If you want your visitors to do something, you need to ask. That’s the whole philosophy behind adding a strong call to action (CTA) to your site.
What’s important to remember, though, is that how you ask is just as important as asking in the first place. WordPress call to action plugins are all about giving you the power to “ask” your visitors in the manner that gets you the best conversion rate possible.
To help you find the tool that will let you ask in the most optimal way for your site, I’ve collected 8 great free and premium CTA plugins that will have you calling your visitors to action in no time.
What is a WordPress call to action plugin, anyway?
Before I get into the best WordPress call to action plugins, I think it might be helpful to define what I actually mean by “call to action plugin” because the term can encompass a few different types of plugins.
So here’s how I’m using this term:
A call to action plugin is any plugin that can drive your visitors towards the action you want them to take.
As such, you’ll find:
- Plugins to help you add attention-grabbing buttons and layouts
- Popup plugins
- Countdown/urgency plugins
- Notification bar plugins
- Landing page plugins
Now that you know what to expect, let’s dig into the plugins.
1. Thrive Leads
Thrive Leads is a versatile call to action plugin that you can use in a variety of different ways.
With it, you can create the following types of CTAs:
- Popup lightbox
- Sticky ribbon (AKA notification bar)
- In-line forms
- Two-step opt-in forms
- Screen fillers
- Content lockers
- Scroll mats
- Yes/No and multiple choice forms
Like I said – versatile.
While a lot of Thrive Leads’ functionality is geared specifically towards helping you build an email list (that is, CTAs to subscribe to your list), you can also use it for other types of promotions, like driving people towards a sales page.
When you go to create a new CTA, you can choose from a number of pre-configured templates, or build your own CTA from scratch. Either way, you’ll end up in a visual, drag-and-drop interface where you can customize the design. This interface is based on the popular Thrive Architect page builder, which gives you a lot of flexibility.
Other helpful features
Beyond controlling the design of your CTAs, Thrive Leads also offers a number of other features to help you target and optimize your CTAs.
Using WordPress-specific targeting rules, you can target specific content, or even specific users (e.g. logged-in users vs anonymous visitors).
One super helpful feature here is an option to display different offers to people who have already subscribed to your email list, which lets you maximize your efforts and avoid annoying your subscribers.
Beyond that, a variety of triggers let you control the timing, including an option for exit-intent.
To optimize your forms, Thrive Leads provides you with an in-dashboard analytics area, as well as built-in A/B testing functionality that you can use to test different forms against one another.
If you want to learn more, check out our full Thrive Leads review.
Price: Starts at $67 for use on a single site. Or, also available as part of the Thrive Themes membership.
ConvertPro is another versatile CTA plugin that gives you a ton of different CTA types to employ. And while ConvertPro does have lots of integrations with email marketing services, you can use it to create other types of call to actions, as well.
It supports the following types of CTAs:
- Lightbox popups
- Info bars (AKA notification bar)
- Embedded (in content)
- After post
- Convert mat
- Fullscreen popup (AKA screen filler)
As you can see, there are a lot of similarities to Thrive Leads in that list.
One area where ConvertPro exceeds Thrive Leads, however, is when it comes to targeting and trigger rules.
You get a ton of different options, including (in part):
- Referrer targeting
- Exit-intent triggers
- Device targeting
So if you want the most targeting and triggering options, that’s where ConvertPro wins over Thrive leads.
Where it’s not quite as good, though, is the drag-and-drop builder. While you do get a visual interface, it’s not quite as flexible as what you’d get with Thrive Leads.
You do get a big library of pre-made templates that you can choose from, though.
And like Thrive Leads, ConvertPro includes both built-in analytics, as well as an A/B testing tool to help you optimize your CTAs.
Price: Starts at $79 for one year of support and updates. Or, you can pay $399 for lifetime support and updates.
3. Elementor Pro – Popup Builder
Elementor is one of the most popular WordPress page builder plugins. Elementor Pro is the premium version that adds on a ton of different features, and Popup Builder is one specific feature that you get with Elementor Pro.
Essentially, the Popup Builder lets you take all the same visual drag-and-drop functionality that you get with the core Elementor plugin and apply it to any type of popup, including:
- Lightbox popups
- Notification bars
- Screen fillers
The upshot is that Elementor Pro will give you the most design flexibility of any tool on this list.
In addition to all the other Elementor features, two especially helpful Elementor “widgets” that you can use in your designs are:
- Form – Lets you create custom forms and connect them to email marketing services or Zapier.
- Countdown – Lets you create traditional or evergreen countdown timers to add urgency to your CTAs.
Beyond design flexibility, you still get plenty of options to target and trigger your popups. You can target popups by content, device, referrer, user-logged in status, etc. And you can also trigger by scroll, time, exit intent, and more.
It’s important to remember that Elementor Popup Builder is just one feature inside the Elementor Pro plugin. That is, you’ll get access to all the other Elementor Pro functionality for the same price, which means you can create:
- Landing pages
- In-content CTA boxes
The one area where Elementor falters is analytics – there are none. If you want to track or A/B test your CTAs, you’ll need to connect to third-party tools like Google Analytics or Google Optimize.
Price: Starts at $49 for use on a single site and goes up to $199 for use on unlimited websites
4. Thrive Ultimatum
Thrive Ultimatum is another plugin from Thrive Themes, the same maker of the Thrive Leads plugin above.
However, as the name suggests, Thrive Ultimatum is mostly focused on finding ways to add conversion-boosting urgency to your CTAs.
Thrive Ultimatum lets you create both:
- Regular fixed date scarcity campaigns (g. the campaign ends at midnight on July 31st)
- Evergreen scarcity campaigns (g. every single visitor gets their own unique 24-hour countdown timer)
The most unique thing about the evergreen countdown timers is that you can make them real. That is, you can create a special sales page that only prospects whose countdown timers haven’t expired can see.
To make that happen, Thrive Ultimatum will actually track each visitor, and each visitor will see their own unique countdown timer even if they leave your site and come back (or go to a different page on your site).
You can show your countdown timers in multiple spots across your site, including:
- Notification bars
And to actually design your countdown offers, you can use the same visual, drag-and-drop interface that you get with Thrive Leads (that is, the builder is based on Thrive Themes’ popular Thrive Architect page builder plugin).
There are also lots of helpful automation features built into Thrive Ultimatum. For example, you can automatically change the text and design of your countdown timers during the campaign (one use for this would be to get a little more aggressive near the end of the campaign).
And if you are using Thrive Leads, you can even automatically start a countdown timer as soon as someone subscribes to your email list via Thrive Leads. Or, you can trigger urgency campaigns when a user clicks on a link in an email blast.
Basically, if you want to add urgency to your CTAs, Thrive Ultimatum is probably the most complete WordPress toolkit you’ll find.
Price: Starts at $97 for use on a single site. Or, also available as part of the Thrive Themes membership.
5. WP Notification Bar Pro
As you can probably guess from the name, WP Notification Bar Pro is a CTA plugin that specifically helps you create notification bars.
That means it’s not as flexible as the first three CTA plugins, but it’s also a lot more affordable and has a limited free version. So if all you want is notification bar functionality, this one can save you some money.
With the Pro version, you can create customizable notification bars with:
- A generic CTA (a button that links to anywhere)
- Email opt-in forms
- A link to your latest post, or related posts
- Your social media profiles
- A countdown timer
- A search form
You can even create multiple notification bars, each with their own priority to determine which displays when.
Beyond that, you can target notification bars to specific content, devices, referrers, or based on a user’s logged-in status. And you can set a maximum number of times that individual users will be shown your notification bar.
WP Notification Bar Pro also includes built-in analytics, as well as A/B testing functionality to help you optimize your notification bars.
Finally, if you just want to give the plugin a test drive, there’s a limited free version at WordPress.org that lets you create generic button CTAs. However, it lacks many of the more advanced features.
Price: Starts at $19 for use on a single site
6. Ultimate Addons For Gutenberg
Ultimate Addons For Gutenberg is a set of new blocks that you can use in the WordPress block editor (AKA Gutenberg – the new default editor added in WordPress 5.0).
While Ultimate Addons For Gutenberg adds a bunch of helpful new blocks that you can use in your content, the one we’re most interested in is the new Call to Action block.
This block makes it easy to create eye-catching CTA sections. Basically, it combines a well-designed button with text or images to create a section that drives your visitors to action. Here’s an example:
You’ll have full control over the content, layout, and design, as well.
Beyond the dedicated CTA block, you also get other helpful blocks like:
- Marketing Button – Add conversion-boosting microcopy to your button.
- Form stylers – Style the output of popular plugins like WPForms or Contact Form 7
- Multi Buttons
Because all of these blocks are available in the default WordPress block editor, Ultimate Addons For Gutenberg is a really versatile option to have in your toolbox.
Price: 100% free
7. Simple Side Tab
Simple Side Tab is a simple free plugin that lets you add a tab widget to the side of your page to act as a CTA – you can see an example in the image above.
This tab is sticky, so it will stay with visitors as they scroll down. It’s also mobile-friendly, so it works no matter which device a visitor is browsing from.
As for customization options, you can:
- Edit the text
- Choose which page to link your tab to
- Change up colors
- Choose a different font
- Configure how “high up” to make the tab
- Place the tab on either the right or left side of your site
All in all, this one is super simple, but it can be an effective, unobtrusive way to promote something.
Price: 100% free
Finally, there’s Leadpages, which isn’t technically a WordPress plugin (it’s a SaaS), but is easy to integrate into WordPress thanks to its dedicated plugin at WordPress.org.
Leadpages is a versatile tool that helps you create everything from landing pages to popups, alert bars, and more.
Let’s start with the landing page builder functionality:
Using pre-made templates and a visual, drag-and-drop builder interface, you can create your own custom landing pages to drive visitors to action. You can either have Leadpages host them for you, or embed these landing pages on your own site.
Next up, there’s the popup builder:
Also using a drag-and-drop builder, you can design your own custom popups and display them anywhere on your site. You’ll also get lots of targeting and triggering rules to control your popups.
Finally, there’s the new alert bar builder, which lets you apply the same approach to notification bars.
Two features that you’ll find in all three tools are detailed analytics and A/B testing that give you the ability to analyze and optimize all of your landing page, popup, and alert bar efforts.
Another nice feature is that everything is combined in one dashboard. So from one spot, you can manage landing pages, popups, and alert bars for all your different sites. If you manage a lot of sites, that’s a big convenience.
If you want to learn more, I encourage you to give our full Leadpages review a read.
Price: Starts at $25 per month (billed annually) or $37 per month (billed monthly). The price goes up depending on which features you want access to.
Which is the best WordPress CTA plugin for you?
Because different plugins on this list do different things, this is kind of a trick question – you don’t have to choose just one!
However, to help you pick the plugins that you want in your toolbox, let me briefly recap the high points for each tool on this list to end this post:
- Thrive Leads – A good all-around tool that gives you design flexibility, solid targeting/triggering, A/B testing, and more.
- ConvertPro – A lot of similarities to Thrive Leads, but with better targeting/triggering, and a not quite as good builder.
- Elementor Pro – Lets you build popups, landing pages, and more. Excels when it comes to design freedom, but doesn’t have built-in analytics.
- Thrive Ultimatum – The best toolkit to add urgency to your offers.
- WP Notification Bar – A simple, affordable option for creating notification bar CTAs.
- Ultimate Addons for Gutenberg – A good one for any site to have. Adds a lot of helpful functionality to the default WordPress editor that helps you create better CTAs.
- Simple Side Tab – A super simple free option that lets you create a side tab CTA.
- Leadpages – The priciest tool, but also gives you one convenient spot to create landing pages, popups, and alert bars for all of your sites.
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