In my last few posts, I’ve been stressing the importance of building an email list.
It should be the primary focus of any small business.
Your first step is to start collecting emails. That means investing in an autoresponder and deciding how you want to start growing your list.
First Published on: Dec 25, 2015
Last updated: Dec 25, 2015
There are many ways to do this. And there are a lot of excellent premium products and services that will make this process easier.
But what if you are just getting started? Maybe you just want to test out this email marketing thing without having to invest a lot of money up front.
Ideally there would be a product that’s easy to install that can get you up and running quick.
Luckily, there is something that fits the bill and it’s called SumoMe.
While limited in functionality, SumoMe provides an easy and free way for anyone to start collecting emails and grow their email list.
While not as powerful as more premium tools, I’ve been using SumoMe on a couple of my sites now. And I definitely recommend it for newbies looking to get their feet wet.
Let me show you how SumoMe works in this review.
What is SumoMe?
SumoMe is a WordPress plugin that offers a whole suite of “apps” that you can choose to install. It was created by Noah Kagen, the brains behind AppSumo, a sort of a Groupon for marketers and entrepreneurs.
SumoMe works a little differently then other WordPress plugins you might be used to. Once installed, it will display a SumoMe badge on your site. From there, you access a mini app store where you can install various SumoMe apps and configure their settings.
SumoMe uses a freemium model. You can download most of the SumoMe apps for free, but they are all limited in functionality in some way and they all display SumoMe branding on them.
To unlock the full power of each app, you need to upgrade to SumoMe Pro which requires you to pay a monthly fee.
While the SumoMe suite includes a variety of marketing apps, we were just going to take a look at the email related ones in this review. Each one provides a different method of collecting leads and will help you grow your list.
Lets look a quick look at each one and how it looks.
Do email popups work? Yes, they do. It’s one of the more common ways to collect email addresses online these days.
SumoMe’s List Builder app provides you with an easy way to add popup optin to your site that looks like this.
The Scroll Box is very similar to the List Builder popup. Except, instead of appearing in the middle of the screen, it popups up from one of the corners of your web page.
It more suited for people who want a way to collect emails in a less intrusive way.
It looks like this.
The SumoMe Smart Bar app is basically a version of HelloBar that collects email addresses.
You can configure the Smart Bar to show at the top of your page or the bottom. And you can make it sticky so it follows the visitor as they scroll down to view your content.
The Welcome Mat is the newest app that SumoMe has added for collecting emails. It’s essentially a full screen call to action that tries to get people to join your list.
It’s a very in your face way of collecting emails, but it gets results.
All of the SumoMe email apps can be customized in similar ways.
The free version gives you one template to use. (Additional templates can be unlocked in the Pro version) Any of the text can be customized to fit your site’s call to action, and you can change things like the fonts and the colors.
Each app has their own set of display behaviors that control when they are shown.
For example the List Builder has a Smart mode that will show your popup whenever it detects that your visitor is about to leave your page. You can also choose Manual mode and have the popup show up after a certain number of seconds.
The ScrollBox can be triggered to appear when your reader scrolls a certain percentage down the page.
Reporting is pretty basic. You can see how many emails the app collecting for the past 30 days.
The free version of the apps also do not include any of A/B testing features. This makes it harder to optimize your email conversion rates.
Once you start adding a couple of these apps to your site, you will soon start seeing your email list grow. And by building a relationship with your list, hopefully you can find a way to monetize your subscribers, whether by selling your own products or getting people to click on your affiliate offers.
At this point, you might want to consider plunking down some extra cash and upgrading to the Email Pro version of SumoMe. This upgrades all the email based apps for $40/month.
There are a few main benefits to going pro.
- Unlock all the templates for the apps
- Remove the Powered by SumoMe branding
- A/B Testing
- VIP email support
Is going Pro worth it?
While the free version of SumoMe is great for people on a budget, I feel that the Pro version of the tools are pretty pricey for what you get.
If you are going to invest money in a list building tool, I would rather put money into Thrive Leads instead.
Thrive Leads is also a WordPress plugin and that lets you build all the same optin forms that SumoMe offers. Plus extra ones like in-post optin forms and 2 step optins.
Not only that, but each form types includes dozens of awesome looking templates and they are all completely customizable. Not just text and colors. But you can add elements, delete elements and move them around. It’s really a dream for DIY marketers.
Couple that with a in-depth A/B split testing system that can really help you boost your conversion rates.
Feature for feature, Thrive Leads matches SumoMe Pro in every way, and it’s constantly improving all the time.
All this for a one time fee of $99. That’s essentially just 2 months of SumoMe Pro.
If you’re going for a paid plugin to help you grow your email list, then Thrive Leads is a no brainer.
Still, if you are just starting out with email marketing, then the free version of SumoMe is a great little WordPress plugin to get you going.
It’s really simple to setup, and it allows you to add all the basic email optin forms to your site.
If you haven’t started building your email list yet, then go ahead and give SumoMe a shot.