3 Smart Ways to Convert Visitors to Subscribers Using WordPress

It’s no secret that growing your email list is the best way to sell to your audience. Even if you don’t have anything to sell – growing an email list will help build an audience that you can use to guide you into knowing what product or service that will best serve them. In fact, some online entrepreneurs will tell you that building your list the FIRST step in starting a business.

I’ve tried a tun of different tools and plugins for list building and I’m going to start 3 of what I think are the BEST ways to convert your visitors to subscribers and grow that email list.


Love them or hate them – popups work! There are some great WordPress plugins out there that let you control when you want your popups to show up and how often you want them to appear.  For instance, you can serve a popup when your visitor has reached the bottom of your post – so serving up a popup at that point would be great timing since you know your visitor is engaged  in your content and, therefore, would be more likely to subscribe. I love popups for special announcements putting my most time sensitive promotions to the forefront.

Below is an example from Limericki’s Blog using the Ninja Popups Plugin ($27)Limericki WordPress Popup

Kimberley Ann Jimenez uses Popup Ally Pro ($99+)
Popupally WordPress Plugin Kimberlyannjimenez
Another type of popup that had gained a lot of traction is the “screen takeover” popup.  These popups appear right when you hit the website and cover the entire screen .
Below is an example of XO Sarah’s “screen takeover” popup built with SumoMe’s Welcome Mat (free)Xosarah WordPress Takeover Popup

Other WordPress Popup Plugins:



A content upgrade or a lead magnet is a special offer at the end of your blog posts that kinda supplements your content. This could be a case study, cheat sheet, video training – whatever you can easily provide digitally that your visitor will exchange for their email.

Below is the a content upgrade from Farideh. She is using the Magic Action Boxes Plugin that works with her MailChimp Mailing list.

Magic Action Box

Below is a gorgeous content upgrade from Amanda Genther who is using Lead Pages (monthly fee).

Amandagenther Leadpages Content Upgrade

Hey There Home is using Convertkit to deliver their content upgrades. You can either copy and paste the ConvertKit code to your WordPress site or use the Convertkit WordPress plugin (this is what I use on this site!)Heytherehome Convertkit Optin




Lastly, another great way to get people onto your email list is to offer a free course or workshop. There is a lot of perceived value when you package something up as a course so they tend to do well for conversion rates and growing your email list.  I think this is especially a great idea if plan on doing a paid course in the future.

Learning Management Systems for WordPress

Lifter LMS (FREE!)
Lifter Lms WordPress Course PluginI’m most excited about the Lifter LMS because it’s the only FREE.

** You can check out MY free course (here) that I’ve built using Learn Dash (129+) **

Other Learning Management System WordPress Plugins include WPLMS ($64) and WP Courseware ($99+)

One-Page VIDEO Course

An alternative to using a Learning Management System, especially if you only have a few videos to share is to simply embed all the videos on one page. With this method, you can keep your page unlisted and send a link to the page once visitors have subscribed. Another way is to password protect your videos with Vimeo and then send out the password to visitors once they’ve confirmed their subscription.

Regina creates one page to share all her videos and then the embedded optin is for the accompanying Worksheets.

Byregina Free Mini Course Page

EMail Course

Lastly, an easy method to deliver a course is through email as a “drip campaign” where you send out content every x number of days. Most email applications have this feature. All you need to do for your WordPress website, is great the landing page optin and drive traffic to it!


The the last two sections, you will likely need to build a Landing Page to support your course. Here are some great Landing Page Plugins for WordPress that you can use to do just that!


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3 thoughts on “3 Smart Ways to Convert Visitors to Subscribers Using WordPress”

  1. We use Thrive for our pop-ups. And pop-ups are really effective for converting visitors to subscribers. However, just recently, Google announced that they will kind of de-value websites with pop-ups (next year) that grey the background and don’t allow the users to immediately access the main content. This includes scroll mats, lightboxes, etc.

    1. Mel Karlik (website owner)

      Oh yes, I’ve been following this. It looks like it’s going to be an issue only when you access the site on a *mobile* device. The good news is that most of the plugins offer the option to disallow popups on mobile. I’m not 100% sure about Thrive but I bet they will have that option too.

      On desktop, google only has an issue if the popup is coming from another url.

  2. Hello Mel,

    I am getting good feelings about your blog. Converting your visitors into subscribers is one very essential job to do and in which I am not so pro yet.

    The 3 tips you mentioned in this article are all one needs to convert it. I am already using pop-ups. But I can’t do online courses for now but I can try out creating a free ebook for my subscribers.

    Thanks for these tips.

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I’m a WordPress Web Designer & Developer with over 15 years of experience making websites (including eCommerce and membership websites). If you would like a custom website, please get in touch!