3 Plugins to Help Get Your WordPress Business off the Ground
The great thing about WordPress is the low barrier to entry, meaning anyone can create their own website. This is especially convenient for small business owners who, years ago, had to ask a web savvy friend to code a site in HTML, or shell out cash if they didn’t know someone who could give them mates rates.
For businesses keen to reach out to and engage customers, there are a few basic plugins we offer that can help you move beyond the constraints of a basic web page.
In today’s Weekend WordPress Project, we’re going to look at three basic plugins – all available at WPMU DEV – that can help grow any business, whether you’re selling a product or service.
Email marketing and e-newsletters are a crucial form of communication between your business and past and prospective customers.
If visitors to your site have signed up to your newsletter, they genuinely want to hear from you and are interested in your business and what you have to offer.
You don’t even need a huge list of thousands of people in order to see your sales increase. All you need is a small group of people who hang on your every word – this is far more powerful to your business than 10,000 people who don’t really care. This small group is more likely to share your message with everyone they know because they are excited by what you do.
But why does it have to be done through email?
According to Litmus, 91% of consumers check their inbox daily, making email the leading channel for communication. The same survey found that 66% of consumers have made a purchase as a result of an email they received.
Email also puts you in control of your subscriber list. With e-Newsletter, you can easily manage your email list and build a loyal fan base, collect new contacts and send customized emails using templates.
e-Newsletter is built into the WordPress admin, so you don’t have to leave your site to get in touch with your subscribers. You can include images and video in your emails and then test and preview your messages before you hit “Send.”
You don’t have to send emails out everyday and they don’t have to be huge. They just have to be consistent.
This is where the eNewsletter plugin becomes especially useful. It comes with reporting tools to help you determine how many of your subscribers are actually opening and reading your emails. You can conclude which topics worked and which ones didn’t work as well.
You can begin to tailor your emails to your subscribers’ interests more and more.
For a simple plugin, it’s an incredibly powerful tool that will help you keep your subscribers up-to-date with your latest news – and keep followers coming back to your site.
In order for anyone to be genuinely interested in joining your mailing list, you need to have a really good reason for them to join – no, the promise of great newsletters is not enough.
You need to offer something of incredible value to them for free. This doesn’t mean a product or service that will cost you tons of money to give away. It can be something simple like a video series or an eBook.
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In a video series or eBook you can provide information that people will find genuinely useful, like your best tips or tools for success in whatever it is that you do.
Where many people go wrong here is that they offer information that can be found all over the internet or they quickly try to turn their offer it into a sales pitch. What you’re aiming for here is golden nuggets that are great on their own, but when paired with your business’ products or services, they offer an even bigger, heavier punch.
Rather than offer freebies and other special offers via email, pop-ups provide a quick and easy way to grab the attention of people who visit your site, and potentially convert casual visitors into paying customers.
PopUp Pro allows you to create eye-popping ads that appear on-screen exactly when you want them to – the moment someone lands on your site, when they scroll to the bottom of a page, or even when they’re about to leave your site.
You can create beautiful pop-ups that contain concise information coupled with striking images. All your visitors have to do is enter their email address to receive your special offer. In turn, you’ve captured their information, allowing you to get in touch with that customer the next time you promote your business via email.
Once you have your list growing, you need to give your subscribers a good reason to keep coming back to your site, and to continue liking what you do and what you have to offer.
Ensuring your site is a friendly and welcoming place to return to is key.
Encouraging commenting on your site, such as we do on this blog, is a great way to leverage the users who have joined your subscriber list and build a community around your content. Comments also allow you to interact with people who like your product or service and encourage discussion on your site.
Comments+ lets your readers comment on your posts using their Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or WordPress.com accounts.
Customize the style of your comments box to match your theme and have conversations with followers in real-time.
Visitors will be able to see your name and picture next to your comments, giving the experience a more personal touch.
Connecting with your website’s visitors through email newsletters, pop-ups and comments are sure-fire ways to engage and, hopefully, convert people into paying customers.
eNewletter, Pop Up Pro and Comments+ are three simple plugins, but each offers functionality beyond what the basic WordPress software provides.
There are many plugins out there that can help you with these tasks, but I’m sharing these ones because I have had personal success with them and was able to quickly generate income with them.
If you’re interested in added greater functionality to your site to further grow your business, you may want to check out some of our other plugins, like Appointments+ and Restricted Content.
What are other tools, methods or plugins that have helped you grow your business? Feel free to share them in the comments below.