There’s a goal behind every website, and a specific chain of events that must occur before each goal is accomplished. Whether you want someone to sign up for your email newsletter, or fill out a contact form, these things don’t happen without the proper triggers. Used strategically, WordPress plugins can assist with the realization of important goals.

Here’s how to turn your website into a conversion machine with WordPress Plugins.


Essential Grid is an all-around grid solution for all types of websites: blogs, portfolios, galleries, Woocommerce shops, and more. A grid is helpful in maintaining a mobile responsive design by enabling designers and developers to present information in a simple and appealing manner. Grids can be scaled without breaking the overall structure of the website. A grid plugin like Essential Grid can help to make your site mobile responsive by creating a system of flexible grids for your content.

Essential Grid has a number of premade layouts and skins, but you can also use its configuration tool to customize the look and feel to fit your website’s exact style. Essential Grid’s features include:

  • Over 25 layouts, each with a use specific application
  • Customization tool
  • Video integration
  • Import or export custom layouts and metadata

But how does Essential Grid help with conversions?

Internet entrepreneur and teacher Melyssa Griffin promotes the use of this plugin as an easy way to create and display an exclusive content library for email subscribers. Creating a password protected content library can be a tactic to encourage people to sign up for your email list. Subscribers will willingly opt in so that they can gain access to the exclusive resources you provide. Setting up Essential Grid means empowering clients to continuously update their own content libraries without needing your intervention for every. single. update.

A regular license for Essential Grid costs $26.

Some people claim that Essential Grid slows down their website, so if you’re looking for an alternative, here are a few options:

  • Code simple grids yourself to reduce code bulk
  • UberGrid ($19 for lifetime access)
  • The Grid ($25 for lifetime access)


Leadpages is one of the most popular plugins for generating leads, thanks to its landing page builder software. It streamlines the entire lead generation process by granting easy access to everything you need to set up email forms and landing pages in one plugin (and web application).

Leadpages features include:

  • Mobile friendly templates
  • Drag and drop customization
  • A/B testing to analyze how your pages and opt in forms perform
  • Integrations with multiple platforms, allowing you to send leads to different platforms (ex/ email list, webinar page, etc.)
  • Extras like countdown timers, video players, subdomains, digital asset delivery

Besides a number of useful features, Leadpages is serious about educating their customers to make the most of their landing page software. They’re notorious for hosting over 200 webinars each year, offer a number of free courses, and share up to date lead generation news and tips on their blog. There’s a bit of a learning curve when using their software, but once overcome, Leadpages is easy enough for clients to manage on their own. Or, if you’d rather stay involved, add in management as part of a WordPress maintenance plan!

With all of these premium features, Leadpages is not free. Plans start at $25/month, and are most cost-effective when purchased annually.

Leadpages is a clear industry leader for landing pages, but here are a few alternatives if you’d like to do more research:

  • Code your own landing pages for clients with a maintenance plan if they need frequent changes, help with third party integrations, A/B testing, etc.
  • Unbounce (starts at $79/month when billed annually)
  • Instapage (starts at $29/month)
  • Two options for one-time payment/lifetime access: Thrive Landing Pages (starts at $67) and OptimizePress (starts at $97)


Optinmonster is a lead generation plugin that allows users to create and integrate highly effective email signup forms. It works well with email service providers like Mailchimp, Aweber, and Infusionsoft.

Though there is no shortage of email signup form plugins on the market, Optinmonster combines the best features of other plugins, bundled into one. Thanks to Google’s mobile-first initiative, the rules for email popups (or “interstitials” as Google refers to them) are changing. But Optinmonster has the perfect solution for those that still want to use popups to collect emails.

Instead of launching an email signup popup shortly after a visitor lands on your page, you can use Optinmonster to instead convert abandoning visitors into subscribers, thanks to exit intent technology. The Optinmonster plugin detects user behavior and serves up a relevant campaign the moment they are about to leave (like when they mouse over to the back button or red “x” in the top corner of a browser.

To help with lead generation efforts, when a user is done reading content, Optinmonster’s exit intent technology offers them a free ebook, case study, webinar, or trial in exchange for an email. Because of this, Optinmonster users see a 200-600% increase in email signups (and a 0% decrease in search engine rankings by following the rules).

Additional features that come with using Optinmonster include:

  • Build high converting forms in minutes
  • Customer segmentation
  • Well timed popups
  • A/B testing
  • Analytics
  • Popups optimized for both mobile and web

For all this and more, Optinmonster charges just $9/month for a basic plan.

For email list building, these plugins make for decent alternatives to Optinmonster:

  • Thrive Leads ($67 for lifetime access)
  • Sumo List Builder (free and premium options, though some cite slow page load)
  • Hustle by WPMU DEV (free with WPMU DEV membership)


Like Optinmonster, Magic Action Box is a lead generation plugin. It differs in terms of the mechanism behind lead capture. Instead of focusing on popups, Magic Action Box allows you to display opt in forms and feature boxes directly on your website, using an attention-grabbing callout.

Magic Action Box easily integrates with any page or post, and is the ideal solution for a client that creates frequent content upgrades for their blog – but doesn’t want to constantly bug you for coding help. A content upgrade is a “bonus” along the same lines as the blog post that it’s attached to, encouraging people to unlock access in exchange for an email address.

Some of the many features that come with using Magic Action Box:

  • Integrates with Gravity Forms, Mailchimp and Aweber
  • A/B testing
  • Analytics

Magic Action Box offers a free lite plan, but paid plans with premium features start at $47. You could create your own version of Magic Action Box for clients, but the support available by using the premium version of this plugin can shift constant questions about creating content upgrades from you to the plugin developer.

The best alternatives to Magic Action Box include many of the email list building plugins mentioned above. However, if you’re looking for more tools to create conversions based on calls to action, check out Hello Bar (free and premium plans available).


Kingsumo Giveaways is a WordPress plugin that provides an ingenious structure for creating targeted giveaways, which represents an excellent opportunity to get targeted leads.

The Kingsumo Giveaways plugin allows people to easily enter giveaways, and gives contestants an incentive to promote the giveaway in order to get more entries. Each person who enters a Kingsumo giveaway gets a “Lucky URL” that is tied back to them. If they share their Lucky URL and get others to enter by using it, they get more entries. This tracking/incentive mechanism is unique to Kingsumo, which is what makes it one of the best WordPress contest plugins.

Using Kingsumo has allowed Noah Kagan of Appsumo to grow his email list to over 700,000 subscribers.

The price to purchase a Kingsumo license is a bit steep at $198, but signing up for AppSumo’s email list may result in a better deal—they’ve offered lifetime access in the past for $49. Unlike many of the other WordPress plugins and tools mentioned on this list, Kingsumo is definitely one where you’re better served with purchasing access instead of trying to create a custom solution on your own.

If you want to wait on purchasing/recommending a client to use Kingsumo Giveaways, here are a few alternative contest plugins and options:

  • Contests by Rewards Fuel (starts at $7.95/month for the premium version)
  • Rafflecopter (starts at $13/month for a basic plan)
  • Showdown ($24 for lifetime access)


If you (or the client’s) website has a blog, you should do everything in your power to promote it. Part of that is creating conversion factors within each post, like a mechanism for social sharing.

Social Warfare provides a simple and beautiful solution for encouraging social shares that make it stand out from other popular social share buttons on the market.

Social Warfare features include:

  • Built-in social proof that displays how many people have already shared a specific article
  • Numerous skins to customize social share button look and feel
  • Click-to-tweet functionality to create shareable blog callouts
  • Analytics integration

Both free and premium options are available. Premium pricing starts at $29/year.

Popular alternatives to Social Warfare include:

  • AddThis (free with premium options)
  • Floating Social Bar (free)
  • Jetpack (free)


As a developer, you could code most of the functionality for these plugins on your own. But instead of getting lost in the details, helping customers achieve their desired conversions will make you look like a saint without all that wasted time. Plus, the support available through plugin developers will shift basic questions from you to them, freeing up your time for revenue-generating activities.

Capturing leads does not have to be complicated. With these WordPress plugins, you can turn your website into a conversion machine.

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