I recently started getting serious about building my email list, but the process of gaining new email subscribers really worried me at first. I use AWeber for my email marketing, so I need to be able to make money with my list in order to help pay for the $20 a month price tag. It takes a bit of work to build up a list you can start making money from, but once you get 100 subscribers or so, getting people to purchase affiliate products from you is a piece of cake – assuming you are recommending good products.
When I first started using AWeber, I was using their built-in form creator because it was convenient and functioned properly without any editing. Even though they have some nicely-themed forms, I was not happy with them. They didn’t integrate into WordPress very well, customization was lacking, and they were not converting very well. In fact, after one week I only had 5 subscribers and I consider my blog fairly popular, so these free forms from AWeber were obviously not working. I needed something that would capture readers’ attention and make them want to enter their email address into the opt-in spot.
I know a lot of bloggers that use the wildly popular plugin called Popup Domination. Basically, Popup Domination includes options to create the basic popup boxes (like the one shown in the image above) to integrate with almost any mail autoresponder such as MailChimp or AWeber. I was about to purchase Popup Domination, but I came to my senses and decided that $77 for a popup box is too expensive. I began to do some research and found WP Subscribers, another WordPress plugin that creates popups almost identical to Popup Domination. In addition to just having popups, however, WP Subscribers includes opt-in forms that can be placed within posts, in the blog header, in the blog footer, or when the reader tries to exit. They also have a referral system where you can reward your readers for getting other people to sign up for your list, Facebook integration for easier signup, WordPress integration to add your users to your list, and integration with the WordPress commenting system. The biggest advantage is that WP Subscribers has all of these features for only $47.
The Basic Popup
The whole reason I was searching for this plugin was to find a decent popup plugin. Most of the free ones have terrible designs and annoy blog readers. The thing I originally liked about Popup Domination was that the popups were so elegantly designed that anyone who visited the website would just have to look at it for a second or two. What really astounded me was that the popup designs included with WP Subscribers are equally as elegant. WP Subscribers includes 12 different popup designs that you can customize with 8 different colors.
I chose to use template #5 (shown in image above) with the red color and I was able to customize it to fit my needs easily. The content area allows you to include anything from simple text to an embedded YouTube video. You can also upload images and choose where it will appear on the popup with the click of a button. It’s really simple – I had my popup up and running within 10 to 15 minutes.
The Footer Bar
One of the main things that sold me on WP Subscribers is the footer opt-in form. I tried a free plugin that claimed to offer similar results, but I wasn’t able to even get the free plugin to appear on the page properly. With WP Subscribers, it was once again very simple and I had it running in 10 minutes or so. The footer bar is a widget that slides in from the bottom of the page and stays there even if the reader scrolls down the page. I was able to upload an image, enter some text, customize the color of both the box and the submit button, and choose the animation the footer box has when it slides into the screen.
I feel that this footer opt-in form will be incredibly successful because you can’t really ignore it. People have conditioned themselves to automatically close out the basic popup boxes, but when this footer box appears on the screen, they will most likely take notice of it without automatically heading for the close button to hide it.
Advanced Settings To Prevent Annoyance
Whenever I visit a website that has a popup to join their email list on my first visit, I always close it out without paying any attention. The popup had appeared before I even read the content, so why would I want to subscribe to the blog’s newsletter? It just doesn’t make sense. The thing I like about WP Subscribers is the fact that they let you control these factors. For example, my footer opt-in box does not appear unless you have viewed 2 pages on my blog and the popup box doesn’t appear unless you’ve gone to 5 pages. This ensures that I will not be annoying first-time readers and I am only targeting people who will actually be interested in signing up to receive the newsletter.
In addition to having options for when the popups will display, they have options for when it will go away. Once you subscribe to the list, the popups should never reappear unless you clear the cookies from your web browser. Also, the footer box will only appear 3 times a week and the popup box will only show up 2 times a week. This is another measure I am taking to prevent reader annoyance.
Referral System, Facebook Integration, and More
I was really excited to see that WP Subscribers included a referral system. Simply put, your subscribers can earn points by referring others to join your list. For example, if you have an eBook that you wrote, you can offer it on your blog to subscribers who have earned 50 points. You can then set it so each subscriber will earn 10 points for each new subscriber they refer. So if Jimmy signs up for your list and wants the eBook, he will have to share the link to your opt-in page on social media to try and get 5 people to sign up via his referral link. Once he earns the 50 points, the download link will be available to him and he will get his eBook. This is a simple way to turn 1 subscriber into 6.
The Facebook integration that WP Subscribers has included makes it easier for people to opt-in. Instead of having to enter their name and email, their Facebook data (assuming that they are logged in) will automatically will these boxes in, so all they have to do is click “Subscribe” because their information is already entered. This saves your readers time and can encourage more subscribers because they don’t actually have to type anything.
WP Subscribers also includes integration with the WordPress comments system. If you choose to display it, an additional checkbox will appear in the comments area that you can make say “Subscribe to our newsletter” or something of that nature. If that box is checked when they submit the comment, it will take the email address and name they used to write the comment with and add it to your list. It’s just one more way to suck people in.
Overall, I’m really happy with my purchase of WP Subscribers. I’m using it with AWeber, but it also works with MailChimp, iContact, GetResponse, FeedBurner, and tons of other services. I have a feeling that the amount of subscribers I will gain from this plugin will quickly pay off the $47 I spent on it. Everything is so simple, nicely designed, and it is truly the only popup plugin that doesn’t annoy readers. I recommend this plugin to anyone with an email list that needs some growth.