Using a WordPress Popup Plugin to Grow Your Email List: WP Popup Maker

Popup Maker, a WordPress popup plugin for your email list signupsLet’s be honest, popups have a terrible reputation for very good reasons. There are also very good reasons popups are so ubiquitous on legitimate and reputable websites, however. Used intelligently, they can be extremely effective and non-intrusive. How effective can a WordPress popup be?

Case studies highlighted by marketing guru Neil Patel of Crazy Egg, for example, show that they can return results on a scale of 1000%+ conversion rate increases for opt-in forms.[1] Award winning and well respected marketer Dan Zarella of Hubspot has presented data indicating they can significantly boost email list subscription rates without an increase in bounce rates.[2] Given numbers like those, the question becomes why in the world aren’t you using a WordPress popup plugin to grow your email list!?

Using Your WordPress Popup Power Intelligently

Popups are only as invasive as you make them. To maximize your email list subscription rate and the quality of leads you receive, consider carefully how they mesh with your intended user experience.

Popups that open on a short timer after page load interrupt the reader and ask them for their email before they’ve completely engaged with your content. This is intrusive for the reader, breaks engagement with your content, reduces the quality of your leads, and is a poor overall user experience.

Starting in January 2017, intrusive popups will also hurt your Google SEO, causing your pages to rank lower in Google searches.[3] Use popups that are as non-intrusive as possible. A few suggestions:

  1. Exit intent popups. These only open when a user navigates to move away from the page. Encourage the user to subscribe after they have engaged and without interrupting/breaking engagement.
  2. Scrolling Triggers. Sett your popup to open only after the user has scrolled to the bottom of the page. This ensures to the extent possible that the user has engaged with your content before seeing the offer. This type of popup lowers the likelihood of breaking engagement with the content.
  3. Time popups to open after average time on page. Exit Intent and scroll triggers are often premium features. If you want to stick with a free solution, get your average time on page metric via Google Analytics. Setting your popup to open at or around that number will catch those that are engaging with the page around the time they’re finishing up!

With responsible use of popups in mind, let’s take a look now at integrating Popup Maker with Ninja Forms!

Popup Maker + Ninja Forms: Giving Your Email List a Boost!

Combining Popup Maker with Ninja Forms gives you the ability to place beautiful subscription form popups anywhere on your website. Integrating the two plugins is very easy. Let’s look at how!

What You’ll Need

  1. Ninja Forms
  2. Popup Maker

Install and activate both plugins and you’re good to move on!

Step 1 – Make or Choose Your Form

Put together a Ninja Form or choose the one you want to use. I’ve put together a standard little demo form to walk you through it:

ninja form for wordpress popup maker email list subscription

Whichever form you choose or create, note the shortcode for that form. You’ll need to copy/paste that shortcode into Popup Maker in Step 2. It can be found in your WordPress dashboard under Forms:

ninja form shortcode for wordpress popup maker email list subscription

Step 2 – Create a Popup

Pop open (ha, ha) Popup Maker via your WordPress dashboard and click Add Popup. The dashboard menu presents you with a very familiar scene- it’s the WordPress post/page editor, just tweaked a bit for popup design!

For this example we will only be displaying the form itself in the popup, though you have the flexibility to do more if you so choose. To add your form, just copy the form’s shortcode (see Step 1) into the rich text editor here.

wordpress popup plugin wp popup maker: rich text editor

Step 3 – Configure Your Popup

There are a ton of options to configure how your popup looks, right down to tweaking popup animation and overlay. You can define conditions under which you want the popup to display, restrict the popups to certain types of content, style the popup’s theme or remove styling altogether, and much more. We’ve written a review of Popup Maker that you can go to for more details if you like. For now, we’ll stick with the fundamentals of getting your WordPress popup working.

Scrolling down beneath the text editor, you’ll see 4 different categories of options settings:

  • Triggers
  • Cookies
  • Display Settings
  • Close Settings

Only Triggers and Cookies are necessary for functionality, but Close Settings are an important consideration for user experience. Let’s look at those briefly and you can make other adjustments as you see fit!


The trigger you set determines when the popup will open. Your standard choices are Click Open and Auto Open. Click Open lets you determine a click interaction with the page that opens the popup. Auto Open lets you open the popup after an adjustable amount of time. Exit Intent and Scroll Triggers are available as premium features.

Going with what’s available for free in this example, let’s set an Auto Open trigger for 2.5 minutes after the page loads. If you’re also using this option, I strongly recommend you adjust that timeframe relative to your ‘average time on page’ Google Analytics metric. The goal is to open the popup as the reader is finishing with the content. Note that you can manually enter times by clicking in the time box next to the slider. 1,000 miliseconds (ms) = 1 second.

wordpress popup plugin wp popup maker timed delay trigger setting


Once the user has seen the popup, you don’t want to keep throwing it at them during their visit. Set a cookie to make sure it isn’t presented repetitiously.

wordpress popup plugin popup maker cookie settings

Close Settings

By default, Popup Maker places a “close” button in the upper right of the popup. For a better user experience, I’d recommend toggling on the option to “Click Overlay to Close”, just to make it easier on the folks that don’t want to fool with it. The goal of course is being as non-intrusive as possible.

wordpress popup plugin popup maker close settings option


You now have a signup for your email list as a WordPress popup! This is what our demo popup looks like when I visit a post or page of my local install:

wordpress popup plugin popup maker ninja forms popup

All that’s left from here is to style your popup as you choose. Popup Maker gives you a ton of features to bring out your inner artist. Integrating Ninja Forms and Popup Maker makes your forms more versatile than ever before. Use your new WordPress popup power wisely and grow your email list with quality leads with Ninja Forms and Popup Maker!