In case you hadn't noticed, there's no shortage of tools out there for managing opt-in forms. Some of them are WordPress plug-ins... others are hosted software tools.
It can be pretty overwhelming, actually.
In addition to the usual opt-in form stuff we all expect, I think there's a growing demand for a more powerful kind of tool. One that works more closely with a marketing automation platform, helps enable more advanced segmentation, and perhaps even "talks" to your CRM to deliver more on-target calls to action.
That last point is an area I'm particular excited about. Executed properly, it will allow on-site segmentation and personalization. Consider this...
- Being able to customize CTAs on your site based on what you know about them in your CRM (for instance, displaying a CTA only to subscribers with a certain tag)
- Being able to easily enrich the data you know about your subscriber based on questions asked on your site
Most opt-in form builders are a one-way flow. They fill out a form, it sends the info to the CRM. And you're done. Most likely, if that same person comes back to your site, they'll see the same opt-in form all over again.
Being able to show/hide the form to different people is almost impossible with most tools. Thrive Leads can do it only using SmartLinks. Plus, Thrive Leads currently has no ability to react to data that is in your CRM and likely it never will.
It requires a TWO-WAY interaction of data to have your site CTAs react to the data in your CRM. And most tools cannot do that.
Two tools I have played around with that CAN do this are RightMessage and Convertflow. Both very powerful tools in their own. You can read my review and comparison of these two tools here.
ConvertBox is one that I'm definitely paying attention to.
We're in the early days of ConvertBox, but it is already quite powerful. Not only that, but the pricing is really, REALLY attractive right now. You can still buy ConvertBox with lifetime pricing. This means no recurring, monthly billing.
But, is ConvertBox a good solution? What are the missing features?
How does it compare to other tools?
Let's take a look...
Table Of Contents
- What Does ConvertBox Do?
- What Does ConvertBox Integrate With?
- Can You Run Multiple Sites Through One ConvertBox Account?
- How Does ConvertBox Compare To Other Leading Solutions?
- My ConvertBox Wish List
- The Lifetime Pricing For ConvertBox
- My Final Thoughts On ConvertBox
What Does ConvertBox Do?
ConvertBox is a hosted software option for building and managing your opt-in forms and calls to action. While it has a WordPress plug-in, the software is fully hosted just like OptinMonster, RightMessage, ConvertFlow and a host of others. The purpose of the plug-in is simply to assist integration.
Building CTAs and Opt-Ins
As of this writing, ConvertBox allows 4 form types:
- Sticky Bar
- Callout Modal (in the bottom corners)
- Center Modal (like a standard popup form)
- Full page take-over
It is important to note that as of this writing, ConvertBox does not provide embedded forms. That IS coming very soon and it is much needed. Until then, there is no way to use ConvertBox for forms within blog posts, in a sidebar, etc.
With the form types that we have, ConvertBox actually provides a lot of flexibility. Each form type has a number of starter templates to start with (or you can just start from scratch).
Any CTA can be customized using text, buttons, videos, images, custom forms, dividers, countdown timers, or even just raw HTML. The amount of customization is nice and easy to use. When I last looked at RightMessage, it was severely limited in the customization you could do, so ConvertBox totally blows it away in that department.
The ConvertBox editor is very intuitive. Drag and drop, basically. Not cluttered. If you want to edit anything, just click on it and you get properties contextually to edit. Things like text are edited right on the form in true WYSIWYG fashion.
I personally find the editor easier to use than ConvertFlow or even Thrive Architect (which is used by Thrive Leads). And the reason for that is simply because it is simpler and purpose-built. ConvertFlow has more options to customize, but the result is a more cluttered editor. And Thrive Architect is built to do a LOT more than opt-in forms, so while Thrive Leads gives you near infinite flexibility, it comes with more potential confusion. ConvertBox is just right.
Once you build a form, you show how (and where) it appears. You can control:
- The trigger (immediate display, exit intent, timed display, etc.)
- Duration (for setting how often they will see the same form). You can throttle any form to only show it a certain number of times per day
- The Location. You can show site-wide, select certain pages (using inclusion/exclusion URLs), or even overlay it over top third-party sites using a special link. If you are using the WordPress plug-in, you can also target specific WordPress categories/tags to decide where to show your CTA.
To make sure I don't gloss over a pretty cool feature, I will repeat...
You can display ConvertBox forms over top of third-party sites. For instance, you could have a link to a blog post on somebody else's site on social media. But, if you use your special trigger link from ConvertBox, it will show YOUR opt-in form over top THEIR website.
Cool, huh? 🙂
I should note that the security policies of some websites don't allow this to work. You would need to test out your link first to ensure it does what you expect it to do.
The targeting options is where you control WHO will see the form. It is in this section where ConvertBox differentiates from some other options such as Thrive Leads.
By default, your targeting would be for all visitors. So, as long as your display options qualify, it would appear to everybody.
If you select to target only specific visitors, it opens up a selection of rules to select who will see your form.
- Number of Visits. Are they brand new or are they a returning visitor?
- Device type. Basically, desktop or mobile.
- URL string keyword. This will allow you to only show the CTA form if the URL contains certain keywords. For instance, you could pass certain URL parameters and use them to trigger your ConvertBox.
- Referring website. Show different forms to people depending on where they came from. For instance, show a targeted CTA to people who came over from Facebook.
- Visitor Location. Geo-location.
- Visited Page. Show the form if that person has visited certain pages on your site. For instance, if they visited your pricing page, you can give them a CTA to see if they have any questions.
- Seen ConvertBox. This allows you to show the form only if they have seen other forms within ConvertBox. Allows you to work different forms against each other.
- Autoresponder Activity. Are they on your list already? Do they have certain tags on their profile?
That last option is pretty awesome. If the person has already filled out any of your forms, then ConvertBox is able to link them to their profile in your CRM. From then on, you can control CTAs based on tags on their profile. Numerous options become available this way:
- Showing different CTAs to people already on your list
- Giving upsell offers to your visitor traffic when they are already a customer
- Offering a paid offer to people who have already gotten the lead magnet
As cool as this is, it is important to note that it is still limited. Word is that they have some huge improvements to targeting criteria coming down the pike soon, but as of this writing, you have limits.
You can control your CTA using tags, but only ONE tag at a time. There is no ability to look for multiple tags or to apply any more than one single criteria from your CRM. It would be up to you to use the rules within your CRM to look at the criteria you want and then add/remove ONE certain tag to then use within ConvertBox.
You can give each ConvertBox a goal (i.e. visiting a thank you page, opting in, etc.). And once that goal has been accomplished, you can use it to control other forms or simply never show them this form ever again.
What Does ConvertBox Integrate With?
ConvertBox works with all the major email list providers. On the list now are:
You can also use custom HTML form to effectively make ConvertBox work with any system under the sun.
It also integrates with Google Analytics so that you can send metrics into your GA reports.
Can You Run Multiple Sites Through One ConvertBox Account?
You just add your site URL in your account. You will then get a dropdown box for your different sites and you can manage all your CTA forms for each site separately.
One thing to note is that the list of integrations is the same for multiple sites. For instance, if you go to create an optin form for site B, you will still see options to add it to the email list for site A. You CAN add multiple integrations, however. So, as long as you name your integrations differently, you won't get confused.
How Does ConvertBox Compare To Other Leading Solutions?
Well, let's take a look. Keep in mind, I'll give you the highlights here, not a point-by-point breakdown.
ConvertBox Vs Thrive Leads
Thrive Leads is very powerful and integrates deeply with WordPress. Since it uses Architect as the editor, it is nearly limitless in the amount of customization you can do with it.
Due to the deep integration with WordPress, Thrive is able to do more WP-specific targeting. For instance, you can target based on whether they are logged in or not. Currently, that cannot be done with ConvertBox. Right now, ConvertBox has integration with WordPress based on categories and tags, but nothing else.
I think ConvertBox is easier to use. The interface is less cluttery. Thrive Leads can get kinda complicated once you've built up a bunch of LeadBoxes and Lead Groups.
ConvertBox has a better, more modern interface. CB can group forms into groups, but the whole interface is just easier to understand.
For ConvertBox to fully dethrone Thrive Leads for me when it comes to usage with WordPress, it would need just a few things:
- Ability to target users based on logged-in status
- Ability to target certain post types
- Shortcodes in order to easily work with the coming embedded form type
- Maybe a widget for displaying a ConvertBox inside a blog sidebar
Right now, Thrive Leads has more power for a WordPress user. That said, you may not need those extra capabilities. And like I said, I think ConvertBox is just easier to use.
ConvertBox Vs OptinMonster
OptinMonster is further along in it's development cycle than ConvertBox so it does beat ConvertBox in most areas right now.
OptinMonster offers more form types. It has a much stronger integration with WordPress. OptinMonster can set beginning and end dates on campaigns, which is a cool feature.
There are some things ConvertBox does over top OptinMonster, however. Such as:
- Ability to target based on data in the CRM.
- Ability to instantly segment people on your list by them simply clicking a button
I should say, too, that ConvertBox is currently WAY more affordable than OptinMonster. If you look at it from that standpoint alone, ConvertBox offers way more bang for your buck.
ConvertBox Vs RightMessage
RightMessage's core value proposition is the ability to personalize CTAs based on the data in your CRM. It does a very good job at that. It is because I see ConvertBox doing the same thing that I think ConvertBox is aiming to be a solid competitor to RightMessage.
RightMessage also has the ability to easily segment your list using questions (aka RightAsk). The cool thing is... ConvertBox can do that as well. You can set up forms where just by them clicking a certain button, you can trigger automations in your CRM.
ConvertBox easily wipes the floor with RightMessage when it comes to customization. RightMessage remains VERY limited in this department and I have no idea why. It is like they are deciding for us that we must have the most simplistic opt-in forms ever. That just doesn't work for me and I vastly prefer the flexibility of ConvertBox.
But, let's be clear...
RightMessage has the visual workflows for controlling calls to action and, as of now, that feature is untouched by the competition. Also, you have easy metrics on all the segmentation data asked by RightAsk. While you can segment similarly with ConvertBox and send it to the CRM, you can't view it anywhere but your CRM.
So, RightMessage provides a much more holistic and global approach to managing your CTAs. It is quite good at that. It's just that when it comes to capabilities with each individual form, you are much more limited in what you can do with it.
ConvertBox Vs ConvertFlow
I actually think these two tools are the most alike. Don't get me wrong - ConvertFlow is way more powerful at the moment. It is further along in it's development so it is more capable. However, the way these two tools operate is closer. And I think, eventually, ConvertBox is going to be a close alternative to ConvertFlow.
ConvertFlow has quite a few things right now that ConvertBox does not, including:
- Ability to view and manage contacts and their activity right inside ConvertFlow
- Ability to create full landing pages (And customize what's on it based on the individual user)
- Currently much deeper integration with the CRM (not just one single tag)
- Ability to control lead flow based on lead stage, etc.
- Deeper integration with WordPress
- Ability to embed on site anywhere you want
ConvertFlow is a powerhouse.
Is there anything ConvertBox will do that ConvertFlow doesn't? Currently, I don't think so.
Obviously, however, ConvertFlow is quite a bit more expensive.
My ConvertBox Wish List
The things that I am currently waiting for with ConvertBox are:
- Embedded CTAs (hopefully with some support in the WordPress plug-in to make actually embedding those forms easier).
- Ability to have more developed logic for targeting. Perhaps And/Or logic.
- A deeper integration with my CRM so I can use more than one, single tag to control a CTA.
- A global exclusion list so I can control what URLs I never want to show a ConvertBox on so I don't have to specify the same exclusions every time.
The really great thing about ConvertBox is that these guys are hard at work. They are putting out updates with some respectable frequency. Sometimes, it is a smaller change (like a new integration), but sometimes it is a biggie.
Also, since I'm in the Facebook group for ConvertBox, I happen to know that my wishlist is on the way. I just need to wait a bit. 🙂
The Lifetime Pricing For ConvertBox
I am a lifetime member of ConvertBox. I have been for probably close to 2 years (maybe 3). In fact, I was a member before it was even called ConvertBox. It was just ConvertBAR and all it was capable of was sticky bars with much less capability.
When they switched to ConvertBox, I was grandfathered in. When they released the massive update to ConvertBox 2.0, I was grandfathered in. Every time they release a new upgrade, I get it automatically without paying anything else.
Right now, you can still become a lifetime member. That option will go away at some point. I can clearly see this tool heading toward being a pretty strong competitor with the likes of ConvertFlow and RightMessage - both of which charge a monthly recurring fee. The ability to lock ConvertBox in for life is pretty awesome.
Even if it doesn't do something yet that you want, you can lock in the lifetime pricing and you'll be in when the upgrade comes. The lifetime price gives you 10 sites, unlimited CTAs. There's no weird branding on the forms like some companies do. And it includes up to 250,000 views per month, which is likely to accommodate anybody reading this.
ConvertBox is one of the best investments I have made in my business. Bar none.
And one of these days, it is going to feel pretty awesome to have a lifetime account when others are paying a monthly, recurring fee. A hosted option like this with such aggressive development would usually be a monthly charge. A lifetime rate is quite an attractive option.
My Final Thoughts On ConvertBox
I am keeping a keen eye on the development of ConvertBox and I'm quite enthused about what I see.
I am currently using ConvertBox in some instances on this site, however I am not fully using it site-wide quite yet. I still use (and am a big fan of) Thrive Leads. Currently, I am running both ConvertBox and Thrive Leads side by side.
I can see a point, though, where I may fully switch over to ConvertBox and abandon Thrive Leads altogether. I would always use Thrive (since I love Architect and use it almost daily), but there are some capabilities that come with a solution like ConvertBox that would win me over completely.
Basically, once Convertbox introduces embedded forms (with the WP integration to go with it) as well as the ability to use more than one single tag in my CRM to control the forms, it would be a total no-brainer for me to 100% switch this site over to ConvertBox.
And I'll be happy to do it. It is a great system. Easy to use.
ConvertBox is great software with a bright future. The pricing is very favorable right now for early adopters. The tradeoff is that you're getting in a bit early and therefore there are some features you might wish it had that it currently doesn't.
But, I'm watching it come along (at a pretty good speed). And it's pretty awesome to see. 🙂
NOTE: Obviously, the links to ConvertBox on this page are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you choose to buy. But, I only recommend what I have used in my own business. That's my personal policy.