What do you look for when choosing the best WordPress plugins for list building? Ease of use? Features that will make a significant difference to your email marketing strategy? Affordable price?
In our estimation, it’s a combination of all three that make our pick of the six top list-building plugins stand out from the pack.
But why does it matter anyway? In a world of social media and content marketing, who even uses email to promote their business anymore?
As it happens, quite a few people.
Even in 2020, 93% of business-to-business marketing professionals use email as a way to drive traffic, boost engagement, and increase sales. In the US alone, those same professionals will spend over $350 million on email advertising, with more than 59% insisting that email produces the most significant return on their marketing investment.
In other words, there’s undeniable proof that email marketing works. Yet, for it to work for your business, you first need an email list.
That’s where we come in.
The Best List Building WordPress Plugins
Each one of our top six list building plugins has been tried, tested, and chosen by us because we believe they offer the most useful set of tools for persuading your visitors to opt-in your list.
With premium plans starting from only $25 per month, SendinBlue is one of the most competitively priced WordPress list building plugins out there, but don’t mistake low cost for low quality.
A feature-rich plugin designed to help you grow your list and engage your audience in a way that best suits you, this is more than your standard email newsletter plugin.
Sure, it offers a range of attractive, pre-designed templates so that you can send attention-grabbing messages that stand out, and sure, there’s a powerful email automation system that automatically triggers specific campaign actions depending on factors such as how your visitors interact with your website.
There’s also zero limits on how many messages you can send each day, and a full range of tools to help you produce the most effective email marketing campaigns possible, but there’s also so much more to it than that.
Opt for one of the more expensive $39 or $66 per month plans, and you’ll also be able to build an SMS marketing list and manage your entire SMS campaign from within the app.
Elsewhere, premium users can put SendinBlue’s easy-to-use landing page builder to work in helping then capture new leads, optimize their campaigns with A/B testing and send-time tools, and much more.
We also like that the plugin’s developers are continually working to improve it, adding new features designed to make this the only email marketing plugin you may ever need. Along with all of the above, the recently updated plugin now offers integration with a host of third-party tools such as Google Analytics, Zoho Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and more.
If you want to try SendinBlue before making a financial commitment, you’ll be pleased to know that there is a free plan. However, this limits you to 300 messages per day with the SendinBlue logo built into your messages.
That one drawback aside, this truly is an excellent value-for-money plugin for not just building your list but making the most out of it.
Beginning life as a simple plugin for capturing emails, OptinMonster has evolved into an all-encompassing Software as a Service solution and is, in our opinion, all the better for it.
Using their highly-intuitive drag-and-drop editor, you can choose from an impressive library of pre-designed templates and customize them to blend in beautifully with your website branding.
The best part about all this is that OptinMonster goes far above and beyond the standard email capture form. On the whole, there are nine different types of form to choose from, including lightbox popups, fullscreen “welcome mats,” floating notification bars, countdown timers, and more.
It’s this flexibility, coupled with the beautiful designs that make it a firm favorite, but great-looking forms aren’t all that this one has to offer.
Like SendinBlue, OptinBlue offers an excellent array of targeting options so that you can determine precisely when and where visitors are presented with your forms.
For example, you could trigger that lightbox popup to appear after a certain period of inactivity or when a visitor attempts to leave your page. You could create a specific campaign offering returning visitors a discount coupon in exchange for their email address or, or target users based on their geolocation, their device, and even whether or not they use an ad-blocker.
In terms of using your list to engage with your audience, OptinMonster integrates effortlessly with most major email marketing tools, including MailChimp, Aweber, and Hubspot.
Plans start at just $9 for a single site license, which allows you to run unlimited campaigns on sites with up to 3,500 page views and comes with essential tools such as list segmentation, page-level targeting, and subscriber recognition.
For more advanced features such as A/B testing, content locking, inactivity targeting, and more, you’ll need to opt for one of the higher-priced plans which run from $19 to $49.
At first glance, Bloom’s most significant selling point appears to be that it’s part of the Elegant Themes family. This means that signing up grants you free access to a wealth of extra tools, including popular drag-and-drop builder Divi, social media sharing plugin Monarch, and a whole lot more.
Yet even if Elegant Themes didn’t sweeten the deal with a whole host of useful extras, Bloom would still be worth your consideration.
Out of the box, you get six different types of opt-in forms, including automatic opt-in popups, fly-ins, in-line opt-in forms, and below content-forms. We especially like the ‘opt-in to unlock‘ content forms, which help you to offer ‘subscriber only’ content and hide certain parts of your site behind a paywall.
Unsurprisingly for a company renowned for its beautiful designed themes, Elegant Themes’ list-building tool offers some incredibly attractive templates. It’s fair to say that only OptinMonster comes close to rivaling Bloom in terms of design.
Not this is a case of style over substance. Bloom also holds its own in terms of functionality, featuring most of the standard targeting options that you’d expect from a plugin like this one.
You can choose to activate popups and fly-ins after visitors have been on your page for a certain length of time, after purchasing a product from your eCommerce store, or after they’ve scrolled a specific percentage of your content. You can also trigger campaign actions to slide in at the bottom of posts or after a reader post a comment.
Sadly, the one targeting option that is noticeable by its absence is the ‘exit intent’ option. Other plugins use this to trigger to display an opt-in form when a visitor goes to leave your site, and this often proves very useful in capturing new emails. Unfortunately, no such feature exists here.
On the plus side, Bloom does come with in-built A/B testing options, a feature that other plugins make you pay extra for.
At $89 per year or $249 for a lifetime subscription, Bloom certainly requires the biggest initial investment of all the plugins featured here. Yet when you consider that the yearly plan works out at just shy of $7.50, there’s no denying that it’s good value for money.
Mailoptin is a robust lead generation plugin for WordPress that enables you to manage the whole process of growing your email list from within WordPress.
While other plugins rely on drag-and-drop editors and similar tools hosted on their platforms, Mailoptin makes use of the very same WordPress Customizer that you use to edit your theme. Using the Customizer, you can modify six different types of opt-in forms, including lightbox popups, slide-ins, and floating notification bar opt-ins, as well as forms that you can use in and around your website content.
While the results may not be quite as vibrant and dynamic as those created with other tools, they do the job just as well and are an excellent choice for those who want a simple, no-frills form that prioritizes functionality over fancy design.
Mailoptin plans start at just $59 per year for a single-site license, which works out at less than $5 per month. At this level, however, you only get the essential lead generation tools. This includes not just the forms themselves, but also A/B testing and six different targeting options, including the ever-effective exit intent option to turn abandoning customers into subscribers.
If you want to make the most of those leads with email automation and newsletter tools, you’ll need to upgrade to either the $149 or $299 plan. Both of these offer the same features, with the only difference being that the $149 is restricted to three sites while the $299 can be used on as many websites as you like.
The email plugin of choice for over 300,000 WordPress websites, Mailpoet’s Woocommerce-centered approach, makes it one of the best email plugins for eCommerce store owners.
After installation, the plugin will get to work in using existing data to create a list of all your customers, even those who only access your site via a guest account. You can then add GDPR-friendly newsletter sign-ups at the checkout and other key places where users are most likely to opt-in.
If this were all that MailPoet did, it would be an excellent option for anyone serious about growing their list. However, email capture is only the beginning.
Elsewhere, you can use the plugin to create automated abandoned-cart emails to drive customers back to your site, send newsletters and personalized recommendations, as well as other conversion-boosting communications.
Sure, other list building plugins can also be used in conjunction with WooCommerce. Still, MailPoet is one of the few we’ve seen that is designed explicitly with eCommerce users in mind and proves very useful in tackling the unique list-building challenges that many online store owners face.
In terms of costs, MailPoet offers free, unrestricted access for the first 1,000 subscribers. After that, the plugin will continue to collect customer emails from you, but if you want to utilize your list, you’ll need to pay for a premium plan. Such plans are charged on a sliding scale starting at $13 per month (billed at $150 per year) for 1,250 subscribers and increasing in $4 increments for every additional 500 subscribers, all the way up to $292 per month (billed at $3,500 per year) for 70,000 subscribers.
Recently relaunched with all new features and an intuitive interface, Getsitecontrol offers multiple ways to grow your email list in one easy to use package.
Along with the regular newsletter sign-up form, you can also integrate an email opt-in into your navigation bar, include it as a slide-in box or a popup panel.
Elsewhere, Getsitecontrol offers the ability to create contact forms and customer surveys, both of which can also be tailored to include an email capture.
Speaking of tailing things, that’s really where this multipurpose lead generation tool comes into its own.
Out of the box, you’re offered multiple pre-designed templates for each type of form. Though these may be basic, they are both elegant and functional and can easily be customized to suit the look and feel of your website by changing the background colors and switching out fonts. You can also choose from an extensive library of icons, badges, and photos as well as uploading your images to make the kind of compelling email opt-ins that your visitors won’t be able to resist.
Price-wise, Getsitecontrol offers three monthly plans starting at just $9 per month for websites with 10,000 monthly views. Alternatively, you could pay $19 per month for up to 200,000 monthly reviews or $39 for up to $1,000,000.
The best part is that you don’t have to make any kind of financial commitment right away. GetSiteControl offers a free, seven-day trial so that you can test it out before making a decision.
Conclusion: Which WordPress List-Building Should I Use?
While many of the options featured in this guide will prove useful in helping you grow your email lists, some are better suited for specific purposes than others.
If you’re looking for the best list building plugin to not only build your email list but also use it to communicate with your customers, then SendinBlue is a top contender. Packing more features than any other into one affordable solution, this complete email marketing solution is ideal for anyone looking to streamline and simplify their marketing efforts while still retaining the kind of advanced tools that can make a difference when it comes to engagement.
If cost is your biggest concern, then you’ll find that MailPoet offers the best free plan of any plugin on this list with unrestricted use of all its features for up to 1,000 subscribers. MailPoet also proves to be the best option out there for eCommerce owners.
Finally, if simplicity and ease-of-use are your top priority, tools like Mailoptin are well worth a look. Though it may not be as feature-rich as other options, it does work well as a basic lead generation and list-growing platform.