If you build it, they will come. Do you believe that? Do you believe that just having a website or a blog, visitors will come storming in, ready to buy? Of course not. Then why do you believe that it’s enough to have a popup or a small email subscribe form somewhere on the page?
This review will be updated as the tool evolves
Look for strikethroughs, edited paragraphs and numbered updates.
The world of digital marketing is changing faster than ever and you want to be there, at the top. Here’s my review of the free version of GetSiteControl, a collection of 6 widgets for your website.
If you want to get social shares, you’ll get them. If you’re searching for engagement and user feedback, you’ll get that as well. It all depends on what your strategy is. GetSiteControl provides the tools, but you have to use them properly.
The free GetSiteControl account allows you to use the widgets on only 1 website, but there isn’t a rule saying you can’t create more than one account. Paid tiers offer more websites.
If you’re on WordPress, use their plugin. Otherwise just insert your code within Tag Manager. The plugin method didn’t seem to work for me, so GTM works all the way.
After you’ve done that, you’re ready to create some widgets.
This tab gives you access to the look and feel of your widgets. I highly suggest upgrading to the PRO version. This allows you to fully customize the presets, colors and adds the option of adding images and icons to specific widgets.
Adjust the position of the widget by using one of the 9 positions. Note that these will also change the way your widget looks – you can go from a popup to a sidebar to a top bar with just a click.
Animations are limited to only 8 for now. I can’t say I really need more. All the features, all the benefits seem to make this limitation just a drop in the ocean.
Behavior and targeting
There’s a surprisingly robust set of targeting and behavioral options here. The behavior tab allows you to create that all too familiar “exit popup” or that “scroll to the bottom popup”. Frequency is there to make sure you don’t go overboard on showing your widgets and popups everywhere to everyone. Moderation is key.
Stopping to show a widget is a godsend and it’s something I’ve never encountered before. Then again I’ve not used Ninja Popups or Optin Monster before, so it might not be a unique feature. I usually go with “after the user performs the action” AND “after showing it 10 times to the user”. By then I’ve annoyed/extracted enough value from that specific user and there’s no reason to go on. There are some users you just won’t convert. Ever.
Another one of GetSiteControl’s must-use features is visitor segmentation. Show a 10% coupon popup just for people coming from AdWords? You can do that. Display a blue widget for people from France, coming from Facebook? Done. Tell your returning visitors how much you love them with a secret bonus? Just set your options and you’re on your way to website personalization!
This is where GetSiteControl pretty much falls apart. Perhaps it’s the focus of the developers on lesser experienced marketers or newer blog owners. You get to have your widget actions show up in Google Analytics and send subscribers to a MailChimp list.
Compare that to the long list of integrations from SumoMe or EngagiFire Popups and you start to wonder why this even has any integrations, if they’re treated so poorly as they are now.
Some widgets do have the benefit of offering an autoresponder. It’s a very nifty way of sending coupons fast, thanking visitors for subscribing to your email list or just alerting users that they’ve been successfully entered into a competition you’ve created.
It’s the age of mobile, so I should also mention that this has recently had an update. Whereas before there was a bar at the bottom and then a giant popup covering the whole screen, now there is a more elegant mobile layout for your widgets. It’s still not perfect, but definitely better than before.
I’ve only sent 3 emails to the support team, so it’s pretty early to make up my mind. It’s been great so far – responses within 4 hours, with clarity and a smile. Not quite sure how well this will scale if GetSiteControl gets thousands or hundreds of thousands of users, but for now I’m more than satisfied.
Pricing and limitations
The free account gives you access to all the widget types and all your standard features:
- Thank-you pages
- Exit popups
- Basic behavior and targeting settings
- Basic colors
- Widget positions
- Basic statistics
The Plus plan – $10/month (or 15% cheaper if you pay for a full year in advance) – really makes you want to try it. You can add custom images (and included icons), which make a world of difference for popups. There are also unlimited colors, advanced targeting options (segment by OS, country, browser, referrer or visitor type – new or returning) and built-in custom autoresponders.
But since you can use the Plus plan on 3 websites, that means you’re essentially paying about $3 per website/month. If that isn’t a great bargain, I don’t know what is.
UPDATE #1: The above is unfortunately not the case. Wondering when GetSiteControl would get a bit money hungry. If things are too good to be true…they usually are. The updated pricing only allows for 1 website for $10/month.
The top plan – Pro – costs $25/month if you pay on a monthly basis. You gain access to
5 websites just 1 website, all the features of the Plus plan and the GetSiteControl branding is removed. You’re left with a beautiful, fast set of widgets, without referring people to anyone else. You get to keep all the traffic.
Having control is fine, but EngagiFire Popups takes it a bit too far with a built-in drag-and-drop editor. I’d rather have basic editable templates like GetSiteControl offers and spend the extra time thinking about strategies, not moving elements up and down.
There’s lots of different uses for a tool such as this and their site provides valuable information. For more details about how you can use GetSiteControl, head on over to their Use Cases gallery.
I’m only been using the free version, so this is v0.5 of the final review. Once I get my hands on the PRO version, I’ll update the post with additional details regarding the missing features.
UPDATE #2: A/B Testing has been implemented for all widgets. Just as I was looking for such a feature, their team informed me it was ready to go.
I absolutely love the simplicity of the implementation. You create 2 widgets (they don’t even have to be similar) and you assign each to the same test – let’s say TEST 1. You let them run and you instantly get statistics on which one works best. You can tweak results in real time and improve your performance.
GetSiteControlStarting at NINE dollars / month for one website
- Great interface
- Easy to use
- Works great
- Support is amazing
- Updates keep on coming
- Pricing keeps changing
- Not all widgets are active yet
- It's not great on mobile
- Limited design options
- Limited targeting features