OptinMonster is a lead generation software which helps you gather leads from website visitors and make sure it is not the last time that they visited the website. It offers various ways that you can use to collect contact information without diminishing the user experience in any way. It allows one to factor in the visitor’s behavior on the website and launch targeted lead generation campaigns.
- Allows one to create a whole range of forms.
- Has a streamlined form building process.
- Has an intuitive drag-and-drop form builder.
- Allows one to set up a combination of triggers for the form.
- Comes with split testing feature.
- Plenty of advanced features such as adblocker detection.
- Integrates easily with a lot of other platforms.
- Provides insightful and detailed analytics.
- Separate templates for mobile and desktop screens.
The internet with swarming with websites and new ones are coming up every day. All of us come across new websites now and then.
These websites can be extremely interesting or dull, depending on what you were looking for. If it is not the one for you, you won’t be revisiting the website.
But even if you liked the website and plan to visit it sometime again, it is highly likely that it will slip out of your mind and you may never revisit it. It is not because you are not good at memorizing stuff, but because of the overwhelming options available on the internet.
If you are the owner of one such website, then a visitor not coming back translates into lost sales and opportunities. The situation requires the website owner to take some initiative to bring the visitor back to the site again and again.
If you have got something of value to offer on your website, then you will be surprised to know how many visitors would happily provide their contact information to stay in touch with you.
However, the way you ask for the contact information can have a lot to do with the website visitor providing you her contact information. Plain old newsletter and sign-up forms don’t cut the deal anymore.
Sometimes the visitor may ignore it because it’s too easy to ignore, sometimes it might be too dull to grab his attention, and sometimes the user may feel like there is nothing much to get in return.
OptinMonster helps users create lead generation campaigns which are just the right mix of bling and sophistication. It offers multiple ways for one to manage these campaigns, and offer something to visitors to keep them interested.
OptinMonster promises to provide all the necessary features that one may need to gather as many leads as possible. In this review, we will go through the entire process of launching a lead generation campaign from OptinMonster and tell you if it stays true to the promise.
Lead generation campaigns have almost become a necessary precursor to email marketing. You won’t be able to do much in email marketing if you don’t have enough quality leads to send out the emails.
A lead generation tool such as OptinMonster is a legitimate way of building email lists. The ease with which you can synchronize OptinMonster with the email automation tool of your choice will also be one of the focal points of this review.
By the end of this review, you will not only have a better idea of the capabilities of this lead generation platform but maybe a better understanding of lead generation campaigns in general.
Multiple campaign types
The end goal of any lead generation campaign is to acquire as many leads as possible. The method you use to acquire those leads can be anything, and it does not matter much as long as it is legitimate.
There can be various ways to differentiate between lead generation campaigns. It can be the display method you use, such as popup, floating bar, inline, etc. It can also be differentiated based on content.
Some lead generation software may offer discount coupons to viewers, some may give them a free online course, some may offer a contest entry, etc. The method you choose to display the content is a different thing altogether.
The campaign types differ by the method of display on OptinMonster. They offer five different campaign types at the time of writing this review. It may not sound a lot as compared to other lead generation software, but the basis of differentiation matters.
This platform allows users to create a variety of forms. If you factor in the different kind of forms you can create on OptinMonster, the number of choices for campaign type will far exceed five.
Let us briefly go through the different campaign types illustrated by the service provider.
The first campaign type is popup. Popups are the most popular choice of form when it comes to lead generation campaigns. They are more than capable of grabbing a user’s attention and present a straightforward option to the visitor.
It is then up to the user how they want to interact with it. The timing of the popup appearing on the screen can be critical in a few cases. If the first thing visitor sees on visiting the website is a giant banner blocking the actual website content and asking her email address, then it is highly likely that the user will ignore the popup and maybe even leave the website earlier than intended.
Seasoned marketers make good use of popups to deal with exit intent of viewers and bring the user’s attention toward abandoned carts. They do equally well when it comes to offering discounts and free courses.
We will discuss the different application methods available for a popup on OptinMonster in later sections of this review.
The next campaign type on this platform is called ‘Fullscreen.’ As the name suggests, it can be used to put up mats covering the entire screen.
Fullscreen mats suggest that the information on display is of great significance. And the webmasters should make sure that they use fullscreen mats only when necessary. It can be a sale currently going on in your store, the launch of a new line of products, etc.
There are no rules as to what can or cannot be displayed on fullscreen mats but exercising a little common sense while launching campaigns can lead to much better results.
Fullscreen mats seem to be the most appropriate option if you want to create a landing page.
‘Slide-in’ is the third possible campaign type on OptinMonster. Both popups and fullscreen mats can be a bit too much for some cases. There might be situations which may demand you not to be too aggressive with the campaign.
Slide-in scroll box offers a great deal of subtleness the lead generation campaign without compromising much on the capturing attention part. A slide-in scroll won’t interfere much with whatever the user is doing on the website, and yet successfully convey the message.
‘Floating bar’ campaign types can be used for the pretty much the same purpose as slide-in scroll bars. It can remain subtle and yet display whatever you want to show on the screen.
The advantage with a floating bar is that it remains at the center, therefore has more chances of getting some attention from the website visitor. Usually, floating bars work well to display discounts and offers.
The final campaign type is ‘Inline.’ This type of campaign type goes well with content-heavy pages. It will even go well with blog posts or any other content-rich webpage.
The user can set up inline campaigns for these specific pages and carry on with the lead generation while allowing the visitor to have some good time on the website at the same time.
OptinMonster comes with enough options and types that you will not feel the absence of any form or way to go about the campaign.
Easy building process
Having enough campaign options is not the only thing that makes up for a better lead capturing tool. Deploying all those campaigns and creating the different forms should be an easy enough process, as well.
The form building process on OptinMonster remains almost the same for all kinds of campaigns. Let us skim through the different steps of launching a lead generation campaign on OptinMonster.
Big decisions first
We just went through the different kinds of campaigns you can have on the platform. We also mentioned that these are not the only basis of declaring campaign types, too.
The combination of mentioned campaign type and choice of templates is what is going to entirely define the kind of lead generation campaign you are going to have.
The platform will present you with numerous templates to pick from once you choose a campaign type. The major differences between these templates are going to be the design and content on these templates.
The thing we liked about the template options is that OptinMonster offers only a basic layout for the templates. If you choose to preview the template, then you get to see a sample form in its entirety with all the details.
A lot of software showcase finished products when showing templates. The images and text currently present on the sample template affect user’s decision way too much, in our opinion.
A template should be more about the arrangement and layout. The way template options are laid out on this platform makes it much easier to focus on the essentials rather than on text and images.
You can sort the templates based on various options available for each campaign type. You can specify the device type, the goal of the campaign, and your niche. The filters make it much easier for the user to find the right kind of template.
Those who prefer coming up with original and exclusive stuff can select the ‘canvas’ option and design something unique.
All the choices for campaigns, templates, and filter add enough diversity to the tool.
The comprehensive editor
You’ll have to name the campaign and specify the website for which it is being built, once you are done choosing the template.
OptinMonster provides the user with a simple-to-use but robust form editor. It consists of a user-panel on the right and canvas on rest of the editor.
The tabs on the panel are organized such that the user can easily tackle various sections of the form, one at a time.
There are two ways to go about the editing process on this tool. The first way is to click on any element on the template to open customization settings for that template. The other method is to use the right-panel to browse through the different sections of the form and make changes as necessary.
If you start with a template for the campaign, it is highly likely that you will want to use the canvas and deal with the changes. You can click on the text, images, buttons, sections, and everything else to modify.
Editing a prebuilt template is a cakewalk on OptinMonster. If you know what kind of form you want to create, then it will be only a matter of minutes, if not seconds, for you to be done with all the designing part of the form.
If you prefer the canvas template and want the build the form from scratch, then you will find the drag-and-drop functionality advantageous.
You can drag-and-drop structure blocks as well as element blocks from the same panel onto the canvas. The best part is that you get all the blocks and elements as options irrespective of the campaign type you choose.
The panel is useful for managing even more aspects other than just aesthetics. You can take care of the display rules such as if a visitor did not respond to the form, then how long should the platform wait before it shows the form again.
A similar rule can be laid out for even when there is a successful conversion. The options to take care of formatting and colors are always there on the panel anyway.
There is a CSS section if you want to embed code on the form. Depending on the kind of campaign type it is, you can manage certain settings such as buttons on the popup, floating settings, etc.
All the customization and modification options are available for the opt-in page, as well as the success page. If the campaign happens to be the one which takes responses in terms of yes/no, then there is a page for that, as well.
There is only one thing that we missed on OptinMonster’s form editor, and it is the absence of display options for various screen types.
The platform offers templates separately of desktop and mobile screens. Things would have been a lot easier for the user if a single template was applicable on both the screen types.
For now, the user will have to be content with the fact that form templates are present separately for desktop and mobile screens.
Rules of engagement
As we mentioned at the beginning of this review, the timing and position of any lead generation form affect the overall success rate of the campaign.
The next part of the building process lets you decide the triggers for the form to appear on the user’s screen. Unlike other lead generation tools, OptinMonster allows the user to use a combination of triggers to make the campaign much more effective.
The triggers can be based on time spent by the viewer on the page, the percentage of the screen scrolled, exit detection, and a lot more. The triggers can also be based on user’s device, URL path, visitor opting in for a campaign, and other similar triggers.
You can apply various triggers and decide if you want all the conditions to be satisfied simultaneously or if it’s okay even if only one of them is satisfied.
There will be some action based on the satisfaction of the trigger condition. However, we feel that creating a separate section for such a thing was a bit of an overkill. The obvious action would be to display the campaign form to the user.
They have tried to make it more diverse by showing the option to display the success pages, as well.
The trigger options help one make sure that they make the most out of the campaign. Setting the popup to show when the user is leaving might be an excellent strategy for lead generation, but if you add in the trigger for the popup to show when the user has scrolled through 90 percent of the page, it helps increase the success rate even more.
The entire process of creating and launching a lead generation campaign on OptinMonster consists of three more steps. But we also feel that these steps deserve a section of their own. We will discuss them in subsequent parts of this review.
Publishing the campaign
This is something that most lead generation tools allow the user to deal with while signing up and starting with the process. OptinMonster asks the user to specify the name of the website or websites in the beginning but does not prompt the user to integrate the platform and the website.
One can launch the campaign on several websites at a time. The number of sites on which you can launch the campaign depends on the subscription plan.
If you are subscribed to a plan which allows you to work with multiple sites, then you get to choose the ones for the campaign. It is the final step of the form building process.
There are various ways for one to integrate the software with the website. You can get the code and embed it on the website, if you know how to access and manage website code. Even though the process is quite simple, one can always take the help of developers in case he is not accustomed to the technical aspects of website management.
If your website is built upon some website building tool or an e-commerce platform, then you can embed the code on it using the appropriate method and tool.
The platform also provides campaign-specific codes for advanced users. Coders can embed these codes at appropriate spaces and have a bit more sophisticated lead generation campaign.
Those who have WordPress websites can find the OptinMonster plugin and install in on their website. These folks won’t need to paste codes for the synchronization.
If the website and the tool are properly integrated, the dashboard will reflect that by telling you that the two entities are connected.
There is also the way to launch the campaign without any integration with the website whatsoever. OptinMonster would publish the campaign on its domain and provide you the link to share it. Such a feature may come in handy when it comes to landing pages and similar campaigns.
The publishing process is as easy as it can get. There are all the options to integrate the tool with a website and launch the campaign. All you need to do is pick the method most suited to you.
We are a huge fan of options. No matter how sound a strategy or method is, you never know how the audience is going to react to it. The same holds true for lead generation campaigns.
There can be multiple ways to launch the same campaign, and one should always try to refine things down to the best possible way. AB testing or split testing can help you in this case.
It allows the user to launch variations of the campaign and find out which one works better. You can introduce as many changes as you want it the two versions right from the content to the design style.
However, if your objective is to find out what specific thing works better for a campaign, then you may want to change only one parameter between the two versions and find out which one gets a better response.
OptinMonster randomly publishes the two versions for different visitors on the site. You can see the stats for both the variants to know which is better suited to the campaign.
Split testing helps the user with not just one campaign, but you can always take the learning to the next one you launch and have better lead generation experience.
Don’t lose money to ad blockers
All of us have often come across websites which will fill your screen with ads once you visit them. Such sites can be very annoying and possibly dangerous. Ad blockers are a comfortable solution to this menace.
They make sure that ads do not ruin your online experience by preventing them from appearing anyway. Once you have an ad blocker installed, it will block away all the ads on every website you visit. This also includes the sites which don’t spam the user with ads but have a reasonable advertising policy.
If you are an owner of one such website, then ad blocker may have a direct and adverse impact on your earnings.
OptinMonster comes with the ad blocker detection, and you can use the feature to request the visitor to disable the ad blocker for your website. Most viewers usually respond positively to such requests as all they want is protection from websites which flood their screens with ads.
The feature is not available on all the plans, but it is there in case Adblockers do affect your revenue.
Automate the second chances
There is nothing new in the user not responding positively to your popup or offer the first time she sees it. The offer might not be something she is looking for on your website, or maybe the visitor is not interested in providing the email address at the moment.
OptinMonster’s Onsite Follow Up Campaigns feature allows you to try again with a better campaign or the same campaign presented differently.
The platform will analyze the user’s behavior on the website, and then serve him with appropriate forms. If you have an e-commerce website, the feature will help you provide the user with offers related to products they are interested in.
The feature makes a strong case for both lead generation as well as discount and offers. If one method of requesting for contact information doesn’t work, then you can set up the feature to try some other way.
For instance, if the user didn’t respond well to the free course you offered, the next popup can be about some contest.
The idea behind this feature is not to bombard the visitor with offers and popups but to maximize one’s chances of getting the lead. You can use the feature only for those cases in which you feel there is a chance for you to acquire the lead even after the first rejection.
This feature is also available on the more expensive plan. If you feel that such a property can help you gain more leads and generate more revenue, then you can give it a try.
Take user’s location into account
Languages, preferences, perspectives, and a lot of other things change if you move from one location to another. Therefore, it is only obvious that viewers will react differently to offers in different regions.
You can’t expect one campaign to have the same kind of success in all the regions. In fact, it is you who needs to make some efforts to respect the differences in people from different areas and serve all of them with campaigns and content relevant to them.
OptinMonster’s geolocation targeting can assist you in this section. You can have specific campaigns and offers prepared for people living in different regions and use the feature to target specific content to the audience based in a region.
The most obvious difference that you may want to introduce in the campaigns might be the language. People feel at home while communicating in their native language, and you can have your campaigns designed to make these people feel at home.
The feature is so precise that you can use it to serve the users with coupons for the store they are inside at that instant.
There is not much need to explain how such a feature can improve the success rate of campaigns for both e-commerce as well as content-based websites.
There are a lot of features of the similar sort on this platform which help the user be more efficient and organized with the campaigns. While some of these features may not matter a lot to you, a lot of them can be a significant improvement to the campaign.
Lead generation marks only the beginning of the entire marketing process. One needs to gather some leads before actual marketing can begin and the business can start approaching customers.
Once you have got some leads gathered from all the different campaigns you launch from this platform, you will want to put them to use.
You might need to use them with some email automation tool you are using or with a CRM software which takes care of most of the marketing procedures for you.
If the other apps are already integrated with OptinMonster, then you will not have to waste a lot of time in manually moving email lists from one software to another. The time you save this way can then be used to work on important marketing tasks.
OptinMonster comes with direct integration options for most of the popular marketing platforms out there. The direct integrations will automatically integrate the mailing lists.
It means you can set the other marketing automation tools to start working on a lead as soon as you collect them. There won’t be any buffer period involved, and you will be able to reach out to the lead as soon as they provide you with the contact information.
Tasks such as lead segmentation, tagging, lead sharing, etc. become so much easier with the available integrations.
OptinMonster is unique in the sense that it allows the user to manage integrations along with individual campaigns. It lists out all the options available for integrations, and you can choose a suitable one for the campaign.
The provision allows the user to allocate different campaigns to different tools efficiently. Since the integration options are manageable from within the campaigns, it is easier to keep things organized.
As we mentioned earlier, the lead generation software provides direct integration options for most of the popular marketing tools. For the ones who don’t have the option for direct integration, you can use Zapier and establish a channel between the two platforms.
There are hundreds of integration options available for OptinMonster if we combine both direct and indirect one. It is highly likely that one will find the integration she needs amidst so many options.
Insights and analytics
Having correct and reliable information to act upon always has a significant impact on the success rate of any campaign. All the decisions made are based on some knowledge. If the source of your knowledge is reliable and accurate, then it is highly likely that the campaign will give some positive results.
OptinMonster keeps you updated with stats and insights before and after the campaign. You can even allow the software to use the insights automatically to make the campaigns more successful.
Let us begin with the insights that you get for better implementation of stats. We already mentioned some features on this tool which act based on various kind of information such as the location of the user, if the visitor is using an ad blocker or not, the device, if the visitor has already reacted to a campaign or not, and so on.
The platform collects different kinds of information and then uses it to serve the user. The knowledge of the visitor’s location helps the user serve region-specific campaigns. The adblock detection feature is again a kind of insight which allows you to implement a popup asking the visitor to disable adblocker for your site.
OptinMonster can keep track of how the user previous reacted to one of your campaigns and avoid providing the visitor with irrelevant campaigns.
The insights can be beneficial and help the user have great success with the campaigns.
While insights help implement the campaigns, analytics helps one understand the aftermath of a campaign.
The platform easily integrates with Google Analytics and gives you information about everything happening around the campaigns. Information such as the number of visitors and conversions are common to have lead generation tools anyway.
Along with this, you will get stats such as clicks, visitor demographics, and so much more. The information will only help you analyze how the campaign fared and if it was a success considering everything you invested in it.
E-commerce website owners can even monetize the performance of the campaign using all these stats. The stats help find out the better versions during split testing, as well.
You will get enough data during and after the campaign that it will only help you improve upon the quality of campaigns and hone your marketing skill, as well.
The best part about OptinMonster is that it keeps everything surprisingly simple even though it is a very comprehensive lead generation tool.
They classify the campaign types based on the method of displaying the form. While there is nothing wrong with that kind of classification, it almost undersells the types of lead generation campaigns you can launch from this platform.
They made sure that one does not come across a lot of roadblocks while creating a campaign. The process is divided into clear steps and is very streamlined.
The tool provides the user with a lot of options for templates. We liked how they chose to showcase various template types based on an outline of the design. The choices made this way seemed more sensible.
The editor had all the customization options and allowed the user to create the kind of campaign form he wants. We have no complaints with the flexibility on the platform whatsoever.
OptinMonster provides the user with all the possible triggers for a campaign. For better subscription plans, it goes beyond the usual trigger options and provides the user with more specific trigger choices based on user behavior and other information.
The integration options are plenty, and one should not get into much trouble while trying to synchronize OptinMonster with other marketing tools.
Finally, it doesn’t hold back on analytics too. You get everything there is to know about the campaign, and an opportunity to get better.
OptinMonster is an excellent lead generation tool, in our opinion. We found it pretty useful and relevant to the current needs of any lead generation campaign.