builder app comes with other useful apps which helps to improve the overall performance of your website differentiates Sumo from other plugins.
With Sumo’s List Builder app, you can
- Collect email address from your audience
- Add call to action to point user to a specific page
- Collect push notification subscribers for visitors who are interesting in sending push notification
- Create Opt-in forms to get more Social Shares
- If you are an experienced developer you can create your own custom made opt-in forms
Sumo allows you to create different opt-in forms like Cart Casino, Basic Popup, Scroll Box, Inline form, Click Trigger Pop up, Welcome Mat, and Smart Bar.
Note that Cart Casino pop up which displays high converting pop up game and Click Trigger Pop ups which displays pop up when users clicks on a link are available only for the premium version.
Unlike OptinMonster, this plugin doesn’t have a huge number of different templates and the free version lets you use just the basic template. However, you can easily customize the fields present in opt-in form without much difficulty.
When it comes to displaying your Opt-in forms you get two options:
- One is Smart Mode where you let Sumo to decide the best place and time to show the Opt-in form.
- The second option is Manual Mode where you have lot of options and get good control over how you want to show the Opt-in forms.
With Manual Mode there are two different triggers to show your Opt-in Form
- Timed – Where you can display the pop up after a certain amount of time
- User Leaves – Where you can display the pop up when user is about to leave your site
With Sumo you can also define rules to display the pop up. For example, you can display pop up on certain pages, URL’S or post; Enable or disable pop up for mobile, desktop or screens with particular width; display pop up only for first time visitors, display pop up for visitors in a specific location and so on.
Once you install the plugin you can hover over to the blue bar present on top right side of the page and on clicking the blue bar you can access the dashboard of Sumo where you find list of apps that you can use it in your website.
You can navigate to Forms-> List Builder to create Opt-in Forums. The steps to create
Opt-informs are straightforward as you just need to follow steps 1-6 and you would have created
a high converting opt-in form in no time.
What’s great about Sumo is when you sign up, they send an email with detailed instructions
about how to setup opt-in forms within one minute which can use very useful to you if you are a complete newbie.
Some of the other features of the plugin are
- Social Share – Floating social share to encourage users to share your content.
- Image Share – You can enable social share icons just for the images.
- Highlighter – Visitors can highlight only a certain part of content to share.
- Contact Form – You can create contact form just like opt-in forms.
- Heat Maps – Helps you to track visitors click.
- Content Analytics –Helps you to track how far your visitor’s have consumed your blog post.
- Welcome Mat –Pop ups displayed over entire screen.
- Smart Bar – Simple bar you can add at the header to collect the user email address.
Sumo comes with free version and Premium version.
If you are complete newbie and you are in a tight budget I would highly recommended to go with free version.
Because free version of the plugin does the task of collecting email address(with some added features) but you would have to deal with Sumo branding in your pop up. Besides, other advanced features to design templates will be missing from the free version.
Premium version starts from $30/month which you can use upto 750 subscribers. If you don’t want any restriction with number of subscribers that you can collect then you can go with the most recommended plan which starts at $73/month
Is the SUMO plugin for you?
If I am someone starting out and if don’t want to spend money then I would definitely go with Sumo free version as you get so many other apps along with list builder app.
But, if you are experienced blogger looking to build your email list then I would highly recommend to go with plugins like OptinMonster or Thrive Leads as they have advanced features at a good price point.
You can see different plan options available in Sumo in the below image
#3. Thrive Leads
Thrive leads is a WordPress plugin developed by Thrive Themes. Thrive Leads is one of the best plugins to build your email list with advanced A/B testing features and drag & drop editor to build the Opt-in forms.
With Thrive Leads you can create upto 10 different opt-in forms like pop up Lightbox, Sticky Ribbon, 2 Step Form, Slide In opt-in form, Opt-in Widget, Screen Filler Overlay, Content Lock, Scroll Matt, Multiple Choice Forms
They have great collection of conversion optimized template with easy to use drag & drop editor powered by Thrive Architect. Thrive Architect is a WordPress page builder which allows you to create great looking pages with easy to use drag & drop editing.
Getting a powerful page builder like Thrive Architect along with Thrive Leads is a huge advantage as this is something which is not provided by other plugins in the market and it makes the job of creating beautifully designed Opt-in forms easier for you even if you don’t know anything about coding.
With Thrive Leads you can select a template for Opt-in form and regardless of where you use (For e.g.: If you decide to use the template in Widget area) the design of the template would be the same.
Thrive Leads supports 4 ways to display your Opt-in forms which are
- Exit Trigger – Show your opt-in form when the visitor is about to leave your website
- Time Trigger – Show your opt-in form after some time so that you don’t annoy the visitor by displaying opt-in forms instantly
- Scroll Trigger – Show your opt-in form after passing a defined percentage of your article because once the user scrolls down to read your article chances are high that user is interested in your article and what you are going to offer
- Click Trigger – Show your opt-in form when a user clicks on button or link so that you show the pop up only when the visitor needs them
The most impressive part of thrive leads is their A/B testing features where you can split test different kinds of opt-in forms against one another.
For example, you can find out if a widget opt-in forms or basic opt-in forms converts better and you can automatically have Thrive Leads to choose the best converting pop up once enough data has been gathered.
You can also test different opt-in triggers. For example, you can test between scroll depth trigger and exit inter trigger. This kind of advanced testing lets you to convert better.
Thrive leads also come with a new feature called Smart Links where it doesn’t show any kind of opt-in forms for people who have already subscribed to your blog making for a great user experience.
Some of the other features of this plugin are
- Advanced targeting option so that you show highly relevant opt-in forms based on user’s interaction with post, categories, page etc.
- Actionable data insights to help you make better decisions from your A/B testing.
- Integrate Opt-in forms with all the leading Email marketing providers like Aweber, Convert Kit, Get Response, MailChimp, Infusionsoft and so on.
- Allows shortcode placement to place the opt-in form in any page or post in your website.
- Draw attention to your Opt-in Forms with 22 different Animation types
Thrive leads plugin doesn’t come with free version. But what I love with Thrive leads is unlike other plugins irrespective of any plan that you select you would get all the features that are available in Thrive Leads and there are no upsells like other plugins where they charge you more to access additional features.
Instead Thrive leads charges based on the number of websites that you wish to use the plugin
on. Paid plan starts with one time fee of
- $67 – With this plan you can use the plugin one Single website
- $97 – With this plan you can use the plugin upto 5 websites
- $147 – With this plan you can use the plugin upto 15 websites
Alternatively, you can opt for their Membership plan which is a killer as you get access to Thrive Leads, Thrive Architect, a few other plugins, and all of their themes at $19 per month paid annually.
You can see different plan options available in Thrive Leads in the below image
Also Read – Best WordPress membership plugins
Should you go with Thrive Leads plugin?
Whether you just started out or are looking to scale up your blog/website, Thrive Leads should be your goto plugin as it offers the best features, easy of use, regular updates, and above all is great value for money.
Bloom is an email Opt-in plugin built by the impressive elegant themes team which makes iteasy for you to add beautiful email opt-in forms anywhere on your website.
With Bloom plugin you can create up to six different Opt-in forms like Automatic Opt-in PopUp, Automatic Opt-In Fly-Ins, Inline Opt-In Forms, Below Content Opt-In Forms, Widget Area Opt-In Forms, Require Opt-In To Unlock Content .
Coming to Opt-in templates, they have a massive 115 pre-built Opt-in forms with great design and lot of customization options for you to modify every aspect of the form like title, image, animation, fonts, borders, Custom CSS etc.
The only drawback is you don’t get visual builder like Thrive Leads to modify the templates.
They also have 3 different type of Opt-In Form Orientation where you can have the form fields in the Opt-in form displayed at the bottom of the opt-in form or to the left or to the right side of the Opt-in form.
Bloom supports 6 trigger options to help you choose when and where to display the opt-in forms
- Timed Delay – Display your opt-in form after you audience have been on a page for certain amount of time and then display the opt-in form which is a sure way to target the right audience
- Bottom of Post – Display your opt-in form at the bottom of the page so that you can provide value first and then engage with your audience through Opt-in form
- After Scrolling – Display your opt-in forms only after your audience scrolls a specific percentage of your article to increase the conversion of your opt-in form
- After Commenting – Display your opt-in form after your reader comments on a post which helps you target users who engage most with your content
- After Purchasing – Display your opt-in form after user completes a purchase so that you can provide offers & promotion to others products
- After Inactivity – Display your opt-in form when the user is inactive on a page for a long time
The only drawback with Bloom compared with other popular plugins is they don’t have exit intent trigger but they have other interesting trigger options like After Commenting trigger & After purchasing trigger which provides you with different options to convert your visitors to email subscribers.
Some of the other features of this plugin are
- Integrate Opt-in forms with 16 Email marketing providers like Aweber, MailChimp, Get Response, Infusionsoft, Constant Contact etc.
- Import and Export your Bloom Data when you are migrating to another site so you need not have to worry about losing your data .
- Mobile Friendly Opt-in forms that looks great in all the mobile devices.
- Page level Targeting to display highly relevant Opt-in forms for a specific page, post or categories
- A/B testing to help you decide the best performing Opt-in form
- Actionable Data insights that gives you real time overview of how your Opt-in forms are performing
Bloom doesn’t come with free version and is not sold separately. Bloom is available only with Elegant theme membership which costs you $89 per year or $249 for Lifetime access.
With Elegant theme membership you will get access to all the plugins and themes developed by the team which also includes access to their flagship theme Divi which is an added bonus to you
Is the Bloom plugin for you?
Since Bloom comes as a package with Themes and other useful plugins, I would highly recommend this plugin if you are starting a new WordPress website as you get everything that you need to build your website and email list without having to rely on other plugins.
#5. Pop up domination
Pop up domination plugin supports just one type of opt-in form to collect emails – Popups.
But, the plugin does an impressive job at it.
The team that created Popup domination are so confident about the plugin that they promise you to give 100% refund if you are not fully satisfied with the Plugins performance.
Compared to OptinMonster, Sumo and other Opt-in plugins, Pop up domination focusses more on display your Opt-in forms as Popups and they don’t have different types of Opt-in forms like In-line form, Sticky Ribbon, Screen Filler opt-in form which you usually get with other plugins.
Pop up domination goal is to do one thing and do it better than anyone else.
With Pop up domination, you get professional, cleaner, and high quality pre built Opt-in forms. You can fully customize the look, colors, and design of your Opt-in forms to suit your website needs to perfection.
With Pop Up Domination you get 3 trigger options to help you choose when and where to display the opt-in forms.
- Exit Popup – Display the pop up when the visitor is going to leave the website
- On Click Popup – Display your Opt-in form when your visitor clicks on a link, text or image
- Popup Triggers – Trigger your Opt-in form based on certain conditions like the amount of time spent by the visitors in your website, page views, page scroll, on page load etc
Pop Up Domination works with most of the leading Email Providers and works with every website platform as seen in below picture
Another great thing with Popup domination is they host everything on their server so that load time of your website doesn’t get affected because of their plugin.
Pop Up domination comes with tons of features like Geographical Targeting allowing you to show popups to specific countries, Page specific pop ups to display your Opt-in forms to certain pages, Show Pop ups based on the sites your traffic is coming from, and many other cool features as show below
Product Domination’s price structure is different when compared to other plugins. You don’t pay for the features instead you pay for the Pop up views.
Pop up domination starts with $9 per month for 10,000 Pop up views and increases upto to $29 per month for 1,00,000 Pop up views with all the features available to you with every plan that you select.
Is the Popup plugin for you?
If you are a beginner and if you want cost-effective plugin with great features then I would recommend you to go with this plugin.
#6. Layered Popups
Layered Popups is a WordPress plugin which offers you multilayer animated pop ups which is unlike any other plugin.
One area where Layered Popups beats all other plugins is it has killer design for all its pop up which just blows you away with how beautiful and eye catching those opt-in forms are. It comes with more than 200 professionally designed templates.
Not just with design of the pop ups but you also can create cool animations to display the pop up. For example, you can animate opt-in forms to display by sliding down, sliding up, sliding left, sliding right in your post. You can even animate the elements present inside the pop up
With Layered Popups, you can create 6 different types of Opt-in forms on your website
- Popup Lightbox – Displays your Opt-in form as a pop up to grab visitor’s attention when reading the content
- Inline Form – Display your Opt-in form within your content which can be useful for long form articles
- Sidebar Widget – Display your Opt-in form in your sidebar as a WordPress Widget
- Link Locker – Show certain links only after user subscribes through Opt-in form which can be used in E-commerce store to display the product link which has discount after user subscribes
- Content Start – Display your Opt-in form as an inline popup at the beginning of the post
- Content End – Display your Opt-in form as an inline popup at the end of the post
Layered Popups supports 7 trigger options like OnLoad Popup, OnExit Popup, OnScroll Popup, OnIdle Popup, OnClick Popup, and Adblock detector to help you choose when and where to display the opt-in forms.
Some of the other features of this plugin are:
- Font Awesome icons are supported when designing pop ups.
- Plugin is optimized for page speed.
- AdBlock detector where you can display the pop up if AdBlock is detected.
- Integrate Opt-in forms with all the leading Email marketing providers.
- Advanced page level targeting to show highly relevant opt-in forms based on user interaction with different posts.
- A/B testing and Statistics to help you decide best performing Opt-in forms.
- Compatible with WooCommerce which helps you to display your Opt-in forms for certain products or general pages.
- Social locker option to encourage the user to share your content across Social Media.
- You can use Pop us for website developed using any other platform.
- Users can subscribe to the Opt-in form through their Facebook or Google Account which increases the conversion as user doesn’t have enter any details
Should you go with Pop up domination?
If you want to collect email address from your audience by offering something different and if you want to stand out from your competition, then this plugin is your best option.
You can purchase this plugin for just $21 per website which provides so much value for your money considering how much flexibility and functionality that it provides you with creating beautiful, eye-catching & animated pop ups.
If your focus is to just collect email address from your visitors then Leadpages provides you with their entire platform which includes landing pages, webinar pages, Sales page, Opt-in forms, Leadforms to help you build your list and make more sales.
Leadpages comes with a WordPress plugin and is also available for websites built through other platforms.
If you are not aware about what landing pages are. They are web pages that allow you to capture a visitor’s information through lead form and are designed with one objective which is to turn your visitors into subscribers.
You can create a landing page to build your email list without having to host it on your own website/blog. You can host in their server which is great if you want a temporary landing page for an event or if you want to validate an idea that is in early stage of business.
What I like about Leadpages is that they have more than 300 high converting landing pages which are specific to each industry and how easy it is to create your landing pages.
For example, if you are into fitness business you can choose landing pages related to fitness category which would in turn increase your conversions.
Leadpages comes with a powerful drag and drop editor to help you design beautiful Opt-in forms and landing pages with no coding knowledge required.
Talking about Opt- in forms, Leadpages also allows you to create Opt-in forms in your website which help turn any link on your website into a link that displays a popover when clicked, boosting your conversions.
You can trigger the opt-in forms on your website through 5 methods
- Plain text link – Create a two step Opt-in form when user click on a text link in your page or post
- Button Link – Display your Opt-in form when the user clicks on a Button
- Image Link – Display your Opt-in form when the user clicks on an image
- Time Popup – Display your Opt-in form after a certain amount of time
- Exit Intent Popup – Display your Opt-in form when the user is about to leave your website
Leadpages also comes with a pretty cool feature called Leadlinks. With Leadlinks you can create a link that automatically subscribes your audience with just a single click which is particularly helpful when you want your email subscribers to register to an event or webinar.
With Leadpages you get the following features to grow your list
- High converting landing pages to enable your readers to Opt-in to your email list.
- Drag and Drop editor to fully customize landing page templates.
- Unlimited landing pages.
- You also have the option to turn landing page into a sales page by adding a checkout functionality to quickly upsell your products.
- You can also collect email leads offline through text message which is a unique feature.
- Easily setup lead magnet within your blog post by allowing you to create 2 step opt-ins with Leadboxes.
- Automatically send your lead magnets when someone joins your Email list
- Pixel Placement in your landing pages to make it easier for you to retarget.
- A/B Testing which helps to test multiple versions of landing pages or Opt-in forms.
- Smart Analytics insights to help you understand how different landing pages, Opt-in forms are performing.
- Unlimited sub domains which you can host in their server.
Leadpages starts with $37 per month for Basic Plan but price gets reduced to $25 per month paid annually & $17 per month for 2-year period.
Please note with Basic plan you don’t get important features like A/B Split Testing, Leadlinks, Unlimited Leadboxes Popup Forms, and Accepting payments from your landing page.
My recommendation would be to go with $79 per month where you get most of the advanced features available within Leadpages.
Is the Leadpages plugin for you?
I would recommend you to use Leadpages when you are making decent money from your blog/ website, have a product to sell, or you want to validate your idea by pre-selling.
#8. WP Notification Bar Pro
If you are someone who thinks pop up ads are annoying and you don’t want to clutter your website with Opt-in forms, then WP Notification Bar plugin is your best option that lets you add notification bar at the header.
WP Notification bar plugin is a lightweight plugin that allows you to add custom notifications and alerts to your website.
You can display your email opt-in form within the Notification bar as shown below which helps you with conversions whereas your opt-in forms are visible to your audience all the time covering up the content and disturbing the audience’s attention.
You can create different kinds of notification bar like
- Notification bar with only text and button to drive traffic to one of your sales page when user clicks on the button.
- Email opt-in notification Bars to collect Email Id.
- Social Media Notification bars which supports up to 18 Social Media platforms.
- Search Form Notification bar.
- Countdown timer notification bar to create scarcity.
You can customize the notification bars with unlimited colors allowing you to seamlessly blend with design of your website and all the designs are fully responsive which works great in mobile as well.
WP notification bar comes with advanced targeting option where you can display your opt-in forms for certain pages or post. You also have the option to hide the notification bar for certain pages
Other features of the plugin are
- User can add Unlimited Opt-in bar’s in their website where you can even add Opt-in bar’s one below the other.
- You can show twitter/Facebook feeds in your website.
- You can show YouTube/Vimeo Video in a Popup.
- You can add Custom HTML to create your own Opt-in forms.
- Basic Analytics to help you make better decisions.
- Page Level Targeting to show relevant opt-in forms to your visitors.
- Show Opt-in bar’s only in Mobile.
- Hide Opt-in bar for Search Engine Visitor.
WP notification bar comes with free version but unfortunately you can’t create email opt-in notification bars with the free version.
You can buy the paid version for $29 which gives you access to use the plugin for up to five websites.
Should you go with WP Notification Bar Pro?
I would highly recommend to use this plugin if you are looking for an alternate way to collect your email list without having to annoy your audience with the traditional opt-in forms.
Building an email list doesn’t have to be so hard, especially with the above list of plugins.
These plugins will definitely make it easy for the audience to subscribe to your email list, help you to build your email list faster, and improve your conversions through their advanced features.
Therefore, without much delay, chose a plugin and start building your email list like crazy.
If you know of any other awesome email list WordPress plugins, do let us know in the comments.