Are you looking for the most effective tools to grow your email list and turn website visitors into subscribers and customers? Not sure whether OptinMonster or Sumo is the right solution for you?

Sumo and OptinMonster are both popular lead generation and conversion optimization tools, but they’re definitely not the same.

In fact, there are some glaring differences between them – and choosing the wrong one could hold back your growth.

To make sure you’re getting the solution you need, read our in-depth OptinMonster vs. Sumo comparison below.

We took a deep dive into every feature, so to help to you navigate we’ve created a table of contents:

  1. OptinMonster vs Sumo Dashboard Overview
  2. Campaign Types and Templates Comparison
  3. Mobile Lead Generation Comparison
  4. Campaign Targeting & Triggers Comparison
  5. Success Message Comparison
  6. Documentation and Support Comparison
  7. Bottom Line: OptinMonster vs. Sumo

Ready? Let’s dive right in…

OptinMonster vs Sumo Dashboard Overview

First things first, there are some fundamental differences in OptinMonster vs Sumo dashboards and how your account works.

Both OptinMonster and Sumo can be used on any type of website (WordPress, Shopify, Magento, even static HTML sites).

But one big difference is WHERE you manage your account and create popups and other campaigns:

OptinMonster is a standalone app that lives on its own website. To create your popups and other campaigns, you’ll log in to your account on the OptinMonster app website.

optinmonster app login

After you log in, you can manage your account, see all the websites you’re using OptinMonster on, and start creating new campaigns.

optinmonster dashboard

You can display your campaigns on any type of website. To connect your website to your OptinMonster account, you can just add a bit of code to your site. Another option is to use the official OptinMonster WordPress plugin or Shopify app, which gives you even more control over when and where your campaigns display (more on that below).

If you have multiple websites, it’s easy to manage them all together here in your OptinMonster dashboard.

You can:

  • Search through your campaigns
  • Manage multiple websites
  • Move or duplicate campaigns from one website to another
  • Drag and drop to reorder your list of sites
  • Collapse or expand all campaigns for each site
  • Archive campaigns for later

And with OptinMonster sub-accounts, you can easily give access to your co-workers, clients, and others you work with.

There are 4 different roles:

  • Viewer: Can view, but not make changes to, campaigns for a specific website(s).
  • Author: Can create, but not publish, campaigns for a specific website(s).
  • Manager: Can create and publish campaigns only for assigned website(s).
  • Admin: Has full access and permissions for everything.

This is a great feature for agencies, who can give each client access to their own campaigns while preserving the privacy of other clients.

There’s also an Activity Log so you can monitor every action taken on your account.

On the other hand, Sumo works a bit differently. You can log in to the main site, and then you’re redirected to your account page. (You can’t view the main homepage of when you’re logged in – you have to log out to see it.)

You can manage your account billing and other details on the Sumo site, but you can’t create any popups or other campaigns there.

sumo account settings

You can add users to your account, but can only choose between Admin and User roles. A User has access to ALL of your site’s apps and settings.

To actually start building popups and other campaigns, you’ll have to first add Sumo to your site. Then you can start creating campaigns from inside your website. Here’s how that looks on a WordPress site:

sumo wordpress dashboard

From there, you can click on My Apps to access the actual Sumo dashboard.

sumo dashboard stats

Then you can click on Forms » List Builder to get started.

Now let’s take a look at the campaign creation process.

Campaign Types and Templates Comparison

So, what kinds of popups and other campaigns can you actually create with OptinMonster and Sumo?

Let’s take a look at Sumo first. Sumo allows you to create 7 different campaign types:

  • Cart Casino
  • Popup
  • Scroll Box
  • Inline Form
  • Click Trigger Popup
  • Welcome Mat
  • Smart Bar

But before you choose the one you want, you have to specify your goal.

sumo list builder with goal options

The goal you choose will limit the options for your campaign. For example, the Welcome Mat option is only available if you select Collect Emails goal.

On the other hand, OptinMonster lets you select the campaign type you want right away.

optinmonster campaign types

In the OptinMonster app, you choose from 5 different campaign types:

  • Popup
  • Fullscreen
  • Slide-in
  • Floating Bar
  • Inline

You can turn any fullscreen campaign into a “welcome mat” style campaign within the campaign builder.

OptinMonster also offers some powerful campaign types that aren’t available with Sumo. Let’s take a look at those…

Two-Step Yes / No Optin Forms

You’ll notice when building a Collect Emails campaign in the Sumo List Builder, there are two tabs at the top that allow you to view your Subscribe form and your Success view.

sumo subscribe and success tabs

OptinMonster actually gives you the option to add a third view: a Yes / No form, also called two-step or multi-step optin.

Here’s how you enable it:

optinmonster two-step campaign with yes/no buttons

This adds another step to your campaign so that the visitor has to click the “Yes” button before they see the optin form. Then they can enter their email address and subscribe.

You might be thinking, why add another step? Wouldn’t that make it harder to subscribe, and turn people away?

Actually, two-step optins increase conversions because of a neat psychological trick called the Zeigarnik Effect. Studies have shown that when a person initiates a process, they’re much more likely to complete it.

A simple yes/no optin like this one by Salt Strong converts 10% of all visitors on the entire website:

saltstrong delivered good mobile seo and a great user experience with optinmonster

ChinaImportal increased conversions from 2% to 20% just by adding a yes/no step to their optin form.

By just clicking the switch to enable Yes/No, you can see HUGE increases in your conversions.

This is a crucial feature you definitely don’t want to miss out on.

Content Locker

Here’s another powerful feature OptinMonster offers: you can turn any Inline campaign into a Content Locking campaign.

optinmonster content locking option

This is a powerful type of optin form that locks away your most valuable content until the visitor enters their email address. We’ve seen sites like get 11,000+ subscribers in just one month with ONE content locking campaign.

This simple content locking campaign by Whole Whale converts a whopping 21.42% of all visitors:

Content locking is another quick-win tool you’re going to want access to if you’re serious about building your list.

Dynamic “Evergreen” Countdown Timer

Another important feature that’s worth a mention here is the countdown timer.

Sumo does allow you to create campaigns with a standard countdown timer. You enter the end date and time, and the timer counts down to that end date.

sumo countdown timer

OptinMonster has a countdown timer, too, but it adds an extra option that’s simple yet powerful: a dynamic countdown. Instead of selecting an end date, you choose the length of the timer in days, hours, minutes, and seconds.

optinmonster dynamic countdown timer

The dynamic timer is customized for each visitor. The countdown begins as soon as the visitor hits the page. That means that each visitor will see a different countdown.

You might be wondering what’s the point of having a timer that’s different for every user? The answer is urgency.

Creating a sense of urgency for your visitors is one of the best ways to boost your conversion rate. When our purchasing decisions are based on urgency, we automatically lean towards the “take action” route, because we’re afraid of missing out.

This is an incredibly powerful tool for promoting sales and discounts. LifterLMS added a dynamic countdown timer to their pricing page and unlocked $23,700 in sales in just 5 months.

We’ve looked at the types of campaigns you can create in OptinMonster and Sumo, but there’s another aspect of campaign creation you can’t ignore: mobile campaigns.

Mobile Lead Generation Comparison

If you don’t have an effective strategy for capturing leads on mobile, you could be ignoring most of your potential buyers.

Which lead generation solution will let you future-proof your marketing strategy and target those mobile users: OptinMonster or Sumo?

Both OptinMonster and Sumo allow you to create campaigns that are targeted to mobile users. With OptinMonster, you can easily make your favorite template perfect for mobile by simply changing the container width. If you want the optin to only show to mobile users, that’s as simple as adding a display rule.

make any optinmonster campaign mobile

OptinMonster also has a powerful InactivitySensor, which detects user behavior on mobile so you can deliver a targeted campaign to mobile users when they’re about to abandon your site for good.

Combined with OptinMonster’s MonsterEffects, including animations and sound effects, this is a powerful way to grab attention and convert mobile visitors.

Using OptinMonster’s mobile lead generation tools, Salt Strong was able to lift conversions 185% and gather 1,000 new leads every week.

The Eczema Company also switched to OptinMonster for their mobile campaigns and now converts 13.76% of all mobile visitors.

Besides the InactivitySensor, what other triggers and targeting options does OptinMonster have, and how do they compare to Sumo? Let’s take a look.

Campaign Targeting and Triggers Comparison

The more personalized and targeted your campaigns are for each visitor, the more effective they’ll be.

So, what kind of targeting options do you get with OptinMonster vs. Sumo?

With Sumo, you can add rules for your campaigns to show or hide based on URLs, pages, devices, referrer, and more.

OptinMonster has all these options and more.

OptinMonster’s Display Rules are what makes it such a powerful conversion optimization and lead generation solution. Here’s a sample of the targeting options you can choose from:

  • Time on page/Time on site
  • Exit detected
  • Visitor clicked MonsterLink
  • Distance scrolled
  • Visitor inactive time
  • Current day/time/date/month
  • Current URL path
  • Pages viewed
  • Visitor’s device
  • Visitor has opted in to/not opted in to/closed/not closed
  • Visitor is new/returning
  • Visitor’s location
  • The URL query arg
  • A cookie
  • The referrer URL
  • Visitor’s ad-blocker
  • Current URL hash

You can use OptinMonster to set up advanced targeting rules like…

  • AdBlock Detection: If you’re a publisher who relies on ad revenue, you’ll need AdBlock detection to deliver a targeted message to visitors using ad blockers.
  • OnSite Follow Up Campaigns®: This smart technology recognizes how visitors interact with other campaigns on your website, so you can follow up with targeted campaigns designed to get them to take action.
  • WordPress Category and Tag Targeting: With the OptinMonster WordPress plugin, you can easily target specific WordPress categories and tags and display campaigns targeted to each reader’s unique interests.

These features open up a LOT of advanced options for skyrocketing your email list and conversions.

But targeting isn’t the only key to conversions. You also need to make sure that people are seeing your campaigns at the right time.

First, let’s see how Sumo lets you trigger your popups:

As you can see, your options for popup triggers are limited. You can choose to display after a number of seconds, or when the visitor starts to leave your site.

Now let’s take a look at how that compares to OptinMonster.

Here are OptinMonster’s Display Rules for when your campaign should appear:

use display rules to show your popup at exactly the right time

There are a few more powerful options here, including the InactivitySensor we talked about earlier, plus a Scroll Trigger which helps you to display targeted campaigns to visitors who are already interested in what you have to offer.

Now let’s take a look at what happens AFTER your visitors convert…

Success Message Comparison

What do your visitors see after they submit their email address or click an OptinMonster campaign?

The moment after a visitor subscribes is a huge opportunity. That’s because they’ve already shown interest in what you have to offer, and they’re ready to take the next step.

With the right success message, you can take advantage of that opportunity to deepen that new relationship even more.

So, what kind of success message options do Sumo and OptinMonster give you so you can take advantage of this opportunity?

When you’re designing your campaign in Sumo, you can also design and customize your success view.

sumo vs optinmonster success view

Or, instead of displaying that success view, you can choose to change the click action to redirect the visitor, download a content upgrade, or request push permission.

sumo change the click action

OptinMonster, on the other hand, gives you a few more advanced options.

First, you can have the option of using a blank theme with your own custom message (where you can easily customize the formatting, font, colors, and more with the text editor).

optinmonster vs. sumo success messages

Success messages are great for:

  • Enticing your new subscribers to like your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter
  • Offering an immediate digital file download
  • Displaying a video to deepen your connection with them
  • Instructing visitors to complete the double opt-in signup process and whitelist your emails
  • …and lots more

OptinMonster also offers a few more advanced options for making the most of your success messages:

  • Smart Success: Avoid annoying your visitors by providing smart subscriber recognition – a way to recognize people who have already signed up so you can offer them something new.
  • Success Tracking and Retargeting Scripts: Automatically serve a Facebook ad pixel, AdWords pixel, or whatever script you want when users subscribe, so you can easily retarget warm leads and put your marketing strategy on automatic.

Finally, how easy is it to get started with OptinMonster vs. Sumo? Let’s take a look at the documentation and support available for each.

Documentation and Support Comparison

It’s important to have access to fast and helpful support if you have a question or need help getting started. Let’s see how OptinMonster vs. Sumo support measures up.

Sumo Documentation and Support

Sumo has plenty of detailed documentation on their site to help you get started with their List Builder.

sumo documentation

If you need further support, you can log in and send a message to the support team.

sumo open a support ticket

It’s not clear what their support hours are or how long it typically takes to receive a response.

OptinMonster Documentation and Support

OptinMonster documentation features 200+ articles that walk you through everything from creating your first campaign, to integrating with dozens of email services providers, to advanced lead generation techniques like setting up MonsterChains to display campaigns based on your visitors’ response to other campaigns.

optinmonster documentation

If your question isn’t answered in the documentation, you can open a private support ticket and email a support team member one-on-one.

open an optinmonster support ticket

Official support hours are Monday through Friday, 9am – 5pm EST. Typically, tickets are responded to within 24 hours and even faster during official support hours.

Bottom Line: OptinMonster vs. Sumo

So, which lead generation and conversion optimization tool is the best choice for you?

If you…

  • Are serious about building a targeted email list
  • Need to reduce shopping cart abandonment and recover lost sales
  • Want to maximize your conversions and revenue

…then OptinMonster is the tool you need.

OptinMonster’s more powerful features like Content Locking, Yes/No Campaigns, InactivitySensor, and more are incredibly effective for growing your email list, generating leads, and instantly lifting revenue.

Click here to get started with OptinMonster today.


View All Features
Campaign Types
Lightbox Popups
Fullscreen Campaigns
Floating Bar
Slide-in Scroll Box
Two-Step Yes/No Optins
Content Locker
Dynamic "Evergreen" Countdown Timer
WordPress Widget
Mobile Lead Generation
Inactivity Sensor® with Sound Effects
Campaign Targeting & Triggers
Exit Intent®
Abdlock Detection
Time Zone Targeting
WordPress Category & Tag Targeting
WordPress User Logged In / Logged Out
OnSite Follow Up Campaigns®
Success Messages
Smart Success Display for Subscribed Visitors
Success Tracking and Retargeting Scripts
Account Management
Campaign Building Dashboard Multi-Site Separate Sites - No Overview
Move Campaigns Between Sites
Duplicate Campaigns Between Sites
Sub-Accounts 4 types of user roles 2 types of user roles
Archive Campaigns
User Activity Log

Outstanding OptinMonster Features

OptinMonster has everything you need to grow your email list. Here are the features that makes OptinMonster the most powerful customer acquisition & lead generation platform.
Create Beautiful Forms with OptinMonster Builder
Design and Customization
Design Beautiful Forms That are Proven to Convert
Start with our high-performing templates and make them yours. Our design builder gives you full control of the messaging and branding.
  • Mobile Friendly
  • Multiple Form Types
  • 65+ Pre-Made Templates
Targeting and Personalization
Show Personalized Messages at the Right Time with Behavior Automation
OptinMonster's powerful targeting and segmentation engine lets you show personalized messages based on user's behavior to maximize engagement, conversions, and sales.
  • Advanced Page Level Targeting
  • Custom Display Rules
  • Dynamic Text Replacement
OptinMonster A/B Testing Feature
Conversion Analytics
Easily A/B Test Your Ideas and Make Data-Driven Decisions
OptinMonster’s A/B testing feature helps you eliminate the guess work by letting you try different headlines, content, layouts, and styles to see what converts best.
  • Multivariate Testing
  • Built-in Conversion Analytics
  • Get the Stats that Matter

OptinMonster by the Numbers

Visitor Sessions Optimized
21.4 Billion
Optins Served
1m+ Thousand
Sites Using OptinMonster
217 Million
[Case Study]
[Case Study]
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