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How to Build Your Email List in WordPress with OptinMonster

Did you know that more than 70% of people leaving your website today will probably never come back again? Email marketing is the easiest and most reliable way to make sure that your users keep coming back. In this article we will show you how to build your email list in WordPress with OptinMonster, so you can convert your website visitors into subscribers and customers.

How to build your email list in WordPress with OptinMonster

What is OptinMonster?

OptinMonster is the best lead-generation plugin for WordPress that allows you to create and integrate highly effective email signup forms on your website. It works with most popular email service providers like Constant Contact, Aweber, MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, Mad Mimi, etc.

OptinMonster is created by WPBeginner in collaboration with Thomas Griffin Media, so you know that this is top-notch quality because we built it to use it on our own sites.

Why You Should Use OptinMonster?

OptinMonster not only allows you to create and design optin forms, it comes packed with many other features, which are guaranteed to boost your email list. We can say that with absolute confidence, because it helped us grow our email list by nearly 600%. Here are some of the features:

  • Beautiful Optin Forms. OptinMonster allows you to create visually stunning and user-friendly optin forms for your newsletter. You can choose from one of our highly effective optin designs or create a custom one for yourself.
  • Variety of Optin types You can choose from multiple optin types like lightbox popups, floating bars, sidebar slide-ins, full page takeovers (coming soon), etc.
  • A/B Split Testing feature allows you to test different optin forms and see which one is bringing you the maximum conversion. Turn it on with one-click and eliminate the guess work.
  • Page Level Targeting is a powerful feature that enables you to show targeted messages on specific posts, pages, categories, and/or custom post types on your site.
  • Exit-Intent Technology detects users behavior and allow you present them with a targeted campaign at the precise moment they’re about to leave your site. Its pretty awesome, we will tell you more about it later in this article.
  • Analytics and Reports allows you to see the stats that matter and take action accordingly.

Last but not least, we made sure that OptinMonster is beginner friendly, so folks from all skill level can use it and take advantage of it.

How to Build Your Email List With OptinMonster?

Now we will show you how to install and setup OptinMonster and then we will show you how to create your first optin. It is a very straight forward process, and the best part is that you don’t need to touch a single line of code.

Signing up and Installing OptinMonster in WordPress

OptinMonster is a SaaS tool by WPBeginner. It comes with a 14 days money back guarantee, so you can make your purchase in confidence.

Go to OptinMonster website and signup for a plan that meets your need.

Sign up for OptinMonster

Next, you need to install the OptinMonster plugin on your WordPress site. For more details, see our step by step guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

This plugin is just a connector between your WordPress site and OptinMonster.

Upon activation, click on the OptinMonster link in WordPress admin bar. You will be asked to enter your OptinMonster API credentials.

Enter OptinMonster API Keys

You can find this information from your account on OptinMonster website. Login to your account and then click on the ‘API’ link from the menu.

OptinMonster API keys

Copy your API username and Key and paste it into OptinMonster settings on your WordPress site. Click on ‘Connect to OptinMonster’ button to continue.

The plugin will now connect your WordPress site to your OptinMonster account.

Creating an Optin Form in WordPress Using OptinMonster

Now we will show you how to create your first optin form with OptinMonster.

First, you need to click on ‘Create New Optin’ button.

Create new optin

This will take you to the OptinMonster builder in a new browser tab.

Creating your first optin

You will start by entering a title for your Optin and then select or add your website. After that you need to select an optin type. For the sake of this article, we have chosen lightbox popup.

Creating new optin

Next, you need to choose a template for your optin. OptinMonster comes with several professionally designed templates that you can use as a starting point. You can customize these templates as much as you like with simple point and click.

As soon as you click on a template you will be taken to OptinMonster’s builder.

Design your Optin

Here you can design your optin form. You can change the text, colors, add images, all by simple point and click.

Once you are satisfied with the design. The next step is to connect the optin form to your email service provider.

Click on the ‘Integrations’ tab and then select your email service provider from the drop down menu.

Select and connect your email service provider

OptinMonster will now ask you to provide information like API keys to connect your email service. You can get this information from your account on your email service provider’s website.

After entering your API keys, click on the connect button. OptinMonster will connect to your email service provider. It will also show your email lists, you need to choose which one you want to use for this form.

Now that you have connected your optin to your email service, the next step is to set up how you want it to be displayed on your site.

Displaying Optin on Your WordPress Site

OptinMonster allows you to control exactly when and where you want the optin to appear on your WordPress site.

Simply click on the ‘Display’ tab in the optin builder and select when you want to display your optin.

Display rules for your optin

Click on any default rule set to expand it and you will be able to switch it on and configure its settings.

Next, scroll down and you will be able to see the rules for who can see the optin.

Target which users will see this optin

OptinMonster offers a bunch of pre-defined rulesets that you can choose from.

After that you need to click on ‘Campaign’ button on the top and change its status to ‘Start campaign’.

You can now save and exit the optin builder. Your optin is now ready to be displayed on your WordPress site.

Head over to OptinMonster settings on your WordPress site. You will now see your newly created optin listed there. If you don’t see it, then click on the ‘Refresh Optins’ button.

Edit output settings

Now you need to click on the ‘Edit output settings’ link under your optin.

On the next screen, you need to check the box under ‘Enable optin on site?’ option. You can choose who will see the optin on your WordPress site. You can also click on the advanced settings to exclude pages where you don’t want to show it.

Enable optin on your site

Don’t forget to click on the save settings button to store your changes.

That’s it. OptinMonster will now start showing optin on your website. You can visit your website to see it in action.

OptinMonster lightbox popup displayed on a WordPress site

A/B Split Testing For Optins in WordPress

Slight changes in the appearance, text, and even colors can dramatically increase your email signups. But how do you know which optin will bring you the most conversions?

OptinMonster comes with many different types of optins that you can use on your WordPress site. It also comes with easy-to-use A/B split test feature that eliminates the guesswork for you.

All you have to do is to enable optins you want to test, then on the optins list page click on the split test button and create new split test variation.

Running split tests in OptinMonster

OptinMonster will replicate your existing optin, and then you can modify it to your choosing. Perhaps show a different headline or even an entirely different offer. You’ll be surprised by the results.


After years of trying out various different products, we found that most of them would slow down your site and were extremely buggy. Some even had terrible support.

After failed attempts of fixing the bugs, we decided to create our own solution, OptinMonster. Like any of our other products, it is top-notch quality, and it delivers results.

We’re seeing an optin increase of upto 600% on our sites. If you’re looking to build your email list or improve your optin rates, then you should use OptinMonster.

We hope this article helped you learn how to build your email list in WordPress with OptinMonster. You may also want to see our how to do lead generation in WordPress like a pro.

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Reader Interactions

27 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. I’ve been using OptInMonster and I like it, but I’m confused because it says that my forms have captured several “leads” but none of those have been added to my MailChimp list. Why is that? The integrations have been set up.

  2. Hi,

    I was looking at your OptinMonster and was wondering if it is responsive? On your case study page you did mention that it will not show unless the browser is at least 700px wide, does this mean that it is not responsible design? I mean in a mobile device, will the optin text be easy readable?


  3. Using OptInMonster, can you show pop-ups only to people who are not already subscribed to your email list?

  4. I have Adsense on my WP Blog Correct me if I’m wrong but they don’t allow you to have pop-ups or pop-overs & this is kind of what I read above with the exit pop-up technology?

    • Adsense disapproves putting their ads in lightbox popups … not lightbox popups altogether. OptinMonster is completely compatible with Adsense. OptinMonster lightbox popup comes with user controls so that users can turn it off. It does not affect user experience. You can even delay the popup to further improve user experience on your site.


  5. I was really sure about this…until I went to leave the page and the email opt-in popped up!

  6. Page level targeting? Sold. Sounds like an excellent plug-in. Will be interesting to see how this works.

    Also, doesn’t this plug-in now render Pippity.. useless? Definitely seems more powerful.

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