In 2017, your email subscribers list is one of your company’s most valuable assets. The phrase, “it’s all in your list,” has never been more accurate than it is today! There are many ways to increase email subscribers using lead magnets (check out the free lead magnet email marketing campaign), contests, and more, but before you invest time and money into those tactics, you need to make sure it’s impossible for visitors to your website to not find a way to easily subscribe to your list.
The goal is to surround visitors with opportunities to subscribe without inundating them with requests. It’s a balancing act, but with a tool like OptinMonster or LeadPages, you can create highly targeted and personalized lead capture opportunities based on visitors’ behaviors while they’re on your website.
To help you get started in creating these lead capture opportunities, here are some easy ways to surround your website visitors with opt-in forms and some suggestions to target and personalize those forms based on visitor behavior. You can also see this information visually in the infographic at the end of this article.
Use Multiple Opt-in Placements
Visitors to your website expect to find a subscription form in your site’s sidebar. You need to make sure it’s easy to see. The means the colors should be eye-catching, and if possible, it’s positioned above the fold so visitors don’t have to scroll to find it.
You can either use this form to simply invite visitors to subscribe to your email newsletter (yes, you should have one) or add extra incentives. For example, offer some type of exclusive content when they subscribe. Checklists work well as lead magnets in sidebar opt-in forms. Just make sure you have the subsequent email campaign automated and ready to go when someone subscribes! I like Active Campaign these days because of the advanced features and price, but Infusionsoft is also an excellent choice if you have the budget.
The footer of your website is another great place to include a subscription form. It will undoubtedly get used less frequently than your other opt-in form placements, but it’s one more place you can surround consumers with a subscription invitation without overwhelming them.
A footer placement is also provided as a convenience to people who actually scroll down to the end of a page. If they’re that engaged that they scrolled through a full page, then you want to make sure that they have a way to opt-in when they’re done without having to scroll or click elsewhere.
3. After Blog Posts
Following the same line of thinking as the footer opt-in form, adding a form after all or some of your blog posts can definitely boost subscriber numbers.
Again, if a visitor is so engaged with your post that they read it to the end, then it’s the perfect time to offer them more of that content by becoming one of your email subscribers.
4. Floating Bar
In recent years, the floating bar has become very popular for opt-in forms. Most commonly, the bar is positioned along the bottom of the page and scrolls with the visitor’s screen, but they can appear at the top of the screen, too. In other words, as the visitor scrolls, the floating bar stays visible, so subscribing is always very easy.
Floating bars can get distracting and even annoy frequent visitors to your site, so I recommend either setting up behavioral display rules (see the Use Advanced Display Rules section of this article below) or only using them to boost subscriptions through a very special offer such as an amazing lead magnet.
5. Scroll Slide-in
Scroll slide-in opt-in forms appear in the lower right hand corner of the screen when a visitor to your website scrolls down. They overlay the content of your site, so they’re very hard for visitors to miss! As a result, they’re very effective in boosting subscribers.
Fortunately, users can close scroll slide-in forms, but since they can interrupt the user experience on your site, I recommend only using them to increase subscriptions via a special offer such as a lead magnet.
Pop-up forms used to be a big no-no in web design, but once sites began using them strategically rather than constantly, they became more acceptable to visitors and more effective for website owners. Today, pop-up subscription forms can increase subscriptions more than any other type of form, particularly if they’re offering a great lead magnet or other special offer in exchange for the subscription.
With that said, you need to make sure your pop-up subscription forms don’t annoy your website visitors. Refer to the Use Advanced Display Rules section below for more details about how to time opt-in forms.
7. Landing Page
Nothing beats a well-designed and well-promoted landing page for conversions! A landing page is dedicated to promoting a specific lead magnet or offer and includes an opt-in form. You do need to promote the offer or lead magnet to drive traffic to it, but once that traffic arrives, if the offer or lead magnet is good and you promoted it to the right target audience, you’ll definitely see a nice bump in subscribers.
Landing page design is critical, which is why it’s so important to do A/B testing of your landing pages to determine what is and isn’t working. Test headlines, colors, copy, and more to develop the best landing page possible, and your conversions will go up.
Use Advanced Display Rules
Now that you know how to surround your website visitors with opt-in opportunities, it’s time to learn how to ensure they’re not inundated and annoyed by those opportunities. Otherwise, not only will they not subscribe, but also, they might not return to your site. That’s the last thing you want to happen!
With that in mind, here are several ways that you can target and personalize the opt-in forms on your website so they’re placed strategically and drive the highest number of conversions.
1. Exit Behavior
Opt-in forms that appear when a visitor exits your site are extremely effective. The concept is simple. When a visitor to your website moves his or her mouse to exit your site, an opt-in form automatically appears (typically a pop-up or slide-in form). If the visitor was happy with your content, then they might want more in the future. This opt-in form stops them before they can leave and gives them an easy way to get more of that useful, meaningful content.
Opt-in forms displayed when a visitor exits your site work best when they offer something amazing or exclusive, particularly if it’s relevant to the content on the page the visitor was on when he or she decided to exit your site. In fact, these opt-in forms work extremely well to reduce shopping cart abandonment on ecommerce sites. If a customer fills up his or her shopping cart but tries to leave your site before completing the transaction, an exit pop-up could offer a discount if they complete the purchase now.
2. Specific Page Visit
Opt-in forms that automatically appear when visitors land on specific pages of your website can convert very well. The key is to create an incentive that is highly relevant to the content on the page. For example, offer an ebook that provides next steps or a worksheet that the visitor can use immediately to get started on whatever the content on the page explained how to do.
The great part about offering lead magnets is that you can move people further through your content marketing funnel with them. Once you have their email address, you can directly and indirectly market your products and services to them with more relevant content. When you can track what page they visited on your website that motivated them to subscribe, you already know so much about their interests and behaviors. It’s a marketing goldmine!
3. Referral Source
Did you know that with the right tools (like OptinMonster), you can target traffic coming from a specific source to your site with a special opt-in or offer. You could offer exclusive discounts, include a personalized welcome note, and more!
Imagine that a visitor comes to your site from Facebook. Your opt-in form could say, “We’re so glad you found us through Facebook,” and then go on to describe your special offer and even invite people to like your Facebook Page in addition to subscribing.
4. Scroll Behavior
Opt-in forms that appear based on scroll behavior are tied to a specific position on specific pages of your website. When a visitor scrolls to a certain point on a page, the opt-in form appears. They’re very effective for highly targeted offers.
For example, if you’re a health coach and you publish an article about ways to reduce sugar intake, you could time an opt-in form with a lead magnet that offers your low sugar recipe ebook when the visitor scrolls down to the section of the article about cooking without sugar.
5. Device Detection
Creating opt-in offers that are targeted to mobile visitors to your website can greatly increase your subscribers. I’m not saying just use a mobile-friendly opt-in form. I’m saying use a form that detects the device a visitor is on and shows a special offer for mobile visitors.
There are so many ways to use mobile opt-in forms. For example, if someone checks a product price on your website while using a mobile device, it’s possible that they’re at a store comparison shopping at that very moment. Why not offer an exclusive discount or free shipping on purchases of that product which expires within 24 hours or less? The trick with mobile offers is to provide some kind of instant gratification. Therefore, think about what people might be doing at the instant they visit your site from a mobile device — think page by page — and create mobile offers targeted to those pages and behaviors.
Another way to ensure your opt-in forms don’t annoy visitors while ensuring you get as many subscribers as possible is to set up time-based rules. This way, visitors who have seen your opt-in form won’t see it again for a certain amount of time that you choose.
Keep in mind, timing rules are very effective for pop-up and slide-in forms that interrupt a visitor’s experience on your site. You can set up a rule that says anyone who has seen the opt-in form won’t see it again for three days, five days, or however long you decide. However, everyone who hasn’t seen the form will still see it. This is a great way to balance lead generation and opt-in form overwhelm.
Your Next Steps
Of course, these are just some of the strategies you can use to increase your email subscribers using opt-in forms, but they should give you more than enough to start testing! Your next steps are simple. Evaluate your website pages and your visitors and look for opportunities to leverage all of these opt-in form options to deliver offers and lead magnets that visitors will be interested in and easily access.
You can see all of this information visually in the infographic below, and as always, if you need help, I’m just an email away. Don’t hesitate to contact me!
Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means KeySplash Creative, Inc. might earn a small commission if you make a purchase using one of these links, but none of the fees have been increased to compensate us. Of course, you don’t have to use any of the above links.