As you’re well aware, collecting user information and building an email list is an extremely important aspect of blogging. It allows you to set yourself up for success in the long run and provides an opportunity to maximize the value of your traffic. Ultimately, your ability to grow a sizeable email list depends on your opt-in forms and subscription boxes.

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Enhance Your Opt-In Forms With These Five Tips

Thanks to a number of handy opt-in tools and plugins, it’s now easier than ever to simply paste an opt-in box into a web page and then step away. However, there’s a lot more to being successful with opt-in forms than simply putting one on your blog. If you want results, you need to carefully consider each element. 

  1. Give Users a Reason to Believe

An opt-in form should give visitors a reason to believe. In other words, there needs to be a valuable incentive if people are going to hand over their personal information. This may be an eBook, free gift, premium website access, a valuable weekly email, or anything in between. Just remember that very few people will give you their information without feeling like they’re getting something in return.

  1. Use Proper Placement

Proper placement is key for opt-in forms. If you place the form at the bottom of the page, you risk going unnoticed. If it’s right in the middle of your content, the form may interfere with the flow of the page. Ideally, your opt-in form should be placed above the fold, but out of the way.

This page from Fetterman & Associates is a good example. Notice how it’s above the fold and in the right-hand sidebar. This ensures it gets maximum exposure, without interfering with the main text of the page.

  1. Keep Things Short

One of the most important rules in opt-in design is to keep things short and simple. The more information you request, the lower the chance that any user will fill out the form to completion. To give you an idea of what “keeping it short” looks like, let’s examine two different forms that are essentially used for the same purpose.

The first is an opt-in form from a landing page for Fanbooster. Notice how the form asks for five pieces of information (three are required) in order to download the free content marketing PDF. On top of that, the form is large and intimidating, which may overwhelm some visitors. Now, contrast that form with this form from Wrike. They are also offering a free content marketing eBook, but they only ask for one piece of information – an email address. The latter form is much more likely to be successful.

  1. Use the Right Button Text

One element of opt-in forms that’s frequently overlooked is the button text. Instead of simply using the default “submit” or “subscribe” text, go with something more actionable. Depending on the goal of your opt-in form, this may include words and phrases like “get instant access,” “start saving,” “get your report,” or “I’m ready.”

  1. Split Test Everything 

Finally, it’s important that you split testing everything. The only way to know if you’re maximizing conversions is by regularly tweaking and testing multiple versions. Change one element at a time and analyze the results. You may be surprised to learn that one format, design, color, phrase, etc. works better than another.

Putting it All Together

At the end of the day, opt-in forms are valuable and effective. But you have to commit to monitoring and tweaking them in order to maximize your returns with email. Simply having an opt-in form isn’t enough, so keep these best practices in mind.