Pennywise, pound stupid.
If I had a nickel for every instance I ended up making penny wise, pound stupid decisions, I’d be a lot more financially well off than I am now.
What does penny wise, pound stupid mean?
It means making decisions to save a nickel but ultimately lose a dollar.
I’m all for frugality, but not when frugality hurts the bottom line.
With the email marketing aspect of my digital publishing business, I’ve been penny wise and pound stupid for years.
By using the wrong (cheaper) email opt-in form software.
For years I used Thrive Leads.
It’s feature rich. Offers great designs. Is used by many bloggers. The price is right. It only charges a relatively low annual fee.
You get what you pay for.
It’s popular largely because of the price.
And to think for years I couldn’t figure out why people were shelling out big monthly fees for various email opt in form software such as OptinMonster and Leadpages.
Now I know.
What’s wrong with Thrive Leads?
Conceptually it’s great.
However, I’ve had a lot of buggy issues over the last 6 months with it. Finally, it got to the point where I couldn’t edit forms. The whole thing was jammed. When that happened, I went a-looking for something else. I gave up on Thrive’s support forum a long time ago. There’s only so many “it may be a plugin conflict so you need to deactivate each plugin one-by-one to see which one is causing the conflict” support suggestions I can handle.
I’m not deactivating each plugin one-by-onw. The reason is simple. Yesterday the plugin worked. Today it doesn’t. I added no plugins since yesterday so why would there all of a sudden be a conflict? Makes no sense.
I ended up trying a bunch of email opt in form software solutions including the built-in opt in forms with my theme (MyThemeShop themes).
After the smoke cleared, I settled on OptinMonster and Leadpages. Yes, I ended up paying for both. I’ll explain why. And no, it’s likely you don’t need to pay for both unless you have similar needs to me.
OptinMonster doubled opt-ins instantly
I’m not kidding.
I don’t think it’s the form designs. Thrive Leads designs are good.
I think it’s because Thrive Leads had tech issues whereas OptinMonster works perfectly.
Check out the boost in opt-ins for fatstacksblog.com after switching from Thrive Leads to OptinMonster:
The only additional form I added with OptinMonster that I didn’t use with Thrive Leads is a ribbon at the bottom. While the bottom ribbon attracts some subscribers, it’s not enough to explain the difference.
What do I like most about OptinMonster?
It works: I know that’s a big ask for software, but the fact is OptinMonster works and works well.
It’s on the cloud: While there is a plugin to control some aspects of where forms display, the heavy lifting is done on the cloud. I much, much prefer software on the cloud over plugins.
Decently designed forms (you can create your own if you like): I use the default designs. They’re good enough and are doing a fine job.
Plenty of form options (all that you need): Forms include welcome mat (or welcome scroll), pop-ups (including exit pops), in-line forms, ribbons (top and/or bottom) and slide-in forms.
Easy-to-use split testing: I haven’t done much split-testing, but it’s a super simple process to set up and works well.
Great reporting: You can connect your forms with Google Analytics and enjoy outstanding reports. You can see which pages on your site generate the most leads. I love this feature. Check out these reports:
What I don’t like about OptinMonster
I have one big beef with OptinMonster and that is the following:
You can’t set full screen to display immediately:
The shortest time delay you can set a full screen to display is 1 second. If it were able to display instantly, I would not have had to also subscribe to Leadpages. Instead, I’d also be able to use OptinMonster as a landing page tool as well. It’s such a shame that 1 itty bitty second is costing me a Leadpages monthly subscription.
My other beef is the cost. It’s a monthly subscription and you don’t need many page views to be forced to pay a lot. As they say “you get what you pay for”. While you can pay annually, it’s still expensive.
Do I use OptinMonster on my other sites?
Yes, I do, but I’m also using Leadpages because for my other niche sites, I use landing pages for attracting email subscribers. I’m not going into why I do it this way, but it’s been proven to work really well.
Like I said above, if OptinMonster had the option to instantly display a full screen, I would not need Leadpages.
Why don’t I just use Leadpages since it has opt-in forms as well?
Leadpages does have some opt-in forms but not the variety offered by OptinMonster.
Both platforms are so close to perfect, but neither are quite there yet.
In the meantime, I’m happy to use both because the results are very good.
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.