11 Free WordPress Plugins That Can Boost Your Email Marketing

Update: As time goes up, plugins fade out. As of this update (8/27/13), the CalendarPress plugin no longer exists and the FacebookShare and Instant Highlighter plugins have not been updated in over 2 years and therefore may or may not be supported at this time.

Power can come in many forms. Popeye gets his power from spinach. Green Lantern has his ring. Harry Potter has his wand. And email marketing has…plugins!

If you’re running your blog with WordPress.org, you should know the power of the plugin and how it can benefit your email marketing campaign. Plugins can help your campaign go from average to awesome.

What plugins can make that happen? We’ve picked out some good ones you can use.

Build Your List

AWeber WordPress Web Form Widget
What it does: Adds your AWeber web form to your WordPress blog.

Why it’s good: It’s a quick and easy way to start gathering subscribers from your blog! You can create beautiful forms using our templates, then just log into WordPress to connect the form with your blog!

What Would Seth Godin Do
What it does: Popular marketer Seth Godin recommends using cookies to distinguish between new visitors and returning ones. This plugin adheres to his advice by welcoming new visitors with a special message and invites them to subscribe to your mailing list.

Why it’s good: New people coming in may not know who you are or what you do. This plugin gives you the ability to differentiate how you approach new visitors vs. repeat ones. This means you can give new visitors more background information while also asking them to subscribe.

What it does: Allows you to include upcoming events plus a signup system on your blog.

Why it’s good: People can see what you’re doing and when. You can list the schedule of topics you plan to talk about, webinars and podcasts, or live events you’ll be hosting. This can be a way for you to set expectations for subscribers, and get them curious to see what’s in your emails.

Include your calender near your web form, so those that are interested can immediately sign up.

Encourage Sharing

Facebook Share
What it does: Facebook Share adds a link that allows Facebook users to easily share your post.

Why it’s good: Facebook currently has over 500 million users! You want your material shared on Facebook so more people can come back to your site and subscribe.

Make sure you have one of the list building plugins set up so any new visitors coming from these Facebook links can subscribe!

Twitter is another popular social media site with over 200 million registered accounts. There is a plugin called Tweet This that you can also include for Twitter users.

What it does: Automatically adds links to your favorite social bookmarking sites such as Digg, StumbleUpon and del.icio.us.

Why it’s good: Readers are able to use links to bookmark posts via different platforms. If people continue to bookmark and go back to your posts, they are more likely to want to subscribe. They will have seen that your content is helpful and they continue to go back to it and share it.

You can set up a form that allows subscribers to choose which list they would like to subscriber to, and one of those lists can be for just your blog posts.

Learn What Subscribers Want

WP Polls
What it does: Allows you to set up a poll on your blog for readers.

Why it’s good: You can learn more about what your audience wants. You can ask questions about how often they’d like you to email, what you should talk about, or learn the demographics of your audience. Once you have more information, you can use it for content ideas when creating emails.

Post Ratings
What it is: Blog readers have the opportunity to rate your posts.

Why it’s good: Letting readers rate your posts can give you insight on what they like and don’t like. You can try presenting your content in different ways and see how your readers respond.

The blog broadcast feature can be set up so you can choose which posts go out to subscribers.

Optimize Your Marketing

All in One SEO Pack
What it does: Optimizes your blog for search engines.

Why it’s good: This particular plugin is good for both beginner and experienced marketers. A blog that’s optimized for search engines will get more traffic, so you’ll have more potential subscribers coming to your site.

Make sure you have a form on every page of your website, so no matter what page visitors are landing on they have the opportunity to sign up.

What it does: Gives you stats for how many visitors you’re getting on each page, where visitors came from, visitor behavior, etc.

Why it’s good: You can see what pages are popular, so you know where your web forms should go if you don’t want to have it on every page. You can also learn more about your audience, and you can use this information to set up split tests for your web forms.

Engage Subscribers

What it does: Restricts certain content to show only for registered subscribers.

Why it’s good: Allows you to share premium content to a select group. AWeber integrates with many shopping carts, so if it’s paid content you’re offering they can be sent a confirmation message for your list upon purchase. You can offer sneak peeks for your “premium content” to get people interested, but they have to subscribe to get everything.

Instant Highlighter
What it does: Readers can highlight parts of your page and then share that page.

Why it’s good: Your blog broadcast can be set up to include the first paragraph of your post and a “Read more” link for your subscriber to go to your site. From there, subscribers can use the highlighter.

It’s a fun way to get subscribers engaged and note their favorite parts. Sharing the highlighted version with friends can bring out what they/their friend find interesting, potentially bringing in more subscribers.

What AWesome Plugins Do You Use?

There are lots of plugins, so surely you know some that we don’t. What has helped your campaign?


  1. omar pacheco

    9/2/2011 6:25 pm

    Thank you for the suggestions,

    I have used most of them. Very usefull, but you gave me some new ideas when others I have not tried.


  2. Jean-Claude Suffrena

    9/5/2011 4:24 pm

    I need to know the easiest way to make a squeeze page.

  3. Manager

    9/5/2011 8:45 pm

    Hi!, im thinking about installing aweber on my blog.

    One simple question, can I set up the same form for a) Aweber optin b) WordPress member login c) WP Membership plugin

    Or let’s make it two, how do I import an existing database?

    Tks & Rgds!

  4. Ryan

    9/6/2011 3:33 am

    The Product Style plugin is a nice plugin for monetizing WordPress site traffic with affiliate programs. It’s available as a free download on WordPress.org.

    Sites that direct their traffic to their own website to read recent news or articles can link to relational products with the plugin to refer sales for commissions.

    Affiliate marketing is just one way that I montize my newsletters and thought it might be a useful tip since I didn’t see it mentioned here already.

  5. Crystal Gouldey

    9/6/2011 9:08 am

    Thanks for the comments!

    Jean-Claude- AWeber doesn’t provide squeeze pages. However, you can create a sign up form and we provide the code for that form so you can insert it in a page on your website.

    Manager- The AWeber form can only add people to your AWeber list. You can import a list (as long as they specifically requested to be added to your email list) into AWeber by following these instructions.

  6. Lance Nelson

    9/6/2011 9:08 am

    very helpful, will try some of these soon, thank you!

  7. LTH

    9/6/2011 9:52 am

    Thank you for posting such valuable information. I really enjoyed this post and learned alot, too. It’s good to know lists can be imported.

    If I import 100 names, does that go toward the 500 name limit on aweber, or does the 500 limit apply only to those who signed up directly thru aweber?

  8. Akhere

    9/6/2011 10:19 am

    Wonderful article with great tips on maximizing blog potentials with plug-ins.

  9. Jesus

    9/6/2011 11:57 am

    Hi there,

    Very nice post.

    I’m looking for something similar to the “What Would Seth Godin Do” plugin. I would like to have one plugin that for example don’t show the subscriber widget when a visitor subscribe to my list.

    Anyone knows anything about that?


  10. John Peterson

    9/6/2011 1:19 pm

    Thank you so much for all the help. It is really nice to know that everything doesn’t have to be an up-sell! Your continued support is appreciated.

    John Peterson

  11. Johnn

    9/6/2011 2:38 pm

    Related Posts plugin is a great way to automate surfacing additional content on your blog to make your site a bit stickier.

    Although not a plugin, do not forget the static text widget that comes with WP. Use it to post messages or graphics, with links to other content on your site.

    For example, Member of the Month, with link to person’s profile on your site, or “Funny Sh*t My Visitors Say” with short quotes from comments and links to those comments.

  12. Louise

    9/6/2011 3:06 pm

    Great list! There are a few plugins there that I didn’t know about. The WP-Members sounds really great, gives me some ideas… 🙂

  13. Diana

    9/6/2011 4:36 pm

    Thanks so much for the info…I am starting to build a blog and this will be very helpful!

  14. Steve

    9/6/2011 5:09 pm

    Yoast’s WordPress for SEO plugin (http://yoast.com/articles/wordpress-seo/) is much better than All in One SEO Pack. I’ve used both for quite some time, but switched after listening to a radio show where Yoast and Matt Cutts (from Google) discussed SEO and the All in One plugin’s deficiencies.

  15. Steve

    9/6/2011 5:13 pm

    Sorry, I provided the wrong URL regarding Yoast’s SEO plugin. Here is the correct one:


  16. Patrice Decoeur

    9/10/2011 12:45 am

    Great article, thanks! They are many other plugins. I used for instance “Add This” (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/addthis/) for sharing my contents on social media.

  17. G

    9/10/2011 6:40 am

    These are really useful plugins…and its good to have a suggested list here…Thanks.

  18. Crystal Gouldey

    9/16/2011 9:47 am

    LTH- Imported names do count toward the total. All subscribed email addresses will be included in your total.

    Thanks to everyone for your tips!

  19. Ndzulo

    9/18/2011 12:14 pm

    I agree with Steve talking about Yoast’s SEO plugin. I will test the “What Would Seth Godin Do” plugin but would recommend the “WP Greet Box” plug-in as an acceptable alternative as it offers the possibility to customize welcome messages depending on the website your visitors come from.

    Great post here Crystal!

  20. Brian

    9/19/2011 8:39 am

    Great artlicle, I didn’t know about some of these plug ins. Thanks
    This will help my sign ups to my free video series around ways to grow your email list.

  21. John

    10/1/2011 6:34 am

    WordPress plugin does a lot of remarkable things that you can not believe. It completely automate everything and make the job faster.

  22. Daniel

    11/1/2011 11:29 pm

    Loads of people use my optincrusher plugin to boost their optins:

    It’s designed to get attention without interrupting which boosts optins without increasing the bounce rate.

  23. Rebekah Henson

    11/2/2011 8:18 am

    Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for sharing your plug-in. That’s great that it integrates with our service!

  24. S

    11/3/2011 4:22 pm

    I like the idea of the membership plug in. Going to give that one a try.

  25. Mike

    12/1/2011 7:42 am

    Great post here folks and I have used many of the plugins, but there are a couple there I am very pleased to find! Thank you for that Crystal!

    If you need a Slide Show plugin the Meteor Slides is excellent and fully customisable for multiple slide show sizes. The guy who put it together, Josh Leuze, is very helpful as well…http://www.jleuze.com/plugins/meteor-slides/

    Jean Claude – to set up a Squeeze page, a theme called Optimise Press is a great way to have Squeeze pages, Sales Pages, Blog Pages, membership and a great set of video tutorials.

    Not used the membership yet but the others I am using. Aweber forms etc all work fine in these situations. If you want to know more about Optimise do get in touch

    Bye for now


  26. baam

    3/7/2012 9:50 pm

    check out tab slide. it allows you to slide your target content in and out of the visible page. you can use it in tandem with a lot of other plugins/widgets


  27. Martin Sansom

    6/26/2012 5:35 am

    Great blog post – I’d be interested to see if WP-Members can work with e-commerce plugins like Woo Commerce so that customers with different purchase histories or loyalty points can be shown different prices or product recommendations.

    On our own e-commerce websites, Sparkstone does something similar using a function we call curtaining.

  28. jhon

    10/14/2012 5:37 pm

    thanks for this useful list of wordpress plugins… i like WP-PostRatings plugin…

  29. Jennifer Johnson

    2/10/2013 5:57 am

    I have just installed the Seth Godin plugin after reading this and now I am trying to get it to work on my site.

    Hopefully I will have it showing soon!

  30. Wendy

    8/22/2013 2:19 pm

    Thanks for this info. I did not know these are available much less free.

  31. Bo

    8/24/2013 9:22 am

    I love Yoast’s SEO, and also use Statcounter, as well as some others on the list. Good list.

  32. Michel Snook

    8/26/2013 7:38 pm

    Great Post. I agree with Steve and Ndzulo about the Yoast SEO plugin being a better option that All-In-One SEO. I have 11 blogs and have tried both plugins. The one that has given me better results and actually helps optimize that post has been Yoast’s plugin hands down! Now 10 of my 11 blogs have Yoast. The 11th one has the Thesis theme which already comes with excellent built-in SEO

  33. Marko Oly

    8/30/2013 9:40 pm

    Nice post Crystal, I agree with the others about the Yoast Plugin being a good one.

    As the admin can I use the Highlighter plugin to high light stuff on my post?


  34. Evene Palliate

    7/23/2014 7:26 am

    Great post Crystal. Its still useful today for most of the plugins, there are one or two that haven’t been updated for years though, e.g. Facebook Share. But its not a big deal since wordpress.org will inform anyone who wants to download.