1 In Digital marketing 101

Why SumoMe is the WordPress plug-in of your dreams

In the story of David versus Goliath, a much smaller and weaker David takes on the gargantuan Goliath in a fight to the death. His weapon is his trusty slingshot. Despite the odds, David triumphs.

To craft a metaphor, SumoMe is the slingshot, you are David, and Goliath can be Google or your biggest and baddest competitor. Whatever floats your boat. Either way, SumoMe is the weapon that’ll help you conquer the internet.

To borrow a less clumsy metaphor, SumoMe is the Swiss army knife of plug-ins.

Stop your metaphorical jabbering and get to the point

SumoMe is a WordPress plug-in with a tagline that promises ‘tools to grow your website’s traffic’—which possibly undersells it. Part email list builder and part traffic generator, SumoMe is a godsend for marketers who aren’t quite as technically savvy as they’d like to be.

Alright, alright, alright, what does it actually do?

It’s probably faster to answer what it doesn’t do! SumoMe’s feel tools, in full, are:

  • List builder
  • Scroll Box
  • Smart Bar
  • Welcome Mat
  • Google Analytics
  • Content Analytics
  • Heat Maps
  • Share
  • Image Sharer
  • Highlighter
  • Discover
  • Contact Form

That’s an awful lot, so let’s break it down relevant to how SumoMe itself breaks its tools down in its ‘store’. But first let’s take a very brief detour to discuss how you actually access it:

  1. Search ‘New plug-ins’ from your WordPress dash for SumoMe.
  2. Install and activate the plug-in. Old hat!
  3. A blue pop-up and arrow to the right will ask you to click on a blue box, in which the magic lives.
  4. Click the box and you’ll open SumoMe’s interface. Hit ‘Sumo Store’ to enter the database where their useful tools live.
  5. You’ll be taken to the ‘store’ interface where you can install any of the tools for free. There are premium versions (which run on the more expensive side) with various customisation options but you can do plenty with the free version.

sumome sumo store

SumoMe’s super tools

We’re going to go through them one-by-one, except for Discover which we’re not a fan of (think Outbrain or Taboola but even spammier), and Contact Form, a single inbound inbox that isn’t relevant to us or our blog.

So, without further ado, let’s dig in!

Email

List builder

A simple pop-up box to capture emails. The design is fool-proof. Use the tabs in the menu to customise the (basic) design, the fields, collect and analyse data, and edit display and behaviour rules.

fool proof email list builder

Scroll Box

Scroll Box is essentially List Builder, except you can set it to trigger at a percentage read on a blog post. Let’s say someone has read 75% of your blog. You can presume you’ve kept their interest pretty well, so you can set a box to pop-up and ask the reader to subscribe. Again, it’s simple but fool-proof.

Scroll box in action

Smart Bar

Smart Bar is a thing of beauty. No, really. Ever been on the Buffer blog and noticed a bar that scrolls down the screen with you? Theirs is an offer you can subscribe to. While considered an email tool, you can use your smart bar to advertise your social media accounts.

On my personal blog, I use it to promote my (inane) Twitter account. With a Harry Potter reference, because that’s how I roll. It’s worth noting that there is a bug where the followers text doesn’t fit on the screen if you have a username longer than about six characters.

smart bar

Again, everything is customisable from your SumoMe dash, and you can set where you bar appears, how it functions, and what it says. For more than a basic bar, you will need the premium version.

Welcome Mat

Welcome Mat is for the brave of heart, as it’s a full-screen pop-up. Neil Patel actually does something similar on his blog, wherein his home screen is entirely taken over by a subscribe button. It works well for Neil Patel, but given who he is we’d take that with a pinch of salt. Your customers may not be too enamoured by a giant, promotional pop-up.

Proceed with caution on this one!

neil patel homepage

Analytics

Google Analytics

Integrates Google Analytics into separate posts.

Content Analytics

Coloured scroll maps visualise where your visitors actually go on your site, including where they stop reading.

Heat Maps

Again, self-explanatory and similar to Content Analysis in that it shows you where people are clicking on your site. Useful if you want to quickly see how CTAs are doing or to see what parts of your site seem to attract attention.

Social Shares

Sharing

If you’ve got a blog (if you don’t, why not?), you’ve likely dabbled in the minefield of social sharing plug-ins. Many of them are terrible. Some of them are great.

Sharing is great—if not a tad too hard on the SumoMe self-promo.

A straight forward tool, Sharing is a hovering bar you can set to appear on your site. Again, behaviour and display rules are very easy to adjust in the SumoMe dash.

best social sharing plug in

It’s a subtle sharing bar, but it works. In action, it looks like this, and can display counters if you wish:

social sharing plugin

Image Share

Embed sharing buttons (usually the social icon) over images so they can be tweeted, shared on Facebook, or Pinned with minimal effort. Just be sure to turn it off on mobile as it tends to obstruct the images.

Highlighter

Highlight a section (very specifically left-to-right, top-to-bottom) and a pop-up box asks the reader if they want to share the text. Don’t forget that tweets are still limited to 140 characters. The example, below, btw, is from my personal blog.

highlight to share
Phew! That’s the bulk of it. For the TL;DR crowd, to summarise:

  • Lots of excellent tools for growing your list and sharing your content.
  • Quite a few customisation/behaviour/display tools for a free plug-in.
  • Integrates with third party clients like MailChimp.
  • Reasonably speedy for what’s involved.
  • The SumoMe branding is shameless and EVERYWHERE—so it might get too much if you install more than a couple of the tools. Of course, you could just pay the tenner a month to remove the ‘Powered by SumoMe’ branding if you’re fan of their tools.
  • A/B TEST IT. Don’t turn on all the email boxes and share tools and hope for the best. See what works and doesn’t, and tweak it to suit.

That’s a pretty good summary of a digital strategy right there. You’re welcome.

The post was first published on the 256 blog.

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