Want to grow your email list? Well, the first step is to add an email opt-in form to your website. Step number two will be to connect it to your email marketing software. And finally, the most exciting part is fine-tuning it using the best opt-in form practices from the businesses like yours.
Does it sound like something you were looking for?
We’ve prepared this post to help you get started and provide a few sign-up form examples that have brought other GetSiteControl customers a 2X increase in email subscriptions.
The opt-in form can look like a right-side or a left-side slide-in (the example above), a modal popup – appearing in the center of a page, a sticky bar, or a floating tab. It all depends on your list building strategy and how attention-grabbing you want the form to be. What all of them will have in common though, is the ability to appear at the right moment and convert your website visitors into subscribers.
Here is how to create a basic email opt-in form in less than 5 minutes
- Login to your GetSiteControl account.
- Click Create widget and choose Subscribe.
- Choose a webpage position for your opt-in form: classic modal popup, slide-in, top or bottom bar, side floating button or bottom tab.
- While on the Appearance tab, choose the colors for the widget or apply your website color theme automatically. You can also upload an image from your PC or choose one from the gallery.
- On the Content tab, add convincing copy and a clear call-to-action.
- Click OK to save the form and activate it.
Once you’ve finished with these steps, the email opt-in form will instantly appear on your website ready to collect subscriptions. Next we’ll show you what other tweaks you can apply to make it even more efficient.
For example, the Success page tab.
This is where you decide what happens after someone subscribes to your newsletter. You can just automatically close the form, place a “Thank You!” note, or redirect new subscribers to another URL.
This feature is often used for encouraging further actions and delivering lead magnets. Notice how AllTopStartups magazine offers a free ebook in exchange for an email address, and once you fill out the form, they display the link to the promised incentive.
Integrate your opt-in form with email marketing software
GetSiteControl allows for smooth integration with 25+ most popular email marketing apps including MailChimp, Constant Contact, Aweber, and others. If you have the website up and running, you should connect the software right away, so that every new subscriber would go directly to your mailing list.
Note that you’ll need to connect your GetSiteControl account and the opt-in form to the chosen email marketing software.
Set up on-page behavior triggers and targeting
Now that you have a fully-functioning email opt-in form on a website, you may want to fine-tune targeting settings and on-page behavior triggers. Both can be found in the corresponding dashboard tabs. The former allows you to display the subscription form only to certain segments of your audience based on their location, language, IP, browser, and other parameters. Say, you only need to collect subscribers from certain countries or coming from selected websites.
The Behavior tab helps you define at what moment the form appears on the page: instantly, after a visitor scrolls down, after they spend a certain amount of time on a webpage, or right before they exit.
Here is an interesting signup form example from Kern River Outfitters, a rafting adventure company located in Southern California.
After trying different settings, they have noticed that the email signup conversion rates are higher when they show the opt-in form after 5 seconds or when a visitor scrolls down 60% of the content. Here is their story if you’d like to see how they use GetSiteControl to capture email leads.
Opt-in form best practices you should have in mind
By now, you should have a clear idea of how to create an opt-in form and adjust it to your goals. As promised, below we’ll briefly overview some of the best opt-in form practices that might be helpful.
Add incentives (lead magnets)
Here is the deal. Most people aren’t too excited to receive brand newsletters these days because their inboxes are already cluttered. That’s why you need to come up with an enticement if you want to grow your list faster.
From the signup form examples above, the AllTopStartups team offers a free ebook. Kern River Outfitters offers a group organizer packet for those planning a rafting trip. Both companies provide value in exchange for an email address. The trick is to find out what type of value will be relevant to your audience. Is it an ebook? A cheat sheet? A discount or free shipping maybe? Think of your marketing persona and their pain points, and you’ll come up with an idea of what can be a lead magnet.
Customize signup forms for different pages
Imagine, you’re reading a blog post about vegetarian recipes and an email subscription form pops up. Which one will be more enticing?
- The one offering “Best 30-minute recipes” or
- The one offering “Best vegetarian 30-minute recipes”?
Most likely, the latter.
Naturally, people are more inclined to subscribe to the information they are interested in. In other words, you have more chances to convert a visitor by offering something similar to what they are already consuming on your website.
In GetSiteControl, to display selected opt-in forms on selected pages, you’ll need to specify the page URL on the Targeting tab.
Get creative (and straightforward) with the copy
And while we’re on the subject of making opt-in forms more convincing, let’s establish that your copy matters a lot. One of the best opt-in form practices is being specific about what you deliver.
Here are three tips:
- Specify what they are signing up for. Compare “Subscribe to our newsletter” and “Subscribe to receive our most popular articles roundups weekly”.
- Use social proof if it’s relevant. Compare “Become our subscriber” and “Join 10K blogging enthusiasts who have already subscribed”
- Avoid boring CTAs placed on the button. Compare “Subscribe” to “I’m in!”, “Sign me up”, “Join” or “Let’s do it!”.
Experiment with exit-intent popups
Exit-intent opt-in popups are your last chance to convert a visitor who was about to leave without subscribing, and you better not miss it. The best practice for an email opt-in here is definitely offering something in exchange for a subscription. Think about it. If someone didn’t subscribe while browsing your website, chances are, they weren’t too enticed. So, showing a plain “Subscribe to our newsletter” opt-in form at the exit might not be too effective either. Instead, offer an incentive that might change their mind and convince to sign up.
A/B test the opt-in form
Split tests work wonders. They allow you to eliminate the guesswork and find out exactly which copy, creative, offer, and CTA combination delivers the highest conversion rate.
You can create up to 5 versions of the same opt-in form and run them simultaneously on a website. Remember that you should only have one variable during the experiment to get reliable results. After some time, you’ll be able to see which form performs better and use this knowledge to optimize conversions.
Add a consent checkbox
This one is important. And not only because of the GDPR-related concerns but also because it demonstrates your responsible approach to list building. Adding a consent checkbox in GetSiteControl is simple. You can do it on the Content tab where you can also specify the consent message and make the checkbox required.
And by the way, if you were looking for an easy way to add a cookie consent message to your website, GetSiteControl can help you with that too. When creating a new widget, instead of Subscribe, simply choose Promo to add a neat floating bar or a slide-in displaying your policy.