An opt-in box, lead capture box, or sign up box is an element on your website with the purpose of capturing leads and growing an email marketing list.
The premise behind a website opt-in box is to capture the names and emails of visitors who want to learn more from you, stay in touch with you, and hear from you in the future — those who aren’t quite ready to hire you or buy from you — so you can market to them by email in the future.
When opt-ins first became popular, simply offering an email newsletter subscription worked great for conversions. At that time having an email newsletter made you cool because not many people had one! But as consumers became more internet savvy, and spam became more prevalent, consumers became more protective of their email addresses and website owners were forced to up the ante.
As a result, the irresistible free offer was born.
An irresistible free offer or IFO is a high-value free gift you offer to your website visitors in return for their name and email address — which is why it is also called an ethical bribe.
The best free offers address a desire your ideal clients have, provide a solution to a problem or challenge, and are so awesome and valuable that you question whether or not you should charge for the content — that’s what makes them irresistible.
When making a list building, irresistible opt-in offer, some website owners choose to lead with their newsletter and use their free offer as a bonus gift:
“Sign up for my FREE email newsletter with industry insights and valuable tips on XYZ, plus receive my brand new video training: ’10 Ways to Achieve Big Results’ as my gift to you.”
Other website owners choose to lead with their free offer as the primary tool to build an email list, and offer their email newsletter as secondary gift or bonus:
“Sign up today and get instant access to our brand new FREE CD: ’10 Ways to Achieve Big Results!’ Plus receive our complimentary weekly email newsletter full of valuable tips and resources.”
A basic website opt-in box typically includes:
- An attention-getting headline (try to use exact-match keywords — keywords that match those most commonly used by those searching for the same topic your IFO addresses)
- A description of what they will receive (If they will also receive your email newsletter or ongoing email marketing, make sure you let them know up front)
- An image or visual of what they will receive (Pictures make the offer more real and increase conversions)
- An opt-in / sign up form (Use as few fields as possible, consider just an email field)
- A call to action button (Make the call to action powerful)
- A privacy statement (Promise they won’t get spammed)
For many businesses, consumers can hire services, buy products, and learn information. A website opt-in is a great tool to help you build an email list full of leads that want to learn from you and hear from you on a regular basis — a list of people who may not be ready to hire you or buy from you now, but may be in the future.
What About You?
Do you have a list building, email marketing opt-in box on your website? If you use an irresistible free offer to encourage visitors to opt-in, do you lead with your offer or your newsletter? Have you found list building and email marketing a valuable marketing tactic for your business?
We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
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