Opt-In FormsIf you want to grow your mailing list, one of the key tools you have is your opt-in form. You know, that little box that tells your visitors to enter their email address, so you can start emailing them. It seems simple enough, but not all opt-in forms are created equal. What you say in your form and how you position it are critical.

What to Include in Your Opt-in Page

It’s not enough to just say, “Sign up for our mailing list” and hope your visitors will be compelled to sign up. Everyone has a mailing list and your visitors are already inundated with email. You have to give them a reason. Usually that reason will solve a problem, will help them save or make money or will improve their lives in some way.

A few those reasons might be: 

  • A free report or ebook: Provide your readers valuable information on a specific topic that is very relevant to the types of products you sell.
  • Ecourse: Much like a the report, an ecourse delivers information on a specific topic and often helps solve a specific problem. In this case, instead of an immediate download, the content is delivered in a series of email messages.
  • Software, Plugin or App: Hire a developer to make some simple, but useful software for your market. How can you make things easier for them or help them consume your product more readily?
  • A Practical Tool: Perhaps a handy spreadsheet, worksheet, pattern, etc.
  • Audio: Offer them a useful recording or get them excited about a live teleseminar invitation.
  • Video: Whether it’s instructional, informative or entertaining, it doesn’t matter. As long as your market is interested in it.
  • Exclusive Discounts: If you sell a consumable product (one that they’ll buy over and over again), your list might offer subscriber-only discounts and special offers.

What to Include in Your Opt-in Form:

  • A short, benefit-driven headline: Grab their attention, but keep it brief as you have limited space. Make a big promise that solves their problem or improves their life in a meaningful way.
  • A small graphic of your freebie: Graphics catch the eye. Include a report cover, software box, app icon or anything that provides a visual depiction of your offer.
  • A reason why: A short statement on why they should claim your offer. You may also want to mention that they’ll also get follow up emails to ensure they take action.
  • Opt-in form code: Your autoresponder provides you with the code, so create it and paste it in. Collect their first name (so you can personalize the email) and their email address. You can collect other data from them at a later date.

How to Position Your Opt-in Form

Getting your opt-in form in front of your audience as much as possible is critical. Don’t make your readers look for your newsletter, present it to them and compel them to subscribe.

Here Are a Few Places for Opt-in Form:

  • In the side bar of every page of your website: This is the bare minimum and what most people will do, but you’ll miss out on a lot of subscribers if you rely on this only. The side bar is not where your visitors’ attention usually is. Instead, they are engaged in your content, so you have to ensure you also position your opt-in forms at those key places as well.
  • At the bottom of your posts: After you’ve written a post about house training a puppy, you better include your opt-in form to get a report or other offer about house training. The key to opt-in forms at the ends of posts is to make them as targeted as possible to the content they’re reading. That probably means you’ll have multiple opt-in offers available at your disposal, so keep working on those freebies. They will pay off.
  • Try your website footer: As your reader scrolls down the page and is about to leave your site, why not give them an option to leave their email address?
  • On your “About Us” page: Once you’ve introduced yourself and your company, it’s the perfect time to invite your visitor to get on your list. Consider this your call-to-action for your About Us page.
  • Pop-ups or footer bars: Check out tools and plugins that allow you to present your opt-in offers in a variety of ways. Don’t overdo it at any one time, but do test out different options to see what works best for your site.

Growing your mailing list is a critical activity for boosting your email marketing success, so don’t slough it off. Keep working to improve your offers and position them so they grab attention and get action.