Popups are annoying for a lot of people but unfortunately they’re a bit of a necessary evil. At the end of the day many people visiting your website may not be entirely interested in what you talk about other than the article they are reading, however you may be able to catch some of these people through the use of exit popups to squeeze just a little bit more engagement in the form of emails from your visitors.
There are a lot of popular popup plugins out there if you search exit popup on the WordPress plugin directory, however I wanted to do some research myself to see which ones I should use for this website and which ones I could recommend for other people.
Where’s the list?
Alright, with that said here is my roundup of the top five that I narrowed down the list to add how I evaluated them.
Summary of Results
|Features||Ease Of Use||Integrations||Analytics||Price (Cheapest package)|
|Opt-In Monster||Good||Fair||Good||Great||Free for 3 magnets, $30|
|ConvertFlow||Great||Good||Fair||Good||Free to 250 leads, $99|
|Optimonk⭐||Good||Good||Good||Good||Free up to 15k visitors, $29|
|Elementor Pro||Good||Fair||Fair||None||$99 per year|
|MailChimp||Fair||Good||Fair||Fair||Free up to 2500 subscribers,|
When looking for a popup plugin for this WordPress site in particular, I really wanted to find something that had a balance of these criterion below.
Any WordPress user will know that it’s quite annoying to have hundreds and thousands of plugins on your website. Each one represents a bit of a security risk, and it’s annoying to keep them all updated. So I’m really looking for a fully featured plugin here that I won’t need to add other plugins to to get full functionality.
Ease of Use
Another thing that really irks me about WordPress plugins is that a lot of them are really roughly made and hard to use. So I really wanted to find something here that was pretty simple to use, something like drag and drop.
Obviously because you wanna generate leads with this you want to make sure that it integrates with a lot of different marketing automation tools like Zapier or email marketing platforms. So having a good range of integrations was pretty important.
I probably don’t pay enough attention to this on lead magnets and so on as I should but having good analytics on the impression to click through rate and conversion rate on your exit popups is a pretty basic requirement.
This one is the big kahuna for a lot of people uhm I think we can all agree that we want to spend as little as possible but get the best value for our money even if some people reading this have some spare cash laying around for expensive tools.
Optinmonster seems to be the real major player here. I’ve seen them around for ages and they seem to be bundled with a lot of different packages like those from siteground when you set up your website. I actually thought why is this still around given the other options out there but ultimately for transparency this is the one that I went with. At least for now.
Basically it’s fairly easy to create a lot of different types of lead magnets including exit intent popups. It has a bunch of cool integrations and it also has very reasonable analytics that’s easy to view on your dashboard page.
Where it falls down for me though is the price. You can only get three widgets of any kind for free which is pretty limiting which is why I started looking at different types of popup tools.
Invert flow is one of the swankier tools out there and seems to be relatively newer compared to a lot of the other ones on this list. They seem to come out with a bang about three years ago from my memory and they were really different from other tools in that a lot of their stuff is reactive and multi step. What I mean by reactive is you can have the lead magnet information changed depending on what type of visitor they are or what information they have already provided you. By multi step I mean once people submit some information you can make it request more information.
What made it not a great choice for me is that the price is $99 per month if you want to generate more than 250 leads per month. That can be quite a steep jump if you’re looking to generate a high volume of leads per month from your exit popups and other different widgets so it’s easier in my mind to pick another full featured option that is more affordable and not move until you absolutely have to.
Optimonk is the main competitor too optinmonster, and they have some cool advantages over there more commonly known competitive. One major thing that stands out about opti monk is that they have extra information on how well the different widgets, in this case pop-ups, perform relative to or sourced from your peers information. This is quite useful to know whether or not the widget your building is going to roughly work and how you should measure its performance.
The other thing that really stands out about Optimonk is that it’s much easier to use than optinmonster. The design experience feels so much smoother and a lot easier to control than optinmonster but optinmonster isn’t that bad in comparison.
Ultimately the reason why I didn’t choose Optimonk was that it doesn’t have a button produced popup. This seems like a pretty basic widget to have and it’s not really related to exit popups but it was annoying to me that I couldn’t have a lead magnet that was an embedded form in the content or simply triggered by a button. I get the impression that this is because Optimonk wants to focus on ecommerce sellers in which case the other type of widgets won’t really need to be used.
It may seem like an obvious choice and I guess it is but elementor Pro is a really good option. If you don’t want to install another plug in just to get a pop up, and you don’t care about analytics, and you’re going to integrate with your ESP anyway, then elemental Pro is my recommendation.
You’re gonna probably want it for the design abilities anyway so you might as well save money and time.
5. MailChimp / Your ESP
MailChimp might sound like a really basic suggestion because everybody’s heard of MailChimp these days but again this is a recommendation based on practicality. You could replace MailChimp with basically any major ESP platform that you like to use because most of them are going to have a exit popup function.
What I’m really getting at here is that you may want to optimize for even less tools being used and variables between your website and your email platform. In which case it makes total sense just to use the exit popup feature from your existing email platform instead.
Here are two tools which I actually recommend people stay away from as I will explain in more detail below.
I had really high hopes for sumo because I really like Noah Kagan and AppSumo. But sadly this tool was really terrible. Basically, once I installed the plugin it seemed like everything was broken. I couldn’t connect it to Google tag manager, and I couldn’t manually install it, because you need to install a tag that didn’t actually work.
Some cold comfort perhaps is that I reached out to support and they were very quick to respond with some helpful advice but ultimately the whole experience could be off after I looked at the WordPress plugin reviews and they are total horror show.
HubSpot is probably a surprise for some people reading this. Also it is a really powerful tool and I really like using it myself and I have recommended it to other people. But, if you’re looking for an exit popup tool I would really suggest staying away from HubSpot because it is actually one of their weakest features.
You can’t implement multi-step forms, unlike some of the options above, and also it’s extremely expensive for what it is. You will want to have the marketing professional package which will start at 800 U.S. dollars per month, for a one or two year contract, before you can really get full value out of it. From that point of view, I can’t recommend this as a good place to look for an exit popup if you just simply want to load up your website with lead magnets.
In conclusion, I think Optimonk has the best balance of features, price integrations and ease of use. The only reason I’m not using it currently is as I mentioned, it doesn’t support inline lead collection widgets, which is pretty important for the type of content that I create. But if I just wanted exit popups and a few other things, event I would definitely go with Optimonk. The user experience is so much smoother and you get way more for what you pay, if anything at all, you could just use the free version.