Opt-in pages are the best way to convert website visitors into email subscribers. But how can you create one that converts well?
Today we are going to discuss:
- What is an opt-in page?
- What are the key elements of an opt-in page?
- What other elements can you add to an opt-in page?
We will also share 12 great opt-in page examples that you can draw inspiration from.
Want to get more email subscribers?
What Is an Opt-In Page?
Traditionally, landing pages were solely focused on getting the visitor to take one specific action.
However, nowadays marketers tend to be less strict about this, which means that landing pages often include elements such as a navigation bar, various links, etc. This applies to opt-in pages as well.
Here are the most popular types of opt-in pages:
A homepage with a feature box. This is a homepage that has an opt-in form at the top.
Bamidele Onibalusi, a blogger who helps freelancer writers make more money, uses a feature box on his Writers in Charge homepage:
A squeeze page. This is the most basic type of landing page that features a headline, an opt-in form, and a call to action, plus a little bit of copy.
Squeeze pages can be homepages, separate pages on a website, or pop-ups. They can also be displayed above the fold on a homepage, with other content such as blog posts below the fold.
Jon Morrow, a popular blogger and a world-renowned writing coach, uses this squeeze page for his “52 Headline Hacks” lead magnet:
A “sales page” style opt-in page. This is a more elaborate opt-in page that has the basic elements of a squeeze page but also features more advanced elements such as more copy, social proof, additional images, etc.
We use a “sales page” style opt-in page for our “DotCom Secrets”lead magnet (visit the page and you’ll see the copy, the social proof, multiple calls to action, etc.):
What Are the Key Elements of an Opt-in Page?
An opt-in page only has three key elements:
- A headline that conveys the main benefit of subscribing to your email list or downloading your lead magnet.
- An opt-in form that asks for the potential customer’s email address.
- A call to action that makes it clear to the potential customer what they need to do next.
It’s worth noting that 2-step opt-in pages that first ask you to click the call-to-action button and only then provide you with an opt-in form are becoming increasingly popular.
Anyway, let’s take a closer look at each of these three key elements of an opt-in page…
A headline should:
- Grab the potential customer’s attention.
- Explain what the potential customer will get out of subscribing to your email list or downloading your lead magnet.
You might be familiar with the concepts of features and benefits:
- A feature is a quality or a feature of a product (e.g. “These shoes are waterproof!).
- A benefit is a benefit that the customer will derive from that product (e.g. “These shoes will keep your feet dry!”).
There’s a popular copywriter saying that goes like this:
“Features tell, benefits sell”.
It means that people buy on benefits, so whenever you are writing copy, you need to make sure that you are emphasizing the benefits, not the features.
You should think about your opt-in page as the sales page for either your email list or your lead magnet. How can you sell the potential customer on it?
It all starts with a benefit-driven headline. How will subscribing to your email list or downloading your lead magnet make their life better?
Figure it out and then emphasize it in your headline.
The most basic opt-in form is one that only asks for the potential customer’s email address.
Of course, if you want to personalize your emails, you also need to ask them for their name.
You can ask for more information, such as their company name, job title, phone number, etc. This can help you generate qualified leads.
However, keep in mind that the more information you ask for, the less likely the potential customer will be to fill out that opt-in form.
Generally, a name and an email address are all you need if you are selling low-touch products, meaning ones that don’t require a salesperson to close the sale.
Call to Action
You need to let the customer know what you want them to do next.
This is the purpose of call-to-action buttons. Note that the copy on them should be benefit-driven:
- Avoid copy like “Subscribe”, “Join”, “Get Updates”, etc.
- Use copy like “Get the Freebie”, “Send Me Deals”, etc.
What does the potential customer hope to get when they click that button? That’s what you should mention in its copy.
You may also want to experiment with the call-to-action button color. It can have a huge effect on the opt-in page conversion rate.
When Performable A/B tested a green call-to-action button against a red call-to-action button on their homepage, they didn’t expect to see much difference between them. But guess what?
The red button got 21% more clicks!
Ideally, your call-to-action button should stand out in the overall color scheme, so experiment with various contrasting colors until you find the one that works best.
What Other Elements Can You Add to Your Opt-in Page?
Once you’ve got the basics of your opt-in page covered, you can experiment with adding more advanced elements to it, such as:
- More copy. You can increase your conversion rate by putting more effort into persuading the potential customer to subscribe to your email list or download your lead magnet. Just remember to continue emphasizing the benefits of doing so throughout your opt-in page copy.
- Social proof. When we are unsure of what to do, we look at what others do. This means that social proof in the form of media badges, subscriber testimonials, and relevant information can provide valuable reassurance to the potential customer.
- Relevant images. A picture might not be worth a thousand words when it comes to opt-in pages, but well-chosen images can provide support for the copy and make it more persuasive. They can also be used to make your opt-in page easier to skim. This is good because it helps the potential customer to quickly figure out what it is that you are offering.
Of course, there are more elements that you might want to consider (e.g. adding your bio) but they are less important than the ones we just covered.
Opt-In Page Examples
Okay, so now that you know what you should include in your opt-in page, let’s take a look at some great opt-in page examples…
#1 Jon Morrow’s Smart Blogger Opt-In Page
Jon Morrow, the previously mentioned blogger and writing coach, uses this opt-in page as his Smart Blogger homepage:
And when you scroll down, you see a collection of their most popular posts:
This combination of:
- A squeeze page above the fold.
- Links to various content below the fold.
…is an increasingly popular homepage choice.
#2 Derek Halpern’s Social Triggers Opt-In Page
Derek Halpern, a popular blogger and an online marketing expert, uses this opt-in page as Social Triggers homepage (pay attention to how his personality shines through):
Below the fold, he offers helpful resources:
Then there’s a creative slideshow with the latest blog posts:
Then there’s social proof:
And then, at the very bottom of the page, there’s the footer:
#3 Derek Halpern’s Social Triggers Exit-Intent Pop-Up
Remember how we mentioned that squeeze pages can be presented as pop-ups?
Well, it seems that the most popular type of pop-up is the exit-intent pop-up that is shown to the visitor when they are about to leave the website.
Its popularity makes sense given that it feels like the safest option as far as pop-ups go:
The potential customer has already decided to leave, so you aren’t risking anything by making one last-ditch attempt to get them to subscribe to your email list.
Take a look at this exit-intent pop-up that Derek Halpern uses on Social Triggers:
Note the copy on the buttons:
- “GIMME THE FREE EBOOK”
- “I REJECT THE FREE EBOOK”
The latter is a psychological trick that might make you stop and reconsider. Do you really want to “reject the free ebook”?
You can experiment with this approach on your own opt-in page. Just make sure that it doesn’t come across as manipulative.
People are generally okay with factual statements such as “I reject the free ebook” but they tend to be less than impressed with stuff like “I want to be fat”, “I want to be broke”, etc.
Just because someone doesn’t want to download your lead magnet doesn’t mean that they are giving up on their goals!
#4 Noah Kagan’s OK Dork Opt-In Page
Noah Kagan, the founder of AppSumo and Sumo, uses this opt-in page as his OK Dork homepage:
This is another great example of letting your personality shine through on your opt-in page.
Noah is known for being a laid-back, down-to-earth guy, which is reflected in the way he presents himself.
Of course, you need to keep in mind who your target audience is, otherwise, you might end up alienating potential customers.
Noah’s target audience is fellow entrepreneurs, a crowd that doesn’t take themselves too seriously. That’s why the casual vibe works so well.
#5 AppSumo Opt-In Page
And here’s the homepage of one of Noah’s businesses, AppSumo:
Note how appealing the headline is:
“You’re never paying full price for software again”.
And then there’s a subheadline that explains how it works:
“We’ll send you the hottest deals straight to your inbox so you’re always in on the best-kept software secrets.”
Note how it makes you feel like you are about to join the cool kids that know all the “software secrets”.
And then there’s the call to action:
“Send Me Deals”.
Much more compelling than “Join” or “Subscribe”, right?
#6 Brennan Dunn’s “Double Your Freelancing” Opt-In Page
Brennan Dunn teaches freelancers how to make more money on Double Your Freelancing. Take a look at his homepage:
The headline makes it clear what you can expect:
“‘Fluff-free’, straightforward advice on how to start or grow a freelancing business.”
The call to action indicates that there’s more than one lesson:
“Get Lesson #1 ->”
And the “As featured on” media badges serve as social proof and boost Brennan’s credibility in the eyes of the potential customer.
The guy has been featured on Forbes, surely he must know what he’s talking about, right?
#7 Scott H. Young’s Opt-In Page
Scott H. Young is a popular personal development blogger.
He’s also the author of “Ultralearning”, a book about accelerated learning techniques, including ones that Scott used to complete the entire 4-year MIT’s computer science curriculum in just one year of self-study.
Take a look at the opt-in page he uses as his homepage:
The headline makes it clear what Scott’s blog is all about:
“Ideas for learning, working, and living better.”
Note how Scott also mentions that he has been blogging since 2006. This makes him appear more credible in the eyes of potential customers.
And, of course, there are the “As Seen In” badges, which serve as another credibility signal.
#8 Taylor Pearson’s Opt-In Page
Taylor Pearson is an entrepreneur and the author of “The End of Jobs”.
He also has a weekly email newsletter called “The Interesting Times” where he shares his thoughts on various business-related topics as well as interesting links that he has come across recently.
Here’s an opt-in page that he uses as his homepage on his website:
The headline conveys the main subject of Taylor’s writing:
“How can you better invest your time and money in the face of uncertainty?”
Note how he shares a specific number as social proof to reassure you that his newsletter is worth your time:
“Over 36,104 founders, investors, business owners, and executives subscribe to my newsletter to get research-backed systems on how to make better decisions about investing their time and money.”
Sharing the number of email subscribers that you have can be a great idea provided that the number is at least somewhat impressive.
#9 Content Mavericks’ Opt-In Page
Content Mavericks is an online education company that teaches people how to get more traffic with less content.
Take a look at their opt-in page:
The lesson here is that you don’t need a fancy opt-in page if you have an incredible lead magnet.
Who doesn’t want to know how Chris von Wilpert (the company’s founder) made $100,000 from one blog post with only $688.71 in ad spend? We sure do!
Also, note how he bolsters his credibility with a screenshot of a message from Noah Kagan, the previously mentioned founder of AppSumo and Sumo.
It’s probably safe to say that most people in Content Mavericks’ target audience are familiar with Noah, so this piece of social proof is especially powerful.
#10 Brian Dean’s “SEO That Works” Opt-In Page
Brian Dean is the founder of Backlinko and a world-renowned SEO expert.
He only opens his flagship course SEO That Works a few times a year. What can you do until then? Join its waiting list!
Take a look at this opt-in page that Brian uses as the homepage of SEO That Works website:
The headline tells you everything you need to know:
“Get Higher Rankings and More Traffic With a Step-by-Step Blueprint Created by Backlinko.”
However, it doesn’t appear that Brian is trying that hard to get you to subscribe to the waiting list, does it?
That’s because he is one of the best-known and most respected people in his industry. He doesn’t have to sell hard – people who visit this website already trust him. That’s the power of “selling without selling”!
#11 Matthew Hussey’s Get the Guy Opt-In Feature Box
Matthew Hussey is one of the world’s leading dating coaches for women who has a YouTube channel with over 2.2 million subscribers.
Take a look at the feature box on the homepage of his website Get the Guy:
Matthew uses video as his primary way to communicate with his audience which makes sense given that he has so much experience with this medium.
Moreover, due to the popularity of his YouTube channel, the odds are that someone who visits his website has already seen at least a few videos of his.
So continuing with the same medium makes the transition from a YouTube viewer to an email subscriber to a paying customer smoother.
Do you also feel comfortable in front of the camera? Then you might want to consider using video format to pitch your lead magnet.
#12 Nick Stephenson’s Your First 10k Readers Opt-In Page
Nick Stephenson is a best-selling author and a business coach that teaches fellow writers how to market their books.
He uses a free seven-day course as his lead magnet. Its opt-in page is a great example of a “sale page” style opt-in page.
Above the fold you see:
- A benefit-driven headline: “$0 to $1k Per Month: Author Marketing Training”.
- A benefit-driven subheadline: “Free Seven-Day Course: How to Build Your Author Business to $1k Per Month – And Beyond.”
- A quick description of what you will learn in this course.
Pay attention to how the “$0 to $1k Per Month” goal is both:
- Specific. That makes it more appealing than a generic statement like “make more money”.
- Achievable. A broke writer who can’t sell any copies of their book is unlikely to be motivated by a goal to make $10,000+ per month.
To someone who is struggling financially, that seems like so much money that it might as well be a “gazillion dollars per month”. Completely unrealistic.
But a thousand bucks? That seems doable.
Also, see how the typewriter image immediately gives the page a “writerly” vibe:
Right below there’s a video:
And then there’s the first piece of social proof that comes in the form of a testimonial from a NYT best-selling author:
Below the testimonial there’s another quick description of the course:
Then there’s Nick’s bio which also serves as social proof.
Note how he mentions these two facts:
- “USA Today Bestselling Author”.
- “Helped over 75,000 authors grow their careers and book sales”.
This serves to reassure the potential customer that he knows what he’s talking about.
Then there’s another testimonial from a different NYT bestelling author (see how the “I rarely endorse anyone, ever, for much of anything” statement makes you more likely to trust it?):
Below that testimonial there’s a breakdown of the course content:
And then there’s a section that introduces the bonus course that is followed by a call to action:
Nick then explains what is included in the course in more detail:
And below that, there’s the final call to action.
As you can see, Nick has put a ton of work into:
- His lead magnet.
- His opt-in page.
Will it pay off? We don’t know.
But given that this lead magnet is super valuable to his target audience, we would wager that it will.
We hope that these opt-in page examples gave you some ideas for your own opt-in page.
Keep in mind that getting someone to subscribe to your email list is just the beginning, though.
You need to convert that email subscriber into a paying customer and then into a repeat customer.
Our co-founder, Russel Brunson, has created a system for that. It’s called the Value Ladder sales funnel. Want to learn more about it?
Check out our 5 Day Challenge.
You will learn how to:
- Generate unlimited leads.
- Create your first lead magnet.
- Build your first sales funnel.
- Create a simple 6-email follow-up sequence.
- And launch your funnel!
…in just five days.
So don’t hesitate.