Welcome back to Reviews Boss. Today we have an exciting review of a new web marketing tool called Amplifire. This is going to be a shorter review than I have done in the past, primarily because Amplifire is quite a “basic” product to get your head around. I will cover what Amplifire is, how it works, and then the pros and cons of the product before concluding my review by answering the age old question of whether or not you should actually buy the product.
What Is Amplifire?
It is a tool to help you create welcome mats for your website. A welcome mat is basically a full screen takeover that can be used for just about any promotional purpose (although the most common is usually to get someone to sign up to your newsletter list).
Here is an example of what I mean by “welcome mat” that is designed to get newsletter signups:
Note that this particular welcome mat was actually made using SumoMe, which is a competitor to Amplifire. SumoMe is by far the more popular product, and is something I will look to review down the track.
You’ve probably encountered these a lot in your day-to-day online activities. They are an effective means of grabbing a visitor’s attention and getting them to take an action like signing up to a newsletter list, clicking through to see a promo, or announcing your latest bit of content.
Basically, Amplifire claims to be a one-stop-shop for creating and optimising welcome mats.
The pricing structure for Amplifire is pretty simple:
I opted for the $97 version as I’ve got lots of different sites I want to try this on, and I also wanted Remote Commander. Just pick the option you can afford, and remember that a refund is available as well.
How Do You Use It?
By now you should have a good idea of what Amplifire is supposed to do. But how do you actually use it to start generating leads and sales?
I’ll walk you through how I have been using it in order to create my own welcome mats.
The first step once you’ve registered your Amplifire account is to log into the dashboard and select to make a new “conversion mat”. NB That Wishloop is the business behind Amplifire, and they offer other products like Captifire and EngagiFire that do popups, landing pages, sales pages etc. These are additional products that must also be purchased.
Once you’ve selected to make a new mat, you’ll get to pick a template. There are 35 base templates that can be used. Some are for lead/email gen, some for promoting products, others offer video embeds and so on. Remember that you can customise any of these templates pretty extensively as well:
So you’ve got a template selected, and you will be greeted with the drag and drop editor. This is where the magic happens:
You can move elements pretty much anywhere on the canvas, and use the “components” to add things like buttons, text, embedded videos, forms and more.
Some of the advanced features (the Marketing and Geo Location tools) are locked for pro subscribers unfortunately. This is a shame, as I bet you could do some seriously powerful promotion with them.
I usually like to keep my welcome mats nice and simple. So for this one I’m going to start first by changing the background to one of the supplied backgrounds. I could also upload a custom image if I wanted:
Now I’ve got a new background, I want to change the text to be relevant to whatever niche. You can edit the text of any existing text element through a WYSIWYG editor like this:
HOWEVER, I have found that you get far better results if you use the HTML editor, as the WYSIWYG is clunky and prone to formatting issues:
Once you’ve made the text and background what you want it to be (and added any other elements you like) you can look at adding additional steps to your welcome mat. Some templates come with additional steps built in, others like the one I chose do not. I like to have the thanks and “please confirm” content added as a second step so that visitors aren’t directed away from the site. They can then close the form and see whatever content they were first going to view.
Adding and editing additional steps is super easy:
Now it’s time to go back to the signup form on the original step and set up an integration with your Email Service Provider so that the leads you sign up actually get added to your list!
In order to do this you first have to have given Amplifire permission to communicate with your ESP of choice. There are really clear instructions for the following providers:
Once you’ve configured the integration you can set up the form to add leads to your list of choice from within the drag and drop editor:
If you don’t yet have an email service provider, then you can still generate leads! It is possible to store the leads in an internal database on Amplifire, and then you can export them all to upload to a provider like Mailchimp or Aweber. The only issue you might run into with this is the lack of double-confirmed opt in … but if you are just starting out then this could still be a viable option.
Once you’re finished and happy with your welcome mat, you just save it and make it active through the campaign options. There are a few different things you can do here, like set the display interval for people who close the form, choose whether it should be seen on mobile devices or not, exclude certain pages, and if you have the pro edition you can create custom rules around who exactly sees the form.
Finally, you have to actually give your website permission to display the Amplifire form. There are a few different ways of doing this. On a WordPress site you just download a Wishloop plugin and then add your Amplifire customer ID to the plugin, and then tell the welcome mat in its settings panel which domain to display on. You can also add to ANY website using a code snippet. This is awesome if you use a platform like Weebly, Wix, or Shopify.
Once all this is done, your welcome mat should be up and running on your site and ready to generate some leads or sales for you. KICKASS!
There is one feature of Amplifire that I really want to draw attention to. It’s called Remote Commander, and it is something I’ve been having a whole heap of fun with.
With Remote Commander you can make your welcome mats display on anyone else’s website (well that’s not strictly true but it’s basically how the functionality looks to the end user).
The best bit about Remote Commander is that when you drop a “commanded” link on Facebook, it still shows the ultimate destination URL in the excerpt displayed.
Here’s what I mean:
My advice for using Remote Commander effectively would be to ensure that you don’t just spam your links everywhere across the Internet. Instead, link your audience to relevant and interesting content and try to build up leads that you can then follow up with your own content and promotions. I definitely think you are likely to get better results from taking an ethical approach to this, as opposed to spamming.
By default, Remote Commander campaigns run through a URL supplied by Amplifire. But you can actually link up a custom URL that is more relevant to your niche so that during the “redirect” process that takes place visitors don’t get put off by the default domain name. For example, if you were Facebook commenting to drive leads in the dog training niche, then you could have a custom domain like “dognews.info” that loads your Remote Commanded links.
Setting up Remote Commander is easy and just requires you to have your welcome mat campaign setup and active, as well as a valid URL to send traffic:
Please note that you only get Remote Commander if you opt for the $97 unlimited site edition, otherwise you have to buy it as an upgrade.
NB I will add a brief overview of the statistics tracking and split-testing functionalities of Amplifire soon. I haven’t had it for long enough to really get a good feel for how the optimisation capabilities work yet, so don’t feel qualified enough to talk about them.
Now you’ve seen the rough basics of how Amplifire works, it’s time to take a look at what is good and what is bad about the product:
- Easy to use. The drag and drop form builder is straightforward to use; within a few minutes of playing around with it I had already created some nice looking welcome mats in a number of niches. I’m normally a bit wary of drag and drop builders, as they tend to be laggy and buggy. But this one is fast and easy.
- Mobile customisation. Although a mobile and tablet friendly version of your welcome mat is created by default, you can change it to suit your needs and eliminate unwanted elements from the responsive design. This is a good idea to simplify your mobile welcome mats, and could definitely help to boost conversions.
- Remote Commander is awesome. It’s like the infamous “Trust Jacker” plugin of old, but only a lot better. You don’t just have to display shitty CPA ads; you can display gorgeous call-to-action welcome mats to drive clicks to your own site or gaining leads. There are so many possibilities for monetising this. I haven’t made my investment back yet, but I have already generated real leads from links I have shared. My guess is that lead gen is going to be easier than selling, so that is the strategy I am likely to take. Heck you could probably hire some virtual assistants to do forum and blog commenting dropping useful links, and then build up a nice list this way.
- Great price. $97 per year is a good price for this tool PROVIDED it remains updated into the future. But at under $10 per month and in its current state, it is good buying (much better value than SumoMe in my opinion) and represents a lot of value.
- Can install on any site. You don’t need to be running WordPress. Lots of tools with similar functionality are developed primarily for WordPress, and integration onto other CMS like Weebly can be challenging. All you need with Amplifire is a line of code that you install into your site. It can’t get much easier than that, can it? This is good for me, as I don’t always choose to use WordPress depending on exactly what kind of site I’m using. You could run this on Shopify as well.
- Single, multi and unlimited-site licence available. I think that having options is a good thing. If you’ve only got one website (and you don’t have any plans to launch another one for a while) then you don’t have to pay the $97 unlimited option. You can pick a cheaper, single site tier and save money to put towards driving traffic.
- Super annoying upsell process. Oh boy, I had forgotten how much upselling there is for products sold through JVZoo. This product has three (if I recall correctly) upsells. There is one for the premium edition, which actually doesn’t seem like too bad of a deal. One for another product from the same company, and then a sort-of “complete collection”. I should really have taken screenshots of the upsell process, but I just wasn’t thinking late at night when I was doing the purchase process. But anyway, upsells are annoying and I don’t like them. Don’t feel pressured to buy anything during an upsell; it is my professional experience that the “unmissable” offer will almost always be there at a later date.
- Too many features stripped without the pro/premium version. The base Amplifire tool is good, but there are a number of cool features that are stripped paying for pro/premium upgrade. The most important of these is the feature relating to smart display rules, which allows you to do things like display only to new visitors, or show different mats depending on what part of the site someone has landed on. You also miss out on the more advanced promotional options like the ability to easily add Teespring, Amazon, or eBook products. I know that upselling to a better feature suite is how the developers are making money on this, but I was a tad disappointed when I saw just how much was missing from the base functionality.
- Occasional bugs with the welcome mat. On some browsers like Microsoft Edge, I have sometimes seen the text formatting break. This seems intermittent, and on more popular browser options (Chrome, Firefox etc) I haven’t noticed any issues. Just something to bear in mind.
Overall, I really like Amplifire. I genuinely think that this is a useful tool, and it has applications no matter what sort of web-based business you’re running. As a platform for growing your list, it has just about every feature you could ever want. And the fact that you can use it to push coupons or product calls-to-action is another added bonus.
My only real complaint is that some of the more powerful options available require an upgrade (even though you’ve already parted with a good chunk of cash to get the base functionality). However, some of the missing options you can get around just with some hard work and a sound understanding of how the drag and drop editor works.I also didn’t like the aggressive upselling, which is something that is a real plague on web marketing products in general.
I still think that Amplifire is one of the better web marketing tools I have seen in a long time. Go here to buy your own membership and grow those lists!