John Lincoln

Complete Review of OptinMonster (What You Should Know)

OptinMoster Review

How would you like to grow your email list, reduce shopping cart abandonment, or increase conversions?

If so, then you should consider one of the more popular tools on the market: OptinMonster.

In this article, I’ll go over the key features of OptinMonster and explain its strengths and weaknesses.

Complete Review of OptinMonster As of now, OptinMonster has optimized more than 21 billion user sessions on over 700,000 websites. Clearly, some people think it’s worth the money. It also has the support of key influencers in digital marketing circles. “I was once a disbeliever myself,” says Joost de Valk, founder of Yoast. “I didn’t like popups at all, but we doubled our email signups, so the results speak for themselves, it just works.” Neil Patel agrees: “Exit intent popups have doubled my email opt-in rate. When done right, you can see an instant 10% lift on driving sales.”

OptinMonster Review: It’s All About Pop-ups

OptinMonster creates pop-ups. You can use those pop-ups on your website to capture email addresses, advertise a discount, convince people to continue the checkout process, or build customer loyalty. The tool also offers a variety of pop-up formats. You can use slide-ins, lightboxes, full-screen mats, and other options. In fact, you can use OptinMonster to create a sidebar form that doesn’t even “pop up.” Your visitors might appreciate that. Also, OptinMonster lets you choose how and when your pop-ups appear. You can show your visitors a welcome pop-up, an “after event” pop-up, or an exit-intent pop-up. Perhaps best of all, though: the pop-ups work on mobile platforms as well as on desktops and laptops. That’s essential as more and more people turn to smartphones and tablets when browsing the web.
OptinMonster Review: Features
OptinMonster Review: Features

OptinMonster Review For Publishers

OptinMonster offers features that appeal to a number of verticals. Here’s how bloggers and other kinds of web publishers can benefit:
  • Email list growth – High-converting opt-in forms help webmasters collect email addresses. They can later use those emails in digital marketing campaigns.
  • Increase page views – Behavior detection rules redirect visitors to the most popular pages on a website.
  • Targeted messages – The Onsite Follow Up Campaign solution displays targeted messages to newsletter subscribers, returning visitors, and loyal customers.
  • OnSite Retargeting – According to OptinMonster, more than 70% of visitors who abandon a website never return. The Onsite Retargeting feature relies on behavior automation to transform folks who bounce away from a site into loyal customers.
OptinMonster Review: Analytics
OptinMonster Review: Analytics

OptinMonster Review For E-commerce Webmasters

OptinMonster also offers a number of valuable solutions for people who run e-commerce websites. Among them:
  • Reduced cart abandonment – There’s not much that irritates ecommerce website owners more than a high shopping cart abandonment rate. OptinMonster relies on time-sensitive behavior to reduce that rate and boost revenue.
  • Increased sales conversions – It’s also a shame when visitors view a product detail page but don’t take the extra step of making a purchase. OptinMonster includes smart targeting features that display current promotions. Even better: the tool is intelligent enough to determine which promotions will interest visitors based on past behavior.
  • Email list growth – OptinMonster offers exit-intent pop-ups, full-screen welcome mats, and other high-converting forms that will reel in more email addresses. Marketers can use those email addresses to alert people in their target market about the latest sales or newest products.

OptinMonster Review For Agencies

Digital marketing agencies can use OptinMonster to offer a superior service to their clients. Here are a few features that strategists will appreciate:
  • Custom branding – Designers can create pop-ups that include their own branding as opposed to the OptinMonster logo.
  • Access control – OptinMonster includes a sub-accounts feature so subscribers can share access with consultants, co-workers, and clients. Even better: they can manage permissions per sub-account.
  • Increased sales conversions – Agencies can use the smart targeting feature of OptinMonster to attract new business. That’s a great way to show off their marketing expertise to potential clients.

Exit-Intent Pop-ups

OptinMonster offers a number of different pop-up layouts and strategies that you can use to build your business. In the next several sections, I’ll go over all of them. The first, and maybe the most important, is the exit-intent pop-up. Even if you haven’t heard about an exit-intent pop-up, you’ve almost certainly seen it. An exit-intent pop-up appears when a visitor tries to leave a website. For example, if the user hovers the mouse over the URL bar in a browser, that will trigger an exit-intent pop-up. Why are exit-intent pop-ups so important? Because they’re less disruptive than other types of pop-ups. Maybe you’ve recently visited a website and started reading an article. After a few seconds, you were interrupted by a large pop-up that appeared in the center of the screen. If you’re like millions of other website visitors, you probably just dismissed the pop-up without reading it. You also likely found it annoying. Exit-intent pop-ups, on the other hand, only appear when visitors are set to leave a web page. They don’t disrupt the user experience nearly as much. One great way to use an exit-intent pop-up is to reduce shopping cart abandonment. When a visitor is almost done with the checkout process and decides to leave the website, you can use the pop-up to:
  • Ask the visitor if he or she would like to chat with a support rep
  • Incentivize the visitor to complete the purchase with a discount offer
  • Remind the visitor that there’s a limited supply of the product in the cart and it might not be available later
You don’t have to run an e-commerce website to benefit from exit-intent pop-ups, though. If you’re a content marketer, you can also find them useful. How so? By using them to collect email addresses. Those email addresses are your leads for more business. According to OptinMonster, publishers are seeing a 200-600% increase in email signups with exit-intent popups.

OptinMonster Review: Full-Screen Welcome Mat

In addition to the exit-intent pop-up, OptinMonster also offers a full-screen welcome mat pop-up. As the name implies, it takes up the whole screen. It also appears when visitors first open a web page. Why is it so valuable? According to OptinMonster, a full-screen welcome mat can increase conversions by as much as 80%. Although they’re very disruptive, some marketers use them to get visitors’ attention right away. Here are some ways you might like to use a welcome mat pop-up:
  • Offer a coupon code
  • Highlight new products or services
  • Tell visitors what they can expect to find on your site
  • Alert visitors about an upcoming launch and ask for an email address
Keep in mind: Google does not like welcome mat pop-ups. That means you might hurt your search rank if you use them. OptinMonster tries to get around that risk by allowing you to delay the appearance of the pop-up for a specified number of seconds. If you think that will work, feel free to take the risk.

OptinMonster Review: Lightbox Pop-ups

A lightbox pop-up appears on the screen while the rest of the web page is faded in the background. Visitors are required to engage with the pop-up (even if they just dismiss it) because everything else is inactive. Sometimes a lightbox pop-up is also called a “modal dialog.” You can use OptinMonster to create lightbox pop-ups that will appear on your website. The trick is getting them to appear at the right time.
OptinMonster Review: Lightbox pop up
OptinMonster Review: Lightbox pop up
Fortunately, the tool gives you the option to set up a trigger that displays your pop-up whenever you want. For example, you can configure the pop-up to appear after a certain number of seconds or when the user has scrolled down a certain amount. There are other criteria you can use to trigger your lightbox as well, including geo-location targeting, page-level targeting, and device-based targeting. Even better: OptinMonster lets you display pop-ups based on past visitor behavior. That way, you can target people with exactly the right kind of marketing message.

OptinMonster Review Slide-in Scroll Boxes

If you’d like to show visitors a pop-up that gets their attention but doesn’t disrupt the user experience, consider using slide-in scroll boxes. You’ve probably seen those kinds of pop-ups on websites you’ve visited in the past. They quietly “slide in” to the web page and remain away from the main content. Often, they’ll appear in the lower, right-hand corner of the screen. OptinMonster also gives you the ability to make your slide-in scroll boxes more noticeable with animations. That might defeat the purpose of having a pop-up that isn’t too pushy, though.

Floating Bars

Another not-so-intrusive way to collect email addresses or get more conversions is with the use of a floating bar. OptinMonster lets you display a floating bar at the top or bottom of the user’s screen. It’s called “floating” because it stays in the same place, even when the visitor scrolls up or down. Some people would call it a “sticky” bar. In fact, you can see the floating bar in action on the OptinMonster website. It’s advertising the 7-day free trial towards the top of the page.
OptinMonster Review: Floating bar pop up
OptinMonster Review: Floating bar pop up
Here are some other ways you might want to use a floating bar:
  • Advertise sales or promotions
  • Highlight seasonal offers
  • Generate demand with time-sensitive offers
  • Ask visitors to subscribe to your newsletter
  • Welcome new visitors to your site
OptinMonster also uses a set of rules to make sure that visitors who’ve accepted the offer on a floating bar never see that offer again.

OptinMonster Review: Yes/No Forms

Have you heard of the Zeigarnik Effect? That’s the psychological principle that says people who begin an action are more likely to complete it. Thanks to OptinMonster, you can leverage the Zeigarnik Effect put money in your pocket with Yes/No pop-ups. For example, let’s say you’re running a B2B digital marketing agency. When people visit your website, you show them a pop-up that asks the following question: “How would you like to receive a free report highlighting all the latest SEO secrets that professional marketers don’t want you to know about?” Just below that question, the pop-up displays two buttons: “Yes” and “No.” When people click “Yes,” the pop-up asks them for an email address so you can send them a link to the PDF file. The theory behind the Zeigarnik Effect is that they’re more likely to enter an email address because they clicked “Yes” in the previous step. According to OptinMonster, that little behavioral psychology trick can increase your conversions by as much as 18%.

OptinMonster Review: MonsterLinks 2-Step Opt-ins

Another way to take advantage of the Zeigarnik Effect is with MonsterLinks 2-Step opt-ins. They let you transform any link into a trigger that displays a pop-up. The link doesn’t have to be a text link, though. You can use images as well. When a visitor clicks on the link, your website will show a pop-up asking the person to complete a purchase, sign up for your email list, or take some other action. According to OptinMonster, MonsterLinks 2-Step opt-ins can increase conversions by 100% or more.

OptinMonster Review: OnSite Retargeting

In addition to different types of pop-up boxes, OptinMonster also features numerous targeting and triggering methods. I’ll go over some of those next. First up is OnSite Retargeting. It lets you target returning visitors with promotions that are relevant to their interests. And how does OptinMonster know about their interests? It collects data from the last time (or the last several times) they visited the site. It’s a pretty clever solution. You can use it to avoid showing the same pop-up to returning visitors over and over again. Additionally, you can pair OnSite Retargeting with Dynamic Text Replacement to offer returning visitors a more personalized experience. You can literally call your visitors by their name. That’s almost certainly going to get you more clicks.

OnSite Follow Up Campaigns

OnSite Follow Up Campaigns show visitors targeted pop-ups based on how they interacted with your website in the past. For example, let’s say you’re running an e-commerce site. You can use an OnSite FollowUp Campaign to show visitors a related offer as soon as they complete a purchase. You can also use them to show relevant products to people who’ve opted in for a coupon. If you’re doing some content marketing, use an OnSite FollowUp Campaign to show returning visitors a different pop-up than the one they saw last time they visited. That gives you the chance to make the same offer with a different style.

OptinMonster Review: Geo-Location Targeting

If you’re running a national brand, you might like to target people with a marketing message relevant to their location. Fortunately, you can do that with OptinMonster. It would be really bad, for example, if you ran ads highlighting your sale on ski equipment to people who live in South Florida. On the other hand, people who live in that neck of the woods might be interested in your coupon code for beach umbrellas, but not folks who live in Colorado. OptinMonster gives you the ability to show pop-ups to different visitors based on where they live. That’s another aspect of personalized marketing.

OptinMonster Review: List Segmentation

You probably already know about the importance of market segmentation. OptinMonster can help segment your email list so that you can target customers with exactly the right kind of message. Even better: OptinMonster’s list segmentation feature plays nicely with some of the most well-known CRM and email distribution solutions. So if you’re using Salesforce Pardot with Aweber, you can be sure that your email list segments will work with those tools. There are several ways that you can create email list segments with OptinMonster:
  • Enable visitors to self-segment with Yes/No forms
  • Using exit-intent technology to show leaving visitors a reason why they should hang around
  • Create a loyalty program for people who subscribe to your email list at checkout
The possibilities are endless.

OptinMonster Review: Page-Level Targeting

How would you like to create page-specific pop-ups? That’s a breeze with OptinMonster. It’s also a great way to deliver a targeted message to visitors based on what they’re looking at right now. You can also use page-level pop-ups to segment your email lists based on interest (see above).


So how do you create these wonderful pop-ups that OptinMonster shows your visitors? With an easy-to-use WYSIWYG tool. If you’re unfamiliar with the acronym WYSIWYG, it stands for What You See Is What You Get. In other words, you can see your popup as it would appear to visitors while you’re building it. OptinMonster offers more than 65 templates that you can use as a starting point. That way, you won’t have to develop something from scratch. You can, however, customize those templates quite a bit. Feel free to add your own text, font, and images. There are also plenty of design elements that you can add to your pop-up in a snap. The OptinMonster library includes spacers, dividers, opt-in fields, icons, countdown timers, and more. If you’re a web artist, you can also create your own pop-up from scratch.

OptinMonster Review: Integrations

I touched on this previously. OptinMonster integrates with some of the most popular digital marketing tools available. Among them: And there are others as well. Be sure to check out the integrations page if you want an exhaustive list. Best of all, though: OptinMonster integrates with WordPress. In the (likely) event that you’re using WordPress as your CMS of choice, you can download and install the OptinMonster plugin. Then, you can configure your pop-ups with the admin console.  


No digital marketing tool is better than its support for split-testing. Fortunately, OptinMonster has a lot to offer in that area. Let’s say you want to test two different pop-ups to see which one gets you the most conversions. All you have to do is create the two pop-ups, launch your split test, and the tool will take care of the rest. Specifically, OptinMonster will randomly show each pop-up to your website visitors, collect data on conversion rates, and create an easy-to-read report so that you can declare a “winner.” Keep in mind: you can test any pop-up variation you like: a headline, a subheading, an image, a color difference, and more.
OptinMonster Review: split test your pop ups to see which performs best
OptinMonster Review: split test your pop ups to see which performs best

OptinMonster Review: The Pros and Cons

Now that I’ve covered the features of OptinMonster, it’s time to take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s mostly good. Let’s start with the pros:
  • User-friendly – It’s not challenging to figure out how to navigate around the platform and get up and running with your first campaign. In fact, the campaign builder uses a drag-and-drop interface. It’s a snap.
  • Non-interruptive pop-up options – You don’t have to annoy the heck out of your visitors to get the most out of OptinMonster. There are plenty of user-friendly pop-ups that can earn you additional email addresses and conversions without jeopardizing customer loyalty.
  • Lots of customization options – It’s safe to say you can create almost any kind of pop-up you can think about with OptinMonster. Additionally, the tool features a wealth of customization options that enable you to show pop-ups exactly when you want them to appear.
  • Adaptive pop-ups – Gone are the days of showing the same pop-up to the same visitors all the time. Thanks to OptinMonster’s smart technology, you can show targeted pop-ups with personalized marketing messages. You can also avoid showing pop-ups to people who’ve already subscribed to your email list, purchased a product, or taken some other action.
  • Mobile-friendly – You’d be wasting your time and money if you signed on with a service that didn’t display mobile-friendly pop-ups. Fortunately, OptinMonster pop-ups look great on any device.
  • Pre-built templates – You don’t need to be an artist to create a beautiful form with OptinMonster. Just start with a template and make the necessary changes.
  • Unlimited pop-ups – You’re not restricted to a maximum number of pop-ups you can create for your site.
  • Integrations – OptinMonster integrates with several of the more popular digital marketing tools.
  • Special effects – You can add animation to your pop-ups as attention-grabbers.
The cons:
  • Familiar pop-ups – More than 700,000 websites are using OptinMonster. As a result, your visitors have probably seen some of those pop-up templates in the past. It would be nice if the tool offered even more templates so users could get started with something original right out of the gate.
  • Pricing – Some of the more attractive features are only available at higher pricing levels. If you want OnSite Retargeting, for example, you’ll need to spend $69/month (billed annually). If you want custom branding, prepare to fork over $149/month (billed annually).
Wrapping It Up Final verdict: yeah, you should definitely move OptinMonster to the top of your list if you’re looking for a pop-up solution. It’s very flexible, user-friendly, and offers plenty of high-converting pop-up templates. If you’re not sure about the tool, feel free to give it a test-drive with the 7-day free trial option. You’ll probably be glad you did.

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