If your business has a blog, sending out an email newsletter is essential. Not only is it a simple way to distribute your content, but it can also help you better understand what type of content is resonating with your target audience so you can optimize your content strategy.
Beyond content distribution, an email newsletter can also help generate paying customers for your business. 31% of B2B marketers report that email newsletters are the best way to turn leads to customers, and 64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach customers once converted.
So, you're cranking out content on your WordPress site, and you know you can grow your business through an email newsletter ... Wouldn't it be great if you could send this newsletter directly within WordPress?
With plugins, you can. Some of the most popular WordPress plugins available are for email marketing. With an email plugin, you can generate leads, segment your contacts, and nurture them into customers, all within WordPress.
To ensure you're able to use WordPress for all your content distribution and email marketing needs, we've made this list of the best WordPress email plugins.
Sure, the HubSpot WordPress Plugin includes forms and pop-ups, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. On top of the ability to develop forms and pop-ups with a simple drag-and-drop interface, HubSpot collects submissions from any form you have on your WordPress site and automatically adds those leads into your CRM, so you can begin nurturing them into loyal customers immediately.
The plugin includes a live chat tool, so you can begin engaging with site visitors, and even generate leads off of those conversations. You can also deploy bots to answer simple questions that your visitors have, ensuring that you’re supporting your website visitors even when your team is offline.
Once someone submits their information on one of your pop-ups, you can automate a simple kickback email to get in touch with that lead and deliver the content you promised them. You can also upgrade to a paid version of Marketing Hub to begin emailing those contacts right away.
Best for: We recommend the HubSpot WordPress Plugin for anyone. Between forms, pop-ups, live chat, and a fully integrated CRM, there's no better free email subscription plugin available for WordPress.
MailPoet is one of the most popular free newsletter plugins for WordPress. To manage your subscribers, you can easily import an existing list from your CRM or another marketing automation tool, or create forms and add them to your site using widgets. Plus, the drag-and-drop email editor lets you quickly create responsive emails that look great on any device or email service.
MailPoet is free for anyone with less than 1,000 subscribers but becomes more powerful upon upgrading. Premium users can see exactly which subscribers have opened an email and what links people are clicking on within your email, among a number of other advanced features.
Best for: Those who want a popular, free, and versatile email newsletter plugin for WordPress should try MailPoet and experiment with its subscriber management, email builder, and automation tools. Those with smaller lists can leverage premium features for free as well.
Newsletter is an email marketing tool built specifically for WordPress, and everything you need to get started is included. The plugin allows you to add a subscription form or pop-up to your site, compose emails in a drag-and-drop builder, segment your leads using multi-list targeting, and send newsletters to distribute your blog content.
Additionally, the tool has built-in reporting, so you can see exactly how your emails are performing. You can even automate newsletters to go out on a regular cadence to ensure you are consistently engaging with your subscribers. Newsletter also integrates with other tools, such as Mailgun and Spark Post, so you can optimize your email strategy based on your needs.
Best for: The Newsletter plugin is best for WordPress bloggers looking to automate their newsletters and track performance. It's another popular, well-received option that's worth trying out for free.
Sendinblue offers cloud-based digital marketing tools to over 50,000 growing companies around the world, and its WordPress plugin brings the power of the platform directly into WordPress.
With the Sendinblue WordPress plugin, you can create forms to capture leads, manage lists of subscribers, create and send email marketing campaigns, and measure your success over time using the included reports. The plugin features a drag-and-drop email editor, and you're able to personalize components of your email to increase engagement with subscribers. The free version lets you send up to 300 emails per day.
The Sendinblue WordPress plugin also includes transactional email. Using the wp_mail function, you'll be able to send transactional emails using Sendinblue's SMTP. This feature is great for sending order confirmations or updating your customers on important changes to their accounts.
Best for: WordPress business owners in need of a simple but inclusive email marketing plugin will enjoy Sendinblue for its tools, support, and integration with its other advanced marketing tools. You can get decent mileage from the plugin for free before reaching your send limit.
Sumo has over 60,000 active installations within WordPress — and for good reason. Beyond just pop-ups, welcome emails, and automated drip campaigns, they also have a number of other features to help you grow your business.
The plugin features a "share" button that you can add anywhere on your site, which allows your site visitors to easily share your content on social. The plugin also integrates directly with WooCommerce so you can create discounts and unique offers to increase your order value, and minimize the number of abandoned carts you have.
On top of all the plugin's features, Sumo offers free customer support, and even one-on-one onboarding for all customers (free and paid) to ensure you're getting the most out of the plugin.
Best for: Sumo works great for ecommerce websites and WooCommerce that run regular email campaigns. New businesses will appreciate the generous free version, which allows up to 10,000 emails per month and unlimited subscribers.
Email Subscribers & Newsletters is a plugin that lets you easily notify your subscribers when you have new blog content available. With it, you can add a subscription box to your site and get notified every time someone signs up for your newsletter. You can then notify your subscribers whenever a new post is published, or create a custom newsletter to share your content.
Email Subscribers & Newsletters is also serious about the health of your email lists. They offer double opt-in functionality so you can ensure that you're only reaching out to people interested in what your website has to offer. You have the option to add captchas to your subscription box to prevent bots from ruining your email lists. The tool offers list cleanup and spam testing services too.
Best for: Email Subscribers & Newsletters is best for bloggers who want a simple plugin to notify readers when a new blog post is published, along with some simple metrics and a custom newsletter option.
Subscribe2 lets you send either simple notifications to your blog subscribers whenever you post new content, or a recurring digest of posts. Through the plugin, you can also exclude specific categories of posts from being included in your emails, or even exclude posts on an individual basis.
The tool lets you create simple plain text emails, or create custom HTML emails. You can also upgrade to its paid service (MailOptin) to send emails to your contact lists in Mailchimp, AWeber, or other email service providers.
Best for: Subscribe2 is another WordPress email plugin that's ideal for bloggers who want to send email alerts to subscribers, or to compile their most recent blog posts into a digest.
SendPress is a simple, easy-to-use email newsletter plugin. With it, you can import contacts and content from your WordPress site directly into the plugin, making it easy to create a blog notification email.
SendPress features several styling and editing options so you can send professional emails without any coding skills. They also have a service called AutoCron, which will check your site on a regular schedule to make sure your scheduled emails are being sent.
Note that for features like advanced analytics, bounce handling, and campaign tracking through third-party software like Google Analytics, you'll need to upgrade to the paid version.
Best for: SendPress provides a simple email automation subscription for small WordPress sites that want to grow their audiences.
The widely popular and powerful OptinMonster plugin, as the name suggests, helps you grow your WordPress email list and get more subscribers through a variety of pop-ups and static forms. The tool comes with a drag-and-drop editor that lets you build your form from scratch, or select from a pre-built template.
What sets OptinMonster apart from other plugins is its targeting options. Using exit intent technology, OptinMonster will deploy a pop-up based on when a user is getting ready to leave a page. The plugin also has page-level targeting options, so you can tailor your content offers to a visitor's location and behavior on your site. You can then use this information to tailor your email campaigns using any one of OptinMonster's many integrated email service providers.
Best for: Marketers who want to implement popups in their marketing strategies (especially for exit intents), and implement advanced tracking on their forms and email campaigns to drive conversions.
10. Thrive Leads
Like OptinMonster, Thrive Leads is focused on growing your subscriber list, and growing it fast. This tool includes a long list of pop-up types, including full-screen overlays and even multiple-choice forms. It also includes the targeting options that you'd expect out of an email subscription plugin.
Additionally, Thrive Leads offers A/B Testing so you can see whether a different design, or an entirely different content offer performs better — allowing you to greatly increase your conversion rates.
Best for: Thrive Leads is a comprehensive tool to help online businesses grow subscribers, increase conversions, and target the right visitors at the right time. If that's you, try it out. Also note that Thrive Leads is more of a form tool than anything else — email is just one part, and the plugin works best when integrated with another email tool.
11. WP Subscribe
WP Subscribe is built by MyThemeShop, a company that builds WordPress themes and plugins that are fast, reliable, look great on any site, and are SEO-friendly. WP Subscribe checks off all those boxes. They have optimized the code on the plugin to ensure that it loads fast, and doesn't slow down your site.
With WP subscribe, you can add your subscription form anywhere on your site, and feel rest-assured that it will be fully responsive to whatever screen size your site visitor is viewing your site on. The plugin is also compatible with several popular email service providers, such as AWeber and MailChimp, so you can begin leveraging your email lists immediately.
Best for: Use WP Subscribe to build custom forms and grow your email list — for anything else, you'll need to integrate with another email automation tool.
12. Ninja Forms
Ninja Forms has over one million installations on WordPress, making it one of the most popular form plugins available. Ninja has all the features you’d expect in your email subscription form builder, plus a few extra features that make it stand out. Namely, its acclaimed builder tool lets anyone make professional-looking forms without touching any code.
The plugin features several different anti-spam options, including Google’s reCAPTCHA, to ensure the validity of your form submissions. They also let you collect payments via integrations with PayPal Express, Stripe, and Elavon. The plugin integrates with a long list of the most popular mailing list tools, so you can start emailing your new leads right away.
Best for: WordPress users who need a reliable form builder tool to grow their email subscriber list should put Ninja Forms on the list — it's one of the leading options available, and it's flexible enough that you can use it for other cases beyond email signups.
The Email Template Customizer for WooCommerce plugin extends the functionality of the WooCommerce plugin by allowing you to customize the email template. Build out emails with a library of useful elements specific to WooCommerce, like order, billing, and shipping details.
Everything is drag-and-drop, and the plugin can be used by anyone who already knows WooCommerce. Thanks to the tool, sending transactional emails, order confirmations, and shipping confirmations. With the paid version, you can also recommend products in emails, give coupons, and send target emails based on orders that match certain criteria.
Best for: WooCommerce site owners should try Email Template Customizer for WooCommerce as a solution to build custom emails to customers.
The developers behind the popular WPForms plugin have also created an email-specific plugin, WP Mail SMTP. This plugin aims to solve email deliverability issues by configuring WordPress to follow SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol), the standard for sending emails, instead of PHPMailer, the WordPress default.
With over 2 million downloads to date, WP Mail SMTP has helped improve deliverability for many WordPress sites. It helps authenticate your emails to email clients, avoiding the spam folder or a failed delivery. The plugin works by reconfiguring the wp_mail() function to integrate with a credited SMTP provider.
If that sounds like gibberish, don’t worry — the plugin walks you through the process and provides documentation in case you’re stuck.
Best for: WordPress marketers who are experiencing email deliverability issues may consider trying this plugin.
Upgrade your WordPress emails.
It’s important to choose the plugin that works best for you. Whether you need a plugin that is highly customizable, or one that simply drives submissions so you can get your email newsletter off the ground, the options here provide a great starting point for you to explore as you consider how you can start building out your subscribers list.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in May 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.