The opt in page – otherwise known as a landing page or squeeze page is an important component to get right on your website. The fact is that email marketing is still one of the most effective forms of marketing and is generating billions of dollars of revenue worldwide. If you want your slice of the pie, once you have set up your email provider you need to look at how you are getting people onto your list.
The opt in page in this case has just one goal (as all good landing pages should!) – to get people to sign up for whatever it is that you are offering and move them onto your email list so that you can stay in communication with them. That being said, here are X key components that the anatomy of an effective opt in page should have…
1. Begin with clarity over who you want on your list
You’ve probably heard people talk of picturing your ideal customer as an avatar – what are their needs, interests or wants? This is a useful thing to keep in mind when you are creating an opt in page as all elements of the page should be geared to attract that ideal customer. Check out this opt in page from Copyblogger – as you can see, it is written like a sales page and it also excludes certain people from subscribing. This is good to keep in mind if you want to attract a very targeted list.
2. Keep it targeted
That old saying “a confused mind never buys” works the same way for opt in pages! As mentioned, there should be one clear goal for your opt in page (to get people to sign up with you), and that should be very clear to the viewer of the page.
When you review your opt in page, every element of it should support that end goal of getting people to sign up – get rid of it if it doesn’t!
You should also avoid too much clutter on the page – this means reducing or getting rid of navigation options entirely (you don’t want people clicking away!). For an example of a very simple opt-in page without any other navigation options, check out this page which we use for our Online Survival Guide.
3. Devise an attention-grabbing headline
This is a key element for an opt-in page – what’s going to catch the eye of your ideal subscriber? Of course it’s not always easy to figure out but you could try split-testing different versions to see what converts better. This article from Unbounce gives some great ideas and shows what happened when they tested different types of headlines. For other ideas, check out these examples from pages we have created:
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4. Be clear on “what’s in it for me?”
An essential part of every opt in page is to very clearly include the benefits to the subscriber. Why should they sign up with you and what will they get? Check out this post for ideas on listing the benefits on your opt in page…
5. The Opt-In Form
Of course an opt in page needs an opt-in form! We find that the simpler the form in terms of details requested, usually the better the sign-up results. We usually use either just an email address or first name and email address in our data collection. For more on the art of the opt in form, check out this video…
Yep – you’ve actually got to tell people you want them to sign up! You can get creative with the words you use, or even split test different options, for example: “sign up here for …” or “yes, give me …”
7. Social Proof
This one isn’t always used, but it’s definitely great to have if you can get it! People like to see social proof that what they’re signing up for is popular with other people, so grab testimonials wherever you can. This is especially important for sales pages, but could be used on your opt in page also.
A Note on the Difference Between An Opt In Page and A Sales Page:
Opt in pages and sales pages are very similar in their characteristics, except a sales page is where you are actually selling something and an opt in is where you get people to sign up with you and give away your ‘ethical bribe’. A sales page will usually have a bit more description than an opt in page – see Smart, Savvy and Rich for an example of a sales page we have created.
Test, test and retest! Find out what different combinations of headlines, opt in ‘ethical bribes’, form types, colours and images work the best for you. Tweak one small thing at a time so that you can best monitor results…