We all know the importance of building an email list. If you’re serious about email marketing, then building and nurturing an email list should be one of your top most priorities.
Building an email list is not an easy task. It takes time, effort, and a whole lot of patience.
There are two ways you could go about building your email list: wait patiently for visitors to subscribe to your blog via a static sidebar sign up form or get smarter and more creative by creating optin forms that appear on clicks, timers, and when the users intends to leave your site.
The latter choice is always the most preferable, especially if you’re relatively new to the blogging scene. Because let’s face it: even if you’ve created the most valuable lead magnet for your target audience, chances of them noticing your sidebar sign up form are slim to none.
And for those reasons, you need a good, reliable lead generation plugin on your side to help you grow your email list at a swift pace.
And when it comes to lead generation plugins, OptinMonster is considered gold standard, rated highly by marketers and professional bloggers worldwide.
In this OptinMonster review, we’ll examine the key features of the tool and highlight 6 ups and 3 downs of one of the most popular list building plugins in the market.
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What is OptinMonster?
Launched in 2013 by Syed Balkhi (who also founded the highly acclaimed WordPress resource site WPBeginner), OptinMonster is a highly popular lead generation and customer acquisition tool for businesses and bloggers worldwide. If you’ve subscribed to blogs such as Social Media Examiner, Backlinko, or any of Neil Patel’s websites in the last couple of years, chances are you signed up via OptinMonster’s optin forms.
Here are some of the key features that make OptinMonster such a popular list building tool among bloggers:
- Exit-intent Technology
- Visually stunning optin forms
- Page-level targeting
- Well-timed beautifully designed popups
- Built-in analytics
- Mobile-responsive optin forms
- Advanced scroll detection
Optin Form Types
- Lightbox Popup
- Floating Bar
- After Post / Inline Forms
- Full Screen Takeovers
- Smart Canvas
- Slide-in Scroll Trigger Boxes
A few of these forms are only available for users under the Pro plan. All of them are easy to design with no coding knowledge required whatsoever.
OptinMonster Pricing Plans
OptinMonster has three different pricing plans:
- Basic Plan – $19/month
- Plus Plan – $29/month
- Pro Plan – $39/month
You get a 25% discount on any of the plans above if you go for annual pricing.
The Basic plan which is $19/mo (or $9/mo if you’re going with annual) allows you to setup OptinMonster on one website. It gives you access to Lightbox popups, unlimited optin forms, A/B testing, MonsterLinks, Page-level targeting, and built-in analytics.
The Plus plan which is $29/month (or $19/mo with annual) allows you to setup OptinMonster on 3 websites. It gives you access to everything under the Basic plan, plus additional optin form types such as Floating Bar, Sidebar, and After Post Optin Forms.
And finally there is the Pro plan which is $39/mo (or $29/mo with annual), and it allows you to setup OptinMonster on unlimited sites. It gives you access to eveything under the Plus plan, plus additional optin form types which include Slide-ins, Full Screen Takeover, Social Media Popups, Mobile Specific Popups, and Smart Canvas Popups. In addition to these, you also get access to Exit-intent technology, Optin Forms with Yes/No templates, and priority support.
|What's Included||Basic ($19/mo)||Plus ($29/mo)||Pro ($39/mo)|
|Number of Sites||1||3||Unlimited|
|Page Level Targeting||✓||✓||✓|
|Mobile Specific Popups||✗||✗||✓|
|Full Page Takeover||✗||✗||✓|
|Exit Intent Technology||✗||✗||✓|
|Social Media Popups||✗||✗||✓|
|Yes / No Templates||✗||✗||✓|
OptinMonster Review: 6 Ups
Here are the 6 features that make OptinMonster so unique and popular:
1) Exit-Intent Technology
Do you remember the last time when you were about to exit a site when you were suddenly presented with a pop-up containing a lead magnet which you simply could not refuse? I know I have signed up to umpteen number of blogs because the offer was so irresistible. With OptinMonster’s exit-intent technology, you can trigger a pop-up just when the user is about to exit the site.
A feature which is highly praised by many, OptinMonster’s exit-intent technology detects user behavior and prompts them with a targeted campaign at the precise moment they are about to leave.
OptinMonster claims this technology helps you ‘convert an additional 2 – 4% of your users into email subscribers and soon thereafter into paying customers.’ Though this feature is now provided by other tools such as Sumo and GetSiteConrol, OptinMonster detects user behaviour better than any of its competitors.
OptinMonster’s MonsterLinks feature allows you to turn any link or image into a 2-step opt-in process. So when a user clicks on the link or an image, a popup opens up asking them to subscribe. A nifty feature which is not provided by other lead generation plugins in the market.
MonsterLinks uses the psychology principle known as Zeigarnik Effect which states those who initiate are more likely to finish the process.
Since the user has already begun an action (by clicking the link or a button), they are much more likely to complete the action (subscribe) which makes MonsterLinks far more effective than any other sign up form or landing page on your website.
3) Flawless Design
OptinMonster’s pop-ups, full page takeovers, and sidebar widgets are all beautifully designed and as they claim ‘optimized for highest conversion rates.’ For each of these optin form types, you have a variety of options to choose from. Furthermore, OptinMonster gives you the ability to customize each form as per your design requirements.
One of the prerequisites of a lead generation tool should be the attention-grabbing capability and the optin forms designed by OptinMonster do exactly that.
The perks of being perhaps the most popular list building tool in the market is the integration of the tool with almost all major platforms.
Whether it is CMS such as WordPress, HubSpot or email marketing tools such as Mailchimp, AWeber and ConvertKit, OptinMonster is integrated with all the well known services in the market. OptinMonster has integrations with more email marketing services than any its major competitors.
5) Conversion Analytics
Constantly monitoring how each of your optin forms is performing is imperative in making the right choices with your lead magnets.
OptinMonster’s conversion analytics is easy to understand, giving you a clear picture of what’s happening with each of your optin forms so that you can tweak and adjust your lead generation strategy.
You can also integrate OptinMonster with Google Analytics to get a quick glance of clicks, views, and overall conversion rate for each optin form and their variations.
6) Easy to Use
Last but not the least, OptinMonster is incredibly easy to use. With so many features and options at your disposal, you’d think there would be a steep learning curve. That’s not the case with OptinMonster.
Beginners and advanced users alike will enjoy the ease at which they can create beautifully-designed pop-ups in no time.
OptinMonster Review: 3 Downs
No product is perfect. Here are 3 downsides of OptinMonster you need to consider before signing up:
1) It’s too Expensive
All these features sadly come at a rather steep price. OptinMonster is one of the most expensive lead generation software of its kind. If you were to use premium features such as exit-intent technology, full page takeovers, etc., you’d have to sign up for the Pro plan which quite frankly is pretty expensive.
2) There is No Free Version
So in order to test out the product and its features, you’d have to sign up for their basic plan which starts at $19/month. And as discussed in the point above, the basic plan has a few restrictions. It lacks some of the best features OptinMonster is known for, such as exit-intent technology, MonsterEffects (see below), optin form types with Yes/No templates, etc.
3) Lack of Mobile-specific Optin Forms
Mobile internet usage has now surpassed desktop usage in most places around the world and chances are that at least 50% of your audience are accessing your site via mobile devices. Mobile-specific popups on OptinMonster are available only for Pro users, while other users have to be content with the regular optin forms which are designed specifically for desktop users.
Popups are still considered annoying, causing hindrance to user experience on the site. And when popups are served on mobile devices, it can be infuriating to the users and may even prompt them to quit your site. So the lack of mobile-specific optin forms for Basic and Plus plans is a major disappointment. Furthermore, the mobile-specific optin forms which are available under the Pro plan are quite limited and lack the variety that other optin form types provide.
The team at OptinMonster constantly updates their software, so I hope they address this issue in the coming months.
OptinMonster may perhaps be the best lead generation plugin in the market. It’s on the expensive side, but building a robust email list often comes at a premium price. If you’re a stickler for design, responsiveness, and customization, then you’ll love the advanced features that OptinMonster offers.
If price is your concern, I’d suggest you try the basic plan which starts at $19/month. It’ll allow you to evaluate the software’s functionalities and compare it with the lead generation plugin you’re currently using. Based on the performance, you can then decide whether you’d want to upgrade to any of their premium plans.
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