To make sales, you need a customer base. A great way to build your customer base is by adding an opt-in form to your website. After all, an email campaign is more effective when your audience has already expressed interest in your business, instead of a group of strangers who don’t have an idea about your business before hearing from you.
If you want to be successful, you can’t just add an opt-in form and wait for the subscriptions to pour in. Online marketing is so competitive that everything about your website, including the opt-in form, needs to stand out. Gone are the days when you had to stick to a standard form that couldn’t be customized. Now, you can make your opt-in form exactly the way you want.
Though there’s no clear formula, the following guidelines can help you decide the direction you want your opt-in form to take:
Make an offer visitors can’t refuse.
A strong call to action marked by a sense of urgency will get people to move faster. Let’s say you’re a reseller of designer labels, and you have a sale going on. You can use that sale to entice readers to subscribe. “Up to 50% off on luxury brands this summer only! Shop online now!” is more enticing than “Subscribe to our newsletter for sales announcements.”
Pique visitors’ interest with a bit of drama.
Clickbait titles can be annoying, but they’re irresistible. You can apply the same principle to your opt-in form by creating a bit of a teaser. For example, you’re a financial advisor offering your services. Skip the boring text and go with something like “If money doesn’t grow on trees, where does it grow? Find out!” Most people know money grows when you invest it, but the way the question is presented like riddle makes it hard for folks not to be curious.
Give visitors a glimpse of what they can expect when they subscribe.
It’s hard to convince people to sign up if they don’t see the value of subscribing, so why not offer a small taste? If you’re running a fitness site and you want people to subscribe to get access to your exercise programs and meal plans, add a tip to your opt-in form. “Half an hour of brisk walking can burn 150 calories” is a short yet useful tip. You can have the tips change each time the page is refreshed for added variety.
Make it entertaining for your visitors.
Filling out an opt-in form takes time and effort, however minimal. That’s why many people don’t bother. But make it feel less like a chore and more fun. Let’s say you have a bakery and you want to market your cakes and pastries. A picture quiz like “Which dessert speaks to you?” is quick and light. After clicking, visitors can be redirected to a discount coupon they receive when they subscribe.
Highlight what visitors would be missing.
Don’t just put a nondescript “No, thanks” button for people who want to opt out. Put something there that can make them think twice. If you’re running a travel agency, your opt-out button can say “I like to miss out on flight and tour discounts” or “I don’t like to save money on travel.”
Regardless of your niche, these 5 tips will help you design an opt-in form that stands out. To get the best results with the strongest impact, partner your copy with interesting visuals.
Author: Mike Gingerich, President of web firm Digital Hill, Co-Founder of TabSite .
Digital and Social Media Marketer, Speaker, and Business Consultant. Part geek, part marketer, total digital junkie! Seeking to add value, make the complex simple, and leave a positive impact.
Follow me on twitter: @mike_gingerich.