WordPress Plugins

Top 9 Email List Building Plugins for WordPress Compared (2021)

Many online entrepreneurs take too long, if ever, to start building an email list. Perhaps they don’t understand the value of an email list to an online business. Or maybe they don’t know which email marketing service to use or how to send out email campaigns.

The real reason, however, is probably that they are unaware of the many email list building plugins for WordPress that make creating or reinventing an email list incredibly easy.

If you don’t already, you need a great email list to drive more traffic to your website and sell your products. In fact, email marketing is one of the best ways to nurture new relationships with subscribers and encourage loyal followers and customers to come back to your site time and again.

So are you ready to create appealing and highly converting opt-in forms so you can boost your email list building efforts? If so, we have just the plugins for you. Keep reading to find one that’s best for you.

But first, let’s take a look at what an email list building plugin should have in terms of design and functionality.

What to Look for in an Email List Building Plugin for WordPress

Every email list building plugin will differ when it comes to design, functionality, price, and more. That’s why it’s important you evaluate your individual needs before making a final decision, so that you choose the right email list building solution for you.

Here are some of the features you should look for in an email list building plugin:

  • Ease of Use: any time you add a new plugin to your WordPress website, you should be able to use it with ease. Complex configurations and design options seem good at first, but can make growing your email list harder than it has to be.
  • Customization: no matter what kind of subscribe box you use, or where it’s at on your website, it’s always nice to be able to match it to your overall brand and web design. Look for features that allow you to customize the font styles, color schemes, and layouts so that your site visitors know it’s a part of your brand. In addition, keep an eye out for pre-designed templates to save yourself time and get inspired.
  • Integrations: one of the most important parts of email marketing (besides collecting email addresses) is managing your contacts. It doesn’t matter which email marketing service you prefer. All that matters is that the list building plugin you choose integrates with it so when someone subscribes, their information is automatically sent to your growing email list.
  • Analytics: it’s always helpful to collect data as people subscribe so you can make actionable and data-driven decisions to improve your email marketing efforts and grow your following or business.
  • Responsive Design: you don’t want to alienate a large portion of your target audience because they can’t subscribe to your email list on their mobile device. Any email list building plugin you use should be mobile-friendly and responsive by design so that no matter the screen size, your site visitors can sign up.
  • Entry Management: even if you have your subscriber information importing automatically into your email service provider, it’s good to have a way to monitor form entries on the backend of your WordPress website. You’ll want to know when someone subscribes and easily be able to see their entry without having to leave your website.
  • Advanced Functionality: convincing people to subscribe can be tough since every website wants to grow their email list. That’s why advanced functionality such as retargeting, exit intent, popup forms, and other triggers are great for getting people to sign up at the last second. After all, once they’re gone they may never return. But if you have their email address and can reach out to them, you have another opportunity to convert a lead into a paying customer.
  • Support: as with most WordPress plugins, support is an essential feature to look for before deciding which solution is right for you. 24/7 support over multiple channels such as email, phone, and live chat is ideal.

Now that you know some of the most important features to look for in your WordPress email list building plugin, let’s take a look at the top ones in the market.

Best Mailing List Plugins for WordPress

01. Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads is an email list building plugin for WordPress that people are always talking about. In fact, Thrive Leads is easily one of the best list building plugins for WordPress.

With a one of a kind visual editor, you don’t need to tinker with code to build breathtaking opt-in forms that are can be mobile-specific. Just drag and drop elements to customize any of the over 30 opt-in form templates (including those with content upgrade functionality) and in matter of months you’ll have a huge email list.

Furthermore, you can add your opt-in forms anywhere on your WordPress blog so you can maximize your conversion rates. Using advanced targeting technology, you can use Thrive Leads to get “…massive conversion boost by showing relevant…offers to your visitors based on posts, categories, tags and more.”

You can, and more. Additionally, it’s easy to integrate Thrive Leads with your favorite email marketing service provider.

Here are some of Thrive Leads’ most notable features:

  • A/B test elements so you know exactly what to optimize for higher conversions
  • Create a popup lightbox, sticky header ribbon, in-line form within your content, content lock, screen filler, scroll mat, or slide-in form
  • Easy to use dashboard for managing entries and analytics
  • Enable 2-step opt-in functionality to reduce spam
  • Customize colors, images, backgrounds, layouts, fonts, and fields
  • Use Smart Analytics to compare opt-in forms, learn where leads come from, discover the content that produces the most leads, and much more
  • Integration with popular email providers like MailChimp, ConvertKit, and Drip

Thrive Themes, the company behind this feature-rich email list builder offers you three plans: a Single Site License for $67, 5 licenses for $97, or 15 licenses for $147. You can also become a Thrive Member for $19/month and get 25 Thrive Leads licenses and access to all other Thrive plugins and themes.

Get Thrive Leads

02. Bloom Email Opt-in Plugin for WordPress

You’ve probably heard a thing or two about Elegant Themes and their awesome products. But building awesome themes isn’t the only thing they’re known for, and Bloom is evidence enough.

This email opt-in plugin offers you the power you need to convert mere visitors into ready-to-buy customers. Featuring a refreshing unique design, your forms will look amazing and convert exceptionally well.

Curious about the features? With Bloom, you get:

  • The ability to target specific content
  • 100+ easy to customize templates
  • 6 different opt-in types: pop-up, fly-in, inline, below content, widget, and content lock
  • Opt-in triggers like timed delay, after commenting, bottom of post, and after scrolling
  • 16 email marketing integrations including AWeber, Campaign Monitor, and Mad Mimi
  • Multiple style options
  • Unlimited colors
  • Page level targeting and content locking feature
  • Import/export plugin feature
  • A/B split-testing
  • Tracking
  • Responsive design
  • An intuitive dashboard

You can get Bloom and access to Divi (our review), Monarch, & Extra by joining the Elegant Themes family for $89/year or a $249 one-time fee. You can learn more in our Elegant Themes review.

If you decide to go with a Developer’s license, use our exclusive Elegant Themes coupon for 20% off.

Get Bloom

03. OptimizePress

OptimizePress is not a typical opt-in form builder. It’s an entire suite of features that will make email marketing easy and dare we say – fun!

Business leaders such as Michael Dunlop and Melanie Duncan, among others, love and trust OptimizePress because it’s a “…new way to create high converting landing pages, sales pages and membership portals.”

To start, you can quickly create unlimited and mobile-ready landing, sales, and marketing pages using the intuitive LiveEditor system. The LiveEditor system allows you to see your forms live while building, without the need to refresh your browser.

If you don’t know where to start, you can choose any of the 300+ pre-made templates to get started. You can also customize any template easily using the Element Browser, which offers you an additional 40 custom elements.

You can integrate OptimizePress with platforms such as AWeber, MailChimp, GetResponse, 1ShoppingCart, iContact, Google Analytics, iMember, social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and much more.

Other features include:

  • Product launch funnels
  • 2-step opt-in forms and boxes
  • Access to a premium blogging system
  • Secure membership portals
  • Webinar registration pages
  • Customization of colors, image, and more
  • Payment acceptance using Stripe or PayPal
  • Free training among others
  • Conversion statistics for all your webpages
  • 1 year of support via email and updates

You can try OptimizePress risk-free with the 30-day money-back guarantee. Or you can invest in this email list building plugin for as little as $97 for the Core Package. Alternatively, you can choose the Publisher Package for $197 or Pro Package for $297.

Get OptimizePress

Learn more in our OptimizePress review.

04. Thrive Architect

Thrive Architect is an exceptional visual WordPress page builder that comes with enough tools and functionality to create custom landing pages, complete with email opt-in forms, on your WordPress website. In fact, Thrive Architect is so powerful, you can build great-looking, conversion-focused webpages on your site without having to know any code.

There are two ways to build your lead generation landing pages with Thrive Architect: using a pre-made landing page template or from scratch using the blank template. This is just one example of the flexibility this email list building plugins offers WordPress users. And the best part? When you use Thrive Architect, you can enjoy true frontend editing if you want.

In addition to this, Thrive Architect comes with these amazing features:

  • Easy to use drag and drop interface for easy page creation
  • Customize everything from font style to layout, images to color schemes
  • Hover effects to for grabbing people’s attention and getting them to subscribe
  • Instant mobile preview and ability to toggle elements and blocks on and off for mobile devices
  • Conversion-based building blocks such as CTA buttons, animated countdown times, and lead generation forms
  • Integration with third-party services like MailChimp, facebook, Infusionsoft, and more

If you want to install Thrive Architect on one WordPress website, all you have to pay is a one-time fee of $67. For $97, you’ll get Thrive Architect for 5 websites. And if you want to access all Thrive Themes plugins and themes, as well as unlimited free updates and unlimited support for life, you can become a Thrive Member for the low price of $19/month.

Get Thrive Architect

Learn more in our full Thrive Architect review.

05. Optin Forms

As the only free opt-in plugin on this list, Optin Forms is for the person who hates popups but needs an equally effective (and affordable) solution. This plugin will place non-obstructive opt-in forms anywhere on your site, without having to know any HTML or CSS.

In fact, you can create stunning opt-in forms in less than five steps. That’s right, just choose your favorite email solution, pick a form design, and add your forms to posts/pages with a simple click.

Right now, Optin Forms supports seven email marketing services: AWeber, iContact, GetResponse, Interspire, MailChimp, ConvertKit, and MadMimi. It also comes with the ability to translate your formsinto any language you want, which is great for those with a large international audience.

This plugin ships with five beautiful form designs that are fully customizable so you can build forms just the way you want. It also supports shortcodes, has an impressive rating of 4.6/5.0 and over 10k active installations.

Get Optin Forms

06. OptinMonster

With a 60-second setup time, and a slew of amazing features, OptinMonster is the list building plugin you want fueling your email marketing campaign.

Brought to you by Syed Balkhi of AwesomeMotive and Thomas Griffin of Soliloquy Slider, OptinMonster is a popup plugin on steroids.

The plugin is cloud based which means you can manage multiple opt-in forms on different sites from a central place, which is super convenient. And because this plugin is a cloud app, you can use it on any website, not just WordPress-based sites.

OptinMonster is easy to use and customize, and with more features than you could ask for, we can easily understand why over 700k websites use the plugin. Additionally, you get world-class support and documentation to help you out if you ever get stuck.

Ever since we installed OptinMonster we have seen a 240% increase in newsletter signups on Search Engine Journal. Not only have we had more signups, but the popup itself is very easy to customize and comes across as an unobtrusive way to transparently build a marketing list. – Loren Baker, Founder at Search Engine Journal.

Some of OptinMonster’s most popular features include:

  • The drag & drop OptinMonster builder
  • Analytics for monitoring real-time behavior, A/B testing, and conversion progress
  • Exit-Intent® Technology to convince people to convert right before they leave for good
  • Triggers such as scroll, inactivity, and campaign scheduling
  • The ability to add custom CSS and customize your forms
  • A variety of campaign types (lightbox popup, welcome mat, slide-in, floating bar, content locker, and more)
  • Page level and geo-location targeting
  • Support for multiple autoresponders/email marketing services

When it comes to pricing, you have plenty of options: Basic Plan for $9/month, Plus Plan for $19/month, Pro Plan for $29/month, and Growth Plan for $49/month. Adding to that, you’re protected by a 100% 14-day money-back guarantee.

Get OptinMonster

07. Ninja Popups for WordPress

People tend to hate popups. They can be intrusive and disrupt the user experience, and if they are designed haphazardly, they can give off a spammy vibe. Yet, popups are extremely effective for building email lists, especially if the plugin you’re using is as good as Ninja Popups.

Built by arscode (a power elite author) and with an impressive rating of 4.36/5.00 and over 16k sales, Ninja Popups will take your list building game to the next level. You can create professionally designed popups to convert site visitors into subscribers, offer a discount/coupon for those about to leave your site, or even lock exclusive content and require a sign up for access.

This plugin is compatible with WPML, WooCommerce, and the latest version of WordPress and all major browsers. Plus, it integrates seamlessly with popular email service providers like MailChimp, InfusionSoft, GetResponse, and social media networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Ninja Popups also comes with this amazing feature set:

  • A drag & drop Theme Builder to design your popups
  • 40 stylish popup themes to help you get started
  • An import feature for adding popups to WordPress with 1-click
  • SEO optimization and fast loading times
  • Google Analytics for event tracking
  • A/B split-testing
  • 3-step popup functionality
  • Responsive design for mobile devices
  • Unlimited styles and over 74 animations
  • Free lifetime updates
  • Customer support

Ninja Popups for WordPress will set you back $26, but it’s a worthy investment for your business.

Get Ninja Popups

08. Ninja Kick: Subscription WordPress Plugin

looks-awesome is one elite author who knows how to create an elegant and sleekly designed tool for boosting user engagement. Ninja Kick is a premium list building plugin with 4.68/5.00 stars that incorporates fun CSS3 transitions so a cool opt-in form slides into view when a site visitor activates a trigger action set by none other than you.

You can add an opt-in form anywhere on your WordPress site by attaching a class to any element (button, images, link, etc). The form will then slide in when someone clicks on that element. And since you have complete control over the opt-in form rules, you can show or hide forms based on your preferences. For instance, assign different forms to appear on certain posts or pages on your website.

With support for major email marketing services, you save yourself the time and hassle of having to input subscriber emails into your email lists manually. Plus, Ninja Kick’s responsive design makes it so anyone accessing your website can see your form and sign up, no matter how small the screen is.

Other neat features include:

  • 78 style options
  • Multiple form layouts
  • Swipe support for mobile devices
  • Google Analytics tracking
  • Additional field options: Name, Phone, City
  • User-friendly settings page for configuring design and functionality
  • 15 patterned and blurred backgrounds built-in to the core
  • Social links bar
  • Localization for languages such as English, German, Polish, and more

If Ninja Kick is the email list building plugin you want for your WordPress website, you can get it for an affordable $19.

Get Ninja Kick

09. WP Subscribe Pro

You can do everything under the sun to get visitors to your WordPress site, but even with the best content, it’s nearly impossible to convert more than 30% of the visitors into customers. Yeah that’s right, 70% of visitors exit your site never to return.

However, you can turn the tables using the WP Subscribe Pro list building plugin by our friends over at MyThemeShop. After testing this plugin on a number of sites with amazing results, the guys at MyThemeShop decided to share the plugin with the world on November 11, 2014.

You don’t have to have any coding knowledge to use this fully responsive list building plugin. And since it comes speed optimized, you can trust the speed and performance of your website will never be sacrificed as you build your email list.

WP Subscribe Pro has grown in popularity thanks to awesome features such as:

  • A fully responsive design so your popups display perfectly on all screen sizes and device types
  • Exit intent to display a popup when a site visitor is about to leave your site
  • Custom HTML and shortcode ability for advanced customizations
  • An easy-to-use options panel with live preview
  • Built-in widget support for easier opt-in form placement
  • Compatibility with popular SEO and caching plugins
  • Unlimited colors for branding your forms to match your site
  • Easy integration with MailChimp, AWeber, and Feedburner
  • Cool animations
  • Exclude pages and posts

For only $29 bucks ($19 if you buy right now), you can use WP Subscribe Pro on 1 site, get 1 year worth of updates, and enjoy 24/7/365 dedicated technical support. Plus, you can buy knowing there’s a 30-day money back guarantee in case you change your mind.

Get WP Subscribe Pro

How to Choose the Perfect List Building Plugin

We’ve covered 9 of the best email list building plugins for WordPress out there, but how do you choose the one that will suit you best?

After all, everyone’s needs are different, and what works for one person may not work another. That’s why evaluating the different options, and thinking about your long-term goals is a good idea before throwing your money at a list building solution just because.

To help you out, we’re going to look at a few situations to help you decide which solution to choose:

You’re Looking for a Lot of Features

Feature set is important to a lot of people. In fact, features often trump price, support, and ease of use for many with large websites looking to grow their email lists exponentially.

Thrive Leads offers one of the most feature-packed list building solutions in the market. With over 100 templates to choose from, 2-step opt-in forms to reduce spam submissions, and an intuitive dashboard for simple entry management, Thrive Leads is a great plugin at an affordable price.

Need a little more? Become a Thrive Member and get access to the page builder Thrive Architect, so you can handle all your lead generation needs.

Following close behind the Thrive solutions is OptinMonster. Multiple campaign types, triggers, integrations, and customization options make this list building solution a great choice for website owners of all sizes. And while it may be a little pricey compared to other list building plugins, OptinMonster’s proven track record for converting site visitors may be just what you need.

You Need the Most Value for Your Money

Things like feature set, support, and updates – all for an affordable price – are easily found in list building plugins like Thrive Leads and Bloom. Each solution gives website owners a chance to become a member and gain access to additional WordPress themes and plugins. Adding to that, premium support, lifetime updates, and tons of design and functionality baked into the core plugin make these options frontrunners.

That said, Ninja Popups for WordPress is one of the least expensive list building plugins in the market, and comes with things like A/B split testing, pre-designed theme options, cool animations, an exclusive drag & drop builder, free lifetime updates, and even multiple email and social network integrations, making this one of the best valued list building plugins around.

You’re Looking for Affordability

If all you need is a list building solution that won’t break the bank, the obvious choice is Optin Forms because it’s free. Not to mention, it comes with sufficient customization, crucial email integrations, and an easy interface that even the most beginner email marketer can use to create subscribe forms.

Don’t worry, if you need a few more features, there’s always WP Subscribe Pro, Ninja Kick, and Ninja Popups, all of which are below $30 bucks.

You Want a Unique List Building Solution

Sometimes standing out from the crowd is the best way to build a bigger email list. Luckily, plugins like OptimizePress can give you the unique twist you’re looking for.

With it, you can create highly-converting and mobile-ready landing and marketing pages that encourage poeple to sign up or buy. And since it integrates with not only your favorite email service provider, but third-party software such as social media and CRMs, management of your leads and growing email list becomes a cinch. Add in membership portals, payment acceptance, and of course great design, and you’re sure to boost conversions in no time.

Lastly, Ninja Kick offers you a way to display popups only after someone triggers one by clicking a certain button, link, or other element on your website. This way you never interrupt the user experience until your site visitor tells you too.

You’re Looking for a Multi-Site Solution

Managing subscribers across many websites can be tough. Unless you invest in a list building plugin like OptinMonster, which has a centralized dashboard for managing multiple sites at one time.

And there you have it! The best email list building plugins for WordPress so you can start building your email list now and solidifying better relationships with your site visitors – old and new.

If you need additional ways to get in touch with your site visitors, be sure to check out our in-depth comparison of the 8 best contact forms plugins for WordPress.

Have you ever used any of the above-mentioned email list building plugins for WordPress? Have we left one off the list that you feel should be included? If so, we would love to hear all about it in the comments below!

Lindsay Liedke

Lindsay is a professional writer who loves all things WordPress. When she is not writing she can be found spending family time with her son and two silly nephews!

View Comments

  • This is a very helpful post. I am looking into developing a health blog that will include multiple types of categories.

    Do any of these email list builders have the option for blog readers to pick which email notifications they are interested in receiving? For example, they may want to be notified when a post is published on weight loss but may not be interested in being notified when a post is published about back pain.

    • So glad to hear that, Amy.

      What you're trying to achieve is called tagging, and it can be done via auto-responder service such as Drip & ActiveCampaign. If you're looking for something cheaper / in-expensive (or free till 2000 subscribers), try MailChimp.

      And if you go with MailChimp, select "groups", which will add checkbox in your opt-in form. Then users can mark the check-box if they wish to receive posts from that particular group or category.

      Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions.

      Cheers!

  • Pretty useful post with handy list of plugins. I used a few of them on my client's website and pretty happy with the results.

    • Hirewpgeeks.com – IS A BIG CON - Beware!!
      I contacted this company hirewpgeeks ltd and they gave me a quote to build my website, they wanted 50% upfront and promised to have it done in 22 working days. When the deadline came and went, they started blaming each other for xyz or even me for rushing them.
      Two months went by with excuse after excuse and finally they stopped answering my calls, emails and skype.
      http://www.hirewpgeeks.com claim to be USA based on their website but I think they are all Indian based with US phone numbers. Its impossible to trace a Phonenumber listed to anyone other than the front man Chetan who answered the phone when I called. The so-called designer Ajay and Shushant the so-called project manager both don’t have phone numbers just skype addresses that they chose to reply to when it suits them.

      I realise now that It was a big con and you must not believe the good reviews you may see on the internet, they are all written by Chetan, One of the reviewers you will see is a "Tracy Jones" and as I’ve found out, this is one of the aliases they use while advertising their company, the picture they have of her is a stock photo that you can get off the internet to use for any marketing campaign...

      I think the scam is managed by Chetan, he writes tons of reviews and promises the world to unsuspecting victims like me...
      PLEASE BE WARNED.... AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE...
      You are welcome to write to me if you have any questions about my experience
      ...
      Steve

      • Hey Steve,

        Sorry to hear that. I have seen them around and never liked their marketing style, but wasn't knew they were this bad. I just looked at their about page and their is no human face or real information about where they are located, plus I have got a few requests for guest posts from Tracy Jones myself and I always thought her face looked like a stock photo :).

        So thank you Steve for sharing your experience. I hope your comment can help other users.

      • Stop spamming. "Steve" is a profile created by one of our competitors for harming our reputation. I have checked all my past client requests and I never found anyone named "Steve". We are a reputed WordPress web development company and provide outsource services. We respects out client's needs and we are a trusted company with many happy clients all over the world.

  • Thanks for posting this! I was looking for a good plugin that will integrate with GetResponse! :)

  • Hello,

    Nice post! I was planing to Optin plugin & found your post, really helpful!
    I was looking for popup on click, exit intent, hello bar & blog widget box for my website. However I found few of prices mention are not updated, below are what I found,
    Single Site License $59
    Thrive Leads $59
    Bloom $249
    OptimizePress $97
    Content Upgrades Pro $47
    Plugmatter $37 (Just for Feature Box)
    OptinMonster $49/year
    Ninja Popups $25+ $7 + $7 + $6 = $45
    Ninja Kick $19 (Just for Contact Form)
    WP Subscribe Pro $29 (Few design & integrations)
    Optin Forms Free
    convertplug $21

    Found new plugin convertplug on codecanyon while going through ninja popups.

    BTW what are you using

    • Hey Daniel,

      Thanks so much for taking time to list the updated prices here -- I'll update the post in a day or 2.

      Let me know if you are still looking for an optin form plugin.

  • Hey there,

    Thanks for your nice article on Top 9 Email List Building Plugins for WordPress. List building plugins are necessary for any business site and here your guideline of the same will be beneficial for the website owners.

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