This week, the MaxBlogPress plug-in “Subscribers Magnet” was re-launched, with promises that it will “boost your subscribers list without getting any additional traffic” and saying it is like “list building on steroids”.
That sort of marketing talk normally makes me very sceptical and even reluctant to part with my money for a plug-in, and yet since I already use other plug-ins from MaxBlogPress, I was at least prepared to take a look at the sales page. It was the video on that page that persuaded me to give the plug-in a try. Not because it promised lots of new subscribers, but because it demonstrated the plug-in in action – and the more detailed technical and marketing arguments at that stage made sense.
So I went ahead and purchased the plug-in within hours of the re-launch, and decided to test it out on some of my blogs.
Plug-ins of this sort have a hard time when I try them out. They have to work on my server – not just on hosted webspace, and they have to work with my German mailing list software, not just with services like Aweber and Mailchimp. They also have to fit in with my existing plug-ins, otherwise there is a good chance that I will be reviewing the refunds process!
I am pleased to say that after activating it on several sites, it has been working without a glitch, although obviously it’s too early to say if it’s making a difference to the number of new subscribers I receive.
It’s very easy to install, and doesn’t surprise you with any special requirements such as ioncube, which is a pet hate of mine.
I also hate it when you invest in a plug-in, only to find out that the sales page forgot to mention that it is for single-site use only, and you have to pay for multi-site usage. This is not the case with Subscribers Magnet – the license file clearly states that you can use it on all of your sites.
So how does it work? To make it clear, the plug-in does not go out and bring visitors to your blog – that’s still something you have to do yourself. What it does, is help convert your visitors into subscribers. They stick, hence the “magnet”.
Also, if you haven’t got a list for people to sign up to, it’s not going to create one for you either. It’s also not going to come up with sign-up forms out of thin air. Again, this is something you have to do yourself. But what it does do is to make those forms easier to use, and even extends them into new parts of your blog.
Let’s start with that simple sign-up form that most people have on their sidebar. It’s empty, right? Or does it suggest the words “first name” and “e-mail address”? Subscribers Magnet automatically inserts the actual name and e-mail address of your visitor, eg. if they have used them previously to leave a comment, so all they have to do is hit the “subscribe button”. The idea is, that if you make it easy for them, they are more likely to do so.
Another feature adds a “sign me up to your newsletter” checkbox to the comments form. When someone leaves a comment they are already entering their e-mail address. Now they only have to tick the box to sign-up.
Then there is the traditional “sign-up” box, but in unconventional places. You can add one to your blog posts, or even to your RSS feed!
Add to that the options for footer bars, lightboxes and even fade-ins, and you really do have a powerful toolbox with which to gather subscribers. Just don’t overdo it!
And as if that was not enough, each of these features comes with a variety of options to allow you to change the text, font, colour, positioning, size etc., making them all flexible and customizable for your blog. You can also add tracking codes to each function, to see which ones work the best for you.
If I had anything negative to say about Subscribers Magnet, it would be that the comment checkbox does not work with Disqus and the validation of the e-mail addresses blocks addresses containing a plus (+) sign, which can be quite annoying if you have sub-addresses setup on GoogleMail.
But otherwise I think it is a great plug-in, because it works in such a subtle way. It doesn’t try to grab the visitor and force them onto your list, instead it tries to help them onto it by making the process as easy as possible.
If you want to see it in action, I recommend you visit the sales page and look at the video.