Feb 27, 2020 - Rob Browning

Key Strategies for Increasing Your Website's Opt-In Rates

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Your marketing opt-in rate is the percentage of site visitors who subscribe to your list. Having a high opt-rate is a crucial metric in evaluating if your website can convert viewers to subscribers, which can lead to potential customers. An opt-in popover will place your opt-in right in front of your site visitors as they navigate various parts of the site. While there is a high chance, they may exit without subscribing, for users who do want to subscribe, this provides a clear path towards opting-in.

An excellent opt-in rate can vary depending on the industry, the primary traffic channel, and the type of offer you are incentivizing people with to get them to subscribe. Subscribing to a marketing list is voluntary, so site visitors should be convinced or given an incentive to want to opt-in. Typical offers can include unique content, white papers, and even discount codes.

For example, if you are running ads to generate webinar sign-ups, your opt-in rate will be much lower than if you are generating leads from existing users. Additionally, asking a user to opt-in for a webinar requires a much higher level of commitment from the visitor than just opting-in to get an instant PDF download or joining an email subscription. 

Across the board, average opt-in rates on a website typically range between 1% to 5%, with the average rate centering around 1.95%. However, depending on the placement of the opt-in form, these rates vary highly. For example, one of our clients, in the shopping sector, successfully achieved a 9% opt-in rate utilizing a basic popover form on their website, which is triple the average of 3%!  

Below is a list of the different ways opt-in forms can appear on the website and the average opt-in rates based on those locations:

  • Corner of Page Form: 2%
  • Banner on Page Form or Flow:  3%
  • Popover Form: 3%
  • Center of Page Form: 6%
  • Fullscreen Form at the Center: 7%
  • Countdown Timer Overlay: 9%
  • Form with an Offer: 13%
  • A Form on a Dedicated Landing Page: 23%

As shown, opt-in rates dramatically fluctuate based on the placement and design of the form, as well as the promotion of the form. Let's examine two popular styles of opt-in forms and discuss some general strategies for increasing opt-in rates.

Increase Subscribers with a Dedicated Landing Page 

A landing page on your site that has the sole purpose of capturing the visitor's information and promoting an opt-in or subscription. Typically, these pages are stripped and feature few links or other distractions. Because of the minimalistic approach, users are more focused on the opt-in form, which leads to much higher opt-in rates.  

These landing pages are typically comprised of:

  • A compelling headline 
  • A picture, video, or infographic that relates to the message
  • Informational copy that explains benefits or incentives for opting-in
  • A clear call-to-action
  • A form with minimal fields, such as a name and email 
  • Links to relevant privacy information

For example, LinkedIn has a terrific landing page for opting-in to its webinar series.

linkedin example

The page features compelling text, auto-fill options for user information, and relevant imagery. The auto-fill feature is truly unique because while they do ask for multiple pieces of information, the time the user will spend completing the form is minimal if they leverage their existing LinkedIn account. 

As demonstrated in the above example, the key to successfully leveraging an opt-in landing page is to draw leads in by offering up something valuable. Crafting compelling copy, utilizing engaging media, and providing a short, concise form are great strategies, but using these strategies hand-in-hand with a lead magnet is what makes conversion rates on landing pages so impressive.  

Using a lead magnet, such as a webinar, whitepaper, or even a free audit can entice users to provide their information. When value is offered up in exchange for information, users typically feel giving up their information is worth something. Your offer can help increase conversions on this landing page greatly.

If you are currently using an opt-in landing page and not getting the results you want, make sure you are following best practices by:

  • Providing truly valuable offers or piece of content in exchange for information
  • Optimizing your optin page for the mobile experience
  • Removing unnecessary distractions and avoiding clutter
  • Make sure the page load time is quick 
  • Clarify the benefits, offer, and call-to-action to make them as clear as possible
  • Leveraging A/B testing to make constant improvements

Making sure these items are addressed will help improve the quality of your landing page. Keep in mind, a landing page is one of the highest converting placements for an opt-in, it shouldn’t be the only place users can subscribe.

Increase Conversions with a Marketing Opt-In Popover

Popover forms can also be used effectively to enhance the user experience. These popover forms work like hover ads, appearing superimposed as a transparent layer on top of a webpage. The sudden appearance draws attention to the sign-up that may have easily been overlooked on the page. Best practices for popover forms are:

  • A large exit button
  • Minimal information
  • Data implemented based on user behavior

While popover forms have lower than average opt-in rates, combining the popover form with an offer can prove useful. If appropriately used, pop-ups can be an extremely effective way to generate opt-ins without being a distraction for users.

Certain guidelines for form design can improve your conversion rates. For example, collecting minimal information can dramatically increase the chances your user will opt-in. In certain cases, limiting the number of fields to less than 3 items saw a 5% increase in conversions when compared to forms with 3-5 fields and a 10% improvement from forms that featured 6 or more fields. 

Here are some best practice guidelines to follow when using opt-in popovers:

  • Make your pop-up appear once, and try to reduce the frequency to avoid annoying users
  • Include a regular opt-in form in addition to the popover 
  • Collect minimal information
  • Provide a clear close or exit button, as well as the option to click off-screen to close
  • Have the popover form appear after the user has begun to engage with the page

For example, Baubax has an incredible popover form.

bauax example

This form is compelling because it generates an offer with the request for user information. Not only that but it also only appears to users when they have the intent to exit the page - which compels users to continue their session in addition to an opt-in.

Tips for Conversion Rate Optimization 

Below are some general guidelines for creating a sufficient opt-in user flow and increasing the percentage of your website's opt-in rate:

 

Use Compelling Copy

Copy should focus on promoting an incentive for subscription, but also should summarize the types of content the user will receive through email after subscribing.

 

Keep It Simple

Only ask for essential information like name and email. A demographic survey can be used to get more subscriber information that can be used for segmentation and personalization. Additionally, an automated follow-up email could be designed to include a follow up to collect additional information about users.

 

Conduct User Research

Use A/B testing to optimize and improve form copy, call-to-action copy, and page placement to determine how to improve the opt-in subscription rate. Google Optimize is recommended to run A/B testing on the text on the form and call-to-action. 

 

Make It Convenient 

Consider a sign up without requiring an email address. With a click on the “One-click subscription” button, the user’s email app opens, and the body explains that all they have to do to subscribe is hit send. The user doesn’t have to type out their email address with this single opt option. Or consider using Facebook or Google as an alternative to entering an email address.

 

Cater To Your Audience

Leverage personalization after the opt-in has been submitted. For example, upon form submission, instead of an inline confirmation, users could be directed to a thank you page. On this landing page, the copy could be personalized to the user.

 

Provide Value

Using an offer, such a piece of gated content or a discount, is a healthy subscription rate boosting strategy. Providing an offer can be a reliable path to help convert users. 


An effective opt-in strategy can be simple. Use these subscription forms correctly, and you'll not only generate more opt-in users but also generate quality visitor information that will be invaluable to your digital strategy. For help building a form or generating an effective strategy for increasing your opt-in rates, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team. We provide free CRO and Engagement Audits.
 

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