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OptinMonster Review: Overview of the Most Popular WordPress Plugin Form – 2020

Sia Mohajer
Last updated: Aug 14, 2020

The key to good SEO is a tight niche—likewise, Optinmonster has one: capturing emails from traffic, so you can speak to them directly. To define this tool: it’s an email optin form plugin, directly integratable into the WordPress CMS, among others, and email marketing clients eg. Mailchimp.

How OptinMonster Builds Your List 📜


Note: OptinMonster can’t create email campaigns, but you will get highly specified pop-up forms with unique features.

These range from embedded forms to slide-ins and welcome bars—seamlessly connect to your site/email marketing tool of choice with a few clicks. But is OptinMonster worth it?

optin-monster-logo

(Can you generate half a million new visitors)?

OptinMonster Review: Best Features, Drawbacks & Verdict


Specifications:

  • Exit-Intent Technology
  • MonsterLinks 2-Step Opt-ins
  • Geolocation Targeting
  • Drag n’ Drop Popup Builder
  • Mobile Friendly
  • Yes / No Forms

Pros:

  • Simple Intuitive UI
  • No Coding Design Editor
  • 9 Popup Types (Many More Templates)

Cons:

  • No Internal Analytics
  • Works Best with WordPress

Our Verdict

4.5/5: At least, one of the best optin form builders on the market—though it doesn’t offer wider email marketing capabilities, that focus is what makes it excellent.

Trial: 14 days (money back)

Starting: $9/mo

Best Features ✅

They’re really good at popups. Boost conversions by creating highly mobile-optimized campaigns aimed at capturing from smartphone and tablet devices.

optinmonster pop up

Currently 11 billion mobile devices are circulating worldwide, Optinmonster gives you a cutting-edge here with a great array of video tutorials that also explain benefits.

They’ve a reputation for fast loading times with templates designed for max conversions: advanced targeting features include scrolling distance, inactivity time and exit intent.

Full screen popups may be bad for conversions: choose from 9 different types, including embeddable forms, floating bars, and lightbox pop-ups.

Drawbacks ❌

Design templates could be updated more frequently, so you don’t have to repeat the same capture forms on different pages, for example clickforms vs exit intent.

optinmonster-template

While templates are highly mobile-friendly, they are not as customizable as ideal. For example, you can edit the colors of buttons and background, but images are often locked into place without cropping being possible. There’s also only annual plans.

Try: 2 Weeks – Full Money Back Guarantee.

Super Slick Interface 📲


WP plugins can be fiddly, with counterintuitive steps needed and lots of clicking around on different screens to find what you want (Optinmonster WordPress plugin free download).

By comparison, OptinMonster’s extremely focused on its niche:

This really pays off with the interface. No need to refresh your screen: simply hop onto different tabs on the left hand side as your pop-up takes form.

optinmonster-Builder

 

Despite, overall they make extremely good use of the workspace, providing a slick and straightforward UI that’s a pleasure to use. In most cases, you can find a specific tutorial video that covers a specific function. Save time on getting a capability; just give the demo a play on the main website.

Complete Templates (No Need to Design) 👨‍🎨


No need to stare at a blank canvas, wondering where the hell to begin, or Google-searching color theory. Whether you’re wanting a spooky Halloween theme campaign or need something specific to a Black Friday deal, which incidentally has a similar look, it’s a boon.

Templates are lovable and ready to go. Just enter your wording and make adjustments to the button positioning, look, and images—and you’re ready to go.

optinmonster-halloween-theme

Optinmonster claims that the templates are designed for maximum conversions. For each different pop-up type, there’s between a dozen to two dozen templates.

Tons of Opt-in Styles 👱


  1. Lightbox Popup – This is one of the most effective means of capturing emails (team tips: when to use email vs. Slack). the background is darkened, with a popup in the center of the screen.
  2. Full Welcome Mat – This is a full-screen call to action that the visitor cannot ignore. You should be weary about using full screen popups.
  3. Slide-in Box This pop-up slide-in from one corner of the screen and is extremely high converting; it does not completely throw the user from the content.
  4. Floating Bar – Choose a horizontal bar that floats at the header or footer portion of the screen, scrolling with the user.
  5. Inline Forms – You can embed these inside of your regular content or blog posts.
  6. Content Locker – Close off a portion of your content into gated content, and see your email list to grow. Very interesting tool for creatives.
  7. Coupon Wheel Opt-ins – These are also known as spin-a-wheel campaigns, which have been shown to increase conversions.
  8. Countdown Timer – Urgency is one of the oldest tricks in the sales books. Choose one of their countdown timer templates for your popup.
  9. Sidebar Forms – Have a consistent form that sits unobtrusively on the sidebar, expanding your lead generation opportunities to every single page.

Super-Specific Targeting with Targeting Rules 🎯


This targeting and multiple rule creation functionality is a special area where OptinMonster has an advantage over other clients. There are a ton of features and rules here so we don’t get into all of them, but it’s safe to say you’ll find highly advanced customizations; everything from targeting by cookies, geolocation, and setting up triggers like exit intent.

optinmonster generation lead

Other targeting triggers: time spent on the page, time on the site, time inactive, distance scrolled, and areas clicked.

Advanced A/B Testing Made Simple 🆎


Split testing is a powerful way of getting projective data on how effective your processes are. Pit two or more variants against one another to see who comes out tops. Find this on the dashboard. In a few clicks, create variations of triggers, targeting, copy and designs.

Unfortunately, it does not automatically declare the highest-performing form (based on your criteria), but you can gather this from the analytics, so it’s no biggie that it’s missing.

Simple Dedicated WordPress Plugin ✍️


When OptinMonster first came onto the market, it generated a huge amount of buzz because of its simple WordPress plugin. They’ve since transitioned into a cloud SaaS tool, however still offer a dedicated WP plugin so that you can manage things right from the WP dashboard.

OptinMonster-WordPress

In terms of the actual creation of opt-ins, this is done via the cloud interface, however the integration is seamless enough that you will not notice that they are no longer primarily a WP plugin.

OptinMonster Review Buyer’s Guide 📗


How to Use Optinmonster to Make an Email Opt-In?

STEP 1: Start a new campaign 

This simply means creating a new form: so for one website (web design tips), you could have several campaigns running simultaneously. Eg. one for the exit intent, one for the sidebar, one for a certain amount of time spent on the website and so on. Choose your campaign type by selecting the kind of pop-up you want.

Note that full screen popups can negatively affect conversions. You’ll be given a preview of the canvas and then asked to give the campaign a name…

OptinMonster-New-Campaign-Type

STEP 2: Modify the campaign

Next up, you’re taken to the editor. The left tab lets you configure the popup’s settings. The right screen is a dragon drop preview of your form.

Because it’s drag-and-drop, you just click on the popup and the correct tab will load, presenting options for editing that portion of the form. In Display Settings, make sure that you configure the Cookie Durations. This will control how long the form remains invisible to the user, if the user closes it or successfully opts in.

(If you don’t configure this, the popup will continue to appear, even if the user has done one of the above, which will be terrible for conversions.)

optinmonster select-slide-in

YES / NO

This is a very effective conversion technique made simple. In fact, yes / no forms are known to boost conversions by as much as 18% due to human psychology.

This is based on the Zeigarnik Effect, a psychology principle, which says that people who start an action are more likely to finish it. For example, in the screenshot, once people select “office”, they are more likely to continue to the very end of the optin form… In fact, the optin form does not appear itself until one of the two options has been selected first.

STEP 3: Publish!

This can be found in the top right corner. Once you’ve completed the success, display, integrations, and analytics sections, it’s time to bring this popup online.

Do this from a simple screen called Publish Options which will allow you to embed your form onto any kind of website using a code snippet.

optinmonster public

(Use plugins to make this even more simple, which will just require you to enter the API key  which you can create from your account.)

From there, manage the campaigns you’ve already created directly from the WordPress dashboard, and then your form will immediately begin appearing, under the right targeting rules.

Managing Your Campaign Including Running Split Tests & Analytics

The Campaign Management area shows you conversion rate analytics, which you can view in your OptinMonster account. Visualizations give you a good foundation from which to base new ab tests. Each project is organized in rows, with visitors, leads, and click-through-rate percentages readily visible.

Create a new split test, you’ll be sent back into the campaign editor. Everything can be tested, from copy to targeting rules. Once you’ve created a test, this will be displayed under the name of your project in the main dashboard.

OptinMonster Review FAQs 🗒️


Is OptinMonster Free?

OptinMonster has a 100% money back guarantee (no questions asked). This guarantee lasts for the first fortnight, which should be enough time to figure out the cost benefit.

How Much Does OptinMonster Cost?

The Basic plan is $9 a month. Unfortunately, you have to pay annually, rather than having a rolling cycle you can cancel whenever. However, because the prices are so low on the Basic plan, this amounts to $108 for a year.

This rises to about $49 per month for the higher tiers. Note that not all features listed in the guide are available on the lowest tier, so pay close attention to what’s on offer, including page-view limitations.

Is OptinMonster Worth It For My Website?

Try them out for a fortnight. The no quibbles money back guarantee is very convenient. Keep in mind that capturing the emails of your traffic is one of the most important elements of sales conversions.

Optinmonster effect

Plan out your strategy ahead of time, before joining the trial, so that you can test it out live for as long as possible and get direct feedback on its efficacy.

Optinmonster isn’t the least costly way to build your email list, but it is certainly one of the most explosive one’s around. If you can find the budget, this is one of the best Suites out there.

What are the New OptinMonster Features?

We mentioned earlier that the biggest new feature is that OptinMonster has evolved from being just a WordPress plugin. They now host popups for you, working as a cloud SaaS tool. Along with this is a brilliant interface: on your accounts dashboard, you can do flexible content creation and management activities.

We said this already too, but the user interface is extremely pleasing to use. It’s not cluttered, and there is no need to reload the screen for previews.

optinmonster options

This has greatly reduced the size of the dedicated WP plugin, which can only help with loading speeds. You’ll also find a greater number of styles, greater mobile friendliness, animation and sound effects during form loadings, helpful yes/no forms, adblock detection popups, and more. Each style also has a lot more templates to choose from too.

And you can also add drag-and-drop as a powerful recent update, which now means you only need to click on the portion of the form you want to edit in order for the live editor to load the configuration tabs. Big time saver.

Does OptinMonster Do Hosting?

Yes, firstly the popo form is no longer  managed exclusively in WordPress. And all of the creation occurs in the OptinMonster website.

It might seem more convenient to do all of the work in one place (WordPress), but OptinMonster is so easy and powerful that their hosted interface is a clearly superior solution.

OptinMonster vs. Mailchimp: What to Choose?

These are not the same services. MailChimp does most of their business as an email marketing service provider (ESP), which lets you run email campaigns and see detailed analytics related to it such as open rates. You can segment email lists and tag your audiences based on how customers click and make decisions.

optinmonster rules

The one thing that OptinMonster and MailChimp both do, is to build signup forms and landing pages (best landing page builders). MailChimp does not have the level of personalization that OptinMonster has when it comes to creating optin forms (it’s not really even close).

Overall

The first point of contact is the optin form, so you’ll be giving yourself an advantage by choosing an expert in creating these. OptinMonster is incredibly good at doing this. And you can integrate your forms with more than 30 email service providers, which includes MailChimp.

The best solution here, if it is within your budget, is to use an email marketing solution (like MailChimp) in tandem with OptinMonster (which is not a complete email marketing solution as it creates forms alone).

OptinMonster Review Summary 💡


Is OptinMonster worth it? Well, it’s very hard to think of a popup solution better. If you want a very personalizable, user-friendly optin popup builder that has very high converting templates, try this tool out for two weeks with a 100% money back guarantee. You’ll likely be pleased you did.

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