The Easiest Way to Increase Conversions With Multi-Step Opt-In Forms
When you create opt-in forms to build your list, there's a simple psychological trick you can exploit, to increase conversions.
In this post, you'll see a new set of templates we've released in Thrive Leads and uncover the uses of 1, 2 and 3-step opt-in processes.
The Simple Multi-Step Form
The type of opt-in form we're examining today is what I call a "simple multi-step" form. Here's an example of such a form:
As you can see, the form initially shows a button and on click of that button, the opt-in fields are revealed. This happens instantly, without reloading the page or the lightbox.
This is what our newly released templates have in common: they have an initial state and an opt-in state that appears after the visitor clicks on a button.
Here's an example of one of the new templates:
And here's another example (same principle, different design):
I call this a simple multi-step form because it's almost identical to a regular opt-in form. The design, copy, size etc. of a form like this is pretty much the same as it would be for any opt-in form. The only difference is that in the initial state, there are no opt-in fields.
Here's why this makes more of a difference than you might initially think:
Cults, Clicks & Micro Commitments
Have you ever read a story about some weird cult and wondered how anyone could seriously believe in ancient alien souls or space messiahs?
Part of the reason people can arrive at screwball beliefs lies in the commitment bias.
It works like this: if you've already made a commitment to something, you're more likely to follow that path of action and less likely to change your mind about it.
So, if someone tells you a loony story about magic underpants, you're more likely to go along with it if you've already believed in a series of less crazy stories that came before it and if you've already invested time and money into these beliefs.
What does all this have to do with opt-in forms?
In opt-in forms we can tap into a related psychological principle: micro commitments.
When you see a form like this, it simply presents a benefit and asks "do you want this?":
When you click on the button, you confirm that you do indeed want the thing that was advertised. And that click is a small commitment.
Having made that micro commitment, you are then more likely to fill out an opt-in form when presented with one.
Mind Your Steps
With these new templates and all the other options in Thrive Leads, you have a wide range of options, for showing opt-in forms to your visitors.
Depending on how you combine different form types and triggers, you'll be presenting your visitors with different numbers of steps towards opting in.
1 Step Example
If you show a regular opt-in form in your content, the user scrolls down until they see it and at that point, they are only one step removed from opting in:
The same is true for an opt-in form in your sidebar or any automatically triggered opt-in form, such as a lightbox pop-up that shows on exit intent.
2 Step Example
If you use a ThriveBox, your visitor clicks on a link or a button and is shown an opt-in form in a lightbox pop-up as a result.
In this instance, the user is two steps removed from opting in to your list:
Using a multi-step form that triggers automatically is another way to present a 2-step opt-in to your visitor.
3 Step Example
If you combine a ThriveBox with a multi-step template, you're adding another step to the opt-in process. In most cases, asking for two separate buttons clicks just to get to an opt-in form doesn't make for a good user experience.
However, in some cases, it can make sense. For example:
Here, we're asking the user to make a relevant choice in the second step, so it's more than just a confirmation or an ask for a commitment. In this case, the 3 step process will still seem natural to your visitor.
By the way: we call this a multiple choice opt-in and you can read more about them here.
No Right Number
Keep in mind that there's no "right" or "wrong" number of steps in an opt-in process.
As always, there's really only one reliable way to find "the best" solution for your website: test!
Keeping it Simple
With the above, I hope you've gotten a good overview of micro commitments and how they relate to lead generation.
The reason we made the simple multi step templates for Thrive Leads is because this type of opt-in form is the easiest way to make use of micro commitments. Unlike a multiple choice form, it doesn't require multiple opt-in offers. In fact, it doesn't even require a different design, layout or much different copy.
If you can create a regular opt-in form, you can create a simple multi step form!
I encourage you to test this form type on your site, to see what results you get.
If you have any questions or feedback about this post, please let me know by leaving a comment!