Here are some of the most popular opt-in form plugins:
- Optin Monster – Optin Monster (www.optinmonster.com) is a widely-used service that can place many different types of opt-ins on your website. This service integrates with all content management systems, has integrated split-testing functionality and enables you to use custom messaging on a per apge or per category basis. Optin Monster works with most all email service providers including MailChimp, AWeber, Infusionsoft, Constant Contact and 15 others. While Optin Monster is incredibly flexible and feature rich, it is one of few services that charge an ongoing monthly fee for its use. If you receive more than 500 visitors per month, it may be worthwhile to pay the $9-$29 monthly fee to use their service.
- SumoMe List Builder – SumoMe (sumome.com) offers a highly customizable list building script called List Builder that can be added to any website. List Builder works either as an entry popup or exit popup and works with most all major email service providers. SumoMe is a freemium service that allows to you use their basic tools for free, but more advanced features, such as split-testing, cost as much as $99.00 per month.
- HelloBar – HelloBar (hellobar.com) is a service that allows you to integrate a hello bar, entry popup, scroll box or welcome page on your website. The look and feel of their forms are highly customizable and are mobile friendly. HelloBar is currently a free service, but it doesn’t currently integrate with any email service providers.
- Optin Revolution – Optin Revolution (optinrevolution.com) is a WordPress plugin that will create entry and exit popups on your website. It works with most all major email service providers and has integrated split testing tools. It differentiates itself from other popup plugins by allowing users to integrate video and other rich media directly into your opt-in forms. Option Revolution Pro is available for a one-time fee of $77.00.
- Popup Domination – Popup Domination (popupdomination.com) is a WordPress plugin that will allow you to create entry and exit popups on your website. It features integrated A/B testing and analytics and allows you to show different popups on a per-page or per-category basis. Popup Domination offers very visually appealing opt-in form templates that are a step above many other opt-in form plugins. Popup Domination works with all major email service providers and is available for a one-time fee of $47.00.
- Bloom – Bloom (elegantthemes.com/plugins/bloom/) is a newer WordPress opt-in plugin created by Elegant Themes. Bloom can add an entry pop-up, footer opt-in form or sidebar opt-in form to your website. It boasts more than 100 customizable templates, has integrated A/B testing and works with most all major email service providers. Bloom is available as part of Elegant Themes membership program which costs $89.00 per year.
Which opt-in plugin is best?
There are dozens of different opt-in form plugins that you can choose from. While it would be nice to be able to recommend an opt-in form plugin that is ideally suited to everyone, there’s just not a one-size-fits-all plugin that works for everyone in every situation. Some opt-in form plugins and services are specific to a single content management system, such as WordPress or Drupal. Other opt-in plugins only create certain types of opt-in forms, such as landing pages, exit popups or entry pop-ups. I recommend looking at the marketing material for all of the opt-in plugins previously listed and find one that meets your specific needs. If your website runs WordPress, you will have a number of different opt-in form plugins to choose from. If your website is powered by another platform, you can use a cloud-based opt-in form service such as SumoMe, OptinMonster or HelloBar.
Special Considerations for Opt-in Forms
You should make sure that the opt-in form that you select doesn’t negatively impact the load speed of your website. Some opt-in plugins are written much more efficiently than others. If your opt-in plugin noticeably slows down how fast your website loads, you should probably switch to a plugin or service. You can test the impact of your opt-in form plugin on your website’s load speed using a tool called GTMetrix (www.gtmetrix.com). Test your website before installing your opt-in form using GTMetrix and test it again after putting your opt-in form in place. If the addition of your opt-in software slows down your website’s load speed by more than a second, it probably wasn’t written very efficiently.
In special situations, it may be better to have a custom opt-in form created by a front-end web developer. I personally do not use any third-party opt-in plugins on my websites. A while back, I hired a developer to create a lightweight, custom opt-in form on my website that would work as an entry popup, a footer opt-in form and a sidebar opt-in form. By having a custom script written, I was able to reduce the file size of the opt-in script from about 150K to about 12KB. This significantly improved my website’s load speed. I was also able to integrate better form validation through MailCheck.js than was available with the off-the-shelf plugin I was using previously. It will not make sense for you to have a custom opt-in script created by a web developer when you are first getting started. Many large websites still use off-the-shelf opt-in plugins. However, if you have a very popular website, need some custom functionality added to your opt-in form or are very concerned about the load speed of your website, it may make sense to use a custom opt-in form created by a web developer.