WordPress plugins have been game-changing for online business owners since the early 2000s.
Before plugins, if you wanted an opt-in form on your site to collect email addresses, you had to know basic HTML.
Nowadays, it takes less than 15 minutes to drag and drop some images and publish an opt-in box on your site. This makes our job as business owners much easier and more impactful when building out our sales funnels, and it’s all thanks to plugins.
Chances are, you already have a WordPress site for publishing content. But if you’re not taking advantage of plugins, you’re not using WordPress to its fullest potential, and you could be missing out on adding more qualified leads into your funnel.
So how do you know which plugins will bring you the best results, when there’s so many to choose from?
I’ve compiled a list of five key plugins worth investing in to build your sales funnel. On top of that, I’ve included two bonus tools that will help you simplify the tasks involved.
These are the plugins we use here at AutoGrow.co to build sales funnels for our own clients. They’re simple to use, and—even better—many of these plugins work together to simplify tasks even further.
Plugin #1: OptinMonster
Purpose: To paraphrase Frank Kern, the money isn’t in the list, nor in your relationship with your email list; the money is in the value you provide to your list.
In either case, to have a growing, thriving funnel you need a growing email list.
If you want to build an email list faster and faster, use OptinMonster. You can also use this plugin for making customizable pop-ups and opt-in widgets on your site.
- Exit detection pop-ups, which can draw a prospect back to your site before leaving it. OptinMonster’s pop-ups appear during the crucial “mouse out” moment. This is right as the prospect is about to type in a new web address or press the “back” button.
- A/B split testing for deciding which version of your homepage, landing page, sales page, etc. will convert more customers.
- Page-level targeting for customized offers based on a prospect’s site behavior and location.
- Targeted mobile pop-ups for smartphone and tablet users.
- In-line and after-post opt-in forms to drive conversions with your content, such as informational pages and blog posts.
How It’s Used in a Sales Funnel: OptinMonster can benefit your sales funnel in three ways.
First, you can use this plugin to promote a high converting lead magnet across your website, to turn visitors into subscribers.
Second, you can use the info from their page-level targeting feature to send targeted emails to your subscribers in the follow-up stage of your funnel.
Third, OptinMonster makes it easy to A/B split test your optin forms.
They have an easy “split test” button that creates a replica of the form you want to test. Then it serves up different variations of your form on your site so you can see what works best.
Plugin #2: CoSchedule
Purpose: You can’t always be there to publish (and promote) your blog posts when you want them to go live. That’s what CoSchedule is for.
You can use it to schedule your blog posts in advance, and connect your social media accounts to share those blog posts at a specific time.
- Import content directly from Google Docs
- Pre-schedule for publishing an entire day, week, or month’s worth of content and social shares.
- Drag-and-drop features for your editorial calendar and projects.
- Collaborative abilities, where multiple users can work on various content projects at the same time, even if they’re not in the same place.
- Syncing with all social media platforms to the CoSchedule dashboard for fast, easy, and automated social media scheduling.
- Built-in analytics for tracking the success of your content strategy.
How It’s Used in a Sales Funnel: Content is the “fuel” part of your sales funnel, which drives traffic.
With CoSchedule as part of your sales funnel, you can create and schedule content that brings visitors to your site or launch various content sequences to promote a coming product or service (which is what we did with our 6-Figure Sales Funnel course).
Plugin #3: Thrive Leads
Purpose: Thrive Leads is like OptinMonster in that you can use various widgets to build an email list. The key difference is that you can also add two-step optins for your lead magnets and content upgrades. This is a lot like the triggered opt-in OptinMonster uses. The key difference though is that Thrive Leads is only available to for self-hosted WordPress users.
- Trigger opt-in forms based on a user’s site behavior or how long they’ve used the site.
- SmartExit+ for catching prospects before they exit the site. SmartExit+ pop-ups will only appear based on specific conditions.
- A two-step opt-in process for more conversions.
How It’s Used in a Sales Funnel: The main goal for Thrive Leads is to capture the contact details of a lead. You can do this with their pop-ups, exit pop-ups, and landing pages.
With Thrive Leads, the sales funnel process would be two-pronged. First, you want to create a visually appealing landing page or lead magnet to attract visitors. Then you want to convert those visitors into leads with an enticing offer.
Plugin #4: Leadpages
Purpose: One of the tools we use most often here at AutoGrow is Leadpages. As a landing page builder, Leadpages lets you optimize offers, capture leads, and build an email list quickly.
- A/B split testing so you can see which offers resonate best with your audience.
- Drag-and-drop landing page design features like countdown timers (for limited offers like our 6-Figure Sales Funnel course), buttons, images, and text.
- Integrates with Twitter, Stripe, Shopify, PayPal, MailChimp, LinkedIn, HubSpot, Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, and more.
- Detailed conversion analytics for each opt-in form and landing page.
- NEW: on-click checkout pop-up (I can’t wait to test this one within our own funnel!)
How It’s Used in a Sales Funnel: You’ll use Leadpages a lot as you build your WordPress sales funnel.
It’s a good plugin to add to the foundation of your site so you’re capitalizing on opportunities to capture new leads who might be stopping by to check out your content or service offerings.
Plugin #5: Easy Pricing Tables
Purpose: When it comes to your pricing table, it’s a make or break moment. This must display pertinent information about the pricing of your services in an appealing way. Easy Pricing Tables lets you create and manage clean, neat, and mobile-friendly pricing tables without needing to write a line of code.
- Choose from 10 premade pricing table templates, all of which are customizable.
- Add icons and tooltips by hovering on your table when editing it.
- Mobile-friendly so you can tweak your pricing tables on the go.
- Measure the success of each pricing table with the Google Analytics Add-On.
How It’s Used in a Sales Funnel: Implementing Easy Pricing Tables would be part of the “foundation” of your funnel. You want to make sure your pricing is clear and easy to understand when a potential customer opts-in to see how much your services cost.
This can be really beneficial to service businesses who “productize” their service, so their pricing info is displayed in a clear, packaged way.
But wait–that’s not all! I’ve got a couple of bonus funnel tools to share with you… 😉
Both integrate with WordPress, but function more as standalone tools than as WordPress plugins.
Bonus Tool #1: ActiveCampaign
Purpose: Another tool we use everyday at AutoGrow, although it’s not a WordPress plugin, is ActiveCampaign. With a basic deal CRM solution, a full suite of features for marketing automation, as well as all the basic email campaign features you’d expect, ActiveCampaign takes the best of the best from the other plugins we’ve covered.
- Develop a newsletter from scratch using free image hosting, free templates, and a drag-and-drop interface.
- Create responsive forms you can easily embed on your WordPress or HTML site.
- Advanced audience segmentation based on user history, location, interactions, and behavior.
How It’s Used in a Sales Funnel: Instead of trying to immediately convert a new site visitor to your business, use ActiveCampaign in your sales funnel to nurture a relationship with them first.
This requires less thought from the prospect, and they’ll generally be more willing to do it, especially if they get a free resource (such as a lead magnet).
Once you have their email address, use ActiveCampaign to automate a follow-up email sequence to nurture them so they eventually buy. This is the “follow up” stage of your funnel.
Bonus Tool #2: Wufoo
Purpose: Wufoo is a free form builder. It’s a WordPress plugin/standalone tool that can be easily embedded on most WordPress pages and blog posts.
Through Wufoo, you can easily survey people on your website to determine the types of content they’re most interested in. You can also use it as a way to gate your pricing.
- Collection of email addresses for lead generation.
- Integrates with ActiveCampaign, MailChimp, and other email marketing tools.
- Can be used as a checkout form and to collect payment information.
How It’s Used in a Sales Funnel: Here at AutoGrow, we’ve found that Wufoo is very useful.
For instance, after someone opts in on the email list, they get redirected to our survey page. This is the beginning of our survey funnel.
This is where we ask people a couple of basic questions, like their biggest challenges and more about their respective businesses. Then, based on their answers, we personalize the experience for them in terms of content.
This increases engagement, especially email open and click-through rates. We can say definitively that our engagement rate has doubled since we started using Wufoo.
Another way to use Wufoo for service businesses is by gating the checkout page. This requires someone to opt in before they can get access to the pricing page.
We’ve done this extensively, such as with our client, Apollo Answering Services.
As a service business, you need leads, yet most clients are wary of being able to afford your services. That’s why gating the pricing page or using it as a lead magnet can be so compelling.
You get the contact information you need and the client gets the pricing information they want.
WordPress plugins can simplify your marketing workflow, saving you time and effort. Instead of switching from program to program or having to ask your developer to get their hands dirty with code, you’ll save time.
With these five plugins I’ve recommended (plus two helpful bonus tools), you’ll attract and convert more prospects for less time, less effort, and less money than would otherwise be possible.
- OptinMonster is a great plugin for building an email list and creating pop-ups.
- CoSchedule frees your schedule since you can pre-plan when your posts will go live (and when you’ll post to social media).
- Thrive Leads uses pop-ups to catch users before they exit your site and hopefully draw them back in to sign up for your email list.
- Leadpages is a handy tool for building landing pages that convert.
- Easy Pricing Tables allows you to design appealing, effective pricing tables.
Do you already use any of these WordPress plugins? If so, which ones? If not, which ones do you plan on using now that you’ve read this post?
Let me know in the comments below.
Keep Hustlin’, Stay Focused,