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How Inbound Now Increased Our Optin Bribe Conversion By 53%: A Review

So you’re finally starting to see the fruits of your labor.

After countless blog posts, Google is starting to give you some cred!

But it’s not time to just rest on your laurels and count your increasing daily visitor count.

It’s time to maximize your ROI by converting that traffic to leads and revenue.

This post covers a hidden gem that provides a lot of A/B testing value on CTAs for an unbeatable price – free: the “Calls to Action” plugin by Inbound Now.

We’ve been using it on our own language learning blog network, which receives more than 1 million page views each month, with great success.

This is a review of version 2.7.3 which is the most up-to-date version as of July 11, 2016.

Overview of the Inbound Now Marketing Suite

The Calls to Action plugin is actually one part of a comprehensive marketing suite that has 5 parts:

  • Calls to action
  • Landing pages
  • Lead management and tracking
  • Email
  • Marketing automation

This post focuses on the calls to action plugin because it’s the part that we have the most experience with.

What the Calls to Action Plugin Looks Like for a Website Visitor

There are several templates that you can use and install with a simple shortcode. Here are a couple examples:

inbound now plugin review
Two of the call to action templates that come for free.

They are solid if you want to just quickly get started.

You can also flexibly use any custom image or HTML if you want. That’s how I tend to use it on our language learning blog:

inbound now cta plugin custom example
Example of how I use the CTA plugin on our language learning blogs.

There are also 11 premium templates available for purchase in the marketplace.

inbound now cta plugin review marketplace templates
The premium templates available in the marketplace.

The way it works is that upgrading to the Starter plan ($99 per year or $10 per month) gives you access to all the templates.  For our own language learning blogs, I’ve found that there is no need to upgrade because using the custom CTA with an image that we’ve created by ourselves work best.

What the Calls to Action Plugin Looks Like for You as Admin

CTAs are pretty simple to set up. It’s basically like a standard WordPress post editing screen, except that you have an extra tab for adding new variations:

inbound now plugin review editor

After you paste a simple shortcode like [cta id=”12″ vid=”0″] inside a separate blog post, users will immediately see the CTAs. And the best part? It will automatically collect the A/B test results so that you can see how each version is performing.

Power Tip for Using Inbound Now with Leadpages

We use Leadpages as an easy way to deliver so-called “opt-in bribes.” Basically, we offer visitors a helpful PDF if they give us their email address:

inbound now review leadpages tip

Leadpages basically invented the concept, and they are really convenient for collecting email addresses and sending opt-in bribes. They even allow A/B testing on the optin popup. But there’s one critical weakness with Leadpages. It only provides A/B testing for the popup. It doesn’t provide A/B testing for the initial offer in the first place (which is arguably more important, since that’s where the offer is first tested).

Enter Inbound Now. You can set the initial text offer as an A/B test within Inbound Now. Indeed, that’s what we’ve done to get a 53% increase in the conversion rate of the people clicking on one of our optin bribe offers:

inbound now cta plugin ab testing review
Actual A/B testing results from using Inbound Now. I’m glad we started using it!

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The kicker is that the optins were almost the same. It just goes to show you how important it is to A/B test every step of the opt-in process. I’m glad we were using Inbound Now’s A/B testing.

What’s Great About the Free Inbound Now CTA Plugin

Overall, I think the free plugin is a great little tool. It makes it very easy to flexibly test CTAs in a way that is missing from even an expensive and popular tool like Leadpages. From our many months of experience, the statistics have been accurate. It has given us little trouble. It’s something that you can use to great effect in building your email list and generating revenue. I feel almost guilty about all the value we’ve received from this plugin for free.

If the free CTA tool proves useful, there are also opportunities to upgrade and use the other parts of the Inbound Now marketing suite as an integrated marketing platform. You could extend to landing pages, emails and marketing automation. I haven’t actually used those features, but if this CTA plugin is any indication, I think it can be a low-cost, high-value alternative to the usual 4 figure suspects of marketing automation.

Areas for Improvement

With that said, there is some room for improvement. For one thing, sometimes there are some bugs with the HTML and CSS:

inbound now plugin review bug
One of the free CTA templates appeared buggy.

 

Also, when there are a lot of experiments going on, it can get rather unwieldy. It can take an organized team to keep track of which A/B testing experiments have reached statistical significance and can be ended (so that all of the traffic can get sent to the winning version). It would be really great if there was an option to set it up so that the winning version is selected automatically.

Summary

The Inbound Now CTA plugin is a hidden gem. It’s a free, high-value way to maximize your CTA conversion for high-performing blog posts. There are some areas for improvement, but you would be hard pressed to find something that does the targeted job of A/B testing CTAs better than this plugin for free.

 

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