OptinMonster Review: 6 Ups and 3 Downs (List Building Plugin for WordPress)


OptinMonster ReviewWe 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?

OptinMonster Review

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.

Key Features

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
  • Sidebar
  • 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.

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OptinMonster Review: 6 Ups

Here are the 6 features that make OptinMonster so unique and popular:

1) Exit-Intent Technology 

OptinMonster Review - 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.

2) Monster-Links

OptinMonster Review - Monsterlinks

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. OptinMonster Review - MonsterLinks

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.

4) Integrations

OptinMonster Review - Integrations

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

OptinMonster Review - 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.

OptinMonster Review - Pricing Plans

2) There is No Free Version

Unlike other lead generation plugins such as Sumo (previously SumoMe) and GetSiteControl, OptinMonster has no free version available.

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.

OptinMonster Review - MonsterEffects

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.

OptinMonster Review - Mobile Popups

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.

Final Verdict

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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Sandeep Mallya
Sandeep Mallya is the Founder & CEO of Startup Cafe Digital, an award-winning digital marketing agency in Bangalore, India. He is an active member of the startup community, having worked with several early-stage startups and accelerators. 99signals is Sandeep's online marketing blog. The blog currently features 200+ in-depth articles, how-to guides, and hacks on a wide range of online marketing topics such as SEO, social media marketing, content marketing, blogging, and more.
optinmonster-reviewOptinMonster 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 cost. If you're a stickler for design, responsiveness, and customization, then you'll love the advanced features that OptinMonster offers.



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