Welcome to podcast #21! We’re talking about a topic that is always hot on our minds; how to increase your opt-in rates. This is part #2 of a series we have been doing about improving the important stats on your website.
So what is opt-in? This is basically where someone comes into your website and signs up using your opt-in form. You want to be able to get more people into your database so you can communicate with them and that’s what this episode is all about.
Placement can increase opt in rates…
We have learned a lot of lessons on opt-in placement and design through our work with clients and in our own business, so one of the first things we want to share with you is where you should place your opt-in form for more effective results. Many people put them in the top-right side-bar which does get results, however, our testing has shown us that if you put it horizontally across the page you have better opt-in rates. Some good examples for you to check out are http://marieforleo.com , and http://heatherporter.com for sites that are achieving success with a horizontal opt-in form.
Another great tip for increasing the success of your opt-in form is to keep it in the space ‘above the fold’ on your website. What does this mean? It means that all of your most important information should be in the space above where website visitors need to scroll down.
Your button can increase opt in rates!
As for the actual button that people need to click on to submit their information; it should never say ‘submit’ or ‘submit now’. People do not like to ‘submit’ (usually!) to anything or anyone. This has been tested extensively and it has been shown that buttons that say things such as ‘start my free trial’, ‘create my account’ and ‘get information and prices’ are more effective. Notice the use of ‘my’ instead of ‘your’ so that it is personal to the subscriber. Always test and measure different options for your opt-in form button, different industries tend to prefer different wording.
The colour of the button is another thing that matters! Subconsciously, if we see red we think ‘stop’ whereas for ‘green’ we think go. As such, green tends to work better as a button colour than red. Orange is also popular, this comes from way back when Paypal used orange buttons – this has trained us somewhat to click on orange buttons! Of course if green or orange are going to clash violently with your site, you will want to look for a colour that is effective and complementary. There are some great sites that are available to help;
Form design can increase opt in rates!
What should be inside your form to attract people in the first place? The first thing you should think about is how to visually represent whatever you are giving away. For example, if you are giving away a video show a clean, still image of your video (for example on an iPad screen) with a ‘play’ button over it. You could also use cover images of eBooks or white papers. You can get these things done at sites like fiverr.com – everything $5! Just ensure that you don’t misrepresent what you are giving away with the image you use.
The next thing you should have in your opt-in box is an enticing headline. For example (like one of our clients) “The 10 things you should never say in a job interview”. You should then go on to explain what people will get and the benefits of those; for example “get this video and you will learn…” followed by bullet-point benefits.
Another graphical image that helps your opt-in box to ‘pop’ is using the starburst shape or decal with a message in it such as “get it today!”. We recommend getting your opt-in box made for you by a professional rather than using the standard code from your email provider such as Mailchimp or iContact. A professionally made image (you can even use oDesk or Fiverr) will look a lot better than the standard opt-in form.
Tools to help you increase opt in rates
Where you can, try to use third party testimonials about your business as ‘social proof’ for those thinking about signing in. You should include these above the opt-in box.
Pop-up opt-ins (despite what you may think of them!) are still achieving a lot of success in terms of opt-in rates. Check out http://popupdomination.com for a great resource for these. For video opt-ins, check out http://leadplayer.com. This creates a lay-over on top of your video to gather opt-ins. Also for WordPress users, the plugin Dreamglow Scroll is great for designing pop-ups. You may also want to check out AWeber for pop-up tools.
If you are using the services of a third party to create your website, we recommend discussing with them all the little components that affect how well (or not) your website achieves what you want it to. Remember, web designers tend to be just that; they will make your website look ‘pretty’ but they don’t tend to be strategists in terms of what works best and where.
If you want to test what is working best for your site, make sure you only change one thing at a time and monitor your results. If you change too many things you can’t be sure what factor was most effective!
Look out for part #3 in this series where we discuss increasing email open rates…