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How to Earn More Opt-Ins With Your Webforms

If you want more email contacts, sometimes you just need to ask for ‘em!

Now, you might be thinking “duh,” right?

But here’s the thing: so many businesses make the mistake of hiding opt-in opportunities from new contacts.

And honestly, it’s an easy mistake to make.

We don’t want to come off as desperate or spammy, after all.

The reality, though? Businesses shouldn’t be shy about asking for opt-ins. 

Because providing multiple webforms throughout your site is totally common practice these days.

The more opt-in forms, the more chances to grow your list.

The key is to place your webforms strategically so they’re can’t-miss, improving your opt-in rate and scoring you those sweet, sweet subscribers.

“Okay, So Where Should I Place My Opt-In Forms?”

That’s the big question, isn’t it?

Well, here’s the short answer: wherever you can!

Despite popular belief, there isn’t one “optimal” place to put your opt-ins. There isn’t a magic number regarding how much forms you should include on-site, either.

So let’s talk about what we do know about placement.

Nearly all sites have opt-ins placed somewhere on their website above-the-fold (think: as soon as you land, no scrolling required). 

Based on old-school eye-tracking studies, people are traditionally thought of to scan sites in an “F” pattern, starting at the left-hand side of a page and scanning the center as highlighted below.

However, more recent studies show that people’s eyes tend to go all over the place.

 

For email marketers, this means you can place your opt-ins pretty much anywhere, granted you’re drawing attention to it. That’s where your creatives like site design, color screen and calls-to-action come into play.

And so sprinkling opt-in opportunities throughout your site is a smart move to make sure you’re maximizing your contact count. 

Below we’ve broken down what prime real estate for those opt-ins looks like in action.

Front and Center

Placing an opt-in front and center on your homepage is a safe bet.

Since your homepage most likely receives the bulk of your traffic, it’s arguably the best place to maximize your opt-in volume. 

Coupled with a clear call-to-action, homepage opt-ins can be used to promote free trials, lead magnets and newsletters alike.

Headers and Footers

Think of headers and footers as your “secondary” opt-in opportunities.

These placements are more subtle, meaning that you’re not going to run the risk of interrupting your visitors’ experience on-site.

Header opt-ins support the previously noted “F” shape or reading through a site. Here’s a good example from Neil Patel promoting his webinar using Hellobar (which integrates with Sendlane, by the way).

Footer opt-ins might seem a bit hidden by themselves, but think again. 

Let’s say you finish scrolling through a site or read through a blog post and want to learn more. With an opt-in there to finish off your page, you don’t squander an opportunity to gain new contacts.

Both placements also provide a place for people to opt-in regardless of where they might be on site. That’s why these opt-ins serve as a way to supplement homepage or pop-up forms.

Sidebar

Sidebar forms support the notion of “the more, the merrier” when it comes to opt-ins.

Providing yet another chance to grow your list, sidebar opt-ins are most popular for company blogs. Here’s an example from SnackNation.

In addition to the initial sidebar opt-in, SnackNation also has a secondary sidebar lead magnet which “follows” the reader as they scroll.

On that note, businesses should be wary of repeating themselves with the same opt-ins over and over. If you’re offering multiple forms, switch up your copy or promote different email offers when possible.

In-Content

Pushing a lead magnet or content upgrade? A webform in the middle or at the end of a piece of content is a great way to grow your email list if you’re blogging.

In fact, in-content opt-ins can serve as natural calls-to-action. Here’s an example from Skillcrush, promoting their job-hunting guide in a blog post about remote work.

Pop-Ups

Last but not least, let’s talk about pop-ups!

These are obviously a bit different as the placement of a pop-in is naturally front-and-center.

Either done upon entry or before a visitor exits, pop-ups can be extremely effective for gathering opt-ins.

That said, some businesses aren’t fans of ‘em because they can be a bit spammy.

But as long as you’re not too salesly and use-benefit driven language, people are more than happy to opt-in via pop-up. 

Here’s a good example from Topshop, promoting the upsides of joining their list.

And if you’re interested, we have a quick how-to for setting up a pop-up on your landing page in no time flat.

How to Integrate More Opt-Ins On Your Website

By now your head is probably spinning with ideas on where you might want to experiment with new opt-ins.

Good!

Making it happen in Sendlane is a cinch thanks to our custom webform builder. Here you can create opt-in forms where you can specify specific fields and the list you want to send your opt-ins to.

Once you’re satisfied, simply grab the custom HTML code to embed on-site. Whether it’s your header, sidebar or anywhere in-between, placing your form is just a matter of cut-and-paste.

Seriously, it’s that easy!

Are You Inviting New Opt-Ins?

The takeaway from all this?

There are so many ways to ask for opt-ins and so many places to do it.

So take advantage of them!

Rather than hide your email list, consider how you can grow your audience with a strategic approach to your opt-in forms.

Any combination of these tactics is fair game for making sure your list gets the love it deserves!

Kristen Dahlberg

Content Manager at Sendlane
As a member of the Sendlane content marketing team, Kristen focuses on everything from organization to content curation and process improvement. She enjoys variety and the challenge of learning the best way to accomplish each new goal.

Outside of work, Kristen spends as much time as possible at the beach, soaking up the San Diego sunshine!
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