Does Mailing List Plugins Really Helps To Increase Conversion Rate?

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It doesn’t matter if you are a novice blogger or running a Fortune 500 company; You need a mailing list. When you talk about mailing list, it is all about the conversion rate so to speak.

But, let’s not forget something very important. We need to find ways to save money too!

Now, how does saving money and conversion rates come into play?

As a blogger, you might have ask, heard and even read about building a mailing list (plus how important it is). I recently wrote an article on the differences between Hybrid Connect and OptinSkin which I highly recommend it for your reading. Find the complete comparison here.

It is undeniable that both of them are the best mailing list plugin for any WordPress users. When I published that post, a few bloggers asked if there is any other cheaper ways to build a mailing list from scratch.

What happens if you don’t want to spend extra money for a plugin that is ‘so-called’ able to help you to build a massive mailing list? You opts and search for a better way out right?

Basically, the biggest question here is to find a cheaper way to build an email list. Being a stingy person, I totally (and I really mean TOTALLY) understand how hard it is to come out that $50 from my wallet.

I thought about this when Sam Adeyinka asked me if I had any scripts on my WordPress blog. For your info, he’s the man behind Promovator who had recently interviewed me too.

I uses Hybrid Connect on my site and even OptinSkin on my secondary sites. Both are pretty great BUT is there really another way for bloggers to build a mailing list … you know, the cheaper way without letting go rich premium features?

Enjoy the video below to give you a quick insight on what the topic is all about.

Building a good converting mailing list minus the cost

The right mailing list plugin can increase conversion rate

I thought about it and decided to try out with AWeber since it is my email marketing provider. AWeber is one the most popular email marketing service provider and the service provided is top notch.

Since I am already using AWeber, it is a no-brainer to continue to use it right? Furthermore, I don’t believe I have used it to the maximum yet. I am paying $16.16 per month for it and I have no plans to put it to waste.

Therefore, I wonder what could AWeber actually do to help me save more money and increase the sign up rate (more than Hybrid Connect)?

Does it sounds like I am pushing my luck?

I know you are wondering this. Yes and yes! I have both Hybrid Connect and OptinSkin plugins. However, I am wondering if there is any other way for bloggers to build an email list without the help of these plugins.

A mailing list plugin, you say?

Relationship between money, plugin and conversion rate

You can get your hands on Hybrid Connect for only $49 or OptinSkin at $67 but what if I tell you that you can keep that money and still able to create a killer optin form?

Wait a minute! Killing two birds with one stone?

It doesn’t matter if you are using AWeber or any other email marketing providers but it is very possible to achieve what these godly list building plugins can offer … with some tweaks of course.

Since I am using AWeber, this article will be closely related to it but the concept should work with any other email marketing providers.

When you are creating a sign up with AWeber, you are given several types of optin forms to choose from such as:

  1. In-line
  2. Pop-over
  3. Lightbox
  4. Pop-up

They can easily be definite with the explanation below:

  • In-line = Appears within the current web page body
  • Pop-over = Hovers within the web page. Usually unblockable
  • Lightbox = Identical to a Pop-over but it darkens your webpage
  • Pop-up = Opens in a new window. Blocked by most browsers

You wouldn’t need to have a professional degree to tell you that AWeber is actually offering nearly everything a premium mailing plugin has to offer.

Moral of the story: You do not need a mailing list plugin to help you build one. However, having a plugin to help you do that could actually save you more time and is extremely great for those who lack of designer’s imagination (like me).

The truth and myth about conversion rate and mailing list plugin

The real truth about conversion rate

There are probably a thousand Internet Marketers like me trying to sell you Hybrid Connect and OptinSkin. We are most likely to tell you what those plugins can actually help you and hey, some are really true.

Don’t believe? Have a look here on what Hybrid Connect and OptinSkin can provide. Now, tell me if they tell you exactly what I said above.

Here’s the ice breaker. Do you actually see what we are NOT trying to sell you?

Okay, take a moment to think about it.

I hope you got it my friend. They are NOT telling you that there is a high chance that your lovely email marketing provider could actually do the same (or even better) for you when it comes to marketing!

Take the examples above from AWeber. Users who are using AWeber could easily create simple and breath-taking optin forms without much effort.

Yes, we are talking about zero coding skills and all you need is a simple designer mindset.

So. how about the promised conversion rate?

Here’s something to debunk. Have you ever seen an advertisement saying that “… we guarantee you xyz% increase of conversion or your money back …”?

I bet you do and in fact, we all have right?

Now think (and think hard).

How many potential buyers for that product actually tried that ‘method’ with their own email marketing provider before purchase?

From my point of a consumer, I don’t many of us actually try it. Yes, even I do not always try ‘that’ with what I currently have.

For example, Hybrid Connect and OptinSkin are promoting pop-up forms and for the record, those are real work of art. However, we (buyers) are so tempted to try them that we had actually forgotten that maybe … and I mean maybe, the current email service provider we are using has the same option too.

Or, we could simply think that the premium product is much better and superior than what we have.

Now, does it make any sense to you?

So, should I or should I not use a mailing list plugin?

Using the right mailing plugin can actually increase your sign up rate multiple times.

The simple reason behind this is that mailing list plugins are easy to use and it doesn’t take a long time to create a sign up form. Plus, these plugins usually offer many different fonts and Call-To-Actions which could be an advantage for most bloggers.

So, what if you decided NOT to use a list building plugin and keep your money instead?

There is where email providers such as AWeber (and a dozen more) comes into play. You could create forms easily with AWeber but usually, the choices of forms are slightly limited but with the right imagination, the sky is your only limit.

What do you think?

Through my experience, having a mailing list plugin is a nice luxury to have but it is certainly not compulsory. Anyone can build and create a high conversion optin form as long as you have the right words and Call-To-Action (CTA).

I always follow by the concept, “Get it if you can afford it”. If not, dream on buddy!

Well, if you are affordable and want to save more time when it comes to building an email list, I would highly recommend you to use either Hybrid Connect or OptinSkin.

Other wise, you may just use the tools your email marketing provider had provided for you and you could save up some money from there.

How about you? Hit the reply button below and let’s discuss!

Looking for a recommended email marketing provider? Read my latest review on AWeber; 6 reasons why marketers should be using AWeber today.

Reginald Chan

Reginald Chan

Professional Business Consultant
Reginald started blogging in 2005 and it soon went from just a hobby to a serious occupation. He specializes in content writing, marketing, social media and SEO. He also tweaks WordPress during his free time. Reginald is also offering paid services and if you need any help, feel free to contact him and check out the services he is offering or check out his latest project, School of Content | Content Marketing Strategies And Tips.
Reginald Chan

@SocialCopy

Awarded Triberr Top 100 Bloggers, @HootsuiteAPAC (MY) Ambassador -- I tweet about #WordPress, #marketing and #business -- #entrepreneur
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  • http://promotivator.info Sam Adeyinka

    Hey Reginald, my brother from another parents! Its good to be over here at your blog again. :)

    List building they say is where the money is and because of that a lot of newbie bloggers like me made sure we consume every topics and blogs that has something to say about it.

    For months have been trying to build one myself but its obvious that no matter how hard I try I can’t successfully build it myself. I’ve read guides about building and setting up a mailing list with Mailchimp. Yes Mailchimp…..its free at least for the first 2k users but I still I’m not enjoying it.

    Aha……you spoke well of Aweber, my friend but of those of is who haven’t even started making money and do not have the revenue of Purchasing it? What do we do?

    I will stop here now less I continue to rant…….. Ouch..I almost forgot. Thanks so much for the mention…..I’m so honored. I hope your fans find the interview as interesting as my fans think it is.

    You should have a magical and fantastic day, buddy! :)

    Sam

    • http://www.reginaldchan.net Reginald

      Hi Sam,

      AWeber is okay but yes, I got to agree on the price tag. It is pretty hefty especially for starters. MailChimp is pretty good for a free one. You can also try Benchmark email which also offer 2k free emails like MailChimp. However, it is slightly better than MailChimp since it offers more like what AWeber is offering; split testing and custom forms.

      So yes, go signup for Benchmark email and see if that works for you. It is a pretty good alternative to AWeber :)

      Good luck buddy.

      • http://promotivator.info Sam Adeyinka

        Thanks so much Reggy for solving this my question. I will do that now and revert to you later. Take care!

        • http://www.reginaldchan.net Reginald

          Hey Sam,

          No problem. Take your time :)

  • http://bloggingconsult.org/ Dare

    Hi Reginald,

    I just migrated from ditailz to bloggingconsult ( a brand new website with Genesis theme -sixteen nine pro theme and hosted on websynthesis) four days ago . though, still working to fix the pages and post.

    I would love you to advise me on the best mailing list plugin to use. Which one are you currently using on this site of yours? at the moment, I only have the one provided by Google feedburner.

    I have been a keen admirer of your doggedness, skills and intellectual acumen in the blogosphere

    • http://www.reginaldchan.net Reginald

      Hi Dare,

      Oh wow, Websynthesis huh? Good team and we are on the same boat mate!

      Now for your question, it really depends. Here are a few questions to help you decide:
      1. Are you willing to spend extra $50 to $70 for a mailing list plugin?
      2. Since you are using Google feedburner, do you have plans to start an email list using AWeber or any other premium email services?

      The optin forms you are seeing in this site is run by Hybrid Connect. However, Hybrid Connect does not play well with Google feedburner. If you are planning to use Google feedburner for your mailing list, then OptinSkin would be an easier and better choice for you.

      Just say if you like to use a paid email marketing provider, I would highly recommended AWeber if you can afford it. Now, here’s the fun part about AWeber. You can build your own forms using drag and drop (zero coding needed) and place those forms on your blog. This means that you can totally ditch Hybrid Connect and Optinskin all together. This can easily save you some money.

      So to wrap up:
      1. If you want to stick to Feedburner, OptinSkin would be a better plugin.
      2. If you want to use AWeber for your mailing list, you do not need to buy Hybrid Connect and OptinSkin.
      3. Using Hybrid Connect and OptinSkin only help you to build beautiful forms faster.

      Does this clear your doubts my friend? Of course, if you want to try them and don’t mind using my affiliate links, I would be very thankful for that. At least, some earnings to maintain my blog :)

      Drop me a line if you need any help. Would be delighted to help you in anyway possible.

  • Manikandan

    Thanks Reginald for your review on mailing list plugin. I am also running a small business website & using Aweber but I am not using any mailing list plugin.
    I am looking to invest on one of the plugin you recommended. I want to know if it is simple to use this plugin or you need any CSS knowledge to use this.

    • http://www.reginaldchan.net Reginald

      Hi Manikandan,

      Welcome to my blog! You do not need any CSS knowledge using either OptinSkin or Hybrid Connect. Unless you want to build your own forms, then yes you need to know some CSS. Both of these are basically:
      1. Choose the type of forms you like
      2. Choose colours and fonts
      3. Hit save and publish

      Hope this helps and if you wouldn’t mind to use my affiliate links above, I would be very delighted on that :)

      Take care and tell me if you need any help.

  • http://www.gauraw.com Kumar Gauraw

    Hello Reginald,

    This is an excellent article by the way and you’ve really shared some great logic in there about building the list. Thank you for sharing.

    Speaking of Aweber and the pricing structure (especially after looking through your comments section), I think that it’s not a big price to pay if you treat your blog as a business. If you think it’s a hobby or you aren’t sure if you really want to do it or not, it can be a difficult decision to make and to keep up.

    Our priorities define our actions, our attitudes and I think before deciding to build a list, one should know why does he/she wants a list. And, if the purpose is clear, investing in a tool like Aweber is a business investment and that is not too much for somebody who plans to make money online. What do you say?

    Regards,
    Kumar

    • http://www.reginaldchan.net Reginald

      Hi Kumar,

      Oh wow! Thank you for your kind reply.

      I can’t agree more with you on the AWeber part. The truth is, it is a great tool if you are really serious in making the blog as a business. In terms of hobby, it is rather pricey but if you can’t afford it, why not? :)

      Priorities are very important and to have a ‘target’ before starting a list is important. I build a list to keep my readers updated and that is a good way to make sure these lovely followers get email notification on my latest post. So yeah, that’s my goal.

      All in all, having a goal to create a mailing list is vital and highly recommended to ensure that you don’t feel ‘lost’ in the middle of everything ;-)

      Have a great weekend my friend.

  • http://writeclever.com Susan Neal

    Hi Reginald,

    I use Aweber for my list and their plugin that enables me to let people subscribe when they comment – I don’t feel I want to invest in any more plugins at the moment, but I’m not in a desperate hurry to grow my list – I guess bloggers who have a greater sense of urgency might be more tempted to try those other plugins.

    • http://www.reginaldchan.net Reginald

      Hi Susan,

      Happy Saturday!

      Oh yes you are right there my friend. I often hear bloggers asking me if they should get a mailing list plugin. It is always a luxury and not a need. At times, I rather say AWeber is a luxury compared to mailing list tools.

      These mailing list plugins just help to makes thing faster but most of the time, we are not aware that AWeber or any other email marketing services could do the same for us.

      Have a great weekend!

  • Tom Jamieson

    Great review here Reginald – I will certainly bookmark this page for future reference, when I will be ready to purchase one of these great plugins. For now I am using MailChimp along with their WP plugin. It works well for my needs at this time. Thanks again and have a great day!

    • http://www.reginaldchan.net Reginald

      Hi Tom,

      Thanks for commenting my friend! Appreciate it indeed :)

      MailChimp is okay and not bad. Still remember receiving your newsletter too. Heh~

      Glad you liked the article and take care.

  • http://www.randyhilarski.com Randy Hilarski

    I will stick to good old Aweber. I just started building my list last month. The list is growing slowly but with a little effort and focus I know I can accelerate the growth of the list. Thank you for the article Reginald.

    • http://www.reginaldchan.net Reginald

      Hi Randy,

      How have you been my friend? :)

      Argh! I started building my small list few months back. Still growing with 50% inactive users; Signed up just for free eBook. Haha!

      • http://www.randyhilarski.com Randy Hilarski

        Doing great Reginald, time to put the head down and write a few articles for the week. I hope all is well!

        • http://www.reginaldchan.net Reginald

          Hi Randy,

          Thanks for dropping by mate. Oh yes, i have 3 days off so I am going to publish like no tomorrow! Haha!

          This means more work less sleep :D

          Have a great weekend mate.

  • Jeevan Jacob John

    Hey Reginald,

    I do agree with you about a mailing list plugin not being compulsory. Like you mentioned, many email marketing solutions such as Aweber and Mailchimp provide their own opt-in boxes and plugins (and with a bit of coding – for those of us who do not know coding, we could hire a freelancer to the do the job – we can design beautiful and unique optin boxes for our blog).

    But, optin plugins do have their own advantages. They have in-built templates and lot of other features (like easy opt-in box placement). I have WPsubscribers (They were the big player before OptinSkin came into play, I think they still are one among the major plugins, I am not so sure), but I didn’t fully utilize their features (I wasn’t really interested in building a list). My goals are different now, and I do plan to experiment with my list, once I launch my blog.

    Anyways, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this, Reginald. Hope you have a good weekend :D

    • http://www.reginaldchan.net Reginald

      Hi Jeevan,

      Thanks for dropping by. You are right about the easy opt-in part and features.

      Like what I said, these plugins could offer some very nice and breath-taking templates. They are pretty good and because of that, I stick to Hybrid Connect on this site. They have their pros and cons.

      I used to have AWeber without a mailing list plugin and that was easy. Of course, all you need is some time and patience to create a template. Haha! Lazy me.

      Glad you liked it my friend and take care!

      Have a great, great weekend!

  • http://madlemmings.com Ashley Faulkes

    Reginald, nice work my friend. These premium plugins are great and I am sure gonna get myself one of those puppies, but it is nice to know we have alternatives that are almost as good. I have to check out what my new account has on Aweber. I lost half my list on the change, which was not so big anyway and I figure they were probably not really on the list for the right reasons. So time to rebuild the list. Keep up the long, informative and detailed posts – much appreciated ashley

    • http://www.reginaldchan.net Reginald

      Hi Ashley,

      Argh, the list migration part. I do once every 3 months or so. It is rather easy to see since you can easily sort out active and inactive ones (using AWeber). So, that’s something you can check on from time to time.

      These plugins are great but again, you don’t REALLY need one if you have the patience etc. Possible and … of course, just by being a little ‘hardworking’ could save you some money.

      Take care my friend and have a great weekend ahead.

  • http://www.kulerthemes.com/ Stephan

    In my opinion. Aweber is the most effective tools and popular nowadays for bloggers to manage their mails.I’m using this. not working that i expect but i think that’s ok.
    Thanks for your very detail review Reggy.
    Just a side question. Do you know a list of Do follow Blog? i have one but i don’t know what happened cause some blog just disappear for no reason.
    Thanks for your sharing.

    Stephan

    • http://www.reginaldchan.net Reginald

      Hi Stephan,

      Thanks for dropping by mate. AWeber is great and drop me a line if you need any help.

      In regards to Do Follow blogs, there are quite a few which you can search through the net (or use CommentLuv search). However, sadly I don’t have a list since I comment in nearly every types of blogs. Haha!

      p/s I noticed many sites has removed the DoFollow so … just saying :D

  • http://adriennesmith.net/ Adrienne

    Hey Reginald,

    You make some very good points here and it’s not that they will build your list, that’s still totally up to the individual.

    Aweber does have some wonderful features and what I like most about them is that you can create your own opt-in box. Now I do wish at times that their forms were a little more attractive because to be honest with you I’m kind of tired of them. But they do have a big wide variety of looks.

    They do have the pop ups, etc. as well as an additional plugin you can use. I have one installed under my comments.

    As marketers we need to constantly test test test and I’ve done this myself. I also believe it has to do with the blogger as well so you can put all the attractive opt-in boxes on your site that you want but without a good offer and a list they may want to opt into then it doesn’t matter how great looking those are.

    I’ve tries the Opt-in Skins but not Hybrid and I just decided to stick with Aweber.

    Have a great week Reginald.

    ~Adrienne

    • http://www.reginaldchan.net Reginald

      Hi Adrienne,

      This is actually one of those reasons why I actually blog about this topic. Remember back a few posts about mailing list plugin? A few bloggers did hit me up on Facebook and asked me on that. So, I decided to write about it.

      Personally, a mailing list plugin isn’t compulsory but it is always great to have. Well, it really depends on what you want right? I have a friend who knows coding well and he decided to hard code everything. If you have the coding skills needed, why not right? I did try and failed badly through. Haha!

      Thanks for dropping by my dear Adrienne.

      Have a great week too!

      *p/s I send you a PM on Twitter :)

      Take care!

  • Bilal Akbar

    No doubt Aweber is also worth using, but I use Mailchimp and with Genesis it is fairly easy to design attractive Subscribers box that to some extent help in building an effective mailing list.

    • http://www.reginaldchan.net Reginald

      Hi Bilal,

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Oh yes, Genesis really make it easy to integrate any mailing list services. Totally love the inbuilt newsletter designs.