Subscribers Magnet Plugin Review - WPHub
As any professional blogger or online marketer will tell you, “The money is in the list.” What list might that be you ask? The email list. And really, the more you attempt to market your content, products, or brand to others you begin to realize that while hassling people with loud banner ads, annoying pop-ups, etc. There really is no substitute for a good old fashioned lead (of which you list will be comprised of). This lead is someone who voluntarily gives you their contact information and says, “Yes, go ahead, keep me informed on what you’re doing, what you’re selling, and how I can stay involved.” It’s wonderful.
So how do you build this all important list? Well the typical method is putting an opt-in form somewhere on your blog that links your mailing list, usually via a service like Aweber or Mailchimp and the like. In most cases this form is placed in the side bar or sometimes just on the Contact page. For high traffic blogs or websites this method works fine. They may not be fully optimized so to speak but they make up for it in traffic volume, allowing them to stay profitable on whatever percentage of their visitors does decide to sign up for their newsletter or other mailing lists. But that doesn’t work so well for the average blogger with modest traffic. So if that’s you, what can you do to increase subscription rates?
Well, the folks over at MaxBlogPress have created a WordPress plugin that they believe to be the best answer to that question. It’s called Subscribers Magnet and it has literally everything you need to grow your list of email subscribers. Not only does it help draw more eyes and subscribers to your conventional sidebar form but it comes with a number of other very clever and effective features for placing customized opt-in forms in different places within your WordPress website that has been proven to increase subscription rates by 500% with an influx in traffic.
In this product overview and review below I’m going to show you how to install, configure, and put this powerful plugin to work on your WordPress site. At the end I’ll offer a summary of my personal findings as I experiment with the plugin as well as my final recommendation. Thanks for reading and I hope you find what I’ve put together helpful!
Purchase, Download, & Installation
Once you’ve purchased the plugin (which you can do above) you will be given access to the MaxBlogPress product download page. There you will be able to download the zipped file for the Subscribers Magnet plugin. When the download is finished, go to your WordPress Admin > Plugins > Add New > Upload and install the plugin via the zipped folder you just downloaded.
Upon activation you will notice a new option under Tools in your Admin sidebar called MBP Subscribers Magnet. Click there to get started.
Configuration & Implementation
The first step in configuring the Subscribers Magnet plugin is entering the license number from the MaxBlogPress product download page. Entering this number will unlock the Subscribers Magnet settings pages.
After entering the license number you will automatically be brought to the Manage Optin Form page. It’s here that you will need to add a new form by clicking the Add New Form button and following the directions presented there.
Depending on which email marketing service you are using – and you will have to use one for this plugin to work properly – the term “autoresponder” can refer to a paid feature (as it does in MailChimp, the service I use) and so it can seem that you must have a paid service in addition to this paid plugin for it to work properly. Fortunately, that is not the case.
What they are actually looking for here is the basic html code required for a form. So if like me you are using the forever free version of MailChimp all you need to do is go to Forms > Share > and copy the code required for a basic html form and insert it into this section of the Subscribers Magnet plugin. Once that is complete, click Detect The Form. If you get a successful response click continue. If the response says you have been unsuccessful then I would suggest submitting a help ticket with your email marketing service provider and/or exploring their FAQ’s, how-to’s, etc.
And now we get to dive into the thick of things. It is in the Form Embed Position page/section of the Subscribers Magnet plugin that you are able to customize and implement its wide array of features and techniques for growing your email list. The first of these powerful features is the ability to insert an opt in form for your newsletter or other mailing list directly into your blog posts.
As you can see in the image below there is a slider at the top of this section where you can choose between a number of form templates. Once your preferred template is selected you must choose which opt-in form to apply it to and then customize it further using the rest of the options below it. You can choose custom text for the title of the form, the subtitle, select the font size of each, the font color of the subtitle, the form input fields and the prompt text for each. You can even choose what text will appear on the submit button and in the footer of the form.
Lastly, if you click on the plus sign next to the text “Where to place the opt-in form?” and you will be able to choose where in the post the form will appear. You can choose to have it appear only within a certain number of posts (1-10) of your Home Page, Search results, or Category results. And of course you can choose to have it appear in all of your posts and position it at either the top or the bottom of the post. Once you completed your settings for this section simply click the save button and move on to the next feature.
The second feature is the ability to place a customized opt-in form in the sidebar of your WordPress website. This feature, as stated above, is fairly common when it comes to placing opt-in forms on a website. However, with the Subscribers Magnet plugin you get the benefit of its template chooser and simple customization options. Making it extremely easy to implement a great looking sidebar opt-in form.
Thirdly, we have a really powerful feature for quickly opting in anyone who leaves a comment on your blog. This is where we leave behind the “form approach” and go for a much more elegant check box built into your site’s commenting system. As you can see in the first image below, the settings for this feature are pretty minimal. All you have to do to activate it is choose your opt-in form, insert some message text such as “Subscribe to My Newsletter”, choose whether or not to have the box checked by default, and of course enable the checkbox and save it.
Oh, and you also have the ability to add a bit of help text. Just check the box next to “Show help button as well” and you can insert some text to help explain the opt-in checkbox. The second image below shows how all this looks in the commenting section from your readers’ perspective.
The fourth method this plugin has of getting your newsletter opt-in prompt in front of your readers/site visitors is one that many have mixed feelings about. The all-too-familiar pop-up window. The hatred for this method acquired by many over the years is understandable. When the pop-up method was first introduced as a form of online advertising it was not only annoying but it was grossly misused to the point that it damaged the businesses that employed it, driving their customers and potential customers away. As a result, for the most part, the practice of employing unending strings of pop-up windows in an effort to assault your site visitors into doing what you want them to has left the web as we know it. Or at least the more “civilized” portions anyways.
However, in the past year or so it has become popular among bloggers and other websites to employ a much less aggressive tactic that still involves a pop-up window. The popin feature of Subscribers Magnet is a great example of how pop-ups can be done tastefully and yield extremely effective results. In this case it not only increases sign ups to your newsletter but in doing so it actually strengthens community bonds between you and your readers over time. The key, as you’ll see, is operating with a well designed, helpful, and light touch when implementing this method.
As with the first two forms we walked through the popin feature also has a really convenient slider of templates to choose from. This is great for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of design experience. Once you choose your template, you will have to select the Opt-in Form you want this to connect to, and then the rest is customization.
Each template has slightly different options when it comes to customization. In my case I was able to write some custom Title Text, choose the title text size and color, subtitle text, its size and color, the background color, list text, product image, and more. But when it comes to really nailing the usage of this feature, for me, it’s all about popin frequency and delay. I chose to only employ the popin feature the first two visits someone makes to my website and instead of having it deploy as soon as they hit my page, I chose a 10 second delay. That way, hopefully they get a chance to site something they’re interested in first and then when the popin comes up they don’t feel like they’ve been bombarded.
Next we have what is called a Footer Bar. This is basically an ad for your newsletter that appears along the bottom of the page when a viewer is on your site. It’s less flashy than the Post, Sidebar, or Popin forms and with similar frequency controls as the popin feature it can be both effective and very non-invasive or annoying to your readers. If you’ve been able to follow along for the other forms I’m sure this one will not give you any problems. All you need to do is enter in the Headline and body text explaining what the ad is for and then fill in the rest of the blanks accordingly.
Again, to me at least, it was equally important to factor in HOW this feature would be used as it was to use it in the first place. Since I’ve already activated my Popin feature to appear for a visitor’s first 2 site visits I thought I’d take a similar approach here, but only AFTER an initial 5 visits. So just to recap, my preferred settings here, are to have the Popin show up for a visitors first 2 visits. Give them a 3 visit break from any kind of solicitation, and then after their 5th visit, begin again but less intrusively by using the Footer Bar feature – and even then, only two times. Of course, you should feel free to form your own preferences here, keeping what’s best for both you and your readers in mind the whole time.
The next feature is something that will automatically be turned on when you install and activate the plugin. It’s called Form Auto Filler and it does exactly what it sounds like it’s supposed to. It remembers all the names and emails of anyone who has left a comment on your website in the past and automatically fills in any optin form you have displayed so as to draw their eye to it and make them more likely to click “submit” or “subscribe.”
Speaking of comments, there is also a feature called Optin Form Embeded Inside Commemnt. Lovely name, I know, but it’s still a pretty cool feature. Basically what it does is follow the same formatting and customization pattern as the other forms we’ve used already, but this one only appears within a published comment and is only visible to the person who submitted that comment. The logic being, that once someone submits a comment, they typically go and check out the published version, providing you with a sure fire location for putting yet another unobtrusive prompt before your most active readers.
Winding down now we have our second to last feature in the Form Embed Position section of this plugin. This feature is called “Thank You Message for the First Commentator.” The idea here is really simple. You can create a thank you email message that will automatically be sent to your readers after the first time they leave a comment. In this email, you can include a confirmation link that they can click on in order to opt in to your newsletter email list.
And lastly, we have the “Subscribe Commentator Silently” feature. This feature, when activated, will automatically subscribe anyone who leaves a comment to your newsletter. However, a word of caution is needed here. This feature directly violates the terms of service many email marketing service providers have you agree to. So be careful! In fact, I would recommend NOT using this feature if only because it runs the risk of A) making your readers angry and/or confused as to how they ended up on an email list they didn’t sign up for or approve; and B) It could quite easily get you banned from some email marketing services. SO, the takeaway here is that if you are desperate to increase subscribers and you feel this feature can help you, be extremely careful to read up on all of your Terms of Service first, and be ready to deal with any and all backlash from unhappy auto-subscribers.
Ok, so we’ve covered adding opt-in forms and the many ways in which Subscribers Magnet allows us to embed them throughout our site. Now we have just two sections left. The first of these two is the Backup & Restore section. In this section you are quickly able to backup your Subscribers Magnet settings and the files associated with it in just one click. The Subscribers Magnet plugin automatically creates a directory on your server so that in the unfortunate case that your site goes down and all is lost, you can find your Subscribers Magnet files and restore them on this page by selecting the file and clicking restore.
And finally we have the Home page. This page is nice in that at a single glance you know which of the plugin’s powerful features are active and which ones are not (denoted by green for yes and red for not). You’ll also find help docs here, links to other MaxBlogPress products, an option to join their affiliate program, and a question box where you can submit ideas, questions, concerns, problems, or praise to the MaxBlogPress team.
Summary & Review
In conclusion, the Subscribers Magnet plugin by MaxBlogPress is an extraordinarily powerful plugin with a TON of features. One of the things I really like about this plugin is that installing and activating it is not an all or nothing move. I can choose which features to activate and which ones I’d rather leave dormant. In this way I’m able to craft an experience for my readers that lets them know how much I want to stay in touch with them, but that does it in a way they find appealing or at the very least not damaging to our reader/publisher relationship.
Overall I found this plugin to be exactly what it say it is. It performs admirably and the process from purchase to implementation, while possibly involving a good deal of experimentation, is not overwrought with needless tinkering and problem solving. Each step is labeled clearly and I had not major issue setting it up. If I had one critique it’s in their template designs. I found their selection of form templates lacking in attractive design. A frustration only exacerbated by the fact that it’s not possible to design a form template from scratch and upload it. So you’re basically stuck in that regard.
However, if their templates fit in well with your own web design then what you’re getting in this plugin is a very powerful took with the ability to increase you subscription rate by 500%! And if that is your main interest then by all means we here at WPHub highly recommend that you purchase the MaxBlogPress plugin – Subscribers Magnet.