It is quite easy to get distracted by the noise about what makes it easy to maintain and enhance your website.
There are tools galore that WordPress and other platforms offer. Your objectives vary, and so do tools created for a purpose.
In this whole confusion, it is quite easy to scoff at anything labelled as “free”. WordPress itself has more than 35,000 “free” plugins that claim to do anything under the sun – enough to drive someone to search for a tool that advertises itself very well. To add to the woes a lot many “free” tools are either not maintained well or have a quirk that may be problematic for many.
AppSumo’s SumoMe is a shining example of what free tools should be.
What is SumoMe?
SumoMe is a collection of free and paid tools – almost all of them free.
The modules include –
List Builder: Create a pop over that can collect emails. Popups are proven better converters for email subscriptions, and professionally/beautifully made popups are all the more better. You can control when the popups appear, and automatically integrate with all popular email services and auto-responders.
Free alternatives are hard to find. Similar tools cost more than $27 on average. More powerful tools like Pippity and Popup Domination cost a tidy sum (think $60+) on a recurring basis. I was not quite impressed with the free WordPress plugins for this.
Heat Maps: What are your customers seeing on your webpage? How are they interacting with the page and where are they clicking? These aspects are really important and help you optimize your webpage in order to achieve your objectives. Heat Map presents a picture of those user interactions.
Alternatives like that from Crazy Egg cost a a monthly fee. There are free WordPress plugins available.
Highlighter: When you use this tool, users can easily select content on your website and share on Facebook or Twitter in one click.
Scroll box: This is my favourite of all the Sumo Me tools. It politely asks for email address in a non-intrusive popup when the user scrolls down the page.
Image Sharer: When users hover over the images on your website, a popup enables them to share on social media sites in one click.
Share: Displays buttons to share your website/web page on multiple social media sites. The tool automatically prioritizes the buttons and orders them such that the social platform typically used on your page is at the very top.
There are too many alternatives for this tool including AddThis, ShareThis, AddToAny, and numerous WordPress plugins to enable sharing on social media.
I was never satisfied with the tools – either they look bad, have less optimal performance, or users are made to navigate to third party website. I opted to use Share by SumoMe after a *lot* of research, and have been happy ever since 🙂
Content Analytics: Learn what users are reading on your website. Content Analytics shows just how much readers scroll down and whether the posts/pages keep them engaged.
Smart Bar: Adds a bar at the header to collect emails. The craze probably started with HelloBar from Crazy Egg, many marketers have used (and stopped) this method, and there have been numerous plugins to do just that.
SumoMe provides yet another tool to collect emails with a static bar at the top of your website.
Contact Form: Enable a way for your users to get in touch with you. A simple contact form pops up when the user clicks on a Contact Us link, and sends a notification to you when user submits the form.
Leads: One of the premium plugins in this set, Leads provides a popup to easily provide an incentive (including automatic generation of PDFs from the post) and collect emails from users. It also gives you the ability to customize the message and appearance at will. Costs $100 per year.
Get Started with SumoMe
You then control what tools you want to use with this handy control panel.
SumoMe installs a small hidden button on the web page from where you can access the panel (hide it by paying $5/mo), and shows the brand logo in their tools (costs $100 per year to hide this).
SumoMe also provides a few success stories on how the various tools websites in various niches (e.g. heat maps, growing your email lists, Content Analytics). These posts not only help you see how the tools can be used, but also inspire you in explore writing posts in new ways, and experiment better with the free tools.
At the same time, you can see that SumoMe tools have found their calling at multiple large and small sites including backlinko.com, god.com, mixergy.com. SumoMe has recorded fantastic growth in the past year – it reached 1 billion unique visitors in a matter of months. It falls in line with what Noah Kagan, the “chief Sumo”, says – “give away something valuable to people, and they reciprocate” (I may be making this up, but this is my takeaway).
I love them for saying that aloud, for the honest tone and excellent copy on the website and in emails, and for the excellent tools that offer fantastic value for what they cost (even if you pay for the tools). And, those are the reasons I continue to use SumoMe tools (and you should too).