Optinmonster Review: Building email subscribers rapdily

Optinmonster Review: Growing Your Email Subscribers

OptinMonster Is your email list growing on a daily basis or is it stagnating?

An email list is so important to most online businesses, and if you’re growing your list with a relevant audience it will bring amazing benefits to your business.

You could give me an email subscriber rather than 10 fans or followers any day.  An email subscriber is far more valuable than fans or followers and you should really be trying to convert fans and followers to email subscribers!

So, what is OptinMonster and how can it help?

OptinMonster is a WordPress plugin for building email subscribers.  To build your subscriber numbers, you need to capture the attention of your website visitors and there’s no better plugin for doing this.  It was developed by Syed Balkhi from WPBeginner and Thomas Griffin who developed the slider plugin Soliloquy.

What does OptinMonster provide to capture attention?

There are various options.

Lightbox – Pop-ups can be annoying when they pop up when you are in the middle of reading an article.  However, with OptinMonster you can set it up to only display on ‘exit intent’.  This means that it only pops up when it detects that your website visitor is leaving your website (i.e. they have moved the mouse off the main screen).  Smart, eh?  Yes it is super smart ( I used to use Pippity but Optinmonster is much better).

Here is an example

ExitIntent gif


Footer bar – This is a narrow bar that can pop up at the end of your page.  In the example below, on Post Planner’s website, the pop-up appears as you are about to exit the site.  This is a good way of capturing attention.


footer bar
The footer bar can capture your visitors’ attention

You can set it to appear on exit, or after a specific time, or you can set it to appear when a website visitor visits the same page for a second time.

Slide-in – This appears (slides in) in the bottom right hand corner of your page.  You can specify that it should appear after a specific time period, on exit intent or after the second load of the same page.

After post – This appears at the very end of a blog post.  You can set it to display there automatically, or get it to appear on exit intent.

Sidebar – This appears in the right-hand side of your blog.

How easy are they to set up?

Installation and setup is very easy.   Here’s an example of setting up a lightbox that appears when a visitor tries to exit your site.

Step 1 –  Select the type of opt-in box that you want to create (i.e. a lightbox)

Step 2 –   Do some basic configuration of the lightbox.

Give the box a name – Make this a unique name so you know exactly what type of opt-in box it is.

Specify when you want it to appear – You can set it to appear after a specific time period, only when a visitor is exiting and/or if they are online on a second page load.

Specify the cookie duration – You don’t want this opt-in box to appear every time the same visitor arrives on your site.  By default it will only appear once every 7 days.  I normally change this to 30 days so that it’s a month before it displays again for any given visitor.

What happens after someone subscribes? – You can redirect them to a thank-you page on your website, which is recommended.

Email provider – You specify your email provider of choice. There are default integrations available for AWeber, Campaign Monitor, Infusionsoft,  Constant Contact, MailChimp, Getresponse, Pardot, iContact and Mad Mimi.  We use Ontraport, which wasn’t on the list, but we could still use this as it supports using the HTML code that you can get from your provider.


Lightbox Configuration
Enter some basic configuration details


Step 3 –  Create your design

You select from one of the provided templates and then update the image, colors, text and then you’re ready!  It’s very easy to configure.

You can see, on the left-hand side, that it shows you the items you can configure and, on the right-hand side, you see the results of your configuration.  Add your image, text and put in a very clear call-to-action.


Optin Configuration
As you make updates on the left-hand side, you will see the changes on the right-hand side.


Step 4 – Output Settings

You now specify some settings related to where the opt-in box will appear.  Does it show up for the whole site, or for specific categories and/or specific pages on your site?  You may not want it to appear on your home page, contact us page or certain other pages, or you may just want it to appear on your blog.

And that’s all there is to it, you just have to activate it and you’ll have an opt-in box set up in a couple of minutes.

Which opt-in works best?

We have found that the lightbox works best.  It achieves the highest conversion rates, and we think the best configuration for the lightbox is on ‘exit intent’ with a 30-day cookie.  This means the lightbox only appears when your website visitor is about to exit the site and it won’t appear to them again for another 30 days. This makes sure that it’s not always annoying them and you still get plenty of signups.

We know that the guys at Post Planner use a combination of the lightbox and the footer opt-in, and we believe that using the footer opt-in adds another .25% to their conversion rates.

The best thing about OptinMonster is that it’s so easy to create and change the opt-ins, so you can test things out to see what works best for you.

Can you do split testing?

Split testing is where you present different options to parts of your audience to test out what works best.

With Optinmonster it’s very easy to create multiple versions of the same opt-in box and then present one version to half your audience and the other version to the other half.  You can then see which works best.


Final Comments

We disabled OptinMonster for a few days on our site and saw a dramatic decrease in the volume of new subscribers.  It is by far one of the best ways of achieving high conversion rates for visitors to our blogs and we have never, ever had a complaint from anyone about it.  There’s a 14 day money back guarantee also so at least you can try it out!

What do you think of pop-ups?

Will you use OptinMonster?


Rocket image by Shutterstock

45 Responses to Optinmonster Review: Growing Your Email Subscribers

  1. I’ve been using OptinMonster for several months on a few different sites and I really like it. It’s easy to set up and configure, although I would like to see a few more lightbox templates to choose from.

  2. Hey Ian,

    I’m loving OptinMonster, the only thing that I’ve been wanting to see is more templates.

    But, it seems there is a big update coming soon with some more templates – that’s everything covered.

    I quite like that you can also add a tag to links that you send to subscribers that completely deactivates the popover.

    I only use the popover with the exit intent feature and it seems to work very well, although we’ll never really know how our visitors really feel (bounce rate can only tell us so much).

    • Hey Adam, I only use the exit intent also. I think this is the best functionality. I heard a rumor also about a major update coming soon!!
      You’re right about annoying users,it’s very hard to tell. I did switch off optinmonster for a few days but didn’t like my conversion rate going down to put it back on again!!!
      Thanks for your feedback, have a great week-end.

      • I’m with you on the exit intent, Ian!

        That’s it, it definitely does work for boosting subscribers. The number of conversions from my popover is equal to every other form on my site.

        I think the exit intent and some other features like the global cookies etc do a good job at making it less intrusive.

        My pleasure, have a great weekend too!


      • On the subject of list building – do you know of any good call to action type plugins that would work well with LeadBoxes?

        Bought LeadPages a while back – loving it!

        The only issue is that I’m at the point where I might just have to create images in Photoshop for adding CTA’s in my sidebar and below posts.


    • Hi Amber,

      All 3 tools have capabilities for building email subscribers but used in different ways.

      Leadpages – Build a landing page and convert subscribers on this.
      Leadboxes – include a text link within your content and when someone clicks on this something popups up.
      Optinmonster – Automatically popup a box on your screen depending on how you set it up. Leadpages doesn’t provide this functionality.

      make sense?

      Have a great week-end Amber. Am I allowed to say this in blog post comments!!


      • Makes total sense. Thank for clearing that up! I started to look at Opt-in Monster, but then LeadBoxes was released (I already had LeadPages)…and I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve done nothing about either now. Thanks for the kick in the hiney! And I think you get to say whatever you want in your comments. 🙂 Funny, I started to email you this question and thought, “that belongs in the comments!” Haha! You have an awesome weekend, too!

  3. Great one Ian, Email is a great vehicle for reducing the time between key milestones for a subscriber. After all, subscribers are great, but customers are
    even better.

  4. Hi Ian, this tool looks very interesting and useful. I especially love “exit intent” feature. How does this feature work on a mobile devices? I know from experience that certain pop-ups are especially annoying on mobile devices, as they may be very difficult to turn off, and this can turn away the visitors who were only interested in reading the article, without being interested in what’s in a pop-up.

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  6. Nice post Ian. I just installed Scroll Triggered Box on my website; it’s free and creates a discrete box as the reader scrolls down.

    I also hired a developer on oDesk to create a feature box for me.

  7. Hey Ian,

    I haven’t used OptinMonster yet, but been reading a lot about it. Exit intent techonology seems to be the in thing. What have been the results like for you? Did you see a big increase in conversions?


  8. I went to WordPress to download the Optin Monster plugin and it does not seem to exist. Has this been eliminated in favor of just downloading it from the Optin Monster website? Thanks!

      • Hi Ian, I downloaded optinmonster. I did not find it easy to configure and I think that they need more templates. If you have the Pro subscription, you can create your own template but you have to know .html. I also don’t like the size of the box and cannot figure out if it is configurable. It would be helpful to know how many milliseconds you use on your site as i do not want it to pop up right away or too late. A guessing game. Their support has been very good. Amy

  9. Hey Ian,

    Which plan is the footer bar available in?

    I’ve been using Optinmonster for 2-3 months now and aside from occasional spikes in website traffic because someone influential shared one of my blog posts, I’m getting an average of 1 email subscriber a day, better than previously when I had 1 new subscriber a month. I’m getting 3-5% conversion rates with split testing atm and I want to try to scale that as I’m also working on the website traffic issue.

    Jason HJH Social

    • Hi Jason, Footer bar is in all subscriptions except the basic one.

      You have great content so you should be getting great traffic.


      p.s. we should connect on skype some day soon.

      • Hey Ian,

        Thanks! Looks like it might be time for me to upgrade…(Btw I’m getting less than optimal traffic. I have lots to learn from you!)

        Btw I’ll be traveling to Ireland in October – will you be there?

  10. Hey Ian, we’ve added optin monster to our site, we use ontraport as well, but when someone enters an email it just shows ontraport “processing…” did you guys have to do anything special?

  11. I’m really intrigued by Optinmonster’s ability to pop up the opt-in box when it suspects “exit intent”. Thanks for the information!
    -Sabrina Kizzie, Author & Social Media Lecturer
    Twitter & Instagram : @Sabrinaonmove

  12. Hi Ian. I came across your post just tonight and I enjoyed it, especially you explaining how to set up something on Optinmonster (no other site’s done that). Quick question about sign up forms for the sidebar. Are they just as easy to set up? Can the templates they offer be altered easily to fit the sidebar?

  13. Hi Ian – I realise the importance of growing our database so when we launched our new site last week (http://intervision.com.au) I included optin monster and an offer – I was excited when I first saw my subscriber list grow but on closer inspection they are ALL SPAM emails (all 117 of them). They have to enter their email PLUS click on the email to confirm their subscription … but it is still all spam. Any advice would be greatly received.

  14. Geez – I just realized my question posted when you made this article was detected as “Spam” I’ll repost: Hey Ian, I’ve tried OptinMonster on our site (VA Staffer) – it’s good. I’ve really grown to love AddThis for their floating top/bottom bar, but hate the heavy javascript. Any clue how heavy this is? I don’t like having too much scripts to load on the site. – Thanks in advance!

  15. Thanks Ian! I will be redeveloping my site along with developing a new site for my book in a few days. The back office of OptinMonster is easy to navigate and I already created the API to connect with my site so I can’t wait to get started with it. Enjoy!

  16. Although one can build email list using free plugin like Sumo me, but Optinmonster is best to use all advance features like exit intent popup and in content text email pop up and many more. Thanks for sharing this review.

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