If you want to encourage your website visitors to subscribe to your email newsletter, including an opt-in form on your website is a fantastic way to start. An opt-in form is not only a great way to get more subscribers, it’s also a great way to keep in touch with your audience.
However, merely having an opt-in form on your website is not a guarantee that your website visitors will elect to sign up for your newsletter or email marketing campaign.
So what makes an opt-in form enticing for a visitor to fill out?
I’m going to run through some of the best examples of effective opt-in forms, and why they are more likely to attract more sign-ups.
First, what exactly is an opt-in form?
An opt-in form is a web form that allows website visitors to sign up for email notifications (get on a mailing list) or other communications from a website owner. Typically, these forms are displayed as pop-ups or modals or right inline with content, and require the visitor to enter their email address in exchange for something of value, like a free ebook, guide, or whitepaper.
Why are opt-in forms important?
For starters, they allow you to build an email list. This is one of the most valuable assets a business can have, as it allows you to keep in touch with your customers and potential clients, and market to them over time.
Another reason opt-in forms are important is because they help you build relationships with your customers. When someone signs up for your email list, they’re essentially saying, “I’m interested in what you offer and want I to hear from you more often.” This gives you the opportunity to send them valuable and interesting content to build trust with them.
When someone signs up for your email list, they’re essentially saying, “I’m interested in what you offer and want I to hear from you more often.”
Focus on These Five Elements When Creating Your Opt-in Forms
Now that we know what an opt-in form is and why it is so important to your growing business, let’s get into what it takes to create forms that make your visitors want to convert into a subscriber.
1 Visibility: Can they find it?
A well-designed opt-in form can help you increase traffic and grow your business. But even the best form won’t bring in new subscribers if no one can find it. Make sure your opt-in form is easy to find on your website and that it stands out amongst the other content.
Use whitespace around the form so readers can tell it apart from the surrounding material. You can place a sign up form in your website template so it always shows up in the blog sidebar, or at the end of each blog post. If the opt-in form allows them to download an infographic or video that is directly related to the content they are reading, you’ll stand a higher chance of them taking the leap to sign up.
2 Visually Attractive: Will it engage the visitor?
This may be obvious, but your form should be visually exciting, well placed, and engaging to a visitor. Simple, on-brand forms that are well placed after the reader has had a chance to like your content can be a non-intrusive way to engage the reader.
At the same time, if you are offering a download or video, a graphic that represents what they will receive will increase the chance that they will not want to miss out on what you have to offer. Some examples might be:
- A spread of worksheet downloads
- An ebook cover that is animated
- A short video of you explaining the benefits of signing up
3 Engaging Copy: Is the copy clear and attention-grabbing?
Copywriting is one of the most important aspects of marketing, but it’s also one of the most difficult to get right. When it comes to opt-in copy, you often don’t have much space or time to catch their attention. You want to make sure that you’re encouraging visitors to read on so they can see the benefits to signing up. You need to be clear and concise, and you need to grab their attention so they will want to learn more.
The best way to do this is by focusing on the benefits of signing up. What will the visitor gain by giving you their email address? What will they be able to do once they’re a subscriber? Take it a step further by highlighting these in a numbered or bullet list followed by a clear call-to-action.
4 Uncomplicated: Is it quick and painless to sign up?
Ease of use affects the likelihood that a user will sign up. If there are multiple fields to fill in, they should be easy to understand and not overwhelm the visitor. Most readers are not going to take the time to fill out multiple fields and give up their email address if the process is too complicated. If there are too many steps, or if the steps aren’t clear, they simply won’t even attempt to sign up.
Example: Signup Form for TheLadders (Source)
Research has found that for each field you add, your conversion rate drops by 11 percent.
So you don’t want to turn would-be subscribers off by asking for too much information.
This opt-in at ActiveCampaign is so simple. The copy is enticing and it is very clear where to add your email address to get their amazing deal.
5 Offers Value: What’s in it for me?
Let’s face it. Most of us are already overwhelmed by inbox fatigue. (Let us know in the comments if you’ve achieved Inbox Zero! Anyone?) If you want someone to invite you into sacred inbox space, you need to make it worth it. Give them an offer they can’t refuse!
Here are some examples of what you could offer in exchange for someone’s prized email address if you are, a voice teacher that offers both online and in-studio lessons:
- A coupon for first-time subscribers
- A free infographic download when they sign up for the newsletter
- Access to video or webinar that only subscribers can watch
- Access to the first lesson in your online course so they can get a feel for your style before going all-in on the investment
- A mini-series email course that guides them through vocal exercises over 5 days
Here’s a simple form that gets straight to the point that we created for Dr. Shannon Coate’s infographic download. It’s simple to sign up and you know exactly what you re getting.
Be Intentional About Your Website Opt-in Forms
When it comes to growing your business, creating an effective opt-in form will prove to be one of the most important elements of your website, which is the center of your online marketing machine.
In this article, you’ve learned five of the most important opt-in form elements that will help you get started so you can be intentional your implement and maximize your chances of converting readers into subscribers.
If you’re looking for more tips on how to grow your business online, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. I’ll send you more helpful content like this every week(ish)!