How to Add a Newsletter Opt-In Form to Your WordPress Site

Building an email list is a common way to collect customer information that gives you a direct line to your target market. Email newsletters go directly to people who are already interested in your products and services, so you can create targeted marketing campaigns to grow your business. With WordPress, it’s easy to add an opt-in form to your website that attracts attention and encourages potential customers to sign up.

Find an Email Provider

To get started, you need a reliable service through which you can manage your contacts and create professional-quality mailings. There are several list building and newsletter creation services available, including such popular options as MailChimp and Constant Contact. Most require you to pay a small monthly fee, but you can usually sign up for a free trial first to see if the tools work for you. Do some research to find which service has the functionality you need for your email list.

Choose Your Plugin

After finding a provider, you need to integrate it with your WordPress site. WordPress offers a selection of plugins[] that work with most list building and management tools. Your best option is to find one that not only links up with your chosen provider but also allows you to experiment with different styles of opt-in forms:

  • Signup boxes are static forms that appear in the header, sidebar or footer of pages. You’ll need to write a catchy headline and enticing newsletter description to encourage people to sign up.
  • Popups appear when visitors arrive at a page or at some point as they scroll down. These are by far the most popular and most successful style of newsletter signup form.
  • Floating or sliding forms appear at the bottom of a page and either move as the user scrolls or slide into view in the corner. These don’t create the same sense of urgency as a popup, but they’re still a highly visible way to attract attention.

Make sure that the plugin also allows you to do A/B testing of forms so that you can experiment with different colors, layouts and wording and see what generates the highest number of conversions.

To install a plugin and get it up and running, download the zip file to your computer. Go to the WordPress dashboard, hover over the “Plugins” icon and click “Add New.” Click on “Upload Plugin” at the top of the page. Hit the “Browse” button, find the file you just downloaded and hit the “Install Now” button. WordPress will take care of extracting and installing the necessary files. Once the plugin is installed, use the tools it provides to set up your newsletter opt-in form and watch your list begin to grow.

Written by Kris Calixton