You’re creating valuable content and, if all’s going well, you’re attracting new visitors to your website and blog. Beyond getting direct inquiries about your products or services, you should use visitors’ interest to build your email list so you can stay in contact with these potential prospects.
Here are 14 types of opt-ins you can use to grow your mailing list.
First, let’s look at the type of opt-ins you can use on your main website.
1. Squeeze page
Your squeeze page is a landing page with one goal – to encourage visitors to subscribe to your email list. The best way to ensure conversions from your squeeze page is to focus on something that visitors would receive once they subscribe.
For example, if you offer free reports, e-books, guides, tools, or other lead magnets, you should create a squeeze page for each one. While promoting the lead magnet in social media updates and bios, guest author bios, paid ads, and other marketing channels, link to this squeeze page.
Some sites even use a squeeze page for their home page, although this isn’t suggested for businesses with larger goals, such as selling products or services.
Like most landing pages, your squeeze page should include only content relevant to getting the visitor to opt into your email list. You should remove anything that could be a distraction, such as menu bars, sidebars, and other content not related to the goal of getting the opt-in.
Aside from using your website’s own template or theme in conjunction with the opt-in forms provided by your email marketing platform, specific services can help you create conversion-optimized squeeze pages. These include Unbounce, Instapage, and LeadPages.
Have you seen at the top of websites the toolbars that disappear when you scroll or scroll with you down the page? Those can be used for opt-in forms as well. They are great for website owners who want to put their opt-in form first without pop-ups.
If you want to go for a bolder approach, a header opt-in form may be the answer. These are designed to take up more real estate so they can’t be missed.
Header opt-ins can be created with WordPress plug-ins like Plugmatter and website templates or themes designed with header opt-in forms.
Toolbars can be added to the bottom of your website as well as the top to capture opt-ins. Alternatively, you can place an opt-in form in the footer of your website to ensure that those who have made it to the bottom don’t leave without giving you their email address.
Slide-ins create the movement of a pop-up without being a pop-up. Hence, they get noticed, especially when they are timed properly. They need to give people enough time to decide if they like your website but not so much time that the visitor has already left.
The pop-up is one of the most familiar opt-in forms lately, and for a good reason. Even the data scientist of HubSpot found that it increases email opt-ins without hurting anything else.
Many, many tools can help you create pop-ups. You just have to decide if they work on your website platform, have the styles you want, and offer the timing options you want to try for your website. These tools include Sumo, OptinMonster, Popup Domination, and PopupAlly.
7. Exit intent
For those who do not want to interrupt visitors until they are ready to leave, there are pop-ups based on exit intent. These pop-up tools detect when someone is trying to navigate away from your website and, at that moment, launch your pop-up for an email opt-in.
8. Content recommendations
Developing smarter content recommendations and paths for visitors provides more content option considerations, a clear content path, preview ability before opting in, and the opportunity to consume multiple pieces of content on the same page. It allows you to add content hubs and paths. You can combine the content with exit intent, pop-ups, slide-ins, and other ways to increase content consumption and conversions. Tools for this include Hushly, Uberflip, and Pathfactory.
Next, let’s look at how you can get your online store to help build your email list.
9. Discount pop-up
E-commerce stores can use discounts as the lead magnet for their opt-ins. Most tools that allow you to create a pop-up at a specific time or when exit intent is detected will allow you to use this discount opportunity as opposed to an offer for a free e-book or newsletter. Just be sure to immediately give the discount code, either on-screen or via email.
10. Order checkbox
It’s quite common for e-commerce stores to include a little completed checkbox to add a customer’s email to the mailing list once a purchase is made. You should consider adding this to your checkout process as well.
You can find options to do this using your shopping cart’s tools, apps, or add-ons by running a quick search for email marketing or email checkbox for Adobe’s Magento, Shopify, Bigcommerce, and other major platforms.
Now, let’s look at opt-ins that work specifically with blog content.
The top right of your blog’s sidebar is prime real estate for opt-in forms. Many people who are ready to subscribe to your email list will naturally look for it there, so even if you are using other opt-in form types, make sure this one is on your blog as well.
12. Content upgrade
If you have a great blog post that can be enhanced by a free giveaway, then consider making that a content upgrade accessible for readers once they opt in.
For example, if you have a post on keyword research, the content upgrade that entices the opt-in could be a spreadsheet template for organizing your research. Or, you could simply include a lead magnet that is highly relevant to your post topic.
You can either link to a squeeze page for the content upgrade or use a link that triggers an opt-in form to pop up.
13. Post footer
Once people have finished reading a great piece of content, they are more likely to be inclined to subscribe to your email list so they don’t miss out on another great piece of content. This is why the post footer option is a great one.
You can use it with a lead-magnet offer or offer simple messaging that says people who subscribe can get more similar content delivered to their inboxes.
14. Comment checkbox
When people leave a comment on your blog, chances are they are leaving an email address with that comment.
MailChimp offers a WordPress plug-in that allows you to add a checkbox to your comment form and contact form so that people can subscribe to your email list simultaneously.
Opt for a better opt-in strategy
As you can see, there are many ways to encourage people to opt into your email list from your website or blog (or even in your checkout process). While you don’t want one opt-in form overlapping with another, you do want to use multiple opt-in form types so that you connect with people ready to subscribe to your email list at the moment they are ready. Adding just a few of the above options is likely to increase the size of your email list substantially.
Please note: All tools mentioned are identified by the author. If you have a tool to suggest, please add it in the comments.
Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute