- Editor Rating
- Rated 4.5 stars
- Reviewed by:
- Published on:
- Last modified:
- FunctionalityEditor: 85%
- Ease of useEditor: 90%
- PricingEditor: 85%
- SupportEditor: 100%
Note: This review has been completely rewritten as of 20th May 2015 to accurately highlight OptinMonster’s new features.
Have you ever wondered what it takes to build an email list?
It comes down to this:
Make it easy for your readers to subscribe and offer your readers something for free that they can’t find on your website.
Here’s the important step most people miss:
The truth is that however easy it is for your readers, it needs to be easy for you too.
What’s the point of spending days messing around tinkering with opt-in forms that are impossible to test and difficult to monitor, when you could do everything you need in less than an hour?
This is where OptinMonster comes in, a powerful platform that could just make everything easier for both you and your readers.
What is OptinMonster?
OptinMonster started off as a WordPress plugin, but now it’s so much more.
Now, it’s a full-on list building platform which you can use to create, deploy and test opt-in forms.
You can either choose to deploy opt-in forms with their WordPress plugin or you can take a snippet of code that can be used with any other website that supports HTML.
This means all of your opt-in forms can be monitored from a central location, no matter how many sites you run.
Let’s take a closer look at what else OptinMonster has to offer…
Create and deploy opt-in forms fast with OptinMonster
The all-important opt-in form types
What really matters with a tool like this is exactly where you can place opt-in forms.
The great thing about OptinMonster is that while its primary function is to add popovers, other opt-in form types are available on certain pricing plans (we’ll talk more about plans later on).
All of these options mean you can display the right opt-in form at the right location.
The only form type from the screenshot above that doesn’t explain exactly what it does is the canvas option.
With the canvas form type you’re able to display a custom popover with the use of CSS and HTML so there are a lot of things you can do here.
It’s worth noting that most of these opt-in form types come with multiple templates which include the lightbox popover, after post, floating bar and sidebar.
Here are the templates included with the lightbox popover:
The visual editor
Once you select your opt-in form type and template you will be taken to the edit window.
Within a few clicks this opt-in form can be transformed into a fully customized popover.
There are a bunch of other features you’ll find on the left hand side.
All of these options are straight forward to work through and we’ll take a closer look at a bunch of these in a moment.
The editor itself is straight forward to use but it’s not a drag & drop system so you have to work within the confines of the template provided.
However, you can switch to a different template from within the editor window.
And while it may sound like a limitation, the upside is that customizing forms is so much quicker.
Deploy your forms with ease
Once you’ve got your forms the way you want them, it’s time to deploy them.
Clicking the embed button will send you to a page where you can select how you’d like to deploy your forms.
If you use WordPress, the plugin option is straight forward to use.
If you don’t use WordPress, you’ll get a snippet of code you can add to your website.
How to make your popovers less intrusive with OptinMonster
Some people find popovers annoying but the reality is that they convert far better than any other opt-in form type.
But one of the great things about OptinMonster is that there are a number of features which help to ensure that popovers aren’t so intrusive.
Here are some of those features:
With this feature, popovers will only be displayed as a visitor is about to leave your website.
The great thing here is that the reading experience isn’t interrupted until they are about to close the site.
Instead of exit intent you can choose to display the popover after a reader has scrolled down a certain percentage of your website.
This is another way to ensure your readers get to read your content before being faced with a popover.
2nd page view option
For a first time visitor, popovers can sometimes put them off so you can choose to ensure that popovers don’t appear until the 2nd page view.
Hide popovers from your email subscribers
When someone is already subscribed to your email list, they probably won’t need to see your popover.
With OptinMonster you can add a short query string to URL’s you include in your newsletters, this will stop popovers from displaying when someone clicks on that link.
Add this to the end of your URL’s:
Your URL would then look like:
When you set the cookie duration, you can ensure that popovers aren’t displayed again to someone until after a certain number of days have passed.
Test and monitor your results for multiple websites from a single dashboard
A look at the dashboard
Being able to see how all of your opt-in forms are performing is very helpful.
What makes this even better is that you can add split tests, view analytics and deploy your forms from this page.
Run split tests with a few clicks
Just click the brand looking button and a “create a new split test variation” button will appear, clicking the button will present some options for adding your split test variation.
Your form variation will then be added and it’s turned off by default.
So you can click the edit button to get your form variation ready and then click the button to the right to activate the split test.
Integration with Google Analytics
This was somewhat of an unexpected feature.
But with Google Analytics being one of the most popular analytics tools on the market thanks to it being free and all of its handy features – it makes sense.
First, you’ll need to authenticate your Google Analytics profile and then data will be pulled in.
Once all setup, you’ll get a visual overview of reporting data, including your top 10 converting pages.
What other features does OptinMonster have?
I’m impressed by how OptinMonster seems to consider a lot of what most people would consider minor details.
The reality is that a lot of minor details can be hugely important and a lot of them are covered.
Aside from the features I’ve already covered above, there are a bunch more which I really like listed below.
- Use the MonsterLink feature to add clickable popovers within your content – great for use with the content upgrade technique
- Integrates with a wide range of email providers including MailChimp, GetResponse, AWeber and more.
- Add effects to your popovers to make them grab the attention of your visitors
- Custom HTML support in-case your email provide isn’t supported
- Custom CSS support for advanced customization
- Send visitors to a custom thank you page or just display a success message
- Page level targeting to enable you to deliver the right offer to people on your site
- Deliver custom opt-in forms to turn potential customers into paying customers
- Use exit intent to display popovers as visitors about to leave
My verdict on the OptinMonster platform
I’m impressed with what this tool can do.
It started off as a WordPress plugin which was great but now it’s even better.
Yes, it seems a bit expensive and you have to pay a bit more for the exit intent feature and other opt-in form types.
But here’s the important part:
There are other list building platforms that charge based on the amount of visitors you get, limits you to popovers and forces you to display their “powered by” link.
It’s true that by default (on popovers only), OptinMonster will display this but it’s easy to turn off.
The costs of using some of these tools can be astronomical when your traffic increases.
Then in comparison to the more basic tools such as the opt-in forms supplied by WordPress themes and email marketing providers, you aren’t limited to dated designs and shockingly restrictive sets of features.
Ultimately, a platform like this is a time saver too and your time is precious.
And if you’ve done a good job of building revenue generation into your email marketing strategy, you’ll make that money back (probably a lot more).
Is OptinMonster the perfect list building tool?
No, but it’s close to it.
I do find the visual editor limiting because it’s not drag & drop like other tools, but the fact customization is limited somewhat makes it quicker/easier to use.
There’s a nice selection of templates but it would be good to see additional templates for opt-in form types such as slide-ins.
The bottom line:
OptinMonster makes it easy to create, deploy and test opt-in forms across multiple sites.
This means that it helps you to make it easy for your readers to join your email list and it makes it easy for you to manage.
- Can be used on any HTML site, not just WordPress
- A nice selection of templates for popovers
- Deploy and edit opt-in forms quickly with an easy to use form editor
- Setup A/B split testing with a few clicks
- Monitor all of your opt-in forms from a central location
- Some elements within templates cannot be edited (also a pro as it makes it quicker to create opt-in forms)
- You have to continue to pay in order to use the platform (potentially a pro as you’ll always have the latest updates)
- Limited templates for certain opt-in form types other than popovers
Summary: OptinMonster is a powerful list building platform that makes it easy to create, deploy and test opt-in forms across multiple sites.