There are seemingly countless mailing list plugins that are available for WordPress right now, most of them offering various ways to display your opt-in forms including; pop overs, sidebar widgets, under post widgets, floating headers (like HelloBar or Boom by iThemes) and even shortcodes within posts.
Here’s the problem – pop overs are a form of interruption marketing, they annoy people, despite improving conversion rates and sidebar widgets sometimes don’t have the impact that we’re looking for. There is a space right above your blog posts that people’s eyes first glance over to when they land on a page – sure, I know there are WordPress themes that do this and it can be done with particular plugins, but there just aren’t many that are built for this type of thing and that are super easy to setup that even I could do it, but there may be a solution to this problem….
Recently Plugmatter brought out their new premium WordPress plugin, ‘Feature Box’ and were kind enough to provide me with a review copy so I could check it out and show you all of the cool stuff that it can do.
Plugmatter Feature Box – say what?
Feature Box is an easy to use and customisable WordPress plugin that allows you to add striking opt-in forms to the top of your blog.
Here is an example from my test server:
Plugmatter Feature Box Plugin Review – Will It Skyrocket Your Opt ins?
The beauty of this plugin is that it’s rare to find a plugin that will make it so easy to add an opt-in form in this area, usually it ends up being a popover, slide in, below blog posts or in your blogs sidebar.
What can Feature Box do for you?
The Feature Box plugin has some great features that will help you get more opt-ins:
- Use a full size or compact Feature Box
- A number of easily customisable themes
- Intuitive interface to edit themes
- Ability to assign different Feature Boxes to different pages or other post types
- Ability to serve returning visitors with different Feature Boxes or turn them off altogether
- Option to upload your own custom designs with HTML/CSS
- Easy to use split testing function to help you maximise your opt-ins
What mailing list providers are supported?
Plugmatter’s Feature Box currently supports most of the main auto responder services which includes: Aweber, Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, iContact, Get Response, Infusionsoft and Mad Mimi.
What makes Feature Box even better is the fact that you can easily integrate it with Google Feedburner so you don’t actually need to be paying out for a mailing list provider to get results with this plugin.
What are the themes like?
Feature Box comes with a number of different themes that are all customisable, here is a look at some of them:
Feature Box Theme - Sleek
Feature Box Plugin Theme - eBook
Each theme is available in the full version, along with a mini version which comes in very handy.
Plugmatter will also be releasing some more themes for the Feature Box plugin in the very near future so you’ll have some more choice.
How easy is Feature Box to customise?
I really like the interface that Plugmatter has developed – the controls are overlaid onto a live preview of the Feature Box and most importantly the controls aren’t overly complex.
The issue with some plugins is that they just have too many controls which just make things more complicated than they need to be.
I would like to see some development here with some additional customisation options, but it does everything you need it to, here are a few examples:
Customising Buttons in Feature Box
Setting up your auto responder
Choose your auto responder service
How easy is Feature Box to setup?
There is an extra step that you need to setup Plugmatter’s Feature Box which involves adding a snippet of code to your header.php file.
I understand how this could be off-putting to you if you’re fairly new to WordPress, but this is actually a good thing.
The reason why adding this code manually is a good thing is because you can make sure the opt-in feature box is added where you want it to go but most importantly it means that you won’t have any display issues with other frameworks such as Genesis or Thesis.
Genesis and Thesis handle the addition of code to the header file in a different way to most themes so if Plugmatter didn’t do this, you could end up having a display issue.
So if this is something that worries you then I can assure you that it’s much easier than you think, so easy even I could do it!
Fortunately Plugmatter’s Feature Box plugin comes with a very detailed user guide that gives you step by step instructions for adding the code. It also goes into how to add the code for Genesis and Thesis theme frameworks.
I found the setup surprisingly straight forward and then the actual usage of the plugin is even easier to get to grips with.
Plugmatter have done a great job with Feature Box and the team have some big plans and are continuing to roll out updates.
I would like to see some more customisation options and themes but there are already plans to put together more themes soon.
The most important thing that you need to remember here is that there are a bunch of different mailing list plugins on the market that will help you boost your subscribers but it’s rare that you find a plugin that will add an opt-in form below your nav bar – while making it easy!
I’ve tried and tested a lot of mailing list plugins (some of which I talk about here) but it’s rare to find a plugin that will allow you to take advantage of the prime real estate located under your nav bar – Feature Box makes this easy which in turn helps you build your list faster.
While some say “the money is in the list”, in reality the money is in how you use the list – but you need to build your list first and Feature Box will help you to do just that.
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