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OptinMonster – A Standalone Email List Building Tool – Review

WordPress has wooed thousands of marketers and website owners with its smooth functionality and innumerable plugins. In my last post Thrive Leads Vs Bloom – WordPress Opt-in Comparison I mentioned that WordPress powers almost 26.4% of the web and more than 500 sites go live on WP everyday. Not just this, WordPress hosts more than 44,000 plugins for its users. While comparing the two leading email list building plugins in Thrive Leads Vs Bloom – WordPress Opt-in Comparison, I mentioned about OptinMonster as another potential list building plugin.

In this post, I will tell you why OptinMonster is touted as the strongest competitor for building email lists.

OptinMonster - A Standalone Email List Building Tool

Ever since its launch in 2013, OptinMonster has come a long way from being just a WordPress plugin. Last year, OptinMonster quietly rolled out its app and became a stand-alone cloud-based app. It can be integrated with WordPress as a plugin even now, but it can also be used with websites that do not run on WordPress.

Syed Balkhi, co-founder of OptinMonster explained why OptinMonster chose to become a SaaS lead generation app in their official blog-

Each WordPress site is hosted in a different environment which proved to be a huge challenge for us since the very early days (shared hosting usage restrictions, plugin and theme conflicts, integration problems on slower hosts, scalability issues on larger sites, lack of a clear upgrade path, etc).

OptinMonster rolled out new features as well as fixed earlier issues that were reported. You can view the old version of OptinMonster. This app is user friendly and has numerous add-ons that makes OptinMonster a versatile customer acquisition and lead generation tool. I will walk you through all the features, steps and guides that OptinMonster has got to offer.

lightbox-popup

Features – An Overview

Since its launch in 2013, OptinMonster has garnered rave reviews. Its user friendly interface, customised templates for opt-in forms and most importantly the ‘exit intent’ feature shot it to immediate fame. Exit intent, a feature that wasn’t available in every tool, is an excellent option for any marketer or website owner.

As you scroll down the website of OptinMonster, you will see a startling statistics that goes on to emphasise on the need of this feature:

70% of visitors who abandon your website will never return

Now, who would want such a major chunk of visitors to be one-time visitors? Exit intent feature lets you create a pop up that is well-timed. It will pop-up the moment your visitor is about to leave your web page without subscribing. If you are worrying about annoying your visitors, then I guess you shouldn’t. They were leaving anyway. Rather with this well timed exit popup, you can make another attempt at making them stay and subscribe. If you are not yet convinced, I must tell you that it has been proven that exit popups works and catalyses around 10-15% of conversions of ‘lost’ visitors even.

exit-intent-eg

Those who are returning visitors or have subscribed will not see this popup.

OptinMonster has a clean interface in its new version. Here is an overview of all the features that this tool offers.

  • Drag and drop form builder for high conversions
  • Exit intent feature to convert ‘lost’ visitors
  • Advanced page level targeting
  • Well-time and beautiful popups
  • A/B testing
  • Detailed analytics for better results
  • 2 step opt-in process with MonsterLinks
  • Fullscreen welcome gate
  • Mobile specific popups for more conversions
  • Floating bars for those who want an alternative to popups
  • Effective and polite scroll boxes
  • Sidebar forms
  • After-post and in-line forms
  • Signature OptinMonster technology: MonsterEffects

Email Opt-in Forms

OptinMonster, being a hosted service now, has one dashboard from which you can create forms as well as manage other tasks. This is a win-win situation- while you manage all your forms from one central location, you have one plugin to manage. However, your OptinMonster account is linked to WordPress via a plugin, but it is much more lightweight and smaller than the initial one.

Since its launch, developers of OptinMonster have kept on adding more options for users. From three form types, today OptinMonster has eight different types of email opt-in form types to choose from.

  • Lightbox popup
  • Mobile optimised forms
  • Slide-in forms
  • After post/in content
  • Sidebar forms
  • Floating footer bar
  • Fullscreen welcome/exit gate
  • Canvas

Lightbox popup is true to its name – it is lightweight and quick. Popups are at times irritating but a popup that is well timed can help in conversions. OptinMonster presents you with templates are tested and designed to generate maximum results. There are multiple types of popups that grabs the visitor’s attention. You can make small changes using the form builder and give your popup a design that will not get rejected!

When I say, OptinMonster lets you create mobile friendly popups I don’t want you to think “Oh, every tool does that”. Ofcourse every email list building will do that given the fact that maximum traffic over the web is now coming from mobiles and tablets. People like things on the go but its also true people like variety. OptinMonster does give you templates customised for mobile audience but what if I tell you that it does not repeat the same message that you drafted for the web version?

To generate maximum views and downloads via mobile devices, OptinMonster will let you draft a message that will be redirected to mobile users only. The web users will see a different message. Now thats what I call customisation at its best. The responsive popup templates on other tools sends across same message to everyone, irrespective of their device. Not OptinMonster. Here you get to design a mobile-specific campaign.

Slide-in Forms

These occur at the bottom right hand corner. If you don’t want to be all pushy, the Slide-in form is best. It is termed as ‘polite scroll box’ that sits at the bottom corner. These popups occur as the visitor scrolls down on your website. They are noticeable and have reported to generate a lot of email signups. slide-in-form

After post and In-line opt-in Forms

If you have a blog or a website that is heavy on content then after post and in-line opt-in forms is perfect for you. You can add the opt-in form below your content or blog post so that there is no interference for your visitors as they read your content.

You can also add this after post form within your content as in-line form. All you need to do is: Go to ‘edit’ option and click on the dropdown arrow. Copy the ‘Unique Opt-in Slug‘ code and paste it within your copy while writing the copy.

In-line-form

Sidebar Opt-in Forms

This is touted as one of the most common methods to build email lists. However, most people use it because someone else has used it. That’s definitely a convincing reason but the down point is that these forms do not give any conversion data. OptinMonster gives data. Period.

OptinMonster’s sidebar form strikes a perfect chord with its users. You can make data-driven decisions based on the analytics on how well your sidebar has contributed in conversions. Placed along the sides of your website or blog, this sidebar is a gem for those who want to have real-time data to make decisions. Honestly, we all want that!

Floating Bars, Fullscreen Welcome gate and Canvas

I too hate popups. OptinMonster read my mind

If you are like me who wants to avoid popups as much as possible yet want to get the benefits of having one, OptinMonster has a solution for confused souls like us.

Floating footer bar is a static footer email signup option that does not interfere or cause disruptions in website viewing or content reading. These are noticeable as they remain poised at one place and are effective too.

Floating-bar

Fullscreen Welcome Gate and Interstitials are deemed to be the next generation CTAs. You can turn any page of your website into a fullscreen welcome gate exit gate and Interstitial Ads. It helps you in instant gratification as you grab your visitor’s undivided attention. Your message is highly targeted here which doubles your chances of building an email list pretty fast.

Fullscreen-gate

OptinMonster’s fullscreen welcome and exit gates are different from the traditional ones. Most fullscreen welcome gates redirects users to a different page. So many times I have realised mouthing ‘mean’ when I was redirected to a new page. This is mostly done for SEO reasons as reports show that many websites are penalised heavily by google for using welcome gates.

OptinMonster is not mean! You get to show your visitors a fullscreen ad or subscribe message without pushing them to a new page. The fullscreen welcome gate does not mess with your SEO rankings. The smart script of OptinMonster overlays the existing page ensuring more conversion and ripping SEO benefits.

You can configure the settings and control your fullscreen gate. By mentioning the website while creating the campaign, you can ensure that your visitors do not have to leave your webpage.

configuration-fullpage

The exit intent option allows you to use your welcome gate as a fullscreen exit gate.

Canvas Functionality allows you to design your own customised signup form. OptinMonster is clearly understanding if you ask me! You can design your template from scratch.

When you start building your form, you need to select Canvas option.

choose-canvasoption

This redirects you a black canvas wherein you can paste your own customised HTML code and CSS code. You can mention the height and width as you wish and create an opt-in form you simply love.

canvas-customhtml

Using all these forms, OptinMonster makes sure you need not spend more than a minute to get started with email list building. To enhance your list building experiences, OptinMonster has put together some amazing features.  

Segment and target your audience easily

It is amazing to see how OptinMonster hits you with a compelling statistics on its webpage-

According to a MarketingSherpa report, 32% of marketers say segmenting their email list is one of their organisation’s top objectives in the next 12 months.

With advanced page level targeting option you can display offers and discounts to your audience that vary according to locations of your audience as well as how they interact on your website. You can segment your subscribers based on their behavioural patterns, and then send out customised emails.

pageleveltargeting

Ditch all guess works ASAP

A/B split testing is one such feature that puts a halt on any guess work. You can be sanguine of what you are displaying to your audience and how you will gain out of it. Starting with headlines, content, layouts to style, opt-in triggers- you can try different varieties to see which gives you the maximum result. You can select A/B testing option. An exact replica of your plugin is created where you can make changes according to your needs and then you are done! The remaining is done by OptinMonster- it randomly puts into action various versions and gives you a detailed insight on which one works best.

MonsterLinks and MonsterEffects

MonsterLinks reduces the subscription time furthermore. It is a 2 step opt-in process in which when the user clicks on the link or image, a popup opens up asking them to subscribe. In its own feature page, it is mentioned that MonsterLinks uses the Zeigarnik Effect. According tot his psychology principle, one who initiates an action is most likely to finish it. In this case, when an user initiates the subscription by clicking on the links, he/she is most likely to finish subscribing.

Once again OptinMonster beats the traditional method of sending users to a landing page ( like, Instapage or ClickFunnels ) or displaying a form on the website. Here, you can turn any page into a landing page or for that matter you can link images too. Without A/B testing, this method is said to have the power of leveraging your conversions by 785%. Now that is huge! OptinMonster gives you a detailed document on a step-by-step guide on how you can use MonsterLinks on your website.

content-upgrade

MonsterEffects is also another signature feature of this tool that lets you add custom CSS in your popup. This helps you in grabbing your visitor’s attention and also leverages your conversion rate. There are 26 in-built CSS3 animation effects to choose from. Apart from that you can put your own custom CSS code.

High-end Analytics

Number crunching is essential but not without understanding what you are doing and why. OptinMonster gives you an easy to understand analytics overview by integrating with Google analytics. You not just get to know the data points indicating to how your forms have performed, you can analyse the clicks, views and overall performance of your forms. Along with this, you can also track referral page for every conversion. This gives you an insight on which page performs best for you.

analytics

Over last few weeks OptinMonster team added few more features to make this a powerful tool in the market. Along with the new design builder, here are the new additions made

  • Yes / No Popups
  • A brand new Success view
  • Real-time Behavior Detection
  • Dynamic Display Rules
  • Ability to create Follow up campaigns
  • Ability to do Onsite Retargeting
  • Content Locker
  • Dynamic text Replacement
  • New design templates

OptinMonster Pricing

The most important factor for a marketer to seal his/her decision of getting a product is Price. OptinMonster does not have any free trial versions. It straightaway has three pricing plans. You can opt for a per month package or go for annual subscriptions. Monthly plans start from $9/month (Basic) and $19/month (Plus). It goes upto $29/month (Pro plan). Annually, the plan prices become $49 (Basic), $99 (Plus) and $199 (Pro). As you go higher in the plan, you keep unlocking the features!

monthly-price

Thus, we reach the end of our review. OptinMonster provides a host of documents and tutorials for your assistance. In these tutorials, almost every other question is covered that one might have while using the tool. Incase you don’t find an answer to your query you can immediately submit a ticket. The team is extremely supportive and will get back to your query asap.

documents-tutorials

Start building email lists NOW in flat 60 seconds! Doesn’t it sound like some discount offer being announced?! Happy list building to you then. Let me know about your views in the comments section below.

Comments

16 Comments

Jacob

This is really a helpful article on Optinmonster Review. I am still thinking about whether this still works, or whether it’s been so immersed it really puts individuals off at this point? The only reason why I still value this is because OptinMonster accompanies alternatives that permit you to make it less off putting.

Ankit Prakash

Yes Jacob, Optinmonster will definitely help you capture more leads from your business website.

Santuna

Thanks for sharing such a detailed review of optinmonster. Although there are many such email optins available, but this is the best and cheapest email list builder; I can use with my website.

Ankit Prakash

Welcome Santuna!

Aaron

Ankit, awesome review, very thorough!

One thing I didn’t like about the plugin was how the ‘exit intent’ activated when moving the cursor to the scroll bar. But still, a much more affordable alternative to Bounce Exchange and Sumome.

Ankit Prakash

Aaron, seems this issue has been fixed in latest version on OptinMonster now.

Dexter

OptinMonster is very easy to run and it can be up and running on a WordPress website blog in no time. The choices of creating email list capture email list pop-ups are all simple or easily clarified amid the setup procedure. It’s by a wide margin the most useful popup plugin I’ve ever implemented. Once again thanks for the reviews.

Ankit Prakash

Thank you Dexter, and I’m glad that you liked my OptinMonster review 🙂

Drew Herrera

How to generate maximum views or downloads through mobile devices? You can take the aid of optinmonster which will allow you to compose a message that will only be received by mobile users thereby generating maximum views from mobile devices.

Ankit Prakash

Hey Drew, thanks a lot for the tips 🙂
Seriously useful!

Brenda

Creating a mailing list request to place a signup form to the right place. OptinMonster is the best leading tool for this in the market. You can add Lightbox popups, slide in the signup forms, sidebar forms, message after signup, and floating bars. You can do a split test and increase the rate of e-mail registrations.

Ankit Prakash

Exactly Brenda.

raj

That is very interesting Technology blog. I have shared your website in my social networks like facebook,twitter,linked More than More! Thanks admin for sharing the unique content, you have done a great job I appreciate your effort and I hope you will get more positive comments from the web users. I just started my blogs 2 months ago, please give some useful tips..

Ankit Prakash

Thats great to know about you Raj. Thanks and wish you all the best.

Willie Powell

Well..this is an important part, reaching the non-WordPress websites. Not all websites are hosted by Word Press, and hence having a reach beyond WordPress is a definite plus for OptinMonster.

Ankit Prakash

Yes Willie, this is what OptinMonster did and opened their plugin for all the website owners to use their opt-in tool.


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