Creating a loyal visitor base is one of the main challenges for a website. It is estimated that more than 70 percent of the visitors are unlikely to come back to the sites they have visited for once. This is not a fault of the websites, but there are so much content on the internet that the visitors have a hard time remembering a particular site.
In this situation, email marketing could be a very useful tool. If you take a closer look at your favorite websites and blogs, you will find out that they are encouraging you to subscribe to their mailing lists. And once you do, they are regularly sending you the updates about their latest articles, products, offers, etc. If you ever thought about doing the same in your website and blog, you have come to the right place. You can do the same thing with OptinMonster.
In today’s article, we will show you how to build your email list with OptinMonster.
Getting Started with OptinMonster
OptinMonster is a premium plugin. That means you won’t be able to download it from the WordPress plugin directory. Rather, you have to buy it. You will find the pricing details in the plugin’s official website. However, the basic plan starts from $49, and you will get a 14-day money back guarantee in case you don’t like the plugin. For the rest of this tutorial, I am assuming that you have purchased and downloaded the plugin.
Setting up OptinMonster is very easy, and it does not require you to write any code at all. First of all, install and activate the plugin. Then, you will find a new menu item titled ‘OptinMonster’ in your website’s dashboard. Click on that menu item, and you will be taken to a screen like the following.
Creating a New Optin
What is an Optin? Well, it is how OptinMonster likes to call the banners we will be creating. So, from now on, keep in mind that Optins = Banners = Optins.
Let’s create a new Optin now. To do that, click the ‘Create New Optin’ button. In the resulting screen, you will be provided with three optin types – Lightbox, Footer Bar, and Slide In. For this example, we will use the first option. So, click on the ‘Lightbox’ option and then hit the ‘Next Step’ button.
In the resulting screen, you will find various options for configuring your Optin banner. The first one, Optin Title is something that you can refer to when talking about this particular banner. This title won’t be displayed to the visitors.
Then, in the ‘Optin Loading Delay‘, set how long the page should wait before displaying the Optin. The delay is measured in milliseconds, and we all know 1000 milliseconds equal to 1 second, right?
In ‘Optin Cookie Duration‘, you can define the number of days after when the Optin banner should be displayed again once the user has exited the banner. Then, you can redirect a visitor to a thanks page by specifying the page URL in ‘Redirect on Optin Success’. If you check the ‘Load on Second Pageview’ box, then the banner will only be displayed on the second page view of the visitor.
And now we have come to the last option of the page, which is by no means the least of them. Rather, it is a crucial one.
‘Email Provider Settings‘ will let you choose an email provider, which will take care of your campaign. OptinMonster supports a lot of email providers including Aweber, iContact, MailChimp, Mad Mimi etc. along with any custom HTML form. You will find detailed instructions about integrating OptinMonster with various email providers in the official documentation.
Once you have set up everything, click the ‘Save and Design Optin’ button.
Designing the Optin
At this point, you will be taken to the 3rd step of our Optin design process. Here, you can select a theme for your banner.
After selecting the theme, click the ‘Open Design Customizer’ button. This will take you to a screen where you can customize your banner.
First of all, provide the title of your banner in the ‘Optin Title’ field. As you type your title, the text will be automatically inserted into the banner too. You will see a live preview of the banner on the right side of the screen. Just below the title field, there are some formatting buttons for the text.
Then, you can select the color, font family and font size for the title. If you have a tagline, provide that in the ‘Optin Tagline’ field. Like the title, the tagline is also provided with some formatting buttons and then options to select the font color, font family, and font size.
If you want to add an image to your banner, click the ‘Content’ section and then, click the ‘Upload Image’ button. The image will be automatically uploaded and placed in the banner.
In order to avoid any image cropping, make sure that your image size is exactly 280 x 245 pixels. If you want to change the image, you can click the ‘Remove Image’ button and then upload a new picture.
Now, let’s come to the ‘Fields and Buttons’ section. By default, the banner is provided with an email field and a submit button. However, if you want to add a field, click the ‘Show Option Name Field’ box. Then, provide placeholder text for the Email field (and the Name field, if you checked the box).
Below, you will find options to customize the font color, font family and font size of the input text. Then, provide the text for the submit button and select the font family, color and size of the button.
That’s it; you have successfully designed a banner for your website. However, if you want to customize it further, you can use the ‘Custom Optin CSS’ section. You will find a textarea in that section, where you can provide custom CSS for the banner.
Once you have made all the necessary changes, click the ‘Save’ button on top, wait till it says ‘Saved!’ and then, click the ‘Close’ button.
Optin Display Settings
Now, click the ‘Manage Output Settings’ button. This will take you to the ‘Output Settings’ tab. In this page, you will be able to specify where you want to show the banner. You should check the ‘Enable optin on site’ button, otherwise the banner will not be displayed.
Then, if you want to show the banner on every single page of your website, click the ‘Load optin globally’ box. Or, if you wish to display the banner on selected posts only, provide the post ID’s in the ‘Load option exclusively on’ area.
Alternatively, if you want to show the banner on selected categories only, select the categories in the ‘Load optin on post categories’ section. After making the choice, click the ‘Save Optin Output Settings’ button. Wait till the button says ‘Saved!’.
Managing the Optins
If you click on the ‘Optins’ section, you will be taken to a page where all of your optins are listed. All the options are provided with their impressions rate, conversions rate, percentage of conversions, status, and a settings icon. Clicking on the settings icon reveals a new drop-down menu. Modify, the first menu will let you customize the optin again by taking you to the Configuration step of the Optin creation process.
Split Test will create an exact copy of the optin. Now that you have a backup of your Optin, you can experiment by using different fonts, colors or text size.
It is also possible to select the copied Optin as the primary Optin. Output Settings will let you change the display options for this banner by taking you to the relevant step. Report will get you to the Reports section. And guess what the Reset Stats and Delete menus do? Yes, they reset the stats and delete the Optin respectively.
Okay, most of our work is done here. Now, let’s take a look at the other settings of OptinMonster. We are still in the ‘OptinMonster’ page. Just below the big, bold ‘OptinMonster Overview’ heading, you will find some sections. Till now, we discussed the ‘Optins’ section only. Let’s go through the other sections now.
This section what it sounds like; it provides reports about the impression and conversation of your banners. The report could be filtered by week, month, quarter and year. It is also possible to export all the report data as a CSV file. The report is updated every 30 minutes.
In this section, you will find the email services which you have integrated with OptinMonster. You can delete any email service from this section.
Then, there are some other sections. Among them, ‘Addons’ lists all the add-ons you are using with OptinMonster. In the ‘Misc’ section, you will see the License Key and separate fields for setting the duration or clearing report data and the global cookie for this plugin.
That’s how you create a Optin banner for your visitors. With the various customization options provided by OptinMonster, all, you need to do, is to show some creativity. Naturally, you don’t want to annoy your visitors with another of those ‘Subscribe to our Newsletter’ banners, right?
So, how are you planning to use OptinMonster on your website? Or maybe, you are already using it. Whatever it is, let us know what you think. And if possible, share a tip or two with us.