4 Ways to Optimize Your Email Opt-In Form

email opt in

Conversion rate optimization is vital for every email marketing campaign. An opt-in form that’s not optimized isn’t an effective lead-generating tool; it’s dead space on a web page and a dead end for traffic.

Here are four things to consider when using an opt-in form to get more subscribers.

1. Make it more aesthetically appealing.

Graphical elements can make an opt-in form more eye-catching. Something like a brightly-colored arrow pointing at the form will direct the eye and indicate necessary action. Make these colors contrast with your color scheme; bright red is often a safe option. If your website’s color scheme is warm, however, choose vivid blues or greens. The same color suggestions apply to the submit button.

Most email marketing platforms offer form templates that you can customize to your needs. If you are offering an eBook or special report, a 3-D image may increase the tangibility of your offer and further increase conversions.

2. Ask for the right amount of information.

Requiring the right amount of information is key for better conversion rates. The less information you ask for, the more subscribers you will get. If you just want higher conversions, just ask for an email address. However, more conversions isn’t necessarily better.

The extremely low barrier of requiring only an email address is a poor qualification tool. So if you want only leads who are highly interested in subscribing, ask for more information. This is especially advisable if you will be personally contacting leads, as it will help to forge a warmer connection.

3. Use an effective headline.

The opt-in form headline has one purpose: to get the website visitor to fill in their personal information and click submit. It must include the primary benefit of subscribing to your list and a strong call to action. Whether you’re solving an intractable problem, offering an unprecedented number of hints and tips, or offering exclusive insider access, make the nature of your offer clear. Display the headline in a large, highly readable typeface. And make sure to double-check for typos.

4. Place the opt-in form in the right location.

On a website there are four common places to locate the opt-in form: front and center on the home page, in a sidebar, on a squeeze page, or in a pop-up. Each has its respective benefits and drawbacks. If you put your form front and center on the home page, it will be the first thing website visitors see.

Because this has the potential to turn off some visitors by making your website appear spammy, make your headline especially compelling and targeted. Consider avoiding this option if your focus is on web-based content marketing.

To give your content a more prominent place, put the form in the sidebar. It’s not as prominent, but it will always be visible, allowing visitors to subscribe at any time. Putting your form on a squeeze page—a dedicated opt-in page that includes a headline, some benefits, and perhaps testimonials—can be effective if you funnel targeted traffic there. Using a pop-up is undesirable in many ways. It’s obtrusive and annoying, and many browsers or browser plug-ins can easily block them. Avoid that option if possible.

There are many variables involved in making an opt-in form highly converting. It is crucial, therefore, to test variations of everything and in many combinations, because there is always an element of trial and error in conversion rate optimization. Optimization is an ongoing process. Once you begin optimizing, your opt-in form will become a highly efficient means of harvesting a list of interested subscribers into your sales funnel.

Jess Alexander

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