As the blogosphere continues to grow and change, one thing remains the same: the money is in the list.
Every blogger or website owner knows how important it is to build an email list, and your email opt-in box represents the beginning of this process. Today I want to review a plugin that focuses on that first step.
Bloom is an email opt-in plugin from Elegant Themes. It focuses on simplicity, a quality user experience and extraordinary usefulness, and as such, stands out from the rest of the email opt-in plugin marketplace. This WordPress plugin will help you build your email list – no doubt about it.
With that said, let’s take a closer look!
What Is Bloom?
Bloom is an opt-in form plugin that enables you to create and display beautiful email opt-in forms on your website. Once the user enters their email address (and any other relevant contact information), that information is sent to your email marketing service of choice.
The importance of building an email list cannot be understated. Having an email list will enable you to keep in touch with current readers and prospective customers by the most intimate of online means (email), and bring them back to your website on a long term basis. Relationship building is crucial to success online, and Bloom will make it easier for you to deepen these relationships.
With a large number of email opt-in form providers on the market, it can be hard to choose the right plugin. I’m going to make it easy on you by focusing on what sets Bloom apart and makes it – in my opinion – the current leader of the pack.
Six Email Opt-in Form Types
Bloom offers six different types of opt-in forms for just about every location on your website.
- Pop up: this opt-in box jumps out at your visitors and appears over whatever is currently on the page. Usually these are intrusive, but they convert very highly.
- Fly in: these are similar to pop-ups, but are less intrusive. They only pop-up in the bottom corner of the screen.
- Below post: this opt-in box sits below the blog posts on your website. Anecdotally speaking, once a user finishes reading your post, they’re more likely to subscribe.
- In line: these opt-ins have a fixed place within your content. They can be useful on landing pages, long-form articles and blog posts.
- Content locker: this allows you to create a premium content section. Users exchange their email address for access to the content.
- Widget: this enables you to place an opt-in in the widget sections of your website. Usually, a sidebar or footer area.
The wide variety of options above enables you to test different styles and placements until you find the perfect combination with the highest conversion rates.
Endless Customization Options
Building a beautiful form doesn’t have to be difficult. Bloom comes equipped with endless options to help you create a one-of-a-kind opt-in box.
After you choose the form type, you’ll be able to customize your form with pre-built design options and easy-to-customize templates.
Bloom has 115 pre-made design templates for you to choose from. You can either use these as they are, or customize them to your own liking. You can even create an entire form from scratch, customizing every setting and aspect of the form’s appearance.
The built-in settings you can manipulate include: changing the title, image and form description, text color, background color, border style and width, and much more. Take a look at the gallery of current Bloom opt-in forms for inspiration on how to customize your form.
The only real limits for form customization are your own creativity.
Timing Triggers and Display Settings
Once you’ve designed a beautiful form, you’ll need to define how your form is going to be displayed across your site. Bloom’s method for choosing when and where to display your form are called “triggers”. These are events that a user will take which will actually cause a form to appear.
Bloom truly excels in this area by making the process of setting up triggers easy and intuitive.
The triggers you can customize to your liking are:
- After a certain period of inactivity
- After a certain amount of time spent on the page
- After purchasing something
- After making a comment
- After reaching a certain point in your post
- After reaching the bottom of the page
One missing trigger is not being able to set a trigger based upon exit intent. Many other opt-in form plugins have this feature.
However, with triggers in Bloom, you’re able to stack them in a way so you can mimic when a user is about to leave your website. For example, you could set the parameters for when a user has been on your site for over five minutes and when they reach the bottom of a post. These acting in unison get very close to a user who intends leave your site.
Bloom allows you to restrict the usage of pop-up opt-in forms based upon the length of time a user has been on the site. This can be beneficial (i.e. so you don’t turn off regular visitors by annoying them with pop-ups).
Beyond how your forms are displayed, you can choose where they are displayed too. You can choose to have certain forms displayed based on certain categories, or even post types.
Setting up the trigger and display settings should take no more than a couple of minutes.
Built-In Split Testing
Bloom comes with integrated split-testing abilities. The only true way to increase your conversion rates is to continually test, tweak and improve.
Setting up an A/B testing campaign is easy. Within the WordPress Dashboard, navigate to Bloom > Options > Opt-in Forms and click on A/B Testing.
This will create another version of your current opt-in form that you can make small changes to. When testing a certain element of your landing page, make sure you only change one element at a time.
Once you’re happy with your changes click Start Test, and Bloom will display the two different versions of the opt-in box equally. Once you’ve ran the test long enough to gather data to make a decision, all you have to do is click End & Pick, and choose the winning opt-in form.
Bloom finally makes an intuitive solution to the previously complex process of split-testing.
Easy Email Marketing Integration
Bloom integrates easily with all of the top email marketing solutions on the market. All you have to do is select the correct email marketing service from the list, then enter your account name and API information.
If you manage multiple lists, you can integrate the plugin with multiple accounts as well.
Bloom also supports a custom HTML form, for those who aren’t using a service from the drop-down menu.
Once you have one or more forms set up, you can view analytical data to see how each one is performing. Their robust stats platform helps you track your best and worst performing opt-ins, so you can make an educated decision about what to keep and what to cut from your website.
The statistics dashboard gives you real-time updates to how each form is performing, your overall growth statistics, your highest performing pages, and a graph showing how your list has grown.
These stats are rather artfully presented and easy to read. There’s need to spend hours pouring over confusing data; Bloom has simplified the process for you.
The Bloom plugin is a very impressive opt-in form builder plugin. It’s packed with features, design templates, helpful analytics and easy testing, plus it has a very intuitive interface and design. Interacting with Bloom on the backend is an all-around enjoyable experience.
You can clearly tell that the folks over at Elegant Themes put a great deal of thought into Bloom’s interface. Usually, when a plugin has tons of customization features it’s easy to get confused or overwhelmed. Not so with Bloom. This plugin presents every step in the simplest manner possible. Best of all, every step felt necessary.
Bloom solves the problem of which style of opt-in box to choose for your website. It is a very flexible plugin and caters to every style of website owner. And if you feel like popups are too intrusive, there are less intense options for you to choose from.
Built-in A/B testing and statistics reporting makes it really easy to see what’s working. Usually, you had to run multiple plugins to get that information; now all it takes is one.
If there’s anything lacking about Bloom it would have to be the inability to choose an exit intent trigger. However, as was shown above, this can be compensated for.
If you’re looking for an opt-in form builder that’s easy to use and will provide you with endless customization options, give Bloom a go. It’s one of the (if not the) best opt-in form builders on the market for a reason.
Don’t forget to use the ElegantThemes coupon to get an exclusive 20% off discount.
Have any experience using Bloom? Share in the comments below.