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Themes & Plugins, WordPress

WordPress Subscription Plugin: 5 Best Choices For 2021

by Katarzyna Nawrocka

If you don't use a WordPress subscription plugin yet, you're missing out on quite a few advantages for your business! Introducing a subscription to your website lets you address your users directly and more personally than just inserting some content into your page. You can use it as a great marketing tool for early bird access, discount coupons, secret sales, personal questionnaires, you name it... The possibilities are endless and creative newsletter campaigns are on the rise.

Turning your traffic into money and your users into leads may sound like a challenge, but luckily, the first step is no rocket science! It's as easy as installing a WordPress plugin. In this article, I've gathered the 5 best WordPress subscription plugins so you wouldn't have to dig through the pile yourself. Let's go!

WordPress Subscription Plugin Comparison

1. OptinMonster

OptinMonster is the most advanced WordPress subscription plugin.

OptinMonster is the most advanced WordPress subscription plugin, and also the most popular choice. Its main advantage is a drag & drop builder that lets you customize the subscription popup window based on existing templates or build it from scratch with an easy codeless tool.

This plugin is a powerful tool that allows for custom campaign types and triggers: your subscription popup can show up anywhere on the page and after a specified number of seconds (or right after the page loads, if that's your preference). But my personal favorite among the features is the "Exit-Intent" Technology which tracks the cursor movement and prompts users with a targeted message at the moment they are want to leave a page.

What's more, OptinMonster allows you to create different opt-in forms in addition to pop-up windows, like expanded footers or sidebars. This can be a mighty tool to target users who don't like popups. Unfortunately, at this point, coding experience or professional help will come in handy.

OptinMonster comes in four different pricing tiers differing in features available and the number of websites the plugin can be used on. The cost starts at $14 per month.

2. Bloom

Bloom, a WordPress subscription plugin, features wonderful visuals.

Bloom Email Opt-In Plugin is another popular WordPress subscription plugin, probably due to its breathtaking design. Each of over a hundred beautiful templates is fully customizable and you can pick one out of six different display types for the subscription window. Thanks to that, you'll be able to create a popup that stays in line with your website theme, no sweat.

On top of that, Bloom includes contextual ads, widgets, and plug-in modules that block premium content away for those who don't subscribe. An important new feature is an opt-in locker which offers premium content in return for the visitor's email address.

While a lot of Bloom's features are extremely useful and the visuals are arguably easier to adjust to your existing design, the plugin lacks OptinMonster's exit-intent technology. On the other hand, the price of Bloom (starting at $89 a year) includes access to other products created by the team.

3. GetResponse

GetResponse features an intuitive visual builder.

Starting at $15 a month, GetResponse is a solid alternative to other subscription plugins. On top of its basic features, this tool is shifting towards a well-rounded experience combined with e-commerce, webinar hosting, and robust marketing including sales funnels.

GetResponse is praised for its intuitive visual builder that lets you create campaigns, customer journeys, and sophisticated automation workflows. However, its landing page creator is not as clear to navigate through and requires some fiddling around to get decent results.

When it comes to the subscription option itself, GetResponse features embedded forms that fit anywhere you'd like them to and custom-triggered popups. The solution supports small-scale businesses as well, allowing them to host simple signup forms at GetResponse's servers and share the link to it instead of building an entire landing page around it.

4. MailChimp

MailChimp is a WordPress subscription plugin that offers a generous free option.

With its free basic option, MailChimp is a WordPress subscription plugin many users consider as their first step towards building a network of subscribers. Of course, this plan has its limits and only allows for plain newsletters featuring the plugin's ad, but if you only wish to send occasional messages to a small crowd, chances are you'll be perfectly happy with it.

As well as GetResponse, MailChimp aims to be an all-in-one tool that combines subscription with CRM functionalities. Users appreciate its simple, minimal design with distinctive titles and two-factor authentication feature that stays in line with current GDPR rules.

However, this plugin's monthly limit of emails sent is a controversial step - even if many users won't ever reach it, it's a major drawback of MailChimp when compared to other plugins. Especially when combined with the fact that MailChimp counts all your contacts - even those who unsubscribed from your list - towards the limit.

5. MailPoet

MailPoet allows you to navigate through your subscriptions without exiting WordPress.

Claiming to be 'the best email plugin for WordPress', MailPoet is a simple tool with a wide range of features, including a number of different forms and easy database export & import. It's also integrated with WooCommerce, allowing you to add a sign-up form to your checkout page and create a separate customer list that'll help you adjust your email marketing to perfection using custom automation rules.

MailPoet is the first WordPress subscription plugin to offer its own web hosting for emails. By doing so, the plugin supports the users' intent to stay away from being marked as spam. It also allows you to send emails right from WordPress.

Starting at $99 a year for the premium plan, MailPoet also has a free version - while it excludes the WooCommerce integration, it's an interesting option for anyone outside this branch. That being said, MailPoet may not meet the needs of more advanced email marketers in need of sophisticated triggers and in-depth analytics. This plugin's options are quite limited and lack A/B testing features as well.

WordPress Subscription Plugin: Roundup

When choosing a subscription plugin for your business, you're in for quite a dilemma. There are plenty of options to choose from, both free and premium.

Before you decide on the best solution for you, think of your priorities, goals, and needs for this marketing solution. If you're not pushed for time, try using the demo versions of at least two plugins you're considering to see which one you like best.

A perfect WordPress subscription plugin is the one that works for you. It's the one that you can easily navigate through and has as many options, layouts, and styles to choose from as you need. Above all, though, the plugin you decide on should be reliable and equipped with basic analytics tools.

Newbies to the subscription world may prefer to start with free, yet generous MailChimp or MailPoet. Those in need of beautiful, but intuitive visuals may turn to Bloom or GetResponse. Finally, OptinMonster is a true giant - a powerful tool for anyone who's after a mighty impact and is not afraid of some extra coding.

And if you find yourself in need of something extra, our team will gladly help! We've delivered thousands of custom solutions for WordPress, so drop us a line and see what we can do!

Do you have your favorite subscription plugin for WordPress? Maybe we didn't cover it in the article? Let me know your thoughts!

Katarzyna Nawrocka

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