Whether you’re a business or a blogger (or somewhere in between!) having a quality email list should be your highest priority.
Why? It’s simple.
You need to collect leads in order to build a loyal audience of readers.
Your most valuable asset, engaging with your readers can allow you to monetize your site traffic and grow your brand simultaneously.
And here’s the brilliant news: it can be seriously easy and subtle to do.
You don’t need to be a digital wizard or to fill your site with brash pop ups with every click to get the job done.
There are a bunch of awesome plugins on the market that can help you implement an attractive and professional lead generator… and they’re all so simple to use!
But which one’s for you? Well, I’ve rounded up the three tools I've used, and hopefully to help you decide which one will take your site to the next level.
Which Email List Building Tool Is Right For You?
1. SumoMe: Great For Non-Techie Bloggers + Biz Owners
SumoMe is the handy, simple and free option that is perfect especially for "non-techies". As you can see, I use it a lot!
I'm in love with this tool mainly because their apps are super easy to set up, and their pre-made designs are just beautiful. Not only they provide email list building apps, they also offer other marketing and tracking apps such as social sharing buttons, image sharer, Google analytics tracker, contact form, heat map and much more!
The only con? (not list building related though) I wish they had an automatic option to exclude their social sharing buttons on all pages (not posts) automatically. Right now, you have to manually exclude pages but it shouldn't be that big deal because it's very easy to do this.
Their main features include:
- Optins include: list builder, contact form, smart bar, leads and scroll box. You can exclude these on any pages.
- A/B testing to compare results and determine which gives a better conversion rate
- Analytics: Heat Maps and Content Analysis
- Smart email popover timing or set up your own popover timing
- Customize templates to beautify your email popup
- HTML control of popover content
- View email subscription statistics for all time
- Integrates with all major email marketing providers
- Works on several CMS (content management systems) including WordPress, Squarespace, Blogger, Tumblr, Google tag manager, Shopify + Weebly
- Social media sharers: Share, Image Sharer, Highlighter
So if you’re in the blogging game, this tool could be ideal for you. There are also options to upgrade your package and unlock more sophisticated features, so as your brand grows, so can your plugin!
SumoMe is usually for bloggers and creative business owners who need popup email forms, sharing buttons, image sharer, Google Analytics and all other tools to boost your marketing and track your performance.
2. OptinMonster: Great For Biz Owners
OptinMonster is one of the few plugins for lead generation that isn’t free; but as such, you do get more bang for your buck. It's absolutely one of my favorites!
It’s been around since 2013 and is arguably one of the most mature methods on the market. With OptinMonster, you’ve got a strong range of collection options depending on your preference as well as some really cool features that certainly make it the more professional choice.
The only con about it is they don't have an easy option to exclude optin forms on several pages (URLs). They only allow one URL to be excluded at the moment. However, you can get this fixed by adding some code on your website (if you're a techie, you can easily do this but if you're not, you may need a web developer to do this for you).
Their main features include:
- 6 different types of collection method: traditional pop-up as either a canvas or lightbox, footer bar, slide in at bottom of page, after post widget, side bar widget
- Integrates with most email marketing tools, including Mailchimp, Aweber and Campaign Monitor
- A/B testing to ensure maximum benefits: test different content, headlines, layouts and styles
- Conversion tracking: number of impressions, total conversions and conversion rate
- Superb design customization
- Smart user targeting: target specific pages, categories or even user behaviour
- Exit intent: tracks user behaviour as they browse through your website in order to detect the precise moment they are leaving to show a targeting campaign
- Beautiful designs
- Built in analytics
As you can see, it’s pretty much the all-in-one building list plugin. It does cost a hefty $199 (their basic starts at $49/year but you don't get that much pro features), so if you’re first starting out this might not be your immediate choice. However, it really does offer the full package, and its Exit Intent feature is a massive bonus.
3. Hello Bar: For The Newbies
Hello Bar was actually my first choice because of the design and their features.. until I found out that they show ads to 1 of every 10 visitors (not a fan of that). I was okay with showing their brand, but ads? I didn't think so!
So I checked their PRO plan, they charge about $15/mo - sounds good! But when I saw that they charge extra $5 for every 25,000 visits after I hit 250,000 visits...I got frustrated and backed off.
Don't get me wrong, I loved their features and all, but it wasn't just for me. Probably because I'm getting more than 250K visits per month so I wasn't sure if it's worth it. I felt like there were more apps like them that could have the same features but better offer. Then I found SumoMe. SumoMe's free option do not show ads, just their branding. If you want to get rid of their brand, there's about $10/month charge.
BUT... Hello Bar could be for you if you're just starting and you do not get that much traffic and you're OK with their ads showing (even though I would still recommend going for SumoMe, they're pretty much the same, just better features).
The wonderful thing about Hello Bar is its ability to be customized: it lets you create beautiful notification bars highlighted at the top of the screen for site visitors. You can match it up with your branding and build something gorgeous and professional looking.
Their features include:
- Customize bar design to match branding
- Set up targeting rules for specific visitors or actions
- Collect leads, direct to a certain page or guide to social channels
- Generates a custom code that can be added through a WordPress plugin or manually inserted into a theme
- Can be integrated into major autoresponder services
- Built in analytics
- Well designed optin forms - beautiful and easy to use!
Hello Bar is free up to 10 bars. The premium package costs starts at $15/month, and for this you get SSL support, no branding, RSS and Twitter feeds.
Your choice ultimately depends on how much you want to get out of your platform. If you’re after a simple and easy-to-use email collector that won’t break the bank, SumoMe ticks all the boxes. And for big brands who want the whole package? You’ll get on well with OptinMonster. If you're pretty new in the blogging world, Hello Bar could be for you (easiest plugin to set up!).
But whatever you decide, just make sure you are doing something. Email lists are crucial for the running of a successful business and/or blog, and it’s something you should not be missing out on!
Have you tried any of these tools? What do you think about it? Feel free to share your opinion in the comment area below!
Looking for email marketing tips? Here are some further resources for you!