I mean you get the usual exit intent, timed, in-line opt-in forms, and more.
So why would you choose OptinMonster over let’s say Leadpages, Thrive or Sumo?
The answer lies within OptinMonster’s huge array of features and technology you would expect to see on enterprise-level lead generation products.
But in this case, is available to you at a very affordable price tag.
In this definitive OptinMonster review I take an in-depth look one of the most popular lead generation products. I also share some of my favourite features and help you get started creating your first OptinMonster campaign.
Let’s dive in.
Disclaimer: some of the links below are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to click through and purchase, I will make a commission. This commission does not come at an additional cost to you.
What is OptinMonster?
OptinMonster is a lead generation product that was cofounded in 2013 by Syed Balkhi, founder of WPBeginner, one of the largest dedicated WordPress blogs.
OptinMonster was founded with the goal of providing affordable enterprise-level lead generation software for businesses.
What are some of the coolest features?
Let’s start with the fun stuff.
We’ll cover the geeky stuff later on.
Cool Feature No.2 Campaign triggers
There are 6 ways you can trigger campaigns in OptinMonster the usual exit-intent, scroll trigger, MonsterLinks (2-step op-tins) timed, inactivity and campaign scheduling.
And it’s the last two that piqued my curiosity when I first found out about them.
Inactivity sensor works a little like exit-intent for mobile devices.
If you’ve used exit-intent before you’ll know it doesn’t work on mobile devices.
Inactivity sensor detects user behaviour so you can deliver a targeted campaign on a mobile device when they’re about to leave.
This is how it works.
In ‘Display Rules’ under ‘IF’ select ‘visitor inactive time’.
The most effective way to use this rule is to target mobile and desktop users separately.
For desktop users add a longer delay as their monitors will not auto dim like a mobile phone is more likely to do.
For mobiles users you will want a much shorter time period.
Next ‘campaign scheduling’, works as you might expect it to.
Imagine if you could schedule campaigns to run for a specific time period, over the holidays, for a promotion or during a launch for example.
Well that’s exactly what you can do with campaign scheduling.
To schedule a campaign:
Select ‘Display Rules’ and then choose ‘Current time is’.
And depending upon when your offer runs from and to, you can set the campaign to start and end in the visitors timezone.
Cool Feature No.2 Countdown timers
Using scarcity in your marketing campaigns can increase your conversions.
One of the best ways to use scarcity is to add countdown timers on your landing pages to highlight when and offer is expiring.
There are two types of countdown timers you can create in OptinMonster ‘dynamic’ and ‘static’.
Dynamic countdown timers are customised for each visitor irrespective of when they land on your page each visitor will be given the same amount of time. Dynamic countdown timers are ideal for running evergreen campaigns.
Static countdown timers which uses one date based deadline for all visitors.
To use countdown timers you will need a ‘Pro’ plan.
Then it’s as simple as adding a ‘countdown’ element into your form.
Cool Feature No.3 Smart targeting
Smart targeting is a term given to a group of OptinMonsters features that help you target your website visitors in different ways. Some of which include:
Using referrer detection you can automatically detect sources of web traffic a visitor came from and create a campaign specifically for those visitors.
Another powerful targeting feature is on-site retargeting.
I first heard about this via the predecessor to what is now ConvertFlow.
And it is very cool.
Most pop-ups show the same offer to every visitor whether they are an existing subscriber, customer or new visitor.
Imagine being able to show a different offer to people who have already subscribed or purchased from you.
You can do with on-site retargeting.
On-site retargeting will reduce website bounce rate and keep existing subscribers engaged.
How it works:
To set it up, go to ‘Display Rules’ under ‘If…’ select ‘visitor is returning’.
These are just three ‘smart targeting’ features in OptinMonster, others include:
- Geo-location targeting
- Cookie retargeting
- Device-based retargeting
- On-site follow up campaigns
Cool Feature No. 4 Content lock.
Most popup software including those you find with email service providers provide multiple types of forms and these will include light-box pop-ups, welcome mats, slide-in scroll box and sidebar forms.
To use it, you will need to create an after post or inline form.
Then In ‘Display Settings’ scroll down to ‘Lock Content Below Campaign?’ Click on the toggle to turn it on – it will turn green and select your Content Lock Style.
Under ‘Content locking style’ you’ll see two options.
Obfuscation – blurs the text below the form.
Removal – removes the text completely.
Obfuscation – blurs the text below the form.
Removal – removes the text completely.
Worth a mention
OptinMonster have just overhauled the visual editor, whilst I have used the previous version it was a Long time ago and I barely remember using it.
This new version is very much drag and drop and intuitive.
I have only been using it for a few days but from what I can see so far, there would be no limitations to what you can create.
You can edit margins, padding, add custom CSS add new column blocks and widget to each column.
Is this a competitive advantage?
Both Thrive and Leadpages have easy-to-use drag-and-drop builders. But it does at least bring it up to speed with the competition.
How does it work?
You create OptinMonster campaigns within the app and publish them via multiple methods whether you’re using WordPress, Magento, or Joomla, etc.
I use WordPress so I will use the OptinMonster WordPress plugin to publish my campaigns.
Like most lead generation software your starting point will be to integrate OptinMonster with your email service provider. In my case that’s Active Campaign.
Login and select integrations from the top menu, select ‘add new integration’ from the left-hand-side menu. Complete the relevant fields with information from your email service provider and select connect ‘Your ESP name’.
How to create your first popup
For the purpose of this tutorial I’m going to create a simple yes/no optin popup.
To create a new option form select ‘create campaign’ from your dashboard.
Then select the type of option form you want to create.
I’m going to select a standard popup.
Scroll down and choose your template.
One thing I don’t like about this step is that the mockups are too basic and don’t really give you a good enough i sea of what the form will look like. I’m not sure why optinmonster couldn’t just show screenshots of each template.
Choose your ‘campaign template’ by hovering over it and click on ‘use template
Give your campaign a name on the next screen. And click on ‘start building’.
In OptinMonster different parts of the form are called ‘blocks’
To customise your popup. click on ‘add blocks’ to add a number of column blocks or select ‘element blocks’ to add additional elements such as text, images icons etc.
To edit any element, click on it and the left handmade menu will change to settings related to that element,
To create a yes/no popup click on ‘Yes/No’ at the top of the screen and then activate view.
You’ll notice that any previous form fields will have been replaced with two buttons.
With a yes/no campaingn there are 3 actions that can be taken when the button in clicked.
One, go to a new view such as display the optin form on the popup, two, redirect to another URL or three close the popup. In this case we’ll choose the first option – ‘go to view’.
First, click the yes button , then ‘yes button action’ in ‘button click action’ choose ‘go to view’. and under ‘Go to’ choose ‘The Option view’.
To see what the optin view looks like select ‘Optin’ form the top of the screen.
To publish a campaign in WordPress you will need to install and activate the OptinMonster WordPress plugin
Select ‘Plugins’ and ‘Add new’ from your WordPress dashboard. Search for, install and activate the OptinMonster plugin.
Once installed, connect your OptinMonster account.
Log back into OptinMonster, select ‘My account’ and then ‘API’ and select the green ‘Create New Key’ button give it a name and and click ‘Create’. Copy the API key.
Log back into WordPress and paste in the API key.
Before you publish a campaign you’ll need go back to your OptinMonster dashboard and turn the status of one of your campaigns to live.
In WordPress select campaigns and ‘refresh campaigns’.
How is their support handled
OptinMonster provides a fairly detailed help centre with tutorials including some video tutorials.
Support is handled via a ticket system which promises 24 hour response. I have their plus plan. You get a faster response by upgrading to their Pro plan.
What doesn’t it do well?
I have been disappointed with support. I logged a ticket querying one of their features whilst writing this review. It’s now been 72 hours and I still haven’t had a response.
That’s also after posting a follow up 24 hours later.
Sure that might not be typical, but it’s my only experience that I can provide feedback on to date.
Who else uses it?
Ian Cleary, Founder Razor Social
Michael Stelzner, Founder Social Media Examiner
Joost de Valk, Founder Yoast
Matthew Woodward, SEO Expert
Chris Brogan, New York Times Selling Author
“OptinMonster has become my go to tool for getting more email subscribers. I love its ease of use and tracking features…nothing else in the market comes close!” John Dumas, Founder of EntrepreneurOnFire
OptinMonster is packed with an incredible array of very valuable features.
The basics are of course covered – yes/no forms, exit intent, full screen takeover etc
Where OptinMonster excels is the work that’s gone into developing such an expansive feature set that goes way beyond most popup plugins or apps.
Not so good
No app is perfect and the biggest downfall I’ve personally experienced with OptinMonster is support, I’ve still not had a response more than 72 hours after logging my only two support tickets.
That’s too long.
I was also frustrated with analytics. To use analytics to track conversions you have to connect it to your Google Analytics account.
The WordPress plugin also confused me a little initially, as it wasn’t really clear what to do, although I did figure it out relatively quickly.