Creating a mailing list is one of the main priorities of an internet marketer.
I have written elsewhere about the importance of mailing lists, but briefly, if you have a mailing list, your reliance on Google and other search engines is reduced.
By having various sources of traffic and sales you make sure that if one changes and wipes out that traffic/sales source, your business isn’t completely crushed (and Google makes those changes very often!).
Creating a mailing list often involves enticing a user into signing up by offering a freebie of some sort, but how do your visitors actually sign up?
They do this via a mailing list sign up form in conjunction with an autoresponder account from a company like Aweber.
Having a premade sign up form with some additional functions does make life a lot easier.
Here’s the pick of the best mailing list plugins available.
Aweber themselves provide a free WordPress plugin that of course only works with an Aweber account.
The plugin itself isnt too bad, it will add a sign up box to your sidebar via a widget, with customisable text, and optionally you can add a tick box to your comments and register pages for people to sign up to the mailing list too.
Thats pretty much all it does though. To customise the look any further you would need to know some CSS and monitoring how effective the text,placement or design is virtually impossible.
Note: Only works with Aweber accounts
The second of the big hitter autoresponders also has its own WordPress plugin.
It’s very similar in scope to the Aweber one, allowing you to quickly add a signup box to the sidebar and connect it to your autoresponder account.
The difference here is that the plugin does allow you some control to change the layout without having to dig directly into the code, which is great.
There is no functionality though to add a sign up tick box to comments or registration.
Note: Only works with Mailchimp accounts
You may want to check out my article on ApinaPress regarding this as I don’t think Mailchimp is any good for internet marketers.
Glenn at ViperChill produced this little plugin specifically for internet marketers, and its a cracker.
This plugin works with both Aweber, Mailchimp and a bunch of other autoresponder services.
You will find there is much more flexibility with OptinSkin, than with the autoresponders own plugins, which is normal in a premium plugin.
For instance you can add the sign up box in the sidebar via a widget as normal, or at the top, bottom or even middle of the post content automatically by simply ticking a box.
You can even change the settings so that the box will fade into existence. How cool is that?
On a less geeky note, the plugin comes with numerous preset signup box designs, each of which you can manually edit and tweak.
One of the main aims of OptinSkin is to allow you to be able to track not only how well each signup box does, but how well the individual design of the sign up box does (its well proven that changing one word can dramatically affect the sign rate).
It does this by allowing you to have two versions of the sign up box running at the same time, and it simply shows one or the other.