In two recent and separate studies by Econsultancy and Gigaom, researchers found that email continues to rank as the number one marketing tactic in terms of effectiveness (56%) and Channel ROI (22%). This makes Elegant Themes’ recent release of their Bloom Email Optin Plugin that much sweeter.
As of March 2015, Bloom is available for download to all members of Elegant Themes and provides an attractive, simple and intuitive interface. But good looks alone are not enough. That’s why we’re also going to examine the features and functionality behind this Email Optin Plugin.
Overview of The Bloom Email Optin Plugin by Elegant Themes
Installing the Bloom plugin was as simple as uploading the small 1.3Mb zip file via the WordPress dashboard and clicking activate. With the Bloom admin menu now available, in the dashboard, getting started takes just a few clicks. Available menu options are as follows:
- Email Accounts
- Opt-In Forms
- Import & Export
- Configuration & Setup
- Email Accounts
Setting up your email accounts is simple and quick. It took less than 60 seconds to activate a MailChimp account and the process is similar for all the major list providers. Bloom provides an extensive list of compatibility options:
- Constant Contact
- Campaign Monitor
- Mad Mimi
- Get Response
Most impressive is the fact that this plugin is both Infusionsoft and Ontraport friendly. This makes it compatible with some serious marketing automation muscle. Have more than one email marketing account? No problem! Bloom even allows you to set up multiple accounts from different providers.
With the email account set up, it’s time to turn our attention to creating an opt-in form. Clicking the “New Optin” button brings up a list of display options. These options allow you to choose from any of the popular optin form formats that you’ll find around the web including:
- Below post
- Locked content
Clicking on the graphical representation of your form choice brings you to the set-up menu. Here, you pick a name for your form and select the appropriate email list details from convenient drop-down menus. Once you’ve selected your details you can begin the design process. Bloom makes this easy by providing an amazing selection of 115 templates to pick from.
Templates are extremely customizable right down to the text, a full selection of Google Fonts, border styles, colors and more. There is even an option for custom CSS for anyone who wants the ultimate in control.
With your design finalized it’s time to click “next” and move to the display settings. Here, you can fine-tune the when and how of your opt-in form. Again, Bloom offers an impressive degree of control when it comes to the display of your form. Animation, time delay, hiding on mobile and orientation are just a few of the over 30 potential options on the display settings page.
Once you’ve decided how you want your opt-in form to appear to the end-user, just click “Save and Exit” and you’re good to go.
Import & Export
If you’re running or managing multiple sites, the import/export feature allows to easily transfer settings through a .json file saving you time and energy.
What makes Bloom Email Optin Plugin great is that it provides features way beyond a simple optin form. If you are serious about your email marketing campaigns, Bloom probably has what you’re looking for:
- The ability to insert a form inline via the WordPress visual editor.
- The ability to target specific posts, pages, actions and time-based triggers with different forms.
- A/B split testing allows you to test the effectiveness of multiple versions of the same optin form.
- A stats panel allows you to see what’s working so you can make data-driven decisions instead of relying on a hunch.
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With the exception of one unexpected blank white screen during testing (which was corrected with a refresh) this plugin is stable, fast, intuitive and feature packed. All in all, it’s a pretty rare combination and the speed and ease of setup makes it that much better.
At $89 annually for access to this plugin plus everything else offered by Elegant Themes, it’s worth more than a second look.