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How We Increased Our Email Subscribers by 600% with OptinMonster

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on WPBeginner. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations. Learn more about Editorial Process.

Do you want to know how we increased our email subscribers at WPBeginner by 600%?

Over the years, we’ve tried numerous techniques to get more email subscribers. After trying several WordPress lead-generation plugins, our founder, Syed Balkhi, partnered with Thomas Griffin and decided to create a perfect solution that delivers results.

In this article, we will show you how we increased our email subscribers by 600% using OptinMonster.

Increase email subscribers with OptinMonster

Some of you would think that 600% growth probably meant that we weren’t getting many subscribers before. That’s not true.

On a daily basis, we would get around 70 – 80 new subscribers from the sidebar form, contact forms, and other landing pages on the site. By making one single change on the site, we increased our daily email signup rate to around 445 – 470 new subscribers per day.

That’s a 600% growth with the same amount of traffic that we were getting before.

So what changed? Well, we started using OptinMonster.

What Is OptinMonster?


OptinMonster is the best lead-generation plugin for WordPress, and over 1.2 million websites use the software to grow their email lists, increase sales, and get more leads.

And it’s not just limited to the small businesses either. Big companies like Patreon, McAfee, Pinterest, American Express, and many more use OptinMonster on their websites.

OptinMonster allows you to easily create and integrate highly effective optin forms on your website. It integrates with all major email service providers, and comes with powerful features such as drag and drop campaign builder, page-level targeting, A/B split testing, exit-intent technology, and more.

Using OptinMonster, we created a smart lightbox popup with an exit intent.

Wait, don’t all popups suck? Yes, most popups suck because they’re not done right.

What Is a Smart Lightbox Popup?

An average popup is usually opened in a separate window, normally when you visit a website or click on the screen. Those are freaking annoying as heck.

Then, there are the other lightbox popups that you probably see a lot of bloggers using. These boxes open within the same window, usually right when you visit the website. They are not as bad, but they can definitely annoy some users.

Then, there is a smart lightbox popup. An exit-intent smart lightbox popup is a targeted message that opens on a specific page right when the user is about to leave.

How Is That Not Annoying?

We ran a split test on WPBeginner to see how the lightbox popup affects our bounce rate and whether we get any user complaints.

The first thing we found was that the bounce rate on a page with an exit-intent lightbox was the exact same as the page without a lightbox. Second, we had absolutely zero user complaints. Last but not least, the number of new email subscribers we got with an exit-intent lightbox was significantly higher.

Exit-Intent Magic

The key reason behind these phenomenal results is exit-intent.

Why? Because the users who were going to leave your website will leave anyways. Using the exit-intent technology, we converted abandoning visitors into subscribers.

OptinMonster’s exit-intent technology tracks user’s mouse gestures and velocity as they browse through your website. This allows the plugin to detect the precise moment the user is about to leave and prompts them with a targeted campaign.

Exit intent example

Unlike other annoying exit popups, it does not prevent the user from leaving. They can close the window like they normally would.

However, this gives you new real estate, technically an extra pageview, to retain that visitor and potentially get them to subscribe to your email list.

Most visitors leave your WordPress website without subscribing, even when they like the content. That’s because they have a short attention span, and there is no clear call-to-action on most pages.

Now, if you make it easy for them to subscribe and give them a gentle reminder, then they’re much more likely to subscribe. If you offer them a free bonus, then that’s even better.

How to Use OptinMonster to Get Maximum Benefits

You’re probably thinking that it will be a complex setup. Well, it really isn’t. It took us less than 10 minutes to get this all set up.

The exit-intent technology is available in the OptinMonster Pro plan and other features like countdown timers, mobile campaigns, and integrations.

Don’t worry, as WPBeginner readers, you can use our OptinMonster Coupon and get 10% off.

Now, the first thing you need to do is install and activate the OptinMonster plugin on your website, as it acts as a connector between your site and OptinMonster. For more details, please see our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin.

Upon activation, the OptinMonster setup wizard will automatically launch. Go ahead and click the ‘New? Claim Your Free Account’ button.

Claim your account

After that, simply follow the onscreen instructions to set up OptinMonster on your website and create a free account.

Next, you can head over to OptinMonster » Campaigns from the WordPress dashboard and click the ‘Create Your First Campaign’ button.

Create your first campaign

Then, you’ll see different campaign types to choose from. To add an exit-intent popup, go ahead and select the ‘Popup’ campaign type.

For each campaign type, you also get multiple templates. Simply select one for your website and customize it. We used the ‘Case Study’ template for the popup on WPBeginner.

Choose a campaign type and template

On the next screen, you’ll see the drag-and-drop campaign builder.

You can select any element from the menu on your left and add it to the template.

Drag and drop builder

There is also an option to enable the ‘Yes/No’ view, which has proven to increase conversions by 18%.

To enable two-step, simply click the ‘Yes/No’ option next to Optin at the bottom. After that, go ahead and click the ‘Enable Yes/No for This Campaign’ button.

Drag and drop builder

Next, you can head to the ‘Display Rules’ tab and set the campaign conditions.

Let’s select ‘Exit Intent’ from the dropdown menu and choose which devices to display your lightbox popup on. You can add multiple rules and display your popups on selected pages and posts as well.

Plus, OptinMonster lets you choose the sensitivity of the exit intent technology. By default it will be set to ‘Medium’, but you can change it to ‘Low’ or ‘High’.

Setup exit intent rules

Besides that, OptinMonster offers actions for your campaigns. For instance, you can add effects, play sound, and show the campaign view based on optin or success.

After that, you can head over to the ‘Integrations’ tab. Then click the ‘+ Add New Integration’ button from the menu on your left and select your email marketing service from the dropdown menu.

Add new integration

Once you’re done, go to the ‘Publish’ tab at the top.

Now change the ‘Publish Status’ from Draft to Publish.

Publish your campaign

Don’t forget to click the ‘Save’ button to store your settings.

Here’s what the final exit-intent popup looks like on WPBeginner.

Simple popup example


This 10-minute setup resulted in close to 3200 new subscribers in one week. Just see the stats below:

Results from the popup

Note: Optins were not running site-wide. They were only on single posts.

We’re now working on creating targeted campaigns for specific pages, categories, and custom post types to build a hyper-targeted email list.

Final Thoughts

Yes, we hate popups just like everybody else, but this is different. When you create a targeted campaign and give users what they want, then they will happily subscribe. The data above is proof of that.

We didn’t get any extra traffic, nor did we do any special campaigns. We simply used OptinMonster to turn abandoning visitors into subscribers.

OptinMonster also has other optin types (footer bar and slide-ins) for those who don’t want to use the lightbox popup. More optin types are also in the works and will be released in the coming months.

If you want to get more email subscribers and improve your lead generation efforts in WordPress, then we highly recommend that you start using OptinMonster.

We hope this article helped you learn how we increased our email subscribers by 600%. You may also want to see our guide on how to add a gamified spin to win optin and how to use the psychology of popups to boost signups by 250%.

If you liked this article, then please subscribe to our YouTube Channel for WordPress video tutorials. You can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. See how WPBeginner is funded, why it matters, and how you can support us. Here's our editorial process.

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at WPBeginner is a team of WordPress experts led by Syed Balkhi with over 16 years of experience in WordPress, Web Hosting, eCommerce, SEO, and Marketing. Started in 2009, WPBeginner is now the largest free WordPress resource site in the industry and is often referred to as the Wikipedia for WordPress.

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Reader Interactions

115 CommentsLeave a Reply

  1. Syed Balkhi says

    Hey WPBeginner readers,
    Did you know you can win exciting prizes by commenting on WPBeginner?
    Every month, our top blog commenters will win HUGE rewards, including premium WordPress plugin licenses and cash prizes.
    You can get more details about the contest from here.
    Start sharing your thoughts below to stand a chance to win!

  2. Tony says

    Hey, I love the look of some of the optinmonster exits I have seen, I was wondering is there and option to link directly to the pop up (eg from an image on wordpress), I have leadpages and I do not really like the look of the popup.

  3. WPBeginner Staff says

    OM can accommodate additional fields only with custom HTML form option or Canvas. If you use the default integration, it will only work with 2 fields (Name / Email).

    You can use Canvas and integrate with Gravity Forms and add as many fields as you like (note you will have to customize the design yourself).

  4. Dance says

    Syed, my aweber form has an additional custom field. Can OM accommodate that field in the available forms within OM.

  5. Alexa Bloom says

    So this plugin sounds really good. I’m keen to try it. But I’m wondering if there is a comparable plugin to encourage site visitors to follow a twitter account in a similar fashion?

  6. Dee @ The Kitchen Snob says

    2 questions – Does OptinMonster work with Jetpack subscription service? And once someone subscribes, is there a way to make it so it never pops up for that IP address again? I’d hate if my subscribers got the same popup 30-90 days later (or whatever I set it to) when they’ve already subscribed. Thanks for the info.

  7. Katie Harp says

    That’s incredible. As much as I used to be opposed to lightboxes/any form of popup, I may have to do some testing after reading this.

  8. WPBeginner Staff says

    We tried multiple different ways of comment lead-gen, but none to very much success.

    – We added a checkbox below the comment submit button that was automatically checked “Subscribe to WPBeginner Weekly Newsletter”. This worked to an extent, but it confused users. We put a cookie setting in place, but people clear cookies, use different browsers, etc. Regular users started complaining that they had to uncheck the box every time they leave a comment because they’re already subscribed. Essentially it created a bad UX, and we don’t want that.

    – We changed the checkbox from auto-checked to giving users an option to check it. This had negligible optin rate compared to the amounts of comments we got.

    The reasons for switching to Disqus has been outlined in our article (which far outweighs the lead-gen benefits)

    P.S. I’m sure if you were to go 100% blackhat and optin everybody without their permissions, then comments would be huge lead-gen source… but we don’t believe in doing that.


  9. Nate Maingard says

    Interesting that you’re using Disqus for commenting, but it doesn’t allow for lead generation? Any reason you feel that using Disqus outweighs that potential lead source? I know it’s slightly off topic, but this is a post about increased lead generation :D

  10. abdullah says

    i need plugin which show popup up at the end of page saying (thanks you for reading the artical ) is there any pliugin which remove on scroll up with out disturbing the whole page .hlep me getting this.
    thanks in advance.

  11. Michael says


    I was wondering how OptinMonster compares to PopUp Domination?

    For instance, if I want to put an email collection form on my 1 site with the exit intent what benefit do I get paying $199 for the pro version of OptinMonster versus the $47 I’d pay for the standard version of PopUp Domination?

    I can’t see how a WYSIWYG customizer and some extra fonts is worth $152, so maybe there is something I’m missing?


    • WPBeginner Support says

      Speed // Code Quality is what makes us better. We also offer other add-on types such as Footer Bar, Slide-ins, Sidebar Optins, After Post Optins, and more to come. OptinMonster offers much better support as well.


  12. John Matras says

    When I saw the exit intent technology, I was really blown away. I can’t help thinking that you’d get a lot more buyers–more than enough to make up the reduced revenue per sale–with a lower price. Exit intent I’d buy, but I can’t afford that price.

  13. Sarah says

    Does this work on mobile devices since there is no mouse movement to detect?
    I usually browse the web from my iPad.


  14. Ankur says


    Thanks for your wonderful blog.

    I just wanted to know, how is your experience with normal popups (the ones that pop-up after ‘n’ seconds of page load) vs exit pop-ups? Which you found providing better conversions?

    • Editorial Staff says

      Hey Ankur,

      The popups that are triggered after X seconds can work as long as you can nail down the perfect time setting. So it’s not as simple as plug and play. You really have to test out the settings to get the best results. Whereas exit-intent is plug and play. A friend of mine recently tried exit-intent vs timed popup. The time popup for him didn’t convert as well when compared to exit-intent. My reasoning there was because he didn’t experiment with the time setting. I think you can get it right if you try hard enough, however exit-intent is just so much easier.



      • Ankur says

        For me, personally, the in-content targeted opt-in works best. Though I keep experimenting with the pop-ups, I don’t like their invasive nature.

        Also, a humble suggestion, you may want to have a ‘Subscribe to comments’ feature enabled in your blog. It becomes easy for the commentor to track responses on the comments made.

  15. Janine says

    Opt-in Cookie Duration for an email signup pop-up on a website home page… Does anyone know the recommended optimal cookie duration for an email signup pop-up? Is “30 days” the accepted time frame before an email signup pop-up is displayed again to a repeat visitor?

  16. Sascha says

    Wow great. I first saw your video in the interview with Jame Tardy.
    You really walk the talke. This optin form is a great idea. Actually I do not even get 1 subscriber from 200 visitors. I get only very few….

    So, but I am using Wysija for my Email Newsletter and I do not want to change it, as I am not so keen to changing it….

    Is it possible to use your Plugin with Wysija?
    If not, kindly implement that :p


  17. Junior says

    Hi, I use a delayed buy button in my video sales page. To avoid losing returning customers that don’t want to wait for the button show up, I’ve placed a pop with exit intent bringing the visitor to the text version of the sales page, which shows the buy button right away. This way at least returning visitors know that they have this possibility to reach buy button instead of waiting for the button loads below video. Then I’d like to know if there is a way to disable cookies on exit intent feature only for visitors who have closed the pop, and not for those who have already subscribed to the mailing list (and consequently accessed the buy button into the text version of the sales. Thanks!

  18. George says

    Although it seems that it will be annoying for some visitors, i really want to try it! I just need to know how the plugin will work without the exit intent. Can you describe it please?

  19. Rina says

    Hi guys,
    So the pop up webform that I just got before leaving your site is Optinmonster? It must really work becaue I just signed up!

      • Zeeshan says

        It is a wonderful plugin and the first time i noticed a Exit Intent technology on the blog. I signed up right away because i knew this blog is something special and it really is.

        I have a wordpress website with mailchimp mailing list, i will invest in this plugin very soon.

        Thanks for the knowledge.

    • Igor says

      Hello, I would like to promote the Optin Monster, but Shareasale is probably one of the worst afiiliate tracking software I’ve ever worked with)
      There is one called and it is much more flexible in terms of affiliate management from one side, and affiliate link tracking from another, and it is standalone, so you don’t depend on any external website…

  20. Michael says

    I have purchased the pro version of this plugin thinking I had full control over the pop-up. I want to include my own text, image and a link to another site in the exit intent pop-up.

    I can’t for the life of me work out how to do this with Optin Monster.

    Is it possible?

  21. Casey says

    Hey Guys~~ Loving this, I am seriously looking at adding this across my site portfolio. Quick question, does it allow people to sing up using either their facebook or twitter login??

    Thanks so much!! Just found your site last night and am loving the content!!

    Have an awesome day!


  22. Abhishek says

    So, I finally bought Optin Monster during the Cyber Monday sale. It cost me $130 for the Exit Intent version but it is totally worth it. In one month I got more than 650 email subscriber. Good work.

    • Mayank says

      As you said, you got 650 subscribers in a month, thats from how many visitors or pageviews

  23. Rick says

    Congrats on the launch Syed! I’m not a user but hope to be in the near future. By the way, your floating social bar plugin rocks!

  24. Charlotte says

    So is this OptinMonster a sign up service to allow visitors to directly subscribe to a blog, and will it automatically alert them once a new post is up?

  25. Enstine Muki says

    Impressive plugin. I’m interested in that it’s well optimized for global site performance. I’m surely going to grab a copy

  26. georgina lewis says

    I am wondering if I can use this product to popup a registrations / login screen to the wordpress site AND with the email registration into constant contact? or is it just an email subscription registration plugin

    • WPBeginner Support says

      Currently OptinMonster does not display a login or registration form for your WordPress site. However, it connects well with Constant Contact and can be used to boost your email subscriptions.


  27. Carissa Carr says

    How does this work with the site on mobile devices. I currently have the issue that my popup continues to follow the user to every single page and I have therefore had to disable it completely. Does this program fix or help my problem?

    • WPBeginner Support says

      OptinMonster focuses on providing a better user experience for your users. This is why currently OptinMonster’s lightbox popup only appears on devices with screen sizes larger than 700px. We are currently in the process of creating new mobile specific optins.

      OptinMonster offers you full control on how your lightbox popup appears. You can choose to display the popup only once, and set a cookie duration. The user will not see the lightbox popup until the cookie duration expires. You can also choose to display the lightbox popup on the second page.


  28. Igor Pisov says

    First of all would like to mention that you’re tracking all the outgoing links to Optinmonster, so I guess there is a certain partnership/deal behind this article, which is a great one, and the case study is a useful one. However, I personally think that popups are annoying, and are not a good long term investment. WPbeginner increased their subscriber base, because they provide valuable content, engagement, usefulness and they implemented this plugin in a smart way. It’s not only about asking politely the users to join your newsletter and provide smth. for free, it’s about understanding your users and providing them the data/value they need or are searching for. Keep up the good work (your Newsletter subscriber, who closed the popup :) )

    • Editorial Staff says

      Thank you so much for the comment Igor.

      We actually created OptinMonster as stated in the first paragraph.

      I entirely agree with your point about adding value. Without building content that adds value, no plugin or tool can help you get the subscribers (at least real ones anyway).

      However there are many business owners and bloggers who work tirelessly in creating quality content, but they don’t have the technical skills to add a clear call-to-action. For those folks, OptinMonster is perfect.

      P.S. Thanks for being a subscriber and keep up the good work at Tesla Themes :)



  29. James Torvin says

    Is this a shameless piece of self-promotion? I just checked and saw that the same person who registered also registered Hhhmmmm….

    If you own optinmonster why has the article been written as if you don’t? It looks good and will buy the enterprise package once this is cleared up. If it was self-promotion and you’re trying to hide it then I’m sure you readers wont be happy to know that your treating them as fools.

    Can we really trust any of the reviews on anymore?

    • Editorial Staff says

      Hi Erika,

      Yes we’re using this instead of Pippity. We built this mainly because we found all other solutions to be buggy and not meeting the feature requirements.


  30. Jackson says

    I just visited their site, and here’s what it said.

    Will OptinMonster work with

    No. The hosted platform is closed and you’re not allowed to install additional plugins, so you would not be able to install OptinMonster.
    See this chart: vs self-hosted

  31. Kerwin says


    This looks pretty cool. I will try it out and see what it does. I like your angle with the plugin.

  32. Angel Costa says

    I hate these lightbox newsletter plugins. They ARE annoying. Most people don’t mind because they go away with a click.

    Even HostGator is using this thing.

    • Kerwin says

      It’s all about your users Angel. I use them and 63% of my subscribers come from it and there is no significant difference between the unsubscribe rates.

  33. Dave Cearley says

    I actually don’t mind pop up boxes all that much, but it is irritating to get one when I’m already a subscriber. I don’t know if it’s possible, but it would be great if the pop up had a button that says I’m already a subscriber and could remember that fact. Some of my subscription deliver popups every time I visit, even whn I’m signed in!

    • Editorial Staff says

      Dave I see your point. Unfortunately the technology goes by cookies, so if an existing subscriber visits the site on a different browser or clears their cookies, then they will see the lightbox.

      The only way around it would be user registration and check if the user is logged in.



    • Editorial Staff says

      No this does not work with FeedBurner. Quite honestly, you should switch away because feedburner is not a real newsletter. Also we’ve heard reports from users that the email version is very inconsistent.


      • Krish says

        Can you suggest me good newsletter for cheap price? I would like to start with low budget and will increase later if I can attract more sign ups.

        Also, Can i convert the existing feedburner subscriber to newsletter?

  34. Ian Cleary says

    Hey Syed,

    I’ve tested this and it’s a great plugin.

    If you only want to use the exit intent option and you don’t want it to appear after 30 seconds, 60 seconds etc do you specify a really high value on ‘Optin loading delay’ option?


    • Editorial Staff says

      Thanks Ian. To answer your question:

      When you have exit-intent checked, it automatically overrides whatever setting you have in the optin delay. So it doesn’t matter what you have in there.



    • Editorial Staff says

      You can use it on as many sites as you like. The updates and support will only work for one site.

      Also the value you will get with the amount of new subscribers, you should be able to make that $49 back in no time.


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