Don’t call me a hypocrite…
I know in my previous post about notification bar plugins I said some mean things about popups. I said them because I, personally, am not a big fan of popups. But one thing I can’t deny is that they work. If you’re trying to build an email list, I doubt you can find a strategy that converts any better.
Today, I want to talk about a plugin that not only helps you build an email list, but also helps you increase your social shares and follows, analyze your users' behaviors, and keep in contact with them.
It’s called SumoMe, and it's pretty awesome. If you read a lot of blogs, you may have already noticed their social share buttons or email building popups.
Let’s get into it…
What is SumoMe?
SumoMe differs a little bit from most other WordPress plugins. Instead of offering one set plugin experience, you install the plugin and then choose which apps you want to use. So essentially, SumoMe is a collection of marketing apps that you can pick and choose between. And all packaged within a single plugin.
All these apps are geared towards one thing:
Growing your traffic.
Installing and Setting Up SumoMe
You install SumoMe like any other plugin. But once you’ve installed it, you need to activate it with an external SumoMe account. You can either create this account at the SumoMe website or inside the plugin:
Once you’ve activated the plugin, you’ll be at your dashboard:
This is an overall look at all your SumoMe details. Because I haven’t added any apps on this account yet, there’s not much to see. So I’ll click on the My Apps button to add some:
You just click on the apps you want to toggle them on. Once you’ve turned on the apps you want, you can click on one of the apps to edit all its settings. For example, if I activate the Share app and click on it, I’ll see all these settings:
That’s all you need to do to get started.
But, you may have noticed the list of apps is quite lengthy. So to give you some information on what all you have available, I’d like to dig into all the SumoMe apps to show you what’s best.
Currently, SumoMe offers 13 separate apps, with varying levels of usefulness. I’ll divide them into categories and go through them:
Email List Builder Apps
These apps help you build your email list and generate leads. Because they overlap, you probably don’t want to install all of these. Pick your favorite and use it to build your email list.
List Builder is probably the email generation app people think of first when they hear “SumoMe”. Tons of sites use it to grow their email list. It’s basically a lightbox popup that asks visitors to enter their email address.
It integrates with all the major email providers to make list synchronization easy. You can time it to pop up when visitors first come to your site, or use exit-intent popups to try to catch them right before they leave.
It also gives you analytics for your email building efforts. You can see the exact conversion rate for your box and tweak things to get more subscribers.
And if you go with the Pro version of SumoMe (more on that at the end!), you can even directly implement A/B testing.
Scroll box helps you build email lists in a slightly less aggressive way. Instead of asking visitors to sign up right away, you can display a box near their scroll bar that displays when they scroll down the page.
I like this version better than List Builder. Why? It’s less invasive and it ensures the visitor is at least a little bit engaged before you ask them to join your email list.
Welcome Mat is an aggressive way to build your list. Personally, it’s too aggressive for me. When users come to your site, it “rolls out” a welcome mat that pushes your content down. The welcome mat then takes up the user’s full screen. It’s very poor user experience in my opinion.
But, if you want to give it a try, it’s definitely a unique way of list building. And SumoMe claims it will double your email signup conversion rate, so it may be worth testing.
Smart Bar creates a notification bar that asks for email signups. I like this option because it’s the most user-friendly app on this list. Though I admit it may not convert as well as the other apps.
These apps help you get more social shares or followers.
Share is probably the second most popular SumoMe app. And for good reason, I think it’s one of the best social share plugins out there. It creates a beautiful social share bar that can lock to the side of the user’s screen so it’s always visible.
It has tons of options for social sites - it covers much more than just the main social networks. This is great if you want to add some niche social networks.
I would definitely recommend this app to anyone looking to add social share buttons.
Image Sharer essentially does the same thing as Share but for all your images. It makes it easy for people to share on Pinterest, Facebook, or other networks you enable.
If you have a visual site, this is a great way to generate some traffic.
Click-to-tweet buttons are a great way to make it easy for people to share your content.
Highlighter lets your readers highlight any portion of your content and automatically share it on Facebook or Twitter. If you’ve ever used this function on Medium, you know how it works. As long as you’re a quotable writer, this is a great way to boost shares.
These helps help you analyze your website.
Heat Maps is a really helpful analytics tool that shows you exactly where people are clicking on your sites. ConversionXL put together a great guide on how heat maps can help you analyze your site.
Understanding how people use your site is the first step in optimizing your site.
Ever wondered how much of your posts people actually read? If so, the Content Analytics app can help you answer that question. It tells you how far down your posts most people scroll. Now, this doesn’t guarantee they’re reading (they could just be scrolling), but it does correlate pretty well.
Content Analytics can help you figure out where to place your CTAs and whether you need to improve your visitor engagement.
The Google Analytics app lets you view your Google Analytics data inside your SumoMe dashboard. Not very exciting, but I guess the added convenience is nice.
These apps don’t really fit into any category.
The Contact Form app helps you easily build and add contact forms to your site. It’s pretty standard contact form stuff. You can also add an auto-response to let people know their message was received, which is a nice bonus feature.
Discover is essentially a traffic exchange between your site and other sites in the SumoMe network. When you send traffic to other sites, you earn credits that can be used to purchase traffic from other sites.
It exchanges traffic by creating a “Recommended Links” box at the end of your posts. Not my personal cup of tea, but if you’re looking to boost traffic it’s a good option.
Buy Button allows you to easily create a payment button that integrates with Stripe for payment processing. You can use this button to essentially sell whatever you want on your site, be it physical products or digital downloads.
All the apps are free to use for up to one million visits per month. But, they're limited in functionality compared to the pro version. The pro version offers you features like:
- A/B testing
- Deeper insights
- More display rules
- Bonus templates
- More integrations
*Note - Pay attention to the monthly limits on the paid plans. If you go with SumoMe Pro Tier 1, you only get up to 5,000 monthly visits - not the one million visits you get in the free version.
Phew, that’s a lot of apps! You don’t need to (and probably shouldn’t) install all of them. But I think using one of the list builders, all the social apps, and all the analytics apps is a great solution for most websites.
Have you used SumoMe? Love it? Hate it? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.