Easy Opt-in Forms Equal Better Results
May 13, 2009
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Does this situation sound familiar?
You have the skills needed to write and create consistently great content in your email marketing campaigns but you are not building up as strong a readership as you expected.
While it is true that outstanding content is vital to turning your subscribers into returning fans, there is another part of the equation you must focus on.
First you have to get them to subscribe.
Once they do that and read the content you are sending out, they will be kicking themselves for not having done it sooner.
But unless they opt in to your list, they will never be able to experience all of your hard work.
By convincing people to subscribe, and making it quick and easy to do so, you can bridge the gap between a random website visitor and a devoted reader of your email marketing campaigns.
Here are a few ways you can make your opt-in web forms more effective.
Place the form in a prominent location
If visitors can't find the form, they are not going to sign up. So put it in an easy-to-find spot. For most sites, this means near the top of the page. For example, once readers land on SimplyCast's main site
, the opt-in form is prominently featured on the left side of the page so it can't be missed.
Remember not all visitors have the same screen resolution as you do, so test out how things look on all various screen sizes and the most commonly used web browsers.
If you decide to use a newsletter button that visitors click on to display the form in a popup window you risk popup blockers keeping the form from appearing. A simple inline form located near the beginning of the page avoids that completely.
Also, if you have a website with multiple pages where visitors tend to browse the entire site, put the form on every page. Thanks to search engines, potential subscribers will land on several of your pages and if the web form is not featured, they may not take the time to look around.
Keep it short and to the point
If the opt-in form looks like it will take more than 10 seconds to complete, many surfers will not take the time to fill out the form and move on. Worse even, they could move on to one of your competitor's sites.
Ask for what you absolutely need to get started with your subscribers. The rest you can get it later as you further qualify that person to join your service.
Provide value for subscribing
You need to give visitors a reason to subscribe. No matter how much value you are delivering to your readers, your email marketing campaigns still take up space in their inboxes. Those visitors who don't know who you are yet or what value you provide, already get dozens to hundreds of emails a day.
You really have to sell the benefits of subscribing in a way that is clear and concise. This could mean using bullet points, bold text or other eye-catching techniques to tell them why they are going to be better off getting your emails instead of your competitors.
While these tips will certainly improve your subscription base, you still have to work at it. Take a look at what websites you follow or what services you have signed up to recently.
What enticed you to opt-in to a newsletter or a blog? If it worked on you, the chances are good that it will work others.