Have you ever asked, “What is an opt-in form? I did, and decided that if I wanted to know, other people building online businesses might need to know as well.
An opt-in is a form of consent given by your website visitors that tell you they are interested in the product or service you are supplying. This form, asking for an email address, gives you permission to contact them via email with such things as newsletters, product sales, and other marketing material.
You can build an opt-in page, which often uses a lead magnet, or free gift that users will want to get for free. All the necessary information and fields that you want your visitor to supply should be above the fold (area of page visible before scrolling down.)
Though an opt-in page and a landing page are very similar, as they both are designed to gain information for you, here’s the main difference: An opt-in page converts users to leads. A landing page lends more to lead-to-customer conversion.
While the landing page is often a full page, an opt-in can be a very short form, asking for email address and perhaps a first name. The opt-in form can be placed on the landing page, or it can stand alone.
On your opt-in form, request minimal information. Of course, you will want their email address. It has been found that asking for just the first name and not the full name is more effective. Unless you have specific information that you need in order to continue, that’s all you really will need.
To build an opt-in page, there are three things you need to include:
1) Offer value for receiving their email
Give a free gift, and tell your future subscribers what they will receive in exchange for joining your group of followers.
This “lead magnet” could include something they will find helpful, such as a free ebook, a ticket to an event, free trial to a service you offer, etc.
2) Include a lead form
This form includes fields for providing the personal information they will give in order to receive your offer. Find a balance between what you are going to share and what specific details you will ask for. The fewer details you request, the more apt the visitor is to fill out the form. That is why it might be better just to ask for their first name and email.
3) Clarify with a CTA (Call to Action)
This step should let the visitor know the next step you wish them to take. For example, your CTA could be “download a free guide” or “grab my ebook.”
You can choose to include your opt-in form on a landing page. Or, the form can stand alone. One of the most popular ways is with a pop-up form. It’s been found that pop-ups help conversions to increase. A small percentage of people will find them too annoying and will leave, but for the most part, they will work well for you.
You could put an opt-in form on your sidebar. It is recommended to put it at the top of the page, above the fold. This method is a bit less intrusive than a pop-up, though actually not quite as effective.
You might put a button in an appropriate spot that says “learn more.” This button can lead the visitor to a full opt-in page, listing benefits of signing up plus the form to allow them to do so.
If you are not sure what you could use as a lead magnet, here is a list of possibilities provided by www.bluchic.com:
- PDF checklist
- Video tutorial
- Audio training
- PDF workbook
- Freebie library of resources
- Email course
- Printable calendar
- Swipe files
- Recorded webinar
- Screensaver (desktop wallpaper)
- Recorded interviews
One thing that is important for both opt-in pages and landing pages: You must use killer headlines and subheadlines. Provide catchy information that will hook your audience. Let your subscribers know what they are getting, but don’t give away too much information. You don’t want to write so much that you lose their interest.
you need to tell people exactly what they will get if they go for your lead magnet. Communicate clearly to your customer the results they will receive by using the lead magnet.
Why should someone sign up for your offer? You need to be able to articulate clearly the reasons why they should do so. If you can’t do that, perhaps you need to choose a more focused lead magnet.
Your headline should hook your audience and the subheadline should add further inducement. It all starts with your lead magnet. When you are sure you have chosen the right one, practice writing different messages and then decide which one is the most attention-getting.
Effective words to use are, of course, “free,” but also action-oriented verbs such as “create,” “discover,” “join” work well.
Then there’s your sign-up form. Put in enough information to get them interested. One thing you can do is to include spaces both at the top and the bottom of your form, asking for first name, email, and a button to access your offer.
By using this technique, you are adding extra insurance that they will send you the requested information. Make sure your buttons are easy to spot.
Be sure to add a CTA, as this tells folks what you want them to do. Your Call to Action should make it very clear what you want people to do. Examples are “download now,” “sign up here,” or “take the free course.”
Please check the references I have listed at the end of this post, as they will show you excellent examples of these concepts in practice. You might even find the inspiration for your own opt-in from examining the ones shown on these sites.
Though your opt-in page can be very basic, remember that visuals can go a long way. The visual can be a pretty background or an image that grabs attention. Whatever you use, it will add something extra to your content.
If you have testimonials from happy subscribers, be sure to showcase these. It will help build on the trust you are establishing.
For the opt-in form on a landing page, you first need to get people’s attention. That’s why your headline plays such a vital role.
This headline, like all headlines, should be concise, and should offer a specific benefit that is highly desirable because it solves the visitor’s problem. Here is information that might be offered by your headline:
- Ask a burning question
- Promise that the results will be pain-free
- Offer a solution to a problem
- Include a testimonial
- Offer an irresistible guide
Headlines are short, so you aren’t allowed many words to do your persuading. If you add a sub-heading, that can help, because they can allow you to fill out the idea in the headline a bit. Good subheading can help hold your visitor’s interest.
A lead magnet has that name because it gives you a way to give something of value to people who might not be quite ready to buy. You can help generate online leads by offering an attractive and ethical “bribe” in exchange for their email address.
If you can find out what people are saying about your product or topic through social media and in forums, you can use their language as part of your copy Such a technique makes the topic more personally relatable.
Remember that such things as landing pages and opt-ins should be part of building a relationship. You must build trust if you want people to convert. Include a privacy promise that you won’t spam them and that they can unsubscribe at any time.
Make sure that both your opt-in form and your landing page will work on a mobile device, as many people will be using a mobile to look at them. Write like you are having a conversation, and the person is in the room with you.
To make sure that people trust you, you will need to provide information that will let them know your company is a good one, and that other people like what you are doing.
Well, this post has given me some answers to questions I had about opt-ins. I hope it has also been helpful to you.
Be sure to check out my references to see good examples of the form you want to create. The references I used are as follows: