Launch Your Online Business in Just 7 Days

Simply having a great product and a stunning website is no longer the key to success — to run a successful business online, you need an email list.


Marketing your offers to email subscribers that have already shown some interest in what you have to offer is far more likely to lead to sales.


But how do you get those precious email addresses?


With an effective opt-in form of course!

1. What is an opt-in form?

Opt-in Form Definition

An opt-in form is a form that asks visitors for their email addresses, while giving them something of value in return, usually in the form of a lead magnet.


By opting in to your email list, subscribers give you consent to send them marketing campaigns, promotional emails, newsletters, etc.


Most email service providers (ESPs) have spam filters in place, and sending unsolicited emails will land you in the spam folder.


With approximately 122.3 billion spam emails going out each day, opt-in forms help ensure your emails aren’t one of them.


More importantly, an opt-in form is required by email marketing laws.


Violating these laws can lead to some pretty substantial fines and penalties, so make sure to stay on their good side.


Let’s find out what kinds of opt-ins you can create.

1.1. Different types of opt-in forms

These are the 5 most popular types of pop-up opt-in forms:

1. Pop-up

2. Floating bar

3. Splash page

4. Exit-intent pop-up

5. Content form

But which one will work best for your marketing strategy? Let’s find out.

1. Pop-up

Source: Business2Community.com
  • Popups appear when a visitor arrives on your website or while they’re browsing your site
  • If a visitor has spent some time on your website, they’re likely interested in what you’re offering
  • Present these leads with an opt-in form after a little while to promise them even more value and get their contact details in exchange

2. Floating bar

Source: Medium.com

Source: Medium.com

  • This kind of opt-in is displayed as a bar at the top, bottom, or side of the screen and is locked in place
  • They don’t block any content from the user’s view, but they still get their attention
  • Keep them small, fill them with interesting lead magnets, and watch your list grow!

3. Splash page

Source: Netflix.com

Source: Netflix.com

  • This takes up the entire screen and is the first page on your site. It’s aimed at communicating value and important information
  • You need to ensure that this opt-in offers your visitor something that they can’t get from your homepage
  • Even if new leads don’t end up purchasing anything after opting in, use email marketing funnels to guide them to conversion later

4. Exit intent pop-up

Source: Medium.com

Source: Medium.com

  • These are triggered when the cursor moves outside the window; it’s the last attempt to convert viewers into subscribers
  • Timing is everything here, as pop-ups like this can irritate potential leads
  • Customized exit-intent opt-ins increase conversion rates, so personalize your opt-in form based on a viewer’s actions

5. Content form

An example of a content form from HubSpot’s blog

An example of a content form from HubSpot’s blog

  • These are forms designed to reflect and add value to the content they appear on
  • It’s important that the lead magnet or freebie offered on this form is specific and matches the viewer’s intent that led them to your content
  • Content or in-content opt-in forms require different lead magnets and offers and often appear on blog posts and other resources

1.2. What’s the difference between a pop-up and a landing page?

A popup is a form that pops up in front of the visitor after they’ve been on your site for a certain amount of time.


Whereas, a landing page is an entirely separate webpage with the intent to convert visitors.


Pop-ups tend to be more effective than landing pages — here’s why:

  • Pop-ups have a conversion rate of 3.09% compared to the 2.35% average conversion rate of landing pages
  • If you can display the form at the right time, you’ll get more opt-ins
  • Add an opt-in form to your pop-up, and you get a highly effective method of getting visitor’s attention and enticing them to convert

Now that you know the difference, let’s check out some inspiring opt-in form examples and what makes them successful.

2. 9 tips to create an opt-in form that converts

tips to create an opt-in form

Essentially, you want your opt-in form to encourage new subscribers and generate qualified leads.


There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here, so we’re going to show you exactly what works, as well as some key elements that are guaranteed to grab a visitor’s attention.


Let’s dive into our top tips for creating a high-converting opt-in form.

2.1. Use various opt-in types on your website

Using only one type of opt-in form isn’t effective at encouraging new subscribers.


Different users will consume your content in different ways, so make sure that you’re catering to everyone.


Here’s an example from the Digital Marketing Institute (DMI):

Source: DigitalMarketingInstitute.com

DMI uses a pop-up to announce an offer or an exit intent pop-up to catch potential leads on their way out.


This effectively caters to different branches of their audience.


Some users will close your pop-up without even looking at your offer — to combat this DMI uses a banner to gently remind them to take action:

Source: DigitalMarketingInstitute.com

2.2. Pick an opt-in process

There are two opt-in processes that you can follow — either a single opt-in or a double opt-in.


A single opt-in requires only one action — usually inputting an email address.


The double opt-in involves more than one step.


This opt-in method is used effectively by Sam Dey and consists of just 2 steps:

1. With a pop-up opt-in, he asks for just a first name and an email address:

 pop-up opt-in

2. Here, he just requests that the user verifies their email address:

 pop-up opt-in

The double opt-in process is longer, but it’ll ensure a lower bounce rate and more qualified leads.


Take the time to find which process will work best for your business.

2.3. Personalize your opt-in forms

Creating an opt-in form that’s triggered by a specific action (like abandoning a cart) helps you target users based on their specific interests.


Here’s an example from Everlane — the opt-in form is triggered depending on which section of their website you’re browsing:

Source: Everlane.com

Source: Everlane.com

This allows them to segment their list more effectively, and to target the right customer with the right message, at the right time.

2.4. Limit form fields

The more time users need to spend to fill in your form, the more likely they are to bounce, so make your opt-in process as simple as possible.


You can limit it to just one field, as Pull&Bear have done:

Source: PullandBear.com

The email address is the most important!

2.5. Add a bright CTA button

You want the CTA button to be visible immediately — your visitors shouldn’t wonder what you want them to do or where they should sign up.


For example, have a look at how Coschedule uses contrasting colors to make their CTA eye-catching:

Source: CoSchedule.com

Use a color picker to explore which colors would work best for your CTA — just make sure your button copy is clear and easy to read!

2.6. Offer a valuable lead magnet

While a sticky bar reminding users of your weekly newsletter might convince some visitors to subscribe, a pop-up lead magnet won’t have the same effect.


Don’t interrupt your visitors while they’re reading your content to ask them to sign up for your newsletter.


You need to promise them something more valuable!


Here’s a great example — Olivier Roland provides his viewers with a real incentive (more powerful than a newsletter) to get their email addresses:

Source: EN.Olivier-Roland.com

By presenting them with a free offer they simply can’t refuse, you’ll have no trouble getting them to subscribe!

2.7. Use a content-specific opt-in form

A great way to encourage more email opt-ins is by creating forms and lead magnets that speak directly to the user’s intent.


The more specific the form, the more leads it will gather.


SEMRush’s in-content opt-in form appears on a blog post about why you need a content calendar:

Source: SEMRush.com

Source: SEMRush.com

By giving readers a valuable offer that’ll solve their content calendar-related problems, you’ll see a serious spike in lead generation.


At the same time, a hyper-specific offer like this will help build your relationship with your audience.


Website visitors looking to learn about a problem they’re facing will be reminded to subscribe and convinced it’s worth it.

2.8. Pay attention to great design

How the different design elements interact with each other greatly affects the viewer’s response.


Here’s an example from goop:

Source: Goop.com

Source: Goop.com

Like Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop brand, you’ll want to:

  • Opt for a font that’s clean, simple, and easy to read so that your offer comes across as professional
  • Ensure your forms are optimized for mobile devices too since they’re responsible for 54.8% of all web traffic

Images can also be a great addition to your opt-in form, but they need to be relevant to the offer and evoke the right emotion.

2.9. Test, test, and test again

A/B testing is your best friend in the marketing world.


Test everything!


From the copy to the colors, to the layout — the more you test, the better your form will be.


By partnering with a tool like systeme.io, you can easily split test your pages and compare the data:

systeme.io’s A/B testing capabilities

systeme.io’s A/B testing capabilities

Even better, why not use this easy platform to build every opt-in form on your website?

3. How to create opt-in forms with systeme.io

systeme.io logo

systeme.io logo

Creating an opt-in form with systeme.io is very easy. All you need to do is:

Step 1: Sign up for your free account

Enter your first name and email address and you’re ready to go!

Step 2: Head to your funnels, and to begin creating your opt-in forms, first select what it is you’ll be using your pages to achieve:

Create a funnel with systeme.io

Create a funnel with systeme.io

Step 3: Next, select create step, and choose the type of opt-in page you want from the drop-down menu:

Create an opt-in form with systeme.io

Create an opt-in form with systeme.io

Step 4: Choose from one of our many templates:

systeme.io’s opt-in templates

systeme.io’s opt-in templates

Step 5: Click on the wand icon to customize the template:

Opt-in form configuration

Opt-in form configuration

Step 6: Customize the template to your heart's content with our easy-to-use editor:

systeme.io’s drag-and-drop editor

systeme.io’s drag-and-drop editor

Simply drag the elements that you want onto your opt-in form, or click on the elements on the template to remove or customize them as needed.


You can also view and edit how your opt-in form will appear on mobile devices.

Step 7: You can edit the form input depending on the information you’re wanting to gather from your customers:

Editing your form field with systeme.io

Editing your form field with systeme.io

Here you can add as many custom fields as you feel is necessary to get the information you’re needing.

Step 8: Link your CTA button to the appropriate page that you want your CTA to take them to, i.e. (the next step in your funnel, your order form):

Systeme.io CTA Linking

Step 9: Control when your opt-in popup appears on your website:

Opt-in form settings

Opt-in form settings

There you have it! Creating opt-in forms with systeme.io couldn’t be any easier.


Not only does systeme.io help you grow your list, but we also have a suite of powerful features built to scale your entire business.

3.1. Systeme.io’s other features

All of systeme.io’s features are geared to help you launch, grow, and scale your business.


With us, you’ll get access to:

  • Sales funnels — Use our drag-and-drop editor to build high-converting sales funnels, forms, and landing pages
  • Website and blog builder — Choose from one of our templates or build your website or blog from scratch
  • Business automation — Gather leads automatically with our integrated tools, workflows, and automation rules

With systeme.io, you also get tools to:

  • Create, market, and sell your online courses
  • Create email marketing campaigns and newsletters, and send unlimited emails to your list
  • Create your own affiliate program

And more, for free!


Having everything you need seamlessly integrated into one platform will allow you to run your business more efficiently.

3.2. Systeme.io’s pricing

systeme.io’s pricing plans

systeme.io’s pricing plans

Systeme.io has a Free plan, as well as 3 paid plans. Our Free plan is free forever, and no credit card details are required!


All of our plans give you access to the following features:

  • Unlimited email sends
  • Unlimited file storage space
  • Unlimited membership site members
  • No transaction fees
  • Affiliate programs
  • 24/7 online support

With the Freemium plan, you also get access to:

  • 3 sales funnels and 10 funnels steps
  • 1 blog with unlimited blog posts
  • 1 membership site/online course
  • 1 automation rule, workflow, and tag
  • 1 email campaign
  • 1 one-click upsell, order bump, coupon code, and A/B test
  • Deadline funnels
  • ActiveCampaign, Stripe, and PayPal integration
  • 1 custom domain

Scaling your business with systeme.io also couldn’t be more affordable:

  • Startup plan at $27/month — You get more of everything as well as 3 custom domains
  • Webinar plan at $47/month — We throw in 10 custom domains, 10 webinars, and upgrade all the remaining features
  • Enterprise plan at $97/month — We give you unlimited everything so you can grow your business with no limits

4. Conclusion

A well-designed opt-in form can be the key to building your list and converting more leads into paying customers.


With systeme.io, you can build a great opt-in form and manage all those contacts that come streaming in!


Visit systeme.io today to sign up for your free account, and get a head start in running your business!

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