Simple Ways You Never Thought of to Make Your Opt-Ins More Effective

Opt-ins can be used as a simple tool to drive subscribers. You’ve likely opted-in to one freebie or another at some point in your life. They’re usually attention-grabbing and offer something of value, whether it’s a free ebook or downloadable checklist

When used correctly, this can be a valuable tool for making a great first impression with website visitors — but if you’re not seeing conversions, it’s time to modify your offering.

Instead of swapping it out altogether, consider these three ways to make your opt-ins more effective. From page speed to image psychology, a few simple tweaks may be all you need to attract your target audience and start building your subscriber base.

Boost Your Site Speed

Setting your opt-in to display after 5 or 10 seconds on the page is standard, but if your page takes too long to load, visitors will leave before it ever gets a chance to be seen. The modern consumer wants speed — and to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. In fact, 55 percent of website visitors leave within 15 seconds of actively engaging with the page; and that’s when they’re actively engaged, much less when the page is taking too long to load.

The first step to boosting your page speed is doing a speed test. Google’s PageSpeed Tool is free and easy to use and provides specific insights and tips for getting pages to load faster. The second step is making the suggested changes. If you’re DIYing your own web development and have no idea what phrases like, “Eliminate Render-blocking JavaScript and CSS in Above-the-fold Content” means, check out this extremely helpful pagespeed guide from Kinsta. It walks you through, step-by-step, how to address each issue and get to 100/100.

Be sure to check both desktop and mobile page speed ratings and tackle both at once. Mobile is becoming more and more important, and more regularly used among consumers. Not to mention, Google is taking your mobile page speed into account just as much as your desktop speed, if not more.

Re-Think the Format

You can provide the same information in a wide variety of ways. If your freebie isn’t getting a lot of love, consider whether the format isn’t appealing enough for your target audience. For example, perhaps an ebook called, “5 Tips for Your First Opt-In Freebie” can be turned into an interactive workbook called, “5 Steps to Creating Your First Opt-In Freebie: A Free Workbook.” Here are a few formats to consider:

  • Quiz
  • Ebook
  • Checklist
  • Free trial
  • Early bird discount
  • Demo

In many cases, pairing something physical (like a demo or free trial) could be further incentivized, and therefore more effective, with a digital freebie. For example, a workbook or checklist could help them get to know how the product will work best for their business. This pairing of product and freebie may be just the push your visitor needs to take action.

Play With Specific Design Factors (Not Colors)

The design of your opt-in is one of the most important elements, but you could test the design of your opt-ins hundreds of ways. Instead of giving you an infinite number of possibilities, focus on a few specific design factors to make your opt-ins more effective.

Attention Ratio: If you put too much information on your opt-in form, you lose people’s attention because they don’t know where to focus. Instead, declutter and use a direction cue instead. Using this cue, tell the visitor where to look, and therefore complete the action. Direction cues can be as simple as an arrow pointing to the subscribe or download button.

Options: Hick’s Law is commonly used in web design, and it says: the time it takes to respond increases with the number of options given. Give one option, making it easy for your visitor to make a decision quickly, and without having to think too hard.

Image psychology: Instead of using an abstract photo, test one with a smiling face. New Neuro Marketing explains why this works: “In healthy human beings, mirror neurons do their job whenever we’re exposed to any recognizable facial expression, making us experience emotions identical to ones being displayed. So when you look at a smiling face, however subtle, something in you automatically brightens up as well.”

Making Your Opt-Ins More Effective

Opt-ins serve as a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes. We don’t own social media platforms, but we do own our email lists and our website, making it critical that we invest in them from the start. Use these tips to make your opt-ins more effective, allowing you to attract your target audience and make a great first impression.