One of the things you can do on your website is to build an email marketing list. An email marketing list is a list of email addresses that you can email to inform of news on your website, your business or new offers that you want to publicise.
Well, building a list generally isn't a good idea unless you will have something to say regularly. However if you are committed to blogging with useful and high quality content at a regular frequency - say weekly - then building a list based on that content is possible and worth it. It will increase the visits to your site and increase brand loyalty. It will also give you base of people to market to when you have an offer to make. It's a good plan. However, the plan will fall flat on its face if you do not create regular content.
All you need for listing building is a website and some sort of email marketing software. Email marketing software helps you to remain legal when building a list so it's important to use a good and reliable system.
There are loads of email marketing systems around each with various features and levels of complexity. I chose to use one that is relatively feature-rich but is also not too hard to use. It's called ActiveCampaign.
People need a good reason to sign up to a list. But even so, you don't need to offer them anything other than your regular content to get them to sign up.
You will see lots of sign up boxes on websites where it says, "sign up to the list and get this eBook", or some other downloadable freebie.
While that technique works - it's called an ethical bribe - it may be frowned up by some regulatory bodies as you are essentially asking people to give up their email address for a freebie so that you can feel free to spam them later. At least - that is how the regulatory bodies may see it. This tightening up of list building protocols is relatively new and more centered on Europe than the US.
So right now I don't recommend ethical bribes. If you're an information site that publishes regularly, you can always offer to send them notification of your new blog posts. That really is enough if your blog content is good enough and helps people.
Obviously if you never publish anything this technique will not work.
Just to reiterate - being a site that outputs lots of good content regularly will be enough for people to want to sign up to your list. These are the best signees. Why? Because of FOMO - fear of missing out. People hate to think they might miss something that could make even a small improvement to their lives.
If you do have a freebie to give away you can still do this - but the primary reason should be to get your content updates. So your headline would say something along the lines of "Sign up to get notified of new blog posts and as a bonus get this free ebook on whatever ...".
I.e. the freebie must be presented as an addon to the main purpose of signing up which is to get notification of your blog posts.
So what is OptinMonster for? If you use ActiveCampaign, you will be provided with a means to install a sign-up form on your site. You need nothing more to grow your list. If you want an example of a very basic Active Campaign form, take a look at my French blog which I use to improve my French language skills. There is a signup form on the home page, half way down on the right hand side. It's entitled "Subscribe To Blog Post Updates".
Can you see the form is not very exciting? If people want to sign up they will - they have - but honestly half the people visiting this site miss the form because it simply isn't loud enough nor obvious enough. I've had people email me to ask how they can sign up to that list.
OptinMonster is an enhancement that works with ActiveCampaign (or other email marketing software) to make signups more likely. With OptinMonster you can grow your list more quickly, because your sign up forms take on a new meaning altogether.
It works because people may miss a small form on your site. But with OptinMonster there are several ways to make the signup form really very obvious, very eye-catching and also to make the prompts appear at just the right times when signups are most likely to happen.
Optinmonster provides many options to improve the likelihood of people signing up. That's why people use it. It increases the rate of list growth. I may add OptinMonster to my French blog as I publish on it regularly, therefore I have something to write to the list about and I'd increase visitor traffic to my site. This is turn would lead to an increase in my sign up rate, and so on. But if I were not writing regularly adding OptinMonster to this site would be a waste of time.
Be clear - you do not need OptinMonster, but it helps if you have it on any site that you are serious about growing.