Are you looking for the best mailing list plugin that will help you grow your email list?
Whether you'd like a basic list building plugin for creating simple opt-in forms, or an advanced lead generation tool that is loaded with all the best features, you are in the right place.
In this post, you will find 10 of the best email list building tools.
Time to dig in!
Thrive Leads is the ultimate lead generation plugin for WordPress. It supplies you with every optin form you need, advanced reporting, high-end features, and more. If there's one I had to choose, this would be it. Easy.
OptinMonster is one of the most popular email list building tools in the WordPress community. The tool offers high-end forms with high-end features that will surely get more people on your list and improve your optin conversion rates.
Sumo offers something you rarely see in the list building and lead generation area and that is a super quality product that is free to download and use on your site.
LeadPages is easily one of the best lead generation tools right now. It's been the #1 choice for many expert marketers since 2014 or so. For good reason, too. It provides you with everything you need to build your list. Landing pages, optin forms, and more to help your conversions.
Finding a free WordPress mailing list plugin that could be a premium tool is rare. Very rare. That is what MailMunch is. Its free version has everything you need to start converting your visitors into subscribers. (Paid version offers tons more.)
Thrive Leads is a feature-heavy list building plugin from the team at Thrive Themes. It is among the highest recommended tools for lead generation. The plugin offers everything you need to build and grow a mailing list from the traffic you drive to your WordPress website.
You are given the ability to create any type of opt-in form you'd like. Not a lot of tools provide this, but Thrive Leads is one of them that gives you lightbox popovers, scroll boxes, in-content forms, and more. You will even have 2-step popovers.
One of the best things about Thrive Leads is the amount of quality opt-in form templates it gives you. For every type of form you have access to 100+ templates that are designed for maximum conversions.
You will also have access to Thrive's front-end WordPress editor—Thrive Architect. It is technically a standalone plugin, but you are able to use this very easy-to-use drag and drop tool to edit your forms.
Thrive Leads offers much more high-end features.
You've got the analytics and reporting, where it shows you how your conversion rates are doing.
You've got the a/b testing, where you can split test your opt-in forms against each other.
You've got the asset delivery, where you can send downloadable content and opt-in incentives straight to your subscribers' inboxes.
You've got the Smart Links feature, where you can customize any URL on your site and send it to your subscribers so they won't have to see you opt-in forms again.
There is more we could talk about here. But we'll save that for a proper Thrive Leads review. 🙂
OptinMonster is very similar to Thrive Leads. They offer just about the same product with the same set of high-end features.
One of the major differences, however, is OptinMonster is not a WordPress plugin anymore. It started out as one, but it was recently turned into a cloud based web app. Meaning everything is done outside your WordPress blog.
This is great for two reasons: 1) if you have multiple sites you can run everything in one place, and 2) you will have one less plugin installed on your website, making it better for performance reasons.
The best thing we like about OptinMonster is how smooth their interface face. Instead of having to click and load multiple pages OptinMonster has everything set in five tabs. This makes it super easy to create your opt-in forms. And you get a pretty great drag and drop editor too.
As for opt-in forms, you'll have access to popovers, slide-ins, fullscreen welcome mats, floating ribbon bars, and in-content boxes. That's basically every type of opt-in form you'd need. And they all have dozens of high-quality templates to choose from.
You will also have the ability to create 2-step opt-in forms using their MonsterLinks feature. This allows you to turn any text or image into a clickable link that triggers a popover.
The powerful lead generation tool comes with a ton of high-end features. The advanced display rules lets you display any form on any page you want. The trigger option lets you trigger your forms based on the amount of time, the scrolling percentage, or even when it detects exit intent or inactivity.
There is a truckload of more features we could talk about. But we'll leave that for a proper OptinMonster review. 🙂 For now, you can find more details below.
Sumo is one of the most popular list building tools out there. The best thing about Sumo is it's free to use. And you'll get access to most of its high-end features.
One of the great things about this tool is everything is done on Sumo's servers. But to connect it with your site, you will need to install the Sumo plugin.
Another thing you will probably like is you could nurture your mailing list right from your Sumo dashboard.
Sumo will keep track of every person who signs up.
And you will be able to send emails anytime you'd like.
To build your list, Sumo offers all the best types of optin forms. You've got the popup, the scroll box, the inline (in content), the welcome mat, the smart bar, and even the two-step popover (triggers when link is clicked).
We'll take a much deeper dive into the tool in a Sumo review. But for now, you should take a look at these:
LeadPages is a web-based lead generation tool similar to OptinMonster, in that everything is done outside your WordPress admin dashboard. LeadPages, however, is very different from the others on this list.
At its core, LeadPages is a landing page builder. It's one of the best in the market. Easy to use, a great selection of quality templates, and 100% customizable.
There are also two tools for opt-in forms—pop-ups and alert bars (top/bottom). Both comes with quality templates and the easy to use drag and drop builder.
We could go on and on about LeadPages. But we'll leave that for an in-depth review. 🙂
Like all the other six plugins on this list, MailMunch could be number one. It offers everything you need to convert your website visitors into email subscribers. And more.
There's the optin forms:
It may not provide a larger selection as others on this list, but these five types will surely do the trick.
The popover (popup) is one of the highest converting optin forms out there. Especially when it's used with exit-intent. And MailMunch offers this feature.
The embedded form can be used anywhere throughout your website. One way to use it with content upgrades.
For example, if you've got a blog post about the top recipes for lunch, you can create a PDF where you have all the recipes in a tidy checklist. You can then embed your form at the beginning or end of your post where your readers would see it.
And for the other three...
The topbar to convert visitors in the first few seconds, the scrollbox to convert people toward the end of their visit, and the sidebar for everyone else.
Aside from the forms, MailMunch offers another way to generate leads. Landing pages.
There are 21 templates to choose from. But only two are available in the free version - one of which is very basic.
You will also be given the ability to nurture your leads with MailMunch's broadcast and autoresponder features.
Broadcasts will let you send emails straight to your subscribers' inboxes.
Autoresponders will let you send emails the second a person subscribes to your list. This can be a welcome email or a delivery system for your incentives and content upgrades.
Now, MailMunch also offers a bunch of other cool features. But we'll save the rest for a proper MailMunch review. 🙂
Convert Pro was nowhere near our radar prior to the research for this post. But, we're glad we found it.
Why are they on this list?
First off, Convert Pro offers a wide selection of opt-in forms, each with their own templates.
The triggering options are some of the best we've ever seen. There are a few of them to choose from, but they're also very easy to configure.
The Modal Popup (lightbox popover), for instance, can be set to trigger only when visitors are about to leave your website.
Only a couple forms offer the exit intent. But there are other triggers, too. There's one where you can trigger at an X amount of seconds. There's another where you can trigger when the visitor shows inactivity for 60 seconds. And there are two more where one triggers after scrolling down a percentage of the page and the other at the end of a blog post.
Can you A/B test these forms, you ask? Yes.
However, it's not as pretty as others on this list. First, you will need to hook up your Google Analytics account with the tool so everything can be tracked.
But the test creation process is very simple. And you could have the tool automatically pick a winner after an X amount of time.
We'll publish a full ConvertPro review in the near future. You can check out the pros and cons here for now:
Bloom is the email opt-in plugin by Elegant Themes, the geniuses behind one of the most popular WordPress themes ever—Divi.
Bloom offers nearly everything the top tools offer. Such as a wide selection of form templates, A/B testing and analytics, ability to choose where your forms are displayed, and more.
With that said, there are reasons this plugin isn't in our top 5.
For one, it does not support the front-end drag and drop builder. While their editor provides a preview button and decent customization options, we believe that it isn't as powerful as Thrive Leads or OptinMonster, for example.
Another reason is it does not support exit-intent technology, which has become an essential tactic in boosting conversions.
On top of that, you cannot purchase Bloom on its own. Which may be a blessing in disguise. Elegant Themes offers all their products in their membership—which includes high-quality themes and one of the best social sharing plugins.
There are a ton of great things about Bloom also. We'll go more in-depth in our Bloom review. 🙂
MailOptin is one of those email plugins that could end up in our top 3 very soon. The right features are there. We are looking forward to seeing what the plugin becomes in the future.
It's a freemium type of plugin where you could install it straight from your WordPress dashboard via the plugins page. But like with all freemium tools, it is very limited.
One of the great things about this opt-in forms plugin is the lead nurturing feature. If you opt for the paid version you will gain access to email broadcasts where you could send newsletters straight out of WordPress.
And to actually grow your mailing list, you will have access to the essential types of opt-in forms—popovers, slide-ins, widgets, etc.
Do you want more details? Don't worry. We're going in-depth with this one in a proper MailOptin review.
WP Subscribe Pro is not like the top plugins. It''s part of the MyThemeShop suite. And it's a smaller mailing list plugin. In that it does not offer the selection of opt-in form types nor templates.
It also does not provide a drag and drop builder. But its form builder is fairly easy to use.
All in all, this is a simple list building plugin. With its cheap pricing, it's a perfect starter tool for anyone who is just starting their blog. You would get access to the pop-up box and the widget.
If you're interested in more information, you can look out our WP Subscribe Pro review.
Plugmatter's Optin Feature Box is a different plugin. Very unique to the others on this list.
This only gives you one type of opt-in form. The Feature Box.
This opt-in type is located at the top of a webpage—right below the navigation area and above the page's title/headline.
Plugmatter offers 10 templates for your feature box. Each are 100% customizable.
You can give it a try for free on their website. The design editor is simple to use.
If you would like more information we'll go more in-depth in our Plugmatter Optin Feature Box review.
We gave you ten list building tools to choose from. How the heck are you supposed to pick one that won't waste your time (and money)?
If you want nothing but quality, we'd have to recommend Thrive Leads. There's a reason why it holds the top spot. We've used it for years.
But if you cannot afford a premium opt-in plugin right now, perhaps you should give MailMunch a try.
Julian is a blogger, an affiliate, and a niche explorer. He loves everything in internet marketing. He also runs other blogs, such as AffiliMarketer. You can also find him sharing tips and resources on Twitter. Check him out.
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