website opt-in

The Anatomy of a Great Website Opt-in

Every day, there are untold numbers of people using the Internet to research before they buy. In fact, the vast majority of visitors to the typical small business website is there to research and not buy. However, most websites are geared towards selling and miss an important opportunity to start a relationship.

In this blog post, I want to share 3 critical areas of the website opt-in that are usually poorly implemented and that make a huge difference to your results.

By appealing to people’s desire to research and find out more, you can trade them their name and email address for some information that they value. You can then continue to market to them with your newsletters and other emails, building your relationship with them. When they’re ready to buy, you’ll be top of mind and much more likely to get the sale.


#1 The Offer

The most important element of your opt-in is your offer. You can have an ugly, poorly placed opt-in form but if your bait is good, you will get people joining your mailing list. It’s not good enough to “just put something up”. You need to step inside the mind of your best customers and understand exactly what they’re looking for when it comes to why they’re on your site.

If you’ve got traffic and people aren’t opting-in, then you need to experiment with a new offer. It’s worth the effort!

Perhaps the most popular kind of website opt-in offer we see working with our Clients is the Special Report. It’s true that people’s attention spans are getting very short when it comes to reading on the web; however, there’s a very important exception…people will read much more if it pertains to exactly what they’re searching the Internet for. The Special Report is a great way to have an in depth conversation with your prospect and educate them.

If you do decide to develop a Special Report then I strongly urge you to take the extra step of having a 3D Special Report cover graphic designed…we’ve seen it have a huge impact on conversion rates. It makes your offer look much more tangible; people can visualize getting a book.

#2 Design Your Opt-in To Attract Attention

Once you’ve got your great offer, it’s time to let people know about it. When you glance at your website, your eye needs to be drawn to your opt-in. You want to use colour and images to make that part of your website stand out a bit more than the rest of your site.

We find the best places to position an opt-in on a web page are:

  1.        Top right of the page.
  2.        Above the body content.
  3.        Below the body content.

We will often place a version of the opt-in at the top of the page and another along the bottom of the page.

#3 The Submit Button

The submit button on your opt-in form is a great place to stimulate action. Instead of using the generic “submit button”, it’s easy to change the words into a benefit like “My Special Report Download” or “Download My Special Report”. Another nice touch is to have a hover effect on the submit button so that when people hover their mouse over it, it changes colour…that reinforces the idea that they should click on it.

(A quick note for Canadian Email marketers: If you live in Canada or market to Canadians then complying with Canada’s new anti-spam law is critical. Check out my earlier blog post blog post for details.)

Remember, It’s About Educating & Service

I often say that the best marketing is authentic marketing…it’s the marketing that comes from a desire to serve your customers. Your opt-in should not be a marketing gimmick. Approach it from a sincere desire to start a relationship, a conversation with your ideal Prospect and your opt-in will soon become a source of continuous new leads for your business.


Not Your Typical Web Geek

Scott Gingrich

Scott Gingrich

Partner &
Chief Marketing Officer

Lifelong student of marketing, persuasion, and strategy. Business Grad. NLP Master Practitioner. Slept in snow; walked on fire. Coffee geek (not snob). Currently dabbling in geology and native flower gardening.

Values: Family, Friends, Community.

“Marketing is about the Customer, not the product.

– Dan Kennedy

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