Create and Grow an Engaged Audience

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audience_jpgConverting website visitors into subscribers may be even harder than getting traffic in the first place. The key to customer retention is the ability to grow an engaged audience. It’s a constant struggle to maintain interest, and if you can’t convert casual visitors into loyal customers you may as well close the virtual shutters.

If you’re struggling to convert visitors into subscribers and customers, what you need is a helping hand, and if you’re using WordPress, you’re in luck! There are many plugins available that can help you compel visitors to opt into your promotional systems so that you can convert them into paying customers.

In this piece, we’ll look at five plugins that convert visitors into subscribers, evaluate the merits, and tell you how to use them properly.

1. OptinMonster (From $49 per Year)

The OptinMonster homepage.

First up is OptinMonster. This popular plugin integrates with major email marketing platforms such as MailChimp and AWeber, and enables you to create popups, slide-ins, floating bars, and other types of opt-in forms. Forms are created using a drag-and-drop builder and can be split (or A/B) tested for maximum effect.

In addition, with OptinMonster you can build forms that target specific visitors, posts, pages, and categories. This lets you build segmented mailing lists. You can also use this feature to help implement behavior-initiated opt-in prompts via the Exit-Intent feature.

Bear in mind, although the OptinMonster plugin can be downloaded from the Plugin Directory for free, you will have to pay for a subscription via their website in order to access the service, and prices start from $49 per year.

In short, OptinMonster is a well-rounded solution if you want to put together beautiful lead capture forms, optimize them until they’re perfect, and do it all without hiring a developer.

2. Bloom (From $89 per Year)

The Bloom homepage.

Next up is Elegant Themes’ Bloom plugin. This plugin enables you to create gorgeous email opt-in forms which you can display in six different ways, and includes over 100 customizable templates to get you up and running straight away.

Bloom integrates with all major email marketing providers and can be used to target specific post types, categories, and pages, or specific groups of users based on location. There are also six events, such as a timed delay or “on scrolling,” which can be used to trigger the display of opt-in forms. In addition, like OptinMonster, Bloom offers split testing and reporting so you can optimize your forms to perfection.

Bloom is easier to use than the other choices on this list, and will suit those wishing to create gorgeous opt-in forms with an easy-to-navigate interface.

3. Unbounce (From $49 per Month)

The Unbounce homepage.

Rather than email opt-ins, Unbounce focuses on creating and optimizing landing pages. There are a number of templates to choose from, and you can find the perfect template by using a filterable list segregated into business categories. If you already know what you want to create, Unbounce also offers a drag-and-drop page builder for creating landing pages.

Like the other options on this list, Unbounce integrates with all major email marketing platforms, enables split testing, and offers comprehensive analytics. In addition, you can replace keywords on your landing page based on user search queries using Unbounce’s Dynamic Text Replacement functionality.

Much like OptinMonster, the Unbounce plugin can be downloaded directly from the Plugin Directory, however they will direct you to head to their website in order to purchase a subscription, which starts at $49 per month.

In summary, Unbounce is suitable for those who want to create and optimize landing pages rather than lead generation forms.

4. Thrive Leads (From $67 per Site)

The Thrive Leads homepage.

Next, we come to Thrive Leads. This plugin is one of the most well-known solutions to help you grow an engaged audience and your email list, and its feature set is impressive. Thrive Leads draws on conversion techniques developed by successful businesses and growth hackers, and enables you to create opt-in forms with a drag-and-drop builder or by selecting from pre-built styles such as sticky bars, in-line forms, and content locks.

Thrive Leads offers split testing, analytics, and visitor-specific targeting much like the other plugins we’ve covered. However, its SmartLinks feature is unique and offers a way to serve up different forms for existing subscribers. In addition, Thrive Leads offers a unique version of an exit intent opt-in form called SmartExit, which enables you to set various user-based conditions for your exit opt-in.

In a nutshell, Thrive Leads is suitable for creating visually-simplified, highly-optimized lead generation forms with several advanced options to maximize your conversion rate.

5. Sell Media Mailchimp Extension
(Sell Media & All Plugins $149/yr)

sellmedia mailchimp grow an engaged audience


Finally, we have to mention our own plugin that helps solve this problem. Our SellMedia extension for MailChimp doesn’t have a lot of the features that the other plugins have, but as it is included in the Professional subscription, it’s the most cost-effective alternative for those who are already using our products.

Let’s be clear, this is still a powerful tool. It creates a way for your users to sign up for your list as they’re making a purchase. They’re committed, they know what’s happening, and they like you enough to purchase from you. It’s the perfect time to convert a lead into a subscriber. Graph Paper Press makes up for this lack of customization by giving you the ability to integrate with MailChimp, one of the best email marketing apps out there.

Not to mention, we have a very nice tutorial right here that will walk you through the process.

Grow an Engaged Audience: Conclusion

Running a business website is a never-ending cycle of building traffic and converting visitors into subscribers and customers. Sites that succeed in this endeavor prosper, while those that don’t fall by the wayside.

There are many WordPress plugins available that can help optimize your site for conversions and help you grow an engaged audience, and in this post we’ve considered five options:

  1. OptinMonster: An all-around solution for creating lead capture forms, carrying out split tests, and poring over analytics.
  2. Bloom: For creating slick opt-ins in a range of styles with powerful user targeting.
  3. Unbounce: For building highly effective landing pages with keywords that change dynamically based on visitor search queries.
  4. Thrive Leads: A solution that takes exit prompts and visitor-specific lead generation forms to a new level.
  5. Sell Media MailChimp Extension: Make sure that your current customers become repeat customers. Offers immediate response and MailChimp is a powerful lead management and engagement tool.

How do you convert visitors into subscribers to grow your WordPress website’s audience? Tell us more in the comments section below!

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