It seems like setting up and managing email opt-in forms on websites has always been overly complicated and frustrating. When I found OptinMonster I was somewhat delighted, though it still lacked important features I needed. Then I found ConvertBox and my lead-gen life changed forever.
I personally use Drip as my email marketing provider. While they offer the ability to create forms for collecting opt-ins, the feature set is severely limited.
It’s so bad that I don’t use a single opt-in form created through Drip. I bypass that part of the system altogether.
If you want to do anything other than the basics, you’re SOL.
This makes perfect sense, actually. Email marketing software typically focuses on the ins and outs of email broadcasts, automations, tagging, sequencing, deliverability, and so on. They’re not really in the business of advanced lead generation & lead capture (though they should be and one day will be, I’m sure).
This is exactly why “opt-in bridges” like OptinMonster and ConvertBox even exist. People noticed that the form builders inside of the various email marketing platforms were significantly underwhelming and decided to create specialized software dedicated to the lead capture side of online marketing.
if you’re not sure what I mean when I talk about going beyond the basics of lead capture, don’t worry, I’m going to lay it all out for you (you’ll probably even pick up some new strategies to test). And yes, this goes *way* beyond making forms look a certain way.
OptinMonster is the Established Brand. ConvertBox is the New Kid on the Block.
OptinMonster has been around for a very long time and I’ve used them for many years. They’re a solid option, for sure.
There are two things that turned me off to OptinMonster, though.
- A slow feature release schedule.
- Their latest big feature release, which coincided with a big price increase, missed the mark.
Look, opt-in technology and opt-in strategy changes rapidly, like everything on the internet. This is why email marketing providers can’t seem to keep up.
Well, specialized opt-in software like OptinMonster is *supposed* to keep up. That’s the whole point – they’re supposed to be 100% focused on the latest techniques and dev for those.
Honestly, the team at OptinMonster haven’t done their job.
I was excited to hear about the latest big “feature release” from OptinMonster but my excitement turned to disappointment once the features arrived and I realized that the team at OptinMonster had dropped the ball.
As it just so happened, I found ConvertBox right before that happened, grabbed the amazing lifetime license deal, and then waited to see what OptinMonster was going to bring to the table.
As soon as I realized the OptinMonster release was a flop, I jumped ship.
ConvertBox is the new kid on the block. In fact, it’s still in a private pilot program. Yet it already does things that OptinMonster should have been doing for years now and that’s why I made the decision I made.
TLDR; ConvertBox Has More Features Than OptinMonster & Everything is Easier
If you’re the “too long, didn’t read” kind of person who just wants to know the conclusion of why I switched, then here it is…
ConvertBox does more things, does them better, makes everything easier, and has a much better roadmap for future development.
Oh, and if you get ConvertBox before the private pilot program ends you can get a lifetime license for use on up to 10 sites and never have to pay again. That’s pretty enticing, too!
At this point in the game, that lifetime ConvertBox license deal would pay for itself in less than 90 days over going with the top monthly option for OptinMonster. It’s an absolute steal.
Here’s a tutorial video I did so you can watch over my shoulder as I build a 2-step opt-in form in Convertbox and integrate it with one of my sites…
The Specifics: What Does ConvertBox Do that OptinMonster Doesn’t?
Alright, you’re probably dying for specifics so let’s get to them.
And yes, as new features are added to both platforms I will continue to update this article. Full disclosure, though, I will not be renewing my annual membership for OptinMonster when it ends so I won’t be able to report “from the inside” after my license expires.
Deep Integration with Your Email Marketing Software
The entire point of using a robust email marketing solution is to deliver the right messages to the right people at the right time.
Unfortunately, as soon as your subscriber leaves an email and lands on your website you completely lose control with most systems because there’s no real integration between your site and your email marketing database.
By using ConvertBox to control your opt-ins, offers, and on-site messaging you can create the deepest integration possible.
When setting up a ConvertBox you can easily ask ConvertBox to check your email marketing software (assuming you’re using one of the numerous popular email marketing systems) for subscriber data and then show messages and offers based on data you already have about a contact (yep, ConvertBox is much more than just opt-in software).
With ConvertBox you can deliver the right message to the right person at the right time inside of emails *and* on your website.
This is the biggest difference by far and the most important difference by far.
This one feature alone will skyrocket your email marketing conversion rates and is necessary for having a healthy, engaged, and highly profitable email list.
Audience segmentation is a core marketing strategy, which is why it’s always miffed me that email marketing systems and opt-in solutions like OptinMonster have never paid any real attention to it in terms of collecting new leads.
Let’s use me as an example. When a visitor comes to my site, I want to know which of three categories they fit into (these categories align with their journey in online business):
- “I haven’t launched anything yet.”
- “I’m making less than $5k each month.”
- “I’m making more than $5k each month.”
You need different advice and different resources based on where you are in the journey and in order to deliver exactly what you need I need to know where you’re at.
“Send the right message to the right people at the right time,” remember?
OptinMonster has been around forever and they still haven’t figured out the immense importance of collecting segmentation data at the point of opt-in.
ConvertBox emerges on the scene and it’s one of the first features they prioritize. That tells me everything I need to know.
Triggering a Convertbox on an External Link
Do you share content or promotions with your audience? ConvertBox lets you easily add a call-to-action on any link you share to drive traffic, build lists, promote products and much more!
Yep, that’s right. You can collect email leads on other people’s websites when you’re redirecting traffic.
Four Specific Modal Triggers
ConvertBox has four specific ways to trigger or hide an opt-in, message, or offer that OptinMonster does not have.
- Autoresponder Tag/List – The ability to trigger or hide a specific ConvertBox based on tags and list segmentation inside your email marketing software.
- UTM Keywords – The ability to trigger or hide a specific ConvertBox based on UTM codes in the URL (these are tracking codes you can easily add to any URL – usually used for Google Analytics).
- ConvertBox Activity – The ability to trigger or hide a specific ConvertBox based on how a user has interacted with other ConvertBox campaigns.
- Goal Achieved – Every “campaign” (a group of ConvertBoxes) can have a goal and you can trigger or hide opt-ins based on whether or not a visitor has achieved a goal.
#1 alone is worth the switch, IMO. This level of integration with your email marketing responder is critical.
Multiple Integrations of the Same Type
Last but not least (this is another big one for some people, actually), ConvertBox brilliantly gives you the option of installing the same integration type more than once.
For example, I can integrate multiple Drip accounts. Or multiple Convertkit accounts.
Why is this important? Because some of us manage multiple brands.
If you manage more than one website then it’s plausible (read: likely) that you also operate more than one email marketing account. For example, you might have a separate Convertkit account for each website.
With OptinMonster, you’re shit out of luck in this regard. They allow you to manage multiple websites but only allow for one integration of each type (makes zero sense, y’all!).
ConvertBox doesn’t have these nonsensical limitations. Integrate to your heart’s desire!
The Specifics: What Does ConvertBox Do Better Than OptinMonster?
Additional functionality is not where the differences between OptinMonster and ConvertBox end.
Even when it comes to identical functionality, ConvertBox does everything better. And by “better” I mostly mean “simpler and faster.”
Setting Up Timer Campaigns is Faster & Easier
Want to add a timer campaign to your ConvertBox? You’ll have one completely setup and running in just a few clicks.
In OptinMonster, there are more buttons to click and more decisions to make and the end result isn’t any better than with ConvertBox. It’s basic UX stuff that the established player shouldn’t be losing at.
Site Management is Easier & More Robust
If you want to manage opt-ins, on-site messages, and offers on multiple websites (as I do), you need a system that:
- Allows you to manage multiple sites in the first place.
- Allows you to quickly switch between sites.
OptinMonster and ConvertBox both let you manage multiple websites. ConvertBox allows you to install and manage unlimited sites with their current lifetime agency license (only $95 more than the regular lifetime license).
OptinMonster has limitations on how many sites you can manage. And get this: if you were to try and match ConvertBox’s site management features you’d have to pay for the $999/mo OptinMonster plan. Absurd!
ConvertBox is also cleaner and simpler in this area. When you choose a site to manage, you only see the opt-ins from that site. In OptinMonster you get one dashboard with all your sites listed and the campaigns listed below them. There’s lots of scrolling and lots of overwhelm as you create more and more campaigns.
In ConvertBox, you can also move a ConvertBox from one site to another if you’d like. Pretty cool.
The Analytics Are Built In
When I first setup my OptinMonster account I was miffed at the analytics integration.
OptinMonster doesn’t use a built-in analytics system. Instead, they have some sort of integration with Google Analytics.
While the stats are pulled into the OptinMonster dashboard (you don’t have to view them in Google Analytics), it adds extra steps to the setup process.
Also, you have to choose your Analytics account for every single opt-in you create. It’s an extra, and tedious, step for no reason.
ConvertBox does it the way it should be done – native stats and no messing around.
All the Little Stuff is Way Faster & Simpler
What kind of stuff?
- Adding and editing fields to a ConvertBox.
- Making your ConvertBox look more personalized.
- Integrating each ConvertBox with your email marketing software and setting up tagging and sequencing.
- Triggering a ConvertBox from a link (it’s a pain in the ass in OptinMonster and an absolute breeze in ConvertBox).
- Setting display rules and targeting.
I’ve also clocked myself when making opt-in forms in both systems and I can make a new opt-in box in ConvertBox in about 1/3 the time.
Is There Anything OptinMonster Does Better?
I’m not trying to dog on OptinMonster here at all. When I say they’re not as good, I’m just being honest.
In the interest of being as objective as possible, though, I want to make sure to point out the one area where OptinMonster wins out: customization with regard to the aesthetics.
OptinMonster allows you to change all the colors, font styles, etc to create certain looks. They have animations and a whole bunch of jazz.
ConvertBox has told me very clearly that all this stuff is coming very soon (and will be even better) but honestly it’s not even that important. ConvertBox forms look great out of the gate and all the extra customization potential inside of OptinMonster only means you end up spending 10x longer tinkering with stuff that really doesn’t matter.
My Plain Jane ConvertBox forms are converting even better than my Fancy Nancy OptinMonster campaigns were converting. Such is the nature of marketing. Keep it simple, stupid.
How Can I Get ConvertBox?
As I mentioned, ConvertBox is currently only available through a private pilot program. This is good because having too many users at this stage of the game would clog up their support team and overload their system when what they really need to be focusing on is development and product quality.
The private pilot program is very simple – the only way you can sign up is through another ConvertBox user (like me). By limiting signups in this way, they can better control the influx of new customers.
The benefit to you is that you get to take advantage of a sweet lifetime license deal. Soon, they’ll release ConvertBox to the general public on a monthly fee. If you get the lifetime license now, you’ll never pay the monthly fee.
Simple as that.
(Get it before they switch to monthly pricing or you’re going to hate yourself).
Was This Helpful?
Hopefully this breakdown was helpful for you in making your decision.
If there’s anything I didn’t cover that you need to know, drop a comment. I’ll be responding to each and every question – I can even do screencasts to show you how ConvertBox can accomplish what you’re hoping to accomplish.
Kevin Michael Geary is the founder of Digital Ambition. After building three successful online businesses in three separate niches in less than five years, he turned his attention toward helping men and women all over the world start an online lifestyle business so they can escape the rat race, make an impact, and live life without limitations.