Love them or hate them, email subscription popup plugins just do their job. And they do their job well. So well, in fact, that reports of 600% increases in conversion rates purely as a result of implementing the right email marketing strategy are not uncommon to see.
That being said, if you want to get the best WordPress popup plugin for your site, you’ll quickly find out that they are not all created equal. Or more accurately, if you get yourself a sub-par solution, you’ll only be frustrated trying to get it to fit your needs, not even mentioning delivering any worthwhile results.
So this is where today’s post comes into play:
Here, I’m comparing four of the best email subscription popup plugins in the market and naming the best WordPress popup plugin of the lineup.
Note. This comparison has been written based on first-hand experience of actually working with the plugins. However, in all honesty, I have been using some of them more extensively than the others.
Here are the features, the pros and cons, and the overall verdict on who should use each of these email subscription popup plugins for WordPress:
Which is the best WordPress popup plugin:
1. Elementor Pro (elementor.com)
Elementor is one of the most popular WordPress page builders in existence (it’s also what we use here at CodeinWP). Elementor Pro is the premium version of this plugin that, among many other features, also offers a full-powered Popup Builder.
Because Elementor is a page builder first, you’ll notice that it has the absolute most flexible, visual drag-and-drop popup builder. While other tools on this list offer drag-and-drop builders, none of ’em come close to Elementor!
However, for that same reason, Elementor isn’t as strong when it comes to analytics and A/B testing because…well, there isn’t any. So that’s kind of the tradeoff you’ll see come up a few more times – you get design freedom, but at the expense of built-in tracking.
Elementor Pro: Popup Builder – features
Elementor Popup Builder is part of the core Elementor Pro plugin – it’s not some separate feature that you need to install.
When you go to create a new popup, you can either choose from one of Elementor’s pre-built popup templates, or you can build your design from scratch:
Once you choose your starting point, you’ll be dropped into the regular Elementor page builder interface, with one new feature – a special Popup Settings area where you can adjust your popup’s…
For example, you could use this section to create a notification bar or a slide-in, rather than a traditional lightbox popup:
Beyond that, you can use all the regular Elementor widgets, access all the detailed design features, etc. This is super helpful because it means you can use your popup for pretty much anything, and it’s why Elementor is the best WordPress popup plugin from a design perspective.
For example, if you want to create an email opt-in popup, you could add the Form widget and connect it to your email marketing service. Or, you could create a CTA popup and add urgency with the Countdown widget.
Once you’re ready to publish your popup, you can configure the Publish Settings, which let you target and trigger your popups.
Beyond targeting specific WordPress content (e.g. categories, individual posts, your homepage, etc.), you can also set up detailed Triggers:
And the Advanced Rules give you more control over who sees your popups, like targeting specific referrers or limiting how often an individual user sees a popup:
Once you click Save & Close, your popup is live.
Again, the only notable downside here is the lack of any analytics or A/B testing.
Elementor Pro: Popup Builder – pros and cons
- Build your popups with a visual drag-and-drop editor
- The absolute best WordPress popup plugin when it comes to design options (because you can use the full-powered Elementor interface)
- You can use all the regular Elementor widgets (including add-on widgets added with third-party plugins, like Sizzify)
- You can create any type of popup, including lightbox, two-step, slide-ins, notification bars, etc.
- It has a solid selection of targeting and trigger rules, including an option to trigger popups by button clicks in your regular Elementor designs
- You get access to all the other Elementor Pro functionality for the same price (like theme building)
- No built-in analytics tracking
- No built-in A/B testing
Who should use Elementor Pro: Popup Builder?
Elementor Pro is the best option if you want the most control over the design and use of your popups. With Elementor Pro, you can create popups for literally everything, from email opt-ins to CTAs, login forms, contact forms, age gates…seriously – everything.
What’s more, Elementor is one of the most flexible WordPress page builders, and you get access to all the normal design and style options. So in terms of making the design your own, no other tool on this list comes close.
So if you value those two things, Elementor is going to make you happy.
However, where Elementor Pro is not the best WordPress popup plugin is when it comes to analytics and A/B testing. If you want to be able to quickly see your popups’ conversion rates right in your dashboard and/or spin up A/B tests, Elementor Pro probably isn’t for you. You can do that stuff by bringing in Google Analytics or Google Optimize, it’s just not nearly as convenient as the other tools.
Elementor Pro starts at $49 for use on a single site and ranges up to $199 for use on unlimited sites.
2. OptinMonster (optinmonster.com)
OptinMonster is the email subscription popup plugin that we’ve been using here on CodeinWP for a long time. But not only here, we also have it on JustFreeThemes, ThemeIsle and will probably roll it out onto Revive.Social too.
To summarize it in one sentence, OptinMonster just works. There’s no funny bugs, no difficult-to-comprehend features, no ugly templates, etc. With OptinMonster, you simply get the exact range of features and abilities that can help you build your email list.
In a way, OptinMonster is the Apple of email optin plugins.
OptinMonster – features
- Multiple different types of optin forms and boxes, not just popups. Plus, they support drag and drop editing.
- Built-in A/B split testing module – you can test any element of a form individually, or even put two totally different forms against one another.
- Exit intent functionality – shows a form to your visitor when they’re just about to leave the page.
- Multiple form display triggers – show a form after X seconds, after scrolling down X amount, after the visitor clicks on a link, and more.
- Built-in analytics – see your clicks, views, conversions, etc.
- Page-level targeting – show forms only on specific pages.
- Mobile popups – not just mobile-optimized standard popups, but completely custom popups for mobile devices.
- Integrates with all popular email service providers (MailChimp, AWeber, etc.).
Okay, let’s stop here with the features, even though I’m only scratching the surface. If you want to get to the bottom of everything, here’s a complete list of OptinMonster’s features.
OptinMonster – pros and cons
- Great form customization options. Once you pick a template, you can adjust pretty much everything about it. Change the images, the form fields, display a privacy statement, realign things, etc.
- You can pick who should see a given form: new users vs returning, people who have viewed X pages, visitors from a specific location, and more. Basically, you can build yourself a pretty advanced structure.
- Front-end form editing (see what your form looks like as you’re working on it).
- Form display triggers. Those work really nicely, allowing you to display a form just in the right moment (based on the user’s behavior, the amount of time on the page, how far they’ve scrolled, etc.)
- There are custom mobile popups. Most tools on the market make their forms universal and mobile-friendly, but OptinMonster goes further with their specific custom popups for mobile.
- Speaking in terms of the best WordPress popup plugin, this is not a WordPress plugin per se. I mean, the core OptinMonster tool works as an independent SaaS solution. The WordPress plugin that comes with OptinMonster is only meant to make the integration more seamless.
- Although the popup themes/templates are good-looking and there’s nothing wrong with them, there isn’t that many of them to choose from. Plus, if you don’t customize whatever theme you’ve selected, you risk that your popup is going to look the same as other people’s.
Who should use OptinMonster?
OptinMonster is the perfect solution for online marketers, bloggers, and website owners in general who not only want to get their hands on a cool email popup solution, but would also rather have all their email optin related efforts taken care of by a single tool.
OptinMonster truly stands out as the complete package for anyone for whom email marketing is an important part of their business (if not the most important part). You get all the features you’d need, everything’s easy to use and it just works. That’s why OptinMonster is no.1 – the best WordPress popup plugin – on our list.
There are four different plans – the prices start at $14 / month, and go up to $49 / month (all billed annually). More on that.
3. Sumo (sumo.com)
Sumo has earned a lot of fans basically from day one of its existence. Created by Noah Kagan, it has quickly grown to be one of the most popular website marketing solutions out there.
What sets it apart is that it takes a much broader approach rather than just focusing on email. Sumo has modules for social media, cross-site promotion (you link to other sites and they link to you), heat maps, scroll maps, and more.
Lately, Sumo has started marketing itself more towards eCommerce stores, but other sites can still benefit from its popup functionality.
Overall, it’s a complete toolkit to help your website grow, and probably the best WordPress popup plugin if your budget is zero (because it offers a free plan).
Sumo – features
The specific Sumo module that gives you email popups is called List Builder. The features:
- Display popups based on clicks, timers, or exit intent.
- More than a couple dozen popup templates/designs.
- You can adjust the colors, texts, fonts and other elements of your popups’ appearance. Plus, everything works with drag-and-drop.
- The popups are mobile-optimized.
- A/B split testing module built-in.
- Built-in analytics.
- You can show different popups based on referrer URLs. This allows you to have individual forms for people coming from Facebook, Twitter, and other sites.
- Integrates with all popular email service providers.
Setting the List Builder module aside, you can also enable a couple of complementary modules to get even more opportunities to build an email list:
- Smart Bar – display a narrow bar at the top of a page (you can put another optin form in it).
- Scroll Box – display an opt-in form when a visitor scrolls down X amount.
- Welcome Mat – display a full-screen optin form to new visitors.
Sumo – pros and cons
- Offers a great set of features free of charge. There are premium plans – more on that in a minute – but to just get the bare functional minimum, and that including the popup forms, you don’t need to pay anything.
- Front-end form editing (see what your form looks like as you’re working on it).
- The analytics are really nice and give you a good overview of what’s going on with your forms.
- You can create multiple popups, all working based on different triggers and catering to different visitors.
- You can choose whether you want to use the popup for email optins, standard call to action buttons, or social media.
- Just one popup template available in the free version.
- Just like with OptinMonster, this is not a WordPress plugin per se. Sumo is another SaaS solution with a WordPress plugin acting only as the integration layer.
Who should use Sumo?
Sumo is probably the best free email popup plugin out there, which makes it the perfect entry-level solution into serious email marketing.
I’m saying serious because Sumo has a number of advanced features and a good analytics/tracking module. Plus, it gives you multiple different types of popups to use.
Then, if you need more, you can upgrade to Sumo Pro, or transition to another paid tool.
You can get started with Sumo for free. The cheapest Pro plan is $39/month – for one site (full pricing), which is even pricier than the Pro tier of OptinMonster (and that lets you use OptinMonster on three sites).
4. Convert Pro (www.convertpro.net)
Convert Pro is an upgraded version of the popular Convert Plus plugin (which is itself a rebrand of the ConvertPlug plugin that previously occupied this space on our list).
Long story short, the developers took all the insights they learned from ConvertPlug and Convert Plus and aimed to turn them into the best WordPress popup plugin possible (that’s Convert Pro).
Convert Pro does a lot of things well. It has a visual drag-and-drop builder, tons of templates, built-in analytics, and detailed A/B testing.
In terms of functionality, you’ll notice a lot of similarities to OptinMonster. However, unlike OptinMonster, Convert Pro is a true WordPress plugin, and everything happens on your server.
Convert Pro – features
When you go to create a new popup in Convert Pro, you’ll first choose which type of popup to create from the eight available options:
From there, you can choose from a big library of templates. Many of them are focused on email opt-ins, but you can also find other uses, like generic CTAs or even age gates:
After that, you can customize your popup using the visual drag-and-drop editor. Beyond adding new content with the widgets, you can also customize the form fields if you need to collect more information:
Once you finish the design, you’ll be able to choose from a ton of triggers, including time, scroll depth, exit intent, and more.
Beyond that, you also get lots of targeting options that let you target stuff like:
- Certain content on your site
- Geo location
Other helpful features are:
- Integrations with most popular email marketing services
- Built-in analytics
- Flexible A/B testing, including the option to test different types of popups against one another
Convert Pro – pros and cons
- Visual, drag-and-drop editor that makes it easy to customize your popups
- A good selection of templates, most of which look pretty great
- You can choose from eight different popup types
- Built-in analytics
- A flexible A/B testing system to optimize your popups
- Integrations for all the major email marketing services
- I’m stretching it, but the only downside is that if you want to use it on more than one site, you can’t manage your email efforts from a single dashboard (like with OptinMonster), but instead need individual plugin installs on each site.
Who should use Convert Pro?
Convert Pro is the best WordPress popup plugin if you liked all the functionality you saw with OptinMonster, but wish it were available in a standalone WordPress plugin and for a one-time fee.
It’s just pretty “solid” all around, with no real weaknesses. The visual builder isn’t as flexible as something like Elementor Pro, but it’s good enough for most uses. Beyond that, it has a good set of templates, a strong list of targeting/trigger rules, and built-in A/B testing and analytics.
There are a few different ways to purchase Convert Pro. First, you can pay $99 to use it on unlimited sites with one year of support and updates. Or, you can pay $399 for use on unlimited sites and lifetime support and updates.
Beyond that, you can also pay $249 for the Brainstorm Force Agency Bundle which, beyond giving you access to Convert Pro, also gives you access to lots of other goodies like Astra Pro (the theme we use here at CodeinWP), Schema Pro, Ultimate Addons for Elementor/Beaver Builder, and more. Learn all about your options.
Best popup plugins for WordPress: Conclusion
I’m really curious to know what your favorite tool is, but for me, the top 4 goes like this:
- Elementor Pro – best WordPress popup plugin when it comes to design flexibility
- OptinMonster – best WordPress popup plugin as an integrated SaaS solution
- Convert Pro – best WordPress popup plugin standalone
- Sumo – best free popup plugin for WordPress
I’m fairly positive that you’re going to find your perfect tool – the one that fits your needs hand-in-glove – just by checking out these four.
What’s your take here? Did I miss anything – is there another solution that can be proudly named the best WordPress popup plugin? Also, what’s your no.1 challenge right now when it comes to email popups on your WordPress site?
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