OptinMonster Review: Exploring the Leading Optin Form Plugin for WordPress (2021)

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optinmonster review

WordPress hosts sites for almost 40% of the internet, which means there’s a lot of demand for top-quality plugins and tools that will help to create better user experiences as well as offer more lead generation and conversion. 

When the OptinMonster email sign up form plugin was first launched, it was something that completely transformed the way people capture data from visitors to their website. It’s no surprise that OptinMonster reviews flooding the internet were overwhelmingly positive. 

With so much coverage from review blogs, OptinMonster has gained some serious traction in terms of a WordPress opt-in form plugin; now that it’s been out for a while, we’ve decided to re-open the Opt in monster review and examine the plugin on all fronts. 

The great thing about a WordPress op-in form plugin is that it is constantly being adjusted and enhanced for performance, so we’ll also take a look at the standout ways that OptinMonster has continued to get better. 

We’re excited to bring you this OptinMonster review because there have been some noticeable improvements and changes, including: 

  • New features and add-ons to increase versatility 
  • Even more ways to target unique behavior 
  • Campaign-specific analytics 
  • The way users access OptinMonster

OptinMonster is no longer just a WordPress opt-in form plugin, and we’re here to tell you exactly how that benefits you! Let’s read on.

OptinMonster: A Quick Overview

Launched in 2013, OptinMonster quickly became the go-to WordPress opt-in form plugin because it was able to provide users with things that other plugins simply hadn’t, including a user-friendly interface, professional design options for forms, as well as the exit intent feature— an option not available from competitors. 

What is exit intent

This basically means that if a visitor is about to leave the site, a popup form is triggered and another attempt to capture the attention of the visitor is made; it doesn't simply overload the visitor with popups at any given moment. 

Exit Popup Examples for OptinMonster

This is one of the main factors that made it a widely popular WordPress opt-in form plugin. 

Some other initial OptinMonster features that were celebrated include: 

  • Multiple form design templates
  • The ability to create unlimited forms for different posts 
  • Integration with all major email marketing services
  • Slide-in forms 
  • Footer bar
  • Lightbox 
  • Impression and conversion analytics for each form
  • Exit intent to minimize popup display and maximize effectiveness 
  • The option to customize forms using HTML and CSS
  • A/B testing with form cloning 
  • A user-friendly WordPress user interface 

The takeaway here is that OptinMonster really worked diligently to ensure that all needs would be met for those that wanted a powerful and effective WordPress email sign-up form plugin.

These features solidified OptinMonster as a top plugin, but there have been some changes made in the past 8 years. OptinMonster offers even more exciting things that its users can leverage for better results, so let’s take a look at what those are. 

Read More: How To Get 1,000 Email Subscribers FAST

OptinMonster: The New Features

One of the most notable things about OptinMonster these days is that it’s not a WordPress opt-in form plugin anymore— it’s now a completely hosted service allowing website owners to implement their services on any website. 

That means that whether or not you use WordPress for your web services, you can use OptinMonster to meet your email sign up form plugin needs. 

Because it’s now a hosted service, you’ll use a direct platform that comes from the OptinMonster website directly rather than your WP dashboard. 

Campaign Dashboard Homepage -- OptinMonster

The Campaign Dashboard allows you to view your websites (left column) and all of the different campaigns you've created for each respective site. The campaigns will appear in the middle box, and the right box will allow you to take a variety of actions on each previously created campaign.

These actions include (in order):

  • Edit campaign
  • View analytics
  • Get embed code
  • Create split test
  • Create duplicate
  • Add to site
  • Add to folder
  • Archive Campaign
  • Trash Campaign

Since you now have an account dashboard directly on the OptinMonster website, you can: 

  • Maintain a clutter-free campaign dashboard with purpose 
  • Manage all forms in a central resource 
  • Minimize large plugins on your website 
  • Easily create, edit, archive, or delete campaigns

Your OptinMonster forms account is still linked directly to your WordPress with a plugin, but the plugin that links the two is much smaller than the previous OptinMonster plugin, helping to minimize the impact on your site loading speed and performance. 

While this is one of the biggest changes that has occurred with OptinMonster, that’s not all it’s developers have been working on. In order to maintain their competitive advantage, there have been even more features introduced, including: 

  • Purpose-built mobile forms for responsiveness 
  • More types of forms: blank, in-content, after post, exit gateways, sidebar, and full-screen entrance) 
  • Shortcodes to insert forms into posts/pages 
  • A manual optin response— for instance, launch a form on a mouse click 
  • Ability to add animation and/or sound effects as the form is loading 
  • Even more themes for forms 
  • A canvas tool that creates small window and full-screen custom popups
  • Welcome mat-style optins 
  • A testing mode for form preview 
  • A yes/no form option to ask visitors a question 
  • Better code for optimized loading times 
  • More controls for when and where popups are displayed to the visitor
  • Success templates that appear after a positive form response 
  • Adblock detection popup 

As you can see, there are plenty of new options that will keep web developers and site owners interacting with their visitors in a plethora of ways, in turn promoting better results and information capture via web forms. 

When OptinMonster launched in 2013, there were only three types of optin forms. Now, we can see that there are many more form types; currently, OptinMonster offers seven sign-up form types, with customization options in the way of different templates and themes. 

optin monster campaign types

The different email sign up form and opt-in forms, as well as popups, include: 

  • Lightbox popup (original type) 
  • Slide-in (original type) 
  • Sidebar widget (original type) 
  • Floating bar (new) 
  • Fullscreen welcome mat window overlay (new) 
  • Inline / after post (new) 
  • Mobile optimized popup (new)
  • Countdown Timer (new)
  • Content Locker (new)

Due to the diverse ways that we use websites, there is always a need for additional functionality, and OptinMonster has been diligent in providing its users with the tools they need. One of the most praised is the in-content form

Another unique addition was the fullscreen option, allowing you to completely cover the screen with your form, which requires visitors to either sign up or manually close out of the form. 

This is mostly used as a welcome or gateway message that your visitor would see upon landing on your website, or even as they are about to leave. 

You’ll also be able to optimize your forms for mobile visitors; you can not only enjoy new ways of displaying the new forms, but also how you customize them, with plenty of professional templates for the forms. 

optin form from optin monster

After you’ve decided on a template, you can then customize the design completely with the drag-and-drop OptinMonster form editor. This is a very user-friendly tool that makes designing your forms easier than ever. 

With new updates to the editor, you can simply click on the form element to begin the editing process; this is by far one of the best features of OptinMonster review that even gives top page builder plugins for WordPress a run for their money. 

That said, there’s no doubt that if you’re seeking a tool that allows you to create seamless, custom popups for your website, OptinMonster offers some of the best functionality available. 

Finally, a welcome addition to OptinMonster has been the new CSS3 animation effects, also called MonsterEffects, that can help you get the attention of your website visitors. Sound effects can even be added when loading, ensuring that your visitors don’t miss anything. There are a total of 26 CSS effects. 

animation effects on opt in monster

Managing your WordPress forms is easier than ever with OptinMonster’s move from a WordPress opt-in form plugin to a fully-hosted form solution for WordPress. You’ll enjoy all of the top features plus some real game changers with OptinMonster’s current services. 

The New Custom Content Canvas Form

As we’ve discussed, OptinMonster already offers a wide range of themes and templates for creating the most effective and attractive form design, but you can take that even further with the new Canvas add-on, especially if you want to do it all yourself. 

You can use the Canvas add-on form type to set the width and height of the lightbox, entering your own custom content through the use of HTML and CSS. 

An example of a custom Optin Monster popup made in Canvas

With the new Canvas add-on, you won’t be limited to using the forms that OptinMonster provides; you can use all different types of content in the popup window, giving you the chance to display things like: 

  • Social media buttons
  • Products from your store
  • Additional blog posts
  • Other site content
  • Anything else of interest to visitors

You can also add the MonsterEffects directly to the custom optin popup forms that you create in Canvas. There are animation effects such as bounce, flash, rotate, slide, and flip; sound effects include ping, flam, arpeggio, and pong. This will make sure that visitors notice your popup as soon as it becomes visible. 

These effects are available on other lightbox forms as well. 

OptinMonster as a Hosted Service

When OptinMonster was still a WordPress opt-in form plugin, all of the form creation, editing, and management was done directly from within your WordPress dashboard. 

Because OptinMonster is now a fully-managed and hosted service, you can manage all of your OptinMonster forms, popups, analytics, and more directly from the official OptinMonster website; you have a completely independent dashboard, making it the hub for all things OptinMonster. 

Features of OptinMonster as a Hosted Service

When we first heard about the new independent nature of the OptinMonster dashboard, we were a bit uncertain; one of the best things about WordPress opt-in form plugins is that they can be managed directly from the WordPress dashboard. 

The WordPress dashboard is a go-to central resource for all things WordPress; from managing your site, designing it, publishing content, and more, everything happens from the WP dashboard. 

So, is the OptinMonster external service a good thing or a hindrance? 

Ultimately, it can take a little getting used to for those who are already accustomed to having the OptinMonster plugin directly in the WordPress dashboard, but there are some notable benefits, including: 

  • Quicker loading times
  • Central hub for easy access without clutter 
  • Possibility to work with OptinMonster if you don’t have a WordPress site 
  • New features that have been designed for the OptinMonster standalone site 

It’s definitely expanded the functionality of the former WordPress opt-in form plugin and given it more power in terms of how it addresses your needs for an email sign up form plugin as well. There’s no doubt that having the OptinMonster hosted service separate from WordPress has made it better than ever.  

In order to see how it works, let’s take a look at creating an optin form for your website on the new OptinMonster hosted interface. 

Creating a Hosted Email Sign-Up Form with OptinMonster

With OptinMonster being an independent service, you now have different plan options like Plus, Pro, or Agency to employ different forms on multiple sites and view everything all in one dashboard. 

This allows you to log in and be able to create new forms, edit previously created and existing optin popups, as well as view important analytics such as your conversion rate status, among others. 

You can imagine that the process of developing and implementing email optin forms and additional popus has changed when compared with previous versions; the change has been for the better. 

Welcome Mat Examples from OptinMonster

Now, all actions are carried out in the built-in OptinMonster user interface instead of jammed into the WordPress admin area. You can now add many different optin/popup forms to any website you manage, regardless of it being WordPress or not. 

Let’s take a look at how to create some of the different form types on OptinMonster. 

How to Create an Email Optin Form With the New OptinMonster

To create an email optin form with OptinMonster, the first thing you need to do is open the account area of your OptinMonster site and enter the details of your website; enter your site address or URL. 

add site optinmonster settings
Add Your Site to OptinMonster

You can add multiple sites by entering the individual URLs later on the form settings page if you want to add the particular form to different websites or pages. 

Creating the Email Optin Form

Click the “Create New Campaign” to start a new campaign on OptinMonster. If you want to edit a previous campaign, select it from the homepage and click the small page and pencil icon.

How to Create a New Campaign or Edit Existing Campaign on OptinMonster

You will choose the type of campaign you want to create. This example will examine the lightbox popup option, but you can choose between the 7 different form types as they’re all presented in the campaign selection. 

create new campaign

After selecting the form or display type, you’ll then be able to decide which template you want to apply. You can choose from the predetermined themes and templates that OptinMonster offers you, or you can start with the Canvas add-on feature and add your own custom HTML/CSS to create your custom form. 

select campaign type

Because each campaign type has its individual size and purpose, all of them (floating bar, sidebar, or lightbox popup) provide a unique set of templates that will fit. The current version of OptinMonster (time of writing this article) offers 26 customizable templates for popup type lightbox; the floating bar option had fewer choices with just 12. 

Customizing the Form or Popup Design

Now that you’ve selected the form type and your desired template, you’ll be directed to the OptinMonster live editor, new and improved. This editor allows you to customize virtually any and all elements of your form, and you’ll even be able to change the template if you decide that you don’t like it. 

It’s impressive how easy it is to use the live editor for designing your email sign-up form or custom popup. You no longer have to deal with the editor being shoved into the WordPress dashboard; it’s now much more spacious and user-friendly. 

Live Drag-and-Drop Editor on OptinMonster

You’ll have a toolbar on the left-hand side, allowing you to have access to all features and functions needed to create a one-of-a-kind custom website popup. 

The different areas of the left toolbar for design include: 

  • Home
  • Optin Settings
  • Blocks
  • Display Settings
  • Popup Settings
  • Custom Colors 

This means you have a full range of development for all of your forms and popups, allowing you to create something that really provides results and then analyze them later. At the top of the page, you can move through the creation process with the Design, Display Rules, Integrations, Analytics, and Publish tabs.

In terms of editing your form, all you have to do is click on the form element to begin customizing it. You can even enter text directly onto the form design, making it so quick and efficient. 

Editing the countdown element of the popup campaign in OptinMonster

There are plenty of pre-built designs that you can use, but you can customize different aspects including button text, fonts, colors, and so much more to make each form your own, if you so wish. 

Configuring How the Popup Campaign Works

After editing your form design to perfection, you will then turn your attention to configuring your form and how it will work on your website. All of the edits and configurations will take place in the same live editor, but from a different segment on the left-hand toolbar. 

You have different functionality options for each form depending on which one you’re working with; these options will effectively determine how your popup or form works on your site. All of the OptinMonster campaign triggers work to drive form success. 

For instance, if you’re creating a lightbox popup form, you’re able to set the length of time that should pass before it’s displayed to your visitor. If you prefer, you could even use the scroll percentage trigger instead, apply the inactivity sensor trigger, or even use the exit intent trigger. 

The possibilities are up to you and everything you create on OptinMonster allows you to decide what you want the user experience to be based on your particular form strategy. 

OptinMonster has been regularly updated since it’s 2013 release, so you currently have ample options for controlling your popup display timing, where they’re used on your site, and who will see them. 

Default Ruleset -- time on page

The great thing about having so many options and functionalities for your forms is that you can better target the right visitors and make the experience intentional and purposeful. 

You can use some of the following options to control who will see your popup or campaign: 

  • Visitors who are new vs returning 
  • Visitors from a specific source or funnel (referrer detection
  • Visitors browsing specific pages 
  • Visitors who have interacted with other campaigns or popups on your particular site
  • Visitors who have viewed a certain number of pages 
  • Visitors using Adblock 
  • Visitors viewing from a particular physical location 

These are some of the many useful options you can use to target your popups and campaigns for better results, reaching the specific users at just the right moment and in just the right area of your site. 

Adding or configuring new rulesets on OptinMonster

You can also eliminate a negative user experience through overwhelming popups by using settings like the X number of pages viewed option. The last thing you want to do is annoy your website viewers. 

Because you can create multiple popups for each site and clearly define when and where the popup will appear to the visitor, you can much more effectively create campaigns that generate a positive response from targeted and relevant website visitors. 

Some additional configurations include: 

  • Success message 
  • Redirecting users to a custom URL after form completion
  • Set cookie duration 
  • Decide on displaying a ‘Powered by OptinMonster’ link

Email Marketing Service Integration

You’ll find no shortage of integration with email newsletter service providers; many top providers are included with seamless integration, including: 

  • AWeber
  • MailChimp 
  • ConvertKit 
  • Infusionsoft
  • And more 

The service is constantly being updated as well, adding better features and functionality with each update. 

optin monster integrations

It’s incredibly simple to integrate your form with your email list service; you just have to select the option from a drop-down list and proceed to authorize your account for integration. 

optinmonster integrations

Each service is a bit different when it comes to this, but it’s very simple and straightforward. Once you have properly set up your form and it’s been saved, you can then get it live on your website.

Adding the OptinMonster Form to Your Website

After your form is established and you feel confident in your campaign design and settings, you’ll be able to publish your form so that it’s live on your site. 

Publishing via OptinMonster

There are a variety of controls that you'll have; you can see the connected websites, add additional websites, upload to social media, and also choose the different type of site that it is being uploaded to.

Site types include:

  • Any site
  • WordPress
  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • BigCommerce
  • Share Link

You can also use embed codes that are provided to you via the page.

If you’re using WordPress, you just install the OptinMonster plugin; this will connect your website with your OptinMonster account. 

Then, you can configure your different campaigns from the OptinMonster area of your WP dashboard. You can also adjust visibility settings there. 

Most of the settings are viewed and accessed on the standalone OptinMonster dashboard, but you can adjust a variety of important ones via WP dashboard, including using WordPress categories and tags so that you can control the popup display times. 

Smart Tags on OptinMonster

If you’re not using WordPress, you can easily share your form to an outside website by copying the code from your OptinMonster account area. If you need assistance in doing so, there are many tutorials and documentation in regards to the most popular publishing platforms. 

After completing these steps, your new Optin forms will be displayed based on the settings you configured it with. It’s very simple, straightforward, and effective. 

OptinMonster Pricing

OptinMonster Pricing

OptinMonster has four different pricing tiers, all of which are billed annually. 

The four plans are as follows: 

  • Basic: $108 annually 
  • Plus: $228 annually 
  • Pro: $$348 annually 
  • Growth: $$588 annually 

You can find a list of the respective features in each of the plans listed on their website, but one notable feature is that the basic plan will only be available for one site and up to 3500 pageviews, so if you’re looking for a more expansive service, you may want to consider the Plus or Pro options. 

The pageviews increase substantially from the Basic plan to the Plus and Pro plans, with Plus offering 15,000 and support for 2 sites, and Pro offering 50,000 and support for 3 sites.  

You’ll also get access to advanced features with each plan, such as MonsterEffects, MonsterSounds, Attention Activation, UTM Targeting, Yes/No Forms, and more. 

There is a lot to love about OptinMonster, so you should first determine what is your primary purpose for using the WordPress opt-in form plugin and what functionality you need access to. 

Then, you can best select the pricing plan that works for you. The most attractive plan, as noted by OptinMonster, is Pro— you’ll have access to all of the features that maybe you didn’t even know you need, taking your email sign up form plugin and WordPress opt-in form plugin to the next level. 

OptinMonster FAQ

Now that we’ve got a fresh look at the new OptinMonster hosted service and some of the pricing and plan options, we’re going to answer a few of the most frequently-asked questions about OptinMonster so you have a deep understanding of what it is and how you can best use it for your business or website.

How do you use optin monsters? 

OptinMonster is very user-friendly, so after you have used it a few times to create forms or popups for your website, you’ll be able to do it in the blink of an eye. 

The purpose of OptinMonster is to help boost lead generation and conversion for websites through the growth of lead lists and opt-ins, increasing sales and profitability.  

There is no coding required to use OptinMonster, making it easily accessible to even those with limited tech experience. 

In order to use OptinMonster, you can follow some simple steps: 

  1. Create a campaign from your OptinMonster landing page 
  2. Edit the campaign 
  3. Set display rules
  4. Add the integration to your email service provider 
  5. Publish your campaign

It’s that simple, and the OptinMonster live drag-and-drop editor makes it so simple to create the campaign exactly how you want to appear and make sure that the display rules get it targeted to the right user at the right time and location on your website. 

How do I set up OptinMonsters? 

You can set up OptinMonsters by linking it to your WordPress site via the WordPress opt-in form plugin. If you’re using a non-WordPress website, you can link the forms and popups directly via shortcode or other methods described. 

Setting up your campaign is easy: 

  1. Create a campaign— plan the success action, design your campaign, customize the Optin Fields, set up the display rules, choose marketing integration. 
  2. Review your campaign 
  3. Configure output settings (this is where you’ll get your form or popup directly to your website) 
  4. Publish the campaign 

What can I do with OptinMonster? 

Because OptinMonster is the premier lead-generation and information capture plugin for WordPress and now non-WordPress sites, you’ll be able to enjoy a variety of benefits to take your conversion and profitability to new heights. 

You can create email signup forms for your website as well as display popups to targeted visitors at exactly the right time and place on your website using customizable display rules and configurations. 

Sidebar examples from OptinMonster

You’ll also be able to integrate your OptinMonster service with email plugins such as Constant Contact, MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, Aweber, and many more. 

What is an OptinMonster campaign? 

OptinMonster offers different types of campaigns to its users. A campaign on OptinMonster is the type of form or popup that you will be using to generate leads and increase conversion from website visitors. 

The seven different OptinMonster campaigns, including: 

  • Lightbox Popup
  • Inline Forms
  • Fullscreen Welcome Mat
  • Floating Bar
  • Sidebar Forms
  • Slide-in Scroll Box 
  • Content Locker
  • Countdown Timer 
optinmonster campaign types 1

These different campaign types can help you most effectively address the needs of your visitor and prompt them to take the right actions that will help you build your conversion and sales. 

Final Thoughts: OptinMonster Review 

All in all, OptinMonster going from a WordPress opt-in form plugin to a standalone hosted service has benefitted the user experience in a big way. Users now have a go-to hub for all of their website form and popup creation and other websites not using WordPress can take advantage of the service as well. 

It’s clear that OptinMonster offers the most effective live drag-and-drop editor and makes the process so seamless and straightforward that any user can create the most intuitive and responsive website forms and popups in a matter of minutes. 

There is so much flexibility and configuration that OptinMonster allows, helping you to tailor your forms and popups directly to your intention, as well as to your visitor. 

While many competitors of OptinMonster have tried to mimic the features that the service provides, OptinMonster has remained the most effective tool for those looking to use forms and popups as a way to generate website leads, increase conversion, and ultimately, sales. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed our Op in monster review! Have you used OptinMonster? What’s your favorite feature? Let us know in the comments! 

By Nicole

4 Reviews

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By Nicole

4 Reviews

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