“Build a Mailing List” is an almost universal piece of advice given by successful marketers to aspiring marketers. Anyone who’s done any of it can attest to the effectiveness of e-mail marketing. The biggest issue with it is often getting people to sign up to your list in the first place. The two products I’m reviewing and comparing in this article, PopUp Domination and Digi List Builder, are both designed to help you with that. Both are primarily created to work with WordPress sites (although there’s also a non-WP version of PopUp Domination) and both give you a variety of options for presenting visitors to your site with you opt-in box and whatever your sign-up incentive is.
Read on to learn about how these two products are different and see which one comes out on top.
|Name:||PopUp Domination||Digi List Builder|
|Creator:||Michael Dunlop, James Deer||Andy Fletcher|
|Medium:||WP and Standalone Scripts||WordPress Plugin|
What the two products have in common (apart from the fact that all the developers involved are British) is that they let you create an aesthetically pleasing opt-in form that “pops up” in one way or another, when someone visits your site.
Let’s take a step back and look at what is necessary, in principle, to get someone to sign up to your mailing list. There are two main factors that come into play:
- An Enticing Offer
It goes without saying that if you don’t have an enticing offer, a good reason for people to sign up, then your list-building efforts are almost certainly doomed to fail. That’s not to say that a “sign up to my newsletter” message never works, it’s just that a “sign up to get X” usually works far, far better.
- An Effective Presentation
The second factor is how this offer is presented and that’s where these two plugins come in. And it’s also where the two plugins are most different.
Instead of trying to express what these two programs do in writing, it’s a lot more effective to just show you what they do, on video:
And here's a recap and overview of the two products:
PopUp Domination 2.0
PopUp Domination is all about delivering an enticing and attractive presentation. It creates lightboxes which are large, eye-grabbing and beautifully designed. You can use images and bullet points to create very professional looking opt-in forms, without needing any design-skills yourself.
There are seven different lightbox-designs to choose from and for each one, you can select a theme color and a button color. All of the text in the lightboxes (headlines, bullet-points, button-text) are customizable, but there are hard limits to the text. For example, if you choose a lightbox that supports a one-line headline and three bullent-points, then that's exactly what you get. There's no way to add a fourth bullet point. This is not a huge drawback, but it is something you should be aware of.
Here are just a few examples of what the PopUp Domination 2.0 lightboxes can look like (click to expand):
Digi List Builder
Digi List Builder has less emphasis on making the opt-in form look good (although they still are well designed) - you can upload a custom image (like an ecover image or a visual call-to-action), upload a custom button and input some text.
The focus with this plugin lies on how and where you can present your form to the site visitors and Digi List Builder offers four options:
- a lightbox that appears every X number of pageloads (you can set the number of pageloads)
- an opt-in box that appears at the end of each blog post, before the comments section
- a footer opt-in area that scrolls with the page (i.e. it's always visible)
- an option that allows you subscribe people who comment on your blog to your list (can be unticked by visitor)
See the four variations below (click to expand):
Two more things are worth emphasizing about Digi List Builder: First of all, you can use any combination of these opt-in forms. Potentially, you can have all of them running at the same time, hammering your visitors with opt-in forms relentlessly (not recommended, but possible). Secondly, and this one is brilliant, anyone who subscribes to your list through Digi List Builder will henceforth no longer see the forms when they visit your site. This is extremely cool, as it allows you to crank up the "annoying" factor somewhat, without it turning off your subscribers.
Note that if you implement Digi List Builder on your site and you already have subscribers on your mailing list, they will still see the forms. The forms only vanish for those who opt in through Digi List Builder.
So, which one is better? Both of these products are very good in their own way, so I can't make a recommendation for one over the other. The way I see it, which of these plugins is better suited for you depends on how you want to utilize them.
If you have a site that is purely built as a traffic-magnet, to get people on your list, then Digi List Builder is the better choice. On a site like this, you don't have to worry about annoying people with the lightbox or footer opt-in, as you really want visitors to either sign up or leave, anyway.
If you have a blog where you are doing personal branding, then PopUp Domination might be the better choice, as it is easier to adapt to your site's overall visual style and has more of a "wow-factor". More advantages are that you can use PopUp Domination 2.0 on non-WordPress sites, you can specify specific pages and categories, if you don't want the lighbox to appear everywhere on your blog and you can use it as an exit-popup.