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About a year ago, I switched from Thrive Leads to Bloom for email list building. My focus had changed slightly, and I no longer needed the robust capabilities of Thrive Leads. I compared Thrive Leads to Bloom in this post. I switched to Bloom because I had always been a fan and felt it could meet my requirements, for instance, the ability to create appealing opt-in forms with ease. Also, Bloom is affordable and delivers value for money, which I like. In this post, I’ll share my thoughts regarding Bloom and whether the plugin can help you achieve your goals.
What Is Bloom?
Bloom is a premium WordPress plugin developed by Elegant Themes. Elegant Themes has been around for ten years plus. It’s an established player in the WordPress community, and its blog features insightful content regarding WordPress, website design, development, and management. It offers 80+ themes and three plugins including Bloom and Monarch, a social media sharing plugin. Its flagship product is Divi, a visual drag and drop page builder.
After you sign up for Elegant Themes, you can download Bloom from the members’ area. To install Bloom on your WordPress panel, you would hover over “Plugins,” click add new, upload plugin, choose file, and install now. You must add your Elegant Themes username and API key to enable the plugin and connectivity.
The factors I assess for an opt-in form or lead generation service include:
- Dashboard and user-friendliness
- Types of forms and templates
- Customization and design options
- Display settings and triggers
- Analytics and reporting
- User support
Dashboard & User-Friendliness
Bloom’s panel and dashboard are effortless to navigate. The dashboard features a sleek, minimalistic flat design with warm colors. You can import and export data from one site to another. Forms are easy to create with a click and drop-down menu interface making it not only versatile but smooth.
Types of Forms & Templates
Three to five types of forms are what you get with many opt-in plugins, but Bloom has six kinds and over 100 templates in several different styles and colors.
- Standard popup: a form that pops up in the middle of a screen
- Fly-In: a form that pops up from the right, left, or center
- Inline: a form that is nestled in your content
- End of the page: a form that appears at the bottom of a page/post
- Widget: a form that appears in a widget
- Content lock: a form that requires users to subscribe to access content
Bloom’s portfolio of opt-in forms is above average, but it’s missing a couple of options, i.e., top/bottom bar and scroll mat. However, top bar and scroll mat load above the fold so they tend to increase page load times, which can hurt search engine rankings. If you desire those two forms, Thrive Leads has them plus a few more.
Customization & Design Options
Customization settings are critical to stand out from forms used on other websites. Bloom has plenty of design options to make your forms unique. One drawback is you can’t create forms without opt-in fields, which could be useful for making announcements and other activities. Customization settings include:
- Choose field and form orientations
- Add an image to your form, choose its placement, and how it loads, for example, fade in or bounce
- Set the background color, text color, and font
- Choose round or square corners for your forms
- Choose from seven border styles like full, top, right border, etc.
- Choose from five edge stylings
- Add custom CSS to make your forms original
Display Settings & Triggers
Display settings and triggers enable you to select when and where your forms will appear, for example, a form will pop up when your visitor has reached the end of a page. Bloom offers various settings and page-targeting options including:
- Trigger after scrolling
- Trigger on click
- Trigger after inactivity
- Trigger after commenting
- Trigger after purchase
- Choose how often a form displays per session
- Make a form for a specific homepage, post, page, category, or tag
- Use A/B and split testing to compare multiple variations of the same form to increase conversion rates
- After a visitor subscribes, you can present a message or redirect to a URL
The only trigger that is missing is exit intent, which prompts a form to appear when a visitor is about to leave a site. Exit intent is somewhat overrated because a user has already decided to go.
Analytics & Reporting
Bloom’s statistics page offers useful details regarding subscribers, growth, impressions, conversions, conversion rates, and data. You can see how you’re trending over the last 30 days and your highest converting pages. It’s easy to understand how you’re performing.
Elegant Themes actively scours the market to integrate with top email marketing and CRM companies. It connects to my email marketing provider, MailerLite, and 18 others. Other companies include:
- Mad Mimi
What is your email marketing budget? Zero a month? Ten to twenty dollars a month? I asked myself that question and decided it’s around ten dollars monthly or $120 annually.
While there are several free opt-in plugins available on WordPress.org, most of them are dull, lack appealing aesthetics, and only integrate with AWeber and MailChimp. Free is mostly an illusion, given these examples:
- Popup Maker by WP Popup Maker: free or pay $16 monthly to access analytics and advanced targeting
- Popup Builder by Sygnoos: free or pay $14.95 monthly to access different types of popups, integrations, and analytics
- Hustle by WPMU DEV: free or pay $49 monthly to create more than one form, access premium features, and a suite of plugins
- Popups by timersys: free or pay $39 to $350 annually to access A/B testing, analytics, additional triggers, and more
- OptinMonster: listed on WordPress.org, but not free. Prices start at $21 a month.
- Popup by Supsystic: free or pay $29 to $99 one-time for A/B testing, analytics, additional triggers, and more
- Popups by Icegram: free or $97 annually for analytics, targeting, other features, and themes
- SumoMe by Sumo: free up to 200 subscribers and then $24 monthly for up to 750 subscribers and additional features (they have one of the worst pricing models in the marketplace)
Yes, you guessed it. You won’t find an excellent, free opt-in plugin because developers have bills to pay too.
Elegant Themes doesn’t waste your time with a skeleton product or freemium model. It doesn’t sell Bloom on its own, but in a package with 80+ themes and a few plugins. It has two price points and offers a risk-free, 30-day money-back guarantee.
- $89 annually
- $249 one-time for lifetime access
If you need help, Elegant Themes will do whatever it can to assist you. It provides forums and one-on-one support.
Elegant Themes coupon: 10% discount on lifetime access
Elegant Themes coupon: 20% discount on yearly access
Bloom is one of the best WordPress opt-in plugins, and thousands of site owners and bloggers use it. Moreover, Bloom satisfies all my needs such as:
- Easy to use
- Various opt-in forms and templates
- Many customization and display settings, but not too many to overwhelm me
- Straightforward analytics
- Integrates with my email marketing provider
- Affordable pricing
My open-mindedness and willingness to try Bloom has led to excellent results. Its appearance, design, and functionality enable you to grow your email list and convert visitors at high rates.