How to Create a Sidebar Widget in WordPress to Get More Subscribers

Sidebar widgets are an excellent way to convert users on your site without interrupting their browsing experience. In fact, many web visitors will look to the sidebar automatically when they’re interested in subscribing to your newsletter.

In this article, you’ll learn how to take advantage of the sidebar area, giving you the chance to convert visitors from anywhere on your site and turning each page into a lead generation opportunity.

Before we get into the tutorial, let’s take a look at some sidebar widgets that OptinMonster customers have created.

Sidebar Widget Examples

Here are just a few examples of sidebar widgets from OptinMonster customers. If you want to see more, check out our sidebar optin gallery.

BobWP’s Sidebar Widget Campaign

optinmonster sidebar widget example

This sidebar optin is great because you can see the person behind the page. Plus, they tell you right in the optin copy what you can expect from them when you sign up.

Remote Jobs Sidebar Widget Campaign

remote job sidebar widget example

We love the copy on this simple sidebar widget optin. Plus, the addition of the radio button at the bottom is a great way to let subscribers self-segment.

OneXtraPixel’s Sidebar Widget Campaign

sidebar campaign example

This simple sidebar widget optin uses social proof to let subscribers know that more than 60,000 subscribers already get the newsletter they’re thinking about signing up for.

SHH’s Sidebar Widget Campaign

shh sidebar campaign

We love the link to the privacy policy at the bottom of this sidebar widget optin.

How to Create a Sidebar Widget Optin for Your WordPress Blog

By now, you’re probably excited to create your own sidebar widget optin to bring in new subscribers and generate more leads. With OptinMonster, it’s super easy.

Before you can get started, you’ll need to sign up for OptinMonster.

Also, we know that not everyone learns the same way. That’s why we created this helpful video tutorial for our visual learners:


Prefer the written tutorial? No worries. Just keep reading to learn how to create a sidebar widget in WordPress.

1. Create a New Campaign

Log in to your Optinmonster account and click the Create New Campaign button in the top right corner of the screen.

create a new campaign

Choose your campaign type. For a sidebar widget optin, you’ll want the Inline campaign.

choose inline type

Next, select a campaign template. You have 30+ templates to choose from for your inline campaign, all fully customizable. For our tutorial, we’ll use Basic.

select basic template

Once you click Use Template, you’ll be able to give your campaign a name (internal use) and choose the website you want the campaign to show up on.

enter your campaign name and click start building

Click Start Building and you’ll be taken into the campaign builder.

2. Design Your Sidebar Widget Optin

You can customize every aspect of your optin by clicking on the element you want to edit in the live preview. The editing tools will then load on the left side of the screen.

edit your campaign

You can change text, font, colors, images, sizes, and more.

Once you’re happy with your design, click on Save in the upper-righthand corner. Next, it’s time to set display rules.

save your campaign regularly

3. Set Display Rules

Display rules control who sees your campaign. By default, the campaign is set to show all visitors on every page of your site.

default display rules

OptinMonster’s display rules engine is very powerful and you have tons of options to choose from.

We’re going to leave our display rules as the default for this tutorial. If you make changes to your display rules, save your campaign before moving on.

4. Add an Email Integration to Store Emails

If you want to use OptinMonster to grow your email list, you’ll need to integrate with an email marketing service. If you have an email marketing service, OptinMonster probably integrates with it.

If you don’t have an email marketing service, we recommend Constant Contact because it’s easy enough for beginners and robust enough for advanced users. We’ll be using Constant Contact for this tutorial.

Pro Tip: We recommend that you add Monster Leads to your integrations whether or not you have an email marketing service. Monster Leads lets you keep a backup of your leads that you can export whenever you want.

At the top of your campaign builder, click Integrations. Then, on the lefthand side of the builder, you’ll click + Add New Integration.

add email integration

Choose your email service provider from the dropdown.

choose email service provider

If this is your first time connecting Constant Contact and OptinMonster, you’ll need to register and log in to your Constant Contact account.

Once you’ve logged in, you’ll be able to choose your email provider account and click the Connect to Constant Contact button.

connect constant contact account

If you have any lists set up in your Constant Contact account, you’ll be able to select the list you want to use to collect leads.

choose provider list

Go ahead and save your campaign before moving on.

5. Add Analytics to Track Progress

After adding an integration your campaign, it’s time to add analytics. By default, you’ll have access to OptinMonster’s native analytics. If you want to add Google Analytics, go to the Analytics tab. Then, click Connect.

connect google analytics

You’ll need to enter your Google Analytics account and website profile to connect.

choose analytics account

Save your campaign.

5. Publish Your New Sidebar Campaign

Now it’s time to publish your sidebar widget optin!

Go to the Publish tab and toggle the Status to Live.

publish campaign

Save your campaign.

6. Add Your Sidebar Widget to WordPress

After you’ve published your campaign, log in to WordPress.

From your WordPress dashboard, click on OptinMonster from the lefthand menu.

go to optinmonster in wordpress

Click on Refresh Campaigns to bring up your new campaign.

refresh campaigns

Next, from your WordPress dashboard, click on Appearance » Widgets.

Drag the OptinMonster widget to your WordPress sidebar and choose the campaign you want to appear in your WordPress sidebar.

add campaign to sidebar

Click Save. Now you can head over to your website and check out your new sidebar widget optin!

That’s all there is to it. You’ve successfully created a sidebar widget optin and added it to your WordPress site. Want even more subscribers? Check out these high-converting places to add your email signup forms.

And, be sure to follow us on YouTubeFacebook, and Twitter for more tips and tutorials to boost your conversions.

Jacinda Santora
Jacinda Santora is a writer specializing in eCommerce and growth marketing. She prides herself on her ability to make complicated things easier. When she isn't writing you can find her daydreaming about campervans, drinking coffee, and listening to podcasts.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. We only recommend products that we believe will add value to our readers.

Add a Comment

We're glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that all comments are moderated according to our privacy policy, and all links are nofollow. Do NOT use keywords in the name field. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.