There’s a statistic out there that says something like people need to come in contact with you 7 times before they buy from you. And when it comes to your email list, I like to think that it’s similar. After all, trying to get someone to sign up for your email list is a lot like selling something. In fact, you are selling something. If you’re providing people with a freebie in exchange for their email address, that’s a sale. Sure, money didn’t exchange hands, but there was a trade off.
So when it comes to your email list, it might take people awhile before they pull the trigger and sign up. That’s why you can’t just simply add your opt-in to your website once. Odds are people will just skim over it or completely ignore it because they haven’t built up enough trust in you. However, you can improve your odds of someone signing up by placing your opt-in in various places on your website.
Now I don’t mean plaster your opt-in all over your site. That would do the opposite and scare people away. There is a bit of a balance here. You want to place your opt-in on your site often enough so it doesn’t get missed, but not so often that people think that’s all you have to offer.
Here’s a look at 5 must-have places to add an opt-in on your website to grow your email list.
What’s the most popular page on your website? If you answered homepage, you’d probably be correct. For most people the homepage is the most visited page on their website. Because your homepage is a starting point for so many people, adding your opt-in to this page is a must.
I like to think of a homepage as an overview of what’s to come. It’s often used as your website’s first impression. You usually have a headshot, a blurb about what you do and who you help, maybe some recent blog posts. Add your opt-in! Sometimes it may take a few more touch points before someone will sign up for your list, but some people will be ready to sign up right from the beginning. Don’t miss out on these people!
I personally like to add an opt-in at the very top of the homepage in a full-width banner. But you can always add it down the page a bit as well. I even recommend adding it twice to your homepage. The first time can be at the very top in a banner and the second time can be towards the bottom a bit, placed between other content. Adding it twice is always a good idea because people may scroll past the first one. But once they’ve had a chance to get to know who you are and what you offer, they may become ready to opt-in. And that’s where the second one comes in handy.
I already told you the importance of adding an opt-in to your homepage, but what about the majority of people who won’t even see it? That’s where your site header comes in.
Your site header is a great place to add an opt-in for two reasons:
1. It’s site-wide
2. It’s highly visible.
Think about it. Regardless of what page someone is on, what will they see first? Your site header. And because it’s at the top, they’ll see it each and every time. Unlike the footer which only gets seen if they scroll down, your site’s header is above the fold so it’s front and center with each and every page load.
There are a few ways you can go about adding your opt-in to your site header. You can incorporate it directly into your header by making it part of your site’s design. Or you can add a bar across the very top of your site. Similarly, you could also add a link to your menu which leads to either a landing page or that triggers a popup when clicked.
Psst. Not sure how to add an opt-in to your site’s header? I’ve got an ecourse in the works that helps walk you through adding a MailChimp opt-in to various parts of your site. Click here to get notified when the course is released.
One of the key rules of strategic web design is to make sure every page has a next step. That means that when people get to the end, you should be giving them something else to do. And because your site footer is at the bottom of each and every page, it’s a great place to add one final call to action. Or in this case, an opt-in!
Unlike the header, your site footer isn’t seen on every page load. However, for those who do scroll all the way down, it’s a great place to get them to sign up for your opt-in. They’ve already consumed the content on whatever page they’re on and they didn’t click away, so they must have found it at least mildly helpful. They’re in the perfect position to sign up for your list.
The footer is also one of the easiest places to add an opt-in. Many themes include widgetized footers so all that you need to do is drop an embed code into an HTML widget or use a plugin that will add a styled opt-in form for you.
4. In blog posts
Blogging is a great way to grow your audience. You’re likely already writing regular blog posts and sharing them all across social media. Let’s put them to work, shall we?
Adding an opt-in to your blog post is an easy way to give your email list a boost in subscribers. Think of it like this. People found your headline catchy enough to click over. Then they keep reading because your post is providing them with value. They’re hooked already. Seal the deal by adding an opt-in either in the middle of your blog post or at the end. You can even do both if it’s a particularly lengthy post!
The one key thing to remember here though is that your opt-in should relate in some way to your blog post. You can do this in one of two ways.
The first way is to create a content upgrade specific to that particular blog post. This means that you would offer some free content that is directly related to that individual blog post and that opt-in would be unique just for that post.
The second way is to create a few general freebies for your site. One per category works well. Then you’d use the opt-in for that category within all posts under that category. That way, if you blog on 5 different topics, there will always be an opt-in that is at least semi-relevant to each post.
The final location to add an opt-in is your sidebar. Now if you don’t have a sidebar, don’t worry about adding one just for the sake of adding an opt-in. But if you do have one, it’s a perfect place to add an opt-in.
In general, your site’s sidebar is kind of like a highlight reel. It’s the place to add anything you want to highlight. And you obviously want to highlight your email list, right?
I recommend adding your opt-in somewhere near the top of your sidebar. You can either add it to the very top or I would add it as the second or third item, below only an about blurb and social links. When adding things to your sidebar, think of the order in terms of priority. Things at the top should be more important than things at the bottom. So in this case, your opt-in form carries a lot more weight than most other items on your sidebar, so you’ll want it near the top.
And there you have it! 5 must-have places to add an opt-in on your website to grow your email list! Of course I’m sure you can think of other places, but these are the top 5 that are musts in my book. They’re all highly visible so you definitely want to take advantage of placing an opt-in there.