7 Cunning Ways to Use Opt-in Forms and Make Your Website Unforgettable
It's a scary thought, but this might be happening to you.
You've worked your ass off to make your site stand out, but following the latest design trends and conversion strategies has inadvertently lead you to the polar opposite:
You've become... just like everyone else.
In the blogging world, and in the business world of today, it's a cardinal sin to blend in. Nobody cares about ordinary.
Nobody remembers ordinary.
You need to stand out to succeed.
Thankfully there's one element on your website specifically designed to stand out:
The opt-in form.
Could there be a way to use opt-in forms to leave your reader with a lasting impression of your site? Let's talk about that.
This Isn't Even my Final Form!
Years ago, a pop-up lightbox was considered the newest advancement in digital marketing. The mere existence of such a form was enough to stand out from the pack.
These early opt-in forms were nearly impossible to customize, leaving most users no choice but to use the bog-standard form templates and the email sign-up motif. Results were more than satisfactory, and it soon became an industry standard.
Since then, lead generation solutions have matured and you no longer require an advanced degree in six programming languages to customize your templates. Yet, even with the vast amount of custom templates out there, the purpose is always the same: get the visitor's email address.
The early technical limitations had blinded people of the massive potential of what is essentially "attention grabbing technology". Something that should not have been forgotten... was lost.
History became legend. Legend became myth. For the longest time, a pop-up was merely a synonym for intrusive and annoying.
But now, we have the technology. We can rebuild it.
A cutting edge drag&drop builder, like the one in Thrive Leads, provides endless design and customization possibilities for anyone who can hold a mouse.
You no longer need to settle for the cookie-cutter opt-in form that everyone and their grandmother is using!
You can choose from any form type and customize it endlessly. Let me show you how.
Seven Ways to Rethink the Opt-in Form
Here are seven examples to get your creative juices flowing:
Example 1: Create Irresistible Curiosity
Enticing, isn't it?
Curiosity and humour are great ways to engage your reader. This opt-in form doesn't even mention any sort of benefit, but you'd be hardpressed to not click the button.
Combine this small bit of drama with a landing page and a captive storyline, and you're suddenly looking at a perfect opt-in offer. Yup, it's true! A brilliant opt-in form can easily become your lead magnet.
It's human nature to be attracted to stories and legends. It's no coincidence that the best copywriters are also brilliant storytellers.
Example 2: Put a Whole Landing Page Inside Your Lightbox
Instead of a small signup box, how about popping up a complete landing page?
Why would you do such a thing? Perhaps you have a seasonal special offer or promotion that could use a bit more copy than fits into a small box.
Rather than having to drive traffic to a separate landing page, you can just pop this up on a page that's already getting good traffic. You'll get easy exposure and it's quick to remove once the offer ends.
Also, you don't risk losing your visitors by sending them elsewhere. If your landing page doesn't interest them, they simply continue on to your site.
Example 3: Temporarily Replace Your Entire Page
Here's the opt-in form that pops up on Neil Patel's blog.
First time I saw this, I had to stop for a second and think to myself:
“Well. That's different.”
I'm not sure if it's effective (Hey it's Neil Patel. It's probably effective.) but it definitely made a lasting impression. I wasn't ready to opt-in to his mailing list yet, but boldly asking to Like on Facebook? Sure, I can do that.
Besides asking for a Like on Facebook, you could use the screenfiller to offer a quick survey, a quiz, a challenge, an easter egg, or any number of things that challenge your visitor to take part. This is another opt-in form that works great as a lead magnet.
Here's a quick quiz from Buzzfeed about different coffee drinking habits. Quizzes like this are light entertainment at best, and huge productivity sinkholes at worst.
But could a quiz be more useful? What if it popped up on a screenfiller? Think about browsing a site with interesting articles, and suddenly you're presented with four cups of coffee on your screen. Could you resist choosing?
I'd click it. And I don't even drink coffee.
The screenfiller might then offer you a coupon for coffee at a local establishment, or a choice to opt-in to an email newsletter about coffee products. Entertaining and effective. Definitely my cup of tea coffee.
Example 4: Get More Social Shares
Your primary focus should be on getting new subscribers to opt-in, but once they've done that, you can ask them to share your articles. Social sharing buttons often go unnoticed in the footer or sidebar, but what about a pop-up?
Imagine reaching the end of a brilliant article, and then being asked to share it. It just might be enough to get you to share, even though you originally weren't planning to.
Besides, you'd share great content anyway. Right?
Obviously you'd only want to show this sharing pop-up to readers who have already subscribed. Smartlinks makes showing different content to subscribers and new visitors effortlessly simple.
Example 5: Display an Unmissable Call to Action
The simplest alternative to the email signup form rarely used. Rather than simply asking for your visitor to opt in, why not present them with a call to action?
Often it makes sense to have the mailing list opt-in as your secondary objective, and promote something different before that.
Perhaps you have a topical landing page you'd like to promote?
Perhaps your guest post was recently published in a prestigious magazine or blog?
Perhaps you're thinking of launching a product?
A great way to highlight this content is through a lightbox pop-up. After the content you would of course have an email opt-in, to eventually get your visitors onto your mailing list.
Example 6: The Highly Relevant Redirect
Have you ever read an article and still been hungry for more? Wouldn't it be convenient if someone suggested an article relevant to the one you just read?
How about a slide-in form that appears once you've read the article? As a reader, you'd surely appreciate the gesture.
As a website owner, you could promote a product or landing page relevant to the article. Your reader would appreciate the relevant offer and you would appreciate the increased sales.
Example 7: Get More Webinar Registrations
You've just created a webinar to get more exposure and subscribers. Wouldn't it be just dandy if that webinar was available to every visitor on your site?
You could show a webinar registration form on your homepage, or pop up a call to action and send your user to a separate webinar funnel. Check out our nifty guide on creating the perfect webinar funnel here.
Spice up Your Opt-in Form Life Today!
Can you imagine being "that one site with the inventive opt-in forms"? Can you imagine people returning to your site just to see what you've come up this time?
Your website no longer needs to be cast in that dusty pile in the corner with the other “ordinary” sites.
All of the opt-in forms in this article were created using Thrive Leads. With just a little imagination and a decent toolkit, you too have all the power to make your website stand out as memorable and impressive as it should.
Go wild. Unleash your opt-in forms.
What are some interesting opt-in forms you've seen or ideas you've come up with? Share in the comments below!