Have you ever gone to visit a new site, started reading an interesting blog post, then been disrupted by a pop-up box that lands right over the text you’re reading, begging you to opt-in to their e-mail list, and you can’t figure out how to X out of the box?
(This happens to me a lot on Pinterest links — I’m just trying to look at a before & after of furniture paint, and can’t see the image because a yellow blinking pop-up is asking me “SIGN UP FOR NEWS delivered to your inbox every 20 minutes!!!”) I consider this type of opt-in form a BULLY: it’s aggressive & obnoxious, and immediately turns you off.
On the other hand, have you ever found yourself on a fabulous site — it feels like the writer is your sister and she’s telling your story, and you read through every blog post, devouring her every word — but you can’t figure out how to hear more from her?
I consider this type of opt-in form a DOORMAT: it’s easy to walk right over the content without buying into a relationship.
There’s a fine line with e-mail sign-up boxes: too prominent and you’re seen as pushy & overbearing; too subtle and your readers don’t even realize that they CAN sign-up.
But there’s a better approach.
E-mail opt-in sign-up requests can be like flirting.
When somebody sees you across the room, if you like what you see, you can choose to make eye contact & give a little smile. Maybe they’ll smile back, and you can buy them a drink and start a conversation.
That’s all we’re trying to do with an opt-in: make eye contact, smile & start a conversation.
It’s not an immediate leap to “BUY MY PRODUCTS NOW.” It’s just a way to get yourself the business equivalent of a first date: an invitation into that person’s inbox.
So what are some ways that you can “flirt” your way into a reader’s inbox, without seeming overbearing OR withdrawn?
Make opt-in locations part of your website design, so it flows with your message.
Megan designed her webpage with her e-mail opt-in to be front & center. It’s literally the first thing you see when the page opens.
Use language that appeals to your audience. Stay on brand and have some fun!
Lacy’s business branding is based on the concept of a detective agency, so her opt-in draws your attention with the fun headline from “Mission: Impossible.”
Give the people what they want!
Tiny Signs Online is a website for parents who want to teach sign language to their babies. The opt-in box very clearly gives the parents a primer of what is in store for that.
Looking for other tips to make your opt-in boxes more desireable? If you’re trying to grow your list, but your opt-in isn’t converting, find out why: