OptinLinks is an email sign up form plugin for WordPress. However it’s one with a difference and it works unlike the majority of popup optin form plugins already out there.
The key differentiating feature of OptinLinks is that it uses a two-step opt-in process for converting your readers into subscribers. Instead of using a popup optin form window that is automatically displayed to your visitors, or inserting a form into your posts, pages, or sidebar, OptinLinks only displays your sign up form when a visitor has given you permission to do so - or at least clicked on a link or button.
This permission-based two-step approach to lead generation goes against everything you might think about sign up conversion rates. However, it’s been proven and documented to deliver great results, over and above those obtained by popup optin forms.
To find out how this two-step opt-in works, and how easy it is to add to your WordPress site, read on for our OptinLinks review.
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What Does OptinLinks Do?
As mentioned, OptinLinks takes a two-step approach to getting a sign up from a site visitor.
With OptinLinks, you can hide your optin form behind a call to action button, that when clicked by the visitor, displays that sign up form. This means the visitor chooses when to see the form and sign up, as opposed to being ambushed by an auto-loading optin popup window.
While popup forms do result in increased conversions when added to a website, they are unpopular. For every 10% of your audience that might sign up, there is another large portion that doesn’t give you their email address, and probably aren’t impressed by your tactics.
However, not only does OptinLinks two-step optin approach eliminate the use of auto-loading popups, they also get surprising results and even better conversion rates. Considering that the visitor has chosen to see your form and sign up incentive offer by clicking the call to action button, this isn’t too surprising.
How Does OptinLinks Work?
Once the plugin is installed on your site, you can quickly configure OptinLinks and start adding calls to actions to your site, that when clicked, display the optin form.
The plugin includes a quick start walkthrough of the setup process to help you get started. There is also a handy campaign wizard which helps you create your first campaign with OptinLinks.
Before getting started with the plugin, you can setup mailer integration. However, if you are yet to choose an email marketing service, you can let the plugin store the email addresses, and then export them via CSV, to be imported into an email newsletter service at a later date.
Thankfully OptinLinks works with all the major email newsletter services including AWeber, Infusionsoft, MailChimp, and GetResponse. The process for integrating the mailer service is painless and there are instructions for each of the supported options.
One feature of OptinLinks that isn’t seen with many other optin form plugins is that it allows you to sign visitors up to multiple lists. This could come in handy if you were offering a regular newsletter optin, and a list for news of a new product or service you were launching.
Through the setup you can also set a secure page for your campaign that can only be accessed once a visitor has submitted their email via your form. This page could include your lead magnet, such as a video, downloadable file, or premium content, or simply a thank you page.
Some OptinLinks users are using the combination of a button-activated sign up form, and the redirect feature, to add the optin form to external and affiliate links on their site. This means that whenever a visitor leaves a site via a certain link, they are presented with the sign up form.
The final step is to define how the form will be displayed once the user has clicked on the call to action button. The options which can be enabled or disabled for this step include:
- Select the form template
- Show optin form popup on the current page or on the target page
- Grant access to secure page only after double optin is completed
- Allow visitors to click ‘no thanks’ and still access secure page
- Do not redirect user to secure page
- Open secure page in new tab
When selecting the form template from the available selection of forms, you can preview them from this setup screen, saving you having to remember which form is which.
You also have the opportunity to create multiple forms for a single campaign. This is useful if you want to display different forms for the same email list, at different locations on your site. Each form gets its own OptinLink shortcode which makes inserting them into your content very easy.
Once you have created at least one form, you can click the ‘Create Campaign’ button to complete the process.
From the Campaign Management screen, you can view the existing campaigns on your site and their usage stats.
The Optin Forms
In order for an optin form plugin to be able to help increase your sign ups, the forms must be attractive and well designed. Currently OptinLinks includes six forms, and most of them look very professional, if not a little on the plain side.
However, with this plugin you have the ability to create your own custom forms so you are not limited by the initial selection on offer.
The builder doesn’t give you as many options as you might expect, such as adding a background image, or changing the fonts, but the simplicity of the process does make adding your own personality to the form very easy.
The form builder includes a live preview of your form so you can instantly see how your choices will look to your visitors.
Adding the Forms to your Site
Once you are ready to add the forms to your WordPress site, the process is again very straightforward. There are two main options for adding the form button: get the shortcode from the Campaigns page, or use the insert button on the WordPress editor.
If you chose the former option and use the standard shortcode, you can simply put some link text inside the shortcode to display the button link.
Alternatively, by clicking the newly added button on the post editor toolbar and using the shortcode generator, you can create an attractive button which will launch the form,
Once you’ve chosen from the options for the button, and then selected a form to be displayed when the button is clicked, the shortcode will be generated and you can preview the post to see your two-step opt-in process in action.
After adding the button to the post or page, clicking it will launch the optin form.
Then once the user enters their address, they will be taken to the secure thank you/download page.
As you can see, this plugin is easy to setup and configure and adding the buttons for the forms to your site is very straightforward.
Other Features of the OptinLinks Two-Step Opt-in Form Plugin
While the above highlights the core features of this plugin, there is a bit more to OptinLinks than just the forms and two-step optin buttons.
Here is a run-down of the most notable features of this sign up form plugin:
- Subscribe leads to multiple lists
- Double optin and confirm your leads in real time
- Fully responsive and mobile ready
- Live performance stats
- Send users to an external site after entering their address
- Revoke access to secure content on unsubscribe
- Add OptinLinks to images and sidebar content
- Manage OptinLinks on clients sites from your own site – even if they don’t use WordPress
As you can see, there are a lot of features on offer, which help to make OptinLinks a solid performer for anyone who wants to grow their email list with WordPress.
OptinLinks is available on three different pricing plans:
- OptinLinks Basic: $37
- OptinLinks Advanced: $47
- OptinLinks Professional: $67
You can see the full details of the three different options on the pricing page. However, these are heavily discounted prices which are expected to rise in the near future.
Using a two-step optin process is a relatively new way to display sign up forms on your site and thanks to the release of OptinLinks, any WordPress user can now use this approach on their site for an affordable one-time fee.
The two-step approach has been tried and tested by many high-traffic sites with great results including in Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income blog’s redesign where he saw his opt-ins per day increase by about 25%.
Previously the easiest way to add this type of optin form to your site was to use the LeadPages service, but now that OptinLinks is here, you can start using it on your site for a fraction of the price.
If you want to be an early adaptor and gain an advantage over all the other sites that are still using auto-loading popup optin forms, and find a way to overcome popup blindness in your visitors, then OptinLinks is an easy to use option that works really well.
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