A Beginner’s Guide To Email Opt-In Forms

Leah Mustoe List Building

When it comes to opt-in forms, there are so many different ones.

It's like when you were a kid & you wanted a pick & mix (I still love pick & mix, even to this day) & you couldn't choose which sweets to have because there were so many choices.

Choices, choices, choices - it isn't always a good thing to have so many different things to choose from...

However, when it comes to list building - having so many different types of opt-in forms is a good thing.

You see, you need to have as many opt-in opportunities as you can within your content, so that you cater for everyone.

People look at different things in different places on your site, so you need to make sure you have it covered...

Every opt-in you create needs to have a goal...

Are you looking to collect leads, promote a product, give away an opt-in offer...

Once you have your goal in mind, you can then look at what opt-in form/style would be best.

All the opt-in forms I mention can be created using a plugin or software, so I'll let you know about the two I use at the end of the post!

So, let's look at all the different types of opt-ins there are!

Ribbon Form Opt-In

This is one of the more subtle opt-in forms you can have, as it sits quietly at the top of your page above your header.

You can set them to be there constantly, or you can choose to just have them there for a set time, or just the first time someone visits your site etc...

It's good for not interrupting your content, as it's away from the main content so as not to distract.

Feature Box Opt-In

The feature box opt-in is one that is exactly what it says on the tin "a feature".

You can't miss it when you come to your site as it's big & bold & stands out at the top of your page.

It's placed under your header, but before your content.

Usually it's just on your home page, but you can have it on whatever pages you like.

It's usually only on your home page, because it's quite an aggressive looking box.

It goes across the whole width of the page & usually has an image, some text about what your opt-in is about & then has the opt-in boxes (name & or email address).

The feature box you can see above is from one of my favourite marketers Amy Porterfield who I actually got to interview in my List Building Legends product. She uses the feature box here in a really fun way.

Beginner's Guide to Email Opt-in Forms... Check out this week's post!

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Light Box/Pop Up Opt-In

Light Box opt-ins are pop up boxes that appear on your site. They are also known as pop-ups.

You are able to set the time on these to pop up after 5 seconds, 10 seconds etc, whatever you feel is right for your site.

They are known for being darn right annoying, but they sure as heck work & are responsible for capturing a huge bulk of many blog owners subscribers.

They simply just pop up and your prospects can see what you're offering & can enter their details to subscribe/download etc...

You can see Aweber's light box above. Aweber is a great autoresponder service which I use to do all my email marketing.

Welcome Gate/Screen Filler Opt - In

Welcome Gates are unmissable opt-ins as they take up the whole page when you visit a site.

Above is an example of one that my good friend Kam Fatz uses on his awesome blog Epic Conversions.

When you scroll down the screen though to get to the content, they disappear, so don't worry, they aren't hanging around the whole time.

Side Bar/Opt In Widget Opt-In

The side bar opt-in is the form that sits in the widget area, either on the left or right hand side of your site.

It can be an image that people can click on or just a simple opt-in form asking for a name & email address.

This is a classic & timeless opt-in form.

It is your preferance as to what you choose & which goes best with your sites image, style & theme.

The side bar opt-in can go on all your pages within your site or blog, as side widgets are great for capturing more leads when people are roaming around.

You can see in my friend Jo Barnes site, how she uses the side bar to offer a free download.

Post Footer Opt-In

beginner's guide to email opt in forms

The post footer opt-in is one that I see all the time & is extremely powerful as you can have it at the end of all of your posts.

If you want to really push the boat out & have as many opt-ins as you can, then using a post footer opt-in will no doubt pick you up a ton more subscribers.

Here is a great example of a post footer opt in on another one of my favourite marketers Pat Flynn's blog.

You can see how it just sits at the end of the post as another opportunity for someone to sign up to get his updates.

Slide In Opt-In

Slide in's are the smooth operators of all the opt-in forms available.

They gently slide in from the side in the corner of your screen (usually the right hand corner).

With a slide in, you need to pick your timing for when it actually slides in on your visitor.

You don't want it sliding in to early, thus your visitor hasn't had time to check your content out, but at the same time, you don't want to leave it to late, as they'll be gone before you get the chance for them to look at it.

The only way you'll know what timing is right for you & your readers, is to split test & see what converts best!

Above is an example of what the slide in looks like when it appears:

2 - Step Opt-In

beginner's guide to email opt in forms

This is another subtle opt-in form which can be placed in amongst your content.

The great thing about the 2-step opt-in, is you can literally have it as simple as a piece of text within your blog posts, or you can have it as a button or even an image which can be clicked on to open up an opt-in form right there on the screen.

This means no moving away from the content that your readers are currently indulged in reading.

Above you can see how I have used the text link within my content (top image) & that when it is clicked on, you can see the lightbox that opens up (bottom image). 

In Content Opt-In

beginner's guide to email opt in forms

The In Content opt-in box is perfect for placing anywhere within your content.

Usually, the best place to have it is a few paragraphs into your blog post, as if your readers don't happen to read the whole post, they at least get the chance to see your opt-in & you get a chance for them to enter their details.

You can see how Amy Porterfield has used this within her post above, using a yellow box which clearly stands out:

Content Lock Opt-In

I've not used this opt-in form myself as of yet, but I've heard it's pretty cool...

This is great to use if you want to keep people waiting in anticipation, from one piece of content to the next.

You can get your prospects to enter their email address in order to "unlock" the content they want to access!

The idea is you want to tease & entice people as much as you can in the first part of the content, so they just have to get hold of the next part...

What you do, is you place the shortcode given from Thrive Leads when you create the opt-in form, in between the piece of content you want your readers to read & the piece of content you don't want them to read, so they have to unlock it to continue reading the section in between, that is locked!

Sounds a bit confusing, but it really is simple to do...

I haven't managed to find any of my fave blogs with this type of opt-in form on, but I have taken a snapshot of an example I have created within Thrive Leads for you to see above.

Multi - Step Opt-In

This is the final form I want to talk about in this post.

This is an opt-in form where it gives the users options as to what to do.

You can really gain subscribers who actually want to be signed up to your list, because they have to make a decision when the form pops up as to whether they want to do something or not.

They are great as you can ask questions relevant to what they will be signing up for & they can decide how to proceed further. This gives them the control!

Above are two examples of this form in use. 


There are literally so many ways you can make use of all the different opt-in forms on your site.

They all serve different purposes, so it's just a case of getting stuck in & testing some out to see what works for you.

The plugin that I use for most of my opt-in forms is Thrive Leads & I absolutely love it as it really does have it all.

I also use LeadPages too, which I also love...

Good luck, have fun creating...

... & get ready to watch your new subscribers fly through the door...

Have a great day & chat again soon!

Leah 🙂

I always say to people I have the two best jobs in the world. Being a stay at home mum to my two young boys alongside working as an Internet Marketer. I have a huge passion for all things related to list building, audience building & email marketing, so you'll find a lot of content on my blog around these topics!

Leah xx


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