10 Ways to Get More Optins

There is no way you’re going to see the success you really want to achieve without getting the most out of your email list.

But, before you can even get there, you have to be building it.

Now, the question is, are you doing enough?

Building a huge list is a lot more work than slapping a “subscribe here” button on your sidebar and hoping for the best.

It takes work and strategy.

Especially now, when readers are far more cautious than ever when it comes to giving away their email address.

That’s why it’s become so important to understand how to make the most of the people who actually visit your site. You need to be able to convert those visitors to subscribers.

The best way to do it?

Through your opt-ins.

These offer your reader something of value in return for their email address being added to your list. You need to get them to be interested and excited about subscribing.

Once you’ve got that part down, you’re going to be in good shape.

Here are 10 of my best tips for getting more opt-ins on your site:

#1. Pop-ups and Overlays

Everyone hates pop-ups and overlays.

Except marketers.

Because guess what?

They work.

Amazingly enough, even though everyone agrees about how horrible pop-ups are, sites that routinely use them find a 30% to 100% increase in the number of opt-ins.

And that’s just average.

Econsultancy did a study where they found “a site with an overlay garners up to 400% more email opt-ins” than a site that has passive sidebar forms.

Design and test your pop-up to see what gets the best reaction from readers. You can tweak everything from the frequency, position and even the color to make them less obtrusive and more appealing to your website visitors.

If you’ve been resistant to using pop-ups because you hate seeing them on other sites, now is the time to reconsider.


PopUp Domination has been shown to increase subscriber rate by more than 500%

#2. Multiple Sign Up Opportunities

Seriously, stop hiding your opt-in forms.

Make it easy for readers and visitors of your site to say yes and sign up for your email list.

That means giving your readers multiple places to sign up.

Here are a few:

  • About me page
  • At the end of posts
  • With a pop-up box
  • On a squeeze page
  • On the sidebar
  • On the header
  • In the footer

The list goes on…

The fact of the matter is, sites that have more sign up boxes get more subscribers. And those little numbers add up.

You never know (well, if you test you’ll probably know) exactly where it is on your site that will inspire someone to subscribe to your list. Use Analytics to look at which pages or posts are outperforming the rest on your site and add sign up forms there.

Don’t leave that to chance.

Instead, give them every opportunity possible to opt-in.

#3. Be Mobile Friendly

Let me ask you a question.

How often do you browse the internet on your smartphone or tablet?

I’m guessing the answer is a good percentage of the time. Now, consider how much more you use your phone or tablet online over the past few years.

Are you more or less dependent on your laptop now?

The research is showing that more people are trending towards using their mobile devices to get online than ever before. And it’s growing.

This chart from Pew Research shows exactly what I’m talking about.

Cell phone activties

See how 60% of users are accessing the internet? Chances are they’re encountering more than a few sites that aren’t mobile responsive that are turning them off.

So what all of this means is if you’re site is not mobile ready, and that includes your pop-ups and opt-ins you probably missing out on potential subscribers.

Here are the 15 best practices for responsible responsive web design.

#4. Give them Value

Remember, it’s always about value.

Readers protect their email addresses today, they don’t open up the vault for just anybody, you’ve got to earn it.

So do that with your incentives.

Stop with the boring “Sign up for our newsletter” stuff.


Actually get in the hearts and minds of your readers. Give them what they want, blow them away with the value only you can give to them, and make yourself (and your offer) irresistible.

Spending the time to create an incentive that does something to help your readers solve a problem, save them time, or make their lives easier is always going to be worth it in the long run.

#5. Track and Test

One of the biggest mistakes people make is not doing any testing or tracking. You spend time and energy (and probably money) tweaking colors, headlines, copy, even your opt-in gift…

…and then?


You assume things are working. Sort of. But are they?

The funny thing is, small changes can lead to a huge increase in opt-ins. When every email counts, you need to be tracking and testing to see what’s bringing home results.

There are plenty of split testing tools out there like PopUp Domination, that will give you a data driven look at exactly what’s working and what isn’t.

Use that information to increase your opt-in rates.

#6. Use Social Proof

By nature, us humans like to follow the herd. We’re social creatures and social proof can help sway us in the right direction.

Deep down, on subconscious level, people are most influenced by those who they feel are like them.

Use that with your opt-ins.

When you showcase to site visitors that people just like them have signed up for the mailing list, it drives them to be far more interested.

Here’s an example:

This was used for a time a site called Convince and Convert by Jay Baer.

What does Jay highlight on his opt-in pop-up?

Not all the stuff you get when you sign up. Nope. it’s the fact that 21,000 other people who are just like you have gotten on his list.

That small tweak proves to be a powerful motivator. When it seems like everyone else has joined in, no one wants to feel like they are missing out.

#7. Specific Bonus Opt-ins

When it comes to opt-ins, one size doesn’t fit all.

So why give your readers just one option?

Instead, work to tie in special bonus opt-ins that are tailored to specific posts.

Here’s an example:

You wrote a post about how to increase your email open rates. Now, you could just hope that the post was good enough to have your reader opt-in.

Or, use a tool like Magic Action Box to tie in a specific bonus that fits with this exact post. Something like “Subscribe to get my 10 Best Tips on Email Subject Lines” grabs people’s interest right at the end of the post.

Easy peasy.

#8. Write Better Posts

I don’t want to hurt your feelings here, think of it as tough love. But you might not be getting any opt-ins because you’re content isn’t all that good.

Harsh, yes, but still true.

The days of content mills pumping out dozens of mediocre posts that get results are over. Readers today are savvy and are on your site because they actually want to get some value.

So give it to them.

Remember, it’s far more important to have quality on your site than quantity. One post a month that knocks it out of the park goes a lot further than one “meh” post a week.

When you write better content, people are going to be far more interested in what you have to say. Make sure to give them a good reason to opt-in.

#9. Get Creative

Virtually every single site you go to today is asking you to opt-in. So why not make it creative?

Think outside the box to attract more sign-ups.

Some options that people are doing more and more of are giveaways and quizzes.

A plugin like PopUp Domination, by Michael and the guys behind IncomeDiary, is an easy way to get lots of people interested in your site. It allows you to easily offer an entry to a giveaway prize in exchange for an email address.

For creating personalized quizzes with incentives for email subscriptions plugins like Qzzr is another fun tool. It allows you to attract people by giving them information on their favorite topic: themselves.

Both of these tools are creative ways to dramatically increase your email opt-ins.

New ID PopUp

#10. Clear Calls to Action

Stop hoping people will want to opt-in to your site after they read your post. Instead, tell them exactly what you want them to do.

Use your calls to action to entice your readers into getting on your mailing list.

Too many sites miss out on this concept. They operate under the assumption that a call to action is only necessary when you want a site visitor to buy something.

Not true.

In fact, I’d argue the opposite is true. You want to dedicate a portion to every post, pop-up, and opt-in to telling your visitors what their next step should be and how to do it.

Make them so irresistible it’s a no-brainer for readers to opt-in for more of what you’ve got.

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