Plugin of the Week – 9/30/2016 – Icegram Lead Capture Plugin
Icegram – AIO Email Optin, Popup, Subscription and Traffic Conversion Plugin
This week we are taking a step away from security plugins and taking a look at the Icegram Lead Capture plugin (actual name is “Icegram – AIO Email Optin, Popup, Subscription and Traffic Conversion Plugin” and is way too long IMHO). While this is strictly a marketing based WordPress plugin, it is the type of plugin, or at least the functionality, that every website should be using, especially of you are selling products or marketing in any way.
If you have not already seen this post on email marketing mistakes, then you might want to check it out first to see why you need to be capturing leads.
I come from a retail management background. Like many people I started working for companies when email address capture was pretty new. It was a pain in the behind to constantly ask people for things like an email address. Now, many years later I truly understand why this is such an important aspect of business. So before I get to the plugin let me give you a short story.
Why You Need IceGram Lead Capture
Years ago I worked for a financial firm as their lead programmer. They would constantly purchase names and email addresses of potential clients and send out mass-mailings as often as they possibly could. This company was buying leads from someone else.
In fact, they often paid for the same names more then once. When you are buying 250,000 leads from a lead broker, you are at the mercy of how they captured those leads and the quality of the lead is often unknown.
Too many times the leads they did purchase were in fact useless. Dead email addresses, wrong user data and duplicates were making up nearly 40% of the entire leads they purchased. There was even a process in place to import them through 3 different programs in order to process and compare each entry. The process was extremely convoluted and tedious beyond compare.
But this company was not actively collecting leads properly. They did little or no active lead capturing on their own websites. This was a multi-million dollar financial company and they were getting this step very wrong.
The Money Is In The List
Leads as any good marketer will attest to is how you make your true money. The company above was losing money hand over fist simply because they were not capturing leads in the best manner. They had to spend money to buy their leads. They then spent money to pay employees to process the mailing lists. Then they lost money on the sheer percentage of bad addresses.
At least they understood that they needed to increase their client base. One single new client could potentially mean a $10,000 account for one single user. They were more then willing to lose money on the front end in order to make it up on the backend. But what if they had a better process in place.
All decent marketers will know exactly how valuable their list is to their business. The question is, do you?
How Do You Capture Leads?
This is where plugins like Icegram Lead Capture come into play. There are dozens of potential manners to capture leads. As this is a lead generation plugin for WordPress, let’s limit the discussion to online methods for the sake of this article. (I will discuss offline lead generation tactics at a later date).
Assuming you are only using your website to capture leads, you still have a dozen or more potential options and some are better then others. So which ones do you use?
Icegram Lead Capture has over a dozen different options when it comes to lead capture functions. These include popups, slide-ins, overlays and much more. Not to mention each of those options has multiple variations within each category.
In addition to the options for what type of lead capture box you want to use, you also have fine control over how to setup each and every aspect of the lead capture function.
Icegram Lead Capture Plugin
From The Author:
Grow your subscriber list, engage and convert visitors, decrease bounce rate with this best in class plugin. Proven, easy to use & well supported.
Icegram Lead Capture is the best all-in-one Free WordPress plugin for onsite visitor engagement using popups, header / footer bars, notifications, messengers (and much more)…
The Feature List of Icegram Lead Capture
- Easy to use, user friendly interface
- Easily create and target unlimited optin forms and messages
- Multiple Different Opt-in Form / Message Styles: Popups, Header / Footer bars, Toast notifications, Slide-in Messengers. Plus 8 other premium styles.
- Multiple Theme Designs: Extensive range of beautiful and fully customizable themes to make your CTA messages and email optin popups look amazing
- Easy Integrations with Email Marketing Service: MailChimp, Constant Contact, AWeber, Campaign Monitor, GetResponse, InfusionSoft and all other email marketing services
- Mobile Responsive design
- Time and sequence different messages
- Multiple display positions – top, middle, bottom, left, right, center
- Powerful Display Targeting Rules: Decide where and when to show your campaigns and optin forms- On specific pages, categories or posts; to certain users; on specific schedule, via shortcode – and many other rules.
- Track results of each optin form
- Analytics and Reporting: View conversion and impression analytics of all campaigns and messages using a free add-on
- Split A/B Testing (premium feature): Create variations and automatically determine which messages convert better
- Exit Intent (premium feature): Target abandoning visitors by showing popups and other messages when they are about to exit your site
- Unique Headline Generator that creates engaging headlines – so you get a copywriting headstart
- No compulsion to show Icegram name or branding
- No need to create an account on our site to use Icegram
- Automatic Updates
- Range of premium add-ons to supercharge your results
- Friendly and Professional Support Team
- Plus a lot more!!
Extending Icegram Lead Capture With Addons
This is by far one of, in not the most feature rich lead capturing plugin available for WordPress AND it’s FREE.
Yep, you can download and use this plugin completely free.
Think of Icegram lead capture as a core plugin in this manner. The core Icegram is free, there is not even a “PRO” version of it.
They do however have several other accessory addons that will extend the functionality of Icegram. Many of which are personal preference and are not needed in order to make use of Icegram to gather email optins.
Available addons include:
Analytics, Them packs, Geo targeting, Call To Action (CTA), Tabs, Ribbons, Badges, A/B Split Testing, and more.
You can see more about all of these addons and a complete price list here: http://www.icegram.com/addons/
Does Icegram Lead Capture Work?
With over 20,000 active installation and a ton of user testimonials I also wondered how well it would work for my needs. SO I did my own due diligence as everyone should and decided to try it out myself.
At first I was unsure of Icegram’s overall functionality. As with any program that has a ton of functions it does take a few minutes to walk through the basic setup.
You will first be looking at this menu additions:
Once you click the Icegram menu item you will be presented with your first demo campaign. I suggest you at least preview this campaign as it will display several test optin panels for you to get an idea of the power of Icegram.
You will also get a decent amount of first step walk-through that covers the basics geared for those new to email list capturing. This section also include a small FAQ which should be given at least a once over as once you leave this page you will no longer see this text directly. (click Docs & Support tab to view this again)
Using IceGram Lead Capture For The First Time
First off, there are really no settings that you even need to setup for this plugin. Just two in fact:
- Show “Powered by” link
- Turn on “Lazy Load” – load Icegram scripts and messages after page load to avoid caching problems.
The second option should be used if you are using a cache plugin such as W3 Total Cache.
Two major concepts to be aware of when using this plugin is Messages and Campaigns. Simply put:
Messages are the “blurbs” you want to display to your customer. This could be a popup box, a coupon code, email capture or whatever you want in your “blurb”.
Campaigns are a collection of Messages.
At first I was unsure of how to add more then one message to a campaign, but it is actually quite easy.
There are options for creating messages which are pretty straight forward. Just click and follow along with the option until you have it just the way you like it.
With the campaign however, you can use the message box to add existing messages to the campaign. At first the drop down will give you options that imply you must “CREATE” a new message. Instead, just type the text from the message you want to add. This is a dynamic search box which will scan through your messages to find the given text.
Not sure exactly what format this search bar is looking for as I could not search for single letters or numbers. Keep this function in mind when you are naming your messages. Make it easier for yourself to find the messages without having to open other admin panels.
Another cool feature that I have grown to love is the Headline generator button:
This simple button makes coming up with a headline for your messages a super snap. Just click to get any of hundreds of random headline ideas. Such a super simple feature but it can make the world of difference when you’re stuck for hours thinking of a headline.
Each message has a dozen different options available. These include:
- Message Type
- Message Theme
- Message Body
- Button Label
- Target Link
- Custom Code
These are just the basic options. Some of these have further customization options such as custom CSS of custom JS or any options of the additional addons you might have installed.
This means you have the ability to use scripts such as those from a mail service, like Aweber or MailChimp, or you can create your own custom forms using combinations of all the features on this message creation page.
In fact, there are 30+ premade message designs that you can grab and tweak to your specifications. Some of these will use both the message body for text, custom buttons, and custom css just to get you started. Then you can edit until you’re happy with it.
If you have been to the site long enough to read this message, then you likely encountered at least one message from my installation of Icegram Lead Capture. The popup subscription offer is being handled through this plugin.
Conclusions About Icegram Lead Capture
So the answer to the question, is yes Icegram Lead Capture plugin does work. It works very nicely. Probably a lot better then I might know how to use it myself in some regards. I love the features that it provides, the extreme ease of setup and the flexibility it gives me. Having the option to tweak every setting when it comes to grabbing the customer details is well worth it. Wait, it was Free. So why the hell would you not at least try it.
I will be likely upgrading the functionality in the future to include at least the A/B split testing addon. If you’re not testing and tweaking your sale copy, your lead generation and your Call to actions tthen you are leaving money on the table.
Compare it to any plugin you are already using for this feature, you can even check out the comparison charts on Icegrams website. Then do your own research as I did and make your own dicision. Don’t take my word for it, download the plugin and install it, but make sure you at least give it a try.