Love them or hate them, popups, especially those that push people to subscribe to your email list, are a digital marketing tactic that is here to stay.
But if you want to dip your toes into the world of popups, you’re going to need a WordPress popup plugin to help you do it.
To help you find the plugin that’s right for your needs, I collected some of the best free and premium popup plugins for WordPress.
Give the list a read, find the tool that looks best for your use and budget, and start seeing if popups can help you more effectively grow your email list or promote other offers on your site!
Note: This list has been updated in January 2019 to include some new alternatives that are definitely worth checking out!
OptinMonster is a massively popular popup tool from, in part, Syed Balkhi of WPBeginner fame.
It helps you not just create popups on your WordPress site, but also target them in a bunch of beneficial ways.
To create your popups, you can start from one of the many pre-made templates and then customize them using simple drag and drop. You can, of course, also start from a blank canvas – but the templates are pretty good so that’s probably what you’ll use most of the time.
As for the format of your popups, you can choose between:
- Lightbox popup
- Fullscreen welcome mat
- Slide-in scroll box
And OptinMonster also includes a bunch of non-popup campaign types like:
- Inline forms
- Floating bars
- Sidebar forms
- Content lockers
- Countdown timers
To trigger your popups, you have a similarly broad array of options:
- Exit-Intent – displays the popup as a visitor is getting ready to leave your page for another chance to recover the visitor.
- Scroll trigger
- Timed display
- InactivitySensor – displays a popup when a visitor has been inactive for a certain amount of time.
- 2-step opt-ins – displays the popup when your visitor clicks a button.
Beyond the triggers, you also have a ton of different targeting options to make sure you only display popups to the right visitors. You can target popups based on:
- Certain posts/pages
- Device – helpful for avoiding Google’s mobile popup penalty
- AdBlock usage
As you’d expect, OptinMonster also integrates with most popular email marketing services.
And even though OptinMonster is technically a standalone SaaS, it includes a dedicated WordPress plugin that makes it super simple to use OptinMonster on your WordPress site.
The team at Elementor have released a brand new Popup Builder feature, included in Elementor Pro, that offers an all-in-one solution for designing and managing popups in WordPress. Popups are the best way to get leads, conversions and sales. Just because most popups are ugly, doesn’t mean yours have to be the same!
Build Popups in the same place you build your website, so your site design remains consistent and you are able to get more conversions.
This solution enables you to create all types of popups:
- Fly In
- Full Screen
- Hello Bar
- Bottom Bar
- …and more.
You can use the popups in many ways too, including:
- Email subscriptions to gather new leads
- Login forms for your users to log in without leaving the current page
- Promotion and sale banners
- Content lock and upgrades for premium content or age restrictions
- Notify site visitors about maintenance, news or updates that are important
- Create a full-screen “welcome mat” for people the second they land on your site
- …and much more.
You get the power of Elementor to create the popups that you need. You may even show popups on pages that are not built using Elementor. That’s right, all you need is to have Elementor Pro installed & activated on your site and you can use the full power of Elementor Popups.
What Popups lacks in naming creativity, it makes up for in ease of use and WordPress-specific targeting methods.
While it doesn’t offer as many features as OptinMonster, it’s great for more basic types of popups, has some neat WordPress-specific targeting methods, and it also has the benefit of being free!
With it, you can create popups that display in five different locations.
The popup builder tool isn’t drag and drop, but it’s still pretty simple and easy to use.
Once you choose how your popup will look, you can target it using AND/OR rules and criteria like:
- WordPress user role or logged-in status
- Whether or not a user has left a comment
- Specific posts/pages or categories
And you can also trigger by:
- Scroll depth
And the premium version adds additional triggers for:
- Specific elements that appear in the viewport
MailOptin is a popular list building tool that can help you grow your email lists in a lot of different ways, including popups. You can also create other types of optins such as slide-ins, notification bar, sidebar and widget forms and lots more.
To create your forms, you’ll choose from the included templates and then customize your opt-in using the real-time WordPress Customizer (yes – the same type of interface that you use when you customize your WordPress theme).
There are many display triggers available which you can take advantage of to show your popup, such as:
- Scroll depth
- Number of page views
- Time on site
- Adblock usage
- Referral detection
- Device detection
- New vs returning visitors
MailOptin integrates with all the popular email marketing services including Mailchimp, AWeber, ActiveCampaign, MailerLite, Drip, Constant Contact, and ConvertKit.
MailOptin stores all of your leads in an in-dashboard “lead bank”. And it can also help you set up email automation in conjunction with your third-party email marketing service. For example, you can have MailOptin send out new emails via Mailchimp whenever you publish new content.
With over 30,000 sales and a ~4.4-star rating, Ninja Popups is one of the most popular WordPress popup plugins available at Code Canyon.
In addition to a huge array of pre-built templates for a variety of uses, it’s also packed with features like:
- Visual drag and drop popup builder
- 10 different popup positions
- 74 different animation effects
- Anti-adblock technology to get around ad blockers
- A variety of targeting options, like page-level, exit-intent, timing, and more
- In-dashboard statistics
- Content locker for email opt-in or social shares
- A/B testing
- Tons of email marketing service integrations
Popup Maker is the most popular popup plugin listed at WordPress.org with over 300,000 active installs.
It helps you create a wide variety of popups like:
- Opt-in forms
- Cookie notices
- Video lightboxes
- And more
The popup editor tool helps you build your popups using the familiar WordPress interface, though it’s not a drag and drop builder like OptinMonster or Ninja Popups.
As for targeting, Popup Maker sets you up with a bunch of conditions to target specific content on your site, though most of the more advanced targeting options are locked behind a premium add-on.
And you can also choose from plenty of triggers, though once again most of the more advanced triggers are locked behind a paid add-on.
Popup Domination is one of the oldest popup tools out there, which is a big part of why its tagline is “the world famous popup software that Pioneered an Industry.”
And while it has been around for a while, Popup Domination has made plenty of updates to stay competitive.
Not only does it come with a bunch of pre-built popup themes to help you get started, it also includes:
- Analytics so that you can see how your popups are doing
- A/B testing to optimize your popups based on that data
- A bunch of targeting options like exit-intent, on-click, page-level, referrer, device
- All the popular triggers like time, scroll depth, page views, and more
- Google Analytics Event Tracking integration so that you can see your data inside Google Analytics
And beyond those features, Popup Domination also has a unique pricing model in comparison to OptinMonster.
Rather than paying more for additional features, Popup Domination gives you all the features in each plan and only charges you based on how many popup views you have per month.
Depending on your needs, that might work out to be cheaper than OptinMonster.
The Sumo plugin isn’t just about popups – it’s a whole suite of tools for your WordPress site.
But one of the most popular tools in that bundle is List Builder which, you guessed it, helps you display email opt-in popups on your site.
You can use drag and drop to build your popups using custom images, buttons, and text.
Then, you can trigger your popup with conditions like:
- Exit intent
- Scroll depth
And Sumo List Builder also includes A/B testing and analytics so that you can optimize the popups you use on your site.
Sumo List Builder isn’t as flexible in terms of the types of popups that you can create, but if you specifically want to build your email list using popups, it’s a great option.
The only downside is that you’ll need to pay for Sumo Pro if you want to remove the Sumo branding or get access to one-click integrations with most email marketing services.
With Great Popup Power Comes Great Responsibility
Now that you know some of the best popup plugins for WordPress, it might be tempting to get out there and start going popup crazy.
But don’t do that…
Ease into popups and make sure to do them in a way that’s as respectful as possible to your readers.
That way, you can build your email list and promote your offers without annoying your audience.
Know any other great WordPress popup plugins? Let us know in the comments so we can all learn something new!