Not sure if you should get OptinMonster?
I won’t yammer on about my opinions. How about I show you everything there is to see in OptinMonster instead?
Below you’ll find my detailed OptinMonster review including over 70 screenshots showing everything it has to offer.
What is OptinMonster?
OptinMonster is email marketing software with tools for building your email list faster. Use OptinMonster to collect email address anywhere on your site, and split-test forms to increase conversions.
OptinMonster includes seven different optin types from animated popups to simple inline subscription forms for building your email list.
It’s hard to understand the value of a product before you know the pricing, so here’s the current pricing for OptinMonster:
The table says you get a 25% discount on annual purchases, but you actually get a bigger discount on the Basic and Plus plans:
Now that we’ve got the pricing for OptinMonster covered let’s get to the tour.
The first thing you see when you login is the dashboard.
The dashboard provides an overview of your current forms. You can review their performance at a glance, reach the editor, and launch new split-tests from here.
OptinMonster lets you create an unlimited number of optins regardless of your plan. Due to the wide range of targeting options available, you’ll likely end up with quite a few forms over time.
Do I need WordPress? Nope, OptinMonster started as a WordPress plugin, but now can be used on any platform. Integration is simple as you’ll see later in the review.
Let’s get to the fun stuff now: creating optins.
In this section, you’ll get a tour of the visual editor and all the options available for creating optin forms with OptinMonster.
Choose the optin type
When you create a new optin, you’re taken to this page:
You’ll first select your optin type from the left sidebar and then choose a template.
Not every plan has access to all optin types. The optin type availability is as follows:
Basic plan optin types
- Lightbox (popup)
Plus plan optin types
- Floating Bar
- After Post / In-Line
Pro plan optin types
- Floating Bar
- After Post / In-Line
Yea having 7 optin types is cool but it’s hard to wrap your head around. Here’s a graphic that shows how each optin type is different.
Choose a template
Once you select an optin type you can choose a template.
Every optin type has a decent selection of templates available, and I think most of them look pretty good, but I’ll let you be the judge.
I’ve posted all of them here so you can review before you signup.
Floating bar templates
After post / in-line templates
I should also add that you can use the “Canvas” template for any of the optin types. Canvas allows you to add your own HTML and CSS.
The existing optins have great variety, but it’s nice to know you can always roll out your own design ontop of OptinMonster’s technology.
Customize the optin
Once you select your optin type and theme, you’ll be taken to this page:
This is the OptinMonster editor where you’ll customize your optin. As you can see in the sidebar, there are seven sections.
The setup section is shown in the screenshot above. It’s where you configure the basic settings, such as the title, cookie duration, and “powered by” link.
The “Optin” section is where you’ll modify the content and colors of the form. While you can use the sidebar options here, you can also click directly on an element in the form to modify it.
In the form pictured above, I can edit the text and style of the:
- Email input
- Submit button
In addition, the background color of the form can be changed. Custom CSS is also available for advanced customization.
The elements you can customize depend on the form. Some have images and other elements you can edit too.
This feature is only available to Pro users.
Next, we have the “Yes/No” section which is for adding yes/no buttons to the form, like this:
There are currently eight different themes you can choose from for the yes/no buttons. Just like with the main form, you can customize the content and colors of every element in the yes/no template.
After a visitor clicks the “yes” button, they’re shown the regular form where they can subscribe.
Why use this? Getting people to answer “yes” to a question first is a classic sales technique for building harmony between yourself and the buyer. The result is that people who click “yes” convert at a much higher rate i.e. you get more subscribers.
When a visitor opts in, you can choose from any of the following four actions:
- Display a custom “thank you” message
- Redirect to a new page
- Close the optin and reload the page
- Close the optin
If you choose to display a custom “thank you” message, you can also choose a theme just for the success message. This is useful for delivering downloads in particular.
Adding a download button to the success template means subscribers don’t have to login to their email to access the download.
How does the button work? You provide a URL for the file to download. When linking directly to a zip file, clicking the button will automatically download it. Otherwise, you would tell subscribers to right-click the button and save the file.
Display rules let you decide when the form should appear and who should see it.
As you can see in the screenshot above, there is an enormous amount of flexibility for displaying your forms.
Each of the rules has controls and the option to add multiple parameters.
Not all of these options are available in every plan. Here is what’s available in the Basic plan:
- When should the campaign appear?
- After ‘X’ seconds
- After scrolling down ‘X’ amount
- MonsterLink (On Click)
- Who should see the campaign?
- Visitors browsing specific pages
- Visitor has viewed ‘X’ pages
- Visitors with a specific URL parameter
- Visitors with a specific URL anchor tag
All of the rules are available in the Pro plan except for targeting “Visitors from a specific physical location”. That is currently available as an add-on (available when purchasing a Pro plan).
You’ve got an email provider right? This is where you choose your email provider and add the API key so OptinMonster can add subscribers to your list.
Lastly, the Analytics section is used to connect OptinMonster to your Google Analytics account.
The integration will record “Events” in your Google Analytics account. This gives you the full reporting power of GA to analyze and understand your optin conversions.
Embedding the form
Now you’re probably wondering how to get the form onto your site. OptinMonster has three ways to embed a form.
With a script
For developers, this will be simple and familiar.
With a WordPress plugin
For non-developers, there’s the OptinMonster WordPress plugin you can use. Here’s a quick look at the plugin’s interface:
As you can see, it provides an easy way to add your API key and will add the script to your site for you. It can be installed and activated like any other WordPress plugin.
So that’s how you create and add a form to your site with OptinMonster.
The next thing you’ll want to do is split-test your forms. In case you’re not familiar with split-testing…
What is split-testing?
Split-testing, or A/B testing, is a method for comparing the performance of two campaigns. Traffic is split 50/50 between the two forms so you can see which performs better. If your new variation (B) outperforms the control (A), it becomes your new control.
Ideally, you’ll have tests running for all your forms at all times.
Most of your tests will fail, but sometimes you’ll create a new variation that converts better. Over time, these wins add up and you gain more subscribers. All it takes is a little time and creativity.
How to split-test
Split-testing is easy with OptinMonster.
Clicking the split-test icon reveals your existing variations and the button to add a new variation.
Creating a new variation generates a copy of your control. You can then use the visual editor to change one element and test the effect of that change.
Picking a winner
The one thing I think OptinMonster is lacking is the ability to calculate a split-test winner for you.
To pick a true winner, you’ll want to run your results through a statistical significance calculator. Otherwise, you might accidentally pick a form that would become the loser given time.
Since OptinMonster doesn’t choose a winner, it can’t notify you when a test wins. You’ll have to login and run a quick check every time you want to know if a test is complete.
Once you have your forms added to your site and split-tests active, it’s time to sit back and watch the results.
While OptinMonster’s reporting isn’t robust, it does cover the essentials. As you’ve seen from the Dashboard screenshots, you can easily review your forms’ performance there.
However, you can also click on the graph icon to reach a more detailed presentation of the data.
This is essentially the same information in graph form. To be honest, it’s not a particularly useful visualization.
While I’d love to see more reporting from OptinMonster in the future, the Google Analytics integration allows for all the detailed reporting you could want.
OptinMonster has all the features a good lead generation platform should have, plus some more advanced features most competitors don’t have.
While my recommendation has been implicit thus far, let come out and say that I think OptinMonster is an excellent product. I’m happy to recommend it based on its current capabilities and my expectations for the future.
We’ll likely get some excellent new features in 2017 given the pace of development in 2016. Yes/No buttons, success themes, and the current visual editor were all added in 2016, to name a few.
The bottom line
OptinMonster is a great product. Try it out. You can use the coupon code “RB20” to get 20% off your first payment too.
I was annoyed at first with the monthly charge, but honestly, this is a product that will make you money. If OptinMonster doesn’t earn you back $19 each month, you should cancel your subscription. Plain and simple.
If you have any unanswered questions about this OptinMonster review, post a comment below, and I’ll respond ASAP.
Thanks for reading! I want to let you know that I am an affiliate of OptinMonster. That means I get paid a commission at no additional cost to you if you sign up. I hope you find my OptinMonster review useful regardless of your purchase decision.