How We Built A Subscriber List of 24,000+ Members

Paid Memberships Pro has always been and always will be 100% GPL and available for free to download from So how are we capturing (and hopefully converting) all of these free users of our plugin and documentation?

Below are a few tactics that have helped Paid Memberships Pro grow into (one of) the most used membership plugins for WordPress.

  1. Give away quality content for free on your website.

    Share on social media. Guest blog. Post free plugins to the repository. Anything to get traffic to your site. Make sure the free content is useful to your target customers.

  2. Have a desirable product to encourage users to share their email on your site.

    With Paid Memberships Pro, we ask you to become a free member before you can download the plugin or view our documentation. You could use white papers, 15-minute consultation calls, free samples that are inexpensive to ship, or anything that would convince users to subscribe.

  3. Synchronize your free members with MailChimp or another email marketing applications.

    See our MailChimp add on or browse all of our third party integration options here.

  4. Add email forms EVERYWHERE.

    Add them to the bottom of your posts and pages. Use plugins like OptinMonster to ask for emails in a slightly annoying (but totally effective) manner.

  5. Set up a landing page to capture email address.

    In a couple days we’ll be posting an article about how to easily set this up with Paid Memberships Pro.

Post a comment if you’ve tried these tactics.

I’d love to hear if you are having success with list building using these concepts. Or, share a comment about other list-building techniques that you’ve found successful.

Getting People to Open Your Email: Two Tactics for A/B Testing Email Subjects

Here are two tactics we use to get people to open our emails:

First, we try to send targeted (non-newsletter-type) email out on a Tuesday.

Tuesday is generally considered the best day to start a marketing campaign or launch a product. You can read an interesting breakdown of which days to send email on here (or another here), but one theory is:

  • People avoid email on weekends. (Normal people anyway.)
  • Mondays are hectic for everyone.
  • People are likely to be off Friday or spacing out.
  • Tuesday-Thursday are all similar, but you might as well send as early as possible in the week.

Second, we A/B test provocative subject lines to get you to open the email.

A/B testing means trying out multiple versions of something and then choosing the one that performs better. Mailchimp makes it really easy to A/B test subject lines. They have a whole article about it here.

We generally test 2 subject lines to 20% of our total list (10% receive subject line A and 10% receive subject line B). MailChimp (and other email marketing programs) may recommend a larger quantity depending on your list size.

After a specified time period of gathering data (we set the delay to 4 hours), MailChimp picks the winning subject line and automatically distributes to the remaining 80% of your mailing list.


I hope this increases your email open rate.

If you want to A/B test other components of your campaign, MailChimp provides tools for testing From Name, Delivery Date and Time, and Content. They have also recently added the ability to A/B test the full email content although we haven’t experimented with it yet.

Post a comment below about your experiences with A/B testing – if you use another email marketing tool, let us know if they have better (or worse) A/B testing options. We’re partial to MailChimp, but always open to suggestions.

Paid Memberships Pro Addons for Email Marketing

MailChimp Integration Sign Up for MailChimp

Constant Contact Integration AWeber Integration