Top Eight Best Email Subscription Popup Plugins for WordPress (2019)

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Since the internet’s earliest days, marketers have understood the importance of cultivating an email list full of targeted, engaged subscribers. As one of the most effective ways of generating a profit online, it’s a fundamentally important component of any website’s marketing strategy.

But why are list-building and email marketing so effective?

In short, they’re highly personal ways to build a relationship with an audience. As the trust builds, that audience is more likely to buy your product.

Of course, once you’ve committed to building a list, the biggest question is: How do you get more subscribers? A great-looking optin form and a strong incentive to subscribe are vital for generating email list optins — without these, why would anyone sign up?

But, even with a nice form and compelling incentive, the most important thing of all is to give the optin form maximum visibility on your website. The more visitors who view an optin form, the more subscribers it will generate — it’s that simple.

Without doubt, the most effective way to get eyeballs on your optin form is via popups.

Popups jump out at visitors, guaranteeing maximum attention and ensuring the content gets read. This is why they’re so effective at generating conversions.

Some of you may argue that popups are intrusive and hurt the user experience, but this is only true when they’re overused. Some websites spam visitors with popups on every page, thereby giving them a bad name.

If popups are used sparingly — and in conjunction with great content — few will object, especially if you throw in a genuinely valuable signup incentive. If you use popups this way, people will want to see them, so they can subscribe to get awesome updates and freebies!

However, this isn’t a lesson on the whys and hows of using popups — I’m here to show you eight of the best WordPress popup plugins, so you can add great-looking popups to your website and grow your email list. Let’s dive in!

OptinMonster (from $144 a year)

OptinMonster

OptinMonster is the most advanced popup plugin on the market, offering a wide range of sophisticated functionality.

First off, OptinMonster is for more than just popups, letting you also create slide-ins, welcome mats, notification bars, inline forms and more.

Each type of form comes with a set of stunning templates to choose from (the exact number of templates depends on the form type). From there, you can customize every element of the form using OptinMonster’s new visual drag-and-drop builder.

You also have complete control over when the popups are displayed to visitors — this could be the moment they hit your page, after a specified number of seconds or when they reach a certain point in an article.

OptinMonster was also one of the first to adopt exit intent technology, which ensures your visitors will only see a popup when they’re about to leave your website. Since some visitors may never come back to your site, this maximizes the value of each visit.

It also supports page-level targeting, which lets you tailor your popup’s content to appeal to specific audience members based on the content of the article. And you get lots of other targeting rules for criteria, including:

  • user’s device
  • referring URL
  • geolocation
  • Adblock usage
  • …plus a lot more.

The plugin includes in-dashboard analytics, so you can quickly and easily track which popup is converting best. Within analytics, you can also set up A/B testing to continually improve conversions.

OptinMonster example

You can integrate OptinMonster with 30-plus email marketing services, including all of the big names.

A basic license will set you back $144 a year, but if you want sophisticated functionality — including A/B testing and more targeting rules — you’ll need at least the $300 Plus plan.

Official Website

Bloom (from $89)

Bloom plugin

Next up, we have another big player in the email subscription plugin market: Bloom.

Bloom is a product of the highly respected Elegant Themes (makers of Divi), and supports an intuitive, custom-built UI. You can use this interface to produce visually stunning optin forms.

This brings me on to one of Bloom’s biggest strengths: Templates. It’s not unusual for optin plugins to include templates, so what makes Bloom so special?

On one hand, it’s the quality — Bloom boasts some of the best-looking templates around. On the other hand, it’s the sheer quantity, as Bloom supports a whopping 115 prebuilt templates.

Each template is fully customizable, with loads of different border styles, full control of image orientation, and infinite colors to choose from. This allows you to craft an optin form that fits with your website’s style.

Bloom also supports six different optin form types:

  1. Popups
  2. Fly-ins
  3. Widgets
  4. Inline
  5. Below content
  6. Content Locker

This last type is particularly innovative, allowing you to offer premium content in exchange for a visitor’s email address.

Bloom types

In addition to this, Bloom gives you extensive control over where and when your optin forms are displayed. This includes a page-level targeting feature that you can use to specify which posts, pages or categories you want a specific optin form to appear on.

To avoid your optins being too intrusive for your visitors, you can also configure the perfect moment to display your forms. There are six triggers to choose from:

  • Time delay — displays after a preconfigured wait.
  • Bottom of post — detects when a visitor reaches the bottom of your post.
  • After scrolling — triggers when a visitor reaches a pre-defined point in your post.
  • After commenting — only displays after a visitor leaves a comment.
  • After purchasing — displays the optin after a visitor completes the checkout process.
  • After inactivity — recaptures a visitor’s attention after a specified period of inactivity.

There’s one notable omission: You don’t get an option to use an exit-intent trigger.

Bloom also helps you to increase conversions by using an effective A/B testing function, plus you can track all of your statistics and activity from its stylish dashboard. Bloom works with 16 email marketing services, too, with all of the major ones supported (as you’d expect).

The only downside of Bloom is that, unlike some of the other tools, there’s no drag-and-drop form builder. So, while you can fully customize the pre-existing templates, you can’t create the 100% unique designs that you can with OptinMonster and some of the other tools.

You can start using Bloom by signing up for an Elegant Themes membership. This is priced at $89 a year, but also includes access to all of Elegant Themes’ plugins and themes — including the awesome Monarch social media plugin and Divi theme/page builder plugin.

For more details, click here to read our extensive Bloom review.

Official Website

MailOptin (Free, Pro From $69)

MailOptin

MailOptin is a newer entrant to the email list-building plugin field, and comes in both a free version at WordPress.org and a premium version with a lot more functionality. I’ll focus mostly on the premium features — just remember you can check it out for free.

MailOptin allows you to create different optins, including popups, in-post forms, notification bars, slide-ins, sidebar/widgets forms and content upgrades.

It comes with a number of templates to choose from, which makes it super easy to build beautiful, high-converting forms. One downside is that it has fewer customization options, but it makes up for that with an easy custom CSS feature.

Unlike those that come with their own custom visual builder, MailOptin uses the WordPress Customizer, which you already know and love.

MailOptin Example

It ships with an A/B split testing feature that helps you to make data-driven decisions about which forms convert the best. By measuring the impact any changes have on your metrics, you can ensure each one produces positive results.

There’s also a Lead Bank feature that saves all leads in WordPress. This is particularly useful in cases where your email service provider is down, you lose your account with them, or you prefer not to use any third-party service.

Another thing that makes MailOptin unique is that it can also help you with email automation. For example, it can automatically send newsletters containing your blog posts immediately after you publish them or as a daily, weekly or monthly email digest.

MailOptin is available for free in the WordPress plugin repository. If you need more advanced features, such as the lead bank, analytics, Adblock detection, and other display rules and triggers, consider upgrading to the paid version.

Official Website

Convert Pro (from $99)

Convert Pro

Convert Pro is a standalone WordPress email subscription plugin from Brainstorm Force — the same folks behind the popular Convert Plus plugin at CodeCanyon, and the Astra theme.

In terms of functionality, Convert Pro has a lot of similarities to the OptinMonster service you saw above. However, the big difference here is that Convert Pro is a true WordPress plugin. That is, everything happens on your own server — you’re not connecting to a service’s server as you are with OptinMonster.

First off, Convert Pro lets you create a variety of different email subscription forms, with options for:

  • Popup
  • Slide-in
  • Info bar
  • Inline/in-content
  • Widget
  • Convert mat
  • Screen filler popup

For all of those different forms, you can choose from a bunch of great-looking templates. Or you can edit those templates, or build your own from scratch using the full drag-and-drop editor.

Convert Pro interface

Like OptinMonster, Convert Pro excels when it comes to controlling when and where your forms appear.

You can target your forms to specific WordPress content, devices (e.g. only mobile users), referring URLs, plus a lot more. You can even target forms based on whether or not a visitor is logged in to your WordPress site.

And to control when your forms appear, you can use triggers such as time on site, scroll depth, and that great exit intent technology that lets you wait until a visitor is about to leave.

To analyze and optimize your forms, you get in-dashboard analytics, as well as built-in A/B testing to compare different forms against one another.

Finally, Convert Pro has 35-plus integrations to ensure you’re able to sync up with your favorite email marketing service.

Convert Pro starts at $99, which is a little pricey. However, that price lets you use it on unlimited websites, which makes it a great deal if you plan to use it on multiple sites.

Official Website

Thrive Leads (From $67)

Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads is a powerful list-building plugin that comes packed with tons of optin form types, lots of targeting/triggering rules, and built-in analytics and A/B testing to help you to optimize your email subscribe forms.

Let’s start at the beginning…

Thrive Leads lets you create ten different types of email subscribe forms, all of which you can connect to your choice of a big list of email marketing services:

  1. Lightbox popup
  2. Notification bar
  3. Inline forms
  4. Two-step opt-in forms
  5. Slide-ins
  6. Widget
  7. Screen filler overlay
  8. Content locker
  9. Scroll mat
  10. Yes/No

For each form, you can choose from a bunch of premade templates or build your design from scratch. Designing forms is one of Thrive Leads’ strong points, because you get to use a stripped-down version of the visual drag-and-drop Thrive Architect page builder.

Thrive Leads example

From there, you can use laser targeting to target your forms to specific WordPress content, user devices and so on, and you also get tons of triggers to control when your forms show up, with options for:

  • time
  • scroll
  • exit intent.

Finally, Thrive Leads includes a really nice analytics dashboard to let you see your forms’ conversion rates. And you can also quickly set up A/B tests to see how different variations compare.

Thrive Leads starts at $67 for use on a single site. However, one of the nice things about Thrive Leads’ pricing structure is that you get lifetime updates. So, you’ll only need to renew your license if you want to continue receiving support after the first year.

If you’d like to learn more, check out our full Thrive Leads review.

Official Website

Icegram (FREE, or Pro From $97)

Icegram

If you’re looking for a free option, consider checking out the Icegram plugin.

For a free plugin, Icegram is surprisingly feature-rich. You can build popups, action bars (top or bottom), messenger popups and toast notifications.

If you’re looking to build a popup, you get a bunch of templates to choose from, even in the free version:

Icegram templates

There’s no visual builder, so the interface is a little tricky to get the hang of — instead, you have to build your popup using the WordPress visual editor. This is hardly a deal-breaker, but it’s not particularly user-friendly either.

The plugin does, however, make it incredibly easy to create a targeted campaign for your completed popup. You can configure when it appears (including on which pages, after how many seconds, and between what dates), and also on which devices it should be shown.

The campaign screen also lets you control all of your popups in one handy location, including other styles, such as action bars. Icegram works with all of the major email marketing services — another big plus point.

If you need more functionality, there’s a premium version that adds support for:

  • Exit intent targeting
  • User behavior targeting
  • Analytics
  • More form types, including stickies and ribbons
  • 17-plus new themes
  • A/B testing (only on the highest tier)
  • Geotargeting (only on the highest tier)

The Pro version starts at $97, but you’ll need the $147 version for A/B testing, geotargeting and some other advanced features.

Official Website

Ninja Popups ($26)

Ninja Popups

Launched in 2012, Ninja Popups has established itself as one of CodeCanyon‘s top-selling WordPress plugins of all time, with well over 34,000 paid downloads to date.

The plugin lets you build visually stunning popups using tons of prebuilt templates, called ‘themes’. Within each theme are a variety of color scheme presets, as well as several layout options. This means you can make vastly different popups using the same theme with just two mouse clicks.

You can also build your popups with different goals in mind — you can grow your email list, encourage social shares, or display videos in your popups.

To build your popups, you can use a visual, drag-and-drop editor (though I don’t find the editor to be as intuitive as other tools’ editors):

Ninja Popups editor

The finished popups look great, with a polished, professional appearance that’s very impressive for a plugin costing a one-off $26. The popups are fully responsive, too, meaning they display perfectly on mobile devices.

To control when your popups display, you get plenty of trigger options, with choices for exit intent, user inactivity, time delay, scroll depth, and more.

The plugin can be integrated with 40-plus email marketing services and CRMs, and it also includes built-in analytics and A/B testing functionality to help you to optimize your forms.

In addition to the core plugin, there are three premium Ninja Popups extensions. These allow you to add extra themes, optin bars, and widget area optin forms, and cost between $9 and $13 each.

Official Website

Hustle (FREE)

Hustle plugin

From the guys behind WPMU Dev, Hustle (formerly WordPress PopUp) is one of the most popular free popup plugins on the market, with more than 80,000 sites actively using this plugin.

This lite version is quite limited, though, only allowing you to build one email opt-in, with some additional limits on functionality and design options.

That said, if you only require a simple popup solution, Hustle is undoubtedly a good plugin. It’s lightweight and quick-loading, with a simple interface that makes it easy to create your popup.

While simple, the popups look stylish and professional right away:

Hustle example

You can integrate your popups with most popular email marketing services. Or, you can save new subscribers in your own lead bank.

To control when and where your popups display, you get lots of display rules and triggers. In fact, Hustle is one of the better free options you’ll find when it comes to targeting and trigger rules.

You can target specific content, logged-in users, user devices and so on, and to trigger your popups, you can use options for:

  • time delay
  • scroll depth
  • click
  • exit-intent
  • Adblock usage

If you like the free version of Hustle, consider upgrading to the pro version for the full experience — it’s available as part of the $49-a-month WPMU Dev membership.

Official Website

Final Thoughts

If you’re serious about building an email list — and increasing your website’s profit — then a popup plugin is a tried-and-tested solution for attracting subscribers. As long as you don’t go overboard with your popups, there’s no better way to grab a visitor’s attention and encourage a signup.

Because a good popup plugin can add a lot of value to your business, the best ones don’t come cheap. However, when you consider how much extra revenue a bigger email list can drive, the costs look insignificant, and it feels like a good investment.

However, if you just want to test the waters, there are some really good free popup plugins out there too.

All the plugins featured in this list will add stylish popups to your website. Some are more powerful than others, and they come with templates that suit different tastes, so I highly recommend you test out the demo of each plugin before choosing a favorite.

Used/using any of the above? Thoughts?

By Colin Newcomer

Colin Newcomer is a freelance writer and long-time Internet marketer. He specializes in digital marketing and WordPress. He lives a life of danger, riding a scooter through the chaos of Hanoi.
Comments (policy)
  1. Goob says:

    I’ve been using Pippity for a year now and have been thinking of switching to OptinMonster. Anybody else made the switch and liked/disliked it?

  2. Caleb Weeks says:

    Hi Shaun – would you all consider adding Bloom to this list? I’m not affiliated, just saw the other recent posts here on winningwp comparing Bloom and OptinMonster (very helpful) and then read this one, with Bloom in mind. Thanks for sharing these plugins!

  3. Joyel Coutinho says:

    I feel Icegram is the best,i have used it myself and its
    the best plugin there is,Its an All-in-one: Popups, header / footer
    bars, notifications, messengers which is absolutely free

    check it out

    yourself http://www.icegram.com

  4. Souqgrandeur says:

    I had an issue with sumome placing their badge on every page. Trying out others mentioned here.Thanks for sharing

  5. Emily Johns says:

    Nice list , But I am little confused that does design matter for those people who actually want to subscribe to your content. If someone likes my content then I don’t think pop up design or location will matter for him. I admit that subscriber box should be clearly visible to visitor but except that I feel rest will depend only with content.

    Let me know If I am missing anything.

  6. Marianne says:

    I used Bloom with icontact and it was great but my client upgraded to icontact PRO and now I can’t find any popup that integrates with the PRO version. Anyone have any ideas????

    • Thomas Filippini says:

      I’m wondering if you ever found a solution to this? I just signed up for icontact PRO but can’t connect to bloom…

  7. Nancy Gladwin says:

    Shaun: what if I’m already using Mail Chimp for my e-mail lists and I want to use the WordPress popup – will it export new subscribers to my Mail Chimp list?

  8. Andrea Juliao says:

    Hi Shaun,
    Thank you for covering Icegram. You’ve indeed written an exhaustive and helpful post.
    A minor thing I would like to highlight here, Icegram now allows you to customize the background color of the messages as well as the CTA buttons. You may want to edit your review about that.

    Anyways, great post!
    -Andrea

    • Burt Williamson says:

      I’d love to use ConvertPlug, but I don’t want to give access to my webite control panel to someone I don’t know. Chad, how do you go from the downloaded folder to WordPress on your own? There is no documentation anywhere on it that I have found.

  9. LondontoNaija says:

    I used to use the free version of Sumome but they seem to scale back their free sections to make you pay. I tried Icegram, the features are incredible and it’s free. However, I would love to try OptinMonster due to the exit technology but it is not free.

  10. Freethinker says:

    Ninja Pop Ups SUCK. We just gave up on it after a month and endless unsuccessful attempts to deal with the Ninja support team, which appears to be one guy in Poland with minimal English. Between the clunky interface, templates constantly breaking when customizing, not looking like the preview when live, inability to successfully connect to some leading CRMs and marketing automation systems this plug in is one time wasting nightmare.

    • Eric Danielson says:

      Try convertplug, its on codecanyon too. I recently switched from ninja popups to convetplug, it worked for me. Also their customer support is prompt, they had sorted conflict with my theme in less than hour.

  11. Temak says:

    Please do any of the free ones here allow for background customization so I can set an image as the background. If not, please do you know any that can do that? Really in need of one. Thank you.

  12. Gisele J Grenier says:

    anyone use Popup Ally? the pro version has lots of stuff, bit complicated though. Themify has a popup builder which I’m experimenting with. Bloom is nice, but has it’s glitches when updating an existing contact. The workaround is a bit clunky, but they’ve released a new version today, so we’ll see.

  13. Kiltie Jackson says:

    Hi there, I just loaded up SumoMe onto my WP blog account. Went all through the set up, the designing, the whole enchilada – got to the end and found out it would cost $29 a month to link it to my mailchimp account! I was not impressed. An hour and a half wasted!

  14. Sam sandy says:

    it’s was a long burning question inside me..Why people need Email Subscription Popup Plugins. I have got the straight forward answer here. Thanks for sharing it!

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