“Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links.’ This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.”
We know this has been a long journey for me, and I had to learn a lot to get this site up. While I know the site isn’t perfect I have had to do quite a bit of research to get it going. When you are researching building an online business a phrase you will see often is “The money is in the list.” Your list primarily consists of blog and newsletter subscribers.
So how do you go about building a list? There are many techniques used for list building, I cannot attest to which one may be best, yet. However I can talk to you about email opt-in tools. I had to do pretty extensive research to figure out which one I wanted to use. In the end it came down to a choice between Bloom by Elegant Themes, and OptinMonster for me. I believe that based on features, ease of use, and cost it should come down to that decision for pretty much everyone.
Bloom and OptinMonster have a lot of similar features. They both have Lightbox Popups, Slide in scroll boxes, Sidebar campaigns, Inline/After post campaigns, Content lock opt-in’s, and Two Step opt-in’s. They are also both customizable to fit your needs and your site. It’s not complicated to link either one to your auto-mailing system, like MailChimp, or AWeber. So why should you choose one over the other? Well let’s get into their differences and see if we can figure that out.
-has a signature Exit-Intent® technology. Which was a huge selling point for me. It’s what causes the pop-up right as you are about to leave the page. This ensures that your pop-up doesn’t come too soon and annoy the reader, but also doesn’t show too late and miss them. Studies show that a reader decides within 10 seconds if they are going leave your site. If your pop-up timer is set for 20 seconds, or bottom of post you will miss a large percentage of visitors. However with Exit-Intent® technology, everyone who visits your site sees your email opt-in as they leave.
-does not slow your sites load time, or utilize storage space. You build all of your campaigns on the OptinMonster website instead of using the WordPress dashboard. As a standalone app it can be used on any website, not only WordPress sites.
-is more than an email opt-in tool. You can create many different marketing campaigns, such as promoting seasonal sales, or advertising free shipping.
-has an option for sub-accounts for multiple users.
-has Full Screen, Floating Bar, and Sound Effects in campaign options. You can also create your own forms from scratch using OptinMonster Canvas technology.
-has Event Countdown Timer, and Evergreen Countdown Timer.
-has a Shopify app.
-has three packages at $19.99, $29.99, $49.99 a month or $9/mo. billed annually, $19/mo. billed annually, $29/mo. billed annually respectively.
-is extremely easy to use, set up, and modify. It takes only minutes to start a campaign.
-is not a standalone plug-in. You gain access to all of Elegant Themes plug-ins, themes, and layouts.
-is $89 a year or $249 onetime fee for lifetime access.
I know there is a huge imbalance in the lists above, but it is that imbalance that helped me make my decision. When I was doing this research my site wasn’t even live yet. There was so much to learn and consider. I didn’t know enough to know what I needed to know. Not to say that I know everything now, but I knew much less then.
I believe Elegant Themes is perfect for people like me. Beginners. It allowed me to get an email opt-in form up and running immediately, without the need to learn to much more about the program itself. I also use the highly recommended theme Divi, and both other plug-in’s they offer. As a beginner the ease with which I was able to pick up on how to customize both the theme and Bloom was quite important to me. The price made the decision that much easier.
Not to say that Bloom is perfect for everyone however. I plan on switching to OptinMonster by next year. All of the customizable options aren’t nearly so terrifying any more. As a matter of fact, they seem quite necessary if my site keeps growing at the rate its growing. OptinMonster offers great options for CTA’s, and I would like to try some of the campaign options that Bloom does not offer. OptinMonster is more expensive, but as your site grows and starts to pay for itself, then it is well worth the cost.
Whether you are a stone cold beginner or a hardened veteran, you should be building your list. Hopefully this helped make it a little easier.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin