Optin Skin Review – The Ultimate Email Subscription Conversion Machine?
Dare I say it? Why the hell not – the money is in the list. I know – it’s the oldest internet marketing cliche in the book, but at the same time, it is completely true. An email list is the only completely stable asset you can build for your WordPress blog. Your site can drop in the rankings, your social media efforts may not pan out, but that email list will always be there.
So I welcome the chance to review any plugin that claims to help you increase your email list subscription rate. An extra few subscribers a day can make a big difference over time. And this is where Optin Skin comes in. For a brief introduction to the plugin, here is a delightfully cheesy video:
When Optin Skin was released about a month ago, I decided not to jump on the bandwagon and throw up a review in double quick time. Instead I thought I would use my own blog as a testing ground.
So over the last few weeks I have been playing around with the plugin, and today I am happy to offer you my findings.
“8 Reasons This is the Most Important Plugin Your Blog is Missing”
The format of this review has essentially been pre-determined for me, as the developers of Optin Skin claim there are 8 reasons why the plugin is worth purchasing (at a cost of $47). I’m going to go through each one in turn to see how I well I think it fares.
1. Split Testing
This is one of Optin Skin’s better features. It allows you, with relative ease, to set up split testing of two different designs, and presents you with a table of each design’s respective conversion rate.
Some of the information presented is pretty useless (I’m not sure why I’d want to see how well a form converted on a particular day – I am only interested in the percentage conversion rate), but the important numbers are there for you to see.
If you are looking for a straightforward way of split testing different form designs, you could do a lot worse than this.
2. Customizable Designs
Optin Skin comes packaged with 18 different designs, each allowing extensive customizability. Whilst in principle this sounds rather attractive, I was not particularly enamored with the whole design selection/customization feature.
The different designs are presented with a slider that is slow to load and somewhat clumsy to select from. The plugin makes you click through these designs one by one. The designs are not separated or categorized by their type (i.e. sidebar or post footer form).
Although the customization options are pretty extensive, I would have liked an option for the form to match its parent div’s width. Instead, I had to continuously go back and forth between the design page and my blog, checking to see if the form was the right width. That becomes rather time consuming when you are split testing two designs, and have to hit refresh a few times to see your new changes.
Although I didn’t have time to test it to check its effectivity, I really like this feature. It is very simple – you have an option for your form to fade into view after a certain period of time. Instinctively I feel that this would bring more attention to your form and would therefore induce more signups, but that is pure speculation.
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4. Conversion Data
New-fangled ways of measuring conversion rates are only useful if they are widely adopted, and I feel this is one area where Optin Skin falls down. I use AWeber, which calculates conversion rates on the basis of whether or not a form is loaded. Meanwhile Optinskin only counts an impression when the form is actually displayed to a reader.
This means that the conversion rates will seem higher compared to my AWeber statistics, when in fact they may not be. It essentially made comparing my before and after conversion rates impossible.
5. Custom Designs
If the standard designs that come pre-packaged with Optinskin don’t take your fancy, you can always use your own. This ability to do this is a handy one, but to me this defeats a rather large part of the reason as to why you would buy this plugin. You’re paying $47 for a plugin and only using $27 worth of features.
6. One Click Placement
There’s no doubting the fact that Optin Skin is easy to implement. It is as simple as activating a widget or clicking a button. For those of us who are not technically proficient or simply want an easy solution, Optin Skin will have a form up and running for you in minutes.
Placing forms outside of your posts or widgetized areas is less straightforward, but that is to be expected.
7. Make Money
Optin Skin provides you with an option to add an affiliate link to your signup forms. I personally don’t much like this as a selling point – I think that any serious blogger is not going to want to distract his or her readers from signing up to their email list.
This is definitely one of Optin Skin’s best features. As previously mentioned, I use the AWeber service, and full integration was achieved with just a couple of clicks. For anyone who has spent an age creating different forms in AWeber then pasting the code into their site, Optin Skin is a godsend.
Is It Worth It?
I have been using a review copy of Optin Skin. If I want to continue using it, I would have to purchase it. I won’t be doing so.
However, that does not mean that you shouldn’t. I am personally not a fan of the default designs, and I didn’t see enough of an impact from split testing to justify shelling out $47. But then I have a relatively low-traffic blog that attracts only around 100 new subscribers per month. If you multiple blogs with a cumulatively high amount of traffic and want a straightforward solution, Optin Skin could be right up your alley.
And with a 60 day money back guarantee, you have nothing to lose by giving it a try. Purchase Optin Skin here.