Boost the number of sign-ups with an eye-catching email opt-in form

Boost the number of sign-ups with an eye-catching email opt-in form
Nina De la Cruz
Nina De la Cruz 6 min read
💥 Join 5K subscribers

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?

Email opt-in form example by GetsitecontrolSee live preview →

We’ve prepared this post to help you get started and provide a few tips on how to make your email form more effective.

The examples we show in this post 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, a modal popup appearing in the center of a page, a floating bar, or a sticky panel. 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

  1. Login to your Getsitecontrol account.
  2. Click +Create widget and choose Collect email addresses from the dropdown list.
  3. Choose a webpage position for your opt-in form: classic modal popup, slide-in, bar, or panel. Then select one of the available widget templates and click Choose & customize.
  4. On the Content tab, add convincing copy and a clear call-to-action. Here you can also choose what should happen when your site visitor clicks the widget button or its background.
  5. If you’d like to change the look of the template, you can do it on the Appearance tab: change the colors of the widget and, if necessary, its size and paddings.
  6. Click Save & close to save the changes. When you are ready to publish the widget, 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.

Choose what happens after the submit

On the Content tab, you can not only edit the widget texts, but also choose what happens after someone clicks the button on your form. Just automatically close the widget, place a “Thank You!” note, redirect new subscribers to another URL, or show another widget — it’s up to you.

This feature is often used for encouraging further actions and delivering lead magnets. For example, you can offer a free ebook in exchange for an email address, and once site visitors fill the form, let them know that they can find an email with the book file in their inbox.

Subscribe widget with a lead magnet and a link to the promised materialsSee live preview →

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.

You can connect your Getsitecontrol account to the chosen email marketing software on the Integrations tab.

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 Targeting dashboard tab.

You can choose to display the subscription form only to certain segments of your audience based on their location, language, browser, and other parameters. Say, you only need to collect subscribers from certain countries, or coming from selected websites, or viewing your site from specific devices.

It’s also possible to 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 on the site in general. You can also target idle visitors or those who are trying to leave your site.

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 and provide some value in exchange for an email address if you want to grow your list faster.

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.

Page-relevant lead magnet exampleSee live preview →

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 just 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:

  1. Specify what they are signing up for
    Compare “Subscribe to our newsletter” and “Subscribe to receive our most popular articles roundups weekly”.
  2. Use social proof if it’s relevant
    Compare “Become our subscriber” and “Join 10K blogging enthusiasts who have already subscribed”
  3. 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.

Exit-intent opt-in form exampleSee live preview →

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.

A/B testing email opt-in form copySee live preview →

You can create as many versions of the same opt-in form as necessary 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.

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.

Opt-in form with a conseте checkboxSee live preview →

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 choosing the collect email addresses option, simply choose the promote content one to add a neat floating bar or a slide-in displaying your policy.

Tips for your marketing strategy