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5 Opt-In Form Best Practices for Blogs

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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.

Blogging

1 Blogging Lesson I Learned from Parking a Car in NYC

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Alternate side of the street parking day here in NYC. This means you need to move your car to the other side of the street for street cleaning. Cool. I heard it on the radio many times. First time I had to experience it in person, though. We house sit for a couple in Brooklyn. This couple owns a car. Cool. But the car did not start for a good hour because I did not know one steps on brakes while pressing key-less start buttons. Oh well. But after that, I drove around for 45 minutes looking for a new spot on the other side of the road because you get a nice ticket otherwise. No spots availed themselves for 45 minutes. I spoke to my wife. She told me cars need be parked 15 feet from fire hydrants. I was 5 feet away. Shoot. On returning to the car, a bus moved in front of me. I slid in to a parking spot. Phew. Relief.

What lesson did I learn? No matter how calm you THINK you are, agitation arises in you. Unless you’re enlightened. Alas I am not. I am a regular guy. Calm? Yep. But I routinely find events feeling uncomfortable to navigate. Sometimes, aka rarely, I experience events triggering deeper fears. Today was one such event. I did not flip out, scream, panic or throw a tantrum. I did however feel super agitated about needing to spend almost 2 hours driving around NYC and trying to start a key-less car because 2 hours are precious to me. I hate wasting time. Inefficient actions disgust me. BUT perfect place, perfect time. I needed this experience to trigger fears for feeling, hugging and clearing, to make me even more calm. No matter how much growth and success you experience, leveling up introduces you to new fears. Deeper fears. More unpleasant fears.

With deeper fears comes greater responsibility and even more success. I suspect if I do become a billionaire blogger how I’ll keep nudging into unpleasant-feeling fears along the way. But inspiring millions and making billions? Worth it. I am humble enough to know my calm demeanor a good 95% of the time may-does evolve into agitation some 5% of the time. Maybe less. Progress has been attained. Because I have not genuinely screamed at someone in about 1 year and I have been agitated like today about 5 times over the past year. I am calm most of the time. Agitation arises rarely because I am human and apt to be afraid of stuff. Sue me, LOL.

Be with fears as you grow. Energies arise. Anger. Terror. Horror at the future. Blanket disgust. Never resist these energies. I stumble across non-enlightened folks who hold self to enlightened standards. No way guys. Never be surprised at your getting angry or upset because only enlightened souls and repressed people never anger or feel agitated. Burying fear stifles your growth. Hugging fear accelerates your growth. You know I hug my fears. NYC parking agitation still subsiding now.

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Creating the Mindset of a Successful Blogger

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5 Greatest Landing Page Optimization Tools For Your Blog

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landing page optimization tools

Landing pages can steal people’s attention. And if you play your cards right, these pages hold the ticket to attracting more customers.

However, let’s be clear:

Landing pages are double-edged swords. While they can help you, they can also harm you — unless you’ve optimized them accordingly.

So if you know your landing page needs work, why not get around it?

Well, there are plenty reasons for this, and there are also many landing page plugins that can help to further critique your LPs as well.

As you go through this article, you’ll find five landing page optimization tools for your blog. With them, you can revamp your landing page then have it increase conversions and your blog’s income.

Unbounce

Unbounce - landing page optimization tools

Optimizing landing pages is not possible if you haven’t built them yet. So to construct great landing pages, the tool for you is Unbounce.

And Effin Amazing, a Florida-based agency that specializes in analytics and growth, will tell you all about the tool’s power.

When one of its clients, Chupa Mobile, asked for help generating new leads, Effin Amazing used Unbounce. The team’s idea for its client involved a lead nurturing strategy and a content calendar. That and Effin Amazing wanted to get it done as quickly as possible.

True, it was a rather ambitious plan. However, it was realistic. And get this:

The marketing agency reached its goal. Chupa Mobile was satisfied with its landing page. It also began generating dozens of new leads. Plus, it also walked away with a 44% increase in conversions.

Crazy Egg

Electronic Arts is a successful media company that knows that Crazy Egg lets you set up an A/B test in minutes. It also knows that the tool features Visitor Insights and Heatmaps. Both of which provide information about user behavior on landing pages. So before launching SimCity 5 in 2013, it set up an A/B testing process to maximize revenue.

Crazy Egg

For the control version of its landing page, it merely focuses on promoting the simulation game. While on the other version, the company offers a 20% discount.

Here’s the control version of its landing page:

Crazy Egg - SimCity5Control

Here’s the variation:

Crazy Egg - SimCity5Variation

After a while, the media company discovered that its landing page’s variation was a hit. Compared to the version that brings an incentive into the table, the landing page design without a 20% discount performed 43.4% better.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics

If you combine Google Analytics and Google Adwords, a powerful tool is in your hands. You can use it to track landing page performance to haul in leads even after they exit your site.

To demonstrate the power of Analytics, let’s explore Marketo’s conversion increase that happened after using the tool.

So here’s the story:

As a go-to company for many B2B and B2C folks when it comes to marketing and automation, Marketo’s goal is to help its clients improve conversions. And to reach that goal, the plan was to use Analytics and real-time personalization.

So it took its clients’ website data such as industry vertical and top products. Then it merged all of it with the user behavior data it got from Google Analytics.

Because of what the analytics tool reveals, Marketo provided audiences with relevant data. From what it gathered, it also created topnotch remarketing campaigns. The fruits of the marketing company’s labor? A 10x conversion rate improvement for its clients!

Thrive Architect

Thrive Architect

Thrive Architect is a WordPress page builder. And if you’re searching for a tool that can help you create visually impressive, high-converting landing pages, it’s the tool you need.

Take it from Louise Hendon. She is a solopreneur who uses Thrive Architect to whip up topnotch landing pages for Nourishing Brands. That’s why, over the years, she succeeded in building a sizeable six-figure business.

An upside is this:

Thrive Architect features a drag-and-drop interface that lets you build your page quickly. If you want detailed instructions on how to use the page builder, this article from ProfitBlitz will come to your rescue.

Pingdom

Pingdom

Did you know that Refinery29, a globally recognized brand for smart, creative women, uses Pingdom? And because the tool provides insights about how to increase page loading speed, the brand welcomes 36 million monthly visits.

So if your landing page loads slowly, Pingdom can help you. The tool works by taking your site out for a spin and pointing you to the root of the problem.

The excellent news is Pingdom is free and easy-to-use. All you must do is paste your site’s URL where the tool specifies, and you’re good to go.

To see it work in action, let’s check the page loading speed of a random site. For this, let’s go with Goliath National Bank’s website. So let’s paste its URL on the appropriate field and click START TEST.

Pingdom - Example

After the tool is done with the analysis, scroll down the same page to see the results.

Pingdom - Results

And if you scroll down some more, you’ll find suggestions on how to improve page performance. If you want a detailed explanation on how to improve page performance, expand the suggestion.

Pingdom - How to Improve Page Performance

Final Thoughts

Put yourself in a potential customer’s shoes and think of a landing page as a gateway to something unknown. Now, if someone herded you toward this gateway, would you want to see what’s on the other side of the fence if the entry point is dreary?

Chances are, you won’t. By the looks of it, choosing to pursue the dark path won’t lead to anywhere promising.

Remember, creating landing pages and creating landing pages that convert are two different things. So as you build your landing pages, make sure to implement nothing but the best landing page optimization practices.

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Listen to Pro Bloggers

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I received a pitch from a stranger a few days ago. The entrepreneur offered me free file space – I think; I forget, among the thousands of pitches I get – in response for a review. I think. Genuinely, I do not remember. Why? Thousands and thousands of strangers try to pitch me stuff or ideas. Strangers want valued space on Blogging From Paradise. But strangers have nothing of value to offer me. So I ignore their pitches. If I am not too busy, I offer help, so these folks experience more success and make more money. Alas, my pro blogging advice often falls on deaf ears. Because if you program yourself mentally to fail, you WILL fail by ignoring successful advice. Guaranteed. Every time.

Look at the featured image for this post. Said pitcher offered me free storage or something. Never heard of her. Never heard of her site. I know she is awesome. Site solid, too. Nothing personal. But the second I see a cold pitch, I lose trust in the individual and in their business. If business were TRULY booming, ALL business would flow to you and you ain’t cold pitching strangers. Real talk. Anyway, I suggested she buy my eBook:

13 Tips to Make Your Blogger Outreach Campaign Sizzle

because she obviously struggles, following the amateur blogger approach of blindly cold pitching strangers. Of course she has no interest in buying and reading my eBook. Successful advice evades bloggers who think, feel and act like unsuccessful bloggers. I believe she is awesome. But I share this real world experience to teach, to inspire and to wake up bloggers with the truth. Listen to pro bloggers. Pay close attention to pro blogger advice. We teach you how to blog the right way. We teach you how to succeed. If this person bought my eBook, read it, and followed my advice, she would place her guest post and business links on hundreds of respected blogs, over years. She would gain serious trust. She would make a bunch of money for her business. But alas! Since she ignore my successful advice she will keep following her failing advice, and, will fail, cold pitching strangers, never building strong bonds with pros, burning out, and failing.

Blindness

Are you completely blind to pro blogger advice? Observe your blogging career. Do you struggle? Struggling bloggers blind themselves to pro advice because fear clouds your mind. I advise new, struggling bloggers routinely. Being filled with fear, most foolishly question my advice. Why? Obviously, you are a new, inexperienced, struggling blogger. Your strategy sucks. Now it’s time to follow a new, successful strategy. Pro bloggers succeed. Pro bloggers teach you successful strategies to succeed. Listen to them. Buy their eBooks. Follow their advice. Position yourself to succeed.

I am not right. Struggling bloggers are not wrong. But I know what works and teach what works. Do not be a fool; if a pro teaches you what works, buy the eBook. I instantly saw the thousands of hours and years of struggle this entrepreneur faces because she has zero interest in spending $7 to get excellent blogging advice. Ego errs because ego sees illusion. Ignore it. Be humble. Listen to pro bloggers. Succeed.

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