8 Best WordPress Mailing List Plugins For List Building And Opt-ins 2018

Looking for the best mailing list plugins to help you build an email list on WordPress?

Everyone always tells you that you need to “build a list.” But if you want to actually get people to subscribe, you need a tool that helps you ask for that coveted email address!

In this post, I aim to help you pick that tool for your WordPress site. To do that, I dug into 8 popular list building plugins to provide you with all the information you need.

I'll break it down so that you can quickly see:

  • What types of forms you can create…and how you actually build them
  • How you can target and trigger your opt-ins
  • Whether or not you can view analytics and run A/B tests

And I'll also make sure to include lots of screenshots so that you can get a feel for how the interface functions.

Let's dig in!

1. Thrive Leads

Thrive Leads is a powerful list building plugin from Thrive Themes. As with any Thrive Themes product, the developers have put a ton of focus on baking in various ways to increase your opt-in forms' conversion rates, which really shows in some of the deeper features that I'll show you.

Types Of Opt-in Forms/How You Build Them

Thrive Leads gives you the power to build a variety of different opt-in types. In total, you can create:

  • Lightbox popups
  • Sticky ribbons, AKA notification bars
  • Inline forms that you can automatically display below your content or manually insert with a shortcode
  • Slide-ins
  • Screen filler overlay
  • Scroll mat
  • Content lockers
  • Sidebar widgets

For all of these form types, you can choose from a large library of pre-designed templates or start from a blank canvas:

thrive leads templates

One great thing about Thrive Leads is that you get to edit/build your forms using Thrive Architect. If you're not familiar, Thrive Architect is Thrive Themes' powerful drag-and-drop visual page builder. Read our Thrive Architect review to understand how it helps.

Basically, it makes it super easy to create customized opt-in forms using simple drag-and-drop editing – no code required:

thrive leads editor

Targeting/Triggering Options

Thrive Leads gives you a good number of options to trigger your forms. You can trigger by:

  • On page load
  • Time
  • Scroll depth or when a visitor scrolls to a specific element
  • Click (for 2-step opt-ins)
  • Exit-intent

thrive leads trigger make it one of the best mailing list plugins

Then, to target your forms, you can use detailed page-level controls that let you include/exclude specific:

  • Posts
  • Post types
  • Categories
  • Tags
  • Etc.

You can also enable/disable forms for specific devices.

Analytics And A/B Testing

Thrive Leads includes in-dashboard reports that let you see:

  • Traffic and conversion rates for individual forms
  • Aggregate traffic and conversions for all your forms so that you can see how many leads you've generated over time

thrive leads reports

Thrive Leads also includes built-in A/B testing that lets you test everything. You can even split-test different form types so that you can conclusively know once and for all whether, say, an aggressive popup is actually more effective than a slide-in.

Any Other Notable Features?

Thrive Leads has this awesome SmartLinks feature that lets you display different offers to people who have already subscribed to your list.

For a deeper look at Thrive Leads, make sure to check out our complete Thrive Leads review.

Price: Starts at $67

More Info / Download

2. OptinMonster

Originally built as a WordPress plugin, OptinMonster made the decision to move to a platform-independent SaaS tool in 2015. It still integrates tightly with WordPress thanks to a dedicated WordPress plugin, though

Types Of Opt-in Forms/How You Build Them

OptinMonster lets you create 5 core types of opt-in forms:

  • Popup
  • Fullscreen overlay
  • Slide-in
  • Floating notification bar
  • Inline opt-in

For each type, you can choose from the pre-built templates or build your form from a blank slate:

optinmonster templates

Once you choose your template, you can build your form using the brand new drag-and-drop editor. Yup – if you've already looked at OptinMonster before, you'll be happy to know that it finally has drag-and-drop form building!

optinmonster drag-and-drop editor

Targeting/Triggering Options

OptinMonster includes the most detailed targeting/triggering rules you'll find on this list.

Through its Display Rules, you can set up exactly when and where your opt-in forms display.

You can trigger using conditions like:

  • Time on page
  • Time on site (across multiple pages)
  • Exit-intent
  • Distance scrolled
  • Inactive time
  • Number of pages viewed
  • Lots more

Then, you can target by even more conditions like:

  • Device
  • New/vs returning visitor
  • URL on your site
  • Referring URL
  • Geolocation
  • Whether or not a user has opted in before
  • Visitor's ad-blocker status
  • Even more

Seriously – it's super deep. And you can even combine these conditions together in any combination possible using AND/OR rules:

optinmonster display rules

Analytics And A/B Testing

OptinMonster lets you view in-dashboard analytics but only if you sync your Google Analytics account. They are working on their own analytics feature, though.

And you can also quickly spin up a new A/B test right from your OptinMonster dashboard. While you can't A/B test different form types, you can A/B test different Display Rules, which gives you a lot of neat ways to test your opt-in forms.

Any Other Notable Features?

Like Thrive Leads, OptinMonster lets you exclude existing subscribers from seeing your opt-in forms.

Read our full OptinMonster review for a deeper look.

Price: Starts at $9 per month, billed annually

More Info / Download

3. Bloom

Bloom is a powerful mailing list plugin from Elegant Themes, which makes it an especially great value if you're already an Elegant Themes member or are interested in Elegant Themes' other products.

Types Of Opt-in Forms/How You Build Them

Bloom offers 5 different opt-in form types:

  • Popup
  • Slide-in
  • Inline or below content
  • Sidebar widget
  • Content locker

To help you style your forms, Bloom offers 100+ pre-made templates:

bloom templates

While you can customize styles and make minor changes to those templates, there's no drag-and-drop form builder like you get with Thrive Leads or OptinMonster, which is important to consider if you like tinkering.

Targeting/Triggering Options

Bloom gives you some unique options to trigger your automatic opt-in forms. First, you have the standards like:

  • Time
  • Scroll depth
  • Inactivity

But then Bloom also gives you 2 neat options for after a visitor leaves a comment or makes a purchase:

bloom triggers

The only notable exception is the lack of exit-intent triggering.

As for targeting, Bloom gives you detailed page rules that let you target specific post types, categories, etc. And you can also manually override these rules on a per-post basis if needed.

Analytics And A/B Testing

Bloom gives you in-dashboard analytics to view your forms' impressions and conversion rates.

You can also run A/B tests, but only for design elements. You cannot A/B test different form types or triggers, which makes it more limited than both Thrive Leads and OptinMonster.

Read our full Bloom plugin review for a deeper look.

Price: Available as part of the $89 Elegant Themes Membership (also gets you access to every single Elegant Themes product, including Divi)

More Info / Download Demo

4. Ninja Popups

Ninja Popups is a popular WordPress popup plugin that's sold at Code Canyon. By popular, I'm talking well over 30,000 sales at this point.

Types Of Opt-in Forms/How You Build Them

As the name suggests, Ninja Popups is focused on helping you create opt-in popups, though there actually are extensions that add support for notification bars and slide-ins.

One of the nice things about Ninja Popups is that it comes with a huge library of pre-built templates for a variety of uses (though not all are for building your email list):

ninja popups templates

And if you want to customize those templates, or build your own, you can use the included drag-and-drop visual editor. This editor is a little more barebones than what you'd find in Thrive Leads or OptinMonster, though.

And another nice thing about Ninja Popups is how many animation effects it lets you use in your designs. Currently, you have over 73 different effects to choose from.

Targeting/Triggering Options

Ninja Popups lets you trigger your popups by conditions like:

  • Time on page
  • Exit-intent
  • User inactivity
  • Page scroll depth
  • Button click (for 2-step opt-ins)

Then, you can target your popups using page-level targeting conditions.

Analytics And A/B Testing

Thanks to a recent update, Ninja Popups now supports in-dashboard conversion analytics, as well as split-testing. The split testing basically allows you to rotate different forms to see how they perform.

Price: $26

More Info / Download Demo

5. LeadPages

Like OptinMonster, Leadpages is a standalone SaaS tool that's easy to integrate with WordPress thanks to a dedicated plugin.

But unlike OptinMonster, it can help you build your mailing list in more ways than just opt-in forms.

Types Of Opt-in Forms/How You Build Them

Leadpages can help you create both dedicated landing pages and standalone forms that you can display on your regular WordPress content:

  • Leadpages – standalone landing pages that can include opt-in forms. For example, you might create a dedicated landing page for a lead magnet that you offer.
  • Leadboxes – these are popup opt-in forms that you can display anywhere on your WordPress site.

For both options, you can choose from a variety of pre-built templates or build from scratch using a drag-and-drop editor:

leadpages builder

Targeting/Triggering Options

Leadboxes are designed to be used as 2-step opt-ins, so you'll trigger/target them by having a user click on a link, image, or button.

And landing pages, obviously, don't require any special targeting/triggering rules. You just drive traffic to them!

Analytics And A/B Testing

Leadpages includes detailed in-dashboard analytics:

leadpages analytics

And you can also easily run A/B tests right from the Leadpages interface.

Any Other Notable Features?

In general, Leadpages is just a lot deeper than the other tools on this list, which is reflected in the price.

It's hard to capture this depth in a basic roundup post like this one. But if you're intrigued by the ability to quickly build and launch both landing pages and 2-step opt-ins, definitely check Leadpages out.

Price: Starts at $25 per month, billed annually

More Info / Download Demo

6. ConvertPro

ConvertPro is a list building plugin from Brainstorm Force, the same team behind the Astra theme, as well as the popular ConvertPlus plugin (another solid option).

Types Of Opt-in Forms/How You Build Them

ConvertPro lets you create a wide variety of opt-in forms, including:

  • Modal popup
  • Info/notification bar
  • Slide-in
  • Before/after content or in content
  • Widget box
  • Welcome mat
  • Full-screen overlay

To help you build those opt-in forms, ConvertPro includes a large library of ready-to-use templates:

convertpro templates

And you can also build your own designs, or customize the templates, using a detailed drag-and-drop editor:

convertpro editor

Targeting/Triggering Options

Like OptinMonster, ConvertPro lets you create one or more Rulesets that you can apply to a single opt-in.

In these rulesets, you can configure triggers like:

  • Time on page
  • Exit intent
  • Scroll depth, including after a certain element
  • Inactivity
  • On click (for 2-step opt-ins)

Then you can configure some targeting options in the Ruleset for:

  • Adblock detection
  • New vs returning visitors
  • Referrer

convertpro triggers

And the Target section also lets you target by:

  • Page/content
  • Logged-in status
  • Device

convertpro targeting

Analytics And A/B Testing

ConvertPro integrates with Google Analytics to track your forms' analytics. And while you do need to use Google Analytics to enable analytics, you can still view the data inside the ConvertPro interface (this is also how OptinMonster does it).

Beyond analytics, ConvertPro also includes detailed A/B testing and multivariate testing. In addition to testing simple design changes, you can also compare how different forms and triggers do against one another.

Any Other Notable Features?

If you're building sites for clients, you'll like that ConvertPro includes a white labeling feature so you can replace the ConvertPro branding with your own branding.

Price: $99 for use on unlimited sites

More Info / Download Demo

7. WP Subscribe Pro

WP Subscribe Pro is the premium mailing list plugin offering from MyThemeShop. It builds on the free WP Subscribe plugin to offer some helpful new functionality.

If you just want something that's basic and easy to use, it's a good option. But it doesn't match the depth of functionality you'll find in the other tools on this list.

Types Of Opt-in Forms/How You Build Them

WP Subscribe Pro helps you create three types of opt-in forms:

  • Above/below content
  • Sidebar widget
  • Popup

There's no drag-and-drop editor (actually, there's no detailed form editor period).

But you can customize all the text on your form, as well as the colors, using the plugin's settings page:

wp subscribe pro form editor

Targeting/Triggering Options

WP Subscribe Pro lets you trigger your popups by:

  • Time
  • Scroll depth
  • Exit-intent

And you can also use basic targeting to choose where your popups display. Overall, though, these targeting options are more limited than most other plugins:

wp subscribe pro targeting

Analytics And A/B Testing

WP Subscribe Pro lacks analytics or A/B testing functionality.

Price: $29

More Info / Download Demo

8. Popup Domination

Popup Domination offers a similar approach to OptinMonster in that it's a SaaS popup tool that you can easily integrate with your WordPress site.

It also offers a unique pricing structure which might make it more affordable than OptinMonster, depending on your site's stats. All the plans are full-featured – you just pay based on the number of popup views.

Types Of Opt-in Forms/How You Build Them

As you can probably guess from the name, Popup Domination helps you create…

Popup opt-in forms!

To help you do that, it includes a library of pre-built popup templates that you can choose from.

Unfortunately, there's no drag-and-drop editor to give you full control over your popups. But you can fully customize the templates':

  • Text
  • Images
  • Colors

popup domination editor

Targeting/Triggering Options

Popup Domination includes a solid list of triggers:

  • Total time on website
  • Time on page
  • Object mouse over
  • Scroll depth
  • Inactivity
  • Exit-intent
  • On-click (for 2-step opt-ins)

You also have a similarly detailed set of targeting options:

  • Page-level
  • Geotargeting
  • Referral source
  • Device

Analytics And A/B Testing

Popup Domination includes in-dashboard conversion rate analytics, as well as an easy Google Analytics integration to track your conversion rate from Google Analytics using Event Tracking.

You can also A/B test different popups against one another to help optimize your conversion rate.

Any Other Notable Features?

As I teased in the intro, one of the most unique things about Popup Domination is its pricing. You pay based on popup views and those views can be spread across multiple websites, including client sites.

So if you need an opt-in tool for multiple low-traffic sites, Popup Domination is pretty affordable.

Price: Starts at $9 per month or $69 per year for up to 10,000 popup views

More Info / Download

What Do You Think Is The Best Mailing List Plugin?

That wraps up my list! Whether you want a lightweight affordable tool or a full-service list building partner, I hope you found something useful.

And if you've played around with any of these list building tools, I'd love if you shared your thoughts on the best opt-in plugin in the comments!

Colin Newcomer

Colin Newcomer is a freelance writer for hire with a background in SEO and affiliate marketing. He helps clients grow their web visibility by writing primarily about digital marketing and WordPress. You can hire him to write for your website.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning that if you click on one of the links and purchase an item, we may receive a commission. All opinions however are our own and we do not accept payments for positive reviews.

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