An essential part of growing your website’s audience involves using best WordPress email subscription plugin available. As you want only the best and effective way to convert your visitors into email subscribers or social media followers, as well as making it easy for them to share your content.
Thankfully for WordPress users there are countless plugins intended for WordPress mailing list building. WordPress subscription pop up plugins, optin plugins, WordPress email sign-up plugins, social share plugins…. Free and paid.
You name it, WordPress repository has it! In fact, it is quite easy to get distracted by the noise about what makes it easy to maintain and enhance your website. Your objectives vary, and so do tools created for a purpose.
In this whole confusion, it is quite hard to pick one plugin/tool that would be enough for all your list/followers building needs and most importantly, FREE.
Best Free WordPress Email Subscription Plugin
WordPress itself has huge number of free plugins that claim to do miracles. Dont fall for the first shiny, well marketed WordPress email subscription plugin. Did you know that there is a free suite of tools that you can add to your WordPress website?
By installing one or more of the tools from this collection, you can make your website not only better at collecting email addresses, but also more effective at generating leads and social shares.
Not only that, but the other tools in this package also give you the ability to gain a better insight into how your visitors are interacting with your website and its content.
Through these tools you can find out where your visitors are clicking on your website, and also how far they are scrolling down your pages. This tools if used correctly can help WordPress website/blog get more visitors and improve conversion rates.
I am talking about SumoMe list building tools. But is SumoMe best free WordPress email subscription plugin/social share tool/leads generator/analytics tool…?
List Building With SumoMe
While SumoMe and its tools can be used on any website, WordPress users are particularly lucky as they can simply install the free core plugin. You can either install the WordPress plugin, or add 2 lines of code in the header of your page.
Once it’s been activated, you will need to register your site in order to claim your free account. Luckily, this only takes up couple minutes. There isn’t much to do on plugin page apart from click the Get new site ID button.
You then control what tools you want to use with control panel. SumoMe installs a small hidden button on the web page from where you can access the panel (hide it by paying $5/mo), and shows the brand logo in their tools (costs $100 per year to hide this).
In the Sumo Store, the apps are divided by type, including both the free and premium options. You can then choose which apps to enable on your website. After which, you can access the customization options to configure the modules for your site.
The apps or tools that make up the SumoMe package are being constantly updated and added.
At the time of writing this, there are nine free options to choose from (paid options also available): Pop up email opt-in form, Scroll Box, Smart Bar, Social media sharing buttons, Image Sharer, Text Highlighter, Content Analytics, Heat Maps, Contact Form.
The highlights of SumoMe are the email newsletter growth tools. This includes the List Builder and Scroll Box apps which make SumoMe one of best free WordPress email subscription plugin.
Of course this options can be found in various other available free and paid WordPress optin plugins like Featured Optin Box, Optin Monster, Icegram, Ninja Popups, Pippity, Thrive Leads, Convert Pro, etc.
The email popup form triggers are very advanced. This means, depending on your predefined settings, the forms won’t be displayed until the perfect moment. This results in better conversion number of signups from your readers, without annoying them in the process.
If you want to grow your email list and turn your one-time visitors into subscribers, the List Builder module is an effective and free way to add popup opt-in forms to a WordPress website.
While growing your email subscriber list is important, ensuring your website is working as an effective goal converting machine is perhaps even more important.
This makes the Content Analytics and Heat Maps apps very valuable. The Content Analytics app will show you exactly how far your visitors are scrolling down each of the pages on your website.
While it is ambitious to think that your visitors read every word of your articles, there is a good chance a large number of them are bouncing off pages before they get to the end.
Knowing where most of your visitors spend time is very important. With this information, you can then position your calls to actions properly in the locations that will receive the most views.
This will give your visitors the opportunity to read your content before being presented with call to action. Call to action can be is a link to buy product, subscribe to email list, or anything you can think of.
The Heat Maps app gives you insights on most clicked parts of your site. When using Heat Mapping tools, it’s always interesting to discover which page elements your visitors are clicking on that aren’t links.
By adding links to those areas that are being clicked, you can easily divert more of your visitors to the pages they are looking for.
What’s The Catch With SumoMe?
While most of the tools available from SumoMe are free (there are pro versions too), there is one slight catch. If you don’t want to display the SumoMe logo to your visitors then you have to pay a one-time fee of $10 to remove it.
The logo isn’t very noticeable, but it probably isn’t ideal for a professional website. However, if you are using one or more of these tools and are running a website that generates revenue in the form of sales, advertisements, or new clients, then $10 is a small price to pay for what you get.
List Building, Social Shares, Analytics Modules in SumoMe
The modules are essentially free. You can also purchase each app pro versions separately. They cost each $20 per month. You could also go with one of pricing plans. Starter is $10 per month and gives access to support and option to remove blue tab.
Pro plan is $100/month and for unlimited pricing plan you need to contact SumoMe team.
1. List Builder FREE vs PRO
Create WordPress subscription popup that can collect emails. Popups are proven better converters for email subscriptions, and professionally/beautifully made popups are even better.
You can control when the popups appear, and automatically integrate with most popular email services and auto-responders. List Builder converts one-time visitors into long time readers and email subscribers.
List Builder Pro is for people wanting to use powerful features like AB testing, no branding, more templates, complete control over where popup shows, conversion tracking and multiple-popups. Price $20/month if not using any available pricing plan.
2. Heat Maps FREE vs PRO
This feature allows you to see where people are clicking on your site and how are they interacting. This allows insights to see which part of your page is getting the most attention.
This module only runs when you turn it on. To turn it on you create a campaign to start tracking clicks. You need to create campaign for each post/page you wish to use heat maps module.
If you start a campaign on the home page, it’s only going to track clicks on the home page. It’s not a site-wide campaign. Once started, campaigns can be easily paused or stopped right from the SumoMe dashboard accessible from that page.
This is not very convenient as you need to manually set tracking for each desired post. Also you can’t record more than 1 000 clicks per campaign.
Heat Maps Pro provides the ability to track unlimited clicks on unlimited pages. Price is $20/month if you don’t want to use any ready-made pricing plans.
3. Share FREE vs PRO
Displays buttons to share your pages or posts on various social media sites. The tool automatically prioritizes the buttons and orders them such that the social platform typically used on your page is at the very top.
You can set up Share to show exactly where you want on your site and is mobile optimized. Share modules comes with many social sharing sites to choose from.
Share Pro is for people who want to see which sharing options are bringing back traffic. You can also download all stats, customize mobile preferences and remove SumoMe branding.
Price $20/month if you don’t want to use pricing plan.
4. Scroll Box FREE vs PRO
Scroll Box asks your visitors for their email address as they finish reading latest blog post, when your visitors are half-way down page… You can have Scroll Box come in from any corner of your website. It is optimized for handheld devices and you can even customize the look.
Scroll Box Pro is if you need to do advanced display targeting of your visitors, A/B testing copy / styles, remove all branding etc. Price $20/month if you don’t want to use any plan.
5. Content Analytics
Content Analytics shows just how much readers scroll down and whether the posts/pages keep them engaged.
It’s similar to Heat Maps as it allows you to see the reading patterns of your visitors. In this case, you’re able to see how much of your web page is getting read by visitors.
Like Heat Maps, you activate one campaign for each web page/post you want to monitor. A campaign can be paused or stopped at any time. This module doesn’t have pro version.
6. Image Sharer FREE vs PRO
When users hover over the images on your website, a popup enables them to share on social media sites in one click. You have complete control on which social networks your visitors can share your images: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Yummly.
When your visitors hover over your images to share them, you can pick exactly where the icons show up: in the middle, on the left, on the right, top, or bottom.
Image Sharer Pro offers support and removes branding. Price $20/month if you don’t want to use any premade pricing plans.
7. Smart Bar FREE vs PRO
Adds a bar at the header to collect emails. Something like HelloBar from Crazy Egg. Smart Bar is placed at the top of your website reminding visitors to join your email list, see new blog post, or whatever you want them to do.
Smart Bar Pro enables you to do advanced display targeting of your visitors, A/B testing copy / styles, remove all branding, etc. Price is $20/month if you don’t want to use any premade plans.
8. Highlighter FREE vs PRO
When you use this tool, visitors can easily select content on your website and share on Facebook or Twitter in one click. This drives you social traffic and highlights popular sections for you readers.
Highlighter Pro allows you to remove the blue tab on your site, no branding whatsoever and offers you VIP support for any technical issues. Price is $20/month if you don’t want to use any premade plans.
9. Contact Form FREE vs PRO
Enable a way for your users to get in touch with you. A simple contact form pops up when the user clicks on a Contact Us link, and sends a notification to you when user submits the form.
Contact Form Pro offers advanced display rules, completely allows you to remove the blue tab on your site, no branding whatsoever and offers you VIP support. Price $20/month if you don’t want to use any premade plans.
This is premium plugin in this set. Leads provides a popup to easily provide an incentive (including automatic generation of PDFs from the post) to collect emails from users.
You can add a lead button anywhere on your site. It can take any content of yours and automatically turn that into a PDF, or it can also host your already-made PDF.
It also gives you the ability to customize the message and appearance at will. Costs $100 per year.
Sumo FREE vs Sumo PRO
- Lightbox optin
- Ribbon optin form
- Slide in
- Scroll mat
- In line forms
- After content forms
- Opt-in widget
- Content lock
- 2 step opt-in forms
- Screen filler
- Multiple choice forms
- Social Media lightbox
- Asset delivery
- Mobile responsive opt-in forms
- Mobile friendly editing (Desktop, Tablet and Mobile views)
- Access to opt-in form templates
- Drag & Drop visual opt-in form builder
- Add multiple information fields
- Custom confirmation message
- Custom confirmation page
- Opt-in form animations
- HTML custom forms
- A/B testing design
- A/B testing different opt-in types
- Time and Exit Intent trigger A/B Testing
- Advanced trigger A/B Testing
- Set and forget automatic A/B test winner option
- Automatic traffic optimization during tests
- Integrated analytics
- Exit intent
- Mobile optimized exit intent
- Time triggered opt-in form
- Scroll % triggered opt-in form
- Reaches specific content triggers
- Click triggers
- Targeting by category
- Targeting by page/post
- Targeting by tag
- Targeting by cookies
- Targeting by visitor location
- Targeting by referral source
- Targeting by visitor behavior
- Targeting by visitor browser
- Targeting by visitor operating system
- Hide Lightboxes for newsletter subscribers
- Hide all opt-in forms for newsletter subscribers
- Show different offers to newsletter subscribers
- Add tracking and conversion pixels to opt-in forms
- SUMO BASIC PLAN (FREE)
- Free for 1 website
- SUMO PRO PLAN
- $39/mo or $468 paid annually from 1 to 9 sites
Free WordPress Email Subscription Plugin Pros/Cons
SumoMe looks decent but plain. They follow the flat design, which is awesome. But there are a lot of sites using the same template. I have lately seen many sites and with SumoMe installed. I instantly recognize it.
That just confirms its popularity and even I use free version on some of my sites. Keep in mind that SumoMe pro plans are not for unlimited sites. If you run a number of sites, you will need to pay app pro version for each site.
On the backend portion, SumoMe comes with a peculiar upper right hand side button on the front end of your WordPress site. This is generally hidden until you move your pointer over.
If you have purchased the premium version, you can lock this and then press some keys to unlock it to gain access to SumoMe’s settings. You cannot make changes to the settings via your WordPress admin backend, which might frustrate some.
The backend of SumoMe is easy to understand, and you’ll get used to SumoMe’s way to adding and deleting extensions / apps after a while. Overall, SumoMe looks great and is easy to navigate. But if you need more options and freedom, be prepared to pay some money.
Pros: Most the features are free, Speedy loading, No need for few extra plugins as SumoMe covers them all, Easy to work with.
Cons: Though they’ve many extensions, most of them have only basic features; It can become expensive if you want to use it on more than one site.
SumoMe vs ConvertPro vs Thrive Leads vs OptinMonster
- Drag and Drop Editor
- Real Time Editor
- Customizable layouts
- Mobile View Editing
- Lightbox Popup
- Content locker
- Full screen optin form
- After blog post form
- In-content form
- Widget box
- Write Custom HTML
- Mobile specific form
- Yes/No type form
- Multi-step forms
- Event Countdown Timer
- Evergreen Countdown Timer
- Welcome Mat
- Multiple form fields
- Before blog post form
- Phone Field & other fields
- WPML Compatible
- White Label
- Welcome Popups
- Exit Intent
- After scroll trigger
- On-click trigger
- Load when you reach ID/Class
- After reading Post trigger
- User Inactivity trigger
- Referrer Detection
- Device Detection
- First Timers detection
- Logged-in users detenction
- Converted visitors detenction
- AdBlock Detection
- Geo-Location Targeting
- Testing Designs and Content
- Test Triggers
- Test Different Design/Form Types
- Ready-made Templates
- Integration with email marketing and other services
- CONVERT PRO
- $99 / year (unlimited sites) or $399 one time payment for lifetime updates and support (use on unlimited sites)
- Around 62+
- Around 33+
- THRIVE LEADS
- $67/year for one site, $97/year for 5 sites or $147/year for 15 sites
- Around 561+ (according to their site)
- Around 39+
- $99/month if you want all features (for 5 sites)
- Around 175+
- Around 31+
- It has free plan for one site which is basic and very limited and Pro for $468+ /year for 3 sites and 100k visitors per month
- Around 40+
- Around 33+
NOTE: Above comparison is made from Convert Pro perspective comparing its features with availability of those features in other plugins.
Thrive Leads, OptinMonster and Sumome might have additional features which Convert Pro doesnt have.
Also be aware that as plugins get updates some features are removed or new added so for most accurate information visit official plugin sites.
If you are interested be sure to check how Sumo compares with Thrive Leads features in my post comparison.
WordPress Email Subscription Plugin Final Words
If you are looking for a great way to encourage your readers to share your content with their followers, SumoMe is one of best free choices.
SumoMe provides a free toolkit of apps to grow website traffic. These tools help drive extra traffic, engage current visitors, and build an engaged audience.
While SumoMe is a great product, it still lacks functionality of premium plugins like OptinMonster and to a lesser extend, Ninja Popups.
If you are looking for alternate free email subscription plugin option, then MailOption is a good chooice. It has free and paid version for those who would like to get more.
However, you can get most of the extensions on SumoMe free. If you are not picky about the template and are on a budget, SumoMe is definitely a great plugin to have. After all, SumoMe isn’t just a lead generation plugin, but a suite of extensions.
But if you would like more functionality or if you run multiple sites, perhaps other WordPress email sign-up plugin is the way to go.
Thanks to its popularity and wide use, you can be sure SumoMe is here to stay. What does that mean for you?
Well, if you decide to go PRO with apps or support you can be sure your money will be invested worthy as it’s very unlikely this product will disappear.
While premium upgrades are optional extras, the SumoMe Starter upgrade is worth considering. This is because it gives you the option of hiding the floating icon from your visitors.
This $10 monthly fee also gives you access to premium email support, should you ever need help with your website.
Once the plugin has proven itself and has helped you either grow your list or generate more business, you can then consider upgrading to the premium options.
SumoMe comes with various tools in one plugin. So it is better to install one plugin that one WordPress email subscription plugin, one popup plugin, one social share plugin…..
If you are looking for a way to add high-converting email opt-in forms to your website for free, then the SumoMe suite of apps is a powerful option that continues to become more useful as time goes by.
So is SumoMe best free WordPress email subscription plugin? Most definitely NO. But is SumoMe best free WordPress tool for list building and social shares? Definitely in the top 5.
And now over to you. Do you use SumoMe? How do you like it and what would you change? Let me know in comments below!