An opt-in page is one of the most important pages a marketer will ever create.
There’s more to it, of course. Just because a marketer throws up an opt-in page, it doesn’t mean that people will be lining up to give away their email addresses.
People won’t opt-in for no reason.
At this point, you might be wondering what makes an opt-in page so special. Why is it so useful when it comes to collecting email addresses?
The truth is this.
An opt-in page has a number of advantages that can turn any online business into a booming success.
The Surprising Advantages Of An Opt-In Page
But there’s a problem with this strategy… The ad is targeting a cold market.
The people who click on the ad that takes them to the sales page don’t know the person or brand behind the product. And it’s tough to sell to a cold market, even with the best sales page in the world.
It’s true that it is also a cold market going to the opt-in page, but it actually becomes an advantage. Here’s why. People are being given something, instead of just being sold to.
With an opt-in page, about 50% of visitors will sign up just to get that FREE gift!
But with a sales page, we’d be lucky to get <1% to make a purchase.
The beauty of the opt-in page is that once people sign up, they can be marketed to for as long as they stay subscribed to the list. And through email, the marketer can build a relationship with these people.
People buy from brands they trust. Relationships sell more than any sales page can.
This relationship is built by sending valuable content and offers that are relevant to the audience. This will result in trust. And people are much more likely to buy from someone they trust. Building an email list is the best way to create relationships, establish trust and make sales long-term.
With this in mind, there are some important aspects to an opt-in page every internet marketer should know about.
Key Elements Of An Opt-In Page
An opt-in page is such a simple concept. It is also critical to any internet marketing campaign.
To grow an email list fast, the opt-in page must catch the visitor’s attention. It must make them want to opt-in. And to accomplish this, there are five key elements that every opt-in page must have.
Let’s take a look…
1. Opt-In Box
The whole point of an opt-in page is to get people to opt-in, right?
For this reason, the opt-in box must be highly visible and have clear instructions. Tell them exactly what they need to do. Tell them to type in their email address.
This is where people take action. But they will only take action if they are told to do so.
Everything else on the page should direct people to the opt-in box.
So, make sure the opt-in box is noticeable as soon as the visitor lands on the page. Make it easy for them to opt-in.
Grab their attention!
It is crucial to get the visitor’s attention as soon as they land on the opt-in page. They can press the back button or close the tab so easily. If they don’t see immediate value in being there, they WILL leave.
The headline should clearly state what the prospect will receive in exchange for their email address. Be totally transparent with them right up front. They will appreciate that transparency.
And be specific! Here are examples of poor headlines:
“Please Give Us Your Email Address”—This one sounds a lot like begging. Not at all professional.
“Get My Free Report”—This one gives no details at all. Is this a free report on how to cure a migraine in five minutes or how to make the Olympic swimming team?
There is no apparent value in either of these headlines. The visitor has no idea what they are signing up for.
Now, here is an example of a good headline:
“FREE Underground Report: Steal My Secrets To Gain 11 LBS of Pure Muscle WITHOUT Lifting Weights”
See the difference?
This headline tells them exactly what they will get when they sign up. They will learn how to gain a very specific amount of muscle—11 pounds—and they know there is a way to do that without working out at the gym every day.
This is a headline that really grabs the attention!
The headline is the attention-grabber, but it needs some help. And that is the job of the sub-headline.
Simply put, the sub-headline supports or clarifies the headline.
This is an opportunity to boost the message the headline delivers. It makes it possible to add more detail, to help create anticipation and desire.
An example of a sub-headline to go with the good headline above is:
“And Enjoy Looking In The Mirror So Much It’ll Be Tough To Walk Away”
Images are important.
We’re visual creatures. So when people see an image, they will be more inclined to sign up for the free gift.
The image can be of the free gift, if that image is good quality. An example might be an image of the report cover. However, if there is no high-quality image of the free gift, then another image can be used.
Just make sure the image is related to the offer and supports the opt-in!
In keeping with the muscle-building example, the image could show a serious 6-pack.
5. Bullet Points
Now that the visitor’s full attention is on the offer, it’s time to build value.
Here is where we can provide additional information—in the form of bullet points! No one wants to read through a wall of text, and no one will. However, they WILL scan, which is what bullet points allow them to do.
But this additional information is optional.
I have seen plenty of opt-in pages convert just fine without bullet points. However, they can add to the overall value of the information on the page.
Putting in this extra bit of effort can help better optimize your opt-in page.
Now that we have covered the five critical elements on any opt-in page, it is time to learn HOW to use them. After all, the contents of the page are just the beginning. There also needs to be a strategy behind their presentation.
A strategy that turns a good opt-in page into a great opt-in page.
The Strategy Behind A Great Opt-In Page
Not all opt-in pages are equal.
While there are only five basic elements that make up the opt-in page, how those elements are presented matter—a LOT.
Remember that the goal of an opt-in page is NOT to make a sale. The goal is to get people to sign up.
And people will sign up, provided they know what they are signing up for. This means the opt-in page MUST offer clear direction. It shouldn’t be filled with too much of anything. In this case, less is more. Keep the page clean and clear of clutter.
The best thing to do when creating an opt-in page is to look at the page and ask, “Where do people’s eyes go?”
Anything on the page that draws the eye should be optimized for conversion. And if it doesn’t draw the attention and encourage people to opt-in, then it shouldn’t be there. Period.
Everything on the opt-in page should support the mission of getting that email signup.
With this in mind, we have a fabulous checklist that will help anyone ensure they have a properly optimized opt-in page that will convert.
9-Step Opt-In Page Audit
When we create something that has a specific function, we need to know if it will be able to perform. This includes the opt-in page.
It is easy to throw the five elements onto the page and cross our fingers—but are those elements properly designed? Fortunately, we have developed a 9-step opt-in page audit checklist to make sure an opt-in page is optimized.
Any marketer looking for better conversions needs to use this checklist on every opt-in page they create…
Checklist Item 1: Images
The image on an opt-in page is often the first thing to draw the visitor’s attention.
So, make sure it’s an awesome image!
The primary question that must be asked is does the image help with getting the conversion? (The conversion being the opt-in, of course.)
If an image doesn't help in getting the conversion, don't worry about it. Images can be awesome, but they're optional. We've seen plenty of great opt-in pages without images.
It’s not good enough just to put in any old image. A poor image will do more harm than good.
And only one image is needed. Extra images add clutter and confusion.
The image should be the cover of the free gift. So make sure the image of the free gift catches the eye and entices people.
Checklist Item 2: Headline
The primary question when it comes to the headline is does it grab people’s attention?
A good headline gets the visitor to stay on the page instead of clicking away. That is the one and only job of the headline. And there isn’t a lot of time to do this job. Fortunately, there are some great ways to hook a visitor’s attention:
- Say something unexpected or controversial—Lose weight simply by drinking more water!
- Call the visitor out—Only those who are ready to lose weight should read this.
- Hit a specific pain point—Covered all the mirrors in your home?
- Create intrigue—Water is the key to losing weight.
Using any one of these techniques will engage the visitor and keep them reading…
Checklist Item 3: Sub-Headline & Bullet Points
All other text on the opt-in page should be in the form of a sub-headline and/or bullet points. The primary question when it comes to this additional text is does it create anticipation and desire?
The headline grabs the attention and makes the person keep reading. But it’s the sub-headline and the bullet points which create that “I gotta have it” feeling.
Bullet points are optional, but can provide extra value. But ONLY if they’re well-written. Poorly written bullet points will do more harm than good.
The key to effective bullet points is to discuss the benefits, not the features.
People don’t care about fancy features. They only care about what those features will do for them. So, when writing the bullet points, it’s important to point out the benefits of the offer. T
ELL them how it will change their life!
Here's an example.
If someone's free gift is an ebook about weight loss, no one would take action if the opt-in page said that it's a 48 page ebook or that it has high quality pictures.
However, the conversion rate would be much higher if it focused on the benefits, like losing 10 pounds in 2 weeks, being able to play with your children, having more energy, being more confident and any other benefit of weight loss.
Checklist Item 4: Call-To-Action
Does the opt-in page have a clear call-to-action?
That’s another important question to consider.
Yes, sometimes people need to be told what to do!
Make the call-to-action obvious. Make it stand out. The call-to-action MUST provide clear instructions. For example: “Enter your email to get instant access.”
That’s it. People know that if they enter their email address, they will get instant access to the free gift.
And that’s all they need to know.
But without clear instructions, many people won’t know what to do. Or they will be less likely to opt in. Either way, the conversion rate will suffer.
Checklist Item 5: The Type Of Opt-In
Surprisingly, there is another factor in getting people to opt in. It involves the TYPE of opt-in used. There are two types of opt-in: Single-Step and Double-Step.
The question is, which of these types of opt-in performs best? And what’s the difference?
With the single-step opt-in, the visitor enters their email address and that’s it. It’s done.
The advantage of the single-step opt-in is that it’s right there. People just type their information in.
With the double-step opt-in, the visitor first clicks the button and an email form pops up. They fill this form out and submit it.
The advantage of the double-step opt-in is that people don’t like forms, so they’re more likely to click a button than fill out a form. And once they’ve clicked the button, they’ve made a micro-commitment, which makes them more likely to fill out the form when it pops up.
Which is better? The best way to find out is to test both versions and see which one converts the best.
Checklist Item 6: Supporting Information
Adding supporting information is optional. But it can be helpful for credibility.
It's important to ask, “Can I include supporting information that helps get the conversion?”
Supporting information includes a short bio and/or testimonials. And the goal of this added information is to establish credibility.
If someone has a great bio and raving testimonials, this establishes them as an expert in the eyes of the people visiting the page. This make them more likely to opt-in.
Just remember, this supporting information is totally optional. If you don’t have an impressive bio or any testimonials, that’s fine. Stick with what you do have, which is a winning headline, a great sub-headline, and bullet points that create anticipation and desire.
Checklist Item 7: Anything Else On The Page
Now, it is time to ask if there is anything else on the opt-in page besides what we have already covered. If there is… Does it add value? Is it necessary to get the opt-in?
Is it actually helping?
If the answer is no, then get rid of it!
Remember, with opt-in pages, less is more. Too much clutter will distract people from the whole purpose of the page, to opt-in.
Checklist Item 8: Compliance
Compliance should always be considered!
Each advertising platform has its own compliance rules that must be followed. It’s a must that anyone advertising on that platform be aware of these rules.
Before posting an ad, read the compliance policy of the advertising platform being used. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, or another platform. The last thing any advertiser wants is to have their ad taken down or account banned because of a compliance issue.
But here’s the thing. It’s not just the ad itself that must be compliant—these rules also apply to the landing page.
For this reason, it is important to look at the opt-in page from a compliance point of view. For example, Facebook does not like:
- Specific claims—such as “Make $1,000,000 dollars…”
- Calling people out—Facebook does not want to make it personal so avoid using the word “you”
- Calling out the negative—such as “Are you suffering from anxiety?”
- Banned or offensive topics
This means being mindful when writing any text for any page that a Facebook ad will link to.
It's also important to not that being compliant doesn't have to make things less effective. In fact, this entire blog post was written with Facebook compliance in mind!
Checklist Item 9: Formatting
Does the page catch the eye? Is it easy to follow? Is it attractive?
We have already mentioned that the page shouldn’t appear too cluttered. There should be enough blank space—space where there isn’t anything. This blank space should balance with the other elements of the page—the image, text, and call-to-action box.
There are several additional aspects of the page formatting that can be tweaked to ensure it has good visual appeal.
Prominent, eye-catching calls-to-action result in more conversions.
Color is a critical part of the visibility of page elements. For example, orange opt-in buttons convert the best. And any color change that increases the visibility of a headline, opt-in box, or any other element should increase your conversions.
As an example, let’s use the headline we saw earlier. Adding a bit of color and adjusting the font here and there makes it stand out even more:
“FREE Underground Report: Steal My Secrets To Gain 11 LBS of Pure Muscle WITHOUT Lifting Weights”
As an opt-in page test, look it over from a visual perspective. Does it look clean and visually appealing? Is the opt-in button clearly visible? If those questions are a "yes," then the formatting is being done right.
Checklist Item 10 (Optional) – Professionalism Evaluation
Yes, this is a bonus checklist item. It’s optional, but still important for any serious marketer.
Make sure the website that is linked to the opt-in page has a professional look. For example, if the opt-in page is www.yourwebsite.com/opt-in, then what does www.yourwebsite.com look like?
This might be a corporate website, a blog, or an eCommerce site. Whatever website is the primary site, it must have a professional look.
This really applies if you’re running Facebook ads. Because Facebook IS checking!
Facebook strips landing pages down to the raw domain and checks the home page. Facebook looks for compliance and credibility.
It's not just Facebook either. Some people who land on the page will want to check out the root website as well. So it's always beneficial to have an opt-in page on a professional-looking website.
Make sure the home website is professional. Never leave it to chance!
Example Of A Great Opt-In Page
The above example is a high-converting opt-in page.
It includes every item on our checklist, and does it well!
Let's examine each individual element...
CHECKLIST ITEM 1: IMAGES - The ebook cover looks both professional and friendly. Not only that, it clearly displays what people will get when they opt-in.
CHECKLIST ITEM 2: HEADLINE - "5 POWERFUL WAYS TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALS" is definitely an effective headline. It's clear and enticing.
CHECKLIST ITEM 3: SUB-HEADLINE & BULLET POINTS - The sub-headline ("Download This Free Book Immediately and...") makes it clear that people will get a free book and the bullet points effectively demonstrate the benefits of the book.
CHECKLIST ITEM 4: CALL-TO-ACTION - This opt-in page has two clear calls to action. The first is the sub-headline. And the second is the opt-in button, which says "YES! FREE INSTANT ACCESS."
CHECKLIST ITEM 5: THE TYPE OF OPT-IN - The opt-in page uses a two-step opt-in. People click the button and a form pops up to fill out there name and email address. In this case, this button converted higher than the one-step opt-in, which is why it's being used.
CHECKLIST ITEM 6: SUPPORTING INFORMATION - There is some good supporting information under the image... "ANIK SINGAL HAS HELPED OVER 350,000 STUDENTS ALL OVER THE WORLD." That short sentence is a massive credibility builder.
CHECKLIST ITEM 7: ANYTHING ELSE ON THE PAGE - The only other thing on the page is the information in the top left corner. While most additional text would just add clutter, this is simple and clear. It supports the opt-in.
CHECKLIST ITEM 8: COMPLIANCE - Nothing on this opt-in page is spammy or overly hyped. There are no exaggerated claims, so it would be compliant on most advertising platforms.
CHECKLIST ITEM 9: FORMATTING - The opt-in page is well-formatted, clean and visually appealing. The opt-in button stands out, making it even more effective.
As you can see, there is a lot to such a simple page. Yet, the opt-in page is one of the most important pages any internet marketer can create.
The opt-in page is a powerful tool to attract people to an email list—as long as it is well-made.
To recap, the opt-in page is made up of five major elements:
- Opt-in box
- Bullet points
But in order to nail the opt-in page, these elements have to be created in such a way that each item on this 9-step opt-in checklist (plus the bonus #10) can be marked a YES:
- Images: Use one image and make sure it is high-quality and eye-catching.
- Headline: The headline MUST grab the attention and keep people on the page.
- Sub-headline & Bullet Points: This is additional information that increases people’s anticipation and desire.
- Call-To-Action: This is clear direction of what people should do to opt-in.
- The Opt-In: Decide if it should be single-step opt-in or double-step opt-in.
- Supporting Information: Additional information, such as a bio or testimonials, that will add credibility.
- Anything Else On The Page: If there is anything else, it must add value or it has to go.
- Compliance: The opt-in page must meet the compliance rules of the advertising platform.
- Formatting: The opt-in page must be visually appealing.
- Professionalism Evaluation: The primary website linked to the opt-in page must be professional.
This is a pretty big checklist! And we want to help make sure every item gets checked off.