So, it’s about time to start building your email list, isn’t it?
I know you’re probably starting to think “this Amanda girl is crazy! Another email list post?!”
It’s important, though! I’ve jumped on this email marketing train and I’m trying really hard to get you to hop on too because it’s soooo important. And it’s something we need to do as business owners, no matter how much it scares us (don’t be skeered).
Let’s talk about how to actually do it then.
First things first: every single page on your website needs a call-to-action (CTA). Every. single. page.
That call-to-action can be a link to a new blog post, a link to your Work With Me page or a product listing, a contact form for your readers to ask you questions, or it can be a form for your readers to sign up to get a freebie.
Forms that allow readers to get your freebie offers can be the best way to get people to sign up for your email list.
Which call-to-action you choose depends on what you want your reader to do next. What you want your reader to do next usually depends on the type of business you have and the products or services you sell.
Ultimately, you want each CTA to relate back to a specific goal or purpose that will lead your readers through your sales process.
Opt-in forms are one of the best ways to get your readers to turn into “subscribers” or “followers” because they help your reader to remember you and hear from you on a more consistent basis (since you now have the ability to email them).
Opt-in boxes act like a spot where your reader can put her hand up and say, “Yes, please! I want to remember you!”
Because online readers have a LOT of information coming at them. They can’t possibly remember all of the things they find. No matter how amazing your site or product or message is, they won’t necessarily remember you in a week or month when they are ready to buy – unless you make it super easy for them to opt-in for reminders.
Over the past few months, I’ve discovered that the more opt-in forms I have on my website the more subscribers I gain.
It’s probably because most people who typically come to my website come for one specific purpose. They show up in different places, from different sources – and they use my site in different ways.
Maybe they’ve seen a blog post of mine on Pinterest and clicked over to read the post, and then they maybe got distracted by another article on Pinterest or their kids got home from school.
There could be a thousand scenarios why the reader didn’t click on 3 more pages to finally see that one opt-in form that is buried on your website.
That’s why there need to be multiple opt-in forms on our site. I currently have at least 9 opt-in forms on my website, and I’m always adding more.
You might be wondering where exactly to put all of those opt-ins…nine is a lot! I know.
Here are the most strategic locations you can place your opt-ins for massive list growth:
On your HomePage above the fold
Your HomePage is one of the most visited pages on your website. It’s where people land when you give them the direct link to your site (like when you give them your business card at a networking event or when you tell people to check out your website at the beginning and end of your YouTube videos).
When people land on your HomePage they will make a split-second decision on whether or not they want to see more. If your freebie is on your HomePage above the fold, or before they start scrolling, and it’s something that your readers need – they will sign up right then and there. Even if they just quickly scan the rest of the page before they leave.
Placing something above the fold (in the first section of the screen they see before scrolling) that addresses the specific need or pain point of the reader will help them to hop on your list quickly without having to read and look through your entire site to find it.
You can put an opt-in form just beneath your featured image on your HomePage, or you can add a button over top of your featured image that links to a landing page with an opt-in form.
Both of these methods work well to get more people on your list.
Already have an opt-in on your HomePage above the fold? Great! Now you can find another location to add a new opt-in form, or you can switch up your old freebie with something new that will maybe convert more readers into subscribers.
An information bar at the top of every page on your website
This bar is located at the top of your website and can have a simple form right there in the bar or a link to a landing page that has a form offering one of your free upgrades.
The reason to add this bar, in my opinion, is to highlight something new that you really want to push out to your audience. Like a new free mini-training or a workshop you just created.
I would treat this bar as more of an occasional marketing tool that highlights a specific freebie that you really want a lot of people to see.
In the footer section of your website
Some people who visit your site may be hesitant to sign up for your list at first. After all, you will be emailing them on a consistent basis and that takes time out of their day.
These people may take more convincing than others, so a form in your footer is a great way to catch these people who get all the way to the bottom of the page.
Some readers like to scroll straight down to the bottom of the page to read the highlights of what’s on your site.
Adding a form to the footer of all your pages can help get these readers to subscribe too.
In the blog sidebar
This is not my favorite way of adding opt-in forms to your blog, but for those with a sidebar, it’s still a good way to show people what freebies you offer and to give them a method to sign up.
In the middle and at the end of each of your blog posts
Now, this is my favorite way to add your opt-in forms to your blog.
The form can be specific to the post or even to a category of posts and that makes it work better than by adding only one form in your sidebar that never changes.
By adding an opt-in freebie to your posts, you are significantly increasing the odds of readers signing up, because they’ll come to read the post and see that you have something awesome to help them and it’s straight in the blog post.
They don’t have to go and hunt down where your opt-in form is on your site, and it shows up right where they get the most value from you – and want most to be reminded of your value later.
It’s right there – really handy and easy to see. Plus, you can cater your freebie to the specific post or to a category of posts, which also increases the chances of people signing up.
Need a few ideas for content upgrades? Fill out the form below and you’ll get a worksheet with 25 opt-in ideas and a place for you to brainstorm the specifics:
On your About Page
Your About Page is one of the most viewed pages of your whole website. By adding an opt-in form here, you are setting yourself up for success when it comes to email list growth.
Because most people click on your About Page at some point, you will definitely convert some readers into subscribers here.
The great thing about these people who subscribe from your About Page is that they probably think you are awesome and really do want to get to know you better. These people can end up being huge fans who stick around for a long time.
They are signing up because of YOU! That’s special.
Through a link in your navigation bar
This is something that I haven’t personally tested, but that I’ve seen done on quite a few websites. Generally, there is a link that says “Free Resources” or “Free Resource Library” in the navigation bar that leads to a page where you can sign up to get access to an entire resource library.
From everything I’ve heard and read, this is a great method to get people to subscribe to your email list.
The only thing to really consider is that you’d need a lot of the content for the library finished up front.
So you should create this option after you’ve built up a resource library to offer all at once.
As an exit intent popup
This type of popup only happens when someone is going to exit out of your website. As a person who hates to annoy others, this type of popup solved the problem I had with popups in general. I hate popups that show up after you’ve been on a website for all of 5 seconds, and you haven’t even decided whether or not you like this person and want to subscribe.
Enter the exit intent popup! This popup only shows up after people have already had a look around your site and are now ready to exit out and move on to the next thing. It’s not as “in yo’ face” as the other type of popup.
After trying it for the last several months, I can truly say that popups do work well to convert readers into subscribers.
This type of popup is something that you can do for a limited time, and you can even have a plan to change it as your content calendar changes.
In your author bio section
If you are adding content upgrades to your popular posts but not all of the posts you publish, adding a form in your author bio section (that is typically located after your blog posts) means that you can still have an opt-in form available on every single post.
This type of opt-in form and freebie isn’t catered to the specific post, but it’s still there for easy access if the reader liked your content and wants to know when you put out new content on a regular basis.
Through a landing page
Finally, it’s really important to use landing pages on your website to get people to sign up during specific product launches or service launches.
If you’re gearing up for a launch of a new product, you’ll want people to know about whatever freebie you’re offering (like a webinar) without the distractions of other items on your site.
Landing Pages help you to take away all the things that can distract your reader and let them focus only on what action you want them to take.
So now that you know all the various places to add opt-ins to strategically add new subscribers to your email list, you may feel a bit of panic of which to choose and how to get it all done.
I recommend getting one freebie finished and placed on your Home Page, About Page, and at least at the bottom of all your blog posts to start with.
You can branch out and try to add more opt-ins once you have this done, but this is the bare minimum of what I recommend.
If you haven’t checked out the rest of the posts in the series, you can check them out now.
- Want to grow your list from your website? Your first step starts here.
- 8 Reasons why I chose ConvertKit
- How to strategically place your opt-in forms on your website & quickly grow your email list
- Behind-the-Scenes of my first email challenge & how to use challenges to grow your list
Seriously struggling to find an idea for your opt-in freebie? Get 25 ideas straight in your inbox by adding your name and email to the form below.
Bonnie Lecat says
Great advice, Amanda! I’m going to definitely need your help with more opt ins!! What’s more fun than coming up with free stuff to give your favorite customers?! People pleasing with a purpose;) My favorite. lol
Amanda Creek says
Hahaha. I love it! “People pleasing with a purpose.” That should definitely be a quote somewhere.