Building Your Email List With An Optin Form

Posted in Blog

If you’ve just started a website or are in the process of exploring the possibility of creating your own site perhaps to make some money from, then you may have heard various people talk about “list building”.

A “list” is basically a term used to denote a collection of people who have subscribed in some way to your blog or website by willingly offering you their email addresses usually in return for something like free newsletters or “members only special deals” etc.

Another way to put it is that a list is basically a collection of email addresses from people who have given you permission to send them emails.

Something which is crucial to keep in mind when it comes to lists is that as the website owner you will have to offer incentives to your potential list members in order to make it compelling enough for them to share their email address with you.

So why is list building such a sought after pastime by Internet entrepreneurs and online business owners alike?

Simply because having a list has been proven to work in terms of converting your subscribers to buyers due to the fact that you have access to a group of targeted followers who have already indicated to you that they are interested in your website’s content.

Thus when you want to promote a product or service, you can send your promotions directly to the members of your list instead of just waiting for organic traffic to deliver potential buyers to your website.

This takes us to the next important point which is the list building part of the equation.
The best way to build a list is via some kind of an optin form which you should place on your website.

There are numerous styles of optin forms you can use and also various ways you can display them to your visitors. Below we will discuss some of the common types of optin forms which are widely used.

Sidebar Optin Forms

These types of forms are very common and you have undoubtedly seen countless examples of these which can either appear in the left or right hand side of a webpage.

These types of forms are usually inserted using the sidebar widgets are fairly easy to spot for the visitor which makes them reasonably effective.

Header/Footer Optin Forms

These types of optin forms are either located right at the head of a page or alternatively at the bottom of a page.
Header or footer optin forms also commonly exhibit a sliding property where they can slide up or down and can be hidden from view by the webpage visitor.

The sliding properties of these optin forms make them less conspicuous than their sidebar counterparts and their purpose is to minimize the distraction of the visitor’s experience but at the same time offer the opportunity for the visitor to sign up if they wish.

Optin Forms Inside a Post or Page

Sometimes website owners will place optin forms within a post’s or page’s content or at the end of a post.

There are some distinct advantages of displaying your optin forms in and around your page’s content. For example if somebody is reading something which they find useful, then an optin form which is located around the content they are reading and which promises the delivery of even more useful content can be a great way to sign up people to a list.

Popup (Lightbox) Optin Forms

Popup or lighbox optin forms usually appear after a pre-configured amount of time or using some other criteria related to the page and/or your visitor.

The optin form will literally popup in front of the visitor making it impossible not to notice.
The more premium types of popup forms available offer a flexible range of criteria on which you can program when your popup optin form will appear. For example, you can set the popup optin form to appear after 10 seconds has elapsed from the arrival of your visitor.
Alternatively, you could program your popup window to appear when somebody is leaving your website.

There are even some popup optin forms available which will allow you to show your popup optin form in certain times of the day, or whether somebody is a “new” visitor as opposed to a “returning” visitor. There are also many more configurable items which are available depending on which brand of popup form you have.

So Which Type of Optin Form Is The Best?


The answer to this question can depend on a variety of things, some or all of which can be unique to your particular website and situation.

But if one were to give a generic argument for the most effective type of optin form then the answer would be the Popup or Lightbox optin form.
The popup optin form is extremely effective because of its ability to ensure that the visitor does not miss it.
There are some people who say that popup forms or windows are annoying and hence all the more the reason not to use them.
But my argument is that if you use the popup form wisely and intelligently, then you will reap the benefits of such a tool and your email list will grow over time which in turn will increase the number of customers you have.
(Please see our previous article about How to use a popup plugin intelligently)

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