The Best WordPress Mailing List Subscription Form Plugin

WordPress mailing list pluginTo build a mailing list effectively, a multipronged approach is needed. Web visitors are a bit finicky. In order to accumulate subscribers, you will have to pull them into your list from several angles. The trick is to be persistent but not annoying.

There are many methods and plugins for collecting subscribers in WordPress–all the methods and all the plugins are described below.

First, the most common methods for collecting subscribers are:

Popup opt-in form Sidebar opt-in widget In-content Opt-in Form From Comments Form & More

Popups

Sidebar Opt-in Form

In-content Opt-in Form

From Comments Form & More

Methods for Collecting Subscribers

Popup Subscription Forms

One of the most effective ways to collect subscribers is by displaying an overlay form in a popup. Popups are effective because they force your readers to interact with them. But because they are so obtrusive, they must be made very relevant and nice looking–or you will seriously risk annoying and losing your visitors forever.

That’s why we created an entire guide to help you select the best popup plugin for WordPress.

Find out all about WordPress popup opt-in forms »»

Sidebar Opt-in Forms

This is the most popular method for collecting emails–a simple email newsletter subscription form in the sidebar. While it is not as effective as popups, it’s not as potentially annoying.

Find out how to insert an email opt-in form in your sidebar here »»

In-content Opt-in Forms

Using opt-in forms that appear within the content of your WordPress page is another way to collect subscribers. The form can appear at the top or the middle of the post, if it makes sense for it to be there. But usually these forms appear at the bottom in the hopes that the reader’s next step, after browsing the page, will be to subscribe.

Find out how to insert an email opt-in form within the content of a page »»

Subscribers From Comment and Contact Forms

This is a clever way to collect subscribers. It stems from the idea that if you’re gonna ask a visitor to enter her name and email in a contact or comment or whatever form, why not also put a checkbox that asks to subscribe her to your newsletter?

The first time I’ve seen this trick implemented was through the Subscribers Magnet plugin. But since the release of that plugin, other solutions have come on the scene.

Find out how to collect subscribers through comment, contact and other forms »»

The Best Subscription Opt-in Form Plugins

Because building a newsletter audience is such an important task, plugin developers have stepped in to help publishers capture emails using various tricks. Some of the plugins included below can do sidebar widgets, in-post opt-in forms, popups, subscribers from comments, footer bar opt-in form and even more!

If you’re interested in a specific email capture method, though, there are plugins that specialize in popups or sidebar widgets–I suggest that you check those out, too.

WPSubscribers MaxBlogPress
Subscribers
Magnet
van Kooten
Newsletter
Sign-Up
Download here Download here Download here
Installation ★★★☆☆ ★★★★☆ ★★★★★
Support & docs ★★★★★ ★★★★☆ ★★★★☆
Supported opt-in forms Popups, Footer bar, Header bar, In-post, Manual, and Sidebar widget Popups, Footer bar, In-post, Manual, and Sidebar widget Manual and Sidebar widget
Design & built-in templates ★★★★★ ★★★★☆ ★★★☆☆
Comments & registration
form checkbox
★★★★★ ★★★☆☆ ★★★☆☆
Additional features Facebook integration, Optin-protected-content, Referral opt-in, Opt-in analytics, None opt-in popups and bars Form autofiller No
Refund period 60 days 60 days FREE!
The money 3-sites: $47
Unlimited: $97
$147 (unlimited) FREE!
Download here Download here Download here

WPSubscribers does everything you’d want from a subscribers plugin–it is packed with features. What’s impressive about it is that it actually works pretty well! It is affordable at only $47 for the 3-site license and $97 for the unrestricted license. Download here »»

MaxBlogPress Subscribers Magnet is the original subscribers plugin. It was one of the first plugins to do form autofiller and comments newsletter checkbox. While it doesn’t offer as many features and configurations as other plugins, it is solidly built, clean and reliable. It costs $147, though. Download here »»

Danny van Kooten’s Newsletter Sign-Up is the completely free alternative to the plugins above. It doesn’t have nearly as many features as them, but it covers the basics pretty well. It has comments and registration form newsletter checkboxes, sidebar widget, and manual in-post forms. Download here »»

If you have a question or something to contribute to this page, please be generous and comment!

(Another interesting plugin in this category is Semilogic Newsletter Manager, which is currently pending review.)

14 comments. You can post one, too!

  1. Great content and well organized. Thanks for the info!

  2. Danny van Kooten’s Newsletter Sign-Up is the plugin l was looking for, thank you very much!

  3. Hi, cool post. I have been thinking about this issue,so thanks for sharing. I?ll probably be subscribing to your blog. Keep up great writing.

  4. Nice Information!!!
    thanks a lot!!!

  5. I am trying to find a maillist/subscriber plugin that would allow me to have the following fields to fill out.

    First Name,
    Last Name,
    Email,
    City,
    Country

    Any thoughts? I also need to be able to import to over 12,000 names I already have.

    We are using a Genesis Child theme on the Genesis framework.

    Thanks,
    Tim

  6. I just started using WP Subscribers. It’s great for making your opt-in post work well. However, it really sucks at making header opt-ins or footer opt-ins at least when using the Thesis them. The footer and header opt-ins look terrible. I tried one and then the other and couldn’t keep them from looking terrible. Also, I couldn’t customize the look like I was supposed to. I tried changing the text color and it kept reverting back to the original.

  7. This was very helpful information, thank you!

  8. Gary

    Help me find a Subscriber Plugin using WP Tags (or similar taxonomy)!

    I am working my way through the 22 pages of hits on my search of Plugins, and when I came to yours, I couldn’t resist asking for help.

    The plugin Subscribe-to-Comments handles one requirement of a site that I am developing for a non-profit, but I also need a plugin that will generate plain-text or HTML email notifications (not RSS or Feedburner or other social media notifications) based on a selection of one-or-more subject-interest areas … preferably using the WP Tag taxonomy.

    The ideal solution would have a “Subscribe” button/widget that would open a screen that would require the Subscriber to leave a Username and an email address, and then select either “All” or “one-or-more” items from a list, for subsequent notifications. Preferably, the list would come from my specific and limited list of WP “Tags.”

    When each new Post is published (and assigned to one of five categories), it would also be “tagged” with items from the list and the Subscribers who selected that item would receive an email notification of the publication.

    Many of the specs I read on existing subscriber plugins suggest this capacity as a “future” innovation. Any of the plugins on you list already have this capacity?

    Many thanks,

    Gary

    • M.K.

      The plugin that comes closest to solving your problem is Tribulant Newsletter. It’s a fully fledged newsletter plugin that replaces emailing services such as MailChimp and AWeber. But, it is also capable of sending email notifications of new blog posts.

      Tribulant Newsletter allows you to create multiple mailing lists. Then have a subscription form with checkboxes for those mailing lists.

      You can manually create mailing lists to correspond with blog categories and tags. And then when you make a blog post to a specific category/tag, Tribulant Newsletter will help you send that post as an email to the desired list.

    • Gary

      Thanks for the help. Before buying and committing the time to learning one of these plugins, I have emailed WPSubscribers, van Kooten, and Tribulant Newsletters with my specifics. Hopefully, One will be a perfect fit. I will post my choice.

      Gary

    • M.K.

      Great! Yeah, please keep us updated on what you learn and find out!

  9. You may want to include “premium list magnet” ….

  10. Gianni Armandi

    Having tried these plugins, I can say that MaxBlogPress is untrustworthy and WPSubscribers is easily the best of the three. If you’re thinking of using MaxBlogPress, first go through the code (eg. with Geany) and decrypt+fix anything that’s base64-encoded. There’s a ton of garbage in there and chances are excellent that any self-respecting website owner won’t want 1000 ads for Maxblogpress scattered throughout the code… I’ll be posting a cleaned-up version on filestube just because of this nonsense.

    • I really appreciate any feedback I get on the plugins I review, but could you give us a URL to your website—otherwise people may think you have a hidden agenda or just out to trash MaxBlogPress’ reputation?

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