John Lincoln

Complete Review of Sumo (SumoMe) – How It Works

“The Easiest Way to Turn Your Visitors Into E-commerce Customers.”

That’s the promise of Sumo, formerly known as SumoMe.

But does it live up to that hype? In this Sumo review, I’ll answer that question.

Complete Review of Sumo

What Is Sumo?

Sumo isn’t just a tool. It’s a toolset. In reality, it’s a suite of services that you use to increase traffic, generate social engagement, and improve your conversion rate. Sumo doesn’t work in its own bubble, though. It plays nicely with some of your existing marketing solutions. It’s also got a WordPress plugin that’s easy to install and configure. Best of all, Sumo is rich in features that will take your online strategy to the next level. Let’s look at some of them.

Sumo Review: Share

Very rarely will you come across a tool that’s more appropriately named than Share. Briefly put, Share “makes it stupid-easy for your visitors to share your content with their friends, family, and others with built-in social media buttons for your site. The more people share your site and content, the more viral traffic you get.” If you’re in the market for buttons that you can add to your site so visitors can easily share your content with their friends and followers on social media, Sumo has you covered.
Sumo review: share buttons make it easy for users to post content
Sumo review: share buttons make it easy for users to post content
Currently, the tool supports more than 60 social media channels, including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Pocket. Visitors can even use Share to Buffer their update so that it gets posted later and not immediately. As an added bonus, Share is responsive. That means your social media buttons will look spectacular on a desktop screen, laptop screen, smartphone viewport, or tablet. But the tool doesn’t just give you a set of buttons that you can put where you want on your web pages. It also uses logic to determine which social channels your visitors will most likely choose to share your content. It prioritizes those buttons by moving them to the front of the list. Basically, Share optimizes the order of your social share buttons. Oh, yeah: setup is a breeze as well. You choose where to place your buttons with an intuitive drag-and-drop system. There’s also a Pro version of Share. According to the website, it will bring an additional 20% more pageviews to your pages every day. Additionally, Share Pro uses UTM to track your sharing options. Reports will show you which social media channels are bringing you the most visitors. Finally, Share Pro enables you to:
  • Set mobile-specific share options
  • Download historical share data
  • Use the tool with no branding

Sumo Review: Image Sharer

Speaking of sharing, you can enable visitors to share images on your site with Image Sharer. If you’re running a typical website, it’s difficult for visitors to share your images. Usually, they’ll have to download the pics by right-clicking on them. Then, they’ll have to upload them to a social media site. Why not make it easy for visitors to share your images while simultaneously getting more traffic to your site? You can do that with Image Sharer. Here’s how it works: the tool puts social media share icons on top of your images. When visitors see a pic they want to share, they just click the appropriate button. That’s it. You also get to choose where you want the buttons to show up on your images. They can appear on the top, bottom, right, left, or middle. If you’ve got a lot of imagery that you want people to share, you should go Pro with Image Sharer. That will remove the branding.

Sumo Review: Highlighter

We’re still talking about sharing here. Highlighter empowers your visitors to highlight sections of your content and share only the highlighted part with friends and followers.
Sumo review: highlight the text you want to share
Sumo review: highlight the text you want to share
That’s especially helpful to people want to share a brief segment on a micro-blogging platform like Twitter. Keep in mind, though: as with Image Sharer, Highlighter doesn’t just put text in a social media post. It also includes a link that drives more traffic to your site. You also get to choose a design for your highlighter that matches your overall look and feel. If you want your highlighted text to appear in purple rather than yellow, you have that option. Highlighter Pro will remove the branding so the feature looks like something you coded yourself.

Sumo Review: List Builder

Got an email distribution list? If so, then you’ll love List Builder. Once again, let’s let Sumo itself describe the tool: “List Builder converts one-time visitors into lifelong readers and customers. Create professional-looking pop-ups that appear on clicks, timers and before people leave! With advanced drag-and-drop functionality, this is the most advanced (yet easiest to use) email capture tool on the internet.” As you can tell from that description, List Builder relies heavily on pop-ups to attract people to your email list. Although there are different configuration options available, it might be best to stick with the exit-intent pop-up so that you don’t disrupt visitors as they’re trying to read your content. You can also control the look and feel of the pop-up. That way, you’re not stuck with something that doesn’t work with your site design.
Sumo review: build lists with pop ups
Sumo review: build lists with pop ups
In fact, List Builder enables you to design your pop-up with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop UI. You’re also welcome to choose one of the many pop-up templates. That will save you some design time. Of course, List Builder also works on mobile platforms. You’ll sleep well at night knowing that your pop-up will look great on a smartphone, tablet, or phablet. No pop-up solution is complete without the ability to split-test different options. Fortunately, List Builder has you covered there as well. With just a few clicks, you can run an A/B test. After your test has run for awhile, check your analytics to see which pop-up gained you the most subscribers. The tool also enables you to show different pop-ups to different visitors. For example, you might want to show one pop-up to people who arrive from Facebook and another to people who got there by a referral from another site. You can also use List Builder to send out discount codes to subscribers. Once again, the whole process is handled with an intuitive user interface. You’ll have no trouble beating the learning curve. If you’d prefer not to use a pop-up, List Builder also offers a Smart Bar that will sit at the top of your website. It’s a more polite way to nag visitors to join your email list. You don’t have to use it for that purpose, though. You can use the Smart Bar as a CTA or ask people to follow you on Twitter. You can keep the smart bar in the header or make it “sticky.” When it’s sticky, it stays on the top of the screen even when the visitor scrolls down. Sumo also enables you to design the Smart Bar so that it’s appearance matches the look and feel of your website. List Builder Pro offers integration with some of the most popular email platforms including MailChimp, AWeber, and GetResponse.

Sumo Review: Contact Form

You want to make sure it’s as easy as possible for customers to get in touch with you. That’s why Sumo’s Contact Form is so valuable. Once again, the tool offers a variety of templates that you can choose from. Pick a look that you think your customers will love and include it on your website. Also once again, you have total control over the look and feel of the form. Change fonts, colors, buttons, and the background as you see fit. You can also design the form with a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) layout. Just drag and drop to move elements around until you get the layout that’s best for your business. Sumo will also initiate an auto-response for every contact. Your customers will know right away that you’ve received the email. Contact Form Pro removes all the branding associated with the tool.

Sumo Review: Google Analytics Integration

If you rely heavily on Google Analytics for your reporting (and you probably should if you don’t), you’ll be happy to learn that Sumo integrates with GA. In fact, it integrates so well that you can view your Google Analytics data right from the Sumo dashboard.
Sumo review: Sumo integrates with Google Analytics
Sumo review: Sumo integrates with Google Analytics
Get a bird’s-eye view of your web traffic with just one glance. Check out bounce rates, pageviews, session durations, the number of visitors, and more. You can even see your page stats on each of your pages. Sumo will show you (and only you) a number of key metrics. Which metrics will the tool show you? That’s up to you. It’s totally configurable. The Google Analytics integration feature also offers real-time analytics. That way, you can see how many people are on your site right now, where they came from, and where they’re going.

Sumo Review: Content Analytics

If you have a 2,000-word thinkpiece on your blog and 71 people clicked on that page today, how many of those people read your article all the way through? If you can’t answer that question, you need Content Analytics. With Content Analytics, you’ll see where your readers stop reading on a given blog post. It uses a visual display (similar to a heatmap) to show you how far people get into your content before bouncing off. Use that data to determine where you should put calls to action (CTAs). If people tend to only read the first third of your content, for example, then you wouldn’t want a CTA at the bottom. Content Analytics also offers real-time feedback so you won’t have to wait to see how much content your visitors read.

Sumo Review: Heat Maps

No pun intended, but heat maps are hot right now. Fortunately, Sumo uses them. If you’re unfamiliar with heat maps, they show you where on your site people are clicking. Use that info to optimize your site so that visitors see the content you want them to see.
Sumo review: Sumo uses heatmaps to show where users are clicking
Sumo review: Sumo uses heatmaps to show where users are clicking
Also, use heat maps to show you where you should put your CTAs. If people are focusing on the right-hand sidebar, for example, then you should put a CTA there. As with Content Analytics, Heat Maps offers real-time analytics. There’s a Pro version of the tool as well. You’ll need that if you want to track more than a thousand clicks per campaign. As is usually the case, the Pro version also eliminates branding.

Sumo Review: The Plugins

I noted above that Sumo offers a plugin for WordPress. Use that so you don’t have to flip back and forth so much between two platforms. Once you’ve installed the WordPress plugin, all you have to do is click on the big, “My Apps” box from your admin console to access your toolset.
Sumo review: many plugins are available, including WordPress
Sumo review: many plugins are available, including WordPress
You can even upgrade to Pro from within WordPress. Sumo also offer plugins for the following platforms as well:
  • Shopify – reduce cart abandonment with exit-intent pop-ups, create discount codes, and increase average order value with Smart Bars
  • BigCommerce – grow your email list, convert website visitors into customers, and track your success
  • Google Tag Manager – make posts go viral, get free traffic, and build a following
  • Magento – integrate with MailChimp, create List Builder forms, and show welcome mats

What Users Are Saying

As you browse around cyberspace, you’ll find that Sumo users have a variety of opinions about the product, some of them good and some of them bad. Let’s go over what they’re saying. First, the good:
  • User interface is easy to understand
  • Works great with Google Analytics
  • Dashboard aggregates essential info
  • A number of tools in one place
  • Easy initial setup
  • Help documentation is well organized
And now, the bad:
  • Branding on the non-Pro version
  • Coding issues pop up every now and then
  • Premium prices are higher than competitors
  • Some tools only work on the latest browsers
  • Campaign organization isn’t intuitive
  • Can only run on one PC

Sumo Review: Pricing

You’ll be happy to know that you can get started with Sumo for free. As you’ve probably noticed from reading this article, though, you’ll see Sumo branding all over your website if you go in that direction. Professional pricing starts at $30 per month. Keep in mind, though, you’ll max out at 750 subscribers with that plan. The Small Business and Ecommerce packages are $73 per month and $99 per month, respectively. Each of those plans offers unlimited subscribers. Even with the Ecommerce package, you’re limited to maximum of $50,000 in revenue per year. If you exceed that amount, you’ll need to contact the company to get pricing on the Growth package.

Wrapping Up This Sumo Review

Sumo is used by more than 600,000 websites including TheChive, Tony Robbins, and Pistol Lake. Those are three completely different brands, by the way. That should tell you that Sumo has a lot to offer no matter what your business model. Yes, you should definitely give it a test run. Start with the free option, put up with the branding, and see what Sumo tools can offer you. If it looks good, go ahead and start with the Pro package. Work your way up as needed.  

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John Lincoln is CEO of Ignite Visibility, one of the top digital marketing agencies in the nation. Ignite Visibility is a 4x  Inc. 5,000 company. Ignite Visibility offers a unique digital marketing program tied directly to ROI with a focus on using SEO, social media, paid media, CRO, email, Amazon and PR to achieve results. Outside of Ignite Visibility, Lincoln is a frequent speaker and author of the books “Digital Influencer” and “The Forecaster Method.” Lincoln is consistently named one of the top digital marketers in the industry and was the recipient of the coveted Search Engine Land “Search Marketer of The Year” award. Lincoln has taught digital marketing and Web Analytics at the University of California San Diego since 2010, has been named as one of San Diego’s most admired CEO’s and a top business leader under 40. Lincoln has also made “SEO: The Movie” and “Social Media Marketing: The Movie.” His business mission is to help others through digital marketing.

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