I have said it before and I will say it again – it’s a really good idea to use a forms builder in conjunction with your email marketing service.
The number one reason is this: If you change your email marketing service down the road, all you need to do is go into your forms builder and change the integration. You won’t need to go into each one of your posts individually to change any embedded forms.
Get the BLOGGING Newsletter
Subscribe to our blogging newsletter using the form below. I no longer publish blogging articles here, I only send them via email.
The number two reason is that most optin forms builders have a more robust feature set than your average email service provider.
In this regard, OptinMonster really shines.
If you are not familiar, OptinMonster is an optin forms builder with a really wide set of features designed to help you increase your email sign ups.
Before I get into the nitty gritty – let me give you a little background on my own setup so you know how I am using it for purposes of this OptinMonster Review.
I personally use ConvertKit as my email service provider and self-hosted WordPress as the platform for this blog.
Ok – let’s go.
What Services Does OptinMonster Integrate With?
I also wanted to make sure that I would be able to use the double optin process of confirming new signups.
Can I Add a Privacy Statement to My Optin Forms in OptinMonster?
With all the new GDPR rules out there – I am very big on disclosing everything.
With OptinMonster you can do both.
You can even add a checkbox after the submit button if you would like – although the functionality is not exactly what I was looking for. It’s sort of a discussion for a different day because the GDPR rules are so new.
Just for your information, the way the box functions right now in OptinMonster is this: if you decide to include the checkbox, your reader must check the box in order to be able to subscribe to your form.
What Types of Forms Can I Build With OptinMonster?
Most people start with this question. (As you can see, I kind of work backwards. 😉 )
Now that I was comfortable with the integrations and the privacy – I was ready to learn more about the forms themselves.
A few things were important to me here.
Can I Show Forms Based on Post Category?
This blog is multi-faceted.
I write articles about blogging tips, like this post.
But I also write about organizing, productivity, and lifestyle articles including easy recipes.
So, someone who is looking for my famous sugar cookies recipe most likely won’t want to know about an optin forms builder. Just sayin’.
For this reason I write two newsletters – an organizing, productivity, and lifestyle newsletter and a blogging newsletter.
I sometimes offer different freebies as well, as an incentive to sign up.
That is why it is important for me to be able to show different sign up forms on different posts and pages.
With OptinMonster, I can easily choose different forms for different categories, tags, or even posts.
What are the Form Types?
Having gotten many of my usage concerns out of the way, I turned my attention to the types of forms available.
OptinMonster has a smorgasbord to choose from:
- Floating bar
- Lightbox pop-ups
- After post or inline forms
- Sidebar widgets
- Mobile campaigns
- Welcome gates
There are plenty of options to choose from.
Is It Easy to Customize OptinMonster Themes?
To this I say yes and no.
There are several OptinMonster templates that you can choose from for each type of form.
You can easily change the colors, font style, font colors, etc for each element.
But it is harder to add elements that don’t already exist in the template.
There is a CSS field in the forms builder and even a Canvas template where you can start from scratch, but I don’t know enough CSS to be able to tackle that.
The flip side is that I don’t have to spend much time playing around with the design – I just pick a pre-built option, tweak the fonts and colors and just go with it.
So far everything has been pretty standard fare. Forms, integrations are all things you might expect.
Where OptinMonster really shines is this ….
The Real Power in OptinMonster
Here are some of the features that will knock your socks off.
Remember, the purpose of your optin forms is not too just look all pretty and nice – the purpose is to get people to sign up!
Am I right?
OptinMonster has some powerful features that you can use to get your optin forms noticed.
I’ll start with the more unique features first:
I do love this one.
This is exactly what it says – you can schedule an optin box to show during a specific time period.
Think launches, holiday promos, anything at all that is time sensitive.
Many times, you have to manually switch your optin forms out when promotions start and stop. But with campaign scheduling you can set them and forget them.
I really like the Inactivity Sensor as well.
If your reader leaves their browser open to your webpage for longer than a specified time with no activity, then inactivity sensor kicks in and displays a popup that they will see when they get back to it.
It’s a great way to re-engage an idle reader.
Referrer Source Campaigns
With this type of campaign, you can show different optins to people based on where they were before they arrived on your site.
You can show one campaign to people that came from Pinterest and another to those that arrive from Facebook for example.
Let’s say you are featured in article on an external website – you can welcome visitors that arrive from there with an offer that speaks to the topic of the article.
There are so many possibilities.
Even More Great Features
In addition to those that I mentioned above, there are many more features that go beyond the scope of this OptinMonster review.
- On-Site Follow Up Campaigns
- On-Page Retargeting
- Geo-Location Targeting
- Device Based Targeting
- AdBlock Targeting, and of course
- the famous Exit Intent Technology
I encourage you take a look at all the many features here.
Who Is OptinMonster For?
OptinMonster is built for online markers and bloggers.
If you have multiple offers, want to segment your list, and provide your readers with relevant and eye catching optin forms then this is a product worth considering.
The Pro plan is ideal for advanced users but they offer a basic plan that is good for beginners as well. You can see all their pricing options here.
The important thing is to find a platform that you are comfortable with and that will grow with you as your business evolves and your needs change.
OptinMonster does not offer a free trial but they do have a 14 day money back guarantee if you want to test it out.
What OptIn Builders Have You Tried?
Tell us in the comments below.