3 Proven Ways to Boost Your Opt-In Box Conversion RatesWhen it comes to conversion rate optimization on your website, getting visitors to sign up for your email list is perhaps the easiest, most low-committal step.

Building your email list can help you sell more, too. In fact, Salesforce reports that email is actually the single most effective marketing channel for relaying and delivering marketing materials, with upwards of 77 percent of customers preferring to receive marketing communications via email.

In light of this, it's clear that building your email marketing list is an important step in achieving marketing success. Fortunately, this is optimizing and strengthening your website's opt-in boxes is low hanging fruit for most companies.

Here are three tips to help you increase your opt-in numbers and earn more subscribers.

1. Use Pop-Ups

Pop-ups and overlays (messages that appear by darkening the screen outside of the pop-up box) may seem like an old-school marketing tactic -- and even taboo -- but they can actually be quite effective. According to eConsultancy, adding an overlay to your page can increase opt-ins by more than 400 percent.

The reason pop-ups and overlays work so well is that they make the subscription process obvious to customers. By presenting a simple pop-up or overlay box that features a strong call to action and gathers only the necessary information (name and email, for example), you streamline the subscription process for your visitors. In order to use pop-ups and overlays well, consider the following:

  • Timing is everything with pop-ups. For best results, many marketers recommend programming the pop-up to appear between 15 and 60 seconds after a reader lands on your page. Remember that there is no one-size-fits-all rule, though, so it's important to do your own testing.
  • The style of your pop-up is important. It should be clean, professional looking and big enough to stand out to readers, but not so big it dominates the page.
  • Your pop-up text will have a huge effect on its success rate, so be sure to test and re-test your headline until you find one that grabs your readers. Make use of action words for maximum effect.
  • Make sure you succinctly spell out the benefit of getting email and what kinds of content people can expect when it hits their inbox.
  • If a visitor closes the pop up box, don't show it again during that website visit.

2. Change Your Subscription Box Text

Could something as simple as altering the text in your subscription box have a positive effect on your opt-in rates? The answer is yes. According to a case study released by Conversion Voodoo, adding the words "enter your email here" to a previously blank subscription box increased opt-ins by 36 percent. Why does this simple tip work so well? Because, once again, it makes subscription process obvious, which is exactly what you're going for.

3. Provide Limited Options

If you're familiar with conversion tactics, you know that offering a reader too options can deter action. Offering too many social sharing buttons on a blog post decreases social shares. The same concept applies to opt-in boxes.

Companies that offer an alternative below their opt-in boxes (such as: "Not ready to subscribe? Follow our RSS feed instead") have lower opt-in rates than companies that simply provide an opt-in field. The reason? Providing people with more options simply gives them more places to go. You'd rather have them on your email list, right?

To avoid this problem, remove all unneeded text from your opt-in box and be sure that there is no alternative option for your readers. This will increase your opt-in rates and reduce distractions during the subscription process.

While conversion rate optimization may seem like a muddy, confusing field, success often comes down to making a few simple changes and paying close attention to usability. By utilizing attractive, professional pop-ups on your page, making your subscription box text more direct, and removing the distracting bottom copy from your opt-in boxes, you can increase your email subscription opt-in rates and earn yourself more leads and sales opportunities.

Whether you're trying to build your email list or optimize your website to get more leads, Whittington Consulting can help. We help companies optimize their websites and create content that your prospects are looking for. Need help? Contact us here.