What makes a great email opt-in form?

The answer to that question is not as simple as it might seem.

Unlike many other marketing and advertising strategies, an email opt-in form provides excellent long-term results if you do it right.

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Each new subscriber tells you that they want your information delivered straight to them when they enter their name and email address into your website’s opt-in form.

You don’t have to worry about whether or not your offer will appeal to them because they’ve already said yes.

As long as you follow best practices and create effective emails with content tailored to their needs, they will continue to read your emails.

The key to getting new leads reading your newsletter, though, is designing email opt-in forms that get them excited to subscribe.

In this article, you’ll learn essential email opt-in form techniques such as positioning, timing, calls-to-action, and crafting a lead magnet offer.

What Makes a Great Email Opt-in Form?

In short, a great email opt-in form proves its worth because it helps convert a certain percentage of website visitors into newsletter subscribers.

It isn’t always easy to craft a well-performing email opt-in form, however. You need to put the same time and effort into this task as you might when building your website’s homepage, writing a sales page, or crafting the content for your newsletter.

The keys to a successful email opt-in form include the following.

  • Positioning
  • TIming
  • Effective call-to-action
  • An enticing lead magnet
  • Creative opt-in form design

The Right Positioning

As a part of your email marketing plan, it’s crucial to place your email opt-in form on the correct part of your website. If you place your email form above the fold (meaning it displays immediately when someone opens their web browser), you can expect to see better results than if you bury it below the fold.

The best location for your email opt-in form, though, will depend on the content of your website.

Some website readers will respond well to an opt-in form placed in the sidebar. Others will opt in more frequently after you embed forms inside the content of individual blog posts. If you test various popup forms, you’ll discover that another segment of website visitors uses them.

The key is trying different positions and testing where your audience responds the best.

Timing Your Opt-in Forms Properly

When designing your email opt-in forms, timing is everything.

You need to test how various timing works for your specific avatar. For example, test whether a greater percentage of website visitors opt-in when a form appears five seconds or 30 seconds after landing on a blog post or the homepage.

Run the 5-second opt-in form until 500 or 1000 website visitors see the offer. Then, test the 30-second timing with the next 500 to 1000 visitors. Compare the results and act accordingly from there.

Too many business owners fail to test and never find out that a different timing might increase conversion results. Go into this with an attitude of experimentation.

Calls-to-Action and Lead Magnet Offers

One of the essential parts of your email opt-in form includes the call-to-action. A call-to-action is what prompts your visitor to input their information into your opt-in form. It needs to provide a compelling reason for a person to become your next newsletter subscriber.

When crafting a call-to-action for your email opt-in form, make sure to focus on the needs of your avatar.

Crafting a Quality Offer

Part of the call-to-action strategy includes showing site visitors that you’re solving a mini-problem you know they want fixed. For example, if you write about healthy living, tell your readers that you’ll give them recipes they can make while living a busy life.

Even if you use all the best copywriting tricks in the world, your call-to-action will fall flat if your offer doesn’t hit home properly with your audience.

Many marketers make a mistake by focusing too much on the type of lead magnet to provide subscribers. Think less about whether you’ll give them a cheat sheet or a video lead magnet. Your marketing strategy must become all about how that lead magnet will solve a specific problem.

If you do that, you’ll find that it makes up for any potential flaws in the headline, bullet point, or opt-in form button copy.

Make sure your offer delivers a tangible win for people, and you’ll discover that your audience responds well to the call to action.

Creative Opt-in Form Design

Once you have your positioning, timing, calls-to-action, and lead magnet offers lined up, it’s time to think about design.

Your opt-in form doesn’t need elaborate design features. It simply requires a quality headline, three or four bullet points, and an attractive call-to-action copy on the button.

Use the problem you’ve decided to solve for your audience as your guide.

For example, let’s say you’re offering a lead magnet that gives your audience a worksheet. The worksheet provides them with three questions to guide them through handling anger.

Try the following opt-in form design.

  • Headline: How to Stop Feeling Angry in 60 Seconds or Less
  • Bullet points: Get my worksheet. Read 3 questions. Feel less angry immediately.
  • Opt-in button: Help Me Handle My Anger

Can you see how anyone struggling to contain their anger will feel attracted to this offer? Your opt-in form won’t need to look “pretty” because you’re solving a problem your audience wants to fix right away.

Remember not to over-complicate the design process. In the end, people don’t care about how your opt-in form looks. They want you to solve a problem for them. You’ll see your list grow if you focus on the problem-solving aspect of this game.


Use these tips to create email opt-in forms that resonate well with your audience. Start by thinking about the problem to solve. From there, craft your opt-in form headline and button copy. Finally, test various timing and positioning strategies to find the best mix that provides you with the most effective opt-in conversion rates.

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What makes a great email opt in form?

What makes a great email opt-in form? The answer to that question is not as simple as it might seem.