You want to build an email list right? Well, if you have your own site, then adding an opt-in form to your site can be any easy way to increase the number of subscribers to your email list.
If you look at various blogs, you’ll see that people do this in many different ways. Some use lightbox popups, others place an opt-in form in their sidebars, and some choose to put them in the bottom of their posts.
Today I want to review a WordPress plugin I’ve been using on this site for a few months now, called WP Subscribers, which was created by Jenni from IntenseBlog.com.
WP Subscribers is jam packed full of features and allows you to add all different types of opt-in forms to your site including:
- Lightbox Popups
- Header/Footer Bar Opt-in forms
- In-Post Opt-in forms
- Custom Opt-in forms (place anywhere)
- Traditional Exit Popups
- HTML Exit Popups
If you have been browsing around my blog for a bit, you can see I’m using both a Lightbox Popup and a Custom Opt-in form in my sidebar. All this was done with WP Subscribers, which makes the process relatively simple to do.
Setting up WP Subscribers
WP Subscribers supports all the major email autoresponders, including AWeber (what I use), GetResponse, and MailChimp. In the Setup Opt-ins page, there’s a form where you paste in the html code from your favorite autoresponder. Then press the Detect your form code button and the plugin will extract the info it needs from your code.
The Create Opt-In forms page has tabs to create all the different types of opt-in forms. To create a Lightbox popup for example, you can choose from one of the 12 included lightbox templates. Each template also has 8 different color schemes. To put the specific content for the popup, you can insert your Popup Title and Popup Content using the free-form text areas.
The Custom Opt-in form works similarly, except there’s no templates to choose from. After inputing your form Title and Content, you have to style it yourself using the settings options. This is relatively simple, and you can also use custom CSS if you prefer. WPSubscribers includes a Custom Opt-In widget, so adding the form was just a matter of adding that widget to my sidebar.
Other Cool Features
As I mentioned, WP Subscribers is packed full of features, many which I haven’t even tried yet.
One of these is the Facebook Connect integration. This lets you add a Facebook connect button to any opt-in or on your blog and it will automatically subscribe a visitor via their FB account, without them having to directly enter their Name and Email address.
WP Subscribers also supports a list building referral system. You can make it so your subscribers get points for referring visitors to your list which they can redeem for whatever incentive you choose. If you have something good to giveaway, this can be a fantastic way have your email opt-ins grow virally.
WP Subscribers Negatives
WP Subscribers can do so many different things, but with this comes some extra complexity. The settings pages are quite filled with
options, and I think less tech savvy users may get overwhelmed when they first start using the plugin.
WP Subscribers does include a nice set of tutorials to demonstrate the various features of the plugin. Some tutorials have written step-by-step instructions which is nice, and some have video demonstrations. The videos are silent though, and I do wish Jenni would narrate them (or hire someone to narrate them) to make them easier to follow.
My biggest beef with WP Subscribers though is with its AWeber integration. The plugin doesn’t add the AWeber tracking pixel to its opt-in form, so it can’t track my form impressions inside my Aweber dashboard. Although the plugin has its own built-in analytics, I’m not a huge fan of it and I would rather look at my stats from inside my AWeber account. It seems like a weird oversight, but hopefully this gets addressed in a future version.
Popup Domination vs WP Subscribers
The biggest competition to WP Subscribers is Popup Domination by Michael Dunlop. Popup Domination is probably the most popular lightbox opt-in script out there and is used by some of the most well known bloggers. So how does WP Subscribers compare vs Popup Domination?
Well as you can probably see, WP Subscribers can do way more things then Popup Domination can. While Popup Domination is limited to lightbox popups, WP Subscribers can do that and much more. The ability of WP Subscribers to add all the different opt-in forms to your site can really do wonders for increasing the size of your email list.
That said, Popup Domination does have some nice advantages. First of all, it’s quite a bit easier to use out of the box and I think the lightbox templates are slightly more polished looking than WP Subscriber’s. It works seamlessly with AWeber in terms of tracking and it also includes a standalone version for people not using WordPress.
So which one should you choose? It really depends on your needs. If you need to be able to integrate multiple opt-in forms on your site or are interested in the Facebook connect or subscriber referral features, then go with WP Subscribers. It’s super powerful when you really delve into it.
If all you need want to use is a nice looking lightbox popup that you can setup really quickly, you may want to consider Popup Domination.
Price-wise, Popup Domination is a $47 one time fee, and can be used on unlimited sites. WP Subscribers has 2 licensing options. The first option is a 3 site license for $47. Or you can pay $97 and use it on unlimited sites.
Before you go rush out and buy any of these products though, make sure you have something valuable to give away. You need a good incentive for people to actually join your email list.
It could be as simple as a free report or maybe some software you create that you know your visitors will love. Combine this with a wordpress plugin like WP Subscribers, and you can really start to grow your email list.