One of the most satisfying ways to build your subscriber base is to watch it do so organically and without having to lift a finger yourself. This is possible, and it is by far the most ethical way to grow your email marketing lists; people will add themselves. You just need to tempt them in the right places.

Opt-in forms are stalwarts of web design. Most business websites will have them, somewhere. Unfortunately, they can quite often be the last thing on the design agenda. The ‘oh, what about adding…’ bit at the end. This usually results in a hastily-placed form which simply doesn’t engage visitors.

Today, we’ve got 5 examples of opt-in form placement which will tempt people to add their email address to your mailing list and build your subscriber lists.

1) Website landing page
We’ve already established you need a prominent opt-in form which people will be drawn to. Contrary to popular belief, this may not be your home page. Landing pages can be at any level within your website but are the ones to which people are guided via your various marketing activities.

Product pages are perfect for this. For example, if you sell conservatories, you’ll need a page dedicated to people who are ready to buy one. In order to engage them with your company, the page on which they land must have one goal – to obtain their email address. In order to do so, the page needs to explain the benefits of singing up – you offer the quickest turnaround on conservatories, you have a high rate of customer satisfaction… You get the idea. Reward their willingness to share their email address by offering something in return, for example a free downloadable guide.

The great thing with landing pages is that you can add links to them from anywhere. Your email signature, social media profile, Google Adwords and even good old business cards being obvious examples.

2) Blog sidebars
If your business isn’t blogging yet, you really should consider starting one up. It is one of the best ways to add valuable content to your site which will increase visitor numbers and the site’s ‘stickiness’ (how long people stay before moving on). If you do have a blog, it should have the ability to add a sidebar. Typically, this will contain links to other posts and various other widgets, but its also a great place to put your opt-in form. Blogs work from templates, and you can therefore ensure your form is present on every post you publish.

Blog content will drive organic searches to your website. This in effect turns every post into a landing page of its own and they should be considered that way.

But how do you tempt visitors over to that sidebar? The answer is more simple than you may think. They have arrived at your blog for one thing – content. Providing yours is engaging enough, they’ll want more. Your opt-in form can therefore promise first-hand delivery of new posts and snippets of what is included directly into their inbox. This can work wonders as a list building strategy.

3) Blog outro
Keeping on the blog theme, it is sensible to add your opt-in form to the bottom of your posts. If they’ve enjoyed reading, visitors will likely sign up for notifications of new posts and all they’ll have to do is scroll a tiny bit further down to do so.

4) Download pages
If you offer any kind of free content for your visitors to download (e.g. Guides, white papers or software), and all they need to do to get the goods is click a link – stop! You’re missing a valuable data-capturing opportunity. Think about the last PDF report you downloaded yourself. It’s likely you had to hand over your email address in order to do so. And you did, didn’t you? Your visitors will do the same; ask them to opt-in to your mailing list to receive whatever it is you’re giving away. It won’t put people off.

5) Website headers and footers
Last but by no means least, get your opt-in form placed within both the header and footer of your website. Consider where people look for content. They will be drawn to the top of the page for your menu and the bottom for a sitemap and contact details. If a nicely designed and attractive button linking to your opt-in form nestles in both places on every page of your website, you will increase sign ups.

We hope that helps in your list building quest. Just remember the golden rule: people won’t sign up unless you give them good reasons for doing so. Show them an example of what they’ll receive and tell them the benefits of becoming a subscriber.


Mark is one of mailingmanager's email experts. His contributions to this blog openly share the tricks, tips and best practices he's learned while running multiple e-marketing campaigns.

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