Email marketing can be a powerful way to drive traffic to your site and increase conversions. However, for it to be most effective, it’s important to use the right tools and techniques, such as including an opt in form on your website.
In case you’re unfamiliar, email opt in forms offer a quick and easy way to encourage your visitors to sign up or subscribe to your newsletter or other marketing emails. This gives you a direct line of communication with them, which can help you boost trust and engagement, and increase the overall success of your email marketing initiatives.
In this article, we’ll explain what an opt in form is and the benefits of adding one to your business website. Then we’ll look at some popular examples and use cases, and walk you through how to add these forms to your site using a WordPress plugin. Let’s get started!
In This Article 🧐
An Introduction to Email Opt In Forms 📩
Put simply, an opt in form is a form that you can use on your website to ask for consent to contact your visitors. Typically, they are used in WordPress email marketing strategies to ask users for permission to send them messages via email, whether that be a newsletter, targeted offers and promotions, or other marketing-related content.
As we’ll discuss in a moment, there are different ways to create an opt in form. However, some of the most successful ones have a few elements in common.
For example, a popular tactic used by many brands in order to increase the likelihood that visitors will sign up for their email newsletters is to offer an incentive in exchange for email addresses. Additionally, opt in forms usually stand out from the rest of the page content, contain clear and concise copy, and serve as a WordPress Call To Action (CTA).
To get a better understanding of email opt in forms and how they work, let’s take a look at some of the different types.
Types of Opt In Forms
There are a variety of different types of opt in forms, and several ways to display them to your website visitors.
Some of the most popular types of opt in forms include:
- Popup forms. This type of form, as the name suggests, appears on the home page, product pages, or landing pages of a website when a visitor arrives on it or takes a specific action. Typically, they take up the full screen, and help ensure users don’t miss the CTA.
- Slide-in forms. Similar to popups, these forms can effectively grab your visitors’ attention. They are a bit more subtle and won’t take up the bulk of the page. Instead, they usually slide in from either the bottom right or left corner of the screen. They’re a good option if you want to delay the form presentation until the visitor is on the page for a certain period of time, or they reach a particular point on the page.
- Exit-intent forms. An exit-intent form presents itself when a visitor is about to leave the page. It offers a final chance to engage the visitor and turning them into a subscriber.
- Bar forms. These forms are usually displayed at the top of a website along the navigation bar with a CTA button at the end. They can be useful if increasing subscribers isn’t the main goal of the page.
The best type of opt in form to use largely depends on your audience and where they’re at in the customer journey. However, regardless of which type you use, there are many reasons to consider adding one to your site.
The Benefits of Adding an Opt In Form to Your Website 🔑
Perhaps the most important reason to add an opt in form on your website is that sending unsolicited emails can land you in legal trouble, as it’s considered fraudulent activity. An opt in form is a quick and simple way of ensuring that you have your visitors’ consent to communicate with them via email.
Aside from compliance purposes, there are many benefits to adding an email opt in form on your WordPress website. Creating a well-designed, attention-grabbing opt in form can encourage users to subscribe to your email content, which opens the door to more opportunities for targeting and connecting with them.
Additionally, these forms are often the first impression your site visitors have of your email marketing content, and offer a glimpse into what they can expect. For example, you can send them special deals and tailored content that will make it more likely that they’ll visit your website in the future and, ideally, purchase your products or services.
In simple terms, building out an email list is one of the best ways to nurture leads and establish a relationship with customers. Adding opt in forms on your website can make doing so significantly easier.
Another benefit of adding an email opt in form to your WordPress site is that there is so much flexibility in how and where you can place and use them. WordPress email marketing plugins make creating and optimizing these forms quite simple, even if you have no knowledge of web design or code.
Top 5 Email Opt In Form Examples 🏆
At this point, hopefully you have a better understanding not only of what opt in forms are, but why using them on your WordPress business site is a good idea. However, to really highlight the benefits and flexibility of these forms, it helps to examine some real-life examples and use cases. Let’s take a look at five of the best email opt in form examples.
As we mentioned earlier, incentives can be an effective way to not only grab visitors’ attention, but also to motivate them to opt in to your email newsletter. Bliss provides a powerful example of how you can do this with its opt in form below:
In exchange for users providing their email address and, in turn, opting in to the brand’s emails, Bliss offers a 15 percent discount on first-time online customers’ orders. The form is simple, straightforward, and immediately clear. Note that this is also an example of a pop-up form.
Opt in forms don’t necessarily need to be as obvious as a full-screen popup in order to be effective. They can also be more subtle, such as the bar form displayed in the FabFitFun website footer:
This email opt in form works well because of its simplicity. It’s strategically placed so that visitors will notice it once they’re done reading the page. It also only requires one text field and a click of a button to complete.
3. Neil Patel
Neil Patel is a solid example of how to effectively use exit-intent forms to capture visitors’ attention:
When users go to exit the page (such as by mousing over the browser web address bar or Back button), this popup appears across the screen. Rather than simply asking visitors to subscribe to the newsletter, the copy focuses on the site’s target audience’s pain point (lack of website traffic) and pulls them in by posing a question.
After answering a series of simple questions, visitors can provide their emails in exchange for a seven-week action plan. While most opt in forms won’t be this detailed, it’s a perfect example of how creative you can get with them.
Fanbooster offers another example of an exit-intent opt in form:
What’s most compelling about this opt in form is that it both offers an incentive and creates a sense of urgency by including a countdown clock at the top. By providing their name and email, visitors can opt in to a free webinar, and Fanbooster can grow its email list.
5. Search Engine Journal
When it comes to opt in forms, placement is key. This is why Search Engine Journal positions its email newsletter sign up form to the right of the page, where visitors’ eyes often tend to naturally shift:
Placing a CTA form in a prominent place on your website is important to ensure users notice it. However, if you don’t want to risk annoying your visitors with a full-screen or popup form, then adding it to your header, footer, or sidebar may be a good solution.
Best Opt In Form WordPress Plugins 🔌
The easiest way to create an opt in form to add to your WordPress site is to use a plugin. However, before we get into walking you through the process, we first want to discuss some of the options.
There are a handful of plugins and tools to choose from. The best one for you will depend on a variety of factors, such as your budget, technical experience, and the type of features and design you’re looking for.
That said, there are a few popular, quality WordPress email marketing plugins that we recommend using. Below, we’ll dive into the specifics of each one, which include:
Elementor* is a powerful WordPress page builder plugin that we use on our own site here at WP Buffs. We’re also not the only ones, considering over five million WordPress users, agencies, and freelancers also use it.
This robust, feature-rich plugin provides a smooth and seamless process for developing, customizing, and designing website pages, which may include sign up and opt in forms. It lets you quickly and easily create popup, exit intent, and lead capture forms.
As with Beaver Builder, Elementor does offer a free version, which includes a drag-and-drop editor, over 40 widgets, and 30 templates. However, the premium license, which starts at just $49 per year, unlocks a suite of extra tools and features, including a form and popup builder.
The plugin comes with an intuitive, easy-to-use interface that includes a drag-and-drop builder. This enables you to design from the front end of your site, no coding experience necessary. You also have the option of building pages and forms from scratch, or selecting from Beaver Builder’s library of templates.
There is a Lite version of the plugin available. However, we recommend using the paid version because it gives you access to a handful of additional features, including premium modules and templates.
Convert Pro is a popular email opt-in and lead generation plugin that can help you boost leads and build your subscriber list. It features a drag-and-drop editor and ready-made templates. It also lets you create a variety of CTAs and popups. These include:
- Multi-Step CTAs
- Exit Intent Popups
- One-Click Popups
- Inline CTAs
- Full Screen CTAs
Another benefit of this plugin is that it integrates with a variety of services and platforms, including Google Analytics and all of the leading email marketing service providers. Essentially, if you’re looking for an all-in-one email marketing plugin solution, Convert Pro is definitely worth checking out.
Unlike the other two plugins mentioned on this list, Convert Pro does not offer a free version. However, given the amount of features included in the premium license, it’s well worth it.
How to Create an Email Opt In Form for WordPress (In 4 Steps) 💻
So far, we’ve discussed what an opt in form is and its benefits, as well as some solid examples of the best opt in forms out there. Now it’s time to dive into how you can add one to your own WordPress site.
Note that we will be creating an opt in form to add to an existing landing page. If you don’t already have one, feel free to check out our guide on WordPress landing pages. Let’s take a look at how to create an email opt in form in four steps:
Step 1: Install Your Opt In Form WordPress Plugin
As we mentioned, there are a handful of high-quality plugins you can choose from to add an opt in form in WordPress. For the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll use Beaver Builder. However, regardless of which plugin you use, the following steps will be largely similar.
Once you decide which email opt in WordPress plugin you want to use, the first step is to purchase it (if you’re going with a premium version, which we recommend so that you have access to the full feature set). Then, download it and install it on your WordPress site.
You can do that by downloading it from the plugin website, your purchase confirmation email, or the WordPress Plugin Directory. If you’re using a free one, you can navigate to Plugins > Add New in your WordPress dashboard, search for the plugin name, then click on the Install Now > Activate buttons.
Step 2: Add a Subscribe Form Module to Your Landing Page
Next, navigate to the page where you want to add the opt in form and click on the Launch Beaver Builder button. This will open the front end editor.
Click on the plus (+) icon in the top-right corner. Under Modules > Media, select Subscribe Form, then drag it to where you want it to appear on your landing page:
Then you can modify the form design to your liking. In the editor panel to the left, you can customize the form fields and CTA button, and choose to add a CAPTCHA to prevent spam:
Under the Service menu, you can also connect your form to an email service provider (Mailchimp, ConvertKit, etc.). We’re going to keep our form simple, including just the name and email address fields, as well as a Subscribe! button.
For a more detailed walkthrough of these module settings, you can check out Beaver Builder’s subscribe form documentation.
Step 3: Add Your Form Copy and CTA
After you have your form design set, it’s time to add some copy to help make it a high-converting CTA opt in form. Keep in mind that email opt in forms should be short and sweet, so you don’t want to add too much text.
To add text above (or below) your email opt in form, click on the plus (+) icon again, then select the Text Editor module:
Drag and drop the module wherever you want to place it. We’re going to add our text above the form. As with the opt in form module, you can use the panel to the left to add and customize the content and design:
When you’re done, click on the Save button.
Step 4: Save and Publish Your Form On Your Website
If you want to be able to use this email opt in form layout on other pages on your site, you can make it a template by clicking on the dropdown menu in the top-left corner of the screen, followed by Save Template:
Name the template, then click on the Save button. Once you’re satisfied with your opt in form, the only thing left to do is push it live on your website. To do so, click on the Done button in the top right-hand corner of the screen.
You’ll have three options: Discard, Save Draft, or Publish. After you select the Publish button, you’re all set! You now have an email opt in form on your website.
Frequently Asked Questions 💬
An email opt in form is essentially an email opt-in sign-up sheet that you add to your website. It is a form that appears to visitors that asks for permission to send them communications via email. Also known as an 'email sign up form', it provides a way for you to grow your subscriber list and for your audience to request to hear more from your brand.
Wrapping Up 🎁
Email marketing is a powerful and effective method of driving traffic to your site and increasing conversions. However, if you’re struggling to acquire subscribers, it may be because you’re overlooking some key strategies for drawing attention to your newsletter, such as adding an opt in form to your website.
As we discussed in this post, one of the easiest ways to add an opt in form to your WordPress site is by using a plugin such as Beaver Builder*, Elementor*, or Convert Pro. Once you install it on your site, you can design an email sign up form that fits with your site’s branding and encourages subscriptions, without being annoying or disruptive.
If you need help selecting or adding an opt in form to your WordPress site, WP Buffs is here to help. We offer Care Plans that simplify and streamline WordPress maintenance and management tasks, including implementing marketing optimization and conversion solutions. Check them out today!