UPDATED NOV. 27, 2020
So the other day I’m browsing the famous Fat Stacks forum when I noticed that a member mentioned they’re using ConvertBox for quizzes.
Any mention of online quizzes gets my attention.
I love using quizzes for visitors, especially to help visitors buy the right product and then getting them to click through to Amazon or some other merchant. These things work like gangbusters.
Until recently, I used OpinionStage, which is great but I was having some issues with it on my sites. Moreover, OpinionStage costs something like $90 per month for a business plan which I need due to page view volume.
The mention of ConvertBox on the forum included that member saying it’s currently available for a lifetime purchase. I pay for enough monthly subscription software to realize that one-time-purchase opportunities are great if it’s something I think I’ll be using.
It gets even better.
Not only does ConvertBox replace OpinionStage but it replaces OptinMonster email sign-up forms which cost me $59. I should say “which did cost me $59/mo.” because I canceled my subscription and switched to ConvertBox.
Yes, the email sign up forms you see on this site (Fat Stacks) are courtesy of ConvertBox. I will never have to pay for email sign up forms again. It’s music to my ears.
Table of Contents
- What is ConvertBox?
- Is ConvertBox as good as OptinMonster?
- Email Sign Up Forms (aka lead capture forms)
- Am I getting as many subscribers with ConvertBox as OptinMonster?
- Does ConvertBox offer good reporting and stats?
- What about split-testing forms and quizzes?
- What happens if you exceed your monthly allotment of page views?
- Is ConvertBox customer support good?
- How I used ConvertBox to double affiliate clicks overnight
- How to quickly test affiliate offers with ConvertBox
- ConvertBox and ConvertKit sync perfectly for preventing BANNED email subscribers from rejoining your list
- My ConvertBox Ratings
What is ConvertBox?
ConvertBox is a cloud-based website form software. What’s that? Simply put, you can create the following types of forms for your site’s blog posts:
- Email lead gen forms
- Affiliate promotion boxes
Next, here’s the quick version setting out ConvertBox features.
Where can you place and deploy these forms (i.e. lead capture forms, quizzes and affiliate promo boxes)?
You can place these forms in the following places on your site:
- Embed into content / bottom of posts / sidebar
- Popups by time or scroll percentage and exit intent (desktop only).
- Fly-in boxes.
- Welcome mats/screens.
How much control do you have over ConvertBox display?
You have tons of control. You can control by category, tag, time on site, percentage scrolled, exit intent (desktop only), whether repeat or new visitors and a host of other granular controls.
Is ConvertBox easy to use?
The form builder is drag and drop. The UI dashboard is blazing fast. The designs are simple but effective. If you can click a mouse, you can use ConvertBox.
All-in-all, it’s super easy.
Do you need a plugin for ConvertBox?
There is a ConvertBox WordPress plugin that you can use to sync with your ConvertBox account but you can also opt to simply embed the code. I use the plugin but it’s not necessary.
It’s easier than OptinMonster. Way easier than Thrive Leads (and works way better). You get all this and it’s cheaper.
Can you tell I love ConvertBox?
I do. keep reading this massive ConvertBox review to see all that I do with it.
Is ConvertBox as good as OptinMonster?
ConvertBox is a cheaper, but better OptinMonster alternative. It’s also far better than Thrive Leads. Yes, I’ve used both OptinMonster and Thrive Leads so I know what I”m talking about.
Yes, CB is as good as OM. In fact, dare I say better?
The reason I say better is twofold.
First, it’s easier to design forms and get them up and running. CB’s design and deploy process is a tad more intuitive. This is my opinion. Whenever it comes to interface, we all have our opinions.
I remember when I started with OptinMonster and I found it difficult to get my forms created. I managed in the end but it took time and I was no newbie to email sign up forms at that time. I had used other options in the past like Thrive Leads.
Second, ConvertBox also makes it easy to create high-converting quizzes that are lightning-fast on websites. As soon as a user clicks the button, the next set displays instantly instead of grinding. I love it. These suckers get people clicking to Amazon like nobody’s business.
The one thing CB lacks that OptinMonster offers is reporting conversion rates for specific URLs. That’s a really nice OptinMonster feature so you can see which URLs attract the most email subscribers.
Let’s a take closer look at what ConvertBox offers.
Email Sign Up Forms (aka lead capture forms)
Watch my video stepping you through how easy and powerful ConvertBox is:
The number one reason to get ConvertBox is to deploy a variety of email sign up forms on your site. I don’t recommend deploying every option, but a few is good.
FYI, the welcome scroll mat outperforms all other forms combined.
Here are your options in CB:
Overlay forms of those that pop or overlay content. These are your options in ConvertBox.
The following embedded forms can be deployed in content, bottom of content, top of content and sidebar. These are non-popup options.
Form Design with the fast and easy form builder
CB offers a variety of templates for every form type but you can customize any of them. In fact, there’s a full drag and drop builder that allows you to add text, buttons, videos, images, etc. You can create any form design you like.
Powerful Display Options
Once your form is designed, you have many options for where and when your form displays.
Where refers to where on your site it deploys. It could be embedded in a post, bottom of a post, top of post, middle overlay, etc.
When refers to how you time the display whether it’s a popup timed after a certain number of seconds, length of content scrolled through, exit intent, or immediately upon arrival. Or, you can embed it into a post so that it displays when visitors get to the stipulated area.
You can also control by various visitor types, devices and by taxonomy (categories and tags). The options are endless for you to attract subscribers surgically.
I find the taxonomy control very useful for quizzes on niche sites so that I can show relevant quizzes to visitors.
Speaking of quizzes, let’s cover that next.
Am I getting as many subscribers with ConvertBox as OptinMonster?
Yes. I deployed ConvertBox on Fat stacks on June 23, 2020. At first there was a spike but it settled down. It’s not higher but not lower either.
The best way to explain an online quiz and how it looks/operates, is to present you a real quiz.
The following quiz is created with ConvertBox.
Slick, isn’t it?
Check out these interaction results on two different niche sites. Many of those interactions result in clicks to Amazon.
Out of the 478 interactions, 441 clicked through to Amazon. You can dig further into the quiz data to see exactly which quiz result buttons get clicked the most. Check it out:
Does ConvertBox offer good reporting and stats?
Yes, the reporting is decent. It could be better such as reporting conversion rates for lead capture forms by URL, but otherwise, you get all the data you need.
Yes, it’s good. Above are screenshots of the quiz data. Below is the overall stats screen for Fat Stacks email sign ups:
When you click into “Stats” for a particular form, you get the following:
What about split-testing forms and quizzes?
I’ve not created any split-tests yet, but you can split test sign up forms and quizzes with ConvertBox.
What happens if you exceed your monthly allotment of page views?
Unfortunately, I’m close to hitting my 500K monthly page views. I emailed ConvertBox to ask about solutions and here’s what they told me:
The largest plan we offer on the lifetime deal is a Pro account which gives you 500k views a month. If you needed a significantly larger plan it would require moving to an enterprise account which is setup manually and only offered at annual contracts.
I replied asking how much various enterprise plans cost. The upgrade cost is an annual fee that’s quite a bit and is based on monthly page views needed.
While I’m choked I can’t access a lifetime account for more page views (I’m happy to pay another hefty lump sum), 500K monthly page views is a big plan – much bigger than the 50K pageviews I had at OptinMonster for $59 per month.
I’ll hold off upgraded and stick with 500K monthly page views and be more judicious about how often I display ConvertBox forms on my niche sites.
Is ConvertBox customer support good?
It’s pretty good. There isn’t a live chat option which is the gold-standard. However, they have a sizeable library of tutorials and if/when you submit a support ticket, they typically respond within a day. I’ve submitted two support tickets so far and both were answered within a few hours.
How I used ConvertBox to double affiliate clicks overnight
What’s just as much fun as getting more traffic?
Earning more money from existing traffic.
Actually, I prefer more traffic, but I’ll take more money from existing traffic.
I’m sure you would too. Who wouldn’t?
If making more money from existing traffic sounds like a good deal, you’ll like this section.
This is where I show you how to use ConvertBox to promote products as an affiliate.
You can use the forms embedded in content (good for Amazon) and/or popup boxes (just don’t promote Amazon in these). I like the exit intent popup boxes. Let’s create one.
Then choose “Page Abadonoment” as follows:
Here’s how I more than doubled clicks on these pop-ups:
What I do is use the “Full Page” screen instead of the smaller Center Modal, Sticky Bar or Callout Modal. When creating your ConvertBox choose “Full Page” as follows.
I’ve also noticed I usually get better results when I include an image with text (compared to text-only).
Here are 3 of many split-testing results where the Full Page type annihilated the “Center Modal” box:
How to change ConvertBox type quickly
Fortunately, you don’t have to create new boxes from scratch. You can convert any type to another type with a click of a button.
While my results clearly demonstrate the full page (or full screen) is best, I suggest split testing for yourself.
To do this quickly, clone your existing box. Then convert the cloned to full screen. It takes only seconds.
Here’s how to clone an existing box:
Now it’s time to get surgical
I mentioned that I created dozens of these exit pop full page promotions.
The reason I created so many is I target each one to specific visitors.
The way I target is via categories and tags.
With CB you can specify that forms pop up only on pages with a specific category and/or tag. You can exclude specific categories and tags as well.
You specify categories and tags under the “Display” tab as follows:
And this is yet another reason why meticulously tagging and categorizing your content is so important. You can use it to surgically promote affiliate offers to your visitors.
For example. Suppose you publish a shoe website.
Your categories are Women, Men and Kids.
You publish content covering dress shoes, casual shoes and shoes for all kinds of sports/fitness.
If you don’t tag your high heels pop-up promotion will display to women reading sport/fitness shoe articles. There’s no alignment. Your click-through rate (CRO) will suffer.
However, if you apply the following tags: High heels, Running, Boots, Clogs, Sandals, Basketball, Loafers, etc. you can then show “High Heels” affiliate offers to visitors reading the women category content tagged with “High heels””.
I’m a big believer in properly tagging for other reasons as well.
For years I didn’t bother with tagging. It was an oversight. I believe it’s an underused tool. Moreover, I believe many websites go about it all wrong (as in they don’t have a clear tagging system).
How to quickly test affiliate offers with ConvertBox
Often you never know which merchant will earn you the most money. It requires testing, which can be a major drag until I got ConvertBox. With ConvertBox I can test different offers very, very quickly.
$600 EPMV is NOT a typo. I show you proof below. This is mind-blowing.
The operative word is “could”.
The thing with affiliate marketing is you don’t always know what will sell and what won’t.
It requires trial and error.
I’ve promoted stuff I thought would be a home run and ended up earning crickets.
I’ve promoted stuff I didn’t think would sell and ends up earning tens of thousands of dollars.
In fact, it only takes one or a few decently selling offers to create a sizeable revenue stream on any niche site.
The key is finding them.
Which requires trial and error.
The faster you can sift through the losers to find the winners, the faster you grow your affiliate revenue.
Recently, I’ve come up with a very fast way to test affiliate offers.
I find myself spending more and more time setting up testing every week. It’s kind of fun actually. Finding those winners is very gratifying. The revenue helps of course.
Here are the simple steps I’m taking to quickly test affiliate offers on my niche sites:
Step 1: Get Convertbox pop-ups. Right now, you can get a lifetime license for up to 500,000 monthly page views. This piece of software is an absolute goldmine. Pay once, earn forever.
Step 2: Create a pop-up form from any of the templates. The button links to the merchant with your affiliate link. Write short, enticing copy to get the click. Don’t mislead, but also write a strong call to action.
Here are the templates I’ve been using:
Example Pop-Up I Created:
TIP: After extensive split testing, I’ve noticed I almost always get way more clicks on the popup when there’s an image as part of the pop-up. Split test for yourself (Convertbox offers split testing), but I do recommend creating one pop-up box version with a large, nice image.
Step 3: Set the pop-up to deploy 5 to 15 seconds after visitors arrive. Create a second exit-intent pop-up. I usually create different designs which further helps split-testing and adds variety.
Step 4: Target the pop-up to display only on relevant categories and/or tags on your site. I target my pop-ups surgically so only the most relevant visitors see them.
Step 5: Run the pop-up for a week or long enough to get a few hundred clicks. If you’re happy with the results, keep it. If not, dump it. If not sure, split test that offer with another offer.
TIP: If you promote the merchant elsewhere on your site, you’ll want to use tracking affiliate links so you know without a doubt whether your Convertbox pop-ups are in fact generating sales (or not generating sales).
FYI, Convertbox also offers one of the best email sign up forms.
It’s that simple.
I have dozens of pop-ups running on multiple categories and tags across several niche sites.
I’m constantly testing offers.
I keep the winners. Ditch the losers and try something else.
Why is this such an effective testing method?
It’s effective because you can test offers on all relevant content within minutes and do so in a way that your visitors simply cannot miss. Those pop-ups are “in their face”. They either like the offer or don’t. The key is ALL relevant visitors see the offer.
Also, these forms literally take a couple minutes to create and deploy. Speed is important.
What do I do when I find a winner?
I keep the pop-up running as-is of course.
I review all the relevant content. If there are more topics to cover, I find them and order content revolving around that topic. I go really long tail and obscure. High-earning affiliate content doesn’t require much traffic to make much money.
To give you an idea of how little traffic can earn huge commissions, here’s the data for the example set out above:
The pop-up forms were viewed only 2,000 times and generated only 117 clicks (although the click rate is really good). Despite not many views, these forms generated a whopping $1,200 in commissions.
That’s $600 per 1,000 visitors ($.60 per visitor). Actually, higher because both forms display for each visit.
Yup, that’s a winner.
For this winning example, I’ve ordered 20 more long-tail articles relevant to that merchant. I’ll tag those articles when published and my pop-up box will pop up on those as well.
If applicable, I’ll insert additional affiliate links in the content and create a buyer quiz for the content as well.
And maybe, just maybe, such revenue could be profitable from paid traffic.
Rinse and repeat.
ConvertBox and ConvertKit sync perfectly for preventing BANNED email subscribers from rejoining your list
The following is also a great way to turn email pop up forms off for your existing subscribers.
Life is too short to deal with jerks IMO.
We can’t always avoid them but when possible, I do so.
In fact, I’ll go out of my way to ensure unpleasant people aren’t in my life.
One example is with my email newsletters.
I not only manually unsubscribe folks who are unpleasant but I take the additional two seconds it takes to tag them so email sign up forms do not appear to them on my sites.
The tag I apply is aptly called “Banned”.
This means they cannot sign up to my email newsletters again (Fat Stacks included).
If you run an email newsletter I recommend you do the same. Keep the problem people out of your life and take steps so that they are never a problem again.
In fact, I have a laundry list of behaviors that I manually unsubscribe and apply the “Banned” tag to. I won’t bore you with details, but it’s a long list of behaviors.
This keeps out unpleasant people so I don’t have to deal with them again. It also keeps out uninterested people so that I don’t pay for folks who aren’t interested.
The fact is I put a good effort into my emails. The last thing I need to deal with anyone who doesn’t like it. I agree that my newsletters are not for everyone. No newsletter is.
Why do I do this?
First and foremost, life is too short to deal with snide remarks. Feedback is great (good and bad). Rudeness is unacceptable.
Second, the cost of my email autoresponder software is based on the number of subscribers. I don’t pay for people who are unsubscribed. Therefore, why should I pay money to deal with unpleasant people or people not interested (i.e. folks who don’t open but don’t unsubscribe)?
This means I end up with a lean email newsletter with high engagement. Subscriber count is meaningless to me. Results are what matter.
How can you do the same?
One really clever thing Convertkit does is it does not charge you for people who are unsubscribed. AWeber did and that was annoying because you must delete unsubscribes which means you can no longer tag.
With Convertkit, I can keep people in the database who are unsubscribed and then apply the “Banned” tag so they can’t sign up again. If I had to delete them, they could sign up again and be a PITA.
Here are the steps.
Step 1: Create a tag called “Banned” (or call it whatever you want).
Step 2: For each form in ConvertBox, go the “Targeting” tab. Select “Target Specific Visitors”. Then apply a conditional rule “Does NOT have Convertkit tag “Banned”. What this does it it will only display sign up forms to folks who you haven’t banned.
See the following:
Step 3: Filter in Convertkit for all “Canceled Subscribers”.
Click the up and down arrows.
Choose “Canceled Subscribers”
Step 4: Bulk apply your “Banned” tag.
Step 5: Every week or month, apply the “Banned” tag to new “Canceled Subscribers” in Convertkit.
Step 6: On an ongoing basis if anyone annoys you, manually unsubscribe them and apply the “Banned” tag.
This process takes up maybe 2 minutes every month but it’s totally worth it because I can tell you from personal experience, problem subscribers suck up way too much time.
I’m NOT talking about folks who ask questions or provide feedback, but people who are rude.
If someone is rude, just look up their email in your Convertkit email database, unsubscribe them and apply the “Banned” tag to them. Good riddance. Problem solved.
Create your dream list of readers
Taking these easy, fast steps help you create your dream audience. You get rid of bad customers and readers; keep the folks you like doing business with and engaging with.
What could be better?
What should you do if a banned person asks to be let back in (as in back on your email list)?
Maybe they have second thoughts or once again are referred to you and try to sign up but can’t because there are no sign up forms displaying for them on your site?
I’ve had this happen on many occasions.
Before I respond I look up their email in the database. If it has the “Banned” tag, I don’t reply.
The reason I don’t reply is they’ve already taken up too much of my time.
If they don’t have a banned tag, there’s a tech issue and I’m happy to help them out.
How you handle this is up to you.
One possible solution if you have a big email business is to set up a paid option and if they want in, they have to pay either a one-time fee or monthly subscription. I don’t get nearly enough of these situations warranting setting this up but some emailers surely do. If I did, I’d do it.
Am I being heavy-handed?
Maybe. I suspect some folks will think so.
But if you run an email newsletter and/or have customers, I suspect you’ll appreciate these tips.
Keeping bad customers out is a dream outcome for most businesses. It’s impossible for many businesses to do so, but easily possible when your main sales channel is email.
I learned this practicing law. It doesn’t take long to realize a small handful of problem clients suck up a disproportionate amount of your time… and then they complain about the bill. When they didn’t pay, I had to chase them down… more useless work.
The best thing is to prevent those clients from becoming clients. It’s not always possible to spot them, but I sure tried after getting hosed a couple of times.
Fortunately, with email newsletter software, you can find them in seconds.
Chalk up yet another reason email marketing (in the right niches) can be such a great business.
My ConvertBox Ratings
Value for Money
Jon runs the place around here. He pontificates about launching and growing online publishing businesses, aka blogs that make a few bucks. His pride and joy is the email newsletter he publishes.
Hyperbole? Maybe, but go check it out to see what some readers say.
In all seriousness, Jon is the founder and owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties visited and beloved by millions of readers monthly. Fatstacks is where he shares a glimpse into his digital publishing business.