A website owner can hope to get various things from his visitors – likes, shares, retweets, followers, pins, stumbles, digs, etc. Among all these, there’s one thing that should be the primary goal for any website owner – getting more email subscribers.
It is a proven fact that email is the most effective marketing solution for any website. Email establishes a direct, uninterrupted communication channel between you and your visitor. It is highly likely that they have subscribed to your email list because they are interested in what you say.
Building an email list is easier said than done. You need to take care of so many things – create a optin form, connect the forms with email accounts, place the form in appropriate places, tweak the form to get the maximum output and so on.
Using a professional tool can take care of most of these things for you. Among all the available tools for this purpose, Bloom plugin by Elegant Themes is a popular choice.
Bloom Plugin Review
Bloom being the latest addition to their list is a powerful, flexible WordPress plugin lets you add custom optin forms in your website and have total control over the appearance, location and behavior of the forms.
In today’s tutorial, I will take an in-depth look into the plugin and explore what’s possible with it. Follow along and increase your email subscribers! For more tutorials, please click here.
Creating a New Optin With Bloom
Once you have installed and activated Bloom in your WordPress site, it will create a new menu item in your website dashboard – Bloom.
Go to Bloom -> Optin Forms from your site dashboard. Click the ‘NEW OPTIN‘ button. This will open a new window like the following –
The plugin comes with several optin styles. Let’s see what they are –
Pop Up – Pop-up optin forms are one of the most popular, useful and most used subscriptions form styles. It is possible to trigger the pop-up in various events like reaching the bottom of the post/page, time delay, after making a purchase or leaving a comment. You can choose from 10 different pop-up animation and six automatic triggers.
Fly-In – Fly-in optin forms are another excellent way of grabbing the visitor’s attention. You can choose to display this optin in various events like end of content, user inactivity, scrolling to a particular part of the page, commenting, purchasing, etc. The form could be displayed on the left or right side of the browser. You can also choose any of the ten fly-in animations.
Below Post – This is another very common and widely used optin style. As the name suggests, this optin style will display the form at the end of the posts and pages.
Inline – If you want to display the optin form inside of your content, this style is the perfect choice for you. It is possible to place the form anywhere by using the custom shortcodes. You can also use as many optin forms as you need.
Locked Content –
This optin style lets you lock any content unless the visitor signs up to your subscriber list. This is an excellent way to increase the size of your email list. However, make sure that the content you are locking is interesting and provide real value. Otherwise, you may lose the visitor forever.
Widget – This is another common practice for optin forms. This style lets you show the form in the sidebar, footer or any other digitized area of your website. Bloom also comes with a custom widget for displaying the optin form(s).
Setting up the Optin
Once you have chosen a display style for your optin, the next step is to set it up. In this step, you can provide a custom name for the optin. You will also have to choose an email provider. Otherwise, the optin will not become active.
Bloom supports all the popular email providers including MailChimp, AWeber, iContact, GetResponse, Constant Contact and Mad Mini. The setup process varies depending on your email provider. I personally recommend MadMimi because it is the same we use at WPDean.com
Once you have connected your email provider, you will be able to choose which email list you want to use for the optin.
Customizing the Optin
Bloom comes with more than 100 differently styled templates for using in the optin forms. While these templates are provided with their designs, you can customize almost everything on your form.
Besides customizing the heading and description of the form, it is also possible to choose the alignment and loading animation of the image. You can also elect to hide the picture from mobile visitors.
You can choose separate fonts for the header and body of the optin. It is also possible to set a background color, use custom borders and custom corner style.
The actual form could be placed on the left, right or bottom side of the optin. You can choose to display single name, first + last name or no name for the form. There are also options to customize the email and button texts.
You will find separate options to choose the form background color, form text color, button color, button text color etc. There are six different styles for the form edge; you are free to choose any of them for your optin.
The ‘Form Footer Text‘ field lets you provide custom text for the footer section. The ‘Success Message Text‘ allows you to customize the text displayed once a visitor subscribes to your mailing list. And if you want to apply custom styling, you can use the ‘Custom CSS’ field.
The Display Options
Bloom comes with a host of different display options for your optins. First of all, you can choose the intro animation for your optin. Available options include Fade In, Slide Right/Up/Down, Light Speed, Zoom In, Flip, Bounce, Swing, and Tada.
The display parameters could be set from the screen options page. It is possible to use one or more display trigger at the same time. If you choose ‘Trigger After Time Delay’ or ‘Trigger After Inactivity’, you can define the period for the triggers.
Similarly, choosing ‘Trigger After Scrolling’ will let you choose the percentage of the page when the optin should be displayed. Additionally, you can elect to show the optin only once per session and hide it in mobile devices.
You can choose to display the optin in the whole site, the home page, archives, categories, tags, posts or pages.
It is possible to select all or some of them. If you select categories, you can also select the specific categories for displaying the optin. A useful checkbox lets you add the new categories created in the future automatically.
However, if you want to display the optin form in selected posts/pages only, you will find the ‘Display on these pages’ and ‘Display on these posts’ options useful. And if you want the optin to be never displayed in some posts, you can specify the posts from the ‘Do not display on these posts’ option.
To view a list of all the optins, go to Bloom -> Optin Forms. Each optin will be accompanied by the impression count, conversions and the conversion rate. At the end of the page, the total number of impression count, conversions and the conversion rate of all of your optins.
There will also be separate options for A/B testing, make inactive, duplicate, edit optin and delete optin. Any optin could be paused by clicking the respective inactive link.
The A/B testing features will be very helpful in maximizing your conversion rate. You can add an unlimited number of variants of any optin. The plugin lets you test and pick a winner based on the performance automatically.
For the ‘Inline‘ and ‘Locked Content‘ optins, there will also be a separate shortcode field. You have to use the shortcodes to apply the optin in your chosen posts/pages.
Besides the regular optin designing and displaying, Bloom comes with several other useful features too. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Multiple Email Accounts
Bloom lets you add an unlimited number of email marketing accounts. It is also possible to add multiple accounts of the same email provider. You can view all your accounts in the Bloom -> Email Accounts page. The accounts will be categorized by the email providers.
Each account will be accompanied by its email lists and the number of subscribers and growth rate for each list. When building a new optin form, you can choose any of these accounts or connect to new accounts.
Without accurate figures and numbers, it is very hard to find out how your optins are performing. You also need the statistics to update and improve your opt-in forms. And Bloom comes with all the necessary statistics about your optin forms.
Go to Bloom -> Statistics to get all the relevant data about your optin forms.
What if you want to use your optins on any other website? Or maybe you just want to keep a backup of your excellent optin forms, which took hours to design and refine. You can easily export your Bloom data as a .json file from the Bloom -> Export & Import page.
It is also possible to import Bloom data from any other website. Just upload the .json file which is exported from the other website and you can get all the designs, customization, and other data within a few minutes.
If you have read the whole post, I believe you will agree that Bloom comes with all the necessary options for getting the most out of your optin forms. Besides the features discussed here, there are lots of other features too.
I am interested to know your opinion about this optin plugin. Which feature(s) of Bloom do you like the most? Is there any feature missing? Let me know in the comments.