If people visit your site, you want to be able to reach out to them. We take a look at 9 tips for how to build an email opt-in form that really works.

9 Tips for an Email Opt-in Form That Really Works

Wait, you don’t have an email list yet?

You’ve definitely come to the right blog post. The return on email marketing has grown by a jaw-dropping 3,800%! Plus, email subscribers are more than three times as likely to share your content on social media.

But the burning question is, how do you get people to fork over their emails without it getting awkward?

Simple: an enticing an email opt-in form.

In this article, you’ll learn nine proven tricks for creating opt-in forms that inspire visitors to subscribe.

1. What Are You Offering?

Simply put: if you have nothing of value to offer, you won’t attract email subscribers.

Now, if you do have something of value, but your customers can’t see it, that’s another problem. Before you can even conceptualize an opt-in form, make sure your company website clearly illustrates the value of your service or product.

Your website content and your email opt-in form go hand-in-hand. To illustrate value, incorporate testimonials, reviews, demo videos, and professional photos into your web content.

After you have some really enticing web content, you can focus on creating a killer email list form.

2. What’s the Best Way to Use Your Opt-In Form?

Email lists and subscription forms are extremely versatile. So your next question should be: what is your subscription form for?

This is where marketing goals come in handy.

Here are a few pro tips for setting goals for your form:

  • How many subscribers do you want to generate?
  • How many products sales are you looking to generate?
  • What are your weekly monthly and annual benchmarks?
  • Are you trying to reach a particular demographic?
  • Are you trying to generate interest in an unreleased product?

Make sure to narrow in on achievable goals. You may want to use the S.M.A.R.T goal-setting method to set benchmarks that are “specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-sensitive.”

This way, you won’t burn a hole in your email marketing budget.

3. Offer an Incentive

Once you’ve narrowed down your goals for email marketing, include a juicy incentive in your opt-in form.

An incentive is something you offer in exchange for customer participation.

For example, if you’re a pet product manufacturer trying to attract more pet stores or distributors, you could offer free samples, product catalogs, or exclusive first looks to subscribers.

Not a brick and mortar business? No problem. B2B digital services frequently use free ebooks, complementary courses, and free promo offers as incentives to potential leads.

4. Write Dynamite Copy

Now that you have a goal and a juicy incentive, your next step is to sell it.

No matter how great your subscription form looks, visitors won’t click unless it’s accompanied by persuasive language. So your first line should clearly let them know that you have something of value for them.

Since you already have a goal and audience in mind, don’t be afraid to talk directly to your audience.

“Hey educators! Sign up now for exclusive free classroom printables!” and “sign up now to receive five free samples from our newest supplement collection!” are a couple ways that you can address your audience directly.

5. How to Get Visitors to Take Action

The examples above also include what’s called a ‘call-to-action’, which encourages visitors to take action.

“Sign up now” and “subscribe today” are two classics examples of CTAs. Other persuasive examples include:

  • “Hurry while supplies last!”
  • “Subscribe here for your free gift!”
  • “Opt-in before this offer ends!”
  • “Subscribe to start your free trial!”

Your call-to-action should be assertive, personable, but also create a sense of urgency.

6. Less Is More

You believe in your business, and you have a limited amount of time to impress. So, naturally you want to express as much as you can in the shortest amount of time.

One of the best ways to do this is to edit yourself.

Don’t include a wall of text in your opt-in form. Try to include no more than two or three sentences. Address your audience, make the incentive clear, and include a call-to-action at the end.

While not always necessary, you may want to include a compelling image in your subscription form. This is especially helpful if you’re offering a free gift to new subscribers.

7. Stay Visible at All Times

If visitors have to look for your subscription form, you’re doing it wrong.

Your email opt-in form should not only be easy to find, it should be visible to website visitors at all times.

One of the best ways to do this is to include your subscription form on your website sidebar. This way, it’s always visible to visitors no matter what page they’re on. This is a great option if you’re not partial to pop-ups.

Besides sidebars and pop-ups, you can also use a slide out form as your email opt-in. This is a good option if you already have enough content on your homepage, like blog posts or service descriptions.

8. Get a Second Opinion

You’ve heard the phrase, “practice makes perfect.’ Well in the web dev world, it’s more like testing makes perfect.

While that subscription form may look complete, you won’t know for sure until you test it. That why you should create at least two different email forms. This way, you can truly find out which copy and delivery method works or doesn’t work.

This process of testing out to different subscription forms is called a/b testing. Not only should you test your copy, delivery method, and incentives, you should also test your forms on different web browsers.

9. Check Your Results

Remember those goals you set earlier in this article? You’re going to need them for your ninth and final step.

After choosing the form that tests best with your target audience, check the results of your campaign after your timetable is up.

Ask yourself:

  • Did you achieve your subscriber benchmark?
  • Did you meet your sales goals?
  • What’s your open rate?
  • What’s your bounce rate?
  • What’s your cost per subscriber?

Understanding the results of your first opt-in form will help you fine tune your forms to follow.

Take Action

Now, it’s your turn to see what an opt-in form can really do for you.

Don’t hesitate on building your email list. Every minute someone isn’t subscribing is a missed marketing opportunity.

Bookmark this guide to start building your list. Don’t forget to check back for more tips or to speak directly to a professional who can help you generate leads right away.